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Old 06-11-2016, 04:20 AM   #1
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Truck tire advice

I'm starting to develop a case of newbie-itis. This is our first (serious) truck and RV (more of a m/c camper). We don't even have the 5th wheel home yet, waiting on making a place to put it!

We just purchased a 2012 Ram 3500, long bed, crew cab. It has Firestone Transforce A/Ts on it now, needing replacement soon-ish. (Unfortunately there is a brand new spare to maybe consider).

My first question, which is more something I need to think about more, is do I get an A/T tire or more of a highway tire. One of the problems here is that we've never gone RVing before and are only somewhat mindful of how we will be using it. "Let's go see the Grand Canyon and other things", says SHMBO.

Inherent in that statement is how much boondocking do we think we will be doing on our winter, three-month journeys. Unless she gets laid off soon, we prolly won't even be doing that this year. So no big travel plans yet. Won't use the truck much.
Thought #1: maybe a highway tread makes sense now until we know more how we would use it. We're in NY state and most everything we wanna see is a gazillion miles away.

I was trying to back the truck, henceforth to be known as The Beast, into the woods where I've racked the leaves away, and w/o going into 4WD, it was slipping with the A/T tires on slightly damp soil.
Thought #2: I didn't even WANT a 4x4 until some salesman suggested that once I try to move the rig on some wet grass, you're gonna see the value of that. Point well taken.
Question: what has anyone's experience been with highway treads in what kind of scenarios? Does highway tread EVER make sense, outside of driving your RV to a season site and back?

I think I better hold the specific tire recs until I figure out what type of tread we should get. I know quiet in my little cars was always important, but this truck is pretty damn quiet as it is. Thinking I won't be flying down the road at 70+mph all the time.

BTW, this is the COOLEST site. You gotta love the Internet and grass-roots support groups. Got me and 43 years of BMW m/c ownership through the rough spots. (I wonder if I could put my sidecar rig on the back of...oh, never mind. That's what a toyhauler is for).

Sorry for the length of this. Had the -v option set (for any former UNIX OS users).

Nancy & Phil
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Old 06-11-2016, 06:59 AM   #2
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I would run the OE tires till they are worn out. By then you will know what your tire needs are. I have Toyo AT II's on my 3500 4x4 and like them so far.
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Old 06-11-2016, 07:10 AM   #3
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An unloaded truck, in 2WD, has very poor traction, because there is so little weight on the drive wheels. You will actually get better traction with a 5th wheel in tow.

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Old 06-11-2016, 07:53 AM   #4
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The Transforce, whether in AT or HT form, IMO, are one of the better tire values you will find. A commercial tire with a reasonable up-front cost. In my experience these are perfect for MH's as they appear to resist cracking and dry rot much better than other tires out there.
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Old 06-11-2016, 02:25 PM   #5
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I had both Michelin M/S 70,000 and Toyo 80,000 just keep eye on PSI and rotation.
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Old 06-11-2016, 03:13 PM   #6
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On my Motorhome I just put on a set of Firestone 1100 22,5 and am very happy with them.
On my 2004 Dodge 3500 I put a set of Toyo AT's on and was not happy with them in as they did not last long. 40,000 KM. My daughter put the same tires on her doge 3500 and had the same result. May be they have changed things as this was 6 or 7 years ago. I used to run Toyos on all my vehicles.
My next set on my 3500 will be Michelin M&S. They wear a long time and are pretty good for traction but still are quiet on the highway.
Just my 2Cents.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:01 PM   #7
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I've had over 100 new cars, and have run just about every brand of tire on the market. I honestly cannot tell the difference in handling or ride quality with the A/T tread tires vs. H/T on my 3/4 ton diesel.

As far as you live north, absolutely go with the 4x4. I live in the deep south where we seldom see snow or ice, and a 2x4 suits me fine.

I went through 2 sets of Firestone OEM tires, and they were okay. Switched to Toyo Open Country A/T's, and they were about the same quality as the Firestones. Now, I'm running Michelin LTX M/S-2's and they're simply a cut above--for just about $20 more. Costco and Walmart also sell the same quality tire cheaper that's got a tread pattern only available at those two outlets.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:48 PM   #8
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I did read your entire post, and know you have a 1T pickup. i've had good luck with A/T tires and A/S rated tires on normal unpaved and paved roads. These tires are not really designed for deep mud or snow (max 1-2"). I run B.F. Goodrich T/A commercial A/S tires and get good mileage, no road noise in the cab, and about 50-60,000 towing miles from them.
I also have a 4X4, mines a dually, and am satisfied with these tires. I've driven miles out in the desert searching for ghost towns, they handle loose sand desert "roads" in 4X4 but spin in 2wd.
I've driven in 4-6" of snow in 4wd without a problem with these tires.
I've never gotten stuck while RVing with these tires, and my truck now has 143,xxx miles. I think that's because I have 4wd when needed. I still have my D'max dually, but now travel in a MH.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:22 PM   #9
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I have a 2007 Dodge 3500 Quad Cab Longbed SRW 4X2 and tow 14K 5vr

We bought truck/5vr Nov '06 and hit the road FT for 7 yrs.

6 Months into our travels and after TWICE getting 'stuck' on wet grass I dumped the OEM Hwy thread tires for a set of Michelins A/T2s.

I do 60,000 miles per set which is conservative cause I tow heavy (at max load ratings)
They have served me very well..........towing and out adventuring when not towing
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Old 06-13-2016, 04:17 PM   #10
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Street is neat,

Originally Posted by J Birder View Post
An unloaded truck, in 2WD, has very poor traction, because there is so little weight on the drive wheels. You will actually get better traction with a 5th wheel in tow.


This is exasperated by the weighty HD diesel engine over the steering wheels which mar down easily.

Wear out the OEM's while sorting out "your" real world requirements.

We prefer the 4x4 with the highway tread. We avoid going off pavement for a variety of reasons.

29K lbs. can mar down to the axles pretty darn quickly.

Wet traction is probably our #1 criterion for tires, with wet pavement being the lowest common denominator.

Happy trails.
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Old 06-14-2016, 07:40 AM   #11
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Thanks, all!

Real-world experience is what it's all about.

The tires I have on now, at 32K miles, will get us through this year. And, yes, sorting our needs out will be the first order of business - first determine your requirements and the rest is just a matter of implementation. (8-)

There are a lot of moving parts. We're not prepared to take off for three months in the winter yet, unless my wife gets laid off, which is, in fact, looming.

Are we gonna only be slabbing it? Boondocking? Dunno.
Getting stuck on wet grass was the first concern one of the dealers pointed out to me, so I hear that.

Slight complication is the spare is brand new so may be tempted to just buy another three.

Thanks again. EVERY input has been great and mucho apreciado.

Nancy & Phil
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Old 06-14-2016, 08:06 AM   #12
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Go to your local tire dealer like Discount tires and look. Let your budget help dictate what tire would be best. I found Yokahamas to be reasonable priced, decent quality tires. And Discount tires offers way more brands than places like Costco or WalMart at competetive prices
Don and Lorri
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