HF rims and tires

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HF rims and tires

Postby Toytaco2 » Thu May 04, 2017 9:15 pm

It's beern awhile since I've been on the forum, so hello again to everyone! I'm retiring soon and planning to hit the road with the camper. I built it about 8 or 9 years ago (with a lot of help from everyone here) and haven't used it much. But that's about to change this summer. I understand tires have a "shelf life" and the HF tires are almost 10 years old, so it's time for them to go and maybe even get some new aluminum rims. I'm hoping some of you guys can help me with a couple of questions:

1. With the weird sizes of HF components, does anyone know if the threaded studs in the hubs of HF trailers work OK with standard/commonly available rims? I'm probably worrying about nothing, but, it seems like I've hit snags on anything to do with the HF running gear.
2. Any recommendations on a high quality replacement 12 inch tire? I'm Ok with the small tires but would certainly be willing to pay a little more for better quality.

Hope to spend more time on the forum from here on out.

Thanks,

Mike
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Fri May 05, 2017 9:11 am

Definitely time to replace the tires. You have a couple options.... buy new HF tires already mounted on wheels. Or buy just new tires and have them mounted on your current wheels.

First you need to determine your lug pattern, which will be a standard pattern... either '4 on 4', or '5 on 4.5'. More info on that here.... https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wheel-bolt-pattern.aspx

If your hubs are the 5 on 4.5 pattern, you can get a whole 12" wheel with a 5.3x12 tire from HF for $60. Unless you're dead set on upgrading, this is probably the way that I'd go. Inexpensive and easy. And heck, your HF tires lasted this long, another set will provide you with many miles as well.

If you plan on getting new tires and having them mounted on your current wheels, you're probably going to spend $40-80 just on a quality tire, then you have to pay to get them mounted. You might check out your local tire shop and see what they have to offer. 'Kenda' and 'Carlisle' are names that come to mind. Mine are 'Gladiator' which I got from a local tire shop, but I dont know that they make smaller tires.

If you're looking to upgrade wheels too, you may check out some online places that offer tire and wheel combo's. I've ordered from these guys and was very happy... .http://www.trailer-wheels.com/12-inch-W ... c_340.html

Everyone here will have a different opinion and those with deeper pockets will probably have stronger opinions (they usually do). :lol: :lol:
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby dmdc411 » Fri May 05, 2017 10:07 am

One issue I ran into using a Northern Tool frame is tire clearance. I assembled my walls with the (angle iron) frame sandwiched between the wall and floor. The only way to get a anything larger than 12 inch rims is to replace the axle with a longer one, or as some have suggested, wheel spacers. I would need 2 inch spacers to go to a 14 inch wheel. I decided to stay with 12" wheels, just move up to 5.30-12 for a little better load rating. Although, 13" rims may fit my fender space perfectly! Also some where on this site is a listing for automotive rims will fit the 5x4.5 trailer hubs. That opens an entirely different set of options for rim sizes! Most are 70's 80's cars and trucks if I remember correctly... Good luck!
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby absolutsnwbrdr » Fri May 05, 2017 12:43 pm

You have to be careful just finding random automotive wheels that happen to have the same hub pattern. Trailer wheels typically have zero offset, while automotive wheels typically have a positive offset with larger backspacing.

https://www.lesschwab.com/blog/post/wha ... eel-offset

If you can find a wheel with negative offset and a smaller backspacing, then you could possibly avoid using hub spacers (although the stress on the bearings is still the same as using spacers)
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby Toytaco2 » Fri May 05, 2017 7:53 pm

Thanks for the replies. When I mentioned standard or commonly available rims in my original post, I should have said standard 12 inch, 5 on 4.5 trailer rims. Most 5 on 4.5 rims I see advertised specify a 1/2 x 20 stud for mounting. I was just wondered if anyone knew if the HF mounting studs will work or if they might be some off-beat size like everything else on those trailers (It's too late now, but I wouldn't use the HF trailer if I build again). I would probably buy tires already mounted on new rims if they will work on the HF. I've seen chrome ones available which I like. The trailer is currently stored in a family member's garage and I can't get to it for a few days to measure anything, so just hoping one of the knowledgable people here could provide any info.

Here's are links to a couple of tires I'm considering. Does anyone have any experience with the radial tire? The specs show it to be 5.7 inch section width x 21.9 diameter vs. the bias ply 5.30x12 (original equipment) with 5.5 inch section width x 21.3 diameter. Seems like there's a good chance it should fit without rubbing the frame. Any thoughts?

https://www.etrailer.com/Tires-and-Wheels/Kenda/AM10130.html - Kenda ST145/R12 Radial

https://www.etrailer.com/Tires-and-Wheels/Kenda/AM10066.html - Kenda 5.30 x 12 bias ply

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby Nobody » Sat May 06, 2017 11:51 am

My 1800# HF trailer, think they may now be 1740#, :NC (when I built the TD in 2006) came with the standard 4.8x12, 5 on 4.5 hub, actually it may have come with the 5.3x12, but in any case I switched to 5.3x12 before completing the TD, using the available tire/wheel sets from WalMart.Ran 'em for around 15K miles until I foolishly allowed water to remain in the hubs for quite a few miles (after driving thru flooded streets in Hobbs, NM in July 2010) I decided to replace the tires'n wheels in addition to re-doing the bearings. Again I bought replacement tires & wheels at our local WalMart, I think under $60 each? (5.3x12, 5 on 4.5") & they fit my HF hubs perfectly. I've run 'em for around 15K miles including trips to Wyoming, & a flying trip to California (at freeway speeds) in 2012, with no problems. Pretty sure my hubs have 1/2" lug studs/nuts which would be standard for that size hubs sold in the USA. If you have a 5 on 4.5 hub, any 5 on 4.5 trailer wheel will fit your hubs. You can buy 'already assembled' wheels/tires at almost any dealer (including WalMart) & they will be satisfactory for your TD. I personally recommend 5.3X12 over the 4.8X12 but that is just a personal thing because I prefer the higher weight rating of the 5.3x12. I don't need it 'cause my TD packed for traveling weighs about 1150#, I just like the higher rating... ;)

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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby Toytaco2 » Sat May 06, 2017 2:08 pm

Thanks Harvey. Good to see your still on the forum. You may recall giving me some very good advice several years ago when I extended the tongue on my HF trailer following your method. I'm probably making the tire and rim thing too hard when there's really no reason to upgrade. I'll probably do as you did and pick up the Walmart tire/rim combo and call it good.

Thanks,
Mike
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby mikeschn » Sat May 06, 2017 2:37 pm

Offhand I don't remember the numbers of the bolt pattern, but it's definitely do-able!

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Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
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Re: HF rims and tires

Postby Nobody » Sat May 06, 2017 6:30 pm

Toytaco2 wrote:Thanks Harvey. Good to see your still on the forum. You may recall giving me some very good advice several years ago when I extended the tongue on my HF trailer following your method. I'm probably making the tire and rim thing too hard when there's really no reason to upgrade. I'll probably do as you did and pick up the Walmart tire/rim combo and call it good.

Thanks,
Mike


Good to see you back Mike! I think I'd just replace my tires'n wheels with whatever's available at my local tire dealer (or WalMart). The Chinese tires I got from WM have provided excellent service. Lotsa folks worry that the smaller diameter tires/wheels will 'make' too many revolutions because of their smaller size, resulting in early bearing or tire wear. Mine have performed well, and I have a utiliy trailer that I built from 14ga steel tubing in 1991. It has 5.3X12, 5 on 4.5 wheels/n tires. I bought the conventionally sprung axle from Northern Tool when I was building the trailer. Had to replace the 2-leaf springs with 3-leaf sometime in the early 90s due to overloading but I bought them locally from Hayes Axle before they closed their local business & moved to Dallas. I've made probably a dozen trips to Colorado, & at least 2 trips to Maine towing that trailer, loaded with my ATV (450#), a 12x14' high wall Montana Canvas brand outfitter tent (cotton canvas, probably 125#), frame (maybe 60#), & assorted gear for a 2week hunt (food, ice chests, stove, etc.), & never experienced any problems. We always drove pretty close to the speed limit on those trips. I'm sure that some folks have had problems with smaller wheels but you gotta remember, small boats, pop-up campers, & lotsa utility trailers have been towed countless miles succcessfully with 8" wheels & they're still going. I wouldn't 'upgrade' to larger tires/wheels unless I had a good, valid reason for doing so. Looks alone, to me, ain't a good enough reason...

Again, Mike, welcome back!
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