Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

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Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Belmo » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:17 pm

I just finished (yesterday) putting together the trailer that will be the base of my new teardrop. It's the Northern Tool 5x8 job. I'm exciting to get into the meat of the project, which is designing and building the actual cabin.

I am looking to upgrade the tires and wheels, mostly because I want something a bit beefier and sturdier on the trailer, and partly because if I have to buy an extra wheel (can't go somewhere without a spare), I figure I'd rather buy better wheels, and then use the out-of-the-box wheels as spares. I like the idea of getting two new wheels, and then having two spares, in case something really bad happens.

I'm looking at 14-inch wheels, in particular a pair of Providers wheels from etrailer (Provider ST205/75R14 Radial Trailer Tire; model TTWA14RWM). But I'm finding conflicting information about whether these wheels will fit on the NT trailer/axle.

I've measured he hubs, and these are the same size that the trailer came with (5 on 4 1/2). But I've seen stuff that says the NT axle won't accept tires bigger than 13 inches, and I've seen other stuff that says that it will take tires up to 14 inches. I can order them, I guess, and see if they fit when they get here, but I think I'd rather try to verify first, to avoid (maybe) having to make a return.

Does anyone who has used this trailer, or who knows this stuff better than me (I'm completely new at all things towing), have any idea what I'm talking about? Will the Provider tires work? Or should I look at something different, or just use the stock tires?

Any help will be gratefully appreciated. Thank you! :thumbsup:
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Woodbutcher » Mon Jul 01, 2019 12:55 pm

I put 15 " wheels on my NT trailer. I did need to get 1" wheel spacers to move the larger tire/wheel away from the frame. Put 25K miles on that setup with no issues.
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Tomterrific » Mon Jul 01, 2019 1:12 pm

You have, possibly, the larger diameter fouling the fender and wider tire fouling the frame. What is the width of the stock tires? The new tires are 205mm wide. Say the originals are 155mm, then the difference is 50mm or two inches. At an approximate estimate the new tires sidewall will be 1 inch closer to the frame rail. I think this is as close you can come without actually trying the new tire/wheel package.

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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Belmo » Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:00 pm

Thank you to both of you!

Two things:

1) Fenders are not an issue -- my trailer kit came with them, but I'm not going to use them.

2) I don't know the diameter of the stock wheels, but I'm going to measure. I think the tires I want might fit.

Thank you in particular for the information about spacers: I think that I'm going to order the tires, and get spacers later if I need to.

Cheers to you both.
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Woodbutcher » Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:55 pm

You can be pretty sure if the wheels will fit if you know the back spacing. That is the measurement of the inside of the wheel, measured to the back edge of the rim. Tire might be another inch. If you are close, then the spacers will fix your problem.
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby rkanz » Mon Jul 01, 2019 7:54 pm

My TD is built on a NT aluminum trailer. The largest tire that fit was a 12” Kenda radial. My measurements showed I couldn’t fit anything larger without the tire hitting the frame.


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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Billinthedesert » Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:25 am

This is another of those questions about the Northern Tool 5X8 trailers that makes me wonder if having a "custom" welded up by a local shop and fitted with good tires to start with wouldn't be a wash, or even save a little.
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Woodbutcher » Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:24 am

One added plus for the Northern Tool trailer is it comes with a Certificate of Origin that allows you to easily title the trailer when complete. While not all states require a title it makes things much faster and simpler.
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby les45 » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:02 am

I upgraded my 12" NT trailer tires to 13" passenger car tires. They look a lot better and made the ride much smoother. I bought a set of General 175/70R13's on Amazon and got my white spoker wheels with zero offset on Ebay. Had them mounted and balanced at Walmart. No problems on width but I did raise and widen my fenders for the extra height and width. I used my old 12" tires for spares. I plan to do the same on my current project which is an old Jayco pop-up with the same 5.3X12 tires.

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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Pinstriper » Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:51 pm

My TD was built on a similar trailer (Carry On) from I think Tractor Supply. Anyway.

I upgraded from 12" to 15", no spacers needed, but I did need new fenders. I bought three, so I have a spare to use without having it be a different diameter and all the attendant problems that entails.

I gained several inches of ground clearance, she tows better and the bearings are under a lot less wear and tear.
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Belmo » Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:13 pm

Update:

14 inch tires did not fit -- I'd have needed either new fenders, or to leave the fenders off the trailer, and I want to use them (the fenders).

I sent them back, and ordered higher-quality (rated to 65 mph) 12-inch wheels. I will keep the originals, and mount them as spares on the front of the trailer. I like the idea of having two spares, just in case something really bad happens.

Thanks for your help, peeps!
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Re: Northern Tool 5x8 Question - Wheels/Tires

Postby Billinthedesert » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:35 am

Les, how did you widen your fenders? Welding?
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