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Old 01-11-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
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2005 39' Land Yacht 390 XL 396
Common Sense , Texas
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3/4 Ton Pickup Tires

I know this has been discussed before, and I've read those threads, but this is sort of a specific question. My truck will need tires before the upcoming summer driving/vacation season, and so I'm in the shopping mode. The truck is equipped with Michelins now, and they are great tires, but only have about 2/32" legal tread left, and a set of them new pushes $1,000.

I've heard that Cooper tires are pretty good and wondering if anyone here is using them, and if so how have they worked for you? Specifically I am interested in the Cooper Discoverer H/T in load range E. A set of them would be about $400 less then the Michelins.

Thanks for any input you can give.


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Old 01-11-2014, 07:38 AM   #2
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Only experience I've had with Coopers was on a passenger car. Worked like most other tires I've had. No problems stand out in memory. Not much help to you there...

Have had the Michelin LTX's on the last three trucks I've owned. Always had to swap them out because of weather cracking/age way before they wore out. Have a set on my F250 right now that need replacing... Not looking forward to that 1000 dollar outlay, but I love those tires on my truck.


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Old 01-11-2014, 07:48 AM   #3
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Like Red, I have only run Coopers on cars. I have run Continentals on a truck with good success.

Currently I am running a Firestone TransForce LT that I really like. Good wearability and quiet. Of course running dually I was up around your Michelin figure, but two less tires might be around your Cooper range.

Shudder to think what 6 Michelin's would cost.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:55 AM   #4
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I had Cooper Discovery tires on my truck when I got it. They were an 18", "E" rated tire. They drove nice and quiet and I liked them on dry and wet roads. I was disappointed in them in snow though and went to Michelins when I needed to replace them. My truck is a RAM 3400 single wheel. Being in Texas you may not have so much snow to be concerned so I think you'll find them a nice driving tire.
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Old 01-11-2014, 08:50 AM   #5
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Have run several sets of the Coopers over the years. Pretty good tires. They seem to wear faster than the Michelns on my truck now. But they are cheaper. For the truck I tow with and am sure to keep for a while I buy Michelins. For the truck that I drive around town and that could get replaced on a whim I buy something else. The Coopers were a lot better than the Goodrich TA that I have on it now.

The expensive thing about the Michelins is replacing one when it gets a nail in it. Just had to buy one this spring. On the last set I had to replace the whole set before they were fully worn because one had a screw in it and it is a 4WD. Might be an argument to go with the cheaper tires and replace them more often.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:05 AM   #6
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My '70 C20 3/4T Chevy has Cooper Discover H/T LT265/75/16 LRE tires. They were put on by the previous owner. I do not like them. They seem to be constantly out of balance. I can get about 2-3k miles before I stop by Discount Tire for a rebalance. Luckily Discount Tire balances them for free. Traction in cold, wet conditions is not very good. Luckily, we don't have that too often around here. They are wearing evenly, no issues there. They ride OK. So far I have about 25,000 miles on them. I won't be putting on a set of Coopers when they wear out.

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Old 01-11-2014, 09:20 AM   #7
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Steve, I faced a similar situation when buying tires for my Tundra. I know that one of the first things most Ford 250 owners do when they first buy their truck it take off the Michelins which come on it and put on great big wheels and tires. In my case, I searched Craigslist and found a set of takeoffs from a brand new F250. They had 50 miles on them and I picked them up for $700. They were/are LTX A/T2's 275x65/20 LR E and now have about 20k miles on them. Absolutely perfect. 75% tread remaining. Perfect balance. Retail on the same tires is about $1300.

Quick search: 275/65/20 Michelin AT2

Michelin 275/65/20 E A/T 2
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:21 AM   #8
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I have run 5 sets of Michelin LTX/as on my 99 Dodge 3/4 ton. Each set lasted over 100,000 miles. The real question may be can you wear them out before time makes it prudent to replace them
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Old 01-12-2014, 10:52 AM   #9
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MICHELIN and BRIDGESTONE are the only choices, IMO, where highway miles predominate for 1T trucks.

I'm suprised that such a new truck already needs tires. I've gotten just under and just over 100k miles on sets of the LTX A/S and LTX M/S living down the road from you, so to speak. I would be concerned over any tire set that wears down in less than 70-80k; that something else was amiss. OTOH, I've not run into anyone choosing to run the GENERAL Ameritrac once the OEM tires are gone.

The BRIDGESTONE Duravis series and MICHELIN LTX series (with some advantage to the former in wear) are where to start.

KONI FSD shock absorbers would also be on my list. Sometime this calendar year I'll be making the run to San Antonio to have new tires on TT and 2012 tires on truck "shaved & balanced" at Southwest Brake & Alignment.

TRU-TRAC, in Alvardo (maker or Centramatics) also has an excellent shop for investigating front end questions (though without tire shaving equipment).

Getting that calibrated LONGACRE RACING tire pressure gauge, now, would be a good start. As well as some time over at the CAT SCALE to find out what the real tire loads are; wheel-by-wheel.

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Old 01-12-2014, 10:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by slowmover View Post
As well as some time over at the CAT SCALE to find out what the real tire loads are; wheel-by-wheel.
Sorry, no current experience on Cooper but I want to ask Slowmover how to do a wheel by wheel on a CAT scale? I looked at their website and saw all of the positioning but not wheel by wheel.
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:09 AM   #11
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My truck had 20K miles on it when I bought it, and at 37K now, I'm just figuring I will want new going into the summer/hot months. They will go lots more miles, but probably not over 50K and be legal.

The other thing is, I have no way of knowing for sure that these tires came on this truck from the factory, and I certainly don't know how or under what conditions it was driven for the first 20K miles.

It has also been my experience that tires wear much faster when towing is the primary driving rather than just running down the road.

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:22 AM   #12
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How to Weigh an RV guides are avilable at both BRIDGESTONE and RUBBER MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION [RMA].

It's going to take quite a few passes across the scale: solo, loaded, and unloaded. Same for TT. And then with WDH; to dial it in. Migh not do it all in one day, but FF/RR and Side/Side axle load discrepancies should show up pretty fast.

One may wish to balance out the load in the TT somewhat (fresh water tank ALWAYS filled) even though TT tire pressure is always to sidewall maximum. It is the TV tire pressure that is critical . . set a baseline with numbers and then run the road, to, after 1.5-hrs steady state speed find what percentage pressure rise has occured. 7% is okay where 9% is not.

The tire pressure range is set by the vehicle manufacturer. Despite tire manufacturer Load Vs. Pressure Tables, onekeeps to within the VM guidelines (the door placard) for optimal performance.

Maybe a +/- 5-psi range afterwards. More than pressure required is not good anymore than less. Too much air, for example, can alter handling to such an extent that the tires loose grip too soon, (something to be avoided at all costs; it's all about risk minimization); a slight lowering of Steer Axle tire pressure can keep (desirable) understeer, for example (when kept lcose to guideline). Some tire sidewall movement is not a bad thing if pressure is correct. It is accounted for, IOW, and desirable.

Set a numbers baseline. As with WD adjustments, the range from loaded to near empty won't be large. The key is to know where one is. Future adjustments, if needed are small once one has the numbers.

As always, read through blog by tire engineers Tireman9 and CapriRacers webite, Barry's Tire Tech. The TIRE RACK has a long list of paragraph-length tire tech articles that are good for definitions.

As a side note, the acquisition of a calibrated gauge and per wheel loadings is also a way to protect my expenditure of -- with ten tires -- nearly $3000. My relationship with tire dealers can be based on something other than faulty recall or incorrect information.

My first set of tires went to 120k (still with 4/32nds remaining), but the replacement set only went to 70k with 4-5/32nds wear, measured (get yourself a tread depth gauge and annually record about 16-readings per tire). MICHELIN pretty much gave me a new set of LTX M/S tires as a result.

As a final note, closed shoulder tread designs will run a bit cooler and last longer (with higher fuel economy; 1-2/mpg average), but open shoulder tires haven advantage in wet weather traction. The LTX A/T 2 has good reports from the FORD owners I've asked; if a tire with somewhat better than the standard M/S tread is desired for limited offroad (Oilfield "lease roads" for us; graded but not paved).

Our company 367 Peterbilts run the Duravis. There is a very strong resemblance for light and heavy duty use. I've been able to power through traction difficulties (though sliding sideways down a slope is another story where tire tread is not applicable, per se). Were I starting from scratch, the Duravis series would be on both TV and TT.

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 10-cpm solo, 18-cpm towing
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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I've got the original E rated Uniroyal Laredo's that GM supplied with my '03 3/4 ton GMC Savana Van. Problem is the tires will be 11 years old in May and most likely need replacement due to age. No cracking or any signs of sidewall issues, probably because the van is garaged year round, but I just might consider another set of Laredo's. Local prices are about $80 per tire less than putting a Michellin product on.

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Old 01-12-2014, 11:38 AM   #14
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I would suggest that knowing the individual tire loads on the trailer can be important. One may discover that one tire is carrying much more weight then the other three. That discovery can result from a load placement issue to a design in the trailer issue as to the location of a specific heavy item.

If it is a design issue in the trailer, then one would be wise to rotate tires more often to equalize the wear across the four tires.

That discovery could preclude the use of the lower load capacity Michelin LTX (P) 235/75R15 XL tires as the heavy corner could be too much load for that specific tire (derated load capacity of 1,985 pounds) and reduce the safety margin to an unacceptable level. Then one might be pushed into considering the 2,680 pound load rating associated with a Michelin LT225/75R16/E LTX M/S2 which is used by Airstream on the Eddie Bauer models.


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