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Old 08-01-2013, 12:51 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
I sympathize with you. It sucks to have to deal with blown tires on a trip. And peace of mind is a valuable thing. But tread separation and blow outs are not the result of the tire size. There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of 13 in tires on travel trailers. I very rarely see trailers on the side of the road with blown tires. Heat is a tire's enemy. Tire quality, tire age, under pressure, running over the 65 mph rating, are all things that contribute to heat build up and tire failure. If you are running over weight, sure your bigger tires will be less prone to fail, but unless you swap out that axle, you are still "on the edge".
I know that tire failure is not the result of the tire size and I agree that heat is a tire's enemy. However, I also think that the tire will be less likely to overheat if it's not running near 100% of its rated capacity. The only way I can do that is to decrease the trailer weight (not practical), or increase the carrying capacity of the tires (which I did). I never overload, I always check the pressure, and I use a non-contact thermometer to check the temperature at every stop (both tire and hub temperatures). One Akuret blew after two years and the other got a goose egg on the sidewall the next year. I noticed it and changed it. I heard it blow a couple of hours later while it was on the spare tire carrier The tread separation was with a Goodyear Marathon.

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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
When you say "I get to run 'em at 50 PSI, not 65", are you saying your old tires didn't take 50 PSI? Or that you ran them at 65PSI? I've never seen a 13 inch ST tire that takes 65. They all take 50PSI. Maybe you mean that you 14 in take 65? That would make sense.
By saying, "I've never seen a 13 inch ST tire that takes 65 PSI", you made my point perfectly about the poor selection of 13 inch tires, especially out on the road. As you can see in an earlier post, member "exjay1" agrees. My original ST185/80D13 tires were Load Range D and rated for 1660 pounds at 65 PSI max. If Camping World doesn't have them (as exjay1 noted), imagine the likelihood of me finding them out on the road somewhere. If I were forced to fit the same size tires in LRC (rated to carry only 1480 pounds at 50 PSI max), I'd lose 360 pounds of carrying capacity and be overloaded.

Oh, also, what I've seen with trailer tires is that Load Range C tires typically run at 50 PSI, D at 65 and E at 80. My ST215/75R14 tires are "only" Load Range C, but they are rated to carry 1870 pounds at 50 PSI max.

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Originally Posted by DocBrown View Post
You must boon dock a lot. That's the only reason I can see for carrying water. We never carry water. Why tow all that weight and eat up our cargo capacity?
Agreed, I don't carry water unless I have to and I wait until the last possible time to fill. Depending on my destination, I might haul it 30 or 40 miles.

As you can see, I've given this situation a lot of thought. I considered the pros and cons of going to 14-inch wheels and tires and frankly, I couldn't come up with any cons, so I made it happen. If I run into any problems, I will be happy to post them.
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #12
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I also think the 14" upgrade makes sense, since it is very difficult to find the D rated 8 ply 13" tires that the 165 uses (they do run 65PSI), unless you order online.

14" ST tires are readily available around the country and based on everything I have read, they do run cooler. I did install the dexter lift kit though. I do mostly boon docking and some of the sites are a bit rough to get into. The Jayco 165 has very low ground clearance and the lift kit makes a big difference. I still have the 13" tires on the camper but plan to go to 14" once these tires get old. With the lift kit I did some measurements and could actually go to a 15" wheel / tire if wanted, but I think that is a bit of overkill. Will probably go with the 215/75 R14's.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:08 PM   #13
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I have no idea if the 14s run cooler. If they do, great! When I measured the temperature of my tires in South Dakota after running 100 miles, they were 115 degrees F. To me, that seemed reasonable on a 90 degree day. I didn't think to measure the temperature of the road surface

I think some people forget that lifting the body won't help if the axle won't clear an obstacle. I got an inch or so of lift at the axle (and at the body as a result) by going to 14 inch wheels and ST215 tires. In my case, I couldn't justify the lift kit, but if helps for your type of camping, I say, "Go for it".

I did not consider running 15 inch wheels because upgrading to 14s addressed my issues. The lift kit might be required with 15 inch wheels to ensure clearance in the wheels wells, but those wheels would provide some serious ground clearance for boondocking. It would be cool if you had a buddy with some 15s so you could mount them and see. I'm curious as to how a lifted 165 with 15 inch wheels would behave in crosswinds.
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