Tire size mismatch question

Elkins45

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Technically I think this question is more about the axle, hub and weight distribution but it’s caused by a tire, so…

My 16.5’ aluminum boat (around 1300 pounds including the trailer) came with 13” wheels, but since all 13” trailer tires seem to be garbage I bought a set of 14” wheels and mounted Goodyear trailer tires on them. My spare, however is still a 13” and I wonder how much of a problem it would be driving with it mounted for several hundred miles to get home. The boat would obviously be tilted toward the smaller wheel and my understanding of vectors makes me think that would make the tire, hub and axle on that side carry over 50% of the weight since the boat would be tilting “downhill” into the smaller tire.

Should I spend more money for a third 14” wheel and tire or am I overthinking this? Or should I just carry all three of the old 13” tires with me as a backup LOL?
 

airshot

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What is wrong with 13" tires if you get good ones?? Why are they all garbage ??
 

Elkins45

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What is wrong with 13" tires if you get good ones?? Why are they all garbage ??
There are no good ones anymore. The previously good brands have outsourced and the quality is gone. I’ve had two allegedly good brand tires delaminate in the last five years, one with less than 2K miles. No decent domestic manufacturer produces a 13” tire but Goodyear does make a 14 that is probably assembled with at least a small amount of concern.
 

briangcc

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You know trailer tires should be replaced every 3-5 years right? They break down in the sun. You *might* get a year or two more than that but you're taking your chances at that point.

My spare tire split in the treads, only sitting on the spare tire mount. That was the start of year 4. I replaced all my tires at that point. 15" tire, so size doesn't factor in here as I've personally had 14" tires do the same.

As long as the overall circumference of the 13" tire is the same as the 14" tire, you're good to go. If they're different, I'd only do it at reduced speed, extremely short distances.
 

airshot

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Tires in general now have shorter life spans than they did decades ago. Today you cant even get a puncture repair done if a tire has less than 1/8" tread left on it or if there is a wear strip on the tread. I started repairing my own tires as the dealers refuse to make any repairs due to safety reasons !!
I use the old rule of thumb, the smaller the tire, the less the life expectency and replace them more often. I have never had a 13" set if tires go bad before there time in all my years, so that is why I questioned your statement.
 

bruceb58

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You can buy Maxxis 8008 trailer tires in 13"...probably best trailer tires made! Also, plenty of load range for a 1600# trailer. Absolutely ZERO need to go to 14" tires.
 

Elkins45

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You know trailer tires should be replaced every 3-5 years right? They break down in the sun. You *might* get a year or two more than that but you're taking your chances at that point.

My spare tire split in the treads, only sitting on the spare tire mount. That was the start of year 4. I replaced all my tires at that point. 15" tire, so size doesn't factor in here as I've personally had 14" tires do the same.

As long as the overall circumference of the 13" tire is the same as the 14" tire, you're good to go. If they're different, I'd only do it at reduced speed, extremely short distances.
My tires that failed were both less than three years old and less than 5K miles. Both were properly inflated. Both suffered internal delaminations. The second one was sort of a mixed blessing because it happened when I was only going about 20 mph in Atlanta traffic. Mixed because I had to drift across six lanes of traffic and change it up against a concrete wall while traffic was exiting three feet away. Fun!

UV damage didn’t kill my tires, poor quality control did.
 
Last edited:

Elkins45

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You can buy Maxxis 8008 trailer tires in 13"...probably best trailer tires made! Also, plenty of load range for a 1600# trailer. Absolutely ZERO need to go to 14" tires.
I’d never heard of them so I did a Google search. Made in Thailand.

And I already have my Goodyears anyway. But I did see they are sold by Walmart, so maybe I might try a set when I replace them in a few years.
 

ESGWheel

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Should I spend more money for a third 14” wheel and tire or am I overthinking this?
I suspect that you will be uncomfortable unless you make the spare the same as the other two, especially given your trip milage. You are clearly safety conscious as well as meticulous, both good things in my book. Go with your gut and spend the bucks. :)
 

airshot

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When I had my motorhome, GoodYear tires were not recomended nor were Michiliens, both were poorly rated for MH use...however Hankook tires were very highly rated so I bought them, ran true and lasted for years, they were made in Korea, great tires !! Lots of folks don't like Carlisle tires, but mine are over three years old, in 13" size and look like new. Not one crack or sign of wear.
 

Elkins45

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When I had my motorhome, GoodYear tires were not recomended nor were Michiliens, both were poorly rated for MH use...however Hankook tires were very highly rated so I bought them, ran true and lasted for years, they were made in Korea, great tires !! Lots of folks don't like Carlisle tires, but mine are over three years old, in 13" size and look like new. Not one crack or sign of wear.
I had 13" Carlisle tires on my little utility trailer than only carried a 300 pound lawnmower. Those tires lasted 15 years without a single surface crack, which is nothing short of amazing. They still looked almost new when I dismounted them, and you could tell how much thicker and well made they were than the ones that replaced them. Unfortunately current production Carlisles don't seem to be well-regarded.

Having a 13" tire go bad on the road really puts you at the mercy of the closest tire shops. I paid $90 for a too-old tire from a brand I'd never heard of in Eufaula, AL because I wasn't about to drive back to KY without having a spare.
 

bruceb58

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I’d never heard of them so I did a Google search. Made in Thailand.
Yes...but not in China. They are an excellent tire. They are on my Cobalt trailer!

Maxxis makes many tires for many different things. They are my "go to" tire for my mountain bike.
 

jimmbo

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The Price of a 3rd Tire, isn't all that high, for the Piece of Mind it will provide, besides the tires can be swapped every spring or fall, so you don't end up with an old unused spare that has to be tossed cause of a Date Code
 

WIMUSKY

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You can buy Maxxis 8008 trailer tires in 13"...probably best trailer tires made! Also, plenty of load range for a 1600# trailer. Absolutely ZERO need to go to 14" tires.
Agree....
 

airshot

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Maintenence us the real key to tire life no matter what name is on it. Been a boater for well over 60 years most all have been on trailers. I can coynt on one hand the number of tire failures I have had in all that time. I have had issues with the best and the poorest quality tires you could buy. Bottom line over all that time towing is check your tires often, I see guys at the launch ramp with portable inflators blowing up old tires just to get it home !! A friend also runs a tire store, you would be amazed at what condition tires are in that folks want repaired...often they want the tire filled with slime just to get it thru the fishing season !! Most tire issues are from lack of owner maintenence or just wanting to stretch the tire life a little longer.......
 

jimmbo

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Only ever had one Trailer Tire fail while towing. 14 yr old Goodyear Marathon

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Sprig

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The answer to your question since you already bough5 the 14’s is yes get a 14” wheel and tire.
 

ESGWheel

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Elkins45,
One thing I forgot to mention is to balance both the trailer and spare tires. While some think unnecessary, I believe it’s a must. The abnormal tire wear and stress on the bearings is the reason. I have often heard “It’s a trailer (spare) tire, its good enough!”. Well until you put it on a balance machine you have no idea if that is true 😊
 

matt167

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Elkins45,
One thing I forgot to mention is to balance both the trailer and spare tires. While some think unnecessary, I believe it’s a must. The abnormal tire wear and stress on the bearings is the reason. I have often heard “It’s a trailer (spare) tire, its good enough!”. Well until you put it on a balance machine you have no idea if that is true 😊
Trailer tires are never perfectly round and take absorbent amounts of weight.Once you put a few on a balancer you understand. It is literally a waste of time.. yes they could be match balanced to get the weight down a little. But it’s not going to fix the runout. Balancing compound would be all that should be used, if it’s really necessary
 

jimmbo

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No Tire is perfectly Round, perfectly Balanced, or is equally Flexible its entire Circumference
 
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