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Tow vehicle tire advice

fallsrider
Explorer
Explorer
I want to ask advice on what to consider for tires on my '05 Suburban.

Details: '05 Suburban with 10-year old Cooper Load E truck tires (quite a bit of good tread left, but several years on them, and a total of around 37,000 miles on them)

The backstory....We left Saturday around noon for a 3-1/2 road trip to the Williamsburg, VA area for a two night camping trip with our son, my MIL, and my sister-in-law.

I started noticing a vibration that gradually got worse. I pulled off 30 minutes or so from home. I couldn't see anything wrong. Finding a repair shop was proving to be difficult on Saturday afternoon, but we finally found a Meineke that would look at it back in the direction of our home. We limped there. While I was waiting for the Meineke guy to come out and take a look, I started running my hands over the tire treads. Found my right rear tire had a broken belt. He agreed, and after I unhooked the trailer, they put it on the rack. The bad tire was very obvious on the rack. They had one tire of the right size, but it was a P tire, but also an AT tread. They moved the right front tire to the rear, and put the new tire on the front. They also aired down the existing left front tire to 44 psi to match the new P tire. We continued on our journey and it ran smooth as always. We're back home safely as of this afternoon.

Question....my three existing tires are 10 years old. They are at the end of their life as far as time goes, so I need to consider all new shoes. I could go back to P tires, but I always felt more comfortable with Load E tires on there while towing. It does make for a rougher ride while solo. Would you go back with Load E tires? Or put Ps on there? One thing that made sense to me was that a rear tire broke a belt while towing but still held together. I'm not sure a P tire would have done that, but maybe so. I don't know.

If it matters any, we mostly use the Suburban for towing and as an errand runner on some weekends. We've driven 37,000 miles in 10 years, so that tells you how much we use it.

Thanks.
17 REPLIES 17

JIMNLIN
Explorer
Explorer
70-80 psi in a 1/2 ton OEM wheel that rated in the 55-60 psi range ?? Best check your wheel mfg and see what they say about over pressure a load carrying wheel.
"good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment" ............ Will Rogers

'03 2500 QC Dodge/Cummins HO 3.73 6 speed manual Jacobs Westach
'97 Park Avanue 28' 5er 11200 two slides

fallsrider
Explorer
Explorer
Here's a followup....2 or 3 weeks ago Discount Tire installed a new set of Pathfinder HT light truck tires, Load E. We towed 3-1/2 hours each way on a trip, and they seem to be fine. I ran 70 psi instead of the 80 I use to run in the Coopers. These tires seem to have a slightly softer sidewall, or maybe the 10 psi difference explains it. I don't know.

I seemed to have a little more wiggle when passed by big trucks. But so far I'm happy with them. The Pathfinder is made in Korea. I also had them put on a new passenger tire for a spare because the original 18-year-old tire was under there. Not the best scenario.

Why on earth would you run that high of pressure?  That’s just silly. 
But your rims will be fine.  Not sure why that other feller is worried about that. 

Grit_dog
Nomad III
Nomad III
fallsrider wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Is it a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton burb?
What are you towing and how heavy is it?

If you are towing a 2000lb popup, it really doesn't matter.
If you are maxing out the tow rating on a 3/4 ton, you definitely should get the beefier tires.

1/2 ton 'burb
Trailer: 1995 Sunnybrook 26 DB. I haven't weighed it, but the dry weight is rated at 3,900 (meaningless, I know), so I figure I'm in the low 5,000 to 6,000 lb. range, (7,000 GVWR). I weighed the tongue with a full FW tank (it's as far forward as it can be and holds 42 gal.), and it was 710. I typically keep the FW tank around 1/2 full.


So actually in your case, it seems LT E tires would be largely or completely a waste.
Thought you said it’s an 05 Burb. Still have the OE 16” rims presuming. (But applies likely also if you have larger rims).
Here’s why you don’t need them. And why they would be of little/no benefit.
1. You won’t make use of the added treadlife if your tires will age out first.
2. For your vehicle, you can get 116 load index tires that will give you up to 5500lbs rear axle tire capacity. And you aren’t anywhere close to that, so a good 116 load index tire will be able to be pumped up plenty stiff to handle the camper well, (that you’ve been towing for years on presumably the same or lesser load rating tire).

Generally I’d say a LT /E load tire is a good value and decision for 1/2 ton trucks that get used like big boy trucks, or high miles.
But your vehicle and situation don’t appear to warrant that by the info you’ve provided.
I’d go find a nice cheap set of new/used takeoff tires if you can, on CL or FB or wherever, if it was me. Save probably half the cost of new at the tire shop if you find a good set.

Last year the ole commuter Tahoe needed tires. $350 for a new set of Goodyear wrangler takeoffs. Win win
2016 Ram 2500, MotorOps.ca EFIlive tuned, 5” turbo back, 6" lift on 37s
2017 Heartland Torque T29 - Sold.
Couple of Arctic Fox TCs - Sold

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
fallsrider wrote:
valhalla360 wrote:
Is it a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton burb?
What are you towing and how heavy is it?

If you are towing a 2000lb popup, it really doesn't matter.
If you are maxing out the tow rating on a 3/4 ton, you definitely should get the beefier tires.

1/2 ton 'burb
Trailer: 1995 Sunnybrook 26 DB. I haven't weighed it, but the dry weight is rated at 3,900 (meaningless, I know), so I figure I'm in the low 5,000 to 6,000 lb. range, (7,000 GVWR). I weighed the tongue with a full FW tank (it's as far forward as it can be and holds 42 gal.), and it was 710. I typically keep the FW tank around 1/2 full.


I'd get the beefier LT tires.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

fallsrider
Explorer
Explorer
valhalla360 wrote:
Is it a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton burb?
What are you towing and how heavy is it?

If you are towing a 2000lb popup, it really doesn't matter.
If you are maxing out the tow rating on a 3/4 ton, you definitely should get the beefier tires.

1/2 ton 'burb
Trailer: 1995 Sunnybrook 26 DB. I haven't weighed it, but the dry weight is rated at 3,900 (meaningless, I know), so I figure I'm in the low 5,000 to 6,000 lb. range, (7,000 GVWR). I weighed the tongue with a full FW tank (it's as far forward as it can be and holds 42 gal.), and it was 710. I typically keep the FW tank around 1/2 full.

opnspaces
Navigator II
Navigator II
If there is no badging and you don't know if it's 1/2 ton (1500) or 3/4 ton (2500) Suburban you can count the lug nuts on a wheel. 6 lugs per wheel 1/2 ton, 8 lugs per wheel 3/4 ton.
.
2001 Suburban 4x4. 6.0L, 4.10 3/4 ton **** 2005 Jayco Jay Flight 27BH **** 1986 Coleman Columbia Popup

valhalla360
Nomad III
Nomad III
Is it a 1/2 ton or 3/4 ton burb?
What are you towing and how heavy is it?

If you are towing a 2000lb popup, it really doesn't matter.
If you are maxing out the tow rating on a 3/4 ton, you definitely should get the beefier tires.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

wanderingaimles
Explorer
Explorer
Another option gaining popularity are Falken tires, Put a set on my Jeep GC last year, loved them, even put new Falken 191's on the Winnebago.

fallsrider
Explorer
Explorer
phillyg wrote:
I would only use E-rated tires on that vehicle.
There seems to be a consensus on Load E LT tires. Thanks.

fallsrider
Explorer
Explorer
NamMedevac 70 wrote:
For many years I have used only LT tires on 3 Dodge Ram 1500 and 2500 towing a 28 foot TT. Tires were goodyear, BF Goodrich and Michelin.

Now I run Hankook Winter Pike P275/60/R20 116 XL with T speed rating on a 2014 Ram 1500 4x4 that is heavily loaded with full camper shell heavily loaded and there is no squirm at all from the tires in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and even in recent harsh winter snow ice slick road conditions on steep up and down grades and sharp curves. Speeds between 55 and 75 mph. I would feel very comfortable towing a small TT with these tires.

Hankooks are great and Walmart gave them to me (set of 4 plus new full size spare) for 400.00 because original customer would not wait for store delivery. My good fortune. I also still have the new all-purpose tires that came with the truck with only 4 or 5K miles on them. Life is good.
Thanks for the info. I've never bought Hankook tires, though I'm aware of the brand. I'll have to look into them.

phillyg
Explorer II
Explorer II
I would only use E-rated tires on that vehicle.
--2005 Ford F350 Lariat Crewcab 6.0, 4x4, 3.73 rear
--2016 Montana 3711FL, 40'
--2014 Wildcat 327CK, 38' SOLD

NamMedevac_70
Explorer II
Explorer II
For many years I have used only LT tires on 3 Dodge Ram 1500 and 2500 towing a 28 foot TT. Tires were goodyear, BF Goodrich and Michelin.

Now I run Hankook Winter Pike P275/60/R20 116 XL with T speed rating on a 2014 Ram 1500 4x4 that is heavily loaded with full camper shell heavily loaded and there is no squirm at all from the tires in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and even in recent harsh winter snow ice slick road conditions on steep up and down grades and sharp curves. Speeds between 55 and 75 mph. I would feel very comfortable towing a small TT with these tires.

Hankooks are great and Walmart gave them to me (set of 4 plus new full size spare) for 400.00 because original customer would not wait for store delivery. My good fortune. I also still have the new all-purpose tires that came with the truck with only 4 or 5K miles on them. Life is good.

fallsrider
Explorer
Explorer
ktmrfs wrote:
Personally I'd never run a P tire on a burb, full size van, or pickup. Yes, they may ride better, but they won't handle the "squrim" with a loaded vehicle or towing near as well as a E rated LT tire.

When we bought our full sized 3/4 ton van in the mid 80's I didn't put 10K miles on it before off came the P rated tires and on when LT 15" tires. Much more confident handling.

My S-10 also came with P rated tires and they didn't stay on long either.

My $0.02 worth
Thanks. That's probably a good way to look at it.