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  1. #1
    kmaher's Avatar
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    12" Tire Conundrum

    Hey everyone,

    So on my dual PWC trailer, I just upgraded my 12" wheels to 13"...that part is simple - no questions there.

    I'll be moving over my aluminum spoke wheels I had on there to my single PWC trailer that also wears the same size, but has the stock steely wheels on at the moment.

    At the same time, I'm considering replacing tires since they've been on those wheels for three years now and see a lot of mileage....that's where my problem arises.

    I've been driving on ST145/12 radials with an "E" load rating of 1,520 pounds. The reason I upgraded my dual trailer to 13's was because those tires are only rated for 65mph, and I frequently take my skis on vacation, often 500+ miles away. Let's be honest - when this happens, I drive between 70 - 75mph, so I'm exceeding the speed rating of the tires, and it appears no one makes an ST145/12 with a higher speed rating.

    In my search for superior tires, though, I see that some 5.30x12 bias-ply tires now boast an "M" speed rating of 81mph. That said, bias tires aren't nearly as suitable for long distance trips since heat dissipation is an issue and can lead to tire failure.

    So what's better? Running a radial tire rated at 65mph at 70 or 75mph (above its limit), or taking a bias tire long distance that features the higher speed rating, but is more subject to tramlining, heat failure, etc?

    Since it's a single trailer it'll be on, weight rating is irrelevant. I keep a 1300r on the single trailer, so I'm carrying 850 pounds max wet weight. Two STs have a capacity of 3k pounds, and the 5.30x12s have a combined weight rating of 2,500 pounds.

    It's the long distance and speed I'm concered about....

    Anyone dealt with this before? Any tire experts out there? No, I'm not planning on converting the single trailer to 13's as well, and yes, I have a lead foot and will exceed 65mph no matter how hard I try not to.


  2. #2
    Click avatar for tech links/info K447's Avatar
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    I have posted somewhere on here about how to derate and overinflate (within reason) ST trailer tires if you want to tow at higher speeds.

    At the moment I cannot seem to find that thread
    Last edited by K447; 07-10-2019 at 09:14 PM.

  3. #3
    kmaher's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply! I definitely did a search on this thinking there would be some info, but alas...I couldn't find anything.

    However, I MAY have found a solution for my single trailer, but I have a healthy skepticism after reading the product description.

    Apparently, there is now a radial tire in 5.30x12 size, although that's the measuring system for bias tires, not radial. It's made by Taskmaster, and they have it advertised as a radial tire, so much so as having it stamped on the side.

    However, it also mentions polyster cords and a nylon overlay in the construction, which is typically found in bias tires....but then they also mention double steel belts.

    Maybe this is a hybrid tire? Still, it has an "M" speed rating and appears to have some radial characteristics. This may just be the solution.

    Unfortunately, it wouldn't work for most dual trailering applications since the weight limit is 1,050 pounds at 80psi. 80psi is definitely a radial-type pressure, too.

    Here's the link if anyone wants to take a look:

    https://www.etrailer.com/Tires-and-W.../TT53012C.html

  4. #4
    steve45's Avatar
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    I've been using Kenda radials on my trailers, no problems. https://recstuff.com/trailer-tires-w...-load-range-e/ Read the reviews.

    I don't see a speed rating in the ad, only a statement, "These trailer tires are DOT approved for high speed use on US Highways."

    I have some of their 13" radials on my custom double 'Ski trailer (about 3000 pounds GVW) that I ran 600 miles per day, averaging 67 MPH, including stops. Our speed limit is 80 in rural areas, and we did a lot of driving at 75-80, no problem.

    I would stop periodically and check the tire and bearing temperatures. Don't need to be scientific about it, just put your hand on them. If they feel warm, you're OK. If they're hot, slow down.

  5. #5
    kmaher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve45 View Post
    I've been using Kenda radials on my trailers, no problems. https://recstuff.com/trailer-tires-w...-load-range-e/ Read the reviews.

    I don't see a speed rating in the ad, only a statement, "These trailer tires are DOT approved for high speed use on US Highways."

    I have some of their 13" radials on my custom double 'Ski trailer (about 3000 pounds GVW) that I ran 600 miles per day, averaging 67 MPH, including stops. Our speed limit is 80 in rural areas, and we did a lot of driving at 75-80, no problem.

    I would stop periodically and check the tire and bearing temperatures. Don't need to be scientific about it, just put your hand on them. If they feel warm, you're OK. If they're hot, slow down.
    If a trailer tire doesn't depict a speed rating, it means it's rated for 65mph. Almost all the 145/12s are this way.

    I've been towing on them at speeds up to 75mph without any problems as well, and they never get excessively hot when I check on them, but I'm still not enthusuastic about it, and if I ever had a catastrophic failure related to the tires that resulted in damage, the manufacturer could point out that I am traveling on roads that exceed the speed rating of the tire.

    I think I'm going to try this "radial" 5.30x12 tire I found with the 81mph rating, and from this point forward, only purchase trailers with 13" tires or larger

  6. #6
    TimeBandit's Avatar
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    I can't fix your conundrum, only to highlight added points:

    Radials will offer more towing stability (aka side-to-side), so that would be a welcome advantage for the heavier dual trailer.

    Bias Ply can be equally as reliable as Radial construction (given comparable ratings) ... however, one thing always recommended --> to ALWAYS run ply at their max rated PSI to minimize flex/heat/wear. Aside from direct damage, what usually causes a ply to fail prematurely, is running low pressure.

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