Larger Wheels Possible? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-21-2009, 11:46 PM   #1
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Just bought a 1977 Trillium 1300. Thinking of installing larger wheels - such as 14" or 15". There would be less wheel rotation and therefore less bearing and tire wear (at least that's my theory). Is this possible (wheel well clearance?) and advisable?

Thanks, Clark
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Old 11-22-2009, 01:22 AM   #2
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Clark,

Upsizing wheels and tires could be possible with your rig. You'll first need to check wheel well clearance with your current tires. Then check how much suspension travel you have (how far up into the wheel well the tire will move when hitting a bump). Is your axle worn out and barely moves when loaded? If you're planning on replacing the axle in the near future, consider ordering with a different down angle. This could help bring your suspension back to normal specs or even raise it if so desired. I've recently been thinking of upsizing my wheel/tire combo as well. It seems there are more trailer tire choices in the bigger diameters as well.

As far as bearing and tire wear are concerned, I've found this to be a non-issue. The slightly larger diameter tire will reduce the rotating speed of the bearings by a small margin. In all the years I've been turning wrenches on vehicles and trailers, it all comes down to maintenance. If you take care of your equipment, it will last a long time. I can't recall ever having to replace trailer bearings that were properly maintained (provided they were serviceable).

If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask. Someone will undoubtedly answer.
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Old 11-22-2009, 05:39 AM   #3
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I had a 1962 Buick Special once. It was a nice car, but I couldn't keep tread on all four 13" tires. It seemed I was buying tires way too often.
Then I bought a new set of 14" rims and tires. The tires lasted a whole lot longer after that. The change was well worth the small amount of money the new rims cost.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:19 AM   #4
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Unless you change hubs or axle with new hubs, you may find it hard to find 14" or 15" wheels with the same lug spacing and number as on the 13".
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Just bought a 1977 Trillium 1300. Thinking of installing larger wheels - such as 14" or 15". There would be less wheel rotation and therefore less bearing and tire wear (at least that's my theory). Is this possible (wheel well clearance?) and advisable?

Thanks, Clark
Thanks Eric, Judith and Tom for your input. All things to keep in mind when I start shopping.

Clark
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:40 AM   #6
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Unless you change hubs or axle with new hubs, you may find it hard to find 14" or 15" wheels with the same lug spacing and number as on the 13".
As long as he has the more common 5 on 4 1/2" bolt pattern (which I asssumed he did, my fault), the possibilities are nearly endless as to diameter and style of wheel. The end user is responsible for actual fitment, of course. (Measure twice, buy once )
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:30 AM   #7
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I upgraded from 13s to 14s on my 17ft Burro. I went with a load range D tire as well. I don't regret my decision.
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Old 11-26-2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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I had contemplated putting some larger wheels and tires on my Trillium but realized that while they may look nicer the larger, wider tires will have a lot more rolling resistance and therefore higher fuel consumption. Look at the tires they put on the hybrid's - they use the smallest, narrowest tires they can. In the end I just used some nice shiny stainless steel hubcaps to dress up the appearance of the stock wheels.

Clark, I just noticed you are in Burlington, too!
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:53 PM   #9
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Hmmm ... many different ways of looking at this. Thanks for the input.

Clark


Quote:
I had contemplated putting some larger wheels and tires on my Trillium but realized that while they may look nicer the larger, wider tires will have a lot more rolling resistance and therefore higher fuel consumption. Look at the tires they put on the hybrid's - they use the smallest, narrowest tires they can. In the end I just used some nice shiny stainless steel hubcaps to dress up the appearance of the stock wheels.

Clark, I just noticed you are in Burlington, too!
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Just bought a 1977 Trillium 1300. Thinking of installing larger wheels - such as 14" or 15". There would be less wheel rotation and therefore less bearing and tire wear (at least that's my theory). Is this possible (wheel well clearance?) and advisable?

Thanks, Clark
Hi Clark,
Any 13" ST tire I've seen requires 50 PSI, whereas 14" ST's usually require only 35 PSI. My guess is the 14" 35 PSI tires should bounce less and give the trailer a smoother ride. You might also find a passenger tire with low profile that won't be much larger in diameter but still have a load capacity equal to the original 13" tires. I had a 13' Trillium with low profile 14" P rated tires on mag rims but I didn't use it to find out how they worked. For sure they looked better.
Bill
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Old 11-29-2009, 08:58 PM   #11
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[quote]Hi Clark,
Any 13" ST tire I've seen requires 50 PSI, whereas 14" ST's usually require only 35 PSI. My guess is the 14" 35 PSI tires should bounce less and give the trailer a smoother ride. You might also find a passenger tire with low profile that won't be much larger in diameter but still have a load capacity equal to the original 13" tires. I had a 13' Trillium with low profile 14" P rated tires on mag rims but I didn't use it to find out how they worked. For sure they looked better.
Bill
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Interesting idea and worth considering Bill. But I thought there was some reason for using ONLY ST tires on a trailer. Did you ever hear that theory? I can't recall the reason.

Clark
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:35 AM   #12
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I have found this tire size calculator very useful -- just enter the specs of the current tire and of the new one you are considering and it shows you how different the two are. I find this invaluable when dealing with tires that have different profile heights, such as a 195/70R14 vs 215/60R15.

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:08 PM   #13
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I upgraded from 13s to 14s on my 17ft Burro. I went with a load range D tire as well. I don't regret my decision.
Gina, what tire size did you go to with 14" wheels? My tires are fairly new, around 2 years old but just thinking ahead. The stock Burro size is 185/80/13 D load range and there are very few choices in that size. I would like to eventually move up to 205/75/14 but I want to be sure the larger diameter would not rub. It seems like main sizes sizes for 13" and 14" wheels are 175/80/13 and 205/75/14, if you stray from those sizes than choices are much fewer.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:37 AM   #14
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Another reason to upsize/upgrade: My original stock 13" tires & wheels were only rated for 55psi (although there are some folks who run them at higher psi). I went to 14" wheels and tires and now run 65psi. Someone earlier mentioned rolling resistence - higher psi will reduce rolling resistence, too. I am getting better mileage now but I also changed to syn oil at the same time I changed wheels/tires so can't really say whether the tire upgrade or oil or both are responsible for the increase in mileage. I just feel better with meatier tires on the road. Reduces the "pucker factor."

I got the 205 Kumho.
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