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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I recently bought a used Kendon dual rail motorcycle trailer. I wanted 3 new tires and while I was shopping around, all of the tire centers said they don't balance trailer tires as it wasn't necessary. Their thought was tires are balanced to prevent a vibration in the steering wheel and trailers are towed so it is not necessary. I ended up buying the tires on Amazon and took them to a local service station to have mounted and balanced. When I picked them up, they were not balanced, Same argument that trailer tires don't need to be balanced. I insisted, and they ended up balancing them.

What are your thoughts on this? Was I right to get them balanced or is it old school mentality?
 

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2019 RTL-E (white on beige) in central Texas
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FWIW (1), etrailer.com says it's not necessary

FWIW (2), I 'waste' the very few bucks and get mine balanced (usually take my wheels, off the trailer, for replacement/mounting at Discount Tire or Walmart). Force of habit and I guess some lingering (maybe misguided) thought that it might improve tire life.

Honestly never questioned whether or not I'd actually be able to 'feel' an unbalanced wheel on my RV or utility trailers in my tow-vehicle (?), just assumed I might and it would drive me nuts.

old school mentality?
Could well be; I'm an olde phart :LOL:
 

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I don't think a "reasonable" argument could be made against any wheel balancing except for maybe my wheelbarrow. The larger the rim, the more important to balance.

One time I visited my brother during one of my cross country trip to visit the kids. While there he gave me several dozen eggs to deliver to my son in Minneapolis. I watch in the rearview mirror my small fiberglass utility trailer, filled with camping gear, bouncing around on I-94 a relatively smooth road. When I arrived at my son's, not a single egg survived. I am sure I would have had better results if the tires would have been balanced.
 

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I would suggest towing the empty trailer at highway speeds on the smoothest asphalt you can find. Keep an eye on the trailer corners and fenders at various speeds. They will shake and vibrate some, but if it seems to be unreasonable shaking, you could easily have an out-of-balance wheel/tire that can be remedied. Trailers can be forgiving, but bad tires (and wheels) also occur.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies. For me, it's about peace of mind. It would be hell in my mind every mile traveled if I didn't have them balanced. I can understand a landscaping trailer that stays local and never hits speeds above 40mph, but on the highway at 70mph, I "need" my tires balanced.
 

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I never really thought about this. But it makes sense to me. My little utility trailer (formerly a Monkey Ward pop-up camper) rarely sees 65 MPH or long distance. But for extended highway use it would give me peace of mind to know that the wheels are as true and I can make them.
 

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I recently replaced all 5 tires on my travel trailer*. The guy at the tire shop balanced all the wheels/tires after he installed the new tires. It honestly never occurred to me that he wouldn’t balance them.
I'm not a mechanical engineer (my specialty was instrumentation), but I have dealt with rotating equipment quite a bit during my career. Large equipment, such as turbines and compressors, is heavily instrumented to maintain performance and to predict when maintenance is required. This includes vibration sensors on individual bearings as well as the chassis. The more expensive or critical the equipment, the more sensors it gets. This is a clear indication of how important balancing is. Things that aren’t balanced will shake themselves apart given enough time or speed. Anything that rotates should be balanced, whether it is a crankshaft, ceiling fan, or a wheel/tire assembly. There are different levels of balance depending on the application and the speed; a Bugatti Veyron wheel/tire has to be balanced to a much higher standard than my Ridgeline's wheel/tire. But obviously my TT tires are going to turn just as fast as my RL tires, so they need to be balanced to the same standard. Any assertion otherwise is not based on simple physics.

* I had a blowout on my trailer about 100 miles west of Houston on the way home from a long trip to west Texas. I limped down the shoulder about 2 miles to a rest area. I had a spare, and a pretend lug wrench that came with the trailer. The lug wrench twisted up like a pretzel while trying to get the first bolt off, so I had to call a wrecker for help. An hour and a half and $100 later, I was back on the road. I made it 10 miles before the second tire blew. Really! 🤬 I had read online that people thought the cheap Chinese tires they put on trailers were next to worthless, and now I know why. Unbelievable as it may be, I only had the one spare tire, so I slowly shuffled into Schulenburg, disconnected the trailer, and left it at a Mexican restaurant for the night. I finally got home around midnight, bone tired. I worried all night about the trailer, then jumped out of bed at 8am (a strange and terrible thing) to call around and find 5 new tires - trusty American Goodyears. I grabbed them and drove the 90 miles back to Schulenburg, to discover the trailer had survived the night unmolested. I pulled two wheels off the trailer (it has 4) and headed over to a nearby tire shop. I had called the shop earlier and they said they would be able to mount & balance the tires. I pulled into a place that looked like a movie set - the kind of movie set you would look at out of the corner of your eye as you sped up and made sure your doors were locked! But the guy that came out was nice and friendly and had my tires mounted and ready to go in short order. I put those on the trailer and repeated the process with the other 2 wheels. I managed to get back home just before rush hour and avoid the worst of the traff-ick. The next day we had torrential rains and hail and I was sooo glad I wasn’t out in it swapping tires on a stranded trailer.
 

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I've balanced my current trailer tires about 11 years ago. They still are as smooth riding as the day I had them done. And the tires will last longer due to them being balanced is one argument for it. Mine are 20.5" tires on a galvanized steel trailer with 3/4 decking wood flooring. It's held up well. Go for the balance. You won't regret it IMO.

Steve
 

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I recently bought a used Kendon dual rail motorcycle trailer. I wanted 3 new tires and while I was shopping around, all of the tire centers said they don't balance trailer tires as it wasn't necessary. Their thought was tires are balanced to prevent a vibration in the steering wheel and trailers are towed so it is not necessary. I ended up buying the tires on Amazon and took them to a local service station to have mounted and balanced. When I picked them up, they were not balanced, Same argument that trailer tires don't need to be balanced. I insisted, as they ended up balancing them.

What are your thoughts on this? Was I right to get them balanced or is it old school mentality?
I have three double axle trailers. I always balance mine because I care about what my trailers carry.
 

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I don't think a "reasonable" argument could be made against any wheel balancing except for maybe my wheelbarrow. The larger the rim, the more important to balance.

One time I visited my brother during one of my cross country trip to visit the kids. While there he gave me several dozen eggs to deliver to my son in Minneapolis. I watch in the rearview mirror my small fiberglass utility trailer, filled with camping gear, bouncing around on I-94 a relatively smooth road. When I arrived at my son's, not a single egg survived. I am sure I would have had better results if the tires would have been balanced.
Suspect the trailer suspension has far more to do with the egg survival rate.
Leaf spring suspension is particularly rough side.
 

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I’ve towed my 171 Mako and dual Waverunners on. Triton trailer without balancing with no issue.
 
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