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Old 05-21-2022, 01:40 PM   #1
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Wide Tires on Tow Vehicle

All,
I'm curious about this, because I've seen several trucks pulling campers with wide tires on the truck. I've seen it with trucks towing TTs and Fivers.

Is this inherently dangerous, or completely ok? I'm just wondering if the sidewalls are strong enough.

I have NO desire to do it. I'm just curious about it since it seems to be fairly common around here.

Attached is a stock photo of the kind of tire I'm talking about.

Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2022, 01:55 PM   #2
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I would say you need to look at the load capacity label on the tire.

I am running a slightly larger tire profile than stock on my truck. But the tire capacity is greater than the stock tires that were delivered from the factory.
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Old 05-21-2022, 02:19 PM   #3
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All I can tell you is that LT tires tow a whole lot better than P rated tires.
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Old 05-21-2022, 02:34 PM   #4
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that's my experience as well.

Are those tires typically P rated?
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Old 05-21-2022, 02:44 PM   #5
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considering those sidewalls are stretched in that picture there has to be some strength loss with respect to the tires weight rating.
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Old 05-21-2022, 02:52 PM   #6
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IMO: That photo looks as if they have added spacers between the rims and hubs, or maybe even offset rims. The problem with that is that you change the engineering dynamics literally increasing the distance between the ball joints and the center of the wheel/tire combo. This adds increased stress to all the mechanical parts from the ball joints to the steering knuckles to the hubs, etc. I was in a tire shop once when a potential customer come in and wanted new tires mounted on his new rims, which were in the back seat and he also wanted those spacers added. The tire shop owner told him NO, just plain no. The owner told him basically what I just stated and that it was a disaster waiting to happen and the owner wanted no part of it.
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Old 05-21-2022, 03:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
IMO: That photo looks as if they have added spacers between the rims and hubs, or maybe even offset rims. The problem with that is that you change the engineering dynamics literally increasing the distance between the ball joints and the center of the wheel/tire combo. This adds increased stress to all the mechanical parts from the ball joints to the steering knuckles to the hubs, etc. I was in a tire shop once when a potential customer come in and wanted new tires mounted on his new rims, which were in the back seat and he also wanted those spacers added. The tire shop owner told him NO, just plain no. The owner told him basically what I just stated and that it was a disaster waiting to happen and the owner wanted no part of it.
X2 changes bearing load and alignment geometry
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:15 PM   #8
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X2 changes bearing load and alignment geometry
Yes it does but those that do it will never be convinced.

Some get away with it and some can't figure out why they're having problems.

Tires like that are often seen on vehicles with sound systems that can be heard in the next zip code.

FWIW, in my State, and I'm sure in other's as well, a vehicle with tires extending outside the body/fenders that far are required by law to have mud flaps that extend down to at least the middle of the tire, vertically. They're absolutely no fun to drive near on a rainy day or pass on a muddy road.
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Old 05-21-2022, 04:54 PM   #9
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I certainly don't think I'd be pulling 12K lbs on those tires. But I'm silly that way.
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Old 05-21-2022, 05:12 PM   #10
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Mostly people do that for looks. Wide tires are terrible in snow.
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Old 05-21-2022, 10:07 PM   #11
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I would like to know how many of the guys running those after market wheels have checked to make sure the wheel is capable of carrying the load that they are hauling, or are they just assuming that because it fits their truck it should be fine.

I raced autocross and pro-solo for years and my experience was that after market wheels would not hold up to the abuse that a factory wheel would.
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Old 05-22-2022, 12:16 AM   #12
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All I can tell you is that LT tires tow a whole lot better than P rated tires.
My max tow package Silverado came with P-rated tires on 18 inch rims and I've never had any issues towing with them. I keep them inflated to the factory recommended 35 psi. I've also towed with P-rated tires on my previous trucks and never had any problems with any of them either. P-rated tires are fine for half ton trucks. I'd only use LT on 3/4 ton and up.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:02 AM   #13
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I don't think the width of the tire is the issue. I think it's the height and strength of the sidewall. In the photo, there is very little sidewall and those rims are usually not rated for more weight than the empty vehicle. However, steel wheels with 20" wide tires and an adequate sidewall would be perfectly fine provided the proper offset was utilized. There are several factors involved, but I don't think tire width is one of them.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:51 AM   #14
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Once again, I will state you need to see what the side wall states for the load capacity. A photo will show you nothing and it is all speculation as to what the rim and tire will support.

As an example, which tire will support more of a tire load, or would they be the same?

An LT265/70R/17 or a LT285/70R/17, if you think the same you might be correct until you looked at the side wall tire load rating. The LT265/70R/17 has 121R rating and the LT285/70R/17 has a 126R rating. The rating numbers are what you need to look at.

From what I have found most but not all 20" tires for LT or light truck seem to have the 126 load rating on the tires. Which will support a load 3,748LBS in a SWR configuration. Or close to 7,500 LBS per axle.
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:22 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Yes it does but those that do it will never be convinced.

Some get away with it and some can't figure out why they're having problems.

Tires like that are often seen on vehicles with sound systems that can be heard in the next zip code.

FWIW, in my State, and I'm sure in other's as well, a vehicle with tires extending outside the body/fenders that far are required by law to have mud flaps that extend down to at least the middle of the tire, vertically. They're absolutely no fun to drive near on a rainy day or pass on a muddy road.
That's the way it is in Washington, which I see is where you're from.

I wrote the occasional citation when I tried to explain the situation to drivers while in heavy rain and they wanted to argue about it.
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Old 05-22-2022, 10:42 PM   #16
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The load carrying capacity of the tires AND THE WHEELS are important. Specs for both should be available if you were in the market.

But, low profile tires are inherently less capable of carrying a load than higher profile tires...in part because there is less space for the tire to compress on impacts. Relative air volume also matters. Lower profile tires are associated with significantly higher amounts of wheel damage from potholes, etc...a problem exacerbated by carrying heavy loads (e.g. tongue weight).

Making a large diameter, say 22", very wide wheel be as strong as a more compact wheel is challenging, and it requires more metal mass stretched out over that wider distance from the hub.

Large diameter, wide wheels and tire packages are also substantially heavier. Unsprung weight and rotational inertia increase dramatically with these wheel/tire combos.

Can a set of these large diameter, wide, low-profile tire/wheel combos do the same job as OEM wheel/tire combos? If chosen well, yes. Is it a smart choice for towing? No.
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:07 AM   #17
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Young kids seem to really like the big wheels with low aspect ratios. They ride rough, especially off road. It doesn't make sense for a 4x4. It seems like there is a consistent push for larger wheels, and lighter tires. Probably to increase gas mileage.
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:22 AM   #18
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as someone with 24's on their tow rig, i can tell you that the wheels are more than rated to handle the weight, and most of those larger diameter tires are Load range E as a minimum. The important thing is to make sure you dont stretch the tire on the rim, thats where you lose the capability.
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Old 05-23-2022, 06:33 AM   #19
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This wanting to customize vehicles has been goinig on as long as there has been cars.

The 1950s were the "T" buckets, The 60s and 70s big back tires and jacking up the rear. The 1980s and 90s the raised trucks with huge 4x4 tires. 2000s and on the low profile tires and now................. the Mid Alantic area raise truck front ends to the point you can't see over the hood.

They call it the Carolina Squat. After several deaths North Carolina and Virginia have banned it.

I do agree with the others load capacity and manfacturers recommendations would be the way to go.

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Old 05-24-2022, 07:31 AM   #20
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The other issue nobody talks about is the lack of fenders or even mud flaps protecting from rocks/debris being thrown back by those wide tires onto the camper, or any other vehicle on the road for that matter.
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