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Old 04-22-2015, 06:03 PM   #11
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I have had 3 fifth wheels since 2001. None had balanced wheels when delivered. I had them balanced and always will. It may cost a little to balance the already installed tires but when installing new tires it is not very expensive and like already mentioned, there is no negative side to it.

Of the ones I have had balanced, My experience is the steel rims are more prone to need more weights and the cast rims less but they all needed something to bring them in balance.

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Old 04-22-2015, 07:26 PM   #12
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Why would trailer tires be better than any other tire it seems to me every tire should be balance not just car and truck tires. I get all trailer tires balanced on our TT, car hauler, and utility trailer. Before we sold all our big trucks and trailers we bought a set of Centramatic and a "Cat Eye System" for every truck and trailer with great results. We also had a set on our MH.

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Old 04-22-2015, 08:00 PM   #13
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I would think unbalanced tires would have the possibility of causing excessive wear on wheel bearings if they were out of whack. I hadn't thought of it to be honest as I expected they would have been done from new. Weird that they are not.
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:04 PM   #14
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First let me say that I always get my trailer tires balanced when mounted.

Playing the devil's advocate...

Balancing helps with wear and if you are riding in the vehicle, comfort. Unless the tires are terribly out of balance I doubt that unbalanced tires will transfer so much vibration to a trailer that it is mechanically detrimental. I have no data.

But, applying the tire manufacturer's replacement recommendations, most travel trailer owners will max out on time expired (age) replacement of their tires long before the tread life is affected by being out of balance.

My gut feeling is that balance or not on travel trailer tires probably isn't really critical. Personally I wouldn't take the time and effort to R&R existing installed wheels/tires just for balancing. That won't change that my trailer tires will be balanced every time when mounted. That also doesn't affect that everyone should perform an at home tire change operation before needing to do it on the road. Doing so assures (almost) that they will be properly prepared if necessary.

Just my 2 cents. vic
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:20 PM   #15
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With our first Jayco TT five years ago, I removed the wheels and had them balanced by a local shop. The tech shook his head and said, you don't really want to balance those do you? I said why not? His reply was that ST tires are known for being "not round". When he put them on the spin balancer, I could see what he meant. His point was, the out-of-round would still result in some amount of vibration. I will say this however, the TV TT combination I had at that time was marginal for pulling power, and after balancing, it was noticably easier to pull at highway speed. So, now I always balance my TT wheels.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:06 PM   #16
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I have dynabeads in my model T, it is incredible how much they improved the drivability of this very old car which has very wobbly out of round tires. They worked so good I though about putting them in my truck and canoe trailer, we did not have the hot at the time. I put them in my tv, and I had a lot of vibrations. After a few months I broke the tire bead and removed them from the TV.

Dynabeads. http://innovativebalancing.com/mobile/
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:48 PM   #17
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I've thought about this many times but haven't done it yet. An out of balance tire can still can cause vibration and shimmy in your trailer. Yes you won't feel it in your tow vehicle but why subject your trailer to these forces? If any of you have been in an RV shop and seen how these are built... Well you know.

Some tires can be out quite a bit. To be in balance it has to be less than a 1/4 ounce out of balance. An out of round tire is a different issue that balancing will not rectify. Out of round tolerance is 0.060" (60 thousandths of an inch) so it's not much to be out of round. Also while balancing your tires it is pretty easy to identify a separated tread. Any hard impact (pot hole, curb, debris) can cause an injury to a tire that may cause premature catastrophic tire failure. So really other than the cost of balancing 2-4 or 6 tires what's the down side?

I can think of more foolish things I'm sure we've all been guilty of spending good money on for our RV's. Just sayin
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:50 PM   #18
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Does anyone know if it is trailer industry practice (not just Jayco) for the tires to not be balanced OEM from the factory? If yes, there must be a large percentage of owners out there rambling merrily along with no thought as to tire balancing. My guess is that only a small percentage of TT owners frequent forums to be "enlightened".

As I said, I have my trailer tires balanced and will continue to do so, but if it is industry wide to not balance the tires there must be a great percentage of TT's running around with tires as they come from the factory.

FWIW. vic
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:45 AM   #19
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I decided to stop being lazy and do some research. It appears that many trailer tires are not balanced and there may be some reasons not to do so. If the trailer tires are balanced an adapter may be needed to properly do the job because many trailer wheels are lug-centric.

Trailer Tire FAQ

Originally Posted by Loadstar
4. Should I balance my trailer tires?

None of our tire and wheel assemblies come balanced from the factory.

Although some customers do insist upon balancing their trailer tires most (98%) do not. Trailer tires have a tendency to "throw weights". Meaning the weights come off the wheels. This can happen for a number of reasons, but it is not uncommon for the weights to be thrown off when towing a trailer empty (the trailer bounces excessively b/c of the no load conditions) or when making very tight turns on tandem or tri axle trailers.

[My comment: Take a look someday at tight turning trailers with double or triple axles. The squirming of the tires can be quite impressive.]

Furthermore, galvanized trailer wheels are not designed to be balanced. When the steel wheel is dipped into the vat of molten galvanized and then pulled out, some of the liquid zinc always accumulates on one end. Which makes galvanized wheels incredibly difficult to balance. But the galvanized coating does provide one of the best corrosion resistance to harsh environments such as salt water.

Most automotive centers are not equipped with the proper wheel balancing machine to correctly balance most trailer wheels. All of our trailer wheels are a lug centric design. Meaning, that the wheels are centered on the hub by the torque of the lug nuts. Most/many automotive wheels are a hub centric design. Many automotive centers use a computerized "cone" balancer which works great on hub centric wheels, but not on lug centric trailer wheels. In order to balance trailer wheels, an adapter must be used on the cone balancer to correctly balance trailer rims. Check with your automotive center to see if they keep the adapter on hand. Read the details about balancing lug centric trailer wheels here.
etrailer is one of my go-to sites for general information.


Originally Posted by etrailer
Tire Balancing

At etrailer.com, our tire and wheel combinations are mounted so that the high heavy spot on the tire is aligned with the low light spot on the wheel. This provides adequate balance for trailer tires.

If you buy new tires for a set of rims, you can have them balanced. If you do balance trailer tires, remember that many trailer wheels are centered by the position of the lug bolts (these wheels are lug-centric) and not the center bore of the wheel. To get the best tire balance for lug-centric wheels, you should have them balanced using a pin plate adapter. This mimics the way a lug-centric wheel is mounted to a hub.
How to Determine if a Trailer Wheel is Hub-Centric or Lug-Centric | etrailer.com

This one caught my eye because the video begins with a J/22 sailboat on the trailer. It does have some good general information.

11 Things To Know About Boat Trailer Tires - Trailering - BoatUS Magazine

There were many posts on various forums by "Guys on the internet" insisting how critical trailer tire balance is. That may have merit, but... it appears that most all trailer tires are not balanced by the manufacturers so the majority of trailers are running around with tires which have never been balanced, or perhaps balanced incorrectly by a hub-centric balancer used without the proper adapter.

My feelings from my previous post haven't changed.

Originally Posted by VicS1950 View Post

My gut feeling is that balance or not on travel trailer tires probably isn't really critical. Personally I wouldn't take the time and effort to R&R existing installed wheels/tires just for balancing. ...
Just my 2 cents. vic

So there you have it. Some more info from a guy on the internet.

FWIW. vic
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:00 AM   #20
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As far as I know, Airstream is the only TT OEM which balances the wheels at the factory.
Just sayin'

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