Our Marathon tires became six years old (from date of manufacture) during our summer of ’12 and we knew that, even though they looked OK, they were already beyond the expected lifespan of a normal trailer tire and needed changing. The tires that came with our newly built 2007 23′ Airstream Safari trailer (Goodyear Marathon ST215/75R14) have served us well and have had no problems with our routine of going on monthly 200 mile round-trips, mostly from San Diego to our nearby desert areas, from October through April, and one last trip of the season to a nearby state beach in May. In addition, I make sure they are at the specified pressure of 50 psi cold just before starting and I monitor them with PressurePro tire sensors. When the trailer is parked, the tires are immediately covered (sun protection). We typically travel at the posted speed limit for vehicles towing trailers in California (55 mph) and rarely go over 62 mph. Upon return to San Diego, our trailer and tires rest on plywood boards placed on top of the cement pavement and the tires are covered. So, even though there is much discussion about tires and tires sizes on the forums, we chose to replace our tires with another set of Marathons!
I obtained our 5 tires locally from SD Tire and Wheel Outlet, used a 4-arm lug wrench to loosen the lug nuts, and used the F-250’s tire jack to raise the trailer.
I was surprised to see the curbside hub dust cap covers (aka grease caps) were not attached, but just inside the exterior hub cap! They could have come off during a trip, or might never have been properly installed at the factory, but the visible area of the end of the hub looked clean, so the dust caps were installed with the help of Larry holding a board while I tapped with a small sledgehammer.
The street-side grease caps were in place as expected. So all tires were replaced with recently manufactured Marathon tires, including the never-used spare tire. A torque wrench was used to tighten the lug nuts, and will be used to recheck them at intervals on our first trip out to the desert.
I decided against the added expense of Centramatic Balancers for these 14″ wheels based on how we use our trailer and how our tires showed no uneven wear in over five years. And the rubber valve stems never gave us a problem with our tires (maximum pressure cold of 50 psi), but I do like the new ones on our new tires with the metal tips.
Putting on five new round tires is a perfect way to start our fall camping season and the first of the new year celebrations that we enjoy observing, in this case, with a delicious round challah (a sweet egg bread) that Larry made with Craisins.