Originally Posted by ESCAPE POD
...debating getting ALL-SEASON tires instead of ALL-TERRAIN tires, since my off-road goals don't include negotiating boulder piles, and I don't want to unnecessarily compromise fuel economy. I remember hearing that all-terrain tires may affect fuel economy. Am I wrong?
no u aren't wrong, but perhaps obsessing over the details and missing the bigger picture...
i did that too when selecting option packages on the truck.
u can go the the TIRERACK web site and read lots of user reviews for most tires on your radar.
they also do a great job 'splaining each 'type' of tire.
basically all season tires have more siping cut into the blocks of rubber to handle water and minor slick stuff.
AS tires tend to have LESS open space and rely more on groove design to channels to move water n stuff.
and the AS rubber compounds don't get rock hard in COLD weather, like dedicated summer tires do.
but AS as a category includes a W I D E variety of tires and designs with a spectrum of features/characteristics.
the confusion is AS as a designation (like snow tires or M/S rating or track use only...) versus a market/consumer category.
all terrain tires tend to have more OPEN space in between the tread blocks, which helps in mud or wet grass or snow.
but NONE of the AT tires used by ford as oem gear are really OFF ROAD tires.
so don't worry about big nobby things meant for rock crawling or real mud use, they aren't using tires like that.
for example the bfg rugged trail A/T series is a good multi purpose tire as is the scorpion AT they use and the bridgestone duel AT.
but none of these are real OFF ROAD MUDDER tires
it's a bit like buying a running shoe that has enough grip for trail use (at tires) vs full on trekking boots (off road tires)
and avoid the tempation/sales pressure to opt for the LOWER profile/wider tires on BIG rims...
that combo is not ideal for towing, even if the tires are all season rated and wider=poorer fuel economy.
18s or 17s are better for towing and daily driving, 20s are unfortunately becoming more common, and do look cool.
the SINGLE best way to improve mpg with typical AT tires is keep them properly inflated
almost all trucks set up for test drives have the tires lower than ideal, to 'soften' the 30 minute ride.
most modern AT light truck tires have mpg similar to the AS light truck tires...
NONE of these 1/2 tons will have E rated (heavy loads) tires and many are just passenger car tires SIZED for the truck segment.
folks often suggest AT tires are noisier and for some this is true.
but again proper air/rotation and balance make the noise a non issue imo.
and MANY of the newer AT tires are multipurpose, quiet, civil on tramac, but still can grip occasional mud, gravel or wet grass.
what tire brand/model SPECIFICALLY are u debating and what else is part of that package for the truck?
gotta love new truck shopping!