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Thread: 303RLS 16" Tire Size Details

  1. #1
    BBJonbo
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    303RLS 16" Tire Size Details

    I hope to be placing an order for a new 2015 Reflection 303RLS tomorrow and one of the conditions of purchase is to replace the Westlake tires with a far better brand. I am also considering moving up to 16" tires.

    I have searched this forum as well as RV.net to try and confirm 16" tires can be installed on the Reflection 303RLS as well what sizes are possible.

    There are a few posts on RV.net that indicate owners have confirmed with Grand Design that the suspension has been modified and can now accommodate 16" wheels. Here is one such post:

    Just got a response back from Grand Design northeast rep. He said they put on the longer leaf spring hangers which give you the same ground clearance you would get with the 16 inch aluminum rim. Essentially with Grand Design 293 RES,303 RLS, and 323 BHS, you will get the same ground clearance and load capacity as a 16 inch aluminum rim for less money. How ever since we offer the longer leaf spring hangers you can upgrade at any time to 16 inch aluminum rims. If you purchase them from us we will not install them at the factory and the charge for the tire and rim set will be approximately $1100.00.

    The issue is there is a lot of variability in width and diameter with 16" tires and I am not sure what the clearance is and which tire size would fit.

    One tire I am considering is the Michelin XPS Rib


    Size Diameter Approved Rims Load Width
    LT225/75R16 29.4" 6, 6.5, 7.0 2680 9"
    LT235/85R16 32.2" 6, 7 3042 9.7"
    LT245/75R16 30.6" 6.5, 7, 8 3042 9.6"


    I assume a diameter of 29.4 is fine but not sure about 30.6 and especially do not think the 32.2 would fit. Assume that the width is not an issue with all 3 tires. The LT225/75R16s should work but the extra load capacity of the LT245/75R16 would be nice.

    From what I could find the Westlake stock tires are as follows:


    Size Diameter Approved Rims Load Width
    ST225/75R15 28.4" 2830 8.9"


    I will try and contact Grand Design directly via phone tomorrow but if there are other 303RLS owners out there with 16" tires it would be appreciated if you could share the details regarding diameter and width that provided sufficient clearance. I assume 2-3" clearance is desired.

    Thanks in advance
    Jonathan
    Last edited by BBJonbo; 06-11-2014 at 12:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    The 293 and 303 models appear to be substantially less weight (1100-1200 lbs.) than the other Reflection models and thus don't require the heavier axles and larger wheels.

    Wouldn't it just be easier to order the 337 model if you want the bigger wheels?

    Many fivers seem to change over to LT model E Range BF Goodrich tires with the highway tread as they're priced better than Michelins.

  3. #3
    Site Sponsor 2hams's Avatar
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    We have a 303, one of the first with the change to allow for 16" tires. I coordinated with Grand Design for that. With LT225/75R16 29.4" 6, 6.5, 7.0 2680 9" there is only 3" clearance so I wouldn't go bigger.

    So here's our tire story. We wanted 16" LT tires but our dealer was hesitant about finding and installing them. We had the dealer swap the OEM rims and tires with the ones on our trade in. Those were B/F Goodrich Commercial T/As with about 25K miles since 2010. These were the timeframe but not the size recalled for the tread separation problem. Nonetheless...

    We have been about 4000 miles since we got our 303 in December. We had a blowout returning home a couple weeks ago. We priced the XPS ribs, got a quote of $1400 for four. Research found that folks said the Bridgestone Duravis R250 are comparable. We got four, installed and balanced for $850. (I read tire threads on rv.net until my brain was ready to have a blowout!)

    When we changed our previous trailer from 15" to 16", we also did the spare. We had to replace one tire due to a screw in the sidewall, so we have a Firestone Transforce H/T (about one year old with 200 miles on it) as our spare.

    I wish we had the OEM rims, but ours look ok and are rated for the weight and PSI.

    Our trailer is at the dealer getting blowout repair. So far we are fortunate that it's only a fender and the bottom flange on the slide. I wrote about the blowout on our blog on this forum.

    We didn't want the extra length/weight of the 337, plus we really like the nightstands in our 303. Best of luck in your tire research. You will love the 303.

  4. #4
    BBJonbo
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    Bamaman,

    We just sold our last 5th wheel which was 38' and are downsizing so we can fit in more state parks and other campgrounds where we found a challenge with larger RVs to find good sites and in some times any sites at all. Plus we had a leased site prior and did little traveling and now we are going to be traveling and hauling exclusively. We won't be sitting in any one place too long which is a change. Thus our desires for a smaller rig.

    Our target was 32' or less but the 303RLS blew away anything close to that size so compromised with a small increase in size. Like 2hams, I have spent too much time sifting through forums trying to decide on tires. The 3 most common are BF Goodrich Commercial T/As, Michelin XPS Ribs and Bridgestone Durvais R250s. Unfortunately, from what I have found none of these are available on 15" rims. Thus the need to move to 16" rims.

    I am looking for a solid, reliable and dependable tire for longer trips. We live up in northern Alberta and it takes 2 long 12 hours days of hauling to get down to WA where we like to start our trips. I am looking at LTs as I can push past the 65mph limit which I do. We were lucky to put on 1000 miles a year before and likely will be 6-8k now.

    I am worried about blow outs on cheap Chinese tires and want to go with a more proven tire that many RVers swear by. The above 3 seem to be the most popular and wished they had a 15" option.

  5. #5
    BBJonbo
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    2hams,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. Any idea why you had a blowout on one of your BFG T/As?

    Looks like you had approximately 30k miles on your T/As so should have had lots of life left. I will go read your blog to see if you indicated what the issue was. Hoping it has nothing to do with having 16" rims and less clearance.

    We didn't want the extra length/weight of the 337 as well and hoping that 16" rims with one of the 3 more popular tires is viable.

  6. #6
    Site Sponsor 2hams's Avatar
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    BBJonbo - We don't know why we had the blowout. After reading more, I did seem to get the feeling that tread separation is a problem with the Commercial T/As (have seen comments to that effect on rv.net), regardless of size.

    We don't think it was due to the 16" rims and less clearance. We have just 3", which is the minimum you need. We are neglect in that we have not yet weighed our 303. Based on our previous trailer, we carry about 1000 # of 'stuff', so we should be within specs.

    We did hit some rough roads -- I70 in PA, I64 in WV.

    I'm hoping we'll be ok with the Duravis. I guess time will tell. Our next big trip will be about 6 weeks, ending at the Grand Design rally.

    Kay & Dave - Virginia Beach, VA
    Golden Retriever Molly - Been swimming in 28 states
    2019 Solitude 310GK
    2019 GMC Denali CC/LB SRW
    Previous rig: 2014 Reflection 303RLS #314 and 2008 Silverado 2500 D/A

  7. #7
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    Just so everyone who wants to change to 16in tires is aware, the LT225/75R16 tires are only rated at 2680 pounds, you get 10720 total weight carrying capacity of tires. The ST tires that came on the 303RLS is ST225/75R15 and are stamped on sidewall rated at 2830 pounds, giving you total of 11320 weight carrying capacity. Now if you can fit a LT245/75R16 tire, rated at 3042 pounds total of 12168 weight capacity. I am really looking hard at if the LT245's will fit on my 303RLS. I have ordered new rims that are 16x6.5 giving me the option of using LT225 or LT245 tires. That is another thing, the LT245 tires require minimum of 16x 6.5 rims, though some say you can put them on 16x6 rims and it works. My previous trailer, which I upgraded at the factory to 16in tires, came with 16x6.5 LT245/75R16 Goodyear Wrangler HT tires. Those lasted me 6 years, until I was running fast (70-75), yes I know it was too fast, have since slowed down and now travel at 65 or less, and it was hot (104F) and I blew one out. That is another story. Anyway I put the same ones on again and had it for another 3+ years prior to my new 303RLS.
    Don & Judy
    Charlotte - SPCA Special


    2014 Reflection 303RLS
    2019 F350 Dually CC LB 6.7L

  8. #8
    Site Sponsor 2hams's Avatar
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    The axles are rated at 5200 which gives you 10400, so the tires are just over that capacity (by 320). The GAWR on each axle is 5080. The placard is for an ST225/75R15 load range D, which are rated at 2540.

    Has anyone actually weighed their 303 to know the pin weight?

    The factory specs for dry weight show a pin weight of 18%. So figure 12000 - 2160 = 9240 which puts both the axles and tires under capacity. I'm guessing the pin weight is probably closer to 20%.

    There is no way I would want to go any larger than the LT225/75R16 since we only have 3" clearance from the top of the tire to the underside of the camper. That is cutting it as close as you would want. We have some scuffs on the underside, but believe that is from the blowout.

    Has anyone ever done a detailed weigh? I would be the street side is heavier than the curb.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P1060764.jpg  

    Kay & Dave - Virginia Beach, VA
    Golden Retriever Molly - Been swimming in 28 states
    2019 Solitude 310GK
    2019 GMC Denali CC/LB SRW
    Previous rig: 2014 Reflection 303RLS #314 and 2008 Silverado 2500 D/A

  9. #9
    BBJonbo
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckeyd1 View Post
    Now if you can fit a LT245/75R16 tire, rated at 3042 pounds total of 12168 weight capacity. I am really looking hard at if the LT245's will fit on my 303RLS. I have ordered new rims that are 16x6.5 giving me the option of using LT225 or LT245 tires
    lucked1, thanks for the reply

    I have read a lot on ST vs LT and how the load ratings are determined and as with others believe the standards to be more stringent and accurate for the LTs. Unfortunately it appears they use different methods to come up with the numbers. From my hours of research, there seems to be far more ST blowouts than LT and lots of happy LT RV customers. I have struggled with the decision of LT vs ST especially since the 303RLS was designed for 15" rims but think I will still go 16" rims and LT tires.

    With regards to the LT245/75R16, these will be 30.6" diameter. The Westlakes ST225/75R15 were 28.9" and the ST225/75R16 will be 29.4". 2hams indicated that with 29.4" he has 3" clearance so if you went with LT245s you would lose another 1.2" of clearance which is less than 2" of clearance unless you made modifications to the suspension.

    Assuming I go LTs, I will follow 2hams lead and go with LT225/75R16.

    With regards to GAWR, the 2014 brochure states 5200 x 2 so surprised that they may only be 5080. Even if we assume 16% pin weight, of 11995 that would be 10075 making the axles every so slightly over that. At 20% it would be 9596 so would provide more comfort. IMHO, the axles should have been larger but the numbers work but is pushing it.

    With regards to the LT255/75R16 with the 10720 weight carrying capacity that does exceed the GAWR of 5080x2 or even 5200x2 if that is what they are. Again only with a slight margin of safety.

    The numbers work although more margin would provide more comfort.

    For me, the 30.6" diameter of the LT245s leaves too little clearance but maybe there is a simple modification that can be made to increase the clearance.

  10. #10
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    Got to go measure top and see how much clearance is currently there. 2Hams, here is my MFG sticker. Yours came with LRD and mine is LRE. An earlier production than mine. Don't know when they changed it. Some information I have found says you can go as close as 2inches top, don't know. I really like the 245's due to weight carrying ability. I just may put on Maxxis St 16in and be done with it. Decisions, decisions.

    There is a modification that can be done, adding square tubing to raise the trailer a few inches. Don't know cost, maybe not worth it. Another decision to make
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MFG no VIN.jpg  
    Don & Judy
    Charlotte - SPCA Special


    2014 Reflection 303RLS
    2019 F350 Dually CC LB 6.7L

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