I replace the tires on the Airstream every 5-7 years, because it doesn’t get used enough to worry about wearing down the tread. My only concern is sun damage and just plain deterioration from age. I’m pretty serious about this, because with a dual axel trailer, you can have a tire go flat and still limp to someplace where you can get it fixed, but a flat on a single axel trailer will be a much bigger deal, and a blowout on an Airstream has the potential for a lot of damage. I’ve seen people sustain serious damage to the aluminum sides and the underside of their Airstreams from a blowout. And as Dave likes to say, as long as the Airstream is rolling along behind us, we can make a good trip out of anything else that goes wrong, so we’ve got to keep it rolling!
It was time to get new shoes this year, but my usual tire guys were not much help. I wanted to replace my old steel wheels and go to something powdercoated, with trim rings and hubcaps, but they said they couldn’t get the right wheels. I tried the biggest tire place around, and after spending an hour waiting to talk to someone and explaining everything I wanted to do, in person, they never called me back, even after I tried to contact them again several times. So I finally turned to mail order, and found exactly what I needed on https://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/
15 x 6 black powder coated wheels with new tires mounted and balanced, and dome hubcaps.
They arrived all aired up and ready to roll!
The dome hubcaps are nice and shiny, but very thin.
My friend Scott came over and helped me install them. We moved it to the driveway so we’d have a solid place to jack it up. You have to be really careful when jacking up these old Airstreams and only jack from the approved spot which is on the frame behind the wheels, or the axel mounting plate. I always go for the mounting plate, because the old frame doesn’t need any extra stress put on it if I can help it!
And, tah-dah, the new wheels and tires look great, and I love the hubcap. The only downside is that hubcap is so fragile it got dented just from popping it on by hand. Anyway, it looks better than the old set, so I’m happy for now. And now I can swap one of the old wheels onto the spare carrier on the front, because the current spare is from 2004 and I really wouldn’t want to rely on it in a pinch!