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Radial Vs Bias Ply Trailer Tires

Discussion in 'Boat Supply, Boat Parts, Boat Information etc…' started by keep it reel, Jan 29, 2017.

  1. keep it reel

    keep it reel Lieutenant Commander
    Thread Started By

    I keep going through trailer tires prematurely in my opinion. Uneven wear, or full wear. Either way the tires are not safe for highway travel or highway speeds.
    I've researched a lot of information about trailer tires, I've called dealers and talked to whoever I could to ascertain information regarding the issues I've noticed in my particular tires.
    I've primarily used bias ply tires because they are easy to find and cheap. Well as the old saying goes- "you get what you pay for"...
    I've tried a new approach this time. I ordered radial tires from Etrailer.com. Rated for high speed highway use. Supposed to be very good for wet roads...etc
    Here's the difference in tread patterns
    (The tires are the same size. It's an optical illusion )
    This the old bias tire. Notice the west one the outside edges. I put this tire on in August of 2016


    Here is the new radial tire

    Here are the new tires and rims mounted.
    Notice on top of the fender that I have my air gauge out, yes I still check the pressure even tho I just got these. 50 psi on all 4.

    If you noticed that the rims are shiny and don't have the normal galvanized look to the you're right. This is a new process that is similar to powder coating and then sealed. Supposed to keep it from rusting. We'll see how they work and let everyone know in the future post.
    BTW, the tires I purchased, being radials where just about the same price as I would've spent at Walmart for bias ply and I had them delivered for free.
    Hopefully I'll have very positive things to report shortly...
    As a side note, harbor freight has floor jacks on sale. $94. Damn good deal if you need one.
    Bob C, Lynnae, paleoman and 1 other person like this.
  2. Shrimp Gritter

    Shrimp Gritter Seaman apprentice

    I've had better luck with radials on both boat and campers. Where did you get yours?
  3. Nautical Gator

    Nautical Gator Forum Captain, Moderator, Peacekeeper Staff Member

    Usually on trailers, if the tire axle holes are off by a fraction, the tires will not be aligned property and will cause premature and uneven tire wear.

    and I found the below online

    Many things can cause uneven tire wear, including a bent axle, an overloaded trailer and worn or broken suspension components.

    A trailer axle should be slightly arched, with the high spot in the center of the trailer and the spindles on either end being slightly lower. When the trailer is loaded the arch will flatten, placing the trailer tire treads in full contact with the road surface. A damaged or overloaded axle may place the inside edge of the tires in greater contact with the road, rather than the whole tread. A worn or damaged suspension component might cause the trailer to track incorrectly, which would also affect the alignment of the wheels and cause uneven wear.

    Make sure that your trailer load remains equal or less than the capacity of the lowest rated component. If you have a 3000 lb axle, but your tires are rated at 1200 lbs apiece your trailer capacity will only be 600 lbs less than the axle capacity. Any towing system is only as strong as its weakest component.

    Closely examine your axle and suspension components, and be aware of the load you are placing on your trailer to ensure it is not being overloaded. Once any broken, bent or worn components are repaired or replaced and the trailer capacity and the weight of the load is known and not exceeded, you should have no more problems with uneven tire wear. You will also want to ensure that your that your tires are kept inflated to the maximum pressure listed on the tire sidewall.
    keep it reel likes this.
  4. lobsterman

    lobsterman Seaman Recruit

    Try measuring from the center of the tung and outside edge of the left and right tire and see if the measurement is the same. Then measure from the front of the front tire to the front of the rear tire on both sides and see if it is the same distance.
  5. Bubba Creech

    Bubba Creech Treasure Hunter

    Thanks for the info as I am buying four next month.
  6. gilman

    gilman Matey

    I have a total of 8 trailers of all types and 7 of them have radial tires on them. Generally speaking bias tires are better if the trailer sits around more than getting towed. If the trailer has a light load such as small boat bias are ok.
    A 8" or 12" rim is not worth the trouble or cost for radial. If the trailer has normal size rim radial will be easy to obtain and at little to no extra cost. I buy our radials form a tire shop. Which also installs and balances them.
    It was very hard to find a load "d" radial for my 14" rim pop up camper. We replaced bias tire about every 6 months for my business. Most of the time I saw un-even wear. Since we switched to radials I getting a year of the tires with even wear.
  7. Rideitout232

    Rideitout232 Pirate

    I battled the same issues for years with cheap trailer tires and started buying Goodyear marathons. They have always worked great for me.
    keep it reel likes this.
  8. paleoman

    paleoman Petty Officer

    Ken, radials have my vote!
    Shrimp Gritter likes this.
  9. keep it reel

    keep it reel Lieutenant Commander
    Thread Started By

    I went through the uneven wear problems with my last boat trailer. I made a couple of trip to the trailer manufacturer who ultimately replaced my wheels and installed a heavier axle at no charge. I'm beginning to think it could be the tires. We'll see soon enough
  10. Richard Walden

    Richard Walden Greenhorn

    Wow thanks for the information. For smaller rims bias and for larger rims radials. Also agree on trailer components.
    keep it reel likes this.
  11. Earlybird

    Earlybird Cabin Boy

    I switched to radials for my skiff last year..more load capacity, and better wear so far..
    keep it reel likes this.
  12. had same thing uneven where, not lasting. checked everything. needed new tires, went to local shop asked about radials. the older guy in the back came out and let me guess uneven where, boils, ect... then called out a # to the guy at the desk. they were 8.00 more then the wallmart bias I was getting. that was over a year ago. still can`t see any thing for where. I do a lot of highway and country road travel as I live in the middle of the state. 100 mile trip for saltwater. so I have put 1000`s of miles on. I think it was the bias tires all along.
  13. Bossman

    Bossman Moderator on Deck Staff Member

    Great info from everyone on tire preference.
  14. keep it reel

    keep it reel Lieutenant Commander
    Thread Started By

    Just a quick update. Tires are looking great so far. Minimal wear so far
  15. Rich M

    Rich M Buccaneer

    I ended up buying 2 sets of trailer tires this year - 15-inch radial (thought they were steel but might be a poly radial) that wouldn't fit the trailer (too wide). 5 lug if anyone needs em - I'll let go of them for less than I paid...

    Then 13-inch steel belted radials - which also were too wide to fit the trailer! LOL! I ordered the same size as the bias ones that were on the trailer... Ended up borrowing a longer axle from dad's neighbor. I will buy a new axle after vacation.

    Historically, we always had steel belted truck tires on prior trailers - never had an issue or a flat.

    Bias trailer tires have blown at least 2 times on my current boat/trailer. Thankfully I had the boat securely strapped on. Also had some flats that weren't at 60-70 mph on the highway - just go to use it and its flat...
  16. keep it reel

    keep it reel Lieutenant Commander
    Thread Started By

    Another update. The 5ires are still hold up very well
    mkyota1 likes this.
  17. Rich M

    Rich M Buccaneer

    Good deal! Funny how they are harder to get but don;t cost that much more. A solid investment.

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