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Trailer Tire Type and Size


Jake99

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I have a 2008 Wakesetter lsv 23 with an EZ-loader dual axel trailer.  I live in the southwest and often pull the boat hundreds of miles in the heat of the summer.  The trailer has 20 inch rims on it, and while I didn't buy the boat brand new, I know that it came from the factory with those size rims.  The trailer currently has Goodyear P255 50R 20 tires on it.  I have always felt that the 20 inch rims were not appropriate for a trailer.  The trailer needs new tires and I am seriously considering buying all new rims as well.  I have a couple of questions:

1.  Should I get smaller rims (like 14s or 15s) or is it not that big of a deal and I should just stay with the 20 inch rims?

2. If I do get smaller rims, which size should I go with?

3. I have read a number of different threads on here about trailer tires verses car tires verses light truck tires.  Which is the best choice for my trailer and my towing habits?

Any advice is much appreciated.  Thanks.

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The Goodyear Endurance seems to be the best out there right now.  I have only had them a couple of months and like them so far but some on here have had them a few years with only good reviews.  They only come in 14, 15 and 16 inch.  Mine are 15 inch on an Extreme trailer.

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Aesthetically, the 20's look killer!  Functionally, i think a 15" is better.  Being narrower gives you less rolling resistance down the road. Having more sidewall offers better shock absorption over bumps.  Cost wise wheels and tires might be even-ish to a set of 20" tires only.   If you decided to change, i would run a 225/75R15 G/Y Endurance.  Your current tires are 30" tall.  The 225R15 measures 28.3" tall, so the trailer will sit about an inch lower.  Also, consider that your wheel wells are sized for the 20's.  To keep it from looking silly, you are probably going to want to swap the fenders out to standard size. 

Edit:  235/80R16 Endurance tires run about 30.8" tall.  They are load range E which means they have more load capacity than the 15", but that also means a much stiffer sidewall.

Edited by Texan32
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I went from 14's (or was it 15's...it has been a while) to 18" wheels.  I find the tires are more durable and the trailer tows better on 18" wheels.

From a looks perspective, I think 18's look the best on a trailer...most trailer manufacturers seems to agree with that as well.  You would also have to change fenders going to a 14 - 16" rim and it would devalue your trailer in the process.

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3 minutes ago, Nitrousbird said:

I went from 14's (or was it 15's...it has been a while) to 18" wheels.  I find the tires are more durable and the trailer tows better on 18" wheels.

From a looks perspective, I think 18's look the best on a trailer...most trailer manufacturers seems to agree with that as well.  You would also have to change fenders going to a 14 - 16" rim and it would devalue your trailer in the process.

What was the load rating on your 14's or 15's compared to the 18's?  When I switched from the factory C rated tires to D rated tires my trailer towed better too.  Personally I prefer some sidewall on tires to protect the wheels, but I also don't really care what a trailer looks like. 

Edited by oldjeep
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6 minutes ago, oldjeep said:

What was the load rating on your 14's or 15's compared to the 18's?  When I switched from the factory C rated tires to D rated tires my trailer towed better too.  Personally I prefer some sidewall on tires to protect the wheels, but I also don't really care what a trailer looks like. 

No idea, it has been 8 years since the switch.  My boat doesn't live on a lift, so I care about how it looks on the trailer...and it looks a lot better with nice wheels on it.

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Just now, Nitrousbird said:

No idea, it has been 8 years since the switch.  My boat doesn't live on a lift, so I care about how it looks on the trailer...and it looks a lot better with nice wheels on it.

Mine lives on a trailer too, guess I could go out to the garage once in a while and look at the wheels ;)

But in all seriousness, unless you know what rating of tires you went from and to - saying that your 18's handled better is useless information.

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Hey guys, has been ages, I was looking for a Malibu sticker and... you know how it goes.  A while back (hmm maybe 8 years?) I replaced the stock tires (and spare) with Kuhmo 857 load range D tires. 14" stock alloy rims on a Ryan trailer. Kuhmos seemed to be the rage back then.  They are a L/T rated radial. Very happy with them. Also, I would for sure ditch the 20's only because of pot holes, railroad crossings and potential rim damage but that is just me, also that is way more unsprung weight which impacts performance of the suspension (ha ha leaf springs who cares right?).  My .02 YMMV. 

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