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-   -   Tire ply --6, 8, or 10 ply Help (http://www.airforums.com/forums/f438/tire-ply-6-8-or-10-ply-help-165466.html)

MWL530 04-17-2017 02:33 PM

Tire ply --6, 8, or 10 ply Help
 
I recently purchased (3 weeks ago) a 2017 GMC Z71 Sierra 1500 4WD w 5.3 engine, trailer package, 8 speed trans. A bit of xtra weight with Sunroof, auto closing bed cover, running boards. Gas power.
I also purchased 2 weeks ago a 2016 Airstream 28 International Signature.
After reading the posts regarding tires my head hurts. Does it really have to be so complicated? I am a newbie....so
My truck has Goodyear tiers P275/55R20. The tires have 2000 miles on them. I have been told these tires are either 4 or 6ply AND I should have 8 or 10 ply tires for safety etc.
So could you knowledgeable travelers suggest the type of tire I need to replace my current with? Brand, specific detail for size, ply, etc.
What are the pro and con of the change? safety, ride comfort, gas mileage, etc. Please keep it simple,,,and thanks. The AS forum is a great place!!

mwkersh 04-17-2017 05:46 PM

I am 90% positive those are the same Goodyear Wrangler SR-As that come stock on most 1/2 pickups. They aren't good for towing at all and only have 4 ply. At least that is what my Ram had, 4 ply, in P275/60R20. You need a LT tire. Depending on your trailer and weight, you want either D load range (8 ply) or E (10 ply). The LT will hold up to the stresses of towing much better, and ultimately what you select should be based on your axle weights when hitched to your trailer.

I have this same problem and just bought BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2s in LT275/60R20. They are D load range tires, so 8 ply, and at full 65 psi their load rating is 3000 pounds, vs the 2600 pounds of the Goodyears I replaced.

That may not sound like much, but the 8 ply tire is much better in overall towing performance. It holds up to the stresses better. The sideway is also stiffer, I think these have 3 ply sidewalls, which also holds up better.

Truck manufacturers really should never put passenger tires on any full-size truck.

Isuzusweet 04-17-2017 05:59 PM

One option that might be a pain in the petoot, but be a better option would be to buy some 18" rims and mount a true LT towing tire. The 18" rim will allow you to mount a taller tire for comfort and yet keep the payload you need.

You could sell the 20's you have now, or keep them for day to day driving and only mount the 18's when you were towing. IMHO the 18" rims and LT tires are a better towing choice; cheaper by a large margin too.

Cheers
Tony

CRH 04-17-2017 06:06 PM

What is the load rating on the side of the tire? FWIW, when using p metric tires on a pickup, you are supposed to reduce that rating by 9%.

cabinetmaker 04-17-2017 06:45 PM

Those 20" with hard sidewalls your thinking about will make your teeth rattle. Like others have said a 18" is a better choice and will give you better tire options for towing and a much better ride.

Just curious...what rear drive ratio did you get with the tow package? Looks like they only offer a 3.23 or 3.42

mwkersh 04-17-2017 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cabinetmaker (Post 1937621)
Those 20" with hard sidewalls your thinking about will make your teeth rattle. Like others have said a 18" is a better choice and will give you better tire options for towing and a much better ride.


Considering I have had 20s on three different trucks in a row, two Titans and now a 2016 Ram, I don't agree with this at all. Sure 18s are cheaper, and you have more options, but the ride between that and 20s is not that different. It certainly won't make your teeth rattle.

Action 04-17-2017 06:55 PM

Unfortunately it is complicated.

Your truck (tow vehicle) has passenger tires. That is what the "P" in front of the tire size indicated.

Ply rating isn't exactly a way to size tire load to the load. As asked above the load rating is a far better way to do that.

Also stated above the passenger car tire designation on a trailer needs to have the load rating de-rated to be able to handle the loads on a trailer.

So with that stated - weigh the tow vehicle (and add for passengers) when connected to the trailer and weigh the trailer loaded as in full towing mode or add weight for things not in the trailer when weighed. (Like liquids and gear) With that number multiply by 110% to 120% to get a safety margin.

Then match the tires to the load. You may have the load rating for the tires on the vehicle. Or have a tire professional make recommendations based on your scale weights. However in my opinion tire professionals don't always understand trailers. Especially travel trailers.

BTW - to make comparisons of your combination to some one else's combination and then make a tire choice from that, can leads to results that may be good and may be not. The question you have to ask is do you like may be?

>>>>>>>>>>>>Action

dkottum 04-17-2017 07:09 PM

The tires that come with the new truck should exceed the axle load ratings of the truck, if they are not adequate then neither are your axles. It is important to use a quality, properly set up weight distribution hitch to ensure those truck axles are not overloaded. And then take the loaded truck to a CAT scale to verify axle weights when you get it set up.

The tire sidewall maximum pressure setting will give you the highest load carrying ability of the tire. Check the tire load rating written on the tire sidewall and compare it to the axle ratings (GAWR) of the truck written on a sticker on the drivers door.

We have had the factory P275/60R20 Goodyear Wranglers on our last two Ram 1500 pickups and they are excellent for towing our Airstream because of the stability provided by the low-profile sidewalls, very little sidewall flex from side-to-side helps steady sway inputs from the trailer. And they ride decently as well.

When the first set of Goodyears went out of round at about 40,000 miles we replaced them with higher quality Michelins of the same size.

waltb 04-17-2017 07:19 PM

We have Michelin Defender LTX LT 265/60 r 20, E, and find them smooth and stable on our 2016 Tundra after 22,000 miles. I wouldn't shy away from E rated tires.

mwkersh 04-17-2017 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by waltb (Post 1937635)
We have Michelin Defender LTX LT 265/60 r 20, E, and find them smooth and stable on our 2016 Tundra after 22,000 miles. I wouldn't shy away from E rated tires.


Yep, these are good tires as well. I was really close to getting those, but the new KO2 has a really great look and still has good road manners.

I have also run a similar size 20" Nitto Crosstek on one of my Titans and it is an excellent tire as well. Great on dry pavement, rain, and even snow.

RandyNH 04-17-2017 08:33 PM

All good information so far. I have the 2013 version of your truck.

A word of caution to you, the tow package you mention is the limited version, don't confuse it with the max tow, that would change the suspension and eliminate the Z71. The caution is that the Z71 is for a softer suspension, for off road use, thus it will be more susceptible to induced sway, so you will want to go with stronger sidewall tires to compensate for it and the suspension will eat up the roughness.

Mine has the max tow, Z82 suspension, rides somewhat stiffer so I went with some Goodyear Eagle Sport V rated XL tires (over 2500 lbs each derated) (it's not really a winter truck) both our trucks have a GVWR of 7000 or 7600, so any of the recommendations you've been given are strong enough to carry the load, but the Defender "E" tires are probably your best bet.

But definitely get rid of the Goodyear's it comes with, they are complete crap for towing.

RamRider 04-17-2017 08:43 PM

P is a speed rating - 93 mph. "L" actually has a lower speed rating
Check out rating information on tire rack or discount tires for better information

I do think that yourtruck load rating is based on the factory installed tires

dkottum 04-17-2017 10:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RandyNH (Post 1937655)
. . . But definitely get rid of the Goodyear's it comes with, they are complete crap for towing.

Randy, would you explain why they are crap, and have you ever towed with them?

As explained my my post above, they have worked very well for towing, two sets, two new Ram 1500's, extensive long-range cross-country towing. We have a preference for Michelin so that was the replacement tire when the originals became unserviceable, but we still used the same size and rating. The o.p. has a new truck with these new tires, why should he discard them?

CRH 04-17-2017 11:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RamRider (Post 1937662)
P is a speed rating - 93 mph. "L" actually has a lower speed rating
Check out rating information on tire rack or discount tires for better information

I do think that yourtruck load rating is based on the factory installed tires

I believe that P is for "passenger"....The speed rating letter follows the size numbers.

SpletKay06 04-18-2017 03:28 AM

The P rated stock tires well do fine towing. But they are very weak or puncture prone if you leave the pavement at all. They also tend to wear fast when used for frequent towing. One thing too note is switching to a heavier tire with more rolling resistance well lower your fuel economy.

mwkersh 04-18-2017 05:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dkottum (Post 1937700)
Randy, would you explain why they are crap, and have you ever towed with them?



As explained my my post above, they have worked very well for towing, two sets, two new Ram 1500's, extensive long-range cross-country towing. We have a preference for Michelin so that was the replacement tire when the originals became unserviceable, but we still used the same size and rating. The o.p. has a new truck with these new tires, why should he discard them?


I have towed with them. Car trailers, utility trailers, and travel trailers. I have also driven in snow around the east coast/northeast with them. They are one of the first things I change. I think they are too soft, especially the sidewall, and the 4 ply tire is more likely to break down/blow out towing a heavier trailer than an 8 or 10 ply D or E rated tire.

LT tires should be standard equipment on trucks that tow regularly. Sure, you can get away with using the passenger tires and maybe you can wait until you need tires to make the switch, but IMO over a lifetime of driving trucks/towing (30 years+) I think you are rolling the dice each time you do that.

Their are lots of opinions for sure, just like hitches seem to be on this forum, along with tow vehicles in general, but if you look throughout other truck forums as well as RVNet or other RV/TT forums, you will find that LT tires are recommended the majority of the time, in either D or E load ratings depending on the weight of the TV and trailer. It is a common sense upgrade that costs about $1200 installed in the sizes we are talking about, depending on the specific tire and current sales.

CapriRacer 04-18-2017 06:49 AM

So far, no one has mentioned the vehicle tire placard.

Since 2008, the vehicle tire placard is mandated to be on the driver's door frame. It's a yellow(ish) sticker that will list the original tire size and the specified pressure for that size. Nearby ought to be another sticker that lists the load ratings - of the axles (GAWR) and the vehicle (GVW).

As the truck was designed, those tires would be adequate. So you need to check to see if you are. If you are operating the vehicle outside the limitations of the vehicle, then it might be better to get a better truck.

mwkersh 04-18-2017 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CapriRacer (Post 1937734)
So far, no one has mentioned the vehicle tire placard.

Since 2008, the vehicle tire placard is mandated to be on the driver's door frame. It's a yellow(ish) sticker that will list the original tire size and the specified pressure for that size. Nearby ought to be another sticker that lists the load ratings - of the axles (GAWR) and the vehicle (GVW).

As the truck was designed, those tires would be adequate. So you need to check to see if you are. If you are operating the vehicle outside the limitations of the vehicle, then it might be better to get a better truck.


He isn't looking to change the size, only move from a passenger tire to a light truck tire. He should maintain or more likely increase his load carrying capacity with light truck tires. The light truck tire in the same size should exceed the load rating requirements on that sticker. That doesn't mean he can actually carry more weight, it's just more of a safety margin.

The Colonel 04-18-2017 07:02 AM

I have those tires on my 2015 GMC Sierra 1500. Haven't noticed the teeth rattling ride with or without trailer. It's been pretty smooth towing on a good road. I have noticed wear on outsides of tires and am watching. When I replace I intend to go with Michelins LT however.

SeaLevel 04-18-2017 07:55 AM

I have a 2017 Sierra 1500, with the max trailering package, but I bet the tires are the same. If they are, they are Goodyear Eagle LS-2 tires, with a 111S rating. The 111 load index rating is 2403 pounds, and they have a 44psi max cold pressure rating. The S speed rating is 112mph.

From the manual: "The Tire and Loading Information label on the vehicle indicates the original equipment tires and the correct cold tire inflation pressures. The recommended pressure is the minimum air pressure needed to support the vehicle's maximum load carrying capacity."

On the door sticker is has 32psi for the front and 35psi for the rear as the recommended cold tire pressures. I'm not near the maximum load carrying capacity, but I have been running at 35psi (front) and 38psi (rear) while towing, for a little more support, and so far the ride has been very good and tire wear isn't apparent. When not towing I go back to 32/35psi. So far I am very happy with the ride, both towing and not towing.


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