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Don't use car tires on your trailer!! :0

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  • Don't use car tires on your trailer!! :0

    So, here is a sad story.......
    Bought a set of tires for my trailer, over the course of 4 years, they started to dry rot. Not bad, but you can start to see some cracks.
    A guy came to me at the marina, told me he had sold his boat/trailer, had a set of BRAND new 13" tires on rims, if I got them outta his shed, they were mine!
    "Great"!
    I go over, get them, new tires (still had the sticker on the thread). Check the tire PSI, 32 psi???? Well, they are radial tires, (never used radials before).
    Gleefully, I go install them on trailer to get ready for the run from Clayton N.Y. to Scranton, Pa., to sadly put the boat to sleep for this winter.
    I get to Fat Nancy's bait shop in Polaski N.Y., check hubs and tires, "SHHHHEEETTT, they are a bit HOT!!"
    I let them cool, back down on the speed once on the highway.
    Just outside Binghamton, the dreaded vibration/ blue smoke- tire let loose!
    Limp to a stop, change out the tire to one of the old bias.
    Off I go, ticked but happy to be moving again.
    I get home and find out these are car tires???!!!
    My boat/outboard/trailer must run @ 1800#, tires are rated for #1200, so I was OK weight wiase, (#1800 divided by 2- each tire had to carry #900 but, I KNEW when I felt them and they were HOT at Nancy's I was screwed, but didn't put 2 n 2 together that they were car tires!
    So, lesson..... Don't use car tires on your boat!
    Joe
    It's always an adventure when i do things!

  • #2
    I had a similar thing,...... only I bought the boat and trailer and didn't realize they were car tires until I lost one on the highway (about 4:00pm Sunday of Labor day weekend about 6 years ago, ... lots of fun). It wiped out the fender on the trailer when it let go. Some work with a sledge hammer and new bolts for the fender, and two new tires and all was good.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the heads up. I would have never thought that this was such an issue. Looking for a trailer currently, and I would not have known to be on the lookout for this type of consideration.

      I really appreciate you sharing your story!

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      • #4
        Tires are about load capacity. If you have the right load capacity (which should include a "fudge factor"), rarely will you have an issue. As far as the OP's experience, if those tires were really rated for 900 pounds, and they were running that hot, either 1 of 2 things was going on. His load was over 1800lbs, or the tires were under inflated. 99.99% of the time, it's that simple. The fact the tires were from a car was secondary here, in my opinion.

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        • #5
          I have never run car tires on a boat trailer but have run a bunch of them on utility,construction and farm trailers without issue. If they ran hot I would put more air in until they looked about right while loaded. Also these were used tires and the majority were re-capped bias ply!

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          • #6
            I ran ST radial "car" tires on my tandem trailer for 5 years before swapping them out for "trailer" tires 2 years ago.

            The "car" tires went 25-30k miles over a 4 year period under a #5500 boat, l have a hard time believing you'd have a problem with an #1800 load unless defective or under inflated.
            ....

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            • #7
              I use car tires all the time on both of my marine trailers.. Never had an issue

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              • #8
                Many times car or LT tires last longer, just keep the load rating in mind.

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                • #9
                  I had checked the tire PSI, before installing them on.
                  I usually run 35 in my truck tires, but thought IF the load/PSI on the side of the tire says 32 PSI, put 32 PSI in until I get to, "know" these tires.
                  The boat empty runs @ #800, the motor runs @ #300-400 (70 HP), I had a full tank of fuel (18 gallons), my bow trolling motor (Moto Guide), a 5 H.P. Honda outboard ties inside the boat @ mid ships, a pair of marine batteries, a few items in the boat, I figure the trailer is #400, so I guess I was close to #2000.
                  the tire were rated at #1200.
                  It was in the high 80's air temp, the road, maybe a bit hotter.
                  I've run "Light Duty" truck tires on trailers before without a hitch.
                  Lesson learned?...... Well it was 20 minutes on the side of interstate 81 swapping out a tire, tires were free, so.........
                  I'll never run car tires again. For the price of a trailer tire, (I always have a good spare on the boat trailer, as well as one in the truck, a spare spindle/hub/2 sets of greased bearing, a few lug nuts, (yeah, I'm anal, but years of towing motorcycle trailer @ the country taught me to be prepared!
                  Joe

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                  • #10
                    Not saying carrying spare parts are a bad plan, but 40+ years of towing toys all over God's creation + 20+ years of working for a large RV dealer, and I've never had a failure of any kind while on the road.


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                    • #11
                      Like others I've never had trouble with car tires that were inflated properly and weren't over loaded.
                      I prefer trailer tires but that's not always what's on the trailer.

                      I'm surprised a 13" car tire only has a maximum of 32psi marked on the sidewall.
                      I'd have expected about 45 psi.

                      Also, I would think it would be easier to find a 13" trailer tire than a 13" car tire.

                      1980 Sylvan Aluminum 18' Sportster I/O - Mercruiser 140, Honda 7.5 Kicker, Bennett M120 Tabs
                      1974 Glastron V-179, Mercruiser 140
                      1984 16.5ft. Alumarine Sealark side console with 82 Merc 50
                      Manitoba, Canada

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                      • #12
                        A good friend of mine that's a fishing guide runs car tires on his boat trailer. The trailer is on the road almost every day, the drive to the fishing location can be up to 4 hours each way. After10 years of this he would have most likely changed his choice in tires if it had been a problem.

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                        • #13
                          This is going to be like an Oil Thread soon enough. A person can run the wrong tires if they want. But I'm sure there is a Litigation Lawyer just foaming-at-the-mouth waiting for an accident where a trailer with non-trailer tires is involved. I am not saying that the tires caused the accident, just that some sharpy in a sharkskin suit will claim the trailer should not have even been on the road, and that if it hadn't been, the accident would probably wouldn't have occurred

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jimmbo View Post
                            A person can run the wrong tires if they want. But I'm sure there is a Litigation Lawyer just foaming-at-the-mouth waiting for an accident where a trailer with non-trailer tires is involved.
                            The use of "trailer" rated tires is pushed by the tire industry, not regulation. The NHTSA actually gives recommendations on load ratings and tire inflation when running P series tires on the trailer.
                            Last edited by dingbat; September 27th, 2017, 01:19 PM.
                            ....

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                            • #15
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                              You can use passenger car tires for your trailer after derating them 10%.The problem is that after derating, most trailers will have a load that is too high to use these tires that way hence the reason you need to go to ST. On my trailer, there is no way I could ever use a passenger tire.

                              For example, a 185/80/13 trailer tire in a load range C will have a capacity of 1360#. A silimar sized car tire has a load rating of 1168# and that would drop to 1051# after derating.
                              Last edited by bruceb58; September 27th, 2017, 01:16 PM.
                              1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
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                              "Common sense is not very common"
                              "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden

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