Matching Trailer Wheels to Tow Vehicle

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:13
ThreadID: 31753 Views:5397 Replies:9 FollowUps:10
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Hi All,

I know that it is common practise and understand the theory behind it
but how important in the real world is matching the tyres/rims to the
tow vehicle. If for instance in my case I have a Discovery with 245/75
R16s which are approx 31" in the old talk, would it be such a disaster
if I run 31.10R15 on the trailer, a very cheap and easy to obtain size
anywhere, much easier than the tyre size on my Disco. I could also see
reason in the width of the trailer tyres to be the same or less than
that of the tow vehicle to reduce drag off road.

I was looking at the fact on extended trips that with one spare for
the trailer and car plus tubes and a good repair kit would suffice,
and on particurly remote trips then perhaps a spare tyre casing of
each size which wouldn't realy add that much to the trailer load.

What do the people that hire units do for extended trips as you really
dont have much choice to match up wheels unless your running an older
6 stud Cruiser as most hire units seem to be that style.

What do the majority of people on this board run on their campers?

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:39

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:39
Good topic Glen........

I run matching tyres and rims on my camper and have 3 full spares/wheels (2 on the swing-away carrier on the back of the Patrol and one of the back of the Ultimate Camper).

What you are proposing makes a lot of sense. I have never had even ONE flat tyre when on any of our extended trips, but it's nice to know that if the CHIT ever really hit the fan, I could use a tyre/wheel off the camper trailer to get me out of trouble.....might mean leaving the camper on the side of the road with 2 flat tyres or no wheels at all, while I went to a town to get 4 fixed or whatever. The chances of that ever happening are pretty remote!!! (I hope!!! hahaha)


AnswerID: 160621

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 16:19

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 16:19
Mental Note : Do not travel with Roachie until the Great Puncture God has shown him the error of his ways :)))))
FollowupID: 415478

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 16:25

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 16:25
Wot's up Gramps???? Do you reckon I'm due for a serious bout of "flat-fever"? hahaha
FollowupID: 415480

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 00:32

Thursday, Mar 16, 2006 at 00:32
Ssssshhhh Roachie. He might hear you.

I've had sfa punctures off/on road so the chances are that if we travelled together all Hell would break loose :))))))) Even the spares would get punctures before touching the ground LOLOL
FollowupID: 415575

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:42

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:42

If you have the room for the additional spares and don't mind the hassle of swapping over a casing on a damaged tyre, then there is no problem.

The reason people use the same rim/tyre size on both vehicle and trailer is that you then have two spares ready for deployment.

Fixing or repairing punctures is best left for the end of day, at camp IMO.

As far as hire units are concerned, I would guess that availability of additional spares is not in the equation. People would have one spare for each.

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AnswerID: 160622

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:53

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 11:53
G'day Glen,

Let you know right up front I'm of the pro same wheels school of thought. This was reinforced on my last trip when I had 2 punctures coming out of Birdsville (new tyres on the vehicle and after having done 14,000 K with only one other flat) Anyway the wheels on the trailer were supposed to be the same as the vehicle (stipulated to manufacturer) but it turns out the offset was way different, however I was still able to use the spare on the rear but being one of those cheaper style (non genuine) sunraysia style of wheel it wasn't perfectly round and a small spot on the rim was touching on the caliper. Couldn't do much about it till Toowoomba.

Now have Nissan rims right around including spares and wish I did this from the start because I also had to deal with the different offset converting the spare on the trailer mainly. You just never know what will happen on extended trips and whilst it is great to plan for new tyres etc it also pays to have the same wheels to make the journey just that much less hasle when things go wrong.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 160624

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:49

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:49

You have highlighted a very important situation.

What the salesman says and what you end up getting is not necessarily the same.

It pays to try the swap over while at home, in your own driveway, where misfitment will not bring about a fit of rage, or distress.

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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:59

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:59
Too right Sand Man, it is pretty annoying to find that you have a problem whilst trekking. There is no chance to fix the problem in some of these remote locations. The biggest concern for me was that the wheel was not perfectly round and this was only an issue with the calipers on the truck and not the drum brakes on the trailer.

Salesmen will tell you anything and it well worth checking when you take delivery. The point is also valid in the context of making sure the gear works as intended before you leave home.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Redback - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 12:35

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 12:35
Glen i went to the trouble of matching my camper rims to my Disco, it's a hassle but worth it as i only have to worry about one type of rim and tyre, and 245/75/16s are easy to get everywhere, also 265/70, and 255/70 or 75 will do if the 245/75s are not availible.

Also if you get Commodore brake hubs and get the drilled out to fit the 14mm Landy stud it will be much easier and cheaper than getting hubs made from scratch.

I have Range Rover P38a 8" rims and 245/75/16s on the camper


PS, do i know you from somewhere ;-)))
AnswerID: 160628

Follow Up By: seqfisho - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:52

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:52
Yes Baz you know me from AULRO ;-))

I thought I'd post this here as I would get a more varied response due to wide range of vehicle types.

My Disco is a Series 1 so Commadore hubs wont suit, different stud pattern I believe it is larger than the D2s etc

My other concern is the current price and lack of S1 Disco steel wheels around and I was a bit dubious how alloys would cop the extra abuse on the trailer as it isn't as easy to place the wheels where less damage is likely unlike the car.


PS, Love your rig, its been an inspiration
FollowupID: 415465

Follow Up By: Redback - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 15:53

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 15:53
If yours is a Series 1 then it's no prob to get hubs to suit, most trailer places will have them, "" in the central coast have series 1 Disco hubs in disc or drum.

FollowupID: 415474

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 13:04

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 13:04
I'm a bit like Beatit above, but for different reasons.

My vehicle and trailer wheels are similar, but have a slightly different offset. Vehicle wheels will fit trailer. Trailer wheels will fit rear of vehicle OK, but miss brake calipers on front by only about 2 mm. I therefore don't put them on the front, although I could at a pinch.

On big trips I carry 2 spares for the vehicle and 1 for the trailer. I have enough interchangeability to be able to use all the spares if I ever need to.

I think it is worth the hassle to get the matching wheels or at least as close as I have.

You might go for years without needing them, but one incident in a remote area may leave you with lots of regrets.

seqfisho, from your description, you should be OK to put a vehicle spare on the trailer. Just a matter of whether you can use a trailer spare on the vehicle. If on the front and you don't use 4WD, you should be OK I would think.

This might be good enough until you need to replace your vehicle tyres. Get 31s then to match trailer. Apart from having matching set ups, you will have tyres that are readily available everywhere.

I've never had more than one flat on a trip yet, but I'll continue to carry the three spares. Bit like I've never had a house burnt down, but I keep it insured anyway.
AnswerID: 160633

Reply By: cuffs - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 13:12

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 13:12
I have an X-trail & when I built my off road box trailer I made sure it tracks in line with the tow vehicle same rims all round. Makes it easier when towing through soft sand and creating two lots of tracks.
AnswerID: 160635

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 13:20

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 13:20
The other advantage of having matching wheels on car and camper is that it gives me eight wheels to do the tyre roatation thing.

I am now in the situation where I buy two tyres at a time. I replace the worst of the eight and put them on the car the two worst ones from the car go to the trailer and the two worst from the trailer become spares.

The end result is that I have eight tyres that I am happy to run on the car under any circumstance. If I do have to put a tyre from the trailer onto the car then I can leave it there indefinately.

As for punctures on trips. Cape York trip 8 weeks and 10 punctures including two at once on a couple of occasions. It was nice to be able to bolt on the spares, repair the punctures that night in camp and NOT have to swap wheels around before the next days travel.

AnswerID: 160638

Follow Up By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:54

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 14:54
Hi Duncs ,
Were the punctures in the sidewall or the tread . What sort of tyres were they ?
Thanks ,
Willie .
FollowupID: 415466

Follow Up By: seqfisho - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 15:09

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 15:09
Hi Duncs,

10 in 8 weeks seems an exception to the rules, what were the failures attributed too?

Where they car only or both car and trailer, and were you doing some off track exploring?

FollowupID: 415469

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 19:18

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 19:18
I half expected these questions.

The punctures were all through the tread or on the shoulder and all were on the car.

The first one was on the black top just near Molong in NSW. I just cought the edge of a piece of 4x2 that was on the road and yeah it had a nail in it. I got another nail on the road into Undara Lava Tubes. I think a bolt on the Annan River Bridge near Cooktown got me, it was a big hole and the timing suggested that, also the bridge had just had some repairs done and there were quite a few bolts sticking well up. I picked up a horseshoe nail and a piece of bone (one in each rear tyre) at the Archer River. Probalby as I did a three point turn on the southern side of the causeway.

It was a few years ago now and I am struggling to remember all of them but the last one was the one that relly suprised me. I had the rubber valve stem cut on the expressway as we drove into Brisbane. I had not been in an off road situation since leaving Laura about 5 days earlier. After that I figured it was just my turn. Hadn't had a puncture in 18 years before that.

The tyres were about 2/3 worn Cooper STT's. One of these was the tyre that the Annan River bridge got and it had to be replaced.

My travelling companion did all the same things I did with similar tyre pressures and did not have a single puncture. It was early in the season, we were the third an fourth cars to the tip that year so anything that the rain and receding flood waters had left on the road was still on top and ready for me. None of the punctures were picked up while I was in the tougher parts of the trip. Which we did a fair bit of.

FollowupID: 415513

Reply By: snailbait (Blue mntns) - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 20:21

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 20:21
hi seqfisho
the reason you have to get away from the smaller 6 stud toyo is the size of the socket you have to have this is extra weight and you dont want to over load the trailer ha ha ha ha
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AnswerID: 160730

Reply By: outback epicurean - Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 23:02

Wednesday, Mar 15, 2006 at 23:02

Just to reinforce the need to check rims on trailers despite what the dealer says. Purchased a high end camper and specified rims to match GQ. Rims were not genuine Nissan and would not fit the front as the offset was not correct. Dealer was happy to pay for the swopover but a pain in the a__. Learnt that there are a lot of different rims and offsets and they don't match easily. Never had to use both spares but as per earlier reply, good to be able to swop tyres between truck and trailer and get good use of tyres.

AnswerID: 160790

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