Tires on tow vehicle - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-13-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
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Tires on tow vehicle

Hi All, I am picking up a 17' Casita in Jan. and need tires for my tow vehicle which is a Chevy 4WD Silverado. Since I will be doing a lot of highway miles I wanted a low noise smoother ride type tire. I narrowed the choice down to Michilin Defender. But here is where it gets difficult. This tire comes in a regular 4 ply sidewall and a stiffer 10 ply sidewall. The 10 ply is obviously going to be a harder stiffer ride than the 4 ply but it may reduce trailer swaying. What do you guys use with the Casita's regarding the sidewall strength.
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Old 12-13-2018, 09:53 AM   #2
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In your case, I would be more concerned about tread compound and tread design than sidewall construction. You are not specific about size or application.
What truck and what was OEM tire and wheel size?
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Old 12-13-2018, 10:20 AM   #3
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Chevy Silverado 1997 K1500 king cab 4x4 350 engine Tire 245 75 16. Towing a 17' Casita Independence Deluxe. Need all season with, low noise, smooth ride. Mostly highway miles.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:13 AM   #4
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I wouldn't use 4 ply tires on a truck for any purpose, especially towing. They are simply not robust enough for that application. Ten ply tires may be more expensive initially but are usually more economical over time as they last longer and the better performance during use is an added bonus.
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Old 12-13-2018, 11:16 AM   #5
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I ran Toyo Cross Country 10 ply (E Rated) on two different Chevy 4x4s and pulled a 31' bumper pull without one problem or worry. I also replaced a Tahoe with 10 plies and ride and wear were fine. Cost a little more but worth it in my opinion. Just install and balance and forget them except checking the pressures. Because they are rated for 80 lbs., you don't have to run them at that pressure. I ran mine at 45 front and 50 rear when towing. Not towing I would run 40 front and rear. Wore very well at those pressures. I will be doing the same on our '17 Tahoe when the OEMs are used up in a few months.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:02 PM   #6
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Have you tried TireRack.com? They have a tire selection tools that you answer a few questions and they generate a list of tire based on your needs.

Dan
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:04 PM   #7
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You want the load range E tire, I think it's Defender LTX M/S. I put the previous version of LTX M/S on my F150 and have been very satisfied. The stock tires were P rated. I had no complaints but noticed a clear improvement in towing stability with the true truck tires. Quiet ride, traction is fine and they have worn well.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:22 PM   #8
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I have Michelin Defenders 245R70/16 LTX on my Dodge Dakota. Never considered how many plies they had, but I just went out and looked and mine are 5 ply? 2 Polyester + 1 Polyamide + 2 steel. It shows sidewall plies as just 2 polyester. They work fine for me and our 16' Scamp.
I did have one sidewall cut from a rock on a really rough gravel road on our trip to Alaska that caused a slow leak. Happened near Whitehorse, and Walmart and Canadian Tire don't keep that old size in stock (special order), and Sam's club in Whitefish MT didn't keep that size in stock (special order) so I ended up getting a new pair in Great Falls (special order but they would have them by the time I passed through)
Seems like tires are getting larger, just like pickup trucks, and our ancient 16" ones are no longer popular enough to keep in stock.
Sam's club had the best price for me at the time.
If you do a lot of off road in your 4x4, maybe the 10 ply tires would be better, but how many plies are actually in the sidewall?
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:35 PM   #9
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The ply rating no longer equates to the actual number of plies. You should look at the load range which is stamped on the tire. A "10 ply rating" is load range E.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_L View Post
I wouldn't use 4 ply tires on a truck for any purpose, especially towing. They are simply not robust enough for that application. Ten ply tires may be more expensive initially but are usually more economical over time as they last longer and the better performance during use is an added bonus.
A common problem with "last longer" is that performance usually suffers.
Compound is important and covers a wide spectrum. While you don't need a real performance tire Like a Nitto or a G-force, you certainly don't need the hard compounds often offered on 10ply tires.
I bought Kumho Solus KR21 tires for my truck, nice specs on paper, good tread design and highly recommended by the tire shop.
I was replacing BFG radial T/As because they doubled their price and dropped their warranty...
BIG MISTAKE! the Compound on the Kumhos is way hard like a kid's bigwheel tricycle. They will probably last forever. or at least it will seem like it.
Compared to the BFGs, The Kumhos won't turn, accelerate, or stop.
One drop of water on the pavement and all sense of control is gone.(exaggerated to make the point)
If you want better control and traction for towing and normal driving on pavement in all conditions, Opt for a tire with a step or two away from a "lasts forever" too hard compound.


I haven't done the research for you, but Michelin can advise you if that's your brand of choice. With a name like "Corvetteguy" you must get my "drift" and want to avoid it.
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Old 12-13-2018, 12:41 PM   #11
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I seriously doubt there is a 10ply sidewall tire in your truck size. It may be 10 ply on the tread, but not on the sidewall. Typically it will be a 2 ply sidewall and a 10 ply "rated" tread. They don't actually use layers of plys like in old bias tire days. It pays to be careful when looking at these numbers. I put Weslake "10 ply" tires on my 2500 HD Silverado last fall and wore them out in 25,000 miles in the rears pulling my Scamp and a Bobcat for 2 1000 mile trips. Yes I did rotate them.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelbyM View Post
You want the load range E tire, I think it's Defender LTX M/S. I put the previous version of LTX M/S on my F150 and have been very satisfied. The stock tires were P rated. I had no complaints but noticed a clear improvement in towing stability with the true truck tires. Quiet ride, traction is fine and they have worn well.
They now make "Extra Load M&S" radials for SUVs and light trucks.
The Contitracs on my Transit Connect have a 25% higher load rating than the Nittos on my Mustang and they have a max inflation pressure of 51PSI.
They are like true performance tires for this specific application. I LOVE'EM!.
They are labeled "Extra-Load M&S" and have no "P" or "LT" in the label.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:25 PM   #13
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I am on my second set of Michelin Defender LTX M/S tires on my Pilot (147K miles). While I concur with Floyd's assessment of treadwear versus performance, I have found the Defenders give more than adequate performance on dry pavement and adequate performance on wet pavement with reasonable adjustments in driving speed, etc., according to conditions. They carve through nearby Salt River Canyon- 8 miles of sharp curves and switchbacks- with confidence.

I couldn't find the load rating but the max pressure is only 44 psi, so clearly not E's. About what you'd expect on a mid-sized crossover. I'd want the E's on a pickup pulling a larger trailer.

I have also run four sets of passenger Defender X A/S on a previous Sienna and current CR-V. Acceptable performance and long wear every time. Six sets total without a defect, premature failure, or uneven wear. They are really quiet when new but get gradually noisier as they wear. Obviously our location in the Southwest influences our choice of tires. At this point I'd need a good reason to switch.
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Old 12-13-2018, 01:47 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by garyhall View Post
The 10 ply is obviously going to be a harder stiffer ride than the 4 ply but it may reduce trailer swaying.

Gary, you won't have a sway problem with a 17' Casita. The heavy TW takes care of that no matter what ply is on the tug.
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Old 12-13-2018, 05:17 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Hi Floyd,



Those would be Euro-metric, following the standards of the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO). Both Euro-metric and P-type (Tire and Rim Association "Passenger" type) tires comes in standard load (SL) and extra load (XL) versions, with similar (but not identical) inflation pressures and load ratings. XL seems to be much more common in Euro-metric (no prefix letter) than in "P".

SL maximum inflation pressure is typically something around 44 psi (although maximum load capacity is reached by a significantly lower level, perhaps 36 psi), while XL is typically 51 psi. Standard load roughly corresponds to Load Range B in LT and commercial tires, while extra load roughly corresponds to Load Range C.

XL tires have been around in Euro-metric for many years, although I have only noticed them in P-metric recently, and I have found that some winter (and all-weather) tires in many sizes are only available in XL (so the manufacturers can cover SUV and light trucks applications without stocking both SL and XL variants); as a result, I have run XL tires (which I don't need for load capacity) from Michelin and Nokian on our minivan and cars.

I agree that these are a better fit for many vehicles than LT or commercial tires.

Brian
Just to be clear... There is no alphabetic prefix or suffix shown on the tire size (only the "R" designation in the middle)
The "Extra Load M&S" is in the "text" of information on the sidewall.
I'm sure it is related though.
I'm glad they came with my TC, because I had prematurely forsworn the Continental brand altogether. I hope that exact replacements will be available when these are worn out.
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Old 12-14-2018, 04:06 AM   #16
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Great timing on this thread as I need to change the tires on my Nissan Frontier and have been very disappointed with the performance of the Cooper tires I bought. They've not lasted more than 40,000k/4 years of mostly freeway driving, whereas the original OEM tires lasted 7 years and over 60,000k. Discount Tire mentioned the Defender as a better choice but I hadn't had a chance to research those. Although I live in Phoenix, I do want tires that will also perform well in rain and snow for trips with and without my Bigfoot to other areas. I'm in Santa Fe this week without the trailer and have no traction whatsoever on the snow that blew in unexpectedly.
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Old 12-14-2018, 07:13 AM   #17
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Defenders are not a winter tire. The things that make a good winter tire are in many ways the opposite of what makes a long-wearing summer highway tire: soft rubber, open tread design with jagged edges, and lots of siping.

For folks in the snow belt, the solution is often two sets of tires. For occasional forays into winter conditions, you may have to look at some reviews to find an LT tire that's a better compromise. 40K is not bad for a year-round tire with decent winter performance. Or if you just want to be prepared for an unexpected but rare snow/ice event, you could always carry cable snow chains.

I have driven our Defender-clad AWD CR-V on snow packed mountain roads. But very cautiously, knowing the tires' limitations, and it's not a regular thing. On ice they're useless and I wouldn't even try. And definitely not with a trailer.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:18 PM   #18
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Thanks all for the advice. I love this forum. I'm getting Michelin Defenders light truck (LT load rate E) variant put on today. I'm in VA so not to much snow, also I have 4 WD for light snow days, except for the record breaking 12" we just got.
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:54 PM   #19
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I think you will be very pleased. You'll need to decide on what pressures to run, both unloaded and when towing. There are size/load tables online.
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Old 12-14-2018, 01:13 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by garyhall View Post
This tire comes in a regular 4 ply sidewall and a stiffer 10 ply sidewall. The 10 ply is obviously going to be a harder stiffer ride than the 4 ply but it may reduce trailer swaying. What do you guys use with the Casita's regarding the sidewall strength.
I hope you know that "10 ply" is marketing hype. They are not 10 ply tires. They are 10 ply "rated" which means 5 ply tread and 2 ply sidewall. They are best described as "Load Range E". All modern LT tires are either 2 or 3 ply sidewall and, usually, 5 ply tread. BTW, this is the same design as standard load tires, just with stronger plies, but not more plies. For instance, "4 Ply" tires are not 4 ply tires either.

The Defenders are very good tires and I have them on my Ram. They are quiet, long wearing and very smooth running. Load range E tires are the best for full sized trucks that tow. You could probably find a tire that was either a load range "C" or "D", that would carry the weight you will put on it, but it's best to go with the stiffer sidewall of an "E" for less squirming, somewhat better puncture resistance and more ability to handle the torque.
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