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Old 12-18-2014, 05:41 PM   #1
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18" vs 20" Wheels

I am looking to buy a 2015 Chevy 2500 HD 4x4 truck. I am wondering about ordering the optional 20" wheels. Are there any advantages to the larger wheels other than looks? Is the ride quality better or worse with the larger wheels? It is a pricey adder.
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:52 PM   #2
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I have an '06 Ram 3500. They came from the factory with 17" wheels. Previous owner upped it to 18" and when I bought it I got both sets. I've left the 18" on it. I did put the original wheels on it for a few weeks last year while I had the rubber taken off and the wheels powdercoated. ( The chrome plating was peeling off). I like the look of the 18" and it probably fills up the wheel wells a little better but it's just aesthetics as far as I'm concerned. It's probably a little more expensive when it needs new shoes but I've never actually made the comparison. I think it would depend on the design of the truck and how it looks to you. I sincerely doubt that any difference in handling would be noticed. I like the way mine drives but I didn't notice any difference while it had the 17's on it.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:01 PM   #3
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Don't do it!!!!

It is a well known fact that the benefits of increasing rim diameter actually decrease once you exceed 17-18". Mythbuster, Consumers Reports and a number of other tester found that once rim diameter exceeded 17-18", wheels and tires got heavier which affected braking distances as the more rotating mass requires more energy to slow down; affected acceleration (it got slower). It also affected fuel economy as increased throttle input would be required to maintain speed up hills. Handling and ride would also be compromised as bigger rims usually have wider low profile tires which can be harder to turn in. Wider tires are also a hazard in winter or raining conditions as contact patch will have lower pounds per square inch. The tires will be more expensive to replace and harder to keep balanced. Also check to see if your spare is also 20"....it probably will not be the same, which could require you to reduce speed and distance travelled until you got your original fixed.

There is no upside to going past 18" in my opinion.

Resist the urge, save your money and enjoy your truck. If looks are a big issue with your truck, spend the money you save on a good looking mistress to have sitting beside you.

Cheers
Tony
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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Tall sidewalls may not be best for some types of handling but they are far better for a truck at work. Curbs potholes and the rest. There are these reasons and more that big trucks run tall sidewalls.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:13 PM   #5
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Airstreams are very low to the ground compared to almost all other RV's. Why get a tow vehicle that is so high you might need a custom drop bar for your hitch bar? And really how expensive can custom get if you even consider Hensley or ProPride?

Never thought of half the stuff Isuzusweet brought up, but darn it all makes sense.

Paula
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:22 PM   #6
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I like the 20" wheels/tires on our Ram 1500 for towing and handling because there is less sidewall to flex and a more stable vehicle to drive.

If it was a work truck used on rough surfaces, as mentioned above, I would probably prefer higher more flexible sidewalls.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:33 PM   #7
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When you order a new truck the wheels that come from the factory are made to work with the brakes ,trans ,final drive etc , just because the rims are bigger doesn't mean the overall diameter is larger, most of the time larger rims means lower profile tires , tall sidewalls give a better ride more cushion but give less handling as tires flex more side to side giving a loose feel , low profile tires give a race car feel less flex in sidewall but you also feel more bumps ( more road feel ) and normally the tires are made with a softer thread compound this gives more grip on the road but wears out faster and since they are a performance tire they cost more , and also will be harder to find a replacement. With less choice on manufactures .
Bigger wheels have less rolling resistance and will give a better ride as long as it is compared to a similar aspect ratio tire ( same sidewall height ) and overall wheel tire combination is the same weight. There will be more tire contact with the road on larger wheels.
Don
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:57 PM   #8
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Nope Nope Nope

Roadtech,
Don't do it. While the 20's look better on this particular vehicle, save yourself the money & stay with the 18's. I can't wait to get rid of the stock Goodyear POS tires that they just slap on it to get it off the production line. If you want to keep some money in your pocket when it's time to replace them, stick with the 18's. I am looking at over $225 per tire for Michelin LTX M&S II's on the 18" rims. I couldn't imagine what you would pay for a set of Michelin's in a 20", but I would guess you are looking at 250 bones per tire. That's ALOT of moolah. Regardless of the replacement brand, your savings on the 18's over the 20's is a boatload (pun intended) of camping fees & gas $. Paula makes an excellent point about the hitch too.

Keep your money in your pocket and spend it with/on your family. We have similar vehicles, and that was a MUST when I was looking: 18" rims. The savings over the life of the vehicle in this one area alone is a substantial amount of $. Let your wife spend the savings to dress up your TT. She smiles, you're comfortable, and you know the ol saying...when momma is happy, well...EVERYBODY is happy.
Sea ya down the road.
Gavin
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:11 PM   #9
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I would stick with the smaller-diameter rims. Slick marketing has manufactured this "need" on trucks. Another thing I really like about our 1995 F250 PowerStroke is the 16" steel rims and "normal" tires. Doesn't hurt so much when it's time to get new tires.

(As with anything.... it's your choice. If you like bigger-diameter rims, by all means get them and enjoy them!)
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:18 PM   #10
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Check the towing specification carefully, I believe Ford down rated the towing capacity on the F150 with 20" wheels, it wasn't much but could make a difference. I always check wheel size versus replacement tire availability, some sizes are only available from one or two manufacturers and they will have you over a barrel come replacement time.

Aaron
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:45 PM   #11
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Error.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:04 PM   #12
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The tires that come on the 20" wheels on the GM 2500, E load range, are only built by on tire manufacturer, BF Goodrich, and they do not have a very good track record. They are prone to separations. Since no other company makes that specific size and load range tire, you will be stuck with them.

You would be much better off with the 18" wheels/tires.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
I like the 20" wheels/tires on our Ram 1500 for towing and handling because there is less sidewall to flex and a more stable vehicle to drive.

If it was a work truck used on rough surfaces, as mentioned above, I would probably prefer higher more flexible sidewalls.

On a 1/2T okay. I'd want them too given ratings and choices. But not on 1T
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:17 PM   #14
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For what it is worth, my 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland came with 20" wheels and tires, but you could get an option of 17" ones which were better for off roading. Since it was the "standard" I got the 20" ones. The rig also has full air suspension (no shocks, no springs, all air). All I can tell you is that it is a great and stable tow vehicle, handles like it is glued to the road, with or without the Airstream in tow.

At 30,000 miles the original Goodyear's were close to worn out, so I replaced them with a new set of Michelin's (I think they are 265/50 R 20's) at Costco. With the $70 for 4 discount and no sales tax in Montana, the out the door price was around $825 with new seals on the tire pressure senders, a recommended maintenance item these days.

Just one person's experience. I like them.
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