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Need new tires for my truck (Tundra) - need help with understanding tire lingo and with getting right tires.


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Hi all!  First post here.  I have read a lot of the posts in these forums and really have learned a lot.  Kudos to all you posters!  My wife and I are getting our LE II in September – very excited!  I have never had a travel trailer or RV (or even a pickup truck) before, so this is all new to us.  I have been doing research and watching Youtube for the last year, so I have picked up a bit of info – but I am still a wannabe newbie.  


Anyway, I brought a 2018 Toyota Tundra about 4 months ago, and I need to get new tires for it.  It currently has Michelin LTX A/T2 P275/65–R18 tires on it.  I won’t be doing any off-roading, and would like to have a quiet, smooth ride and good gas milage (well, as good as I can with a Tundra).  I live in PA, so they also need to be good in the snow.  I will mostly be using my truck for just commuting to work and driving around town, with the occasional trip with the Ollie.  I went to tirerack.com, but there are like 100 tires that are recommended for my truck in the P275/65-R18 range! 


I have tried to do research on tires, but am very confused.  I understand the treadwear, traction, and temperature ratings (my currently tires are 500/A/B), but that is about all I understand.  For example:  E rated vs P rated vs LT tires, or all-season vs Crossover vs on/off road all-terrain (AT?).  It seems I should care about ‘load range’ (whatever that is).  What types of tires, in general, are good for towing?  Any suggestions?  I don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, but definitely would spend more to be safe!!   

Thanks!  
 

Edited by tripmushrv
Added more info about the current tires on truck.
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Welcome and congrats on your upcoming Oliver!  I’m not a tire expert by any means, but I’ve learned a lot from sites like Tire Rack that lists specs and provides explanations of those specs.  There are some pretty knowledgeable members here that can give some good advice.  Stand by!  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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Scout the reviews on tires on Tire rack, and pay close attention to the reviews that mention your climate, and especially your truck. At least, that's something I do. Then I  watch for a sale from a local distributor,  usually Costco, where I get free rotation and road hazard, etc.

We have a number of Tundra owners here who could offer some suggestions. 

I recently put Pirelli Scorpion AT plus tires on my 2005 Silverado.  They have the little snowpeaks, though I  hope I never need them. (We live in Florida.) They're relatively quiet (for an AT tire), and they stop nicely in our heavy rains. I looked for good rain performance. Not as great a distance mileage rating as some others, but my truck rarely leaves the greater Tampa Bay area. We towed a few hundred miles with them, in good weather, they were fine, but I  have the small trailer, and a smaller truck.

I'll be looking for tires for Paul's big Ram soon. He's been happy with the last two sets of Bridgestone Dueler Alenzas, so we'll probably stick with those.

Again, we don't do a lot if snow, at least not intentionally,  though it happens. 

Tires are a big investment these days. They also last a lot if miles. Hope you find the perfect ones.

Also, try the Tire Rack decision maker tool. It can narrow the field some, then read reviews everywhere. 

https://www.tirerack.com/content/tirerack/desktop/en/tire_decision_guide.html

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thanks guys!   I did a little more research...looks like should be going with E rated tires...does that sound right?

Seadawg...I don't have Costco membership, but do have a Sam's Club one which should be comparable.  You mentioned 'little snowpeak'.  Is that on the tire tread?

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2 hours ago, tripmushrv said:

Seadawg...I don't have Costco membership, but do have a Sam's Club one which should be comparable.  You mentioned 'little snowpeak'.  Is that on the tire tread?

Yes. When we had Sam's club membership, prices and services were comparable. 

The snowpeak and flake are on the sidewall. 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We have Michelin on our 2008 Tundra.  We have 50,000 miles on them.  We live in Maine.  Works fine in the winter.  I have done numerous trips to NY, PA, NJ etc.  The truck rides very nicely with those tires.  I will need to replace them this fall before we head out for 5 month camping trip starting in late November.  We have been very satisfied with the Michelin they were much quieter than what came on the truck.  Good Luck!!!

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We have Michelin on our 2016 Tundra.  I just replaced them in April just due to age, there was still 75% of the tread left.  The Tundra came with AT2 Michelin but I replaced them with another Michelin tire; we have made one fairly long trip with the new Michelin's and they handle great. 

Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Michelins are excellent quality and very car-like, relatively speaking, and they do OK in snow, but are NOWHERE as safe and capable as dedicated snow tires. Considering where you live, you should have a dedicated winter set on cheap wheels. Everybody around here runs winter tires, except those who slid into the ditch or into another car….. and next season those folks got them.

If you don't get snow tires definitely buy a set with the snow flake symbol, it is better than your average “jack of all trades, master of none” All Season tire, but just barely.

One problem with Michelins is that they are lightly constructed, and have a soft and vulnerable sidewall, that makes them ride nice, which is perfect for the East. You need to be aware that on a western trip if you encounter rough gravel, even a short section of torn-up under construction freeway, it can result in sidewall damage. Most owners don’t care about sidewall protection, until they slash a tire 100 miles from the nearest tire store. On a Sunday.

My personal feeling is that a truck that will be heavily loaded and does towing needs real heavy duty truck tires, not soft car-like ones.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

Michelins are excellent quality and very car-like, relatively speaking, and they do OK in snow, but are NOWHERE as safe and capable as dedicated snow tires. Considering where you live, you should have a dedicated winter set on cheap wheels. Everybody around here runs winter tires, except those who slid into the ditch or into another car….. and next season those folks got them.

If you don't get snow tires definitely buy a set with the snow flake symbol, it is better than your average “jack of all trades, master of none” All Season tire, but just barely.

One problem with Michelins is that they are lightly constructed, and have a soft and vulnerable sidewall, that makes them ride nice, which is perfect for the East. You need to be aware that on a western trip if you encounter rough gravel, even a short section of torn-up under construction freeway, it can result in sidewall damage. Most owners don’t care about sidewall protection, until they slash a tire 100 miles from the nearest tire store. On a Sunday.

My personal feeling is that a truck that will be heavily loaded and does towing needs real heavy duty truck tires, not soft car-like ones.

John Davies

Spokane WA

If your reply is related to my post, you don't know what Michelin tires I purchased.  I have been running Michelin tires for many decades.

Horace & Dianne

Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Toyota Tundra Crewmax 4x4 Limited

2015 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull # 93

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Happy with my Michelins in snow in Maine.  Works just fine. I use my truck for more than towing my Ollie.  I also towed several boats this year longer distance.  Some turnaround NYC, those highways are dug up and terrible.  If the roads are that bad here in snow 4wd seems to solve the problem.  I am not going over mountain passes in the winter.  I would have no problem going to ski areas around here or NH either.  It never has been about going in snow!  It is really about stopping and some Jack ass driving like a idiot.  Way too fast weaving in and out.  I have watched these geniuses fly by me on the highway to witness them slide off into the ditch in snow storms or heavy rain.  Sometimes I see them further down the road in the ditch.  Some in high priced SUVs or awd cars or even 4wd trucks.  The Michelins I have on my Tundra work fine.  I also had Michelin on my E350 4Matic.  Never an issue.  That said I did put 4 snows on my VW rabbit every winter.  If I lived in the mountains out west I might think differently or as some states require carry chains.  The Michelin worked fine towing the Elite II and cargo in the bed up to weight limits.  I seldom exceed 65mph.  Frankly I am more concerned with how  others drive or how they are towing with marginal or worse tow vehicles.  This really boils down to your preference.

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Let's think about it. Almost every major brand makes far better tires than the ply tires we used to have, back in the day. 

They're also much more expensive,  so really, an investment.

I like at tires because of the (usually) stronger sidewalls, and usually decent performance in rain, and performance on a variety of road surfaces. And, they look good on a truck. 🤣

Even at tires are engineered to be more quiet than they used to be, but you'll lose some tiny fraction of gas mileage because of their better road grip. (Maybe cost $40 or $50 a year more in fuel cost, for the average driver, from what I've read.) I can live with that. And, I  can turn the radio volume up a notch for better tires.

Most of us have developed a fondness for particular brands, after years of buying tires. Just make sure what you get exceeds the oem specs for load range, (definitely load range e for towing) definitely lt tires,, not p metric, and has the features for the weather you have to drive in.

Tirerack used to test snow performance in Sweden. Don't know if they still do, but I think they're a pretty reliable source for testing and reviews. And, like I said, snow performance is not usually an issue for me. 

Where John lives, I'd buy winter tires. Where I live and usually drive, irrelevant.  Where you live, maybe, maybe not. It all depends.

Get a good tire, at a good place with good warranties. I like the nationwide distribution and repair options of Costco and SamsClub.

That said, we buy our trailer tires at a local place that loves trailers. Neither Costco nor Sam's will bust , remount, and spin balance  here, unless we take the wheels and tires off and take them in. That's just too much of a pain, for us, except for the small boat trailer.  Maybe ok for others.

I don't usually buy a 5th tire for my truck, and rotate through. Maybe my bad, but I  just keep the best of the old set, and use it as a limp to shop spare if I have a flat, which is actually also rare these days. (My few flats in the last ten years have been a bolt or screw in the tire.)

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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11 minutes ago, SeaDawg said:

Let's think about it. Almost every major brand makes far better tires than the ply tires we used to have, back in the day. 

They're also much more expensive,  so really, an investment.

I like at tires because of the (usually) stronger sidewalls, and usually decent performance in rain, and performance on a variety of road surfaces. And, they look good on a truck. 🤣

Even at tires are engineered to be more quiet than they used to be, but you'll lose some tiny fraction of gas mileage because of their better road grip. (Maybe cost $40 or $50 a year more in fuel cost, for the average driver, from what I've read.) I can live with that. And, I  can turn the radio volume up a notch for better tires.

Most of us have developed a fondness for particular brands, after years of buying tires. Just make sure what you get exceeds the oem specs for load range, (definitely load range e for towing) definitely lt tires,, not p metric, and has the features for the weather you have to drive in.

Tirerack used to test snow performance in Sweden. Don't know if they still do, but I think they're a pretty reliable source for testing and reviews. And, like I said, snow performance is not usually an issue for me. 

Where John lives, I'd buy winter tires. Where I live and usually drive, irrelevant.  Where you live, maybe, maybe not. It all depends.

Get a good tire, at a good place with good warranties. I like the nationwide distribution and repair options of Costco and SamsClub.

That said, we buy our trailer tires at a local place that loves trailers. Neither Costco nor Sam's will bust , remount, and spin balance  here, unless we take the wheels and tires off and take them in. That's just too much of a pain, for us, except for the small boat trailer.  Maybe ok for others.

I don't usually buy a 5th tire for my truck, and rotate through. Maybe my bad, but I  just keep the best of the old set, and use it as a limp to shop spare if I have a flat, which is actually also rare these days. (My few flats in the last ten years have been a bolt or screw in the tire.)

We used a local tire dealer to change our Oliver stems to metal and balance with the TPMS sensors mounted.  We did it outside of a bay, it was no problem for them.  When we replaced our 5 year old BF Goodrich tires I wanted the Coopers that Oliver is now using.  I used our local Discount Tire and they had no issues with mounting, balancing and installing them on our Oliver.  

My one experience with Costco was that they would not install 16” tires on my Ranger because they didn’t show on their computer.  They were standard on the 4X4 Ranger I had.  I asked what they would install on the standard 16” wheels and they told me I would have to get new 15” wheels.  OK.  Back to Discount Tire.  I’ve also used Tire Rack for wheels/tires.  They ship to a local dealer who does the install.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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For years and years I would “price shop” all the different tire stores, what a waste of my time! Discount Tire stores will price match other local companies, but I hardly ever find tires cheaper elsewhere and their service is simply stellar. Now when I need tires or tire service I head straight there without a second thought. I have never bought anything from TireRack.com but I use their site regularly to research tests and user reviews. I have not found a better place for that info.

Many years ago Coopers were only sold through dedicated Cooper dealers which were pretty rare. The local one quoted me a very high price on four Discoverer STT tires, I went by Discount and although at the time they did not stock any Coopers, they were happy to order a set at a substantial savings. Now the manager greets me by my first name when I walk in😳

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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5 hours ago, John E Davies said:

For years and years I would “price shop” all the different tire stores, what a waste of my time! Discount store will price match other local companies, but I hardly ever find tires cheaper elsewhere and their service is simply stellar. Now when I need tires or tire service I head straight there without a second thought. I have never bought anything from TireRack.com but I use their site regularly to research tests and user reviews. I have not found a better place for that info.

Many years ago Coopers were only sold through dedicated Cooper dealers which were pretty rare. The local one quoted me a very high price on four Discoverer STT tires, I went by Discount and although at the time they did not stock any Coopers, they were happy to order a set at a substantial savings. Now the manager greets me by my first name when I walk in😳

John Davies

Spokane WA

Great advice John and I agree 110%!

We have been going to Discount/America's Tire for as long as they have been in San Diego and would not go anywhere else.  I have gone to them in other parts of the state and found the same GREAT service and price. 

I also agree that TireRack.com is the best website for tire research.  I have never gone wrong with their top rated tires.

Andrew

 

Andrew

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Andrew, Carianne and Buffy | San Diego, CA


2019 Legacy Elite II Hull #468 "California Burrito" | 2018 BMW x5 35d 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I want to thank everyone for the input.  Since Michelin was mentioned multiple times in this thread, I have focused on them.  I am looking at the Michelin Agilis Crossclimate tires, as I live in PA and we can get some snow here (and they have the ‘snowflake’ symbol on them).  Any last thoughts before I put the trigger?   Here is a link:  https://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Agilis+CrossClimate&partnum=765R8ACC&vehicleSearch=true&fromCompare1=yes&autoMake=Toyota&autoYear=2018&autoModel=Tundra 4WD&autoModClar=CrewMax

 

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Since we have a local Discount Tire Store, started using their "Tips & Guides" section to learn about tire application for my vehicles.

Tip's and Guides:

https://www.discounttiredirect.com/learn

I'm sure "Tire Rack" has a good guide section, too. 

There's a good section under Tire Rack's "Tips and Guides" called "Winter Tire Information" with sub-section called "All season vs Summer vs Winter/Snow Tires" that's helpful:

https://www.discounttire.com/learn/winter-summer-allseason

Another section under "Tips and Guides" called  "Tire Basics" with another sub-section called "Load Range vs Load Index" that's helpful:

https://www.discounttire.com/learn/load-range-load-index

Regards,

Bill

LE2 #75

 

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I can talk about our experience with Discount Tire. They had just installed new tires on my xterra. Husband took it to work early the next morning. All of sudden he feels a shake , starts slowing down and sees one of the tires rolling by him.  Towed to Discount  - Long story short...  It was their fault - they jumped right on it - something about the bolts not being tightened correctly. The rearend needed replacing after that. They no longer make them so it was junk yard time. We declined 5 before they found one 3 states over that was acceptable. This took 3 weeks.  It went to an auto shop and the work was done on them. We were supposed to leave the next day for a 7 day Moab trip with an Overland group.  All reservations had to be cancelled  Discount covered the cost of all the cancellation fees.   Didn't have to fight a bit for a thing.   We have been doing business with them for over 20 years. That might have made a difference.   *Thank God it was 4 am  - the  tire rolled through the median and into oncoming traffic - of which there was none!

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3 hours ago, Kevin and Theresa said:

.  All reservations had to be cancelled  Discount covered the cost of all the cancellation fees.   Didn't have to fight a bit for a thing.   We have been doing business with them for over 20 years. That might have made a difference.   *Thank God it was 4 am  - the  tire rolled through the median and into oncoming traffic - of which there was none!

Great no one was hurt! 

Bill

LE2 #75

 

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Yikes, that's quite a story.  I once found a missing lug nut on my truck after getting the tires rotated, so I always check the torques now whenever I've had a wheel removed.  An owner lost a trailer wheel a few years ago the same way.  Scary.  

Another Discount Tire story - they gave me a free tire just last year.  I'd gotten new ones, and had asked them to place one of the old tires in the bed of the truck to use as a second spare.  But the guy in the shop accidentally grabbed a tire that had been taken off a truck in the next bay and none of us realized it until I came back two days later to have the tire mounted on a new rim and it wouldn't fit.  So with no hesitation, they ordered a brand new $300 tire for me.  

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I have the good fortune to live twenty minutes from Tire Rack headquarters.  The place is really impressive.  They have a test track and everything.  I purchase all of my tires there.  They provide consultation on what they feel would be best for your vehicle and driving style based on their testing.   They have service bays adjacent to the showroom and they will mount your tires while you wait.  They are real professionals and I drive away with no worries.

Years ago I was getting new tires for my '98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited when a group of Japanese engineers were out on the test track with a Subaru WRX all decked out in racing gear.  I don't if they were a race team or if they were from the factory.  They were apparently testing performance tires.  It was really cool.  They were heading into curves crazy fast and braking so hard that sparks were flying out of the wheel wells.  I have never seen anything like that before or since.  After my Jeep was ready, I parked it next to the track and watched them some more.  They would beat the heck out of it then take it into the service bays and put on a different set of tires and go out and do it all over again.

820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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SeaDawg,

I have the Pirelli Scorpion AT's on my Xterra.  When I had my Jeep (predecessor to the Xterra) I kept it in Bridgstone Duelers.  Both are great tires.  The little snow peaks?  They are for real.  I often have the Xterra off pavement on two tracks in the woods in wintertime.  

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Thanks, @LongStride. I don't know if I'll ever need the snow capability, with my Silverado,  as it rarely leaves Florida anymore, but it's nice to have it, just in case. 

 

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Ok - so I finally landed on the MICHELIN LTX A/T 2 - LT275 /65 R18 123R E1 RWL  for my Toyota Tundra.  I did NOT go with the P275 /65 R18 114T SL BSW TM as they are not 'E' rated tires.  What are your thoughts....did I buy a good tire for towing?  I know the ride will be a little rough because they are 'E' rated tires, but that is ok.  I did hear that I should keep a higher pressure when towing, and lower the pressure when not towing.  Any thoughts on that, and maybe some ideas on what PSI's?  Thanks!  

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26 minutes ago, tripmushrv said:

Ok - so I finally landed on the MICHELIN LTX A/T 2 - LT275 /65 R18 123R E1 RWL  for my Toyota Tundra.  I did NOT go with the P275 /65 R18 114T SL BSW TM as they are not 'E' rated tires.  What are your thoughts....did I buy a good tire for towing?  I know the ride will be a little rough because they are 'E' rated tires, but that is ok.  I did hear that I should keep a higher pressure when towing, and lower the pressure when not towing.  Any thoughts on that, and maybe some ideas on what PSI's?  Thanks!  

Whoever installed the LT tires should have placed an addendum Tire and Loading Information placard on the door jamb beside the original one. The addendum sticker should show recalculated minimum tire pressures for the LT tires that insure a carrying capacity not less than that of the factory original P rated tires.

If you do not have amended tire pressures, find a tire dealer that knows what they're doing. Alternatively, it's not rocket science and may be within your own capabilities as long as you understand the objective and process. Also, be sure to reset the TPMS system so the warning threshold reflects the new placard values.

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