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 Post subject: Larger Trailer Tires?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2014 3:00 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Paradise, Ca.
Rookie here again. Since I always have to travel an hour to a couple hours to reach the area lakes best suited to sailing my trailer has come under my close scrutiny. The boat is a '73 and the trailer appears to be a typical Hobie Cat trailer of that vintage. As I'm cruising the highway at 55 I can almost hear the 4.80-8's whizzing along.Has anyone had experience with fitting a larger size tire and wheel combination on one of these trailers? There appears to be a good four inches of clearance between the tires and the trailer's fenders such as they are.I can't picture the leaf springs compressing much what with the light weight of the boat. Any ideas? Any resources? Thanks in advance. lots of good knowledge here.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:46 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 5:22 am
Posts: 454
Location: Columbus, Indiana
Get a new set, 4.8 - 12"......or even something wider than 4.8...

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 10:25 am
Posts: 2523
Location: Jersey Shore
Yes, going up to a 12" wheel is a common upgrade and a good idea. You will reduce wear on the tires and on the bearings and increase the load capacity of the wheels. 4.80 x 12" would be the next size up. You could also go to a 5.30 x 12" which would be a wider tire, but probably a bit overkill. Make sure you get a wheel that has the same bolt pattern as your hubs since they could either be 4 lug or 5 lug. As far as the fenders are concerned, there is probably enough clearance that you won't have to make any modifications, but even if they end up close, it should be pretty easy to relocate them. At worst, it would likely just be a matter of drilling a couple new holes or modifying the fender bracket.

If you're unsure the last time your trailer has been serviced, it would probably be a good idea to pull the hubs and inspect the condition of the bearings & grease. Also check the axle and U-bolts for cracks or excess rust. I can speak from personal experience here that trailer breakdowns are not fun. Also make sure you carry the proper size lug wrench for your trailer lugs - this may not be the same size as your car's lug wrench.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:48 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:23 am
Posts: 524
Location: Lake Norman NC
I have always gone tall and wide on Hobie trailer tires. Long long ago I used some old Chevy Vega 13" wheels and tires on my 16. If you go tall and wide keep the best old tire and wheel as a spare.
The usual advise on the trailer upkeep is to the point. CHECK EVERY NUT AND BOLT. Keep the bearings in good shape use greaseable dust caps keep a spare bearing SET IN THE HOBIE HELL BOX.
REMEMBER THAT TRAILER TIRES USUALLY ROT LONG BEFORE THEY WEAR OUT ABOUT 10 YEARS OR SO AND THEY ARE A LITTLE DICEY
A trailer problem on the road is negative fun at best.
Former Hobie Admiral Gary


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 68
Like you, my vintage trailer came with 8" tires. I quickly upgraded to 4.8x12; a cheap, easy and quick solution to those old tiny ones. You can either shop online or just drop into your local WalMart - noreal difference in the tires as they are all cheap with a short lifespan. As the load is pretty light, they might last three years. I use the same tires on some pop up campers that I rent out and need to replace them annually - but they are in use pretty much all weekends from late spring to early fall, and with a load heavier than an H16. Not at all uncommon to lose tread and have a blowout.

Also, strongly recommend that you repack the hubs. Neglected that one several years ago. Killed my bearings and wound up stranded at a truck stop an hour outside of Chicago while hauling a heavy monohull.

Lastly, double check the lights. On a rig that old, things are likely to be corroded/disconnected/shorted/etc. Good luck!


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