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Thread: Best truck tire and rim size combinations for Alaskan roads?

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Question Best truck tire and rim size combinations for Alaskan roads?

    I'm going to buy a new set of summer tires for my truck. I also plan to buy a new set of rims at the same time, so, that I can leave the studded snow tires on the factory rims. Then I won't have to to make an appointment, or wait in line, or pay $75 every Fall and Spring to have them mounted.

    Because I'm not limited to the original factory rim size of 16": I could choose increase the rim size, while reducing the aspect ratio of the new tires, in order to maintain the same overall size of the whole wheel. If that would be an advantage, of course? I've noticed that lately, all of the newer versions of my same make & model truck, now come with 17" or 18" rims, and tires of lesser aspect ratio. Wonder why?

    So, a 265/75R16, is equivalent to a 265/70R17, which is equivalent to a 265/65R18. They are all approximately the same height and width, only the height of the sidewall is different to make up for the different diameters of the rims.

    I don't use my truck "off-road", unless you count the Haul Road or other gravel highways. So, what are the advantages/disadvantages of these different combinations?

    Thanx, Dave.

    PS - What brand of tires are the most durable, while providing the best puncture resistance from high-speed gravel road driving?

    PPS - Aluminum or steel for the new rims?
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    No matter what you end up make the "E" rated if at all possible. "D" minimal for running gravel on the haul road. Because it ain't all gravel.

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default Best truck tire and rim size combinations for Alaskan roads?

    I went to 235/80 17's. They are E rated and usually found on 3/4 and 1 tons. They handle better, are easier on the power steering pump, and increased fuel economy by half a mile per gallon.

    Some may think that narrower tires look goofy on a 1/2 ton, but I don't care. Function over form.

    ETA: I got Michelin LTX M/S... Over 75000 miles and they still look great. Almost half the miles were on gravel and no flats.
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    When I was heading back to Alaska from NY this last Dec. I needed new snows. I researched and found Hercules tires, Avalanche Extreme studded 265x70x17 for the trip back. I am totally impressed with the Hercules tires. They are a Canadian firm, lower priced but I love them so far. I know the Ford dealer on the Wasilla Parks Hwy. carries them.

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  5. #5

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    Often people/manufacturers will use larger diameter wheels to improve handling. Less sidewall=faster response to input. The down side to larger wheels is the ride quality due to lack of sidewall to flex. Also, the higher the load rating, the rougher the ride when run at the same pressures.

    Personally I am a fan of BF Goodrich tires (3-ply sidewalls) for use in AK. They have redesigned the Long Trail T/A and it may be worth a look if you intend to stay on maintained roadways/gravel. If you can't help but leave the road from time to time then the All-Terrain T/A would get the nod.

    As for wheels...stay away from cast aluminum if you are going to subject them to adverse driving with a heavy vehicle as they may crack/leak/fail. Forged alloy is the way to go. Steel is steel and they are hard on all the parts of the suspension/drivetrain/steering due to weight. And if you do put a alloy wheel on do make sure to torque the lug nuts after 100 miles and again after 500.


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  6. #6

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    Something to consider is whether you have the TPMS on your truck (tire pressure monitoring system, that thing that tells you whether you have a low tire). I believe pretty much anything 2007 or newer is required to have it, but not 100% sure. If you have this, then you will also need another set of sensors for the tires and you will likely still need to take it in every time you change tires over to get them calibrated to the computer in the truck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier View Post
    Something to consider is whether you have the TPMS on your truck (tire pressure monitoring system, that thing that tells you whether you have a low tire). I believe pretty much anything 2007 or newer is required to have it, but not 100% sure. If you have this, then you will also need another set of sensors for the tires and you will likely still need to take it in every time you change tires over to get them calibrated to the computer in the truck.
    My 2014 ram 2500 has no tpms....
    Do I give my friends advice? Jesus, no. They wouldn't take advice from me. Nobody should take advice from me. I haven't got a clue about anything..

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Correct. I have slightly bigger tires on my truck and the odometer and speedometer are incorrect. I don't run the tpms on my truck so my "low tire light" is always on. Can't stand that electronic gadgetry crap. Waste of time & energy.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by akmike30 View Post
    My 2014 ram 2500 has no tpms....
    After looking a bit more into it, I guess they are only required as of 2007 on vehicles under 10,000 pounds gross weight ("light motor vehicles") and not on vehicles with dual wheel setups. Either way, I just know it can be a PITA if you have multiple sets of rims. I only mentioned it because I know a friend who's vehicle's entire dash would blank out to display the low tire pressure warning so he didn't have the option of just ignoring the little light in the corner like some other vehicles do.

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    Member BluNosDav's Avatar
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    Thanx Guys.

    There's no TPMS to worry about on my 2007 truck. Planning to beef up the suspension a bit with an extra leaf spring in the back, a leveler kit up front, and heavier shocks all around. So, I'm guessing that bigger sidewalls might help moderate the stiffer ride? Also, thinking about going with slightly wider 285/75R16 tires, so, that I don't sink into the sand as much down on Kasilof beach.

    Offered a good deal on a set of Cooper AT3 tires in that size. Anybody got experience with these?
    Looking to mount them on Eagle Alloy 16x8" Type 140 rims. Again, any experience with these?

    Thanx again, Dave.
    "Luckily, enforcement reads these forums, and likely will peruse this one...Especially after a link of it is forwarded to them....." - AlaskaHippie.

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    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
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    I run 285/70R17s on my 1/2ton and don't think I'd go any smaller. I also have a chip to correct the speedometer. Toyo, BFG, Cooper, and Hankook are all good tires with lots of options.

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    Member scampman85's Avatar
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    The new Toyo A/T II's got amazing reviews. I'm running 35/12.50r17 Toyo M/T's and love them. I've got close to 35,000 on this set. I'll be getting the A/T II's next .

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