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New Shoes For Mabel

Our trailer came equipped from Airstream with 15″ aluminum Sendel rims and Goodyear Marathon tires.  Like most larger trailers, ours has two axles and four total tires.

About a year ago I noticed irregular wear pattern on the front curbside tire.  At the time, I didn’t think too much of it – concluding it was simply a faulty tire.  A few days later I replaced it and assumed all was good, but unfortunately the wear has now returned something serious … only this time having expanded to both front axle tires.

Concerned about misalignment, I booked an appointment with an axle shop – specifically contacting a dealer specializing in the same brand axle I have (Dexter), but not immediately.  Instead, I deferred further inspection until a time more convenient, which would be a few weeks later.  Then, on cue as if planned, a couple days prior to the scheduled axle check, one of the tires failed.  Fortunately, not catastrophically.



I had the alignment checked, but results came back all good, so I remain stumped (as does the owner of the axle shop).

However to be safe, I upgraded to bigger wheels and more durable (truck) tires.  Like many Airstream owners before me, I opted for 16″ wheels and also transitioned from Goodyear to Michelin LTX tires.

Combined, this new set-up can accommodate increased weight ratings, reducing individual stress on all four tires.  I’ve haven’t towed more than an hour since making the swap, but early indicators are positive and I’m expecting an overall improved towing experience ahead.



2 Comments Post a comment
  1. roger cayce #

    Hi Dave, I always enjoy reading your posts but this one especially caught my eye. I have experienced a similar situation. We probably have about six or seven thousand miles on our unit and I just noticed the right rear tire has worn down on the outside edge just like yours. All the other rubber seems fine. I was thinking my axel was bent because it has a noticable bow in it. I was able to look at several other units during our recent trip south and they all have what seems to be the same bow. I spoke with an axel guy on the phone and he said they usually can re align them if it is bent but reading your post I now am wondering if it is just normal wear. I had thought of getting better tires too but was focusing more on the bent axel theory. Are you feeling that the new stronger tires will solve the problem? And secondly have you heard of any others that have experienced the same situation? Oh ya one other thing I was confused about your new battery install. Is that some super strong type of battery and is it located under your bed or where-I couldn’t figure that out. Thanks. Roger

    November 25, 2015
    • Hi Roger – I’ve towed a couple times with the new set-up, but nothing more than 40 miles (I’m bouncing around Phoenix metro currently). However, I can immediately feel an improved difference as the ride is a bit less spongy. Longer term, only time will tell if the tires hold-up better, but the Michelins are not only larger, they are also much sturdier so I am expecting good results. I know many who who have made the swap and all report good things, but you can be assured I’ll be monitoring closely.

      On the batteries … last week I completed a massive solar and electrical upgrade project to our rig – the single largest investment (time and cost) since purchasing. Now that we are full-timing, the previously set-up simply could not keep up and we were running deficit amps far too much for my comfort and convenience. As a fix, I added 2 panels (100 watts each) to the roof, swapped to lithium batteries (tripling our storage capacity), added a massive Magnum hybrid charger/inverter, and wired all outlets to be powered by the inverter. I will outline all the changes in detailed blog update in the next 1-2 weeks, but so far it’s been awesome. Goal was to eliminate any need for shore power, including when running air conditioning.

      Hope all is well for you guys. _dave

      November 25, 2015

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