Trailer Tires at Highway Speeds?

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Old 05-29-17, 03:45 PM
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Trailer Tires at Highway Speeds?

I have a 6x10 cargo trailer for my RC airplanes. Up till now my trips have been short and on back country roads below 65mph. In the future I'll be flying at a field 50 miles away and part of the trip is on interstate with 70 mph speed limit and traffic usually runs 75-80.

The tires on my trailer (205/75D15 load range C bias ply) have a speed rating of 75 mph. Would it be wise to upgrade tires to something rated for higher speeds? The trailer loaded weighs 1'500 pounds so I'm well under on weight capacity so my main concern is speed.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 04:58 PM
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Your braver than I am pulling a trailer at those speeds. All trailers out here are limited to 55 mph and that is on the fast side when you have a tire fail. BTDT
 
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Old 05-29-17, 06:52 PM
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Not going to be an issue.
First thing I do when I buy a trailer is buy a spare tire and the bracket to attach it to the trailer.
I also always have a jack in the back of my truck and a 4 way lug nut wrench.
Going to be a very long day if you get a flat with no spare and no way to jack it up to change it.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 07:11 PM
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I have a 6 X 10 trailer that I pull with all my mobile DJ equipment in it. I usually pull it about 65 or so on the interstate (70 here). Sometimes, depending on how far I have to go, I may run 70. If I am on main roads or secondary roads, I usually drive 55 or so. I have never had an issue so far in about 5 or 6 years.

I went about 60 miles a couple of weeks ago each way. Sometimes, I'll go as far as 100 miles each way.
 
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Old 05-29-17, 07:40 PM
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If thats the speed rating I probably wouldnt go over it..

Heat is the issue with running high speeds.

Trailer tires now have better speed ratings these days..

my camper I bought are rated 81 mph. You should always run max inflation too,

The thing with having 15" tires thats others with 14's cant is to upgrade to LT tires. the camper comunity usually does this from my readings.

Up to a few years ago trailer tires were only rated 65 mph..

Hope this helps..
 
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Old 05-29-17, 07:40 PM
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If the tires are in good shape, I'd say no problem. But, trailer tires are notorious (at least the stock ones that come with a new unit) for being cheap. If over two years old and left to weather the elements (sun and snow, and left off road for periods of time) I'd be a bit more cautious. Look for dry rot cracks along the side wall. If so, they're suspect. Make sure inflation is right on target and valve stems are like new condition. Do what Joe says and if any of the things I said are true, invest in new tires and a name brand. I also found that tire covers are very good to help provide protection when the trailer is not in use.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 06:24 AM
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The tires on the trailer now are the stock bias ply cheapies that came with the trailer. I have a big trip later this year where I will be on the interstate for 6 hrs and was going to upgrade to radials but I'm thinking I might upgrade sooner. I might go ahead and get new rims then make one of these tires my spare.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 07:21 AM
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You might want to do a bit of research before ruling out bias ply replacements. I am in the process of replacing the tires on one of my trailers, and not an expert, so not going to offer an opinion, but did some reading, and came to the conclusion that bias ply were the best choice for my application. Seems like comparable radials did have a bit higher speed rating if that is a major factor, but wasn't for me because I typically don't run over 55-60 with a trailer, and am sure that I've never been over 65 with one.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 07:39 AM
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I'd be more concerned about the trailer's Wheel Bearings than the speed rating of those tires.

I recently sold a Lake Cottage for a New Jersey couple and they hired a neighbor to transport boat and trailer down to Jersey while he was on his way to winter in Florida.

Well, half way across Connecticut, one of the trailer's wheel bearings got over heated and froze up, and the Neighbor had to leave the boat and trailer along the side of the road while he went to find replacement bearings.

By the time he returned to the boat and trailer, the outboard motor had been stolen and all of belongings being carried inside the boat had been rummaged through and anything of value removed.

But they're not Neighbors anymore anyway. No good deed will go unpunished !
 
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Old 05-30-17, 06:39 PM
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What is it about trailer wheel bearings that make them less able to handle highway speeds? Just poor quality?
 
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Old 05-30-17, 08:20 PM
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I'm in CAL and travel long distances to work, more than 2 hours one way in most cases. The speed limit while towing is 55, but I can go 75 comfortably on certain highways.
I use Denman Express 7 ply radials and never had a flat and I trust them.

While speeding, I look out for the Highway Patrol, but that never works. They sneak up on you.
 
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Old 05-30-17, 08:35 PM
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What is it about trailer wheel bearings that make them less able to handle highway speeds? Just poor quality?
They are not less able....

but people dont repack the bearings. The bearing buddys do little in that aspect IMO, I think the bearing buddys were for the marine/boating industry to remove the salt water.

Problem was only the front bearing gets the grease.

My new dexter axleon my travel trailer has a tube where the grease goes to rear bearing first and then pushes forward to the front bearing..

IMO repack every year or so...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XT0RKDGgDm8
 
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Old 05-30-17, 08:58 PM
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Just poor quality?
Good discussion. Trailer bearings might not be poor quality, they just need maintenance that is taken for granted with most new cars. I wouldn't think of repacking my Toyota bearings, but I would the trailer.
I don't have them but Zerk fittings are designed to grease the bearing easier and maybe someone uses them and can advise.
 
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Old 05-31-17, 03:59 AM
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I know that in the instance I described with the boat trailer, it was pure thoughtlessness.

The Owner of the Boat was a Snowbird and had used to trailer his boat around (slowly) from lake to lake every summer and then left it sitting parked for 10 or more winters while he wintered down in Jersey. I doubt that he ever did much maintenance on those bearings and I gather they behaved just find at low speeds on the back roads around here.

And the Neighbor was a bit naive and thought he was just doing a "small" favor for his Friend; he wasn't very mechanically inclined and probably didn't own a grease gun or nor had he ever heard of re-packing bearings. For God's sake, he's a fisherman and knows about fish'in; never said he was a mechanic !

So his new learning experience began when one wheel froze up, the tire began dragging and the trainer began bucking and bouncing diagonally behind him . . . . he didn't even know the make of the trailer. So what should have been a 7 or 8 hour favor turned into a costly 3 day nightmare that he'll never forget.

So now he knows about Zerk Fittings and re-packing bearings and stuff like that; I just hope that the Owner of the Boat and Trailer has absorbed some of that knowledge !
 

Last edited by Vermont; 05-31-17 at 04:40 AM.
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Old 05-31-17, 04:25 AM
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So what am I missing. Cars don't have that problem. Why can't they make it like a car wheel?
Same for low oil shut down on generators. why not incorporate on cars. They put every other thing on cars.
 
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Old 05-31-17, 04:39 AM
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I'd imagine that the high end trailers all have sealed bearings these days; but the quality of the bearings isn't much of a marketing characteristic that makes a lot of money . . . . the buyer of lower end to mid range units probably doesn't get very concerned with this when s/he only uses the trailer occasionally.

I had a Horse Trailer whose bearings needed to be checked and re-set before each usage . . . . not something you wanted to have a problem with when hauling livestock. Those bearings would tend to dry out in just a matter of months of sitting around waiting to be put back to work.
 

Last edited by Vermont; 05-31-17 at 05:05 AM.
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Old 05-31-17, 04:39 AM
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I've had wheel bearings go bad on vehicles. I think the big difference is a vehicle gives more feedback and when a problem starts, most are more likely to give it attention. Trailers aren't used as often as the tow vehicle and it's harder to decipher issues with it. I have a trailer that is infrequently used and it's bearings should have been repacked last year
 
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Old 05-31-17, 05:49 AM
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I can understand wheel bearings seizing on those cheap, tiny folding trailers. Their tires are so tiny the wheels must be turning twice as fast as a standard tire.

I think one of this weekend's projects will be to repack my trailer's wheel bearings.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 05:48 AM
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I couldn't wait till the weekend so I my trailer bearings last night. I pulled the hub and saw that the grease zirk feeds a passage that opens between the inner bearing and outer seal. That was good news as it means the grease must pass through both the inner and outer bearings before you see it ooze out around the nut.

I did try one new trick and that was to spin the tire while pumping in new grease. That way the new grease gets spread over the whole circumference of the bearing instead of just the spot where the grease port is located.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 06:19 AM
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That technique sounds like it will get the grease into the bearing and completely surround the balls or the rollers inside their races before oozing out the other side. If you didn't do that, some of those spaces could still be vacant while you were mis-led into believing you had completed the job.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 09:56 AM
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When the fresh, red synthetic appeared it came out in a consistent ring oozing from the bearing. I hope that indicates the grease is evenly distributed. It was pretty obvious the outer bearing got the new grease but it's still a bit of a guess for the inner one.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 12:12 PM
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Yeah, it's what you can't see that I wonder about in that configuration; how does one know that they are actually pushing grease through both bearings, and what is happening at the seal. I still subscribe to periodically repacking them by the conventional means of disassembling, cleaning, and hand (or power if you wish) packing each bearing. As far as wear on trailer bearings, I think a lot of it has to do with the nature of the beast. Trailer axles are typically not aligned, nor are the tires typically balanced. And, because they lack the engineering that goes into a car or light truck, and are essentially "dragged" down the road, they bounce, some more noticeably than others, and the amount of bounce will typically vary even on the same trailer, depending on the amount of cargo and where it is positioned. So you have a tow vehicle heading due north, and a trailers that is heading the same because it is being dragged that way, but the axle alignment is such that it wants to head 1 degree northeast. Hit an expansion joint, the trailer bounces, leaves the ground, and as it comes back down it wants to head in that 1 degree off direction. The tow vehicle overcomes that, and keeps it going due north, but that repeated side thrust is bore by the bearings, and, with whatever, say 20-30 thousandths clearance, it's like a mini slide hammer working on them. Well, no engineering data to support this theory, but have many miles both pulling trailers and following trailers, and that's my opinion. Along of course with some excellent points made previously in this thread like care and maintenance, or lack thereof, time passing as they set idle, etc.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 02:02 PM
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The first hub I removed, saw where the grease exits from the zirk passageway. Then I cleaned out all the old grease and cleaned the bearings and re-assembled it dry. Then I greased it through the zirk while spinning the tire. Then I opened it again to verify that the grease got everywhere. On the second hub I just started pumping in fresh grease until all the old was gone and I got clean new grease.

I agree about the abuse trailers take being dragged down the road. Every now and then I'll see one that is visibly out of alignment which has to be pretty bad.
 
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Old 06-01-17, 07:04 PM
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Back to the original post about tires, well tomorrow's another day. Took the old tires off a week or so ago, cleaned the rims up a bit, painted them, and set them aside to dry for a few days. Got the first tire on a rim last night, got called away for a little bit, and it was getting late anyway, so locked the shop up. Went back this evening, figuring to finish mounting that one, but fought with the doggone things for 20 minutes, and gave up for the evening. Had the rim and tire lubed up, tried a ratchet strap around it, and still couldn't get it to seat. Don't mind changing tires and rims, but seldom enjoy getting the beads to seat. Oh well, as I said, tomorrow's another day.
 
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Old 06-02-17, 06:51 AM
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Yea, I've had more than one I've had to take to a friends shop who has a bead seating tank that shoots a huge blast of air in at the rim.
 
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