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Old 10-19-2018, 06:57 PM   #1
Gern Blanston
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Default Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Seems like a lot of people don't. Why???

I had a nasty blowout coming back from Tillamook on Hwy 6, just heading up the coast range out of cell service. Happened on a blind curve with no pullout and had to drive on the rim for close to a mile before we found a gravel pullout. Luckily, I had a crew of three 82nd airborne and they were on it like a military operation. My boat is 18 years old and I now suspect that the trailer tires might also be that old. Long story short, I was not prepared for a quick tire change as it was the first on this boat. There was lots on impov and digging to get the spare on. Took almost an hour. The wheels were D rated and the spare was an under-inflated C rated tire. It was pretty sad watching that thing, but we managed to get to the Shell before Forest Grove to put more air in it.

Vowed that would never happen like that again. Tried to research the best trailer tire I could buy an decided on Maxxis 8008s. Will have aluminum floor jack, aluminum jack stands, and blocks and boards for any surface. Next one will be a sub 10 minute pit stop.

So, I got a screaming deal on Amazon on the Maxxis'. $30 cheaper per tire than anywhere in town. I then took them to a hole in the wall tire shop down the street. The originals had been balanced. I asked the guy to balance the new rubber and he was taken aback that I wanted to balance tire trailers. He said he'd do it, but they did not have a spin balancer, but this ghetto tripod looking thing with a cone that the tire would set on and he put weights on the rubber until it "balanced", marked the area with his hand, flipped the tire over and put the weights on the inside both times. I had bought a 3rd new tire for the spare, and after the first two, just felt like it was too hokey and took that one to a real dealer. They could barely balance it.... 3 big weights outside and 3 big weights inside. He said, "That tire is really wobbley". He didn't charge me.

I had a few take aways. First, maybe don't buy tires off Amazon. Second, do I need to balance my trailer tires? Third, should I have the other two properly balanced?

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Old 10-19-2018, 07:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

I'd say: heck yeah, get 'em balanced.
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Old 10-19-2018, 07:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

I have a hardcore fishing buddy that's a mechanic. He says he doesn't balance trailer tires and he used to trailer a 26' North River OS. He says if you can feel an imbalance in your trailer you have a major problem, otherwise... no balancing.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

My trailer tires come a real tire shop, and yes, they are balanced.
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Old 10-19-2018, 08:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Why?? Your trailer tires will reach the age limit for replacement (6-7 yrs) long before they will have worn down tread. Balancing wont help that and you are wasting your money... And, tires have dates on the sidewalls for a reason. Just sayin...
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Old 10-19-2018, 10:40 PM   #6
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

you brought on the problems yourself. old tires are dangerous especially trailer tiers as they start out cheaper. everyone get new tires by age not just by wear. rubber deteriorates in the sun quickly.


and that guy with the hokey balance can do a better job than the poorly trained hired help at most tire shops on a spin balance made for car tires.
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Old 10-20-2018, 04:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gern Blanston View Post
Seems like a lot of people don't. Why???

I had a nasty blowout coming back from Tillamook on Hwy 6, just heading up the coast range out of cell service. Happened on a blind curve with no pullout and had to drive on the rim for close to a mile before we found a gravel pullout. Luckily, I had a crew of three 82nd airborne and they were on it like a military operation. My boat is 18 years old and I now suspect that the trailer tires might also be that old. Long story short, I was not prepared for a quick tire change as it was the first on this boat. There was lots on impov and digging to get the spare on. Took almost an hour. The wheels were D rated and the spare was an under-inflated C rated tire. It was pretty sad watching that thing, but we managed to get to the Shell before Forest Grove to put more air in it.

Vowed that would never happen like that again. Tried to research the best trailer tire I could buy an decided on Maxxis 8008s. Will have aluminum floor jack, aluminum jack stands, and blocks and boards for any surface. Next one will be a sub 10 minute pit stop.

So, I got a screaming deal on Amazon on the Maxxis'. $30 cheaper per tire than anywhere in town. I then took them to a hole in the wall tire shop down the street. The originals had been balanced. I asked the guy to balance the new rubber and he was taken aback that I wanted to balance tire trailers. He said he'd do it, but they did not have a spin balancer, but this ghetto tripod looking thing with a cone that the tire would set on and he put weights on the rubber until it "balanced", marked the area with his hand, flipped the tire over and put the weights on the inside both times. I had bought a 3rd new tire for the spare, and after the first two, just felt like it was too hokey and took that one to a real dealer. They could barely balance it.... 3 big weights outside and 3 big weights inside. He said, "That tire is really wobbley". He didn't charge me.

I had a few take aways. First, maybe don't buy tires off Amazon. Second, do I need to balance my trailer tires? Third, should I have the other two properly balanced?

IMHO the most important take away should be don't wait so long to replace trailer tires. Not ranking on you as I too wasn't aware of the need until I started to get a little concerned about age of my trailer tires some time back. Once I learned they need replacement by age rather than wear or miles I immediately heeded that advise and have avoided getting into such a bad situation as you found yourself. Keep the bearings greased properly and tires inflated correctly for best performance and reliability of the trailer.
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Old 10-20-2018, 05:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

1. Your other tire may go pretty soon. Mine both went a month apart same summer.
2. I carry an extended lug wrench always for extra leverage.
3. I carry a shop hydraulic Jack always over 8.000lb Jack
4. I have tandem trailer so I spoil myself with a drive up on Jack from NAPA (see old threads)
5. None of the above matter if you haven't had your bearings packed in last 3-4 years. ( see old thread " it will never happen to me"). Really sucks when your spindle is gone and your boat is on the road literally.... $500 including towing cost and repairs could've been $58.

- Have everything ready for a flat.
- Have bearings packed


May want to invest in liquid hubs..went 10 years with one set up and sold the boat. About $170 per axel, but worth every penny if you trailer a lot and you're keeping the boat.
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

You can better the tire life from any dual axle trailer if you pay attention to the level of the trailer. When hooked up on level ground your trailer should be LEVEL which places an equal amount of load on each axle. Yes I can hear the comment; the spring systems compensate for this. To some degree your right but not entirely true. You can test this quickly by using the brakes (if they work) on an empty trailer and see which axle locks up first. For towing my boat behind a stock Ford F150 4x4 I use a 4 inch lift on my hitch and could use a 6 inch lift. Looks funny to see a jacked up hitch when my 2005 Dodge diesel I used a 8 inch drop hitch, but its worth it to level the trailer.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Balancing trailer tires, YES.
The constant vibration and bouncing transmitted from unbalanced tires will affect the trailer tire, wheel, spindle, axle,springs, frame, fenders, fender mounts, lights and mounts plus that vibration is transmitted to your boat and all its components.
You balance your car and truck tires for a better ride and longer tire life, why not do the same for your boat.
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Old 10-20-2018, 09:44 AM   #11
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

I don't balance them,, But I do believe a lot of us neglect them. Often they sit idle for months loose air then get towed at low presser causing the sidewalls to breck down,, Ive replaced with full tread because of age, Theres a lot of money riding on them.. Don't try cheaping out with them
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Old 10-20-2018, 12:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

do you drive 40 mph in town to the ramp... or do you do like most and fly down the road at 70... balance them guys.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crispycritter View Post
Balancing trailer tires, YES.
The constant vibration and bouncing transmitted from unbalanced tires will affect the trailer tire, wheel, spindle, axle,springs, frame, fenders, fender mounts, lights and mounts plus that vibration is transmitted to your boat and all its components.
You balance your car and truck tires for a better ride and longer tire life, why not do the same for your boat.
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Old 10-20-2018, 01:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Driving with unbalanced tires is like driving with chains, trailer or not.
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

What may be interesting is to go to a boat retailer and walk around all their stock and see how many of the trailer tires / wheels have been balanced. Better yet with the sportsmans show coming in a few months check them out there, or the next time at a launch take a look at what other boat owners are doing. My guess and it is only just that is that you will find more trailer tires /wheels are balanced than are not.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

If your wheels are lug-centric and most are, It requires a adapter that shops may or may not have,, you could be getting ripped off,, I did some searching and 98% don't balance and manufactures don't make recommended it.. Do some research or not,,

In my experience and Ive towed plenty,, Ive never had a non balanced cause me any trouble nor could I feel any vibration..
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Pasted off the web from E-trailer

Expert Reply:
You ask a very good question.

Trailer tires do not have to be dynamically balanced like passenger car tires do since a trailer tire's primary duty is supporting a vertical load. Steering and cornering concerns apply less to trailer tires. Passenger car tires on the other hand benefit from being fully balanced since passengers might otherwise feel the irregularities at higher speeds.

Our trailer wheel/tire combination products are joined by the manufacturer so that the tire's low spot is matched to the wheel's high spot. This matching provides a degree of balancing that is sufficient for trailer use. As an example, the Taskmaster 14-inch wheel with 215/75R14 tire, part # TTWA21514RTM45WS, is given this high/low matching before it is shipped.

You certainly can have your trailer tires fully balanced if you wish, but this is not essential. If you buy new tires for a set of rims, you can have them balanced. If you do balance trailer tires, remember that many trailer wheels are centered by the position of the lug bolts (these wheels are lug-centric) and not by the center bore of the wheel. To get the best tire balance for lug-centric wheels, you should have them balanced by a shop that uses a pin plate adapter. This mimics the way a lug-centric wheel is mounted to a hub and will result in the best balance.
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Old 10-21-2018, 05:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishing Dude View Post
Pasted off the web from E-trailer

Expert Reply:
You ask a very good question.

Trailer tires do not have to be dynamically balanced like passenger car tires do since a trailer tire's primary duty is supporting a vertical load. Steering and cornering concerns apply less to trailer tires. Passenger car tires on the other hand benefit from being fully balanced since passengers might otherwise feel the irregularities at higher speeds.

Our trailer wheel/tire combination products are joined by the manufacturer so that the tire's low spot is matched to the wheel's high spot. This matching provides a degree of balancing that is sufficient for trailer use. As an example, the Taskmaster 14-inch wheel with 215/75R14 tire, part # TTWA21514RTM45WS, is given this high/low matching before it is shipped.

You certainly can have your trailer tires fully balanced if you wish, but this is not essential. If you buy new tires for a set of rims, you can have them balanced. If you do balance trailer tires, remember that many trailer wheels are centered by the position of the lug bolts (these wheels are lug-centric) and not by the center bore of the wheel. To get the best tire balance for lug-centric wheels, you should have them balanced by a shop that uses a pin plate adapter. This mimics the way a lug-centric wheel is mounted to a hub and will result in the best balance.
Good stuff!
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Old 10-22-2018, 11:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

mosty times bad tire wear on a trailer comes from inflation or the axle is out of alignment. you can measure that your self.


but trailer tires are fairly cheap and usually arent worth putting extra money into as time decay eats up their value before wear.
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Old 10-22-2018, 04:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Two biggest natural enemies are age and sunlight.
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Old 10-22-2018, 07:28 PM   #21
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

I don't know how your trailer brakes are but I've dragged a trailer tire a few times and ended up with a small flat spot on that tire
Had the tire been balanced it would be out of balance after that.

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Old 10-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #22
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I don't know how your trailer brakes are but I've dragged a trailer tire a few times and ended up with a small flat spot on that tire
Had the tire been balanced it would be out of balance after that.

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Scratching my head on that. If you flat spotted a tire it would then be out of balance compared to what it was before - unless creating the flat spot magically balanced it, meaning it was out of balance before getting flat spotted.
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Old 10-24-2018, 10:01 AM   #23
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Old 10-24-2018, 11:26 AM   #24
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Just pointing out that a flat spot would impact the tires balance to some degree, maybe good maybe bad. Since the majority pulling the trailer is less than 20 miles balancing trailer tires is not something i would even consider
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Scratching my head on that. If you flat spotted a tire it would then be out of balance compared to what it was before - unless creating the flat spot magically balanced it, meaning it was out of balance before getting flat spotted.
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Old 10-24-2018, 01:32 PM   #25
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Just pointing out that a flat spot would impact the tires balance to some degree, maybe good maybe bad. Since the majority pulling the trailer is less than 20 miles balancing trailer tires is not something i would even consider


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My regular haul is 4 hours round trip and can be up to 70MPH at times. Different users have different needs. Wish I had a short run but the only close run is to Oregon City for shad and that's an hour each way. For the few bucks it cost, it's worth it to me to have them balanced.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:59 AM   #26
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

The guys at Les Schwab told me not to bother balancing. They also told me to change trailer tires after 5 years. When the trailer sits it breaks down the sidewalls and makes the tire prone to blowout.
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:21 AM   #27
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

No need!
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Old 11-01-2018, 10:26 AM   #28
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Just be sure they are not too old. I see it all the time here in the boat industry especially when it's someone bringing me a boat to sell for them and they don't want to put any money into it. Lot's of times I have buyers for the boats that they bring me from anywhere across the US and the age of the tire plus condition of the bearings and plus brakes if the trailer has them is of most importance. Balancing has zero importance.

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Old 11-01-2018, 10:50 AM   #29
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

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The guys at Les Schwab told me not to bother balancing. They also told me to change trailer tires after 5 years. When the trailer sits it breaks down the sidewalls and makes the tire prone to blowout.
Great advice + don't cheap out on the tire you buy,, Im mostly talking load rating,,
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:56 PM   #30
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

It depends on the tire shop too. I used Discount Tires and they balanced my tires, Les Schwab said they don't balance trailer tires. I'll take the extra precaution.
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Old 11-01-2018, 05:22 PM   #31
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It depends on the tire shop too. I used Discount Tires and they balanced my tires, Les Schwab said they don't balance trailer tires. I'll take the extra precaution.
No it doesn't depend on the tire shop and it's not taking an extra precaution because it makes absolutely no difference. It's just that you didn't need what you didn't know you didn't need and that's why they told you that you needed it because you just didn't know any better and they make extra money on balancing. It's like selling ice water to eskimos when they don't need it. They charge more money to balance them and you don't need it period. It's just a way to get more money out of your pocket and I have heard tire shops use that pitch that they can't warranty a tire that they don't balance, but it's BS and they can and will. It doesn't matter at all.

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Old 11-02-2018, 01:10 PM   #32
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

I have run several different sized boats, from a 21' sled, to a 10' Jon boat, and 2 utility trailers for over 20 years and never balanced a tire one. I am in agreement with most, it does not make a bit of difference.
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Old 11-02-2018, 01:59 PM   #33
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Yes I always balance trailer tires & ALWAYS use metal valve stems.
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Old 11-02-2018, 11:29 PM   #34
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

Why not. Just put a new set of Goodyears on mine and Discount balanced them. I don't do business with Schwab. Some tires and rims can horribly out of balance......you don't think that will not have an impact on your axle spindles and bearings over time..... Little money well spent.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:46 AM   #35
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

HAve to say I agree. I have seen some real imbalance in rims and subsequent tire / rim combinations. Rims for trailers have improved . Puting 2 - 5000 mi a year - it is peace of mind. The more impotant issue is tire degradation. May have lots of tread - but broken down by UV, sun, exposure.
Here because of constant sun exposure and higher UV at elevation - 3=4 years life time.


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Why not. Just put a new set of Goodyears on mine and Discount balanced them. I don't do business with Schwab. Some tires and rims can horribly out of balance......you don't think that will not have an impact on your axle spindles and bearings over time..... Little money well spent.
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Old 11-03-2018, 07:47 AM   #36
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Default Re: Do you Balance your Boat Trailer Tires? ...and best trailer tire thread

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Why?? Your trailer tires will reach the age limit for replacement (6-7 yrs) long before they will have worn down tread. Balancing wont help that and you are wasting your money... And, tires have dates on the sidewalls for a reason. Just sayin...

While I agree there is no need to balance trailer tires, your comment on age and replacement struck me as odd. I replace my trailer tires about every two years from wear. I put in a lot of miles (likely more than the average), but I can't even imagine getting 6-7 years on a trailer tire.


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