Choosing Between Radial or Bias Ply Tires for Boat Trailer

Question:

why bias instead of radial tires on a boat trailer

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Expert Reply:

The only instance where we might conceivably recommend a bias ply tire over a radial tire would be for farm or agricultural use where the tire would primarily be used on non-paved surfaces. This is due to the fact that the thicker sidewalls used on bias-ply tires would offer more stability.

For a boat trailer, or any other trailer used on pavement a radial tire is preferable. A radial tire will have a more flexible sidewall, which provides better tread contact with the pavement. Radial tires also do a better job of shedding heat. Since excessive heat is the biggest contributor to premature tire wear and failure, I would highly recommend going with a radial tire if one is available in the size and load range you need.

There is not a radial ST185/80R13 load range D wheel/tire combo available, I would recommend part # AM31985 which is a ST175/80R13 load range D tire on the same wheel. This tire is only .2 of an inch narrower and .3 of an inch less in diameter than the bias-ply wheel/tire combo you referenced, and would work very well for you. The size difference is negligible and would not cause the trailer to ride any differently.

I have linked you to our Trailer Tire FAQ article.

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Michael L

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