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Compatibility of 13 Inch Trailer Tire and Wheel Combo for Trailer Currently Running 8 Inch Tires

Question:

I’m in need of a spare tire and wheel combo for my Jon boat trailer. It has 8” tires on it right now. I had asked earlier about putting 13” tires on it. I was told that the 8” wheels and tires work much harder than a larger diameter tire because they spin so much more. I want to be able to take the boat to the coast , which is about 300 miles from me. Is it true the smaller tires wear bearings out faster than larger ones? Thanks

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Expert Reply:

It is true that 8 inch tires will have more revolutions than larger tires which will wear down the tires and bearings slightly faster. The biggest thing to consider in moving up tire sizes is the changes it makes to the trailer. It will raise the trailer higher off the ground, it will limit your clearance for your suspension to move properly, and most of the time the larger tires are also a different width which can also be an issue on some trailers.

Moving from 8 inch to 13 inch is a really big jump because you typically need 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 inches of clearance above the tire for suspension deflection so you don't bottom out. If you have the clearance on the top and inside of your tire when measuring from the hub face to the frame or fender wall, then I recommend the Kenda Loadstar ST175/80D13 Bias Trailer Tire with 13" White Wheel # AM3S120 if you have a 4 on 4 inch bolt pattern. This tire has an outer diameter of 24 inches and a width of 6.6 inches. It has a speed rating of 65 mph max.

If you have a 5 on 4-1/2 inch bolt pattern, then I recommend the Karrier ST175/80R13 Radial Trailer Tire w/ 13" White Modular Wheel # AM31957. This tire has and outer diameter of 24.1 inches and a width of 7 inches. It has a speed rating of 81 mph max.

If you find through your measurements that you need a smaller size tire, I'd be happy to help with other recommendations. Your spare tire should match your other trailer tires and wheels.

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