Cream of the Cra.... inexpensive TIRES! Let's get this on the table.

If you were buying budget tires today they'd be:


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    32

Shovel

Explorer
You can compromise and go cheap but don't expect them to do either of their 2 jobs particularly well, IMO.
This is sort of what I'm trying to get to the bottom of here in this thread; it's objectively true that the aforementioned tires are lower in market price. That much is easy enough to ascertain conclusively.

What we don't know is whether they're actually inferior in any way.

It's easy to conjecture; because it's inexpensive it must be poor quality but we don't know if the premium priced tires are so for other reasons - ad campaigns, corporate structure, pension justification, distribution network.. all don't necessarily reflect on the function of the product. And it may not be possible to reach a conclusion on them either since people report negative experiences with premium tires as well. Look for reviews on any tire and you're sure to find somebody who believes they're bad, including anything from Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, etc.
 
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Joe917

Explorer
Tires are pretty critical, especially as you approach max load as most smaller expo vehicles do(anything under 5 tonnes). Even Michelin makes some tires in China, brand and quality control are worth paying for.
 
I'm rocking GT Radial Adventuro AT3 flavored in 235/85/16, I liked them so much that I swapped them and the rims over to my service truck. They did excellent this winter, have been wearing like iron and have done well off road too. And at just over $400 to mount and balance all four it can't be beat.
 
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Happy Joe

Apprentice Geezer
This is sort of what I'm trying to get to the bottom of here in this thread; it's objectively true that the aforementioned tires are lower in market price. That much is easy enough to ascertain conclusively.

What we don't know is whether they're actually inferior in any way.

It's easy to conjecture; because it's inexpensive it must be poor quality but we don't know if the premium priced tires are so for other reasons - ad campaigns, corporate structure, pension justification, distribution network.. all don't necessarily reflect on the function of the product. And it may not be possible to reach a conclusion on them either since people report negative experiences with premium tires as well. Look for reviews on any tire and you're sure to find somebody who believes they're bad, including anything from Michelin, Continental, Goodyear, etc.
When I was very much younger and quite a bit poorer I too tried to find "the best of the worst/inexpensive tires) after much running around (and begging to try other peoples tires on trail sections (as well as doing multi-state searches for discontinued old tread pattern tiers at a discount I came to the conclusion that;

3-4 ply side walls and mud ridges around the rims are definitely worth while.
Tires with side wall bulges can, often, be made to float where narrower tread straight side walls will tend to make progressively deeper trenches (as far as they go).
No AT tire, that I tried, at any pressure worked as well in loose sand/decayed granite, wet dirt or on wet or dry rocks or especially in calf to thigh deep snow as aggressive mud treads.
No amount of cost savings, or reduced air pressure, will get you out of that steep trail section/valley that you drove those cheap tires into.
Tire traction and longevity is usually related to price and the amount of research that the company put into their tread patterns and rubber compounds (even moderate name, cheaper knockoffs of Good tires simply did not perform as well (mud kings vs. BFG's; some folks said they were made in the same factory but they definitely did not show the same performance).

That said some cheap brands could approximate the traction (until the tread edges became worn/rounded) of better tires; if not both the traction and longevity... "use 'em for a season then sell the cheap tires and get new in the spring."
When you can get them, cosmetic blems will usually work as well as the higher priced non-blem tires.

...I finally gave up and just went for good tires...

Enjoy!
 
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Nathansharkey80

Active member
I am trying Kumho road venture AT 285-65-R18 on my Range Rover L322 without any lift. Just aftermarket wheels.

On the road they are really great. But I did find some rubbing off-road at extreme conditions. So i will add a lift to prevent any rubbing when all of the weight is shifted on to the rear tires when going up steep rutted trails. Traction off-road is good in dry conditions but I am already seeing some cuts and nicks to the rubber and rounding of mud blocks on the tread. They were cheep tires. But I wanted to give them a try. We will see how they hold up. I have my doubts about them. I have not tried them in the snow or ice or mud yet.






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vwhammer

Adventurer
Dang!
Two pages about budget all terrains and no one has mentioned the General Grabber AT2.
I have used these on vans, trucks and two Subarus and have zero complaints.
Even some of Generals new tire designs are still priced pretty good compared to the competition.

I have also had good luck with the Hankook Dynapro AT-M
I have a set on a 5th gen 4Runner with 15,000 miles on them and they have tons of life left in them.
Also have a set of the Dynapros ready to go on my new (to me) van.
 

TwoTrack

Buy Once, Cry Once
I changed jobs about a year ago which greatly increased my commute. I was running BFG K/M's at the time which I quickly wore out with all the miles. I opted for a set of Milestar Patagonia AT's, I figured they'd just be a temporary placeholder, but I've actually been quite impressed with them.
 

Binksman

Observer
I'll second the General Grabber AT2 and AT3 tires. And I will add Treadwright's BFG AT clone, which were honestly the best set of tires I've EVER bought. They lasted longer than real BFG AT's I had on a smaller truck I had. I liked them so much I'm on a second set of Treadwrights but I decided to try the mud tire this time (which isn't the focus of this thread).

I have to disagree with Mastercrafts though. I had a set of the ATs that came with a set of wheels. They may have been the single worst tire I've ever driven on for wet grass, and slushy, icing roads.

And I'll agree with the person who pointed out that the cost savings may show themselves after some where. All the lower end tires I've used show greatly accelerated wear after 12k miles or so.
 

Shovel

Explorer
Are Generals really "cheap" tires though? They're not only a prominent Continental AG brand, they're also Continental's clear off-road brand (because Continental doesn't make a mud tire or high-void AT under their flagship marque)

Maybe prices are different in different parts of the country, Generals around here are pretty much in line with BFG/Cooper/Bridgestone etc
 

vwhammer

Adventurer
It really does depend on the size and which General AT you go with.
The older AT2 can be $50 or $60 less than the same size BFG AT.
The A/TX are little more pricey but most are still $20 or $30 less than the BFG.
For the most part, at least on tirerack.com, the generals are $25-55 less per tire than a BFG in the same size.
 

Eaglefreek

Eagleless
I know you want to focus on AT's, but I noticed you have Crosswinds on your list. I have some Linglong Crosswind HT's on my E350. Horrible tire. I've had them rebalanced 4 times and finally have them where they are tolerable. They are wearing much faster than my last set of tires, also.
 

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
Maybe not really a budget tire but...

Some of you are running rigs that are maxed out (or even over) recommended cargo weight capacity.

For you, I’m gonna recommend that you seriously consider spending the extra money and buying steel “wrapped” (not steel belted) tires since the sidewalls on these are much stronger and durable with these.

I switched to these years ago for my heavy duty F350 camper and wouldn’t consider anything else.
 
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