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aspendog
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:25 am    Post subject: 14 Inch Tire Question Reply with quote

I've done some searching on the threads regarding tires but got a bit overwhelmed so here goes. Whats the best currently available tire to go on the stock 14 inch rims for a Westy?
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:29 am    Post subject: tires Reply with quote

I wish you luck on getting a simple answer on this one!

Brian. Laughing
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG that's a can of worms - be ready for too much information! Seriously, I just went through this a month ago and finally settled on Hankook RA08's from busdepot.com. My criteria (primary uses: sporadic trips to town & multiple local camping weekends plus annual major family road trip):

1) needed tires NOW!
2) had to keep stock 14" rims (maybe upgrade later, but can't now)
3) recommended by SOMEONE (many GREAT recommendations in this case)
4) good load rating ("D" in this case - I tend to pack a lot in the van!)
5) good dry & wet traction rating (I will NOT need for snow & sand)
6) wear rating not a real concern (not putting on a lot of miles annually)
7) reasonable price (~$70 ea.) & shipping (~$15 ea.)
Cool peace of mind & no second guessing

Ultimately, this page sold me: (sorry, I'm url-deprived) <http://busdepot.com/details/tires.jsp>

They were available slightly cheaper elsewhere but I went with busdepot to support this excellent VW vendor. The ride is good & definitely improvement over the (similar, but 14 year old) tires they replaced.

Good luck & happy trails!

- Dave
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dhaavers
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

more: (scroll down to "Hankook")...not a bad review in the bunch.

<http://www.roadhaus.com/tires.html>
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regis101
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read the 70+ pages in the Tire Sticky over at the Bay Window forum.
Your question has been asked a few times in this forum.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: 14 Inch Tire Question Reply with quote

aspendog wrote:
I've done some searching on the threads regarding tires but got a bit overwhelmed so here goes. Whats the best currently available tire to go on the stock 14 inch rims for a Westy?

Me too. I have to outfit a van with 14s. Which size due you want?

185-14
205/70-14
OR?

I currently have 205s on the van in question. I see a few 205s that are rated right. But, I have to go look. For example:

General Altimax is 98T and XL rated at about $55 each.

But, I gotta search too. I looked a LONG time for a 16 inch that did not break the bank. Now I have a new application I need new tires for.....sigh....
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levi
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the Nokian, especially since you're in Michigan.
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I now have searched the site and googled about the General Altimax RT. 205/709R14 98R XL is a 51psi tire with 824 revs per mile.

This tire is rated right for the 5200 pound GVW Westy.

I find scant reference to this tire on TheSamba here as I read a small number of people were not thrilled with the tire but I could not totally understand why? Even the above mentioned Bay Window tire thread.

Borrowing the math from http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=413680

"The math is" (819-824)/819=-0.006 meaning this stock size is a little small!

So I guess from the above and above thread we could go a bit taller yet.

FYI: General is owned by Continetal, just how bad can it be?

I don't want to thread jack, but:
So what less than 10% larger 14 inch tire might one consider?
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Randy in Maine
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about a 195R14?

http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=RA08195

My tire calculator shows from 1010tires:

185R14 = 811 rev/mile
195R14 = 791 rev/mile
205/70/14 = 822 rev/mile
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r39o
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Randy in Maine wrote:
How about a 195R14?

http://www.busdepot.com/details.jsp?partnumber=RA08195

My tire calculator shows from 1010tires:

185R14 = 811 rev/mile
195R14 = 791 rev/mile
205/70/14 = 822 rev/mile


So do the math (811 and 819 are within 1% (tire wear, OK?) not a big deal.)

(811-791)/811=0.246 or about 2.5% - which is somewhat better....

From the above thread I got the math from, it states above 10% people complain. (As an aside, I am considering a change in 4th gear from .86 to .77 as I must fix the transmission, but that is not on topic.)
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 7:43 pm    Post subject: The Hancook is very good Reply with quote

> General Altimax RT. 205/709R14 98R XL

the hankook is a MUCH better choice

the altimax is a passenger tire load rated for 1653 lbs

Vanagons are supposed to use Light Truck tires

if you do use a passenger tire, you are supposed to derate the specs by 9%, according to roadhaus.com tires info. and the tire should have a minimum of 1580lb load rating..

1653-9%= 1504 lbs, which is below spec of 1580 lbs
that means it will be a little weak in the sidewalls for our 4000-5000 lb westies...

the altimax tire weighs 23 pounds, compare to a general grabber at2 in 27x8.5x14, which weighs 33 lbs.. there has got to be more material in a tire that weighs 10 pounds more.. the grabber is a light truck tire, not a passenger car..

now the hankook specs
Load Index: 102
Load Range: D
Max Load: 1874 lbs
Max [email protected] Pressure: 65 psi
Tire Weight: ?
Diameter: 25.6"
Revs/per Mile: 812

This is Far and Away superior to the Altimax, look at the load rating of 1874 lbs, and the Load Range D, which means burly sidewalls..

for a loaded, approx 5000 lb 2wd westy, I suggest the following tire pressures for the Hankook RA08
front 40psi
rear 48psi

Also look at the silver sticker on your doorjamb.. on my 2wd westy it suggests 39psi front, 48psi rear, for a 185R14 tire (that had a load rating of 1710 @ 55psi, the hankook is burlier)

> As an aside, I am considering a change in 4th gear from .86 to .77 as I must fix the transmission, but that is not on topic

that will make 4th gear 10% taller than stock.. why would you want to do that, do you have a more powerful motor than stock?
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have the hankook 195s and have been very happy with them. i would certainly recommend them.
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Re: 14 Inch Tire Question Reply with quote

aspendog wrote:
I've done some searching on the threads regarding tires but got a bit overwhelmed so here goes. Whats the best currently available tire to go on the stock 14 inch rims for a Westy?


There is not a best tire in any size in general.

There is a best tire for you based on how you use the westy which is unstated.

All-season, severe weather, frequent long road trips -- I'd suggest the nokian if you can get them.

Around town use with the occasional weekend trip, maybe one or two long road trips per year - Hankooks are good.

Frequent back or off-roading and town use - perhaps the general grabbers (similar to the BFG's).

I don't think you could go wrong with any of them. Depends on what width you want, how much you can afford.
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:28 pm    Post subject: Re: The Hancook is very good Reply with quote

Jon_slider wrote:
> General Altimax RT. 205/709R14 98R XL

the hankook is a MUCH better choice

the altimax is a passenger tire load rated for 1653 lbs

Vanagons are supposed to use Light Truck tires

if you do use a passenger tire, you are supposed to derate the specs by 9%, according to roadhaus.com tires info. and the tire should have a minimum of 1580lb load rating..

1653-9%= 1504 lbs, which is below spec of 1580 lbs
that means it will be a little weak in the sidewalls for our 4000-5000 lb westies...

You don't de-rate XL tires, *IF* I read the below right as they are reinforced:

http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/guideline.html

From what I gather the Altimax meets the requirements of the above URL.

Also from the above URL what we need for a 2WD camper is a minimum of 1433 pounds of capacity per wheel. So even the calculated 1504 is enough. If just barely.

It is to note that the weights used are the max GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) when we load up the van to capacity. The normal (not loaded to the gills) weight is less.

Please show me I am really wrong about this General tire. Did I mis-read what is in the above Roadhaus link???????

While I am sure the Hankook is rated just fine, I am hoping there are a few more to choose from. The Vanco is only in the 185-14 size for example and I am hoping to use a wider tire.

I hope the above is in line with what the original poster is asking.
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Last edited by r39o on Fri May 14, 2010 10:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said, WestyBob! That's why I posted my criteria - Hankooks are good for me. If you have the same criteria, they'll be good for you. I garage the van for these MN winters, so no need for snow tires (but I have chains if I ever get in a pinch.) Now we wait on an update from OP...
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> Also from the above URL what we need for a 2WD camper is a minimum of 1433 pounds of capacity per wheel.

you are correct, well done,
thanks for expanding my education, add general altimax to your choices Smile

and I agree the Nokian are also an excellent choice
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 12:35 am    Post subject: Re: The Hancook is very good Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
Jon_slider wrote:
> General Altimax RT. 205/709R14 98R XL

the hankook is a MUCH better choice

the altimax is a passenger tire load rated for 1653 lbs

Vanagons are supposed to use Light Truck tires

if you do use a passenger tire, you are supposed to derate the specs by 9%, according to roadhaus.com tires info. and the tire should have a minimum of 1580lb load rating..

1653-9%= 1504 lbs, which is below spec of 1580 lbs
that means it will be a little weak in the sidewalls for our 4000-5000 lb westies...

You don't de-rate XL tires, *IF* I read the below right as they are reinforced:

http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/guideline.html

From what I gather the Altimax meets the requirements of the above URL.

Also from the above URL what we need for a 2WD camper is a minimum of 1433 pounds of capacity per wheel. So even the calculated 1504 is enough. If just barely.

It is to note that the weights used are the max GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) when we load up the van to capacity. The normal (not loaded to the gills) weight is less.

Please show me I am really wrong about this General tire. Did I mis-read what is in the above Roadhaus link???????



That 1433 # is taken out of context.
A couple excerpts taken from Larry's site:

Vanagon & Camper ... GAWR Rear 2866 / 2 = 1433 lbs on each rear wheel if loaded to capacity.

Here's where some folks stop.

They assume that if they buy a tire rated to carry the maximum rated weight capacity they would be OK.

Not true .. please read on....."


"One of the most important numbers to keep in mind as we proceed is .... 1580 lbs.
I will show that each rear tire needs to be able to carry a minimum of 1580 lbs of weight at "actual inflation" values."
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bought the BFG 195/75/14 All terrrain for my 90 multivan with factory allow wheels.I LOVE THEM. They look great-ride great-the correct size(speedo w/in 1 mph) .They are a bit pricey-$600 installed at Discount Tire but well worth it after a recent camping trip in some muddy spots.There is a noticable slight roar to them between 20 and 50 mph.Above 50 the sweet sounds of the waterboxer and wind take over. The A/C running will cover up all noise.Just my $.02.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

> You don't de-rate XL tires, *IF* I read the below right as they are reinforced:

I agree that according to the roadhaus link, you do NOT need to derate an XL passenger tire..

but Im still concerned that the Altimax weighs only 23lbs, compared to a grabber that weights 33lbs

and, since you can get a light truck tire, why use a passenger tire?

> "One of the most important numbers to keep in mind as we proceed is .... 1580 lbs.
I will show that each rear tire needs to be able to carry a minimum of 1580 lbs of weight at "actual inflation" values."

thanks for that quote levi, it seems r39o has actually read the link correctly and the Altimax does have an XL rating, so the 1653 lb load rating should not be derated..

Volkswagen used 3 different tires for syncros, the reinforced 205/70R14 97R passenger tire rated 1580 lbs, a 6 ply 185R14C 6PR tire rated for load index 99, 1710 lbs max load, and a 205R14C 6PR/8PR with a load index of 109, max load of 2270 lbs..

the 195 BFG, 205 Nokian, and 185 Hankook, all meet or beat the 1710 load rating..

to summarize 14" Light Truck tires available, besides the altimax
1. General Grabber, better in snow than BFG, good offroad, but marginal at 1520lbs max load, the BFG is better in terms of load rating. The reason I use the 27x8.5x14 General Grabber is it is slightly taller than the 195/75R14 BFG..

2. Nokian excells in Snow, load ranges over 100, good offroad, smoother on highway than a Grabber or BFG. The Nokian also works very well on dirt.

3. BFG the gold standard in offroad tires, 195/75R14 is load rated 1710 lbs @ 65psi (note that the 195 is Not snow rated)

4. Hankook an excellent, strong, smooth road tire, max load is 1874 lbs @ 65psi

So like WestyBob said, there is not one right tire, depends if you do dirt (BFG), snow (nokian), or only highwy (Hankook)..

btw, Vanagon Speedos are notoriously innacurate, regardless what tire you use, I suggest confirming your speed with a GPS before you trust your speedo.
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PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a copy/paste from the Bus tire sticky. Would be worth investigating , IMO. It is also my opinion that the tire be a reinforced side wall to help with sway.

*Wow. The Goodyear Wrangler HT actually show the specs. There are enough Hankook testimonials. It'd be a hard decision. Maybe the vendor will allow you to view each one before you buy? Tirerack does not show the 185r14C. I found this copy/paste on Goodyears site.

Type of Tire: Light Truck
Section Width in inches: 7.5
Rim Diameter in Inches: 14
Tire Size: 185R14
Tire Size: 185R14C
Tire Size: 185-14C
Load Ratings & Specs:
Load Range: C
Maximum Load in lbs.: 1710
Maximum Cold Pressure in psi: 55
Other Size Specifications:
Overall Diameter in inches: 25.5
Tread Depth in inches: 10
Measured Rim Width in inches: 5.5
Approved Rim Width in inches: 5.0 - 6.0
Design:
Sidewall Treatment: Black serrated letters
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