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Old 08-05-2017, 07:11 AM   #1
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Tow vehicle tires

It's time to replace tires on our Silverado 1500 used to tow our 2011 5.0 (not the T). One salesman suggested we should have "E" rated tires, although I think the weight rating on our Nokian WRG3 at 115H (2650ilbs) seems to be adequate.

I'd love to have opinions on whether the "E" rated tire is a necessity.

Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:40 AM   #2
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With less than 700 lbs pin weight in the bed I think you're perfectly fine.

The salesman was probably thinking of the giant stickie 5th wheels. A friend has one that's 38 ft long, weighs almost 12,000 pounds, and uses a dedicated RV hauler Ford 450 to haul it.
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:04 AM   #3
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Most half ton 1500 series trucks have P metric tires that are most often sufficient within the capabilities of a half ton truck. I still prefer light truck (LT) tires because they are more robust in a number of ways. My truck, a RAM 1500 with the Outdoorsman package, actually came standard with LT tires which is rare in the half ton category. One reason I like the LT tires - I reside in a remote area and must drive gravel for a bit before I get to pavement when leaving home. I have had gravel puncture P metric tires but so far have not had any flats due to gravel since using LT tires.
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:12 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by New Adventures View Post
Most half ton 1500 series trucks have P metric tires that are most often sufficient within the capabilities of a half ton truck. I still prefer light truck (LT) tires because they are more robust in a number of ways. My truck, a RAM 1500 with the Outdoorsman package, actually came standard with LT tires which is rare in the half ton category. One reason I like the LT tires - I reside in a remote area and must drive gravel for a bit before I get to pavement when leaving home. I have had gravel puncture P metric tires but so far have not had any flats due to gravel since using LT tires.
My 2014 Ram 1500 came with P metric tires as do most Chevy / GMC 1/2 ton trucks . I find the P Metrics tires have a smoother / softer ride but I have had my tires punctured twice by small sharp pieces of rock. We plan on buying a new truck this fall but if we decide to keep our present truck , we will be purchasing a new set of LT tires. I find it easier to live with a little stiffer ride than changing a flat tire out in the middle of nowhere .
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Old 08-05-2017, 02:56 PM   #5
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We plan on buying a new truck this fall but if we decide to keep our present truck , we will be purchasing a new set of LT tires.

Before I found this truck that had LT tires I had intended to either (1) have the dealer swap out the P metric tires for LT tires (and of course pay any difference in cost) or (2) arrange with a local tire shop to drive straight from the dealer to the tire shop and swap the P metric for LT tires. I had the good fortune not to have to do that since I found a half ton with LT tires (unfortunately RAM seems to have discontinued the Outdoorsman package). I also plan to put LT tires on whatever we choose to replace my wife's Grand Cherokee or when she needs another set of tires. I made the mistake of purchasing snow rated P metric tires for her Jeep and had a gravel puncture within a month. Fortunately, no more flats since then but it reinforced that at least in my situation LT tires and a little stiffer ride are the way to go.
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:15 PM   #6
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As the owner's manual will say, and almost any tire information guide from a reputable manufacture or online retailer will explain, the replacement tires need to have at least the same load capacity as the originals. The original tires have a load index, which is a number - 115 in this case - so get tires with at least that number (the original capacity, since the Nokians are not likely the original tires). The Load Range (such as E) indicates the tire's capacity relative to other tires of the same size, but means nothing by itself.

You can get tires with much more capacity, but that mostly just increases the weight and cost of the tires, makes the ride rougher (even at the same inflation pressure), and increases rolling drag (again if run at the same pressure).

How does the axle's rating (the GAWR-Rear, shown on the placard at the driver's door) compare to the 5300 pound combined capacity of the current Nokians? Increasing tire capacity further beyond the axle rating doesn't let you carry any more load than the GAWR; conversely, if you are over the GAWR with the trailer, you have a problem which can't be fixed by tires.
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Old 08-07-2017, 06:41 AM   #7
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Thanks for great help... any brand preferences?

Thanks for the great information .... a couple more questions that come to mind:
1. Are all LT tires in the "E" load rated category?

2. Do you have a brand/tire model you've had good experience with? Do you like the all-weather tire category?
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Old 08-07-2017, 09:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islanders View Post
Thanks for the great information .... a couple more questions that come to mind:
1. Are all LT tires in the "E" load rated category?

2. Do you have a brand/tire model you've had good experience with? Do you like the all-weather tire category?
Climate and type of use have an huge effect on tires . I 've had tires that worked well on dry pavement and were terrible on wet roads.
Others were great in the Summer but didn't work well in snow.
I had a set of Michelin tires on my company truck that gave a really nice ride but wore out in less than 40K miles.
They replaced them with a less expensive off brand tire , road like a lumber wagon , made lots of road noise but they lasted over 65K miles. The P metric tires that came with my new truck ride well and are quiet but I've had to put the truck in 4 wheel drive to get off of wet grass.
My point is , there is not a brand or type of tire that works well in all conditions or satisfies everyone.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:59 AM   #9
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I will echo what Steve Dunham said - no one tire is perfect for all situations. All terrain tires are a compromise of highway and off road characteristics and attempt to be the tire for all situations. Highway tread usually offers better mileage and are quieter while all terrain tires usually offer acceptable highway performance and better off road performance. In my case, I have had very good luck with the Goodyear All-Terrain Adventure Pro Grade tires LT265/70R17 Load range E tires with kevlar. These more robust tires have so far kept me from getting flats on our gravel drive and road whereas when I had P metric tires I could expect occasional flats due to sharp gravel. I also like that this tire is winter rated (three peak mountain snowflake symbol) since I reside in an area that has plenty of snow and ice during the winter. They perform much better in snow and ice than the all terrain tires (forget the brand and model) that were on my previous truck. They are also quite good on the highway in my opinion. Tire Rack has a few articles and descriptions of these tire. I think that LT tires come in at least two different load ranges but I do not recall specifics.
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Old 08-07-2017, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islanders View Post
Thanks for the great information .... a couple more questions that come to mind:
1. Are all LT tires in the "E" load rated category?
No. Load Ranges run from A to at least G. Essentially no modern tire is Load Range A, and there's no point in LT tires as low as Load Range B, but LT tires come in C and up, most commonly:
  • Load Range C - maximum inflation 50 psi
  • Load Range D - maximum inflation 65 psi
  • Load Range E - maximum inflation 80 psi
Note the maximum inflation pressure is generally not the correct inflation pressure.
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