LT vs ST - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-06-2015, 10:16 AM   #1
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LT vs ST

When you all switched to 17.5's and dumped your Westlake's, did you go to Light Truck or stay with Special Trailer. I'm reading about sidewall flex and things from Tire Rack, Consumer Reports, etc. and am getting confused. For 3 grand, I want to make the right move. Thanks,
Rusty
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Old 10-06-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
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I went with the big Continental HTL2's: Trailer Tires and Wheels - Steel & Aluminum Trailer Wheels, Bias & Radial Trailer Tires
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:50 PM   #3
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Once you move up to 17.5 these are truck tires.
Here is were I bought my wheels. 17.5x6.75 Series07 Gunmetal Gray Aluminum HiSpec Trailer Wheel, 8 Lug, Center Cap Incl., 4850 lb Max Load
I bought my tire here.
New Hankook TH10 215 75 R17 5 100 16PR TL BSW Tires | eBay
To save you some money you can just change out one axle at a time as the 215 tires are a match to the 16" that are on it.
I bought on the above sites so I had 6 months to pay using Paypal.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
When you all switched to 17.5's and dumped your Westlake's, did you go to Light Truck or stay with Special Trailer. I'm reading about sidewall flex and things from Tire Rack, Consumer Reports, etc. and am getting confused. For 3 grand, I want to make the right move. Thanks,
Rusty
Well here we go again, gonna stir it up the debate one more time.

Before I get started, I absolutely hate that the North American tire manufacturers have shipped jobs to China. I also hate that the RV manufacturers use the absolute minimum that they can get away with.

Not all ST tires are created equal and not all Chinese ST tires are junk. The following link discusses ST vs LT tires.

Trailer Towing – ST Tires vs. LT Tires | RV 101® your education source for RV information

Tim Fry, senior development engineer with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company stated, “The major difference is reflected in the polyester cords used in ST tires. These cords are bigger than they would be for a comparable P or LT tire. Typically, the steel wire also has a larger diameter or greater tensile strength to meet the additional load requirements. Because of the heavier construction for an equal volume of air space, an ST tire is designated to carry more load than a P or LT tire.”

Yes I have heard all of the speed related reasons that people use to justify bigger wheels and tires. How fast do you really have to tow your camper? Even at 65mph the electric drum brakes are marginal, add a couple thousand miles after you adjust them and your trailer braking effectiveness is cut dramatically. Please if your going to be towing at 75-80 MPH let me know, I'll stay home that day.

I had to replace my tires while we were in Newfoundland in 2013. I had the choice of a tire that was a direct replacement or go up one aspect ratio and two load ratings. The direct replacement tires felt flimsy, the side walls deflected easily and just seemed too light handle the load asked of it. The tread rubber on the Power King Towmax tires I replaced seemed like it was too soft. There was significant wear on the outside shoulder of the tire, due to out of aligned axles.

The Gladiator QR-25 ST tires I purchased have very little sidewall deflection. The Towmax tires looked like they would peel of the wheels on tight turns.

We put about 10K miles on the Gladiators during the rest of our Newfoundland trip in 2013. We stayed fairly close to home in 2014, due to my wife's hand surgery, put on less than 5K. This year we did the Alaska trip and added another 10K miles.

At the last fuel stop on the way home I looked at the right side tires and thought they would be good for another trip next year. There was wear on the outside edge of the right side tires, but they still had lots of meat left. (the axles were still out of alignment)

Somewhere in the last 250 miles is where the shackles broke on the left rear axle, by the time we got home the tires on the rear axle were down to the wear bars. never felt a thing where the shackles broke and never saw any tire smoke from the tire rubbing the top of the wheel well.

I for one am glad that I didn't fall for the bigger wheels and LT tire myth. Of course if you start upsizing tires to the degree of larger wheels and tires you will eventually get to an LT tire that comes close to the durability of a good ST tire. I invested the money I saved on wheels to upgrade my running gear and convert to disk brakes.

Next spring when I buy new tires they will again be Gladiator QR-25 ST.

I know that I will be bombarded by the LT tire folks, but until Gladiator proves they are a reliable tire, I will keep using them.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:19 PM   #5
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No one should bombard you. Your assessment is based on your experience. I went thru three Goodyears in one summer on a smaller and lighter camper. I won't use them again due to my experience. There are folks that have had no issues with their Westlakes - I wasn't going to be the guy to find out.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donzinger View Post
No one should bombard you. Your assessment is based on your experience. I went thru three Goodyears in one summer on a smaller and lighter camper. I won't use them again due to my experience. There are folks that have had no issues with their Westlakes - I wasn't going to be the guy to find out.
I used to run Marathons on my old Airstream, that was until Goodyear started making them in China. Got to be a monsterous profit margin, make the tires in China for half the US production costs and raise the prices.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:07 PM   #7
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I agree on your assessment of the Gladiator tire hd. My brother-in-law put them on his fifth wheeler 10 years ago after he blew one of the bombs. He traded for a new camper last year, the original Gladiators were still on and served him well, never had a problem. That's one reason I went to them, using original 16" factory wheels and 14 ply sidewalls, very solid well built tire. Put on at my Firestone dealer who stocks and sells a lot of Gladiators for ag trailer use here in the Midwest.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:25 PM   #8
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We have used Gladiators on our heavy utility trailers. Unfortunately they only have a limited number of sizes.

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Old 10-07-2015, 03:00 AM   #9
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You're wasting your money on 17.5 tires and rims. They're overkill and unnecessary on our triple axle toy haulers. Here's why:

My V-3600 maxes out at 19,000 GVWR while the bigger Voltages max at 20,000 GVWR. On my V-3600, deducting the 3,500 pin weight (CAT Scale) from 19,000 GVWR leaves 15,500 pounds on the six tires. That's 2583 pounds per tire, which is well under the 3042 capacity of most any 16" LT tire. If you're rig is 20,000 pounds it's in the area of 2750 per tire.

I put on Michelin XPS-Rib's 1 1/2 years ago and they are wearing great.

Remember the tire issues are with lousy quality Chinese-tires and not with load capacities of said tires. The 16" LT tire has the quality we're looking for.

Save your money and buy the 16" LT.
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Old 10-07-2015, 07:32 AM   #10
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I ran the XPS Rib on my last rig after the Goodyear issues and they are a great tire as well
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