Tire Concerns: Utility trailer tire size

by Joe
(New York )

trailer tires

trailer tires

I just purchased a 5x8 utility trailer which has 4.80x12's on it now. I am going to be hauling an 2004 Yamaha grizzly 660 on it it and was wondering if I could take off the fenders and go with a bigger tire and how big I could go.

There are two things you'd want to be concerned with in considering larger tires for the trailer.

First, if you wish to use the same wheels, you need to choose tires that will fit the wheels, both in diameter, and in width. Usually a manufacturer will provide information about the size of the wheel a tire is designed to fit, and ofter some alternate sizes which are also acceptable.

The other consideration is the possibility of rubbing or mechanical interferance with the larger tire. Removing the fenders may completely eliminate any barriers, but remember that there still may be some movement of the trailer (and the things you load on it) when you hit bumps or sway when turning, etc.

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Trailer Tire Specifications

by dyob
(richland center wi)

I am rebuilding a trailer and will have a lawn mowing service. I may have up to two riding lawn mowers and in winter two snowmobiles. Can I use a spare tire from a 2000 Intrepid as tires for my trailer?

I plan on buying three so I have a spare for my trailer also.

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Utility Trailer Tire - Center Wear and Bounce Problem

by Art

Typical Utility Trailer

Typical Utility Trailer

I have a home built 8" x 5' utility trailer with an old motor home axle. Tire size is 7 x 14.5".

When I am pulling the trailer at a moderate speed of 40 or below it seems to bounce but at higher speeds it rides smooth. I purchased new tires about 9 months ago and now have noticed one tire is wearing in the center and the bounce didn't go away.

My concern is why the bounce and now why is the tire wearing like this?


Have you checked the pressure of your utility trailer tires? The wearing of the tire in the center sounds like a classic sign of over inflation. See Tire Wear Problems for more details which affect utility trailer tires as well as others.

If the wear is not spread around the entire circumferance of the tire, it could be a suspension related issue.

Another thing to pay attention to is if you are changing the load and travelling substantial distances with different weights. Ideally you should be increasing tire pressure when you add weight and lower it when you don't have a load. You would notice a difference in the bouncing if you change the pressure according to the loads you carry.


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Trailer Tire Care and Karma

by Marge

Spare Tire on Trailer

Spare Tire on Trailer

Our latest excursion showed us how important trailer tire care really is.

We are accomplished travelers and it seemed like we were prepared. Fluids in the RV were good, air pressure in the RV tires, good, the trailer brake was in working order, and we had everything we needed to get from point A to point B, or so we thought…why didn’t we look at the trailer tires?

I followed the RV in a Ford F10, pulling a car on a rented U-Haul trailer, keeping and eye on the 27-foot trailer the RV pulled. Inside this trailer, we had enormous amounts of stuff. I suspect it was very close to carrying its full capacity weight limit of 10,000 lbs. Underneath the trailer were four little neglected trailer tires. Why didn’t we think of those little tires too?

As I followed the RV and trailer, nothing seemed out of the ordinary. When we stopped at a rest area, we noticed the tire pressure in our trailer tires looked a little low and figured the next time we stopped, we would just put in a little air and be on our way. At a Gas N’Go, we gassed up, checked the contents of the trailer, did our potty break thing, and considered everything to be all right, but we soon decided to stop for the day. It was about 100 degrees outside.

The next day it was still hot. Temperatures were around 105 degrees. The road was hotter yet and our trailer tires were taking the heat. As I followed the RV and trailer, I saw bits and pieces of a tire from the rear right side of our trailer explode and fly all over the place. We had failed to realize how the heat would affect our worn and under inflated trailer tires.

I promptly got on the phone and told my husband we lost a tire on the trailer. He had felt it go and promptly pulled over to the side of the deserted, hot road. We rummaged around in the trailer and with much sweat and a few curse words, extracted the spare tire from the trailer, soon realizing the spare was beautifully mounted on a rim that did not fit our trailer. Another lesson learned; know your spare tire fits your equipment. I managed to find a shop that graciously removed the tire from one rim and put it on the correct rim for $10.00. We aired up both the tires to the correct pressure and were on the road again with no worries.

Wrong. During the demise of our first trailer tire, the other tire on the right side had had to do a lot of extra work. It (the other trailer tire) decided after another 150 miles that it needed to blow up too, this time taking a little bit of the side of the trailer with it. In neglecting to do what we should have done and what we knew to do, but didn’t do, we paid the price. The moral of the story, be aware of the outdoor temperature, uneven tire wear, tire pressure, and trailer weight, otherwise those over looked little trailer tires will get you back. When it comes to trailer tire karma, treat your tires good and they will do the same for you.

Carrying a spare for your trailer doesn't hurt either.

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