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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bough a used Fleetwood E3 Pop-up trailer and my normal life has stopped the last 6 weeks and all I've done is car buying and towing research ;) We should be getting our Ascent tomorrow. The info in this forum has been very valuable. However I came across a big question mark regarding my trailer weight.
It needs new tires and as I was doing tire research and thanks to this article from another thread (http://popupbackpacker.com/tire-pressure-secrets-for-camping-trailers-tow-vehicles/ ) came to the conclusion that I want to buy Load Range E tires. I like the recommendation of going 20% safety margins from max trailer weight.
My trailers GVWR is 4400lbs (dry weight 2965lbs), so 2640lbs or above capacity for the tire should be good. What's you safety margin?
The oddity was that the Manufactorer in 2009 put LT (Light Truck) tires on the trailer to give it that offroad look and even says in the manual that LT tires can be used for trailers. According to my trusted tire guy you should only use trailer tires on trailers and that's in line with what I've been reading.

I thought I had a pretty good handle by now on all the weights, but what struck me last night is the fact that my trailer has a GAWR of only 3500lbs!? Huh?
How do you get to 4400lbs without massively overloading the tongue? That's a 900lbs gap and would be over 20% tongue weight? How can this be?
Am I missing something, is there any other place weight can go other than the axle and the tongue?

My wonder is rather of theoretical nature, since I think my actual numbers will all stay in the green. I don't think I'll ever load more than 800lb onto the trailer. The harder part will be to keep the Ascent under 1000lbs (excluding tongue weight).
 

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Always use GVWR for any equipment or Towing figures. But, it's best to use GAWR for tires.

In a car, the discrepancy is due to loading variability. In the case of a trailer, that means a very light tongue weight and heavy on the axles.
 

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The oddity was that the Manufactorer in 2009 put LT (Light Truck) tires on the trailer to give it that offroad look and even says in the manual that LT tires can be used for trailers. According to my trusted tire guy you should only use trailer tires on trailers and that's in line with what I've been reading.
Trailer tires are specifically designed for the side loads you will get on a trailer that a normal vehicle will not have.

That said, I do think single axle trailers don't get nearly the side load of dual axle trailers so it's less of an issue and LT tires might be sufficient.

Personally I would stay with dedicated trailer tires to be safe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
But, it's best to use GAWR for tires.
That was my own logical conclusion too . That, well my tires 'only' need to support my axle load, hence me even looking at that number again. (I've mainly been thinking about all the other weights, thinking the axle will be in line to support that.) The previous owner put LoadRange C tires on it with max load of 1825lbs, so that is only 150lbs above the max axle load. A little slim safety margin for my taste. Then I read the article saying he goes by GVWR plus 20% for his tires, which I liked, but perhaps a little overkill!?

Personally I would stay with dedicated trailer tires to be safe.
And so will I. Thanks for the input guys.

Still stunned by that 900lbs gap between GVWR and GAWR!?

.
 

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GAWR is the weight that the axle can carry. It does not include the tongue weight and the weight of the axle, wheels, tires, brakes, etc.

FYI, I would use the GVWR for tire sizing. They will be carrying part of the difference between the GAWR and the GVWR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Aha! Thanks so much RobertD! I had a feeling there must be something that I don't know or understand. Now I do. I love learning!
 

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I bough a used Fleetwood E3 Pop-up trailer and my normal life has stopped the last 6 weeks and all I've done is car buying and towing research ;) We should be getting our Ascent tomorrow. The info in this forum has been very valuable. However I came across a big question mark regarding my trailer weight.
It needs new tires and as I was doing tire research and thanks to this article from another thread (http://popupbackpacker.com/tire-pressure-secrets-for-camping-trailers-tow-vehicles/ ) came to the conclusion that I want to buy Load Range E tires. I like the recommendation of going 20% safety margins from max trailer weight.
My trailers GVWR is 4400lbs (dry weight 2965lbs), so 2640lbs or above capacity for the tire should be good. What's you safety margin?
The oddity was that the Manufactorer in 2009 put LT (Light Truck) tires on the trailer to give it that offroad look and even says in the manual that LT tires can be used for trailers. According to my trusted tire guy you should only use trailer tires on trailers and that's in line with what I've been reading.

I thought I had a pretty good handle by now on all the weights, but what struck me last night is the fact that my trailer has a GAWR of only 3500lbs!? Huh?
How do you get to 4400lbs without massively overloading the tongue? That's a 900lbs gap and would be over 20% tongue weight? How can this be?
Am I missing something, is there any other place weight can go other than the axle and the tongue?

My wonder is rather of theoretical nature, since I think my actual numbers will all stay in the green. I don't think I'll ever load more than 800lb onto the trailer. The harder part will be to keep the Ascent under 1000lbs (excluding tongue weight).
LT Tires are not uncommon on single axle trailers. I just replaced my ST (trailer) tires with LT tires on my Taxa Cricket, although my gross trailer weight is half yours.

One super important thing to know about trailer tires, most of them are rated to max speed of 60 or 65mph. The exceptions are Goodyear Marathon and Power King Towmax STR.

I hadn't read this until double checking the speed rating just now, but Tirerack claims LT tires are also rated for trailer applications. They generally have a higher speed rating, you just need to check the load rating for your tire size. https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tiretech/techpage.jsp?techid=219
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They generally have a higher speed rating, you just need to check the load rating for your tire size.
Is this the reason people might prefer LT tires for trailers? Of course that's a benefit that would be easy to understand. I don't know this for a fact, but you hear and read so much about people having tire blowouts on trailers, that you've got to wonder. Did they have have the wrong load capacity tires or where they simple going too fast? Probably often combo of both!? Something I'd love to avoid!
I've read somewhere that this (LT vs. ST) is a decades old debate between trailer folks!?

Thanks for the recommendation on those 2 tires I'll look into it. I'll be getting trailer tires, that I've set my mind on, I think it's makes sense with my GVWR. I'll be driving slow with 2 little kids in the car. Just gotta figure out the Load Range. Just wondering about if there's are downsides to playing it save (the GVWR + 20% : 2=2640lbs) and go with Load Range E? Load Range D ends at 2540lbs for the size I need, that's a 15% safety margin.
My wife read a facebook comment, that too high of a Load Range could be a tire that is too stiff and rattles the trailer like crazy.

Appreciate the help!
 

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Is this the reason people might prefer LT tires for trailers? Of course that's a benefit that would be easy to understand. I don't know this for a fact, but you hear and read so much about people having tire blowouts on trailers, that you've got to wonder. Did they have have the wrong load capacity tires or where they simple going too fast? Probably often combo of both!? Something I'd love to avoid!
I've read somewhere that this (LT vs. ST) is a decades old debate between trailer folks!?

Thanks for the recommendation on those 2 tires I'll look into it. I'll be getting trailer tires, that I've set my mind on, I think it's makes sense with my GVWR. I'll be driving slow with 2 little kids in the car. Just gotta figure out the Load Range. Just wondering about if there's are downsides to playing it save (the GVWR + 20% : 2=2640lbs) and go with Load Range E? Load Range D ends at 2540lbs for the size I need, that's a 15% safety margin.
My wife read a facebook comment, that too high of a Load Range could be a tire that is too stiff and rattles the trailer like crazy.

Appreciate the help!
I think the D range will be perfectly fine. It is true that E LR tires would have a stiffer sidewall, so a harsher ride. Not sure it would rattle the trailer to death, but it won't be as smooth for sure.

Given you probably won't have your trailer at max GVWR and you also have about 350-400lbs on the tongue you've got a very nice safety margin in there.

I do see people flying by at 80mph + in trailers with the tiny tires. I also see a lot of the same people with blowouts. I try and stay 70mph or below even though I do buy the high quality tires with the good speed rating. The load on the tires goes up exponentially with speed, so even going 10mph more causes a lot more load on the tires!

Keep the tires properly inflated (check EVERY time you use it). The load rating of the tire changes with PSI. The load rating of the tire is measured at max PSI. My trailer tires are D rated at 60psi. Even dropping to 50psi lowers it significantly and could drop you below the threshold. People running C rated tires which barely hold the load, overload the tires when the PSI drops. That's why you see so many trailer blowouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for your continued advice Kevin. That's what I needed to hear. I'm just glad that I didn't have a blowout already when I picked the trailer up. The guy I bought it from had a blowout with the original LT tires, then got Load Range C tires on it, we went to the gas station and he inflated the tires to only 35PSI. Exactly what your saying! They are also 7 yrs old on top of it. I had no idea a month ago.
 

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After 4 years a tire has lost HALF of it's sidewall integrity due to oxidation and degredation from heat/air. After 7 it's definitely done for! Most people don't use their trailers enough to wear out the tread but really should replace their tires at 5 years at the latest.

Mostly contractors are the ones who actually wear out trailer tire tread as they constantly use them!
 

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What Kevin states is absolutely truth...it's rare to "wear out" a trailer tire, but they degrade with time and can become quite unsafe at that point. "Time" is the measure for trailer tires rather than milage for the most part.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes, I’ve learned that as well. Also got myself some tires covers to give the new ones I’ll be getting some protection from the relentless sun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've settled on the Carlisle Trail HD. Load Range D and Speed rating N (81mph). Max Load 2540lbs @ 65psi.
I think it checks all my boxes, except maybe 'Made in the USA' ;), but this is as high as I want to go budget wise.

Thanks for all the help again!
 
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