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Monday, April 17, 2017

Question of running year old tires or Running less than max psi

Question from Chris

Hi Roger,

I came across your website by way of referral from a member on a Keystone RV forum.  I have a concern regarding upgraded tires and wheels for a Keystone trailer I own.  

As most manufacturers continue to cut costs in value models, wheels and tires seem to be ground zero in their savings.  So, to help mitigate tire failure on my coach, I've upgraded my china bomb OEM 14" tires sized ST205/75R14 LR-C to ST225/75R15  LR ? and purchased new wheels to accommodate the new rubber.  My wheels are Sendel wheels that support 2540 lbs of load each. 

I purchased Carlisle Radial HD tires in LRD from Discount Tire.  Unfortunately, they received LRE tires in instead of the LRD tires.  The Discount Tire salesman quickly resolved the error and within 2 days, had LRD in stock.  I returned to the store to have them balanced and mounted on the wheels. The stock they received in had DOT date code of 1516. He told me that was the newest in all his warehouses. I didn't want year old tires so I rejected the sale.  

Then, I ordered the same tires from  Same story, the DOT date code was 1616 and 2016.  Rejected that sale.  Finally, I ordered them from  They arrived today.  Again, tires are around 1 year old and I'm sending them back.

My first attempt at ordering tires from Discount Tire resulted in LRE tires. They were much newer around Nov 2016. I think my quest for load rated D tires from Carlisle in size 225/75/15 is futile.

So now, I'm considering purchasing the LRE tires as I think the local stock is much more fresh than I can ever find with LRD. The only limit I have is my wheel capacity at 2540 lbs. If the LRE tire max inflation pressure is 80 lbs supporting 2830 lbs, will it compromise the tire if I inflate only to 65 lbs (in order to stay within the specs of the wheel)? The OEM tires were LRC on 14 inch wheels supporting only 1760 lbs at 50 lbs. Weight is not a concern as I will never come close to max weight limits with my trailer on either LRD or LRE tire. 

Another thing that worries me is the stiffness in the LRE rubber. Comparing the Carlisle LRD to the OEM Trailer Kings is night and day. The tire is just so much more beefy. Don't really want to rip apart the trailer because it's rolling on unforgiving rubber. 

Any opinions and recommendations is greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Chris M.
Concerned RV owner

My answer:

OK you have a couple different issues.

You need to know that tires are made in batches. For relatively small markets it's possible that a company may only make an item once a year or even less frequently. While tire age is of concern when the tires are on the ground and exposed to sunlight and heat, it's less of an issue when in the factory warehouse.

One way to let your mind rest a bit is to ask when the warranty clock starts ticking. Some companies clearly state on day of application or first retail sale. Others say the warranty is based on DOT serial. If it's based on date of sale and clearly stated as such in the literature, I would be less concerned and just be sure that the sales receipt has the date and DOT serial of each tire identified and keep both warranty and receipt in a safe place.

Now, since you have taken the step of going from the ST205/75R14 LRC to ST225/75R15 LRD, you have increased the load capacity from 1760 @ 50psi to  2540 @ 65 psi. You have increased the reserve load capacity by over 50%, which should deliver very reliable service. While I do not have any data to go on, I think that when inflated to the same psi the LR-D and LR-E would have similar stiffness. It's the air that supports the load and it's the air that provides the majority of the tire stiffness.

For your application I would think there would be no problems with running LR-E tires at the wheel limit of 65psi.

So, bottom line, I think you can go with the year-old LR-D tires or run the LR-E at 65.

1 comment:

  1. Tire issues oh my! My dilemma is when do I actually replace my 5th wheel tires, they will be 5 years old this summer but look to be in good shape, no cracks no checkering no wear patterns. Of course tire dealers simply rely on mfg. recommendations, replace at 5 years? How reasonable is it to stretch time out if tires appear to be sound?


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