Caravan Tyre Load Margins

Nov 11, 2009
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A very recent thread now drawn(ing) to a close included quite a number of comments about the tyres that caravan makers supply on new caravans. In particular do the caravan makers only fit tyres that are close to and just above the MTPLM of the caravan, and budget brands. In that thread there was discussions on upgrading types. but what upgrades are available? There's the obvious one of increasing the Load Index (LI) and/or buying a higher branded make of tyre. Whether this latter option does effect an "upgrade" is not the subject of this post. So I thought it worth asking Forum members to participate in a simple survey as this subject has been of interest to me for quite a while.

The background is that I had new 2005 Bailey Series 5 Bordeaux with an upgraded MTPLM of 1400kg and the LI for the tyres was 96 which gave a total tyre loading of 1420kg The tyres were Trailermaxx. Being a size that were difficult to get after five years I purchased GT Radials ST 6000 of a more common size with a higher LI of 104. This gave a margin of 400kg over the caravans MTPLM. Bailey approved the change. The reason I upgraded to a higher LI was around 2010 when my Trailermaxx were due for a five year change there was a spate of tyre failures on caravans, so that drove my thinking. Also around then the caravan makers and industry started to advise that the tyres should have a combined LI 10% above MTPLM. There should be no engineering reason for this other than the concern that perhaps caravans were being overloaded above MTPLM. So from then I know that both Swift and Bailey stated to fit tyres with around a 10% higher load margins above MTPLM. Whether they do now I know not.

So i thought it would be interesting to see what the position is now by conducting a fly-survey of members' own caravans.

Q1 What is the year and make of your caravan?
Q2 What is the MTPLM of the caravan?
Q3 What is the OEM LI of the tyres?
Q4 What is the combined load capacity of the OEM tyres?
Q5 What is the brand of the OEM tyres?
Q6 What brand are now fitted if tyres have been changed?
Q7 What LI is now fitted if the tyres have been changed?
Q8 What is the the combined load capacity of the self purchased fitted tyres?

For starters here are my caravan answers.

Q1 2013 Swift Sprite
Q2 1300kg
Q3 Li99
Q4 1550kg
Q5 Hankook Vantra LT
Q6 Hankook Vantra LT
Q7 LI 99
Q8 1550kg

A Load Index chart is below.


Load Index chart
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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Q1 What is the year and make of your caravan? 2013 Lunar Clubman ES
Q2 What is the MTPLM of the caravan? 1495 kg
Q3 What is the OEM LI of the tyres? 102/100
Q4 What is the combined load capacity of the OEM tyres? 1700 kg
Q5 What is the brand of the OEM tyres? Trailermaxx
Q6 What brand are now fitted if tyres have been changed? Nexen CT8
Q7 What LI is now fitted if the tyres have been changed? 102/100
Q8 What is the the combined load capacity of the self purchased fitted tyres? 1700 kg


Back in the '80s, UK caravan makers used to fit tyres with load limits 10% BELOW the maximum gross weight on the basis that speeds were much lower than the speed rating for the tyres - ordinary car tyres in those days. At some point, UK makers switched to fitting tyres with limits 10% ABOVE the maximum gross weight, which is what I use when buying new tyres.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Q1 What is the year and make of your caravan? 2013 Lunar Clubman ES
Q2 What is the MTPLM of the caravan? 1495 kg
Q3 What is the OEM LI of the tyres? 102/100
Q4 What is the combined load capacity of the OEM tyres? 1700 kg
Q5 What is the brand of the OEM tyres? Trailermaxx
Q6 What brand are now fitted if tyres have been changed? Nexen CT8
Q7 What LI is now fitted if the tyres have been changed? 102/100
Q8 What is the the combined load capacity of the self purchased fitted tyres? 1700 kg


Back in the '80s, UK caravan makers used to fit tyres with load limits 10% BELOW the maximum gross weight on the basis that speeds were much lower than the speed rating for the tyres - ordinary car tyres in those days. At some point, UK makers switched to fitting tyres with limits 10% ABOVE the maximum gross weight, which is what I use when buying new tyres.
Thanks the change to higher load ratings seemed to be around 2010 after spate of failures associated with the tyers fitted and not age of the tyres.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Q1 2012 Swift Challenger Sport 442
Q2 Now 1350kg upgraded from 1235kg
Q3 99
Q4 1550kg
Q5 Hankook Vantra LT
Q6 Hankook Vantra LT
Q7 99
Q8 1550.

For my spare I bought a budget tyre with the same load markings
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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Q1 Swift Challenger Sport 442
Q2 Now 1350kg upgraded from 1235kg
Q3 99
Q4 1550kg
Q5 Hankook Vantra LT
Q6 Hankook Vantra LT
Q7 99
Q8 1550.

For my spare I bought a budget tyre with the same load markings
P.S Normally I would have inspected the spare and if visually OK, not renewed it, but when the engineer checked it on the service, there was two groves in the tyre from sitting on the carrier, could never have used it if I'd had a puncture. Got a new budget and brought inside van, nice and clean and 99% of the time in the dark.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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P.S Normally I would have inspected the spare and if visually OK, not renewed it, but when the engineer checked it on the service, there was two groves in the tyre from sitting on the carrier, could never have used it if I'd had a puncture. Got a new budget and brought inside van, nice and clean and 99% of the time in the dark.
That’s a very good point about the carrier. I gave up on those some years ago as I didn’t want to risk pulling a spare out into a moving traffic flow when abroad. The wheel just sat in the van and was chained underneath when on site.
 
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Feb 23, 2018
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My tyres are fitted from the factory and think the paper-exercise MTPLM re-plate is up to 1500KG.

Q1: 2018 Swift Sprite Major 4 SB [S/A] (Built Dec 17)
Q2: 1437kg
Q3: LI=102/100 [Speed rating R]
Q4: 1700KG (850kg Single 800kg Dual @65PSI)
Q5: Laufenn 'X Fit Van' (Hankook sub-brand) 185/R14c [M+S]
Q6: N/A
Q7: N/A
Q8: N/A

Spare is mounted internally under fixed bed, same tyre mounted to steel rim.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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When we had a blow out while parked on a campsite, the spare was fitted. However on our return home trying to get the same brand of tyre for the allow wheel was impossible so we had to take the spare wheel tyre and the alloy wheel tyre to a fitter and ask them to switch the tyres around. In France apparently you cannot have odd tyres on the same axle anmd we visited France a lot at the time.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Q1 What is the year and make of your caravan? 2008 Hymer /Eriba Nova S
Q2 What is the MTPLM of the caravan? 1890 kgs
Q3 What is the OEM LI of the tyres? 109
Q4 What is the combined load capacity of the OEM tyres? 2060KGs
Q5 What is the brand of the OEM tyres? Goodyear Cargo 218/70/R 15C 109S
Q6 What brand are now fitted if tyres have been changed? Goodyear Cargos designation exactly as OEM, but of changed design.
Q7 What LI is now fitted if the tyres have been changed? 109S
Q8 What is the the combined load capacity of the self purchased fitted tyres? 2060 kgs


It is worth noting Hymer fitted commercial "C" tyres, not "car tyres", and these are tyres with a speed rating of "S" 180km/h = 119 mph on a van for use at just up to 62 mph.
I am not in favour of arbitrarily uprating caravan tyres simply for a "comfort margin" on their load carrying. This is because with the rudimentary axle suspension our vans have, the tyre's compliance is a major factor in the characteristics of the overall suspension system.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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The tyres are on our Elddis twin axle are "R14 90" so not sure if they are car or commecial tyres. PSI is 49psi.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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I am not in favour of arbitrarily uprating caravan tyres simply for a "comfort margin" on their load carrying. This is because with the rudimentary axle suspension our vans have, the tyre's compliance is a major factor in the characteristics of the overall suspension system.
Spot on, I don’t have the data Otherclive asked for to hand, but the original tyres on my van were condemned at just two years old and they were not old when fitted to the van.

I upgraded. Just by 1 load index, but I had increased the MTPLM of the van. My main upgrade was to a tyre of recognised quality. As I had quoted in that other topic, the CMHC state that some manufacturers fit ‘cheap’ tyres to new vans. Lunar certainly did in my case.

John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Q1 What is the year and make of your caravan? 2008 Hymer /Eriba Nova S
Q2 What is the MTPLM of the caravan? 1890 kgs
Q3 What is the OEM LI of the tyres? 109
Q4 What is the combined load capacity of the OEM tyres? 2060KGs
Q5 What is the brand of the OEM tyres? Goodyear Cargo 218/70/R 15C 109S
Q6 What brand are now fitted if tyres have been changed? Goodyear Cargos designation exactly as OEM, but of changed design.
Q7 What LI is now fitted if the tyres have been changed? 109S
Q8 What is the the combined load capacity of the self purchased fitted tyres? 2060 kgs


It is worth noting Hymer fitted commercial "C" tyres, not "car tyres", and these are tyres with a speed rating of "S" 180km/h = 119 mph on a van for use at just up to 62 mph.
I am not in favour of arbitrarily uprating caravan tyres simply for a "comfort margin" on their load carrying. This is because with the rudimentary axle suspension our vans have, the tyre's compliance is a major factor in the characteristics of the overall suspension system.
So did Swift Sprite in the case of my caravan C tyres from Hankook a quality brand.
 
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Spot on, I don’t have the data Otherclive asked for to hand, but the original tyres on my van were condemned at just two years old and they were not old when fitted to the van.

I upgraded. Just by 1 load index, but I had increased the MTPLM of the van. My main upgrade was to a tyre of recognised quality. As I had quoted in that other topic, the CMHC state that some manufacturers fit ‘cheap’ tyres to new vans. Lunar certainly did in my case.

John
On our twin axle Lunar we had one blow out in the first year. In second year AWS tech informed us that one of the tyres had a puncture repair so that must have been before we bought the caravan and we bought new. Another tyre was cracking. All tyres must have been at least 3 years old when fitted to the caravan!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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On our twin axle Lunar we had one blow out in the first year. In second year AWS tech informed us that one of the tyres had a puncture repair so that must have been before we bought the caravan and we bought new. Another tyre was cracking. All tyres must have been at least 3 years old when fitted to the caravan!
I seem to recall reading an EU document that allowed “ new” tyres up to five years old to be fitted as new ones to cars.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I seem to recall reading an EU document that allowed “ new” tyres up to five years old to be fitted as new ones to cars.
Actually I think rather than an EU dictate it is simply just an industry accepted standard based on the German Tyre industry's trade association, as refered to in this :_ LINK

I have my own "standard" of what I will accept, in return for our money and it is very different to the trade's. Otherwise you could look for just a one year life from supposedly "new" caravan tyres, when they reach the suggested 6 year life!!!!!
 
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Jun 16, 2020
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On our twin axle Lunar we had one blow out in the first year. In second year AWS tech informed us that one of the tyres had a puncture repair so that must have been before we bought the caravan and we bought new. Another tyre was cracking. All tyres must have been at least 3 years old when fitted to the caravan!
The tyres on my 2015 Lunar we’re dated 2015! Yet still only lasted 2 years.

I once had a great deal on 4 Mickelin car tyres and rims from a car dealer. Brand new and never used, but 5 years old. I called Michelin for advice. They told me that as long as they had been kept indoors and out of the sun then it would be no problem. As they were for a car and not a caravan. They only needed to last another 2/3 years so no problem and all was well.

But buying a caravan new I would expect the same years tyre to be fitted. But most of us, including myself, would like to think that the manufacturer had specified good quality tyres to compliment their product and had NOT scimped with their end customers safety.

Just a thought. Are some here reading upgrading as uprating. Two different things IMO

John
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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including myself, would like to think that the manufacturer had specified good quality tyres to compliment their product and had NOT scimped with their end customers safety.
Caravans are built to a price so makers will go for whatever "does the job" at the cheapest cost option.
They will not fit "Premium " tyres if budget meets the need.

If they were worried about complimenting their product they would use things like stainless steel screws instead of the type they use normally.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The tyres on my 2015 Lunar we’re dated 2015! Yet still only lasted 2 years.

I once had a great deal on 4 Mickelin car tyres and rims from a car dealer. Brand new and never used, but 5 years old. I called Michelin for advice. They told me that as long as they had been kept indoors and out of the sun then it would be no problem. As they were for a car and not a caravan. They only needed to last another 2/3 years so no problem and all was well.

But buying a caravan new I would expect the same years tyre to be fitted. But most of us, including myself, would like to think that the manufacturer had specified good quality tyres to compliment their product and had NOT scimped with their end customers safety.

Just a thought. Are some here reading upgrading as uprating. Two different things IMO

John
Caravans are built to a price so makers will go for whatever "does the job" at the cheapest cost option.
They will not fit "Premium " tyres if budget meets the need.

If they were worried about complimenting their product they would use things like stainless steel screws instead of the type they use normally.

The earlier thread "Tyres again" was criticised by some as drifting off topic and verging on points scoring. But there was a theme to some of the posts that manufacturers only fitted tyers close to the caravans MTPLM and also that they use budget tyres. In my mind the content of this thread was to find out what makers fitted wrt MTPL and tyre price bracket (budget, mid range or premium) or make. I think that most members who answer are intelligent enough to see what the aim is, and to start to mix "upgrade" and "uprate" will only serve to divert things and lead to Collins web site becoming clogged.


https://www.dictionary.com/browse/uprate
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Caravans are built to a price so makers will go for whatever "does the job" at the cheapest cost option.
They will not fit "Premium " tyres if budget meets the need.
What they fit could also reflect how they see their brand, let alone how we do.

In my direct experience, both road tyres failing within three years, and the spare also being accepted by the tyre importer as "substandard", really can't be viewed as "does the job".
 
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Feb 23, 2018
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But there was a theme to some of the posts that manufacturers only fitted tyers close to the caravans MTPLM and also that they use budget tyres
To quote Hankook on their Laufenn brand:
Laufenn tyres for cars and SUVs are aimed in particular at a price-conscious, yet quality-conscious target group, and will cover all common sizes
I guess this applies to van tyres too, so it seems that Swift, in my instance anyway, wanted a good tyre, but not pay for a name brand.

Incidentally the tyres on my van are marked: 1717 (mid-April 2017) so were 1 year old when I took delivery of the caravan. They're in excellent condition, but I do keep them covered in storage and treated with Meguiar's tyre dressing (no idea if this helps).
 
Nov 11, 2009
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To quote Hankook on their Laufenn brand:


I guess this applies to van tyres too, so it seems that Swift, in my instance anyway, wanted a good tyre, but not pay for a name brand.

Incidentally the tyres on my van are marked: 1717 (mid-April 2017) so were 1 year old when I took delivery of the caravan. They're in excellent condition, but I do keep them covered in storage and treated with Meguiar's tyre dressing (no idea if this helps).
Most quality brands market mid range tyre, so whilst it may not have the outright performance of a premium range tyre the quality of manufacture should be good. I've had Firestone Vanhawks which are Bridgestones mid range made in the same factory in Turkey as Turanzas. after seeing delivery vans in Turkey haring down long stretches of unmade roads I was content to fit them to the caravan.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Caravans are built to a price so makers will go for whatever "does the job" at the cheapest cost option.
They will not fit "Premium " tyres if budget meets the need.

If they were worried about complimenting their product they would use things like stainless steel screws instead of the type they use normally.
Sadly I agree with you. But for the same reasons that JTQ stated:

What they fit could also reflect how they see their brand, let alone how we do.

In my direct experience, both road tyres failing within three years, and the spare also being accepted by the tyre importer as "substandard", really can't be viewed as "does the job".
Your accurate interpretation is also a sad reflection on the industry.

Car manufactures make a selling point of putting premium tyres on. It did Bailey no harm I think, in adding the cost of safety bolts to their wheels.

———-

I apologise to the OP, for suggesting that some are confusing upgrade with uprate. But I did say some, only because that is what I have noticed. (In both threads). I also feel the differentiation to be important. Probably based across both topics.

I agree that this topic is related specifically to load rating. And I think I am right in saying that all who have quoted their new tyres have stuck to the original quoted ratings. Which I believe is great considering the insightful comments again from JTQ in post #9.

John
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks, I agree that load index and margin over MTPLM are what I consider to be of most importance. The reason I also included some questions on brands is because there seemed to be a perception that caravan makers fit budget tyres from possibly obscure brands to new caravans. There haven’t been too many replies on the latter aspect. But certainly so far there’s been a Hankook sub brand ( ok), Hankook premium, and Goodyears. So it’s not all doom and gloom. What are Eldiss, Bailey, Coachman and Adria currently fitting re load margin and brand would be interesting.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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It could be argued that simply a tyre being branded does not matter. As supposedly all tyres sold in this country have to be made to a minimum standard in a number of respects. So any tyre will do. But certainly myself and Buckman have had poor experiences with the original tyres on our Lunars. In my case it was from a quality or longevity point of view as opposed to load bearing.

And the CMHC say in their blurb.

“It is very rare for original equipment tyres to have insufficient load carrying capacity to cope with the maximum weight of the caravan. However, it is more common that manufacturers specify a tyre which is only just capable of such a load, and owners may wish to increase the safety margin when choosing replacements.“

John
 

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