More Tire Talk - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-24-2006, 03:09 PM   #1
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I have been reading the many posts about replacement tires for 13' bolers with interest as I need to replace my tires before I leave on my cross Canada trip. I have P155/80R13 tires on now - which have been fine and my trailer pulls great although they didn't last as long as I expected and I religiously check my tire pressure.

After multiple phone calls to tire shops I am only slightly less confused about whether to get ST or P rated tires. I have been told by more than one shop that it is the law to have ST tires on a trailer- regardless of size or weight. Two of the shops said that they will not put P tires on a trailer from a liability standpoint.

Has anyone else heard that it is the law to run ST tires on a trailer?
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:39 PM   #2
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Since some tent trailers, some larger travel trailers, and many fifth-wheel units are equipped from the factory with LT (light truck) tires, and the T@B trailer comes from the factory with passenger car tires, it seems clear to me that there is no widespread legal requirement for ST (special trailer) tires. By the way, the ST type didn't even exist when my Boler was built in 1979, and then Bolers were factory-equipped with regular passenger car tires (F78-14, load range B, in my case).

Of course, any tire must be adequate for the application, and both tire company web sites and other members in this forum have stated that P-type (passenger car) tires must be derated (have their maximum load carrying capacity reduced) by 10% if used for trailer service. The Michelin spec sheets for at least some of their tire models also state that the same 10% derating applies to truck and SUV applications, not just trailers.

I rarely believe what anyone who is selling a product says about legal requirements. They are often genuinely misinformed or just out of date, and sometimes just want to do what is easy or profitable for them. For instance, a local shop selling Vespa scooters tells people that they don't need a motorcycle operator's license to ride the under-50cc model, which is absolutely false, but sells more scooters. If I were dishonest and selling tires (I try to be honest and don't sell tires), I would tell people that they legally require something they don't need, too.

For those of us in Alberta, ALBERTA REGULATION 322/2002, Traffic Safety Act, VEHICLE EQUIPMENT REGULATION includes trailer rules in various categories, but primarily in Part 4, Miscellaneous Vehicles, Division 1, Trailers (starts with section 86). I could not find any requirement related to tires and applicable to trailers in that document. Perhaps there is another regulation which would apply, but this one does specifically state the tire requirements which apply to passenger cars, so I think I'm looking in the right place.
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Old 05-24-2006, 08:19 PM   #3
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I'll venture a guess that someone, somewhere sued a tire store over installing p-metric tires on a trailer in lieu of ST tires and won. Or there may have only been a rumor to that effect. There follows then a panic among tire dealers who hear rumors about alleged liability and who jump on the "I'm only going to sell them for what they're rated" bandwagon.

I've run both p-metrics and ST tires on trailers. I have had several p-metrics fail in trailer use, but never an ST rated tire. There are other folks who, of course, have had ST failures as well, so they're not infallible. I'm pretty fanatical about checking my trailer tires regularly and changing them at five years whether they look bad or not, so I may not be a typical case either.

Good luck! You can't go wrong buying ST tires for your Boler, although they may not be strictly necessary.

Roger
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:03 AM   #4
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many will cringe at my response but here it is:

I changed tires for years and was lucky enough to get out! Trailer tires are the best as they tend to have a higher load rating and stiffer side walls = less bounce.

However, were also not talking a lot of weight here either. I'm referring to the 13' foot trailers. So...you could save some money by buying 'p'assenger tires and not worry about them failing. I personally went with a set of good old 13" General's. 175/70 R 13 I believe and they have been just ducky.

Just my 2 cents though....I know others will say differently...
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:18 AM   #5
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i am lucky enough to have a friend in the tire buisness and his opinion is go with at least a LT truck tire but prefers to install ST tires the P rated are just a little soft for anything more than a teardrop trailer and the LT is very capable of a 13/16 ft max fgrv
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Old 05-25-2006, 12:35 AM   #6
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I suspect it's difficult to find LT tires in 13" sizes. You're probably stuck with either passenger car or trailer tires.

When I replaced the tires on my 12-1/2' camper, I swapped out the mismatched bias-ply passenger car tires the PO had installed for a set of ST175/80D13, load range C, 6-ply tires. They were only $45 each, mounted.

It might be worth mentioning that the trailer came with a ball on the side of the tongue for a sway control, but with the new tires there is not a hint of sway or wagging, even at, ahem, speeds somewhat over the posted limit. The passenger car tires, especially radials, just have so much squirm to the sidewalls. They are thinner and much more vulnerable to curb rash and the like, too, when compared to a ST tire.
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:01 PM   #7
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Thanks for the informative responses - this forum is just awesome!

I have decided that I am going to get ST tires. I have been phoning around and the best price I have come across is $180 (including install, taxes, etc).

By the way - I phoned my local police detachment and indeed it is the law in Alberta to have ST tires on a trailer.
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
By the way - I phoned my local police detachment and indeed it is the law in Alberta to have ST tires on a trailer.
Well... I reckon that sorta takes the guesswork out of the situation, doesn't it!

Roger
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:30 PM   #9
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FWIW:

Most vehicle manufacturers agree to meet the guidelines of the Tire and Rim Assn. The applicable paragraph (pg 2-03, 2006 yearbook):

"Passenger Tires - When a passenger tire is installed on a multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus, or trailer, the tire's load rating shall be reduced by dividing by 1.10. The sum of this new reduced load rating of the tires fitted to an axle shall not be less than the gross axle weight rating (GAWR) of the axle system as specified on the vehicle's certification label."

I would presume that if TAB uses P-Metric (passenger) tires, that they derate the load capacity. What I don't know off the top of my head is the legal relationship between FMVSS requirements and T&RA. When I get a free moment I'll bip over to review the FMVSS
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Old 05-25-2006, 01:38 PM   #10
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Hmmm.

<div align="left">FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE</div><div align="left">SAFETY STANDARD</div><div align="left">(49 CFR PART 571)</div><div align="left">MVSS 120</div><div align="left">TIRE SELECTION AND RIMS</div><div align="left">FOR MOTOR VEHICLES</div><div align="left">OTHER THAN PASSENGER</div><div align="left">CARS</div>
<div align="left">"When a tire subject to FMVSS No. 109 is installed on a multipurpose passenger vehicle, truck, bus, or trailer, the tire's load rating shall be reduced by dividing by 1.10 before calculating the sum (i.e., the sum of the load ratings of the tires on each axle, when the tires' load carrying capacity at the recommended tire cold inflation pressure is reduced by dividing by 1.10, must be appropriate for the GAWR)."

</div>
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:46 PM   #11
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Indeed, the Alberta regulations also defer to federal standards for passenger vehicles...
Quote:
[b]Pneumatic tire standards
59(1)
The Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada) are adopted and apply to pneumatic tires on a passenger car.
I looked that one up: Motor Vehicle Tire Safety Regulations, 1995 (gotta love the internet!). That one requires essentially everything other than passenger cars to have tires conforming to "Schedule V (Safety Standard 119)", which is included in the same publication. That schedule (appendix) has specific test requirements, but does not say anything about specific requirements for trailers, and does not mention the ST designation. Perhaps the requirements of this schedule are met only by ST and LT and commercial tires, and not by P-type tires, but I don't know yet; it seems unlikely to me.

Quote:
...I would presume that if TAB uses P-Metric (passenger) tires, that they derate the load capacity...
The Fulda tires which I saw on the T@B at a dealership are within the appropriate load capacity rating, allowing for the division by 1.10 as Steve describes (the 10% derating).


As for the local police, I have submitted the question to them by e-mail, and will report the result.
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Old 05-25-2006, 10:40 PM   #12
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It would be interesting to see what DOT or law enforcement says, but more importantly, in our sue happy times, liability would be a good thing to look at.

Having sat on a couple juries in the past 2 years, I know how lawyers can use every nit picky little detail to sway a jury to adhere to the letter of the law (And not necessarily the spirit of it) Even if the other car hit a moose and swung into you.. no doubt, some clever legal eagle could make it seem like it was YOUR fault for having the wrong equipment on your rig. Legal or no.

I agree that the price Ken (In HIS thread) was quoted seemed quite high. I got Trailer tires put on mine a few months ago at a whole 90 bucks, mounted (The broken frame they gave me is another story)

I didn't flinch at this price, it actually suprised me as being lower than expected. It also was not much more than P tires .. just a few bucks, so I went with the trailer tires.

Liability was not my concern, but it is something to consider.
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:18 AM   #13
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By the way - I phoned my local police detachment and indeed it is the law in Alberta to have ST tires on a trailer.
Hi, Laura, I'm having a hard time to find a law in the Alberta Highway Traffic Act or the Motor Vehicle Safety Act (Canada), about using ST tires on trailers...could you possibly get the section or subsection number of the highway traffic act which covers that and post it....I called Motor Vehicles in manitoba and the first person that I spoke to said all trailers must run ST tires and when I asked for the subsection number in the traffic act, there was some talking in the background and then he came back to me with-" running auto tires on trailers in Manitoba is legal" ......as long as the weights are adhered to and if stated on your trailer specs, the "load range", which in my case isn't stated on my trailers' specs because of their age.....both my trailers spec out auto tires not ST's......I would like to know for sure in the Western provinces, Yukon, and also possibly Alaska since I may be heading that way this summer......Benny
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Old 05-28-2006, 08:56 PM   #14
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The general theme here is correct. You should use ST tires for trailers. They are built differently than P - Passenger car - tires. They do not need to be derated. They will stand up better due to the intermittent use of trailers. (and overloading issues.)
Why take the legal risk? Since you're travelling, you never know where you'll have a problem with the P tires.

Tom
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