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Tire Wear

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Q: I have a couple of questions relating to the type, style and brand of tires that would be recommended for our pickup truck. We have a Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Duramax diesel that we use to pull a 35-foot Keystone Montana fifth-wheel with a gooseneck hitch. Our first set of aftermarket tires are the Big O A/T LT 245/75R16 M+S. We have about 25,000 miles on them now and they are due for replacement. My questions are, is this a reasonable life expectancy and if not, is it within your purview to make any sort of a recommendation for me? It seems like they should last longer, but they have not in this case.
Chuck Jones, via email

A: The all terrain, mud and snow tires on your truck have a fairly open tread with a lot of space between grooves. This allows the tread blocks to squirm a lot more than with a standard highway tread, which results in accelerated wear. The situation is exacerbated by the heavy fifth-wheel trailer, which puts a lot of weight on the truck and significantly increases the rate of wear. High-throttle applications, which are also required with heavier trailers, also cause the tires to flex and slip more on the road surface. If weather conditions allow it, I recommend a tire that has a “high mileage” highway tread that’s designed for commercial use, and perhaps upgrade to a higher load rating, which generally flexes less. You also didn’t mention if the front tires have the same wear pattern, or if all the tires show a straight wear pattern. You should also carefully monitor inflation pressure, and base it on actual scale weights using a load-inflation table.
– Ken Freund

Side by side images of two men, Ken Freund and Jeff Johnston, posing next to vehicles To send your questions to RV Clinic, write to 2575 Vista Del Mar, Ventura, Calif., 93001; or email [email protected]. Also, check out TrailerLife.TV for our expert RV how-to videos.

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