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Old 08-28-2020, 05:54 PM   #1
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All-Terriain tires on 2WD tow vehicle

I have a 2015 2WD Ford F250 XLT SCC 6.7 diesel short bed with a locking rear axle. I have a Leer cap and a 50 gal. Transfer-Flow fuel tank. I tow a 2018 25' FB International. I run Michelin Defenders, LT275/65R18 LRE tires which have performed great in almost all situations. I keep the fronts at 60psi and the rears at 70psi. However, I've been boondocking more the past couple of years. Gravel and dirt roads, nothing technical, but I have some slipping occasionally when backing upslope on gravel/dirt into a camping spot or driving uphill on gravel/dirt roads. When the tires start to slip I usually can handle it by just locking the rear axle, but sometimes it can be a bit sketchy! Would a set of All-Terrain tires improve things? Thanks, Jim
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Old 08-28-2020, 06:34 PM   #2
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:39 PM   #3
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So, as the OP I'll update. I think this is an interesting question. A 2WD pickup tow vehicle has its advantages, but a pickup, being lightly loaded on the rear axle can result in poor traction in many situations as we all know and 4WD can really be useful then. I just ordered a set (4) Bridgestone REVO 3 A/T tires from Costco. They had a nice discount going, and although I'm a Michelin guy, the reviews of the A/T Michelin aren't great. My parking area by the house has a curving gravel slope which will be a good test, then later in September a nice 10 day Nevada tour for some good Nevada gravel roads, USFS Tier 1 and maybe Tier 2's. Will A/T tires improve off road towing and driving for a 2WD pickup? I'll report back for those interested.
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Old 08-31-2020, 04:44 AM   #4
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Old 08-31-2020, 04:59 AM   #5
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Gravel & dirt roads, under 40mph?

Get a Vair Pump, drop the rear TP to 35-40...if that don't do it, at least you have a nice pump for your new tires.

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Old 08-31-2020, 06:12 AM   #6
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All-Terriain tires on 2WD tow vehicle

Tires are the first upgrade I make when I buy a new truck. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I prefer to run M+S tires (with the snowflake on the sidewall) year round. While 4WD is nice to have, I believe good snow tires are just as important. They are a noticeable improvement over All-Season tires.

Years ago when I lived in Texas, 4x4 trucks were unheard of but M+S tires on the rear axle of 4x2 trucks were pretty common.

In my experience (in the PNW anyway) itís not safe to run different tires on the front and rear axles but I donít see why you canít run four M+S tires on a 4x2 pickup (besides, you can rotate them).
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Old 08-31-2020, 10:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmacd View Post
So, as the OP I'll update. I think this is an interesting question. A 2WD pickup tow vehicle has its advantages, but a pickup, being lightly loaded on the rear axle can result in poor traction in many situations as we all know and 4WD can really be useful then. I just ordered a set (4) Bridgestone REVO 3 A/T tires from Costco. They had a nice discount going, and although I'm a Michelin guy, the reviews of the A/T Michelin aren't great. My parking area by the house has a curving gravel slope which will be a good test, then later in September a nice 10 day Nevada tour for some good Nevada gravel roads, USFS Tier 1 and maybe Tier 2's. Will A/T tires improve off road towing and driving for a 2WD pickup? I'll report back for those interested.

Tires might help. But thatís a bandaid not a fix. Same with air down, may smooth things out a little. But the real issue is your rear shocks. The factory shocks are terrible on dirt roads. You need something with better dampening so your rear doesnít bounce and loose traction. Highly recommend Bilstein 5100 rear shocks for your truck. They will keep the wheels connected to the ground much better. Add that with airing down and you will be much happier.

A properly set up 2wd can travel many places a stock 4x4 can.
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:11 PM   #8
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Thanks for the comments. Bob, I do have a ViAir pump for touch-ups if needed, but I've never "aired down" like the real off-road folks do. I didn't think I was in severe enough conditions? But a good idea. 21Airstream, we're on the same page. I was going to try the A/T tires on the rear axle only, like is commonly done on heavy trucks, but with the new traction control system and anti-lock brakes, that didn't seem like a good move. As you said, now I'll just rotate them all together. And Docster, one of best improvements I made on this truck was a set of Bilstein shocks. It dramatically improved the handling. most noticeably, it stopped the rear axle "hop" off road and on the highway when making a sweeping wide turn at speed a hitting expansion joints. Money well spent!
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Old 10-04-2020, 07:14 PM   #9
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A follow-up as promised. Just returned from 10 day ramble in Nevada, about 30-35 miles off-road traveling. Mostly just the pickup solo on gravel roads. I am impressed and relieved to say that the All-Terrain tires do what they claim, even on a 2WD pickup. The "skittery" slipping of the highway rib tires on uphill grades was dramatically reduced and there were still a couple of spots I used the Ford locking differential just to reduce slipping. Backing into boondocking spots with the All-Terrain tires was improved also, less slipping. On this trip I saw about 0.5 to 1.0 less MPG, so not to bad for the Bridgstones A/T's! Once the tires "broke-in" tracking down the highway was just the same as the Michelin rib tires. No discernible noise increase so far. I never "aired down" the tires, as I'm not doing any real 4WD roads, just gravel Forest Service and BLM roads. And this was nice dry weather. I'm sure if it was wet I'd want a 4WD! But for my purposes, switching out to All-Terrain tires in all 4 positions has been a good move.
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Old 10-05-2020, 07:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docster View Post
Tires might help. But thatís a bandaid not a fix. Same with air down, may smooth things out a little. But the real issue is your rear shocks. The factory shocks are terrible on dirt roads. You need something with better dampening so your rear doesnít bounce and loose traction. Highly recommend Bilstein 5100 rear shocks for your truck. They will keep the wheels connected to the ground much better. Add that with airing down and you will be much happier.

A properly set up 2wd can travel many places a stock 4x4 can.
Since one of the two situations listed was backing up a grade into a camping spot, I do not think the shocks are an issue in that situation. But especially on a washboard road at even medium speeds the suspension is important to maintain tire-road contact.
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:21 AM   #11
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One of the best improvements I've made to this Ford F250 was installing Bilstein shocks. It really improved the on and off-road handling. Prior to installing the new Bilsteins last year, when not towing, whenever I hit an expansion joint or rough bit of road, particularly on curves, the rear axle would bounce up and the rear of the truck would shift to the side and felt very unstable. The Bilstein shocks eliminated all of that. They also reduced the "skittery" slipping on gravel roads with both the highway rib tires and the all-terrains. The truck handling feels more "planted" and stable now.
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