Jump to content

Best Tire and Wheel Sizes on your HD Tow Vehicles?


jd1923

Recommended Posts

Since last week, I now have two wheels clean! It's a lot of heavy work with the heavy grinder and I like to space out the really physical jobs to only a few hours a day. There are other chores.

Just received my brake upgrade! Going to 17" wheels allows me to upgrade brakes, from Dodge 2nd Gen to 3rd Gen brakes. The rotors are 1" larger diameter and thicker material.

Parts include a pair of wider caliper brackets and upgraded EBC rotors and pads. It's amazing, but the calipers are the same, as they are HD already. Purchased all parts at Summit: EBC Brakes S1KF1502 EBC Stage 1 Premium Street Disc Brake Kits | Summit Racing

Check the pic below! This must be a 60% increase in brake contact area for my truck. What an amazing product! You guys with newer trucks, install EBC pads and rotors on your next brake job. Didn't want drilled or slotted rotors or anything. These look great, just dark and huge!

Ram 2500 3rd Gen Bake Upgrade.jpg

  • Like 2

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, jd1923 said:

Since last week, I now have two wheels clean! It's a lot of heavy work with the heavy grinder and I like to space out the really physical jobs to only a few hours a day. There are other chores.

What are you using, I REALLY  hope it is not a low carbon steel or brass brush. Aluminum oxide flapper wheel, no worries!

https://welditmyself.com/wire-brush-for-aluminum/

Have you considered taking them to get media or glass bead blasted? I am guessing you are going to paint them?

https://www.harborfreight.com/18-oz-portable-sand-blaster-gun-kit-59490.html
 

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II 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, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, John E Davies said:

What are you using, I REALLY hope it is not a low carbon steel or brass brush... Have you considered taking them to get media or glass bead blasted? I am guessing you are going to paint them?

Thanks for article @John E Davies. I'm pretty sure my wheel brush is stainless steel, certainly not low carbon, since I've had it for 30 years and it's likely well over 40 years old (bought many of my tools at estate sales).

Never any rust on it! Found something similar, there is a 6" Osborn Knot Wire Cup Brush on Zoro: Osborn Knot Wire Cup Brush, 6", 0003303000 0003303000 | Zoro This item is still made in USA, many others here Mexico. These ads do not spec type of steel. There is the compression disc on the underside, bolt welded to it, with rust on that part only. Glad to read that I didn't mess them up. The first wheel I cleaned 10 days ago still looks great!

No, not painting, not refinishing the fronts at all! Just cleaning the backsides (rust/dust from brake pads) and wet-sanded by hand where the tire beads contact for a good seal. Also, cleaning the bolt holes and gently the valve stem recesses. They are not perfect, but you can see from the pics on page one, they're really nice as is. Not building a show car, but a truck that will see a lot of dirt/gravel roads - they will look great!

What a beast of an old tool, mounted to an old Milwaukee 7" hand grinder that weighs a over 10 lbs. mounted!

Osborn Brush.jpg

  • Like 2

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 2003 Silverado 2500 Diesel it has LT 265 75 R16. I talked to my tire guy about going up to 17 or 18 inch wheels because I had been hearing about tire choices in 16 inch wheels becoming less available. He said if I were going to change that it would be better to go with 18 inch because there were more available in that size than 17 inch. I am at the point of needing tires now but there are still plenty of 16 inch available so I don’t know if I will change or not. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Copycat Carlton - I have LT28/70R17 tires on my TV and it is now time to replace those tires. I have found that there are plenty of brands in this size. My TV manufacturer recommends A/T tires but since I travel mostly on pavement, I am going to go with new Michelin LTX M/S2 All Season tires instead of a A/T tire.

2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, dewdev said:

Copycat Carlton - I have LT28/70R17 tires on my TV and it is now time to replace those tires. I have found that there are plenty of brands in this size. My TV manufacturer recommends A/T tires but since I travel mostly on pavement, I am going to go with new Michelin LTX M/S2 All Season tires instead of a A/T tire.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sure there are plenty of choices out there since the 16 inch tires are plentiful I am sure the 17’s would be even more so. I probably will just stay with the 16’s and then eventually get a new TV. I really like the new 3.0 Duramax Chevy or GMC trucks. I think they do well towing the Elite II. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Copycat Carlton said:

I am sure there are plenty of choices out there since the 16 inch tires are plentiful, I am sure the 17’s would be even more so. I probably will just stay with the 16’s and then eventually get a new TV. I really like the new 3.0 Duramax Chevy or GMC trucks. I think they do well towing the Elite II. 

For sure no sense changing wheels sizes, when thinking new TV!

I went with 17s and I believe it is the best upgrade in size when starting with an OEM LT265/75R16 tire size. The 17" wheels allows you to go to the LT265/70R17 size, keeping the exact tire height (do not get taller tires when towing) and width in this case. This upgrade also allows me to go to 17" front brakes, as mentioned above.

Also, the 70-profile tire is a better highway size than a 75-profile tire (for off road, 75 and 85 are preferred). 18" wheels become too large an upgrade from 16" and you would need a 65 profile or they will be taller, causing drive-train stress and difficulty climbing mountains. Newer trucks with 65 profile or less will handle firm and drive rough, and the OEM 75 profile is softer, a little bouncier.

"Tire guys" that say 18s or larger, do it from muscle memory, since "everybody" wants BIG 35-37" tires that stick out beyond the fenders, right?

  • Love 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

In my experience,  17 inch tires are less expensive,  more easily available than 18 and above. 

I think you made a good choice. 

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

  • 3 weeks later...

Purchased my new tires this week. I went with SIMPLETIRE, after dealing with a young 'know-it-all' at Discount Tire, having upset me with his spiel, obviously on commission, wanting to sell me a house brand nobody has EVER heard of, but of course it's "in stock today!" Should I forego my endless hours of online research, and go with the opinion of a 20-sompfin? No. I have purchased 5-6 sets of tires from this chain, but not this time.

I had NO idea that I would buy the Continental brand for my truck. Last year was the first time I purchased this German brand for my '92 Lexus SC400 sport coupe. Need a tire for something sporty, I promise you, go with these: ExtremeContact™ DWS06 Plus | Continental Tire

However, we NEED high-end LT tires for our trucks. I went with these: TerrainContact™ A/T | Continental Tire. Sorry you Michelin guys, but I believe their corporate mission is mileage over performance, and I will forego 10K miles on a set of tires for performance ANY day. I was thinking Cooper AT3 to start, and we have these on our GX470 and very happy with them, but I wanted something new, and something stronger higher performing! 

I have purchased many sets of tires from Tire Rack also. I ordered these from SIMPLETIRE since they have local installers and one of them is a shop we use for service, when I'm not wanting to do the work. Ordered Wednesday, they shipped Thursday from Phoenix, and they arrived on Friday. Too bad their first available appointment is Monday, not too bad. More info coming soon.

This guy was the straw. He's just an old-school tire guy and his message hit home with me! The feature that really stuck me with this AT tire is that it has outer treads that are connected inline like a HT tire with extremely large rainwater channels. This is the best of AT and HT designs for your LT tire! 

 

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, jd1923 said:

 my '92 Lexus SC400 sport coupe. 

We sold my wife’s ‘98 SC400 two years ago, got about $11,000 for it online. They are very very neat cars, if you have any issues or want to chat, PM me. For example, when your failing capacitors in the ECU destroy the mother board, and they will fail, they cause all sorts or crazy issues, an easy $150 fix, if your board is OK. It’s a pay me now a little, or pay me later a lot thing.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II 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, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

We sold my wife’s ‘98 SC400 two years ago...

John, I should have bought yours! The 1998 has the higher HP engine, variable timing, etc. Mine is the first year 1992, 90K miles for $12,500 in Phoenix. I love driving 2DR HT rear-wheel drive cars and trucks, won't buy a FWD car. We also have a 2000 Lincoln LS, a 4DR but also v8 with RWD (found it up in Gillette WY 3 years ago with only 11,600 miles). Need AWD, then we drive the GX470! Had more in the past, but currently are a 2-car, 3-truck family (got an old T100 on the lot too).

Pretty copperish color with good maintenance history, was dealer exec owned. No issues yet, but will keep you in mind, thanks. In one year, only changed the oil, flushed brake fluid, new wiper blades, hood struts and a beautiful set of wheels and tires! 

IMG_0875.JPG

IMG_0876.JPG

  • Like 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, enough about tires on other vehicles (sorry about the tangent)...

Had my new tires mounted on our tow vehicle today!!! Everything worked out better than expected, as I was truly worried (whenever I'm not personally doing the work myself, I worry)!

I asked the shop to mount BSW out (I really wanted to mount OWL out this time, since our truck is white, but the white lettering was scuffed on most tires, not like back in the day, when you would read BFG, Goodyear or Cooper clearly). Also, please use tape-on vs. clip-on weights mounted to the rims, and finally please let me know, call me if any wheel needs much more than 8 OZ of weight to balance.

Everything worked out great! Today was a very good day. Drove the truck home and right away I could feel that these tires track better. I will need to go out again, when I have more time, to get up to highway speeds, though all is looking A+ positive.

I was able to mount the newer model 17" Dodge Ram wheels and mount the original center caps from my 2nd Gen Ram. So, we have 2023 high-end Continental TerrainContact AT tires, on 2010 Dodge Ram wheels, on an older yet amazing 2001 2nd Gen Dodge 2500 Cummins. Ya gotta love it, but what's important is we love it!

Two wheels took 8 oz weights to balance. One took only 4 oz and the best tire took only 2 oz - amazing! When you're considering truck wheels, these weighing 56 LB each, 8 oz is .009 of the total tire weight. When you consider the weight of the wheel, the brake rotor and all moving parts, the number would be more like .004! These are good numbers, very good!

Before the weekend, I will have the 17 front brakes shown above installed and we are on our way to an amazing tow vehicle. Our 2001 Dodge Ram 2500 was under 20K at purchase and will be under $30K when done, with more improvements to come!

I'm very, very happy today after our rebuilt and tested suspension, a well-balanced drivetrain, including these amazing Dodge Ram wheels & new tires! 😆

Tire1.jpg

  • Like 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New 17" wheels, time to mount the Dodge Ram 3rd Gen 17" brakes, with my EBC upgrade parts and reman caliper brackets, that have been sitting on my workshop bench for a while now. Had time to get one side done today. All I can say is NICE! A shout-out to the members of the Cummins Forum to make me aware of this possibility! This is a more important upgrade, living in the mountains, than tire brand choice. Looking good so far, more to come after left side and test drive...
 

Brake1.jpg

Brake2.jpg

Brake3.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Love 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

https://www.drivingline.com/articles/f250-30-000-mile-review/

Late to the party but these are what I run on my 2022 250 Tremor and my 2011 Lexus 570.   Love the tires and have had no issue at all.  I am biased since my son wrote the article and took the pics.

Edited by gatorewc
wrong year of truck

Erv & Sherry  Hull # 650

2022  Platinum SD 250 Tremor. 7.3 Godzilla

ALARFLGAILKYMSMONENCSCSDTNWVmed.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, gatorewc said:

Late to the party but these are what I run on my 2022 250 Tremor and my 2011 Lexus 570.   Love the tires and have had no issue at all.  I am biased since my son wrote the article and took the pics.

Congrats to your son, great article!

I will say though, the Nitto Recon Grappler®, is about the most HD A/T tire you can buy! Some might call it a hybrid tire (AT to MT). Great offroad tire. I was aiming for something with better highway manners, which was the design goal of the Continental TerrainContact A/T.

  • Like 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, gatorewc said:

https://www.drivingline.com/articles/f250-30-000-mile-review/

Late to the party but these are what I run on my 2022 250 Tremor and my 2011 Lexus 570.   Love the tires and have had no issue at all.  I am biased since my son wrote the article and took the pics.

@gatorewc 

A really nice write up by your son! Very cool!
We just completed a 6000 mile 42 day epic trip out west and are running the 35” Nitto Ridge Grapplers on our 2021 F350 6.7 liter Tremor. I am very pleased with how these tires performed towing our Ollie. I have them balanced and rotated every 5k. Based on your sons write up, I may consider the Nitto Recon Grapplers when it comes time for a new set on the Beast.
 

Thanks for your post! 

  • Like 2

 

2020 OLEII - Hull #634 aka-  “XPLOR” 

2021 F350 6.7 liter Diesel Lariat Ultimate Tremor aka- Beast

 

IMG_2879.jpeg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had 32.2 “ Ridge Grapplers on my LC200. LOVED them! They are a very soft compound, that is why they ride so smoothly and work so VERY well off road. I replaced them after about 30,000 miles of mostly towing, they were wearing reasonably well, but had gotten very loud and harsh by that point. The tire mileage warranty would have got me another Nitto set, at a prorated cost, but I decided to go back to Cooper AT3  XLT tires.

Same with the Coopers, love them when fresh, but they get unpleasant after 50% tread wear. All these hybrids are crazy heavy in the LT tire sizes, and they kill your fuel economy in a light duty vehicle. On an LC200 they completely destroy that comfy OEM car ride quality. Since I am no longer towing regularly I am going to put a set of these on:

Yokohama Geolandar AT G015 285/60R18 116H

They are 48 pounds lighter (!!!), per set, and do well enough off pavement for my use. I have had these on two other vehicles and loved them. But they are not indestructible like a good LT tire. I am hoping to pick up 2 mpgs, maybe. When you are averaging 14-15 not towing, that is a pretty big deal at $5 per gallon.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Like 2

SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II 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, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finished my 17" brake upgrade on the driver's side today. Chris helped me with bleeding again. She has a strong right foot; from all the brake jobs I've done! Mounted the front wheels and dropped it off the jack stands.

Backed out and WOW these brakes are crazy good! I need to stay off any hard braking for 1000 miles, except if needed for emergency purposes. I drove around the neighborhood, getting up to speed and then dragging the brakes gently. When I got home the brake rotors looked perfect. All the black coating had worn off evenly and nothing there but a perfectly flat steel rotor surface. Nice! 🙂 

  • Like 1

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Patriot said:
  On 10/27/2023 at 4:05 AM, gatorewc said:

https://www.drivingline.com/articles/f250-30-000-mile-review/

Late to the party but these (Recon Grapplers) are what I run on my 2022 250 Tremor and my 2011 Lexus 570.   Love the tires and have had no issue at all.  I am biased since my son wrote the article and took the pics.

15 hours ago, Patriot said:

A really nice write up by your son! Very cool!
We just completed a 6000 mile 42 day epic trip out west and are running the 35” Nitto Ridge Grapplers on our 2021 F350 6.7 liter Tremor. I am very pleased with how these tires performed towing our Ollie. I have them balanced and rotated every 5k. Based on your sons write up, I may consider the Nitto Recon Grapplers when it comes time for a new set on the Beast.

 

My brother has Ntto Grappler's on his F-150 (Nitto Ridge Grapplers) and his F-350 (Nitto Recon Grapplers). His recommendations were for me to get the Recon's for our F-150 Crew cab FX4 for towing Ollie and off roading each summer.   I did and could not be happier with about 8,000 miles on them. 

My impression is that the Nitto line up is along these lines:  

  • Terra Grappler   Almost all highway with a bit off road.
  • Recon Grappler Still mostly highway, but insisting on manners and good off road capability
  • Ridge Grappler is an off road tire that can tolerate on road to a point.

His and my experience s that the Ridge tires do get rougher and louder as they age, but if you are full time off road that's the tire for your.  About 75% of our miles are towing Ollie on and off road.  The rest is fast highway and full off road without Ollie   

As I indicated above, the Nitto

12 hours ago, John E Davies said:

I am hoping to pick up 2 mpgs, maybe.

I keep a 100% fuel log on pretty much the same track out west each summer.  I also found that the Recon Grapplers E-rated tires reduced our fuel economy 1.2 MPG over our previous MPG. 

Will have to put another few seasons on them to see how they last and age, but so far they are so much safer, durable and perform much better off road than my Michelin Defender's.  Yet on road they handle and perform almost as well.  All the above are great Pro's.  The Cons are:  reduced fuel economy, shorter life, and higher purchase cost. 

But the improvement is on order with that of a Houghton vs. Dometic Penguin.... Huge.

GJ

  • Like 2

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Are the nitto grapplers overkill for a 1500? In your opinion?

Vs michelins?

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

2 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

Are the nitto grapplers overkill for a 1500? In your opinion? vs. Michelins?

Yes, overkill for a tow vehicle period. Guys just like the looks. The 3 Nitto AT brands mentioned above, the differences are minor, as they are all AT tires, not at all HT tires. Suggesting that any Nitto Grappler is mostly highway is not accurate. All weather HT tires have 4 main rain grooves. And the outer treads are connected for steering control, NOT staggered like an AT tire. See pic below of the Nitto Terra Grappler (yes, the mildest AT of the brand) and you will quickly see there is not a single highway groove (a rain groove in line with the road) and no outer treads are connected like HT tires.

@John E Davies summed it up nicely above, re the soft flexible tread of AT tires. Michelin has softer sidewalls, 4 rain grooves, very hard treads connected inline for pavement, designed for long highway miles. If you live east this, where gravel is scarce, Michelin is the way to go for a tow vehicle.

I wanted tires to excel on the highway yet have stronger tread and sidewalls for the rock we have here in Arizona. AT staggered tread in the steering wheels will wander left and right across bad pavement (most of the US these days). Check out the tread in the Continental Terrain Contact AT below. The outer treads are connected for highway control. Just inside these are two huge rain grooves. Only the inner treads are of the staggered AT design. For me, this was the best design for our tow vehicle. Only time will tell as to whether I made the best choice.

First pic is the Nitto Terra Grappler tread, then the Continental Terrain Contact AT mounted on my truck and lastly, for comparison, the Michelin Defender where you can see the essence of highway tread in design. Notice the 4 rain grooves and outer tread all connected inline.

 

Nitto Terra Glapper.png

tire3.jpg

Michelin Defender.jpg

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, jd1923 said:

summed it up nicely above, re the soft flexible tread of AT tires. Michelin has softer sidewalls, 4 rain grooves, very hard treads connected inline for pavement, designed for long highway miles. If you live east this, where gravel is scarce, Michelin is the way to go for a tow vehicle.

First, I have used Michelin Defender and AT's for 90+% of all my tire purchases since 1970.  After having problems with them I started researching which of the many tires would work better for us.  We accumulate 94% of our miles getting from Texas to the far west to be in the mountains. Where there the roads where we fly our paragliders and hang gliders are all.... wait for it.... in the mountains and  where we go I rarely travel roads that is not gravel, mud or worse.    

Point is, saying from your perspective using an AT for places we find ourselves every summer "is overkill for a tow vehicle period", and we buy our tires because they look pretty... just does not wash with this member's, and likely more than a few other member's reality.

GJ

  • Like 3

TV:  2019 F-150 SuperCrew Lariat, 3.5L EcoBoost, Max Tow, FX-4, Rear Locker      OLLIE:  2018 OE2 Hull 342, Twin Bed.    OLLIE DYI’s:  BB LiFePO4's, Victron 712 Smart, 350 Amp Master Switch, Houghton 3400, Victron Orion DC - DC, 3000-Watt Renogy Inverter, P.D. 60-amp Converter, Frig Dual Exhaust Fans, Kitchen Drawer Straps.    TV DYI’s:  2 5/16" Anderson System, Timken Bearings, Nitto recon’s, Firestone Rear Air Bags, Bilstein 5100’s, Mud Flaps & Weather Tech all.

  image.jpeg.9633acdfb75740f0fd358e1a5118f105.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

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...