Balance trailer tires - or not - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-10-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: 13 ft Ventura
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Balance trailer tires - or not

OK, I bought new trailer (ST) tires, had them mounted and noticed they weren't balanced. The dealer says that trailer tires don't normally get balanced, so I paid a nominal extra charge to have it done.

Is there any real benefit or meaning to balancing? I would think any reduction in vibration is desireable to keep thing from rattling in the trailer.

Now I'm going to pull the drums and see what shape the electric brakes are - we've towed the trailer a few thousand miles and haven't felt the need for them yet. But since they're already there I might put a controller in the TV and get things operational.

If I had the answers I wouldn't have to ask the questions.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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ALL tires should ALWAYS be balanced. Unbalanced tires will shake and "pound on the ground" - increasing risk of damage and catastrophic failure.

My wife teases me and says that if I was hanging old tires on the dock for the boat to rub on - I'd balance those, too!
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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Darell, you and Dave are both on the right page about balancing the tires. If there is an imbalance, it may develop into cupping and premature wear of the tires. A lot of things vibrate and bounce, so balancing may not make a difference now, but after a bit of wear.... it will save you some money. I thought the Province of BC required working electric brakes on any trailer in excess of 1000 lbs. Has this changed?
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
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I have had mine balanced - cant see any reason not to.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:13 PM   #5
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When I bought Carlisle radial trailer tires for my 13-foot Scamp at Discount Tire they balanced them as part of the mounting process. I didn't have to ask for it. They didn't want them to shake my trailer and cause damage.

They also have page online about trailer tires:

Trailer Tire Facts - Discount Tire

Jeff
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:50 PM   #6
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I saw a statistic in an article about trailer tire failure, it said 30% of all trailer tires that failed, failed catastrophically, blown apart, shredded. The study found most owners were very conscientious about maintenance and proper pressure. The common factor was unbalanced tires. I now balance all of mine and the spare.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #7
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When I was a poor 18 year old and had to buy tires for my first car, I was too cheap to get them balanced. I didn't notice any problems with tires shaking at any speed.

The OEM wheels and tires on my Scamp were not balanced - they at least did not have any balance weights on the rims. Both sets of replacement tires have been balanced. I didn't notice any difference.

Having said all that, I think balancing your trailer tires is probably a good idea.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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Not balancing would be hard on the bearings.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Meyer View Post
When I was a poor 18 year old and had to buy tires for my first car, I was too cheap to get them balanced. I didn't notice any problems with tires shaking at any speed.

The OEM wheels and tires on my Scamp were not balanced - they at least did not have any balance weights on the rims. Both sets of replacement tires have been balanced. I didn't notice any difference.

Having said all that, I think balancing your trailer tires is probably a good idea.

-- Dan Meyer
Almost dittos... Back when I was first starting to do car stuff, it was common practice not to balance rear tires. It was seen by many as a waste of time and effort. That was before radials, front wheel drive, or independent rear suspension were common.
My new Scamp had no balance on the tires either and showed no problems in 26,000 miles.
I balanced the replacements.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:27 AM   #10
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: 13 ft Ventura
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Lindsay View Post
I thought the Province of BC required working electric brakes on any trailer in excess of 1000 lbs. Has this changed?
Yep, I thought it was a no-brainer cost-benefit analysis to balance the tires- one of them needed a pretty big weight to correct.

Here's whatsup in BC regarding lightweight trailers:

Gross trailer weight of 1,400 kg (3,080 Ibs) or less – Brakes are required if the trailer and its load weigh more than 50% of the licensed weight of the vehicle towing it.

According to this calculation I could legally tow a 3,800 lbs brakeless trailer. On the other hand, the dealer I bought the trailer from says that if the trailer is equipped with brakes it's illegal if they're not operational, regardless of trailer weight and tow vehicle capacity. I suppose this should be a topic for another thread.

But while I'm here, I'm wondering what happens if your weights and braking combination is compliant where your rig is registered - but may be nonconforming or illegal while driving through other states and provinces with more stringent requirements?
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Owen Lindsay View Post
I thought the Province of BC required working electric brakes on any trailer in excess of 1000 lbs. Has this changed?
Owen as its been pointed out its actually when the trailers GVW (trailer
and load) exceeds 1,400 kilograms (3,086 pounds). But you vehicle may require them on a trailer in excess of 1000lbs - mine does.

ICBC has a handout regarding towing that reads in part "Check your owner’s manual to find your vehicle’s towing capability. If you tow a load that is too heavy for your vehicle, you create a potential safety risk for yourself and others on the road. Motor Vehicle Act Regulations in British Columbia prohibit the operation of vehicles that are unsafe or improperly loaded and exceed either the Gross Axle Rating (GAWR) or the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The Province is focusing on vehicles that are obviously overweight and pose a risk to the safety of other motorists. These regulations apply to vehicles manufactured after January 1, 2001 that have a GVWR of 5500 kg or less."

Another interesting bit is that same ICBC handout says that every trailer with brakes must have a brake away system but the actual section of Province law that covers recreational trailers does not actually say that - go figure. Under the section for recreational trailers it only says that any trailer over 1,400 kilograms must have brakes and a brake away switch and its actually silent on the issue of a brake away switch on trailers under 1400 kilograms that have working brakes. On the other hand the law in regards to commercial trailers are different and it does read any trailer with brakes must have a brake away switch. confusing.....
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:12 AM   #12
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You expect consistency? From Government?
Laughing so hard I think I hurt myself!
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Old 05-11-2012, 01:59 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by BCDave View Post
You expect consistency? From Government?
Laughing so hard I think I hurt myself!
Yup no big surprise- but I sure wasnt laughing when I was phoning around trying to find out what the law really was before i took my trailer in for in its import safety inspection!
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:56 AM   #14
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Name: Ken
Trailer: 19' Scamp
Nebraska
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Here is something to think about..

Tire Balancing Products

Becoming quite popular with motorcycle riders who change tires at home.
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