Heavier tires for half ton pickup

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gps42

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Apr 20, 2017
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I have a 1/2 ton Chev Silverado pickup with which I pull a 30 foot travel trailer.  I believe that I am within all the parameters as far as towing guidelines.  I still get the sway out on the Interstate when the semis go by.  I have read on this forum previously several times about people putting on LT tires with Load range E and they have reported much improved towing results.  My pickup has P265/65R-18 tires and when looking for LT tires in this size, I find them almost impossible to find.  Dealers tell me that almost no one puts these on a 1/2 ton pickup, so that's why they are hard to find.  Anyone have any suggestions?
 

Roy M

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I bought a set of E-range tires that had been installed on an F-150, he hated the ride. IMHO, if you need these on an F-150/1500 the truck isoverloaded but that is just my opinion.
 

grashley

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What is the truck GVWR and rear axle rating?  As long as the new tires have sufficient load rating to carry that weight, plus a safety margin, you should be fine.  D range might work.  Obviously, this assumes your load truly is within the limits, as you said.

Look for LT 255/70R 18.  They will be similar size and the 70 profile should be easier to find.
 

tc tom

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I have a new truck that came with LT tires. The new truck is very similar to the old one.  Both F 150's with same will base. I'm thinking great the new truck has LT tires to problem. Will it tows, how to say this, it feels a little squirrelly when I'm towing. It's ok but not like the old truck. The difference is the old LT tires had 6 ply side wall rating, the new LT's a 2 ply rating. I think it makes sense because the new truck seems to shift side to side in the rear. Long story short check the side wall rating. The old tires were BFGoodrich T/A's with an E load rating. Harder ride, $$$, and a little less gas mileage but towed great. One little twitch when the smi's doing 80 would pass me but no squirrellyness.

Hope this helps, Tom
 

Hanr3

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The P is for passenger tires, as in a great ride.
LT is for Light Truck tires and have stiffer side walls, as in better at towing and less ride comfort.
Find LT tires in your size. I doubt you need E load rated tires if the Passengers are carrying the weight now. Read the sidewall of your current P tires, it'll have a max load rating. Also read the door sticker, it will tell you max load. Match the tire load rating to the max load rating on the door sticker.
 

longhaul

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When the wife ordered her new 2016 1500 4wd  chevy crew cab I had her order it with 17" tires and wheels for the reason I can still find a 17" C or D load range tires. 
  Her OEM tires wore down to the bars so she now has LT255/70-17 load C  at 50 psi pulling a 12k gvw car hauler with a 8500 lb blue tractor.

I've seen  P tire sizes  in a SL (standard load) 44 psi or XL (extra load) 51 psi.  The 51 psi will stiffen the sidewalls up. Might check for your size P tire.

And some folks with a 1/2 ton truck and 18"/20" tires and wheels sold them  and went with OEM 17" wheels so they had more options.

Run those rear tires at max sidewall pressures when hauling/towing not the tire placard numbers.



 

Debra17

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I had a 2010 Explorer with 18? wheels. I wanted to put an all terrain tire with mud/snow rating on it. I found out there was nothing available in correct size in 18?. I ended buying a set of 17? wheels that took a tire size that would keep the overall diameter nearly the same as the 18? wheels. You might have to look at that option to get a tire you want.
 

gps42

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To brashly:  To answer a couple of guestions.  The GVWR of my pickup is 7200#.  The rear axle rating of my pickup is 3950#. These are the weights of my unit from last summer at our local elevator as we were all loaded up and ready to depart on a trip out West.
Total pickup and camper.  = 13,320#
Pickup total.                    =. 6620#
Camper total.                  =. 6700#
Pickup front axle.            =.  3010#
Pickup rear axle.              =.  3610#
The max load rating of my P265/65R-18 tires are 2469#
I thought that my unit still moved around quite a bit, and that's why I thought maybe the LT tires with an E load rating might help
 

FastEagle

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Hanr3 said:
The P is for passenger tires, as in a great ride.
LT is for Light Truck tires and have stiffer side walls, as in better at towing and less ride comfort.
Find LT tires in your size. I doubt you need E load rated tires if the Passengers are carrying the weight now. Read the sidewall of your current P tires, it'll have a max load rating. Also read the door sticker, it will tell you max load. Match the tire load rating to the max load rating on the door sticker.


The only way to get the actual load rating for use of "P" tires on a pick-up truck is to use the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressures for them. The reason being, the vehicle manufacturer has used a 10% derating value. Once you have that value figured out you have the minimum acceptable load capacity for the replacement (LT) tires. The OE tires had a percentage of load capacity reserves. that should be added to the minimum value for the replacement tires. I'd ask Chevy for a recommendation.


NOTE: To get the true maximum load capacity your "P" tires will provide on your truck, copy the tire load capacity from its sidewall and divide by 1.1.


This is an excerpt from the standard:  "When passenger car tires are installed on an MPV, truck, bus, or trailer, each tire's load rating is reduced by dividing it by 1.10 before determining,  the sum of the maximum load ratings of the tires fitted to an axle."
 

hoss10

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IMO after owning Pick Ups for over 40, if you are going to use your truck as a truck you should have LT tires on it.  The ride will be harsher but the tires will be much tougher and stable.  I run LTs on my new F150 and air them down when not towing or hauling and the ride is not much worse. Actually I prefer it, more solid feeling.

On my last truck I put on Michilien MS 2  which were E rated (a little over kill). They lasted over 120 000 kms.  They were terrible in the snow however.
 

gwinger

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Natrona Hts PA
I have a 2015 Silverado that came with P265/65/18 tires. I wanted a heavier load range. Problem is, my dealer said I could not change the size of the tire due to clearance problems in the front. He suggested putting on a leveling kit that would raise the front end about an inch and give the clearance I needed.
I found a set of Cooper Disccoverer AT/3 LT265/65/18. These are load range E that have a max load of 3500 lbs. compared to the
2600 lb rating on the P tires. 
They do ride a bit stiffer, but I take them down to 40lbs when the trailer is not attached and 50 when it is.
 

alan6051964

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IMHO, pulling a 30ft trailer with a 1/2 ton won't make much difference what tire you put on your truck. I think its going to be squirrely no matter what. i've pulled a 29ft TT with my 1/2 ton with P rated tires on it, WD hitch, tow package, the whole nine yards, it did not '' walk '' much at all ?, but it sure made me pucker up a few times !. do as you wish ?, but to me ?, well..i'll never do it again !..lol.
 

scottydl

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alan6051964 said:
IMHO, pulling a 30ft trailer with a 1/2 ton won't make much difference what tire you put on your truck. I think its going to be squirrely no matter what.

This was my thought as well. Even if you have some headroom in your truck's towing capacity, most 1/2-tons are not going to handle the "giant sail" effect of a travel trailer very well. Pulling a 6200# flatbed with bricks is a whole lot different than pulling a 6200# travel trailer, which is a mostly-empty box that is going to be influenced side-to-side by every gust of wind. Engine and transmission aside, your shocks, brakes, cooling system, and frame may not be built to handle all of that (compared to its 3/4-ton counterpart)... so you're going to feel it. LT tires might help a little, but the other components may still be inferior.

Check out this insightful and cautionary video, posted by (believe it or not) a dealership! Towing a Travel Trailer RV with a 1/2 ton Pickup! Watch this!
 

RobD70

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I have seen this videos and others this video as well as others he has out there. In my opinion he seems a bit full of himself and seems to know it all.  Everybody can have their own opinions on this subject, but it is not a "one size fits all" type of deal.  As I said in another thread - 

I do still feel that as long as you stay within your tow vehicles limits, you will be ok provided your trailer is set up and loaded correctly with correct hitch weight, weight distribution and sway control.  If you hop in your tow vehicle and hook up to a trailer and feel its ok just because the vehicle can handle the weights, you are asking for trouble unless you do things correctly in making sure the trailer  is balanced correctly.  Another thing that makes a big difference is the drivers abilities and confidence level.  A driver who just hops in and goes without thinking of what can happen and how to react , etc......could get themselves in trouble.  There are plenty of people towing 30-33 foot trailers without any issue or problems because they take the time to do things right.  You can get yourself in trouble and have accidents using any tow vehicle.  As with most things in life, proper planning is a big part of what your doing, if you want to do it safely.

I do not buy at all that all drivers and all 1/2 ton trucks cant safely pull a 30-34 foot or so travel trailer. It will vary a lot based on the truck and its limits or ratings, the driver and his or her  confidence and abilities and the trailer and how it is loaded and setup.  If everything is done right and setup right....bigger trailer most definitely can safely pull these trailers.




scottydl said:
This was my thought as well. Even if you have some headroom in your truck's towing capacity, most 1/2-tons are not going to handle the "giant sail" effect of a travel trailer very well. Pulling a 6200# flatbed with bricks is a whole lot different than pulling a 6200# travel trailer, which is a mostly-empty box that is going to be influenced side-to-side by every gust of wind. Engine and transmission aside, your shocks, brakes, cooling system, and frame may not be built to handle all of that (compared to its 3/4-ton counterpart)... so you're going to feel it. LT tires might help a little, but the other components may still be inferior.

Check out this insightful and cautionary video, posted by (believe it or not) a dealership! Towing a Travel Trailer RV with a 1/2 ton Pickup! Watch this!
 

pip

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Jun 21, 2015
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I had P rated tires on my F-150.  When it was time to replace them, I went to LT E rated All terrain tires.  Night and day difference.  If I'm not towing or hauling anything, I run them at about 40psi and while slightly worse than the P rated, the ride is fine.  This past deer season, with a couple ATVs on my trailer, coolers and other stuff in the bed I aired up to 55psi and the handling was much better than it used to be.  Haven't towed a TT yet, but I'm sure the results will be the same.
 

dave54

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Apr 13, 2005
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Northeast California
As many have noticed, most smaller pickups come with P tires standard.

This makes the ride smoother when you take it out for the test spin, and it boosts the certified fuel economy numbers for the EPA.

Dealers know P tires are really not suitable for a pickup, unless it is never going to haul anything and never leave pavement.
 

rpmjem44

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Dec 15, 2018
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Niagara Falls Canada
I run a 275/60R20 tires and live in Canada....I'm wonder what kind/brand is best for me to tow my TT (24ft 5,500 pounds) ... Drive a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi Crew Cab 4x4
 

nibroc

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the 'ville
rpmjem44 said:
I run a 275/60R20 tires and live in Canada....I'm wonder what kind/brand is best for me to tow my TT (24ft 5,500 pounds) ... Drive a 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 Hemi Crew Cab 4x4


trade it for a dodge cummins and never look back
 
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