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post #1 of 16 Old 06-03-2009 Thread Starter
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Trailer Tires

It turns out that the trailer for the Catalina 22 I purchased recently has dual axles (4 tires) of 175/70/13 passenger tires. They seem old and have been sitting for quite a while (at least one needs to be replaced) so I was considering getting a new set as I'll be transporting it a short distance from one boat storage yard to another (the new place allows me to do work on the boat) and I don't want to worry about these tires possibly giving out in transit.

I spoke to someone at the local tire place and he mentioned that the tires on there now are passenger tires and not trailer tires- he stated this is probably because the previous owner wanted to save money. He claimed that passenger tires are not safe for a boat trailer as it doesn't offer enough support and that it needs ST 175/80/13 trailer tires

My question is whether this was just tire guy rhetoric or whether this is indeed a safety issue and something that I need to heed. Of course I'd like to cut costs if possible, but at the same time I don't want my trailer/boat toppling over in transit. Any guidance would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-03-2009
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You would think that a tire is just a tire, right? Nope. Trailer tires are manufactured a bit differently and are what you should use if you like your boat. Save one of the old tires for a spare.
I was helping a friend this past spring to haul his MacGregor 26 S and he had gone out and purchased a passenger car tire to replace a flat on his single axle trailer. I was following behind in my car when we got up to highway speed and the trailer started acting 'squirrely'. Then the new tire popped off and was bouncing across the highway while the trailer gave off sparks. Luckily, no one was hurt but our collective pride was in a shambles.
This problem likely occurred because the tire was not properly torqued down but may have been helped by the fact that the passenger tire did not seem to track properly which backed off all the lug nuts and then bye-bye tire.
This is not an expense that should be incurred often. I would get all new trailer tires and hope they last a long time.
Good luck.

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-03-2009
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There are no absolutes about tires. Yes, for light duty and careful use, you could certainly use passenger tires on the trailer and probbaly do so legally. But trailer tires are designed with different properties, supposedly including much higher UV resistance since they are assumed to be left out baking in the sun all the time and never garaged. (You'll see may expensive RVs with sun covers on their tires when they are being stored, because of that.)

I'd call my favorite tire company, not just the guy selling them, and see what they say about their own brand. Then look at the costs.

Guys who fly down the highway at 80mph with trailers that have 55-mph limits (on the trailer and tire alike) obviously aren't quite the same as guys who stick to trailer speed limits, check their air pressure, carry lighter loads less often and so on.

If your trailer is oversize for your load, and you're only making two sorts trips a year to store and launch the boat...passenger tires might be good enough.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-03-2009
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A trailer tire is MUCH stiffer in side to side sway with 4 to 6 ply sidewalls and generally made in many capacities B,C,D in the same size to suit the load and they run much higher air pressure than car tires

BUT C22s come from the factory with a single axle trailer SO i think you will be OK with the tandem

The BIG issue right now is finding a NON-CHINESE trailer tire

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-03-2009
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Trailer tires often have stiffer sidewalls, higher load ratings, higher temperature resistance, better UV tolerance, etc... They're also often smaller than car tires, so, need to be engineered a bit better.

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post #6 of 16 Old 06-03-2009
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My understanding of the issue from back in my trailering days was that you Don't use Radial Ply tires. I see most of the previous posts dancing around the issue with "stiffer sides" , not "passenger tires", etc... That's the biggest difference between radials and non-radials. The trailers can't handle the squirming/side flexing that radials are Designed To Give You. When I went to a trailer place it was simple - Don't Buy Radials.

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post #7 of 16 Old 06-03-2009
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I went through this a little over a year ago...had to buy a pair each for our C22 and our motor boat. Trailer tires are different from passenger car tires....they are made for infrequent use/long storage times and heavy loading (check the load ratings of trailer tires vs. passenger tires), with stiffer sidewalls to reduce side sway. Trailer tires are made in both radial and bias ply constructions, but both are different from passenger tires of either type. They are a little more expensive than low end passenger tires. The brands will likely (with exeception of Goodyear) be brands you have not heard of before, and only a few companies make them. In my search for brands (plus experience on motor boat trailer), I purchased Tow Master (bias ply) from Cabela's by mail....replaced both the tire and the wheels on C22 trailer as the old wheels showed a bit of rust. Used MAXXIS radials on the motor boat, since I could not find the Tow Master's unmounted. Do your own search on the internet....some of the more frequently encountered trailer tires have a real marginal marginal/quality record. You need to go with real trailer tires (the load range will dictate this), and one thing you don't want to do is to mix radial and bias ply tires of any type. Also, the discussion has been about passenger tires vs. trailer tires. Light truck tires are available also, but again these are not really suitable for trailer tires, as you investigation will show.

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post #8 of 16 Old 06-03-2009 Thread Starter
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I keep hearing people mentioning trailer tires of the radial and bias variety. What are the benefits and drawbacks to either type?

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post #9 of 16 Old 06-04-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DBlair8809 View Post
I keep hearing people mentioning trailer tires of the radial and bias variety. What are the benefits and drawbacks to either type?
Well, It seems I've been corrected on my blanket statement earlier of No Radial for Trailers. But..... What makes Radials Good for steered vehicles makes them Bad for trailers.
The Radial ply allows the sidewalls to flex on corners keeping the Tread more level on the pavement for better traction. That benefit for steered vehicles has been clear for many years.
The problem is for a Trailer is that same side wall flexing - That Radials Do So Well - does nothing but bad things when your trailer starts whipping around. Tread Traction is of relatively little importance for your trailer because by the time things are so bad that you are "breaking traction" with your trailer tires your trailer has probably already flipped or whipped you off the road.
If they have now made Radials with stiffer sidewalls to basically defeat the purpose of the Radial ply for twice the price - fine buy them if you wish.

Stan
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-04-2009
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You didn't get him to pull over to see what the problem was

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Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
You would think that a tire is just a tire, right? Nope. Trailer tires are manufactured a bit differently and are what you should use if you like your boat. Save one of the old tires for a spare.
I was helping a friend this past spring to haul his MacGregor 26 S and he had gone out and purchased a passenger car tire to replace a flat on his single axle trailer. I was following behind in my car when we got up to highway speed and the trailer started acting 'squirrely'. Then the new tire popped off and was bouncing across the highway while the trailer gave off sparks. Luckily, no one was hurt but our collective pride was in a shambles.
This problem likely occurred because the tire was not properly torqued down but may have been helped by the fact that the passenger tire did not seem to track properly which backed off all the lug nuts and then bye-bye tire.
This is not an expense that should be incurred often. I would get all new trailer tires and hope they last a long time.
Good luck.

Rick
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