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Trailer Tires

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  • Trailer Tires

    Please excuse my ignorance, but I remember someone telling me about different plys of trailer tires, or weights or something like that. What is the best type of tire to put on my trailer? ( other than the correct size) Its a Sundowner 2 horse bumper pull with extra large dressing room. Don't know the weight at the moment.There is no dealer within a reasonable distance to take it to. TIA

  • #2
    There are specific tires for trailers. Light truck tires are the WRONG type as my friend found out when she bought a second hand trailer.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    • #3
      Check the tires your trailer currently has. I would go with tires specifically made for trailers but some trailers do have truck-rated tires.

      I think I have Goodyear Marathons on my trailer - it's an ancient Kingston 2h bumper pull with a dressing room.


      • Original Poster

        Yeah, Thanks. Its got heavy duty tires on it now, but the tire guy wants to put a different brand of trailer tire on, so I want to make sure I'm getting a comparable one to the originals. We don't use it very often and I think the ones on there now are dry rotted because they keep losing air. I read that you should replace them every 5 years or so anyway. Without having a dealer close by I have to rely on the tire guy and just want to make sure I know what to ask for.


        • #5
          Call Sundowner and ask them which tire they recommend. I called my trailer manufacturer (turnbow) and spoke with the guy who does the tire purchasing. He told me to get the LT 6-ply tires and NOT the 8 ply trailer tires. IIRC, it is because of the type of ride for the horses they give (8 ply too bouncy and for stuff like supplies, not live animals). He also said no P metric tires, and no super chunky off road tires. I've not had any trouble with the LT tires for my 2 horse gooseneck, but your best bet is to call Sundowner. The guys at a tire shop aren't specialized in horse trailers (at least not my tire shop).
          "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


          • #6
            not all Goodyear Marathons were created the same; once upon a time they were all made in the US.

            The production was moved to overseas. There were issues with the ones made in China for a some time but never a problem with the ones from New Zealand


            • #7
              I have 10 plys on my 3 horse slant with dr. I take my truck and trailer to a heavy truck shop for all my work and those guys KNOW heavy loads! I was having too many blow outs and these are what he recommended


              • #8
                I haven't had any blowouts but I have had tires go flat from bad valve stems; it cracks, the air goes whoosh, and it's done holding any air even though the tire surface itself has no problem. Just cheesy valve steam material! Since my tires are still good I have had all of the valve stems changed to the ones with metal rather than just rubber. Just something else to look at when you're comparing.
                It's just grass and water till it hits the ground.


                • #9
                  Look at your current tires. A load range will be stamped on the side wall. The load range is a letter. Later letters is a higher load. D will carry more than C. The tire size is a number, number, letter followed by a number.
                  Example: 225 / 75 R 15 This says the width , height, type and wheel size.
                  Equus makus brokus but happy


                  • #10
                    There are very few radial ST (special trailer) tires made anymore, and most are made in China. They're primarily for boat and utility trailers. Anything you read on the internet about using only ST tires on a trailer is probably old information. Of course, never use car tires.

                    Goodyear Marathon are the only load range D radial ST worth buying, but quality has gone down since they stopped making them in the US, so good luck.

                    LT (light truck-as in lighter than a semi, but still bigger than a 1/2 ton pickup) tires in load range E and above are fine for a trailer. Load range E runs a max pressure of 80 psi. I like Michelin XPS Rib. They work fine at lesser pressure ratings. They are what I would put on a 2 horse and run around 65 psi, or whatever pressure works out to wear evenly across the tread, if I couldn't find Marathons made in USA in load range D.

                    Request, and pay the extra buck or two, to get "bolt in valve stems". I have some in boat trailers that are over 20 years old, and still hold air. I had the ones on the truck changed to bolt-ins at the first tire change 10 years ago.

                    Get horse trailer tires balanced. A lot of tire places will tell you that you don't need to get trailer tires balanced.


                    • #11
                      ..but, but, but - when my friend's second hand trailer blew its tires, the tire guy said never to use light truck tires.

                      I have GoodYear Marathons, but have not checked to see where they were made They are quite new but the others, even though not worn, had been
                      on for a while and trailer guy said to change them.
                      Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                      • #12
                        ^ ditto that, Foxtrot. I don't remember the reasoning, but I was emphatically told NO NO NO to the truck tires on the trailer. Something about swaying that the trailer does that the truck obviously doesn't do, and the trailer tires are made differently to either help prevent that or stand up to the sway.

                        SLR, For peace of mind, the best thing to do is often call the manufacturer of your trailer to get their recommendation. Unless you still have their original booklets or information. If you can't find tires locally from a dealer, order them online to be shipped to you and then have them put on. Also, learn from my mistake - My local dealer put on the right tires, but the tires were old even though they were technically new tires, they had sat around in the shop for a good long time before going on my trailer. Of course I didn't realize that when I got them. Then they wore down in less than a year on my trailer, even my spare was flat. Ticked me off that I spent all that money, and the tires didn't last. Then I watched something on TV about checking how old your tires are by the code stamped on the side of them and found out my trailer tires were ridiculously old (like, 8 years or something, even though they were on my trailer less than 1). My local source(s) just don't have the turnaround to keep all these trailer tires in stock, so they sit around. So that's when we decided to start shopping online. Funny thing is, even with shipping charges it has actually turned out to be cheaper to buy my tires online and I get exactly what I want.


                        • #13
                          Thing is - Tom King knows his stuff...!
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                          • #14
                            Notice I said LT in load range E and above. Those are different than tires of lesser load ranges, sold for pickups that may have an "LT" in thier names. They have thicker sidewalls, and are designed for carrying loads in the range of horse trailers. I think even Michelin stopped making ST's in E and above years ago. There's more to it than simply looking at the letters on the tire.

                            There are real "light truck" tires that may or not have LT in the tire name. Notice that these are Light Truck tires that do not in the link below. Also, you can find tires with LT in the name that aren't really light truck tires. It doesn't necessarily make sense. You have to know what you are looking at.
                            Real "light truck" classification tires are for commercial vehicles carrying real loads.

                            Here's the tire I like on a trailer for E and above:


                            • #15
                              Tom King, why do you have such expensive tastes? LOL The RV folk I've been reading posts from about tires like these, too...I can't afford em myself.

                              So, since there are so many of us who trust you 95% and are worried about the edict that LT is ok (in E range), can you tell us why that opinion is;is the ST mania just from old days, and now E range LTs are just as good/better?

                              If you get LTs, can you go by mileage at that point, rather than 'replace STs at 5 years" as in old?
                              "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                              Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.


                              • #16
                                I have some XPS tires on a trailer that are 12 years old. It stays in a shed, and the sun doesn't hit the tires.

                                When I put new tires on the dually, I put the tires that came off on an equipment trailer. Those are Michelin LTX something in Es. The ones on that trailer had 110,000 miles put on them while on the truck, and have been on that trailer for 3 or 4 years since then. Last week it carried a mini-excavator and an 8500 lb. track loader (separate trips back and forth from a rental place). The trailer itself weighs 3880 lbs. and has four tires on it. I think every one of those tires has 2 or 3 plugs in them from nails. It sits out in the open.

                                I've never changed tires simply because they were 5 years old. I can't remember the last set on anything, other than my wife's car, that we kept for any less than 5 years.

                                ST mania was mostly caused by Champion Trailer Parts, who sell boat trailer parts, including tires. I dealt with them for years for boat trailer stuff. I don't think they even sell a load range E tire. I saw the page they published about ST tires years ago quoted many times, both here and on RV pages. It's true in light duty tires, but E range tires are 10 ply and have thick sidewalls, just like they would if they had ST molded into them. If you look at the info on the XPS tires, somewhere it says for trailers, and also mentioned by owners in the review


                                • Original Poster

                                  OK I was finally able to get close to the trailer......the snow is melting.... and what's on there are Maxxis ST 205/75/R15 Load C Actually they are in pretty good shape. The tire dealer had replaced one a while ago with a Carlisle and that's the one I'm having trouble with and the side walls of it are showing some cracking. So I looked at the Maxxis website and the trailer tires they are showing are not labeled ST. Is it back to the drawing board? BTW the tire dealer does not carry those, but does carry Michelins.


                                  • #18
                                    Is there a cover or something that we could put on the tires for trailers that have to sit outside on the grass?


                                    • #19
                                      This is a great thread. My 3 horse gooseneck has ST 225 tires (Towmaster brand) Not sure if that is good or bad I really need to learn more about tires, but they are new - got them installed in late 2011 from having blow-outs on all four OLD OLD OLD tires.....
                                      Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                      **Morgans Do It All**


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by DancingArabian View Post
                                        Is there a cover or something that we could put on the tires for trailers that have to sit outside on the grass?
                                        I found this link on a past thread, will probably get some myself when I get my new tires!

                                        "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

                                        Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.