Jump to content

Best Tire and Wheel Sizes on your HD Tow Vehicles?


jd1923

Recommended Posts

Looking for advice, from those of experience with HD tow vehicles, diesel trucks preferred. Thinking on upgrading our 16x8" OEM rims with LT265/75R16 tires, but not sure as the stock rims are Mopar USA manufactured (hard to come by these days). However, there are not a lot of tire size choices for 16" wheels.

Dodge and other makes have increased the wheel diameters through the years. I may move to 17" or 18" wheels. This thread is for 2500 and 3500 series trucks ONLY (Ford F250/350). Please NO half-ton trucks or SUVs of any kind.

Please reply here with your truck year, make and model and your OEM tire size. Also, please let me know if you replaced your OEM tires and/or wheels with a size you prefer. So many new truck owners are going the other direction, replacing 20" wheels with 18s. Thanks

Wheel Label.jpg

Ram Wheel.jpg

  • Like 1

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

travel trailer units for sale
Find Oliver Inventory Travel Trailers for Sale
View Inventory
  • Moderators

I don't meet the requirements that you state above for those that comment.  However, it appears to me that (as you say) most manufacturers are going to 18 inch wheels.  That is the direction that I'd go if I were in your shoes.

Good luck.

Bill

  • Thanks 2
  • Like 1

2023 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing, Max Payload, 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would look for used or reman Power Wagon 17”x8” wheels, for example:

IMG_4333.thumb.jpeg.8e13a1c3a2fafdcb578da65b8500ec6b.jpeg
 

IMG_4334.thumb.jpeg.b0d6a0985cc829bd0c0b1c5ccede889b.jpeg


They are forged and very high quality. a lot of PW owners change them for some odd reason. If you buy used, a local wheel shop can refinish them for you, one near me said $100 each. Of course that depends on condition, that is for ones that are very clean and straight.

I would pick a size close to a PW of your vintage, don’t go larger unless you need the clearance. What is your intent in terms of roads? Do you need an All Terrain or more aggressive? Your Cummins will eat tires if you are not careful in your choice. You have a four speed auto? Be  VERY careful about changing the overall gearing, it can move the engine rpm’s out of the sweet spot that gives those wonderful mpgs..

Power Wagon Registry Wheels OEM vs Aftermarket

My 2006 Ram 5.9 had stock alloys and stock sized tires. I put on Cooper AT3 LTs and was reasonably happy with them.

John Davies

Spokane  WA

 

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 2

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I know you didn't want to hear from us with half tons, but based on John davies' post, I will tell you that I have not had difficulty finding 17" tires that I can love, for my 1500 Silverado. A few years ago, I changed out to Pirelli scorpion at+, and I really truly  like them . (My vehicle is also my daily driver, so around town and highway performance are both important to me, as well as braking in the Florida rain, and highway performance. As is noise. )

At 17", you'll likely find many more suitable choices. We really love the Michelins we put on our 2008 Ram. There are always trade-offs in longevity, performance in local conditions,  and noise, in highway conditions. I highly recommend tirerack reviews and testing.

Changing up from 16 to 17, as JED suggested, doesn't require a step stool for most people to get into the truck. 18 can be a slightly different story.

Even with  that, we installed smurf bars for my mom to get into my little Silverado, (my birthday present from my husband,  several years ago.) Now that I have them, I like them too. (Just under 5'4", latest measurements 🤣, and, of course, shrinking, as we all do. I used to be a whopping 5' 4 1/2", well maybe actually 5' 4 ")

 

  • Like 2

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not qualifying for your reply criteria here, but I'm bored and want to chime in anyway...

We ran Michelin Defenders on our 2015 RAM 3500 after we wore out factory Firestones (pathetic tires) at less than 30K miles.  We were pleased with the 18" Defenders on the RAM and went through 3 sets before selling it in 2022.  Actually went to 20" wheels when we bought the last set of sneakers for the RAM and liked the "ride" better with the 20"ers.  FYI:  still running Defenders on our 20"ers on the Tundra.

image.thumb.jpeg.9baa1c8338f291db09d74d099701f9fe.jpeg

Seems like there's a wider tire selection range for the 18" and 20" rims, if that makes a difference for you.  Tire "type" (road, M&S, off-road, etc.) selection is clearly a function of driving style and owner's needs.

 

  • Like 2

image.jpeg.d2bb1fb57cf69bbe58358f874b3bbff4.jpeg

Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

My Ram 2500 came with 20” wheels and 285/60-20 Firestone tires.  The tires weren’t so great, okay on dry pavement but that’s about it.  At 30K miles I replaced them with 35/12.5-18 Cooper AT3 XLT’s.  Same as on my trailer.  Bought new 18” wheels and sold the 20” wheels and tires.  After about 30K miles, it’s been a good swap, very happy with the results.  Mike

  • Like 3

Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Mike and Carol said:

My Ram 2500 came with 20” wheels and 285/60-20 Firestone tires.  The tires weren’t so great, okay on dry pavement but that’s about it.  At 30K miles I replaced them with 35/12.5-18 Cooper AT3 XLT’s.  Same as on my trailer.  Bought new 18” wheels and sold the 20” wheels and tires.  After about 30K miles, it’s been a good swap, very happy with the results.  Mike

I did something similar with my F350, but I’m keeping the 20” wheels to put back on the old girl when it comes time to sell Big Ruby Red.  I’m also a big fan of Cooper AT3 Discoverer tires.  Here’s a link to an older tire Expedition Portal tire review that you might find interesting.

  • Like 3

Hull #364 - The Roadrunner 

2023 F350 CCLB SRW 6.7L

ALAKAZARCACOFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMAMNMSMO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

If I had a Cooper dealer easily available  in my county, I'd have bought cooper's vs the pirellis I run with now. 

That said, I'm not unhappy,  at all, with my Pirellis.

Tires aren't pretty. But they sure make a difference in our travels.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12

Florida and Western North Carolina, or wherever the truck goes....

400 watts solar. DC compressor fridge. No inverter. 2 x 105 ah agm batteries .  Life is good.


        
 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
4 hours ago, Wandering Sagebrush said:

I did something similar with my F350, but I’m keeping the 20” wheels to put back on the old girl when it comes time to sell Big Ruby Red.  I’m also a big fan of Cooper AT3 Discoverer tires.  Here’s a link to an older tire Expedition Portal tire review that you might find interesting.

The Cooper AT3 is a really good tire, I had them on my 1500s too.  I’d put them on my Audi S3 but they don’t come in 235/35-19! 🤣

  • Like 1

Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
6 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

At 30K miles I replaced them with 35/12.5-18 Cooper AT3 XLT’s.  Same as on my trailer.

That statement made me do a double take because it sounds like you are running 18's on you Ollie.  Can you clarify?

Mossey

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My 3500 is a bit newer than yours (next gen( as it has 17" wheels.  I would not go to a larger wheel on mine as I like taller sidewalls than most new trucks have.  I find that a taller sidewall rides better and handles better when towing.

If I had your truck I would stay with the 16's.  Keepin it old school, Man!

2021 Elite II, Hull# 898

2018 Toyota Tundra, 2003 Dodge Ram 3500 5.9l SRW

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
1 hour ago, mossemi said:

That statement made me do a double take because it sounds like you are running 18's on you Ollie.  Can you clarify?

Mossey

Yes, I can clarify. I’m running Cooper Discoverer AT3’s on my Oliver on the original 16” wheels in the original size.  Sorry for the confusion, would 18” wheels even fit?  18” wheels and 35” tires on an Oliver would probably require major bodywork!  😆  Mike

  • Haha 2

Texas Hill Country | 2016 Elite II #135 | 2020 Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderator+

I’ve had five different tow vehicles over the past 15 years of Oliver ownership.

The second TV I bought was a used 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ. I bought it to replace a (very bad choice) 2009 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited that I had leased with the intention of towing our new 2008 Hull #026 Oliver Elite. It had 20 inch wheels and worn out passenger car tires when I got it in 2009. I went to purchase new tires at Walmart, and found out that they didn’t handle any tires larger than 18 inch and they directed me to Mac’s Tire, a local tire shop here in town. When I got there, I told them that I wanted a Light Truck tire as I would be using this as a tow vehicle. They informed that there was no Light Truck tire for 20 inch rims. Muttering under my breath, I said what I really would like to have is a set of 18 inch rims. He made a phone call and about 10 minutes later a guy shows up with an essentially brand new 2010 Tahoe LT with 18 inch wheels and brand new tires. I told him I would trade my fancy LTZ wheels and worn out tires for his not quite as fancy LT wheels with the new tires. Even money, he was to pay Mac’s for the swap out. I kept this vehicle until I sold the Elite and bought Hull #050, the first Elite II sold in 2014.

The third TV I bought was a new 2014 GMC Sierra SLT 1500 with the 6.2L Gasoline engine and the Max Tow Package. I had found it on the internet at a dealer in Illinois right across the river from St. Louis and bought it over the phone. When we got there to pick it up I told them I wanted to keep my old wheels and tires. They swapped out the 20 inch wheels that had come on the Sierra for my old 18 inch wheels and tires and we were on our way. We kept this vehicle until 2017 slowly realizing that this was not a particularly great vehicle for an Elite II.

The fourth TV I bought was a new 2017 Silverado High Country 2500 HD with a 6.6L diesel. It was only available with 20 inch wheels. Ironically, the 3500 HD was only available with 18 inch wheels. By this time our Elite II was needing new tires so it was back to Mac’s. The grandson of the original owner saw me pull up and he came running out to see my new truck. He excitedly pointed across the lot to his new Silverado 3500. We talked trucks for a few minutes and he said the only thing he disliked about his truck was he couldn’t get any wheels bigger than 18 inch and I told him I felt the same way in that I could not get anything but 20 inch wheels. We looked silently at each other for a few seconds and I asked, “Wanna trade?” And we did. We kept that vehicle for a few years until I realized that I was about 700 pounds over my cargo carrying capacity and to be safe and legal, I needed a bigger truck.

The fifth TV I bought was a new 2022 Silverado High Country 3500 HD with a 6.6L diesel. I increased my cargo capacity by 1700 pounds and all was good there. But by the time I ordered my 2022 model, the 3500 HD had dropped the 18 inch wheels and only came with 20 inch wheels. So, I swapped them again.

The reasons that I did all this was due to what tires were available with the properties I wanted at the times I was buying. In 2007, 20 inch tires were rare and expensive. I wanted a size that I could buy at any tire store anywhere in the country. Seventeen inch wheels were the most popular size for trucks and SUV’s at that time and could be had at a reasonable price.

Between 2014 and 2017, 20 inch wheels became very common place but there was still not a great selection of heavy duty tires in that size. Eighteen inch wheels were the standard on all the HD trucks simply because of the availability of heavier duty tires in that size.

I could have stuck with the 20 inch wheels on the 2022 Silverado. But 18 inch tires are still easier to find and cheaper to boot. Besides, I’ve kinda gotten attached to those wheels.

  • Like 2
  • Wow 2

Steve, Tali and our dog Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie, Lucy and Reacher (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD SRW Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Mountainman198 said:

My 3500 is a bit newer than yours (next gen as it has 17" wheels).  I would not go to a larger wheel on mine as I like taller sidewalls than most new trucks have.  I find that a taller sidewall rides better and handles better when towing. If I had your truck, I would stay with the 16's.  Keepin it old school, Man!

Yes Mountain Man, the other side of my brain is saying, just put good set of tires on my OEM Dodge Premium 16" rims. I would not want 20" with a 60 profile or less but was thinking perhaps a LT275/70R17 vs. what I have in LT265/75R16. Looking at the Cooper specs, all their 70 profile tires will carry up to 3195 lbs. and the LT265/75R16 tire holds 3415 lbs. Will the 75 handle better in towing vs. a 70, or about the same? I also understand that with 17" wheels, I can upgrade to 3rd Gen front brakes and next brake job I will need new rotors (mine has rear drums which limits wheel choice).

I like that we have a consensus on the Cooper Discoverer AT3. Their LT and XLT are about the same tires, the XLT has larger sizes, and the outer wall has more AT look to it. I have the AT3 LT in LT265/70R17 on my GX470, because OEM was P265/65R17 and I could get the Cooper AT3 in a Load Range C, which is what I wanted there (not P and not Load E, perfect for the lighter truck). Of course we need Load Range E in a TV.

Picking up on JD's idea... I'm not fond of the 3rd Gen 5-spoke wheels, but really like the look of the 4th Gen 6-spoke wheels (see pic). I may have a line on a good set of these.

SeaDawg, I do have Pirelli tires on my '84 Goldwing, great tires! Thanks all!

Ram wheel2.jpg

  • Like 3

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wheel pictured above was from an eBay auction. They wanted too much for these (without the tires). I found another eBay auction last night and bought them at a very good price! They will need a little clean-up, but happy to have 17" Dodge OEM forged wheels! (Four center caps are included.)

Wheel s-l1600.png

  • Like 1

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 2015 F 250 gas with 18” factory rims and Michelin LTX A/T 275/70R 18 tires that ride pretty smooth and reasonably quiet. The original set netted me 65,000 miles and I replaced them with the same tire. 

  • Thanks 1
  • Like 1

Rick & Jerry

2017 Elite II, 2015 F 250 Lariat 6.2 L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/14/2023 at 5:51 AM, Rpopp said:

I have a 2015 F 250 gas with 18” factory rims and Michelin LTX A/T 275/70R 18 tires that ride pretty smooth and reasonably quiet. The original set netted me 65,000 miles and I replaced them with the same tire. 

Thank you Rick & Jerry, your note and others here and on the Cummins Forum, got me thinking that perhaps this truck should have great highway truck tires vs. ATs. We installed the awesome Cooper Discoverer AT3s on our GX470, maybe I do not need ATs on our Oliver TV! 

BTW anybody interested, I started what turned into an extensive conversation here: 2nd Gen Tire and Wheel sizes 2WD for towing | Cummins Diesel Forum (cumminsforum.com)

I've learned many things from these Cummins guys.
1) do not mount an AT tire on the front of a 2WD tow vehicle. This now make so much sense. I love our OTT forum, you guys are great, and I learn so much from the many forums I've frequented through the years. 🙂 (Wow, these Cummins guys are highly technical!)

I might just buy the newer version of your tires, in a slightly larger than stock size (275s are not available in 17s, only 265 stock size or 285 widths): Michelin Defender LTX M/S2 | LT285/70R17 (tirerack.com). What do you think?

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As noted earlier, we are pleased with the mileage and longevity we've been getting with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S2's since 2017.  Ran 3 sets on our RAM 3500 and averaged over 55k miles/set - most of which was towing a 25-foot AS. Still running them on our TUNDRA - no regrets.  The Defenders match our "style" of driving for a TV - they may not meet others' style; but we'll stick with the Defenders 100%.  Just my $0.02...again.  HA!

image.jpeg.d2bb1fb57cf69bbe58358f874b3bbff4.jpeg

Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, MAX Burner said:

As noted earlier, we are pleased with the mileage and longevity we've been getting with the Michelin Defender LTX M/S2's since 2017...

Yes Art, I remember. I guess I always had that in mind. When I purchased my '03 Ram, back in 2004 barely used, it had the BFG AT tires on it. I replaced them with the Michelin LTX tire of that era, and I can swear they lasted near 100K miles!

  • Like 2

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just received my wheels yesterday and will soon decide on tires. They look great and more so considering the price. Most eBay vendors want near $300 a rim, center caps sold separately. I found the one auction that had a full set for $500, $100 shipping and $40 tax, an amazing deal for $640 total. I still cannot believe it but they're here now and look good (3 rims and caps are here, 4th expected by FedEx today!).

I like the label information. They're not made in USA, like my 2nd Gen premium wheels, but "SUPERALLOY" made in Tiawan, on 9/11 2009. I believe these are forged wheels, and I asked the members of the Cummins Forum to verify. 

Made in Tiawan is NOT Made in China at all. Tiawan has been making high-quality tools for decades. Craftsman tools, during the 70s and 80s, when first manufactured tools outside of the US, built tools in Tiawan. They were always good, and then later Craftsman turned to China for additional cost savings and their tools turned to junk! Tiawan today is leading the world in high-tech semiconductor manufacturing. See pics...

 

Wheel stamp.jpg

Wheel front.jpg

  • Like 3

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Had a chance to clean up one today. I got a big old-school Milwaukee grinder with a 7" steel brush wheel. Cleaned up the tire beads too. Here's the before and after!

 

Wheel before-n-after.jpg

  • Like 1

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Holding up on my tire purchase since I want to purchase a TPMS to install in the new truck wheels and our Oliver. I sure have enough other work to do, with the Oliver, let alone the truck and any travel plans will be in the new year.

I read some posts here that mentioned Dill TPMS. Did some research and contacted them. They are releasing a new product this October, that seems worth waiting for! What a great reply I received from Dill Customer Service.

Here's what Scott said, "Our new system is arriving in October. TireRack.com will likely be the first distributor with parts ready the ship. Please see the attached teaser flyer and User’s Guide. For your truck and trailer you would buy two of P# 1604-V. That gets you eight valve-mounted sensors and eight stems that would be compatible with 0.453” and 0.625” valve holes."

You just buy 4, 6 or 8 stems with sensors attached and connect by Bluetooth, and then see your tire pressures on your phone. How great is that? No wiring installation! No proprietary screen on your dash! Can't wait! This is all falling together nicely- Gotta love it!

 

Dill TPMS.jpg

Dill New.png

Chris & John in Prescott, AZ | 2016 EII #113 | '01 Ram 2500 Cummins!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...