Replacing my tires & rims... do they have to be trailer tires? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-29-2007, 10:17 PM   #1
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Replacing my tires & rims... do they have to be trailer tires?

Well, my '74 Compact II got a flat today just outside of my destination and, since my 3-month old was screaming her lungs out, I decided to drive super slow the final 1/2 mile. Anyways, I went to Pep Boys to see about getting 185/80 13Rs but they said they don't sell them anymore and that regular tires will pop. They suggested U-haul for the tires in my size. But the rims are also ready for changing (quite rusty) so I am thinking of just getting some standard rims (still 13") and decent non-trailer (read: automotive) tires...

Is this a terrible idea? Do I have to stay with the exact same setup or can I switch over like this?

I'm gonna go shopping tomorrow so any help is much appreciated...

David
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:36 PM   #2
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Just last week, I conversed with my tire 'Dood' about trailer tires or 6 ply truck tires. He informed me that trailer tires are butter designed for the bounce that is inheritant in most all trailers and that trailer tires are NOT as expensive as truck tires.

Going up or down (in tire/wheel size) really shouldn't hurt the trailer UNLESS you go too far in either direction or you are interested in keeping your Egg more like original. Wheel/tire width can affecet wear on wheel bearings as well. There could also be a small wheel alignment issue as well.

SO....if in doubt, keep things as they were intended (IMHO!).
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:41 PM   #3
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Hello David!

Flint here.

Go online and buy from tiresunlimited.com, or something like that. I have a set of Duro Trailer rated Radial ST's size 175/80 R13 on my Havasu fiberglass unit. They are great tires at a good price with fast shipping. I think if you buy the wheels from them they will mount for free. Bolt pattern may be an issue, you should ping their email or call them and ask about the 4 on 4 bolt pattern availabilty.

My Los Osos webcam picked up a light green Compact II in tow behind a Toyota Corolla yesterday evening, near the strawberry stand at the corner. I was home, where's the love? Just kidding, I can only assume that you still had a lot of road to put behind you on your way to your next stop.

Happy to see/hear you are using it!
-Flint
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:57 PM   #4
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I don't have the time at the moment to seriously respond to this, but I can suggest some searching right here in FiberglassRV... this a common (and somewhat controversial) subject. If you look for "special trailer", "passenger" and perhaps "light truck" I'll bet you find most of the relevant topics, because those are the tire types usually involved in the discussion. There are also commercial tires, but they are not common in the relevant size range.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:27 AM   #5
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I'm gonna go shopping tomorrow so any help is much appreciated...

David

Any 13 inch rim will work if the bolt patern is the same.
The best thing would be to take a wheel with you to the store.
As far as the tire I just had some put on my Boler 13ft. and the tire co. told me "P" or passenger tire was well over the weight limit for my unit but I do recall reading on this site one needs to be concerned with side wall construction.
Maybe for my small trailer it doesn't matter that much.???
Gerry the canoebuilder
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:31 AM   #6
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As Brian suggests, search the forum. As a tire engineer, I suggest you stick with ST or LT prefixed tires.
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:42 AM   #7
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David,

In addition to the suggestions above, you must look carefully at the load rating of the tires. Divide the weight of your Compact (fully loaded for travel) by the number of tires (4 or 2?) to get the load rating required. Use the GVWR if you know it. ST (special trailer) tires are recommended, but you could use passenger car tires, as long as you bump the required rating by at least 10%. LT (light truck) tires are also acceptable. Most tire shops don't stock ST tires, but can get them in a day or so. Goodyear and Carlisle are prominant brands and sometimes you don't get a wide range of choices without a lot of hunting. Quality and constuction of tires are difficult to judge, but consider ply rating and the reputation of the tire maker. Go to someone with experience in equipping trailers, especially travel trailers. The Bay Area should have someone who can give you satisfaction. Good Luck!
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:39 PM   #8
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There are more factors to wheel fit in addition to the bolt pattern (which is 5 bolts on a 4.5" circle - 5x4.5" - for my Boler and most small trailers). The offset also needs to be close (many modern cars have 5x4.5 bolt pattern but radically wrong offset); the centre hole needs to be large enough to clear the hub (much bigger than modern passenger cars); and the load capacity needs to be high enough (maybe higher than a 13" car wheel can handle). Fortunately, most trailer wheels are very similar, so it should be easy to find a match if you look at wheel intended for trailer use.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:38 PM   #9
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i changed out my wheels and tires a month ago. i decided to change my wheels to 14" from 13" from discount tire. they have the proper tire and rim combo that worked wonderfully without any issues of tire rubbing. the tire size i went with are 205/75/14 and is made specifically for trailers. for the price difference, i did not want to take a chance on anything going wrong. good luck!
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:33 PM   #10
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joey- you have pm... hoping for some advice on your choice. discount tires and americas tires are both having a hell of a time finding my size rims and tires. I forgot my spare at home in S.F. (I'm in L.A. right now) so I can't bring my trailer down to have new rims sized. I basically need to find something that I can be certain will work. I also don't want to increase the height of my trailer since it barely fits into my garage at home. if 14" rims will do it, then I'm fine with that since I'm getting new rims anyways.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:37 PM   #11
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David,
You are needing tires for a 1400 pound trailer that has a hitch weight of 160 lbs. So each tire is loaded with 620 pounds. Any 13" ST tire will work. Your 13" wheels have 4 lug nuts on a 4" center. If the rust on the wheels is only surface rust, I would sand them, then spray paint with a can of Krylon. I'd call the TireRack and order 3 Goodyear Marathons. UPS will deliver them in about 3 days. Have them mounted and balanced by your local tire shop, and go camping.
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Old 05-31-2007, 02:31 PM   #12
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When I fixed up some rusty steel wheels for a car (many years ago) I had a local shop sandblast them. It was only a few dollars a wheel, and a much more thorough job than I would have been able to do with sandpaper, due to the awkward shape of the surfaces. It is easy to get carried away and excessively blast, so this is better done by a body shop than an industrial fabricator like I used.
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
I'm gonna go shopping tomorrow so any help is much appreciated...

David

Any 13 inch rim will work if the bolt patern is the same.
The best thing would be to take a wheel with you to the store.
As far as the tire I just had some put on my Boler 13ft. and the tire co. told me "P" or passenger tire was well over the weight limit for my unit but I do recall reading on this site one needs to be concerned with side wall construction.
Maybe for my small trailer it doesn't matter that much.???
Gerry the canoebuilder
IMHO, there are two things wrong above.

One person on this list has had good luck with P-rated tires, but many others in the RV world have had bad luck with them, including myself. They just don't have the sidewall stiffness, so they have more of a tendency to sway and to bounce than ST tires. ST's have stiffer sidewall, different (more) steel and polyester belts inside and have more chemicals in the rubber to prevent UV decay.

Bolt patterns alone don't define a wheel/rim -- Besides the offset mentioned above, automotive wheels are usually hub-centric and trailer wheels are usually lug-centric (with the hub hole stamped with less precision) -- Examine a set of trailer wheels and you can see that the hub hole edges don't contact the hub as they do on automotive wheels. It is also important to get the contact angle of the lug nuts/bolts correct for the wheel being used; they come in several angles, including flat.

YMMV!
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:31 PM   #14
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Good spotting Pete... we've done the wheel-spec thing enough times that it's easy to miss a feature, such a hub centering or seat angle.
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