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Old 08-19-2011, 08:32 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GaRoc View Post
Appreciate all of the input and will head off to the scales on my next trip.
But first - a question.
If the front and rear wheel well heights are measured before and after hooking up (as recommended by the hitch literature I have seen from various manufacturers), and the measurements before and after are very close and in the same relationship as was present before hooking up, then would not the hitch setting be nearly correct? I realize that weighing is necessary to get the total weight picture, but do the wheel well heights tell the story correctly as to weight distribution after hitch hook-up?
Measurements of height can vary depending on all sorts of small things. Move the TV or the TV/TT rig five-feet, for example, and the height will change. Hysteresis. It's a beginning, but not enough to get the hitch rigging dialed in. So, no, height measurements are not enough. It's ballpark okay, but not the same as "good".

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Old 08-19-2011, 10:52 AM   #16
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Measurements of height can vary, but so can scale weight measurements, every time you load the rig, or use water, fuel or storage tanks. Granted it won't change much, but do we need to be this exact? At least some hitch mfg's do not even mention weight scales, only measurements.

I apologize for drifting away from the op's question on tires, but would refer to my earlier post on the excellent article by Andy Thomson.

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Old 08-20-2011, 09:51 AM   #17
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Height is a gross measurement, the scale is a fine measurement, if you want a workable rule.
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Old 09-04-2011, 09:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaRoc
I have a 2009 Ford F-150 with 5.4 engine and 3.7 and max tow package. I tow a 27 FB. The tires that came with the truck are Pirelli Scorpion STR XL P275/55R20. Ford calls for 35 PSI but the tires have a max psi allowance of 44 pounds.
I notice a bit of a bulge when hooked up even though I use a Pro Pride hitch and wondered if a Light Truck tire (10 ply) instead of the 4 ply tires I have would be a better choice.
However - there doesn't seem to be a LT tire available in this size - so I would either have to go up or down in size to get a stronger tire.
Any advice?
Thanks
I have the same truck and tow a 27FB as well. Changed the Tires to Michelin LTX AT2, in size LT285/55R20. I inflate the tires to 50 psi which according to several posts on this forum seems to be the limit for stock rims.

Have you measured your axle load yet? My rear axle is always over the GAWR limit and both truck axles together are always over the GVWR, at least according to the door sticker (which lists the OEM Pirelli tires). Next time you get in your truck look at the sticker - mine states "the combined weight of cargo and occupants must not exceed 878lbs". Four adults and four sets of golf clubs would exceed that - Ford sells this as a truck?
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:51 PM   #19
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I have an F-150 with 18 inch rims. I replaced the original 4-ply with 10-ply Load Range E tires and it was total overkill. 10-ply tires are very heavy and very stiff which really works the suspension resulting in a huge downgrade in your ride quality. I'll never do it again.

If you can find a Load Range C or an XL tire you'd have more than enough carrying capacity and you won't suffer from such an extreme degradation in ride quality.
What brand and model was the 10 ply "E" tire you had that was overkill?
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:56 PM   #20
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They were Cooper Discoverer ATR. I ran that exact tire on my old Excursion and it was a great tire. I still believe it's a great tire, but I should have gotten the load range C on the F-150.

I have about 15,000 miles on those tires and they're performing well. I like them in every way except the ride degradation.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:24 PM   #21
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They were Cooper Discoverer ATR. I ran that exact tire on my old Excursion ...
I am currently researching new tires for my 2001 4x4 Excursion. I am thinking a stiffer side wall than the current Perelli Scorpions might be benificial.

How many miles did you get out of the Coopers?
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:36 PM   #22
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How many miles did you get out of the Coopers?
I was really hard on those tires. Never rotated them. I finally replaced them after 50,000 miles because they were getting loud, but they had a lot of tread left.

I think 50,000 miles is pretty good for an 8,000 pound truck used almost exclusively for towing.

A word of caution. I replaced them with Cooper Discoverer HT and those were not good. Although they were the same brand and the same load range, something was drastically different and I had a lot of difficulty with stability, even running higher tire pressure. After just two trips towing I took them back and replaced them with the ATRs, which were excellent. To this day I still can't understand why there was such a major major difference between the two.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:57 PM   #23
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Thanks for the reply. 50,000 miles is an acceptable towing tire lifespan for me.

I would be willing to bet it is the sidewall stiffness that is different between the Discoverer and the ATR. In the reading I have done in my tire search, it seems that most all folks talk about is mud, water, and snow traction, along with straight highway and how noisy the tires are.

I have had a hard time finding information which specifically addresses sidewall stiffness/flex, as it applies to towing.

I love Michelines and have run several sets on my two Suburbans and K2500; I loved them. They are quiet and wear like iron. I got 88,000 miles out of a set on my wife's k1500 Suburban. However, I have it my head that a stiffer sidewall would be better on the Excursion. It might help make up for the loss I took in wheelbase when switching from the crew cab.
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