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Pulling RV: Best Truck Tires for Towing a Travel Trailer

Another important aspect about RV time are the tires you use. The tires take the load, the brunt of the impacts and more. Making sure you have the right tires on your tow vehicle is another way to upgrade your RV adventure.

The brand name doesn’t really matter here. What matters is the rating. When you are using a light truck or SUV to pull your RV, you want tires that are rated LT or for light trucks.

All you need to do to get more information on the best tires for towing a travel trailer, just keep reading. Our article points you in the right direction when it comes to installing the best RV tires on your tow vehicle.

Recommended Tire Pressure When Towing a Travel Trailer

There are two different rules that apply to the recommended tire pressure when you are towing a travel trailer. One applies to P rated tires (Passenger) and the other to LT rated tires (Light Truck).

Passenger rated tires PSI stops at 35 regardless of any additional upgrades. But that doe snot mean you cannot put extra air pressure inside those tires, You can go to a maximum of 44 PSI. But you cannot have a load capacity over 2600 pounds. The 91% rule will play a role in here as well.

For LT or light truck PSI, it ranges anywhere between 35 and 80 psi depending on load capacity. There are also different psi ratings for cold and warm tires. Travel Trailer tires can be pressurized between 25 and 80 psi and those levels will depend on the weigh of the load you are carrying.

Travel trailers should be replaced every 3 to 4 years regardless of the mileage they have on them. To get the whole story on tire pressure and what is best, click this link to get a very detailed report.

Best SUV Tires for Towing a Travel Trailer

As we stated earlier, the brand is not as important as the ratings on the tire. While the brand will play a role in the quality of the tire you use, good brands do have bad tires from time to time.

Here are 3 brands that make excellent tires for SUVs when they are enlisted in towing a trailer:

  • Michelin LTX M/S- Contains a special feature called a contact patch. This patch helps distribute acceleration and braking forces which helps the tire’s lifespan.
  • Firestone Transforce A/T- This tire is specifically designed for SUVS who need good traction as well as strength for towing. They perform well on different surfaces as well as in different weather conditions
  • Bridgestone Dueler A/T Revo- These tires have a tread life of about 50,000 miles and can handle speeds up to 112 mph. A nylon spiral design helps keep them in shape

Are Bigger Tires Better for Towing

Not really. The reason behind that negative answer is that there is more items in play when towing a trailer. While larger tires are good to keep the trailer hitch away from the ground, a 25 inch tire will lower the hitch 2 1/2 closer than a 30 inch tire.

You also have to take into account your speedometer, odometer and fuel economy. A tire that is 3% larger than the stock tire you get when you bought your vehicle will affect those readings and lower your fuel economy.

What works best for towing would be a stock tire or one that is only 1% larger than that. If you are going to go larger than 1%, it is a good idea to re-calibrate your speedometer and odometer so you get the correct readings.

18 vs 20 Tires for Towing

The smaller tire seems to be the better of the two. There are several reasons for this. First, the 20 inch tire, is further from the center of the wheel, making it harder for the engine to get going.

Second, the 20 inch gets less mpg than an 18, that is because there is more drag and the engine works harder to move the bigger wheel. A third reason is that the larger wheel provides a smaller air cushion and lower tire side wall and these factors tend to drop the tow rating, Along with ruining your ride comfort.

There is talk where it is predicted that most owners of RV trailers will eventually all go to 16 inch LT tires to increase performance, etc.

Best Winter Tires for Towing

RV use is not limited to just the good weather months of the year. Some RV owners love to or need to use their RVs during the snow season. Winter tires are not the same as summer ones. Here are 3 good winter tires to consider when you are planning your next snow trip:

  • Firestone Winterforce LT 225/75-17E Tire- Has a very aggressive tread that is made to handle heavy snow. This gives you more traction when you need it
  • Goodyear Wrangler SilentArmor Radial Tire- you can use this tire on or off the road and it works well in light or heavy snow. Great traction and stability
  • 225/75R16 Pirelli Scorpion Tire- for best results use with a 1/2 or 3/4 ton pick up truck. It has great braking power and independent tread blocks

What Load Rating Tires for Towing

Watching the load rating is very important when buying tires for your tow vehicle or trailer. The load rating is the maximum amount of weight each tire can carry safely. You can find the load rating for your stock tires in your vehicle’s owner manual.

If the tire has the letter P on it, that means it is load rated for passenger vehicles. If it says LT, then you know that tire is rated for light trucks. But there is another system in play here.

You might find one of the letters of the alphabet on your tire, say D or E and so on. Since D is the fourth letter, you multiply 4 by2 to find that a D load rated tire is equal to a 8 ply tire,. An E is equal to a 10 ply tire.

To get the right load rating it may be best to stick with the stock tires and their size. If you want you can check the chart below to help you decide.

Load- Carrying Capacity Index Ratings
Load IndexLoad (lbs)Load IndexLoad (lbs)Load IndexLoad (lbs)
099504191001764
1102514301011819
2105524411021874
3107534541031929
4110544671041984
5114554811052039
6117564941062094
7120575071072149
8123585201082205
9128595361092271
10132605511102337
11136615671112403
12139625841122469
13143636001132535
14148646171142601
15152656391152679
16157666391162756
17161676771172833
18165686941182910
19171697161192998
20176707391203086
21182717611213197
22187727831223307
23193738051233417
24198748271243527
25204758521253638
26209768821263748
27215779081273858
28220789371283968
29227799631294079
30234809921304189
312408110191314289
322478210471324409
332548310741334541
342608411021344674
352678511351354806
362768611681364938
372828712011375071
382918812351385203
393008912791395357
403099013231405512
413209113561415677
423319213891425842
433429314331436008
443539414771446173
453649515211456393
463759615651466614
473869716091476779
483979816531486844
494089917091497165
1507385

What Type of Tires for Towing

There are a lot of tires that will handle your towing needs. The key to finding the right tires is not only looking at the examples listed above but looking at how much weight you will be towing.

Other factors include the season you will be doing your towing, the distance you will be traveling and how much you want to spend. Also, if you are using a pick up truck to do the towing, it is best to go with a tire that is rated for light trucks,

Here are 2 more good tire types to consider:

  • Goodyear Marathon Radial Tires- provides constant tire and road contact which gives you maximum stability
  • Michelin LTX A/S Tires- can be used in all conditions, they have high durability as well as having a lifespan of about 65,000 miles

In the end, the tires you use will be up to your preference. Check with a reputable tire dealer to make sure you are getting the right tire for your towing vehicle.

Are LT Tires Better for Towing

The short answer is yes they are. That is because the P or passenger model tire is not designed for SUVs or light trucks. They are designed for passenger vehicles. Now some people may consider an SUV a passenger vehicle but they are closer to a pick up truck than a car.

When you are using a pick up truck or an SUV to tow your RV trailer, then the best tire to use would be an LT series tire. That is because those tires are specifically made for SUVs and light trucks.

Also, you should stay with the stock tire size that came with the vehicle when it was new.

Do I Need E Rated Tires

You do not need an E rated tire to tow your RV trailer. It is just that you may want to have it on your vehicles because the performance of the E rated tire is superior to the C or D rated models.

To get a good ride, you may need to inflate them to 50 or 60 psi but that is up to you and the amount of load you are towing. A lot is going to depend on how you want to ride. Differently rated tires offer different types of rides.

What makes the E rated tire the best is that it can handle heavier rigs or a heavier load than the C or the D rated versions.

Are Low Profile Tires Good for Towing

Not necessarily and the reason for this is that they do not have a lot of flexibility as other tires. Another reason is that there is little sidewall cushion available to absorb impacts.

Then they are not designed to hold a lot of weight. Also, these tires are designed more for show than they are top perform on the road. With all of that said, there are RV users and towers who have had great experiences with their low profile tires. They claim they get better turning control.

One thing to consider is will you be able to find a replacement if you have a tire problem? You never know what is going to happen on the road and you will at some point be looking for a replacement tire. This situation needs to be considered prior to purchasing low profile tires.

Are Michelin Tires Good for Towing

A lot will depend on your preference and experiences with the Michelin brand but all those subjective thoughts aside, Michelin tires are good for towing. You can get long life out of them, they have solid tread and they ride well.

What may give Michelin tow tires a bad reputation would be the expectation of the owners. They want the tires to last a very long time no matter how much weight they put on their trucks.

Or they drive down a lot of bad roads and expect the tires to hold up under extreme conditions like they were doing soft highway models. You really can’t go wrong with Michelin and they have recently updates some of their tire models and improved their performance.

Are Toyo Tires Good for Towing

This tire brand is a little cheaper than Michelin but the price is not always an indicator of quality. They also may work better for some trailer towers than others. It is said that they wear well and the tread can last over 45, 000 miles.

Also, they seem to have good traction in the snow, the only thing you have to be concerned about is the amount of nose between Toyo models. Some are louder than others, while others are heavier than their counterparts and can lower your mpg

The other thing you have to watch out for is that not every tire that comes off the assembly line is going to be perfect and like all the rest of the tires in its batch. Some people will inadvertently buy those tires and receive a very inferior performance and result.

Some Final Comments

When it comes to towing an RV trailer, you really need to be concerned about where and how the rubber hits the road. You want great tires that will perform well under any condition, help improve your fuel economy, while lasting you along time.

The letters and numbers on tires are there for a reason,. Make sure you learn about them and what they mean. This will help your tire selection and get the right tires for both your tow vehicle and your trailer.

Also, you will need to learn about load capacity and how it affects your tires. Not all tires are made the same thus they do not all carry the same heavy burden. Educating yourself about RV tow tires is a great way to protect yourself and your family while on the road.

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