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Old 11-24-2007, 01:43 PM   #1
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Tow Vehicle Tires. Some are much better than others

For over 10 years we towed with a 1993 Nissan Quest GXE with factory tow package . It was very tight, comfortable, and performed well even with the 23' Airstream in tow.

Part of the reason was it's tires and rims. The GXE came with the optional, wider alloy rims and lower profile P215x70x15", tires. The H rated Goodyear Eagles originally came with the vehicle and were not that good so I replaced them with Michelin X1 all season tires and used them all year round. They had stiff side walls, were very quiet and gave the van an even more firmer and better feel than the over priced Eagles. The Michelins were great in the Canadian winter too.

We liked the Quest so much we recently bought a second one as a 2nd daily driver. It is a 1997 XE with only 166,000 KLM's on it. Our 93 has over 428,000klm's on it and still runs fine today. The tranny had only fluid changes and no other problems to date.

The 97 XE came with steel wheels and a higher profile 205x75x15", all season Toyo tires.


What I did the other day was swap the tire and rim assemblies on the two vehicles. The old 93 now has the Toyo tires and steel rims, and the newer 97 Quest has the wider alloy wheels and the good "70" series, lower profile Michelin tires.

Wow, what a difference. The Quests have just swapped personalities. The 93 Quest now with the Toyo tires is sloppy on the highway, with a wishy washy feel. You can also feel the gearing difference with the higher diameter ( by 5/8") 75 tire. On the other hand the 97 Quest with the lower profile Michelin tires now has a tight new feel and much better straight line stability.

Tires and rims can make a huge difference. The combination of quality rubber, lower and wider profile has proven that to me in this A/B comparison.

For anyone who is not totally satisfied with the feel of your TV please don't run out and needlessly buy a new vehicle. Consider upgrading the tires with a set that is more appropriate for the task at hand. You will be amazed at the difference it can make.

One other thing I will pass on... In the 14 years of driving the 93 FWD Nissan Van, including 56 months of Canadian winters we never got stuck or needed a tow with the Michelin X1 all season tires. That also included 25 to 30 trips towing the 23' Airstream.
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Old 11-24-2007, 02:31 PM   #2
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wow ruler!

that is some high mileage report.

cool

but low profile is a 'relative term' and i think of 30-45 series tires as low profile.

i don't doubt the driving experience between these 2 tires...

but it isn't related to 'low profile' in your comparison.

the mich' are ONLY 0.2 inches shorter than the toyos, or about 5 millimeters...

and less than an inch smaller in circumference...

with only 6 more revolutions per mile, these tires are basically the same size...

so perhaps the stock wheel/toyos are HEAVY compared to the alloy/mich, which could account for very small performance differences.

yes the mich' are 10 mm wider but again i suspect most of the handling difference is side wall stiffness, rubber characteristics and tread pattern...

and perhaps inflation pressures.

most all-seasons tires (except hp versions) are about compromises...

i agree completely tire upgrades can make a HUGE difference in driving or towing experience...

even when the size doesn't change.

cheers
2air'
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Old 11-25-2007, 09:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
wow ruler!

that is some high mileage report.

cool

but low profile is a 'relative term' and i think of 30-45 series tires as low profile.

but it isn't related to 'low profile' in your comparison.

cheers
2air'
I never referred to the 70 series Michelin tires as being low profile. I refered to them as being a "lower profile" when compared to the 75 series Toyo's. It could be suggested that many would suggest they are low profile when compared to a large truck or SUV tire.


Optimizing ones combination is usually achieved by many subtle changes.

- Shorten and re drill the ball mount shank to move the ball closer to the back bumper. This reduces the wheel base to overhang ratio

- Reinforce the weaker receivers to eliminate flex

- Replace weak or cheap shocks with a more appropriate quality shock

- Determine and install an appropriate hitch system and adjust it properly

- Change the tires to a more appropriate lower profile or right size LT tire

- and more.....

In the end it is the advantage of the combined, numerous refinements that end up with a fine tuned, safe, and optimal setup.
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