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Old 04-15-2024, 08:09 AM   #1
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20" wheels for towing?

I'm shopping for a new TV. Likely a 3/4 ton. Chevy's "Custom" trim comes equipped with 20" wheels only.

Are 20" wheels okay for towing mid-size travel trailers? Does the tire size make a difference? ... would appreciate your thoughts and comments. I'm not concerned about MPG, and there won't be any off-road driving.

I'm an old-fashioned thinker and would opt for 17" rims. Maybe I've fallen behind the times - again.
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Old 04-15-2024, 08:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Sunspot View Post
I'm shopping for a new TV. Likely a 3/4 ton. Chevy's "Custom" trim comes equipped with 20" wheels only.

Are 20" wheels okay for towing mid-size travel trailers? Does the tire size make a difference? ... would appreciate your thoughts and comments.

I'm an old-fashioned thinker and would opt for 17" rims. Maybe I've fallen behind the times - again.
If the 20" wheels are a factory option, not aftermarket installed by a dealer, then the towing specs for that vehicle are as stated by mfr. Match the specs, not wheel size, to your trailer

17" wheels could limit your future tire replacement options as the popular wheel sizes today are 18"-20". Larger wheels allow mfr's to use larger diameter brake rotors.

As for falling behind the times, that's easy to do today. I just replaced an older tow vehicle that had a 5.6L, 300hp V-8 and ~400 lb/ft torque with a 3.5L V-6, 400hp and 500 lb/ft torque. Back in the day that performance was only possible with big block V-8's or diesels.
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Old 04-15-2024, 08:37 AM   #3
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Make sure the bigger rims don’t have a lower profile tire
I like lots of rubber between potholes and the rim
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Old 04-15-2024, 08:44 AM   #4
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It may not matter much on a 3/4 ton but on a 150 / 1500 class truck, 20" wheels eat into payload and on modern trucks, especially the higher trims, almost all the time, you'll be up against payload limits, before published towing limits.
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Old 04-15-2024, 09:55 AM   #5
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Also make sure the 20" tires are LT (light truck) and not P (passenger) rated tires. As P rated tires do not have the load capacity of an LT tire.

I myself would recommend the 18" tires since you can get a lot of LT tires in that size class from many different tire manufactures to suit your needs.
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Old 04-15-2024, 10:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Sunspot View Post
I'm shopping for a new TV. Likely a 3/4 ton. Chevy's "Custom" trim comes equipped with 20" wheels only.

Are 20" wheels okay for towing mid-size travel trailers? Does the tire size make a difference? ... would appreciate your thoughts and comments. I'm not concerned about MPG, and there won't be any off-road driving.

I'm an old-fashioned thinker and would opt for 17" rims. Maybe I've fallen behind the times - again.
my 2019 chevy 2500 started with 17" went to 18" and wish now i went to 20" still plenty of rubber for those off road excursions . handling is better with the larger rims . for towing i don't think it matters as long as you have a LT tire .
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Old 04-15-2024, 10:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post
Make sure the bigger rims donít have a lower profile tire
I like lots of rubber between potholes and the rim
The bigger rim will *absolutely* have a lower profile tire in order to keep the outer diameter of the tire the same (which, in turn, keeps the gearing, the speedometer and the odometer all the same, etc etc).

Like you, I like a lot of rubber between potholes and the rims, but you're not getting more rubber unless you're (1) going to smaller diameter wheels, or (2) moving to larger outer diameter tires (which can have all kinds of unintended consequence).

That's math staring back at you!
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:02 AM   #8
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My 2016 Silverado 1500 came with factory 20" P-Metric tires while my 2019 Silverado 1500 came with factory 18" P-Metric tires. Quite frankly, I couldn't tell the difference in ride quality between the two. Nor did I have any issues towing with P-Metric tires at the factory recommended 35 psi. Going with a 3/4 ton means you'll be getting LT tires, not P-Metric. But I don't imagine there will much of a difference between 18" and 20" there either.
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:07 AM   #9
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Our 2011 Chev Silverado Crew Cab LTZ with factory tow package does have 20" tires. I replaced the original ones with Michelin LTX MS2 tires. No issues of concern and we love the ride.

Yes, with this truck we do hit max payload before max towing limits. We just have to be careful how and where things are loaded.

Bob
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:19 AM   #10
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My 2015 Ram 2500 has the factory optional 20" wheels tire size 285/60/20. I prefer the look of the large wheel and tire combo.
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:22 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
If the 20" wheels are a factory option, not aftermarket installed by a dealer, then the towing specs for that vehicle are as stated by mfr. Match the specs, not wheel size, to your trailer

17" wheels could limit your future tire replacement options as the popular wheel sizes today are 18"-20". Larger wheels allow mfr's to use larger diameter brake rotors.
.
true, but I was always under the impression that the larger aluminum rims were primarily to reduce weight? Unrelated, but this string reminded me. I had a late 90's Chevy 1500 w/ 15" tires, which looked puny in the wheel well. Replaced the rubber with 30.5x10.5x15's, which filled the wheel well much better and yes, it threw off the spedo and odometer
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Old 04-15-2024, 11:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rhumblefish View Post
The bigger rim will *absolutely* have a lower profile tire in order to keep the outer diameter of the tire the same (which, in turn, keeps the gearing, the speedometer and the odometer all the same, etc etc).

Like you, I like a lot of rubber between potholes and the rims, but you're not getting more rubber unless you're (1) going to smaller diameter wheels, or (2) moving to larger outer diameter tires (which can have all kinds of unintended consequence).

That's math staring back at you!
Most trucks now days can be programed for the larger wheels and tires . chevys come with std 17" you can get 18" or 20" and both come with larger dia tires that the dealer can reprogram the truck to correct speedo error . When i went to the stock 18" mag wheels from a take off of a higher trim level chevy the tires were almost 2" taller but the dealer was able to correct . not the day of a speedo cable anymore
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Old 04-15-2024, 12:49 PM   #13
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In 2019, Ford REQUIRED 20” wheels for the Heavy Duty Payload Package.
Also, FORSCAN (the Ford Engine/vehicle program) can easily switch to any factory size tire/transmisson/rear axle to keep the speedometer accurate.
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Old 04-15-2024, 01:55 PM   #14
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And everybody got power steering
Wheel size and weight not such a big effort anymore

Now when I was a kid learning to drive power anything including a heater was a luxury
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Old 04-15-2024, 03:38 PM   #15
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I guess I didn't take into consideration reprogramming for wheel and tire combos, especially as being so prolific in the truck world. Thanks for setting me straight, fellers!
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Old 04-15-2024, 03:56 PM   #16
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as mentioned above in Ford's case the largest towing weights required 20" wheels.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rhumblefish View Post
The bigger rim will *absolutely* have a lower profile tire in order to keep the outer diameter of the tire the same (which, in turn, keeps the gearing, the speedometer and the odometer all the same, etc etc).

Like you, I like a lot of rubber between potholes and the rims, but you're not getting more rubber unless you're (1) going to smaller diameter wheels, or (2) moving to larger outer diameter tires (which can have all kinds of unintended consequence).

That's math staring back at you!
Lower profile tires will have less sidewall flex which will help with steering and stability when towing.

As for lots of rubber between potholes and rim, if tire is properly inflated it's no bigger an issue than a smaller wheel with higher profile. Under inflated tires suffer more readily from "rim pinch" than just sidewall height. FWIW it's only a difference in most cases of a 70 series to 65 or 60 series.

Don't overload, drive too fast, or follow too closely. Potholes are easier to avoid and less harmful if following these practices.
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Old 04-15-2024, 04:58 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Lower profile tires will have less sidewall flex which will help with steering and stability when towing.
Generally speaking, true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
As for lots of rubber between potholes and rim, if tire is properly inflated it's no bigger an issue than a smaller wheel with higher profile. Under inflated tires suffer more readily from "rim pinch" than just sidewall height. FWIW it's only a difference in most cases of a 70 series to 65 or 60 series.
Not the case in all tires, nor for all people towing. I occasionally tow with a 35 series tire (I know, I know ... but I do). Not much flex, truly, and the rim is a LOT stiffer, but you find the right pothole or curb, I assure you, a pinch flat on 22"s with 35 series tires (say, 285/35R22) is most more likely in your future than with a nice, comparatively tall 60 series. Towing or not.


Quote:
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Don't overload, drive too fast, or follow too closely. Potholes are easier to avoid and less harmful if following these practices.
Again, the details may diverge, but ultimately we agree.
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Old 04-15-2024, 06:21 PM   #19
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Generally speaking, true.



Not the case in all tires, nor for all people towing. I occasionally tow with a 35 series tire (I know, I know ... but I do). Not much flex, truly, and the rim is a LOT stiffer, but you find the right pothole or curb, I assure you, a pinch flat on 22"s with 35 series tires (say, 285/35R22) is most more likely in your future than with a nice, comparatively tall 60 series. Towing or not.




Again, the details may diverge, but ultimately we agree.
To "channel" fellow menber here, airdale, can you name a pickup brand/model that has on it's door sticker a tire with a 35 aspect ratio in it's size? On some specialty trucks like the Ford Raptor you can find OEM 55 aspect ratio tires on a
20 Inch wheel but 33" with 35 aspect ratio?? 22" wheels are usually aftermarket and non-hub centric as well which brings on other problems.



That sticker shows the sizes the manufacturer " certifies" for that vehicle with the regulators.
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Old 04-15-2024, 06:32 PM   #20
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My 2019 F150 with max tow/haul has 13,200 tow and it has 18" factory wheels. I have the original window sticker that states that tow capacity.
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