Travel trailer tires carry very important cargo, so you need to ensure the brand of tires you install are reliable and can handle the weight and stress of your camping trailer.
Unfortunately, RV manufacturers love to put cheap tires on new RVs to cut costs. In addition, many owners think it’s best to save a few bucks on less expensive tires since they take their travel trailers out less often.
However, the damage when a cheap trailer tire blows out can be catastrophic and lead to expensive repairs. This guide will explain which trailer tire brands to avoid so that you can travel safely every camping season!
The Concern With Tires Manufactured in China
China is a significant player in the trailer tire industry, exporting about 65 million tires annually under a wide range of brand names.
The problem with many tires manufactured in China is that they are made with inferior materials, so they fail once they are put under the stress of driving conditions.
Often, the blowout sounds like a bomb going off under the recreational vehicle, leading many RVers to give them the nickname “China Bomb Tires.“
On the surface, China’s bomb tires appear similar to other tires, except they sell at a much lower price.
A cheap trailer tire will have the ST rating of better-quality trailer tires and have a similar load capacity. However, the ratings are only sometimes legitimate and are often not tested.
But, what many people need to look at is the max speed rating. For example, China bomb tires will top out at 65 mph, and a high-quality ST trailer tire brand will have a max speed rating of 80 mph.
Cruising any US highway means travel speeds will often exceed 65 mph, resulting in the China bomb tires blowing out. Keep in mind that many “China bomb” tires blow without any apparent damage or wear to the rubber treads or sidewalls.
Another concern about tires coming from China is that counterfeiting is common. So, loads of fake “brand-name” trailer tires that you think are reputable hit the US daily, leaving unsuspecting customers at risk.
Almost all tires coming out of China are made at the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company. However, the company is notorious for using inferior materials and unskilled labor when creating tires.
It’s no wonder the company continually issues recalls and is even party to lawsuits pertaining to damages from tire blowouts.
When shopping for tires for your travel trailer, you must know where the tires are made so you can purchase quality tires from a brand that will stand behind their product.
12 Trailer Tire Brands to Avoid
It can be confusing to delineate which trailer tires are good and which are not. One sure sign is a “Made in China” marking on the tire sidewall, but other countries also make bad tires.
Many poor-quality tire brands use American or Italian names to fool you into thinking it’s well-made. Others tire companies hope you find their low cost too tempting to resist.
If the tire brand doesn’t sound familiar, you must investigate more to learn if the brand is reliable. A single China manufacturer will distribute tires under different brand names, even though the tires are practically identical.
Here are twelve tire brands you should avoid:
Goodride is obviously playing off the idea that customers will think the tire brand is Goodyear. Instead, all Goodride tires come from the Zhongce Rubber Group Co., Ltd. (ZC Rubber), which has plants in China and subsidiaries in America, Brazil, Europe, and Thailand.
Prices for Goodride trailer tires are under $100, which is another clue that this is a brand you need to avoid.
Mechanics state that Goodride tires look comparable to more expensive tire brands to the untrained eye.
However, the company fails to put tires through testing or quality-control measures. As a result, customers state the tires have uneven wear, and blowouts are widespread.
Firestone Destination Tires
Firestone Destination Tires come from one of the most well-known US tire companies, so you would think they are a good buy. However, all the tires are now made in China.
To reduce costs, the Firestone Destination Tires use poor-quality rubber and materials, and there are fewer tests and control checks to ensure safe performance.
Customers complain the rubber is too soft and punctures easily or will warp or bulge out after hitting potholes. The tires can also blow due to extreme internal temperatures while driving at normal highway speeds.
Falken Ziex Tires
Falken Ziex Tires are a product of Japan and were once a decent, affordable trailer tire. Unfortunately, in an effort to reduce costs, the company has cut corners in the design and materials.
The Falken Ziex tires now require more distance to stop on wet and dry surfaces, and drivers state the tire performs horribly in wet conditions. Punctures are another point of concern since the rubber they use is softer.
Chaoyang Tire is another Chinese brand you must avoid if you want to travel safely in your camping trailer.
One major complaint is that the tires are noisy when driving. In addition, the treads wear unevenly, and the rubber they use in manufacturing is soft.
The final result is a tire that heats up to extreme temperatures and can burst, or the tire will go flat due to a puncture. So skip any tire with the Chaoyang name.
Autogreen tires come from China and possibly have the worst rating for lifespan. Most customers state the tires are toast with less than 10,000 miles of wear.
Other issues are poor traction on dry road surfaces and uneven tread wear. People also note that the tires vibrate at higher speeds, making a very uncomfortable ride.
Compass tires are another brand made by the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company in China. Again, the name sounds familiar enough not to set off alarm bells, but Compass tires should be on your do not buy list.
A big issue with Compass tire performance is the lack of safety features, such as gum strips that prevent the steel belts in the tire from separating or causing damage to the rubber.
Customers state the tire sidewalls are weak and easily punctured, and the treads wear out quickly.
Do you trust your travel trailer to ride on such a tire? I think not.
Westlake tires is another subsidiary of Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company. The tires are made and marketed as budget, mid-tier replacement tires. Westlake tires are supported and sold through Tireco in the US and other countries.
Westlake tires have a reputation for failing after hitting a pothole or road debris at speed and are not worth installing on your travel trailer. In addition, the treads wear out very quickly, which is concerning if you love to take your camper on long road trips.
Westlake warranty and customer service could be better, which is another reason to skip this brand.
The Trazano line may sound Italian but it comes from the Zhongce Rubber Group in China. Adding to the confusion is that the company is a US brand, but they make the tires in China.
While Trazano touts their good quality and reliability, the reality is that the tread thins out quickly in the tire center. Since the outer edges remain in better condition, it’s hard to notice rubber deterioration at the center of the tread until a blowout occurs.
The ride comfort also declines as the uneven tread wear causes noise and vibrations.
AKS is another China off-brand tire that mechanics and customers say to avoid. The highest complaints stem from sidewall damage resulting in a blowout or the tire tearing apart while driving due to poor construction.
The tread on AKS tires has a short lifespan, and tire traction on wet and dry roads is inferior. Therefore, I suggest you never trust AKS tires on your travel trailer.
Carlisle is another US brand that was once reliable but is now moving more tire manufacturing to China to save money.
The tires have similar issues as other China-made tires, such as uneven tread wear and quick disintegration of the rubber. In addition, the tire cannot handle wide temperature extremes and often bursts under high heat or loses air in cold weather.
Accelera is a tire brand from Indonesia that you need to avoid. The company advertises they make high-performance tires, but customers state traction on wet surfaces is terrible.
The tread design must be bad, as people also claim the tires take a long time to come to a complete stop and that they will slip during quick acceleration. When pulling a trailer weighing thousands of pounds, the last thing you want is tires that don’t provide the control you need.
Sunfull Tires / Unicorn Tires
Sunfull is made under the umbrella of the Unicorn Tire Corporation, which is an American brand. Unicorn Tire manufactures Sunfull tires in China, which explains the issues in quality and performance.
The Sunfull tires have the worst stopping distance rating on wet and dry pavement. The tires also have problems with treads thinning dangerously within the first year.
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Shopping for replacement tires is much easier when you know which trailer tire brands to avoid. Please refer to the list above before choosing a trailer tire, and always look for where a tire is made before making a purchase.
An inexpensive trailer tire will not perform safely, so pay for quality tires from a respected brand to keep your camping plans on track!
Most People Don’t Know This About Trailer Tires (Video)
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