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Old 08-17-2014, 06:00 PM   #1
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Adding pneumatic tires to barker tote

I am planning to change the wheels on our 22 gallon barker tote to pneumatic wheels/tires. I just don't like or trust those little plastic things they are are equipped with. My question for anyone that has done this, have you seen a big difference in the speed at which you can tow the full tote? There is one state park we frequent. It is nearly one mile, maybe further from the area we typically stay to the dump station, and it makes for a long ride at walking speed. Those little plastic wheels were quite warm when I got to the dump station. I only did it once, after that I filled the tote and loaded it into the back of the truck for the ride up, which is less than ideal. It would be great if I could tow it closer to the campground speed limit of 15 mph, but would be happy with 10. Any opinions on how much better the pneumatic tire, steel wheel with bearings would be, am I expecting too much? I have read folks stating they can tow their totes at 20+ mph with the new tires and wheels, but don't say over what distance they did so. I have no intention of going that fast, but if they did that for an appreciable distance then a bit more than walking speed should be attainable. At around 15 bucks total for the mod I will likely do this anyway, even if it won't let me tow at indy 500 pit rd speeds, just for the piece of mind that the wheels won't self destruct.
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Old 08-17-2014, 06:21 PM   #2
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Well I never clocked my speed with the pneumatic tires but they are much quieter!
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:03 PM   #3
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Well I never clocked my speed with the pneumatic tires but they are much quieter!

My reasoning behind doing it anyway, regardless of speed benefits. Everyone in the campground isn't turning to look at you.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:14 PM   #4
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Just a few notes on the mod:

I bought the wheels/ tires from Harbor freight. Purchased the axle stock from the local hardware store. IIRC (its been 4 or 5 years now) the new shaft was longer then the old one to accommodate the new wheels and cotter pins and washers I used as retainers. Drilled a hole in each end of the shaft for the cotter pins. Some use those push on caps as retainers but they can be a pain to remove.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:44 PM   #5
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Consider using semi-pneumatic wheels instead of air filled wheels - no flats, no air pressure to check.
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Old 08-18-2014, 07:41 AM   #6
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If I get the pneumatic tires from harbor freight I will fill them with slime, so no issue with flats. I may look for some of the semi pneumatics, but if there is a huge cost differential I will deal with checking air pressure.

Crabman, thanks for the info on the longer axle being necessary. I have seen instances of a longer axle being required and some instances of not I don't recall a time while camping that I have felt this is sketchy, but I still carry. I guess I will just have to see what mine looks like. Did you use a cotter pin and flat washer between the wheel and tank? I have some mention cutting some spacer in half and using a half on each side between wheel and tank. I assume my tank has that spacer, can't really remember. It poured all weekend here so I wasn't able to get the tank out.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:46 AM   #7
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From another post on this site it appears that Barker has an upgrade kit that you can get. They might even send you one for free.. if I remember the other post right..
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:53 AM   #8
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From another post on this site it appears that Barker has an upgrade kit that you can get. They might even send you one for free.. if I remember the other post right..

Yeah, I saw that post. The one place I found it online it was 99.99, not direct from barker though. I may find that post again to see if that poster contacted barker due to an issue with the plastic wheels or just to see about the upgrade kit, don't quite remember their reason off the top of my head. That could make a difference in barker's willingness to provide the kit.
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Old 08-18-2014, 11:53 PM   #9
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Even with pneumatic tires you will not have wheel bearings so the bushings will still get hot. They do make a lot less noise tho.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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I found pneumatic tires at Harbor Freight that have bearings.
http://www.harborfreight.com/10-inch...ire-30900.html
A bottle of green slime and you're good to go.
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