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Old 06-05-2015, 08:49 PM   #1
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What tires should I get on new truck?

We are considering buying a new truck to pull a bigger travel trailer. What size truck tire is best for towing? Is there a rule of thumb? What about all terrain tires? Dealer is trying to sell us several trucks with 18 inch and 20 inch tires. We want to tow a 7000 pound trailer (trailer and everything inside). Any information about this would be helpful. I don't want to totally depend on the salesman for this info, since his main objective is to sell a truck...not necessarily the one that is best for me. Thanks.
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Old 06-05-2015, 08:53 PM   #2
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Find out the replacement costs of each size tire. That's a great place to start you could be shocked at the costs for the same brand tire.
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:05 PM   #3
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Dee, we really need more information to provide better feedback. Are you sure about the 7,000 pounds? What is the tongue weight? How long is the trailer? Are you thinking about an even bigger trailer in the near future? Will the truck be a standard cab, extended or crew cab? Are you shopping at different dealers and when you do, ask to speak to the "truck guy" (most dealers have one salesman that specializes). Now to your original question - tire load range and weight capacity is more important that wheel size. Most 1500 series trucks now come with "P" rated passenger tires and you don't usually get LT tires until you move up to 2500 trucks.

Give us more information.
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for your help! The trailers we are looking at are around 27 or 28 feet long and 5000 pounds with hitch weight of around 500. We were thinking of buying a GMC 1500...hoping that would be enough to pull that size trailer. We see the trucks can have different size tires and we want to make sure we pick one out with the right tires.
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:18 AM   #5
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There are more choices for 18" tires than there are for 20" for E load rating. But if you are buying a new truck, maybe be able to get the dealer to switch them out to an E rating.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by DeeBee View Post
What size truck tire is best for towing? Is there a rule of thumb?
You're prying open Pandora's box...

There are myriad sized truck tires that are suitable for towing, including the 18 and 20-inch varieties. However, there are many other variables that will determine how well one tire will perform over another. The basic rule of thumb is that the tire is certified and is labelled as being able to handle the load that your travel trailer (TT) will impart on your tow vehicle (TV). Now it gets complicated...

Many light trucks of the half-ton variety come equipped with passenger car rated P-Metric tires. That might include those 18 and 20-ich tires you referred to. There are a number of forum members (bless their hearts) that will insist that you can't safely tow a 7,000 lb TT with P-Metric tires and that these tires can contribute to trailer sway. They will further insist that you won't be safe unless you equip your TV with at least Load Range (LR) D or LR E tires.

Here's the complicated part: We've been towing a 7,000 lb plus TT for four years and 21,000 km, over hill and dale, with a half-ton, equipped with... yep, you guessed it, P-Metric tires. We don't have issues with sway save for the occasional 30+ MPH crosswind but at the end of day, the tires perform very well. At no point in our travels have I felt compelled to seek out a tire with a higher LR.

More complications: You and only you can determine what feels right as regards your impending TVs performance when pulling your TT. You may be quite satisfied with a 18 or 20-inch P-Metric tire equipped TV. Or, you might pressure the dealer to install a suitable LR D or E tire on the TV, just to be safe (Pandora's box). Notwithstanding, you must ensure that you have a good weight distributing hitch (WDH) installed with a good sway control.

The ball is in your court...

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Old 06-06-2015, 07:40 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for the information!! I have been looking at the GMC 2015 trailering guide and we hope to buy a CrewCab short box V-8 truck with 3.42 axle ratio. Thought I had read somewhere that if you have 18 inch tires you have to take 500 pounds off how much you can tow. (Is that true???) So I wondered if a specific tire was what I should make sure we have on the truck we pick out. We have been pulling a very light trailer with a GMC Acadia (with a towing package), so we really don't know anything about trucks. I appreciate everyone's input!!!
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:31 AM   #8
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LT tires usually have the greater load capacity & do not flex as P rated tires do. For sway. As has been mentioned check replacement prices.

But just as important when you are mentioning weight of the trailer do NOT go by dry weight it only weight that amount when leaving the factory. Also does not usually include dealer added options. Better to go by gross weight of the trailer. It will be closer to actual when loaded with your gear, propane, etc.


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Old 06-06-2015, 08:51 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by DeeBee View Post
Thanks so much for the information!! I have been looking at the GMC 2015 trailering guide and we hope to buy a CrewCab short box V-8 truck with 3.42 axle ratio. Thought I had read somewhere that if you have 18 inch tires you have to take 500 pounds off how much you can tow. (Is that true???) So I wondered if a specific tire was what I should make sure we have on the truck we pick out. We have been pulling a very light trailer with a GMC Acadia (with a towing package), so we really don't know anything about trucks. I appreciate everyone's input!!!
LT (light truck tires) are the only tire that should be on a pick-up truck for towing. The only reason P-metric tires are used on a light trucks such as a 1500 series trucks is that most people do not tow and want a car ride for their grocery getter.

The tire should be an "E" rated tire and the wheel should be able to support this load also. Some wheels sold for BLING and Flash will not support the given load placed on the tire when towing.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:15 AM   #10
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the price gap is starting to narrow between the 2, but 20s are still quite a bit more. Look at the load rating on the tires themselves on the trucks you are looking at, and/or on the sticker in the driver door jamb
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