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Author Topic:   Trailer Tires
SeaHag posted 05-08-2002 01:42 AM ET (US)   Profile for SeaHag   Send Email to SeaHag  
I have a 20 outrage and trail it on a tandem with 13" radials. When its hooked up I go. It tows like a dream. My question is "are radial tires acceptable on a boat trailer?" would it be wise to switch them out with trailer tires?
Tom W Clark posted 05-08-2002 02:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Yes, as a general statement, it's acceptable to have radials on your boat trailer. Some "trailer" tires are, in fact, radial tires, others are bias ply tires. There was a good and lengthy discussion of this here on the FORUM some time back.

I was always baffled as to why "trailer" tires were so much money, especially when they were bias ply. When I replaced the original tires on the Caulkins trailer under my 18 Outrage, I found "trailer" tires to be over $100 a piece. I bought radial car tires for about $50 each that I carefully made sure exceeded to load rating of the original trailer tires. I always kept those tires at the maximum recommended tire pressure and still those tires looked like they were low on air.

That trailer worked fine for the last 6 years I owned it but I then assumed I had made a mistake by getting the radial tires. But I know there are in fact trailer tires that are radials, so its not just a simple matter of radial vs. bias ply, or even a simple matter of load rating. Who knows, maybe I just bought cheap tires? Like so many things, you get what you pay for.

whalerron posted 05-08-2002 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerron  Send Email to whalerron     
I recently read a tire manufacturers article about this subject. Sorry, but I don't remember the link. The manufacturer stated that only trailer rated tires should be used on trailers. Both bias ply and radial trailer tires are available. The article said that a "car" radial has stiffer sidewalls than a "trailer" radial. This is done for performance reasons and it is assumed that the car has a suspension system which will isolate the car from loads that are translated from the tires. On the other hand, trailers do not have sophisticated suspension systems and the shocks and loads from a standard radial tire are transferred directly to the trailer frame and whatever the trailer is carrying.

Trailer rated radials are indeed made differently than "car" radials. The belts in trailer radials are laid out in a fashion that resists belt separation. This is especially important on trailers that have more than 2 axles. When one of these trailers go around a turn, the tires are subjected to high turning forces and this can translate into belt separation within the tire.

This is gonna open a whole can of worms again because so many people are happy running just plain car radials because they are cheaper. I say "penny-wise is pound-foolish".

- ron

SeaHag posted 05-08-2002 09:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for SeaHag  Send Email to SeaHag     
Thanks for the input. I thought the reason "trailer" tires were on trailers is because they had re-inforced sidewalls and could take the pounding that a trailer dishes out. I agree with an earlier post in that the radials (car tires) on my tandem now "look flat" even though they are inflated to 4lbs shy of the max 44psi.

When I recently purchased this package, the new radials were just previously installed, so I'd hate to throw $$'s away. Although, if peoples experience has been that radials (car tires) are okay on boat trailers then I'll leave well enough alone.

But if the overwhelming consensus is to go with trailer tires (yes at $80 - $100 a pop) then I'd switch 'em.
BTW, this is an awesome forum. You can't find this anywhere else.

WSTEFFENS posted 05-08-2002 11:07 AM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     

See the trailer tire section under the Reference section of the fourm for a discussion on trailer tires.


SeaHag posted 05-08-2002 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for SeaHag  Send Email to SeaHag     

thanks for the heads up. Thats what I was looking for.

180 posted 05-08-2002 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     

I own a tire company. I have put "car tires" on many trailers. I have never had a problem. I always recommend trailer tires, but some consumers just want cheap.

Radial trailer tires have stronger sidewalls, higher ply ratings, higher penetration resistance, and less rolling resistance than most radial car tires. They also are less prone to sidewall cracking.

I UPS daily if you want a quote on anything. Whaler owners get special deals (on all tires). Let me know if I can help.

Good Luck,


lhg posted 05-08-2002 03:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have trailed both my 18 & 25 Outrages around for over 10 years, and 100,000 combined miles, on mostly Goodyear Marathon 14" load range C radial trailer tires. (See Cetacea page 1) I find them to be excellent, have better traction, both in rain and when braking, run cooler and with a greatly increased feeling of security. Always have them balanced. Nowadays, they cost about $85 each. Most good, high quality trailers now come with them as standard equipment.

I have tried, during this period, both the Titan and Carlsyle radial brands, and feel they are not as good, and not worth the $10/tire savings in cost. (Cord separation problems, but easily discovered before a towing incident)

Passenger car radials are only rated Load Rage B and take 35 lbs, vs the 50 lbs of the load range C tailer tires. That's probably why they always look flat, but other than that, as long as the load carrying rating is the same, I can't see why they wouldn't work. But in 14" wheels, it is hard to get a large enough sized passenger tire to carry the load rating of the P205 75 R14 load range C trailer tire.

jimh posted 05-09-2002 12:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have Goodyear Marathon ST Radial tires on both of my trailers.

I bought them through my local independent tire dealer. The cost was approximately $85 a tire, installed and balanced. As I recall, this was within a couple of dollars of most of the mail-order sources, which did not include installation or balancing.

180 posted 05-09-2002 09:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     
It is still retail Jim. Getting tires via UPS is inconvenient, however the price may make up for it. If you would like a quote on tires (any tire), let me know.
peteinsf posted 05-10-2002 02:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for peteinsf    
A tire question, my 18' Raider's USMC trailer has load range "F" 14.5" (8-14.5 LT) tires that look like they came off of a WWII jeep. My local tire guy said any 14.5" tire would have to be special ordered. Is 14.5" a real strange setup? If so I should always take a spare or two along. Also would a less heavy-duty tire track or ride better?


180 posted 05-10-2002 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     

That is a strange set up you have. The 8-14.5 is a low platform, heavy duty trailer tire. It is most commonly used on mobile homes. They carry up to 2800 lbs per tire, and can hold 100 psi.

They are not hard to come by (about $60.00), but most shops will not have them in stock.

I am not sure if changing the size will have any effect on the performance.

Let me know if I can help.


peteinsf posted 05-10-2002 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for peteinsf    

I was not thinking of changing the wheel size but the style of tire. Maybe a radial as discussed earlier in this thread.

I'll just replace the worn one if that is the best answer. I just thought now would be a good time to change them both since one needs replacing anyway and this discussion was timely. Is an 8-15LT bias ply?

peteinsf posted 05-10-2002 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for peteinsf    
Sorry I ment "8-14.5 LT"
180 posted 05-10-2002 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     
The 8-14.5 is a bias ply tire. That is the only way it is made.
It you are going to replace one tire, you need to replace it with either the same make and model tire, or replace both. One manufacturers 8-14.5 may be very different that another manfuacturers (up to 2 inches).
Let me know if I can help.
peteinsf posted 05-10-2002 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for peteinsf    
Can I get 14.5 radials?
180 posted 05-10-2002 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     
I am about 99% sure that they only make 14.5 in bias.
180 posted 05-10-2002 05:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for 180  Send Email to 180     
Now I am sure - no radials.
djlen posted 05-06-2009 03:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for djlen  Send Email to djlen     
[Please note: this discussion has been dormant for seven years. It was revived to ask for "ideas?". Please begin a new discussion with specific questions about your Boston Whaler boat trailer set up. Thank you.--jimh]

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