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Old 02-14-2013, 02:21 PM   #1
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Best Tires for Tow Vehicle?

My fairly new 2011 Dodge Durango AWD V8 needs a new set of tires soon, was curious if there's any advice out there on best tires for towing. It could be just your standard all-purpose good quality tires (I'm a Consumer Reporters Best Buy kind of buyer), but thought I'd check.

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Old 02-14-2013, 02:34 PM   #2
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The P-metric passenger-car-style tires on many SUVs and some light trucks are usually panned for towing purposes, though if you have a very short sidewall it would be less of a problem as long as you have enough load capability.

LT or some XL tires seem to be what most people go with when they're thinking mostly in terms of towing ability. It may stiffen the ride a bit depending on what was originally installed.
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Old 02-14-2013, 06:28 PM   #3
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So it looks like the factory installed tires on this Dodge Durango were in fact the Michelin Latitude P265. Presumably the "P" means a passenger grade tire.

I did a little homework online and the Michelin LTX M/S2 might be a step up to an LT class tire. I noticed it's also at the top of the Consumer Reports tire list for an All Season Truck Tire. Lastly, there's a Costco $70 off coupon running right now on a set of four.

Have I found my tires?

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:36 PM   #4
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Not a bad option as the M/S2 is a very good tire. These tires are rated as a high mileage tire and I have run three sets of these getting close to 48-50K out of each set with proper rotation. They were hard miles. We ran the E-load due to the 2500 series Duramax and even when we owned a 1500 Suburban we'd run E-loads in which I wasn't worried about the weight as much as I was the temps when we were living in the SW part of the USA.

I think you might be on to something.

Good luck

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Old 02-14-2013, 06:57 PM   #5
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Another vote for Michelin M/S-2's, you can't go wrong. Woth the extra $$ it may cost.

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Old 02-14-2013, 08:02 PM   #6
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So it looks like the factory installed tires on this Dodge Durango were in fact the Michelin Latitude P265. Presumably the "P" means a passenger grade tire.

I did a little homework online and the Michelin LTX M/S2 might be a step up to an LT class tire. I noticed it's also at the top of the Consumer Reports tire list for an All Season Truck Tire. Lastly, there's a Costco $70 off coupon running right now on a set of four.

Have I found my tires?

Airstream Dad
It's always good to include wheel height/width plus tire size according to factory (plus any optional sizing). Also, "load rating".

In general, if it is a brand question, then a commercial tire from either BRIDGESTONE or MICHELIN is best, overall. Those may not be available in the needed size, etc.

Dig up the websites for those two brands and include the above information in a request to the manufacturer for their recommendation. That is a good place to start with premium tires.

Information on how you use your vehicle (and what it weighs when loaded, plus what conditions are encountered in those miles) is the last piece for best professional advice. Both brands have several choices in the size and load range my truck requires. So . . the weight they give the request one way or another is meaningful.

It may the exact tire already on the vehicle . . and it may not. It is the place to start, IMO.

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Old 02-14-2013, 08:15 PM   #7
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I run the Michelin 16" load range E LTX A/T tires on our F250; they offer more off-road traction at the cost of slightly more road noise.

I've been very happy with these tires; we tow our Airstream on some pretty steep dirt roads and these really help with peace of mind. If you don't do much off-road, you can't go wrong with the Michelin M/S-2 tires.

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Old 02-14-2013, 08:55 PM   #8
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I'm confused. My TV has LTX A/T P265/70 tires. Are these LT from the "LTX" or P from the P265?
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #9
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Look at the "maximum inflation pressure" on the sidewalls. 44 and 50 psi are passenger car tires. 65 and 80 psi are light truck tires. The "P" designation probably indicates that your tires are passenger car tires.

More tire spec info is available on Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels or other tire Web sites.

Note: If using "P" tires for towing, inflate rear tires to maximum sidewall pressure.
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Old 02-15-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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Wow. Something I never gave much thought, I just got my existing tires at Costco a few years ago, I thought they looked pretty tough. My P265/70R17 sidewall's say maxium pressure is 44psi. Looking at the Tire Rack website here's what they say about my tire.

"The LTX A/T2 is Michelin's On-/Off-Road All-Terrain light truck tire developed to meet the needs of today's recreational and commercial pickup, van and SUV drivers." I see there are two tire's my size.

1. P265/70R17 for $203 (2535 lbs/tire, max 44psi)
2. LT265/70R17 for $218 (3195lbs/tire, max 80 psi))

I guess I have the passenger tire. For the price there's it sure makes sense to look more closely next time!
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:35 AM   #11
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Beware of Costco customer service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream Dad View Post
Lastly, there's a Costco $70 off coupon running right now on a set of four.

Airstream Dad
I recently had a customer service, bad experience with Costco with regards to a tire (road hazard). They did everything possible to wiggle out of dealing with the issue.

Note I spent a few years in the tire industry and I couldn't believe the lame service by Costco. No more tires from Costco for me.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Quick question....

My new Michelin LTX M/S2 tires are filled with nitrogen. I usually raise the pressure when I tow then return to normal pressure when driving around town. Can I still use my air compressor, or is it a bad idea to mix regular air and nitrogen?

Thanks,
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:44 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott J-24 View Post
Quick question....

My new Michelin LTX M/S2 tires are filled with nitrogen. I usually raise the pressure when I tow then return to normal pressure when driving around town. Can I still use my air compressor, or is it a bad idea to mix regular air and nitrogen?

Thanks,
Generic air is 78% nitrogen. Adjusting your super-duper nitrogen filled tires with a regular air compressor will be just fine.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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Generic air is 78% nitrogen. Adjusting your super-duper nitrogen filled tires with a regular air compressor will be just fine.
Thanks, that is what I thought but figured I would just check to confirm.
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Airstream Dad View Post
I did a little homework online and the Michelin LTX M/S2 might be a step up to an LT class tire. I noticed it's also at the top of the Consumer Reports tire list for an All Season Truck Tire. Lastly, there's a Costco $70 off coupon running right now on a set of four.
The LTX MS2 is highly regarded and is a good all-season highway tire. I don't think you'll find anyone who will complain about it.

I have LTX Winters on now which are a very similar tread. I've been happy with them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barts View Post
I run the Michelin 16" load range E LTX A/T tires on our F250; they offer more off-road traction at the cost of slightly more road noise.

I've been very happy with these tires; we tow our Airstream on some pretty steep dirt roads and these really help with peace of mind. If you don't do much off-road, you can't go wrong with the Michelin M/S-2 tires.

- Bart
I run LTX A/T2 lre tires in the summer, they do have a little more offroad traction. Because these are not siped they're no good on icy roads.
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:31 PM   #16
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So I did a model search on Tire Rack, and many of the LT tires mentioned by posters in this thread for their F250s and such aren't even listed as available for my 2011 Durango. I wonder if it has to do with TPM system support or other issues.

But I checked the load rating of the Micheln LTX M/S2, and it's 109, or 2271 lbs per tire.

I have to assume that the load rating of the tires was a factor in calculating both the GWVR, and from there to the hitch weight rating, which in turn can be spread over all four wheels via a hitch weight distribution system.

So far so good on my old tires, so I guess I should be OK on an even better pair.

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Old 02-17-2013, 08:37 PM   #17
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Load Range E tires on a vehicle not spec'd for them (wheel weight rating) are not the best choice, IMO, as they tend to ride hard when solo and one cannot air them up past the wheel rating.

Again, ask the tire manufacturers directly for their recommendation for your vehicle and intended use. It's the best place to start once you have that information in order to make comparisons to other brands, models, etc.

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Old 02-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #18
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This tire thing is driving me crazy.
My Tundra has P275 tires. Each tire has a max load carrying capacity of 2601 pounds when inflated to 44 psi.
Take 2601x4=10,404 pounds of load carrying capacity. The GVWR of the Tundra is 6900 pounds. Looks to me like I have 10,404-6900= 3,504 pounds of excess load carrying capacity in the tires over the GVWR of the Tundra.
So why all of the concern with the P rated tires?
Under normal driving conditions. I run 33 psi in the rear and 30 psi in the front. When I tow my 26' Argosy, I run 40 psi in the rear. I have had absolutely no handling problems at all.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:18 PM   #19
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We prefer the Michelins in load range E ...
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:51 PM   #20
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Extract from Tire Rack - Your performance experts for tires and wheels product description for Michelin LTX M/S2, 275/65x18 (the tires on our Tundra CrewMax):

"The tire’s internal structure includes twin steel belts (three steel belts in Load Range D and Load Range E sizes) to provide the strength and durability needed to handle heavy loads."

In addition, the load range E tires we bought are "LRR" (low-rolling resistance); and the P tires are not.

Compared to the OEM BF Goodrich Rugged Trails that came on our Tundra when it was new, the Michelin LR-E tires track straight as an arrow, with none of the squirm that was felt with the OEM tires when towing. Probably due to higher inflation pressure, the Michelins also wear much more evenly; and I expect them to run twice as long as the BFG's. Also, you probably can't measure it; but the Michelins just feel more stable at highway speeds.

When we had the BFGs, I inflated the Tundra's rear tires to 44 psi (the maximum printed on the sidewalls); and they always looked under inflated, and the tread wore out quickly (at around 35,000 miles). I tried 55 psi on the Michelins on our first trip, and later switched to 65 psi. Here in the desert southwest, 55 psi resulted in a several degree drop in running temperature compared to the BFGs at 44 psi; and 65 psi dropped the running temperature another couple of degrees. In addition, the rear tires no longer look under inflated (as indicated by the contact patch on the ground and shoulder wear).

Just my opinion, but I'm sure that P tires are fine for those using a half ton pickup as a daily commuter or station wagon; and they tow infrequently, or only light loads. However, for frequent towing and heavy loads, LT tires are the safer and more reliable choice for pickups.
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