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Old 08-31-2006, 09:19 AM   #1
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TV Tire Size

Just in the process of replacing our current TV to pull a new 07 19ft Bambi. New TV I'm looking at is a used Yukon with 5.3L V8 and set of 20" tires as well as the standard 16" OEM tires.

What difference good/bad will this make on towing the Bambi with the larger 20" tires vs the 16"? Any comments?

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:38 AM   #2
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Depends....

First thing to check is the tire size and especially the weight ratings and required inflation pressures. I have seen a lot of the larger tires that are NOT rated to carry as much as the OEM originals. They look cool, but the lower profiles that most folks use when they do this type of conversion might not be ideal for practical use as a TV in the real world.

Don't 'Pimp You're Ride' if it will negatively effect your ability to tow with it .
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Old 08-31-2006, 10:54 AM   #3
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For the 16" wheels you can get load range D and load range E tires that are rated for heavier loads. I'm not sure if either of these are availaable in 20".
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:33 AM   #4
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Most 20 inch tires are not rated for towing.
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:57 PM   #5
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And if the actual circumference of the 20's (Tire and wheel) are bigger, this will decrease the available torque to do the pulling.

So smaller outside diameter tire more pulling power.
Bigger outside diameter tire less pulling power.

Not an issue if the truck power train combo of engine/trans/axle is pulling much less than it's rated capacity. Big issue if the towed load is at or near the limit.

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Old 08-31-2006, 01:58 PM   #6
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I would change to the stock wheels and tires when towing. When showing, well knock your socks off with the 20's.

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Old 08-31-2006, 08:21 PM   #7
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We towed a 23 ft Award with a 90 Jimmy. It was the wildest ride I ever undertook because of the short trailer and the tall balloon tires on the Jimmy (31x10.5x15s). Once the trailer started to swing there was nothing I could do but hit the manual brakes. We corected the problem with a single anti-sway bar. I saw many Award trailers with Two anti-sway bars so it might have been a trailer issue. Our local Airstream dealer told me I should change the tires to 245R70s to correct the soft TV ride and I would also get better mileage and performance from the truck (probably to bring the RPMs up on the torque peak). Your 19 ft Bambi is about the same overall length as the Award, and the new Yukon stands rather tall in the saddle also. We towed a 25 ft airstream with the Jimmy and never had that problem. I never did change the tires. Couldn't bring myself to change the look of the truck.
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Old 09-03-2006, 10:42 AM   #8
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Ok so my choice between two somewhat similar used Yukons comes down to a few issues, including tires.

Vehicle #1: Eagle LS2 P275/55/R20's on 20" rims with 2 summers on them.



As well Vehicle #1 comes with the standard OEM tires (16" rims) which I gather are all seasons or more likely snow tires... not sure, will have to check. I didn't look at them close but they could have been more of a snow tire, and the owner uses the Eagles in the summer.

Vehicle #2 comes with a set of Michelin LTX M/S, almost new with 17" rims. P265/70R17 113S M+S



I gather the OEM wheels are 16" rims and the Eagles on Vehicle #1 are 20" wheels (same tire diameter).

So... what are you thoughts on these two options?

1. Are the Eagles on 20" rims fine for trailering? (previous owner used them for towing his bass boat). I can then use the OEM tires for winter driving. The Eagles are wider than the OEM tires (275 wide instead of 265).

2. Are the smaller 17" rims with a higher aspect ratio (70 vs 55) better for towing the Bambi or not much difference? Vehicle #1 has 2 sets which is a plus.

Thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 09-03-2006, 11:39 AM   #9
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Dave,

I am on my second set of Michelin LTX-A/S tires on my Sprinter. I run it loaded all the time as it is my service van and got 50K from the first set. They are load range 'E' and I would use nothing less for any serious towing, like an Airstream. I would be susect of the load range of the 20"s as having the same capacity as the Michelins. Smoother ride too due to the higher aspect ratio!
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:29 PM   #10
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Hi Lew,

Found the specs on the Eagle LS2's. There are rated as 111S, about the same as the Michelins on Vehicle #2.

So it is sounding like both vehicles have passenger tires, not light truck duty tires in either case with load indexes of 111 and 113 or approx 2400lbs per tire at about 35PSI.

Does this mean I should be looking to replace the tires, regardless of the vehicle I chose for towing, with a 'T' rated tire? such as the Michelin LTX M/S T265/75R16. They are rated at 4940lbs per tire at 50psi. Or are narrower tires better? T245/75R16?

If GCWR of the Yukon is 6900lbs, thats roughly 1725lb per tire, so aren't the 'P' tires good enough?
As you can see I'm much better at computers than tires...
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Old 09-03-2006, 12:37 PM   #11
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TV Tire Size

Greetings Dave!

I second lewster's recommendation of the Michelin LTX tires. I too am on my second set on my '99 Suburban. My first set of Firestone LT tires (load range E) only lasted 35,000 miles. The Michelin LTX tires that replaced the OEM Firestones at 35,000 miles were still serviceable when they were replaced by my current set of Michelin LTX tires after 88,000 miles. My current (second set) of LTX tires have over 53,000 miles and are still in excellent condition.

Even though the 20" wheels appear to be factory GM, I would be concerned about using "P" metric (passenger car) tires on an SUV intended for towing. In addition, I would want assurance from GM that the wheels have adequate rating for towing -- I know that several years ago it wasn't uncommon to find that some manufacturers would stipulate that towing recommendations did not apply to vehicles equipped with optional aluminum wheels (I don't know whether this still happens but it did in the mid 1990s when I was looking for a new tow vehicle).

Good luck with your investigation and decision!

Kevin
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk
Just in the process of replacing our current TV to pull a new 07 19ft Bambi. New TV I'm looking at is a used Yukon with 5.3L V8 and set of 20" tires as well as the standard 16" OEM tires.

What difference good/bad will this make on towing the Bambi with the larger 20" tires vs the 16"? Any comments?

Thanks
hi campadk

well the simple short approach would be stick to the stock size 16 or 17 and an e rated tire.

but i sense you like fiddling, so....

with the 20 inch wheels these are SOME the issues...
-mpg will be less with the 20s
-keeping air pressure right is important.
-20s have LESS air volume, so little drops in pressure are more signiificant.
-are they load rated and do they have the capacity? this info is available.
-what is the outside diameter of tire/wheel combo...
-if the osd is larger than stock...the tv has less functional towing power
-if the osd is equal to stock...tv power is unchanged
-20 inch tires that provide equal osd will have lower profiles/aspect ratio...
-some 20in tires with proper aspect ratio will have adequate load rating...
-some 20in tires with proper aspect ratio will NOT have adequate load rating
-the 20in tires will be louder and transmit more road noise/vibration to the tv
-the 20in tires will need to be rotated more often &/or rebalanced more often

-the complete suspension setup involves tire/wheel issues. some times suspension improves with bigger wheels and other times it doesn't.
-so occasionally shocks need to be changed for big wheels...this is especially an issue towing when weight loads increase at each hub.
-most 20s are heavier than stock so this increases brake distances and negatively affects acceleration.
-the 20in tires will 'appear' to improve handling...but actually what happens is the 'breakaway point' becomes less progressive. so if/when you reach the limits, the signal this is happening is less gradual...this translates to less control at the limits...a higher % of rollovers with large suvs happen on vehicles with wheel/tire mods than stock setups.

-using the 20s for towing into state parks, on gravel, country roads and so on...isn't fun. pot holes, curbs and other irregularities are problematic. it is easier to bend a wheel, cut a tire and so on with the 20s....
-the 20in tires will wear quicker...

-spare tire issues...is you spare gonna be a 20 or 16/17 this matters; especially IF the osd is NOT equal.
-proper torque for lug nuts...the 20s will have different lug nuts AND different torque parameters...gotta know and use properly torqued nuts.

so while 20s look cooler, for towing every issue related to tires requires more thought and more care. really this applies to everyday driving with 20s too...

as a car nut i've got modded wheels for everything and was planning to 'go bigger' on my tv too, but after considering all the issues...stuck with stock.

cheers
2air'
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Old 09-03-2006, 05:52 PM   #13
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2air,

You took the words right out of my mouth!!
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:44 PM   #14
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Does load rating really matter?

The performance/handling considerations are significant, but the tongue weight of a 19' Bambi distributed over the 4 tires of a vehicle with a payload capacity of at least 1500 lbs is not going to be an issue.

The added weight shouldn't amount to much more than 125 lbs per tire.
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