Newbie needs assistance with tire choice for new to me 2020 F550 4x4 Overlander

Fatboyz

Observer
So I have decided to stick with the 19.5 stock wheels and tire size, just can't justify spending 12k for DBL set up and end up with worse MPG and short tire life for this trip. Will be adding Sumosprings front/rear and replacing the OEM shocks. Now just need to decide on which shocks, I am considering either Fox or Bilstein. I've read the Fox and more off-road focused and Bilstein are move for on road. Anyone know of anyone doing custom shock valving or a better option. Thanks
I have been in the same dilemma. I needed to get using the truck and the stock tires were wore right out. I bought a set of Irnonhead 245 70 19.5's. So far we are really liking them. They gave us 1 1/2" of lift and have the 4 season peak rating, also they were only $217 Cdn. each! They use them here on 550's in the oilfield and they seem to hold up. For the price they're great. The Super singles still keep calling me but the price!! DBL came out with a cheaper one piece wheel for 4380 but they don't make them in the 8 lug pattern I have. They do make the 10 lug like you have though. I Think if some extra cash fell my way I would likely go with 1st attack wheels.
 

Trikebubble

Adventurer
I have nothing to add, other than nice rig. I've been poking aorund for an F-450 and Northern Lite camper combination for a little while now, and Imp retty sure I noticed that camper on the online classifieds here in Canada a couple months ago. Pretty nice, enjoy the trips
 

ExpoMike

Well-known member
Depends on what Bilstein shocks you get. Look at 5160 or 5165 series, they are definitely for off road use. From what I have been reading recently, Fox has gotten too big, too fast in the vehicle shock market and their quality has gone downhill. One report I just read was of a guy who put on a set of Fox 2.0 series and in less than a year, they were leaking. He moved to King 2.5" series and has not had any issue. I personally have run Bilstein's on about 30 vehicles, both on and off road type. I love them and have never had a single issue with any.
 

Vampergt4

New member
I have nothing to add, other than nice rig. I've been poking aorund for an F-450 and Northern Lite camper combination for a little while now, and Imp retty sure I noticed that camper on the online classifieds here in Canada a couple months ago. Pretty nice, enjoy the trips
We actually considered a F450 with a Host Mammoth truck camper, this one was close to us and decided to jump on it. Great layout! Will be adding more fresh water and diesel capacity to the unit.
 

Vampergt4

New member
Depends on what Bilstein shocks you get. Look at 5160 or 5165 series, they are definitely for off road use. From what I have been reading recently, Fox has gotten too big, too fast in the vehicle shock market and their quality has gone downhill. One report I just read was of a guy who put on a set of Fox 2.0 series and in less than a year, they were leaking. He moved to King 2.5" series and has not had any issue. I personally have run Bilstein's on about 30 vehicles, both on and off road type. I love them and have never had a single issue with any.
Thanks for the advice. Are you running these Bilstein's on any F550 by any chance?
 

ExpoMike

Well-known member
Thanks for the advice. Are you running these Bilstein's on any F550 by any chance?
No, current stable of Bilstein's are 1999 Jeep Cherokee, 1984 Chevy CUCV M1010 ambulance and 1972 Chevy El Camino. Had them on my 1997 Ram 2500 with FWC popup. Never owned anything as big as a F550 (nor have room for anything that big. LOL)
 

DirtWhiskey

Western Dirt Rat
Thanks for the advice. Are you running these Bilstein's on any F550 by any chance?
Figured I'd chime in for the record here. I just bought a set of Buckstop Super singles with MPT81s from another forum member for my franken truck (2001 f450 with 2006 axle and suspension etc swap). I opted for the Bilstein 5100s, although not the remote reservoir ones. One thing you'll see is Bilstein doesn't spec the 5100 series for our F450 or F550. They spec the 4600. Problem is the 4600 doesnt spec any lift but the 5100 does. I've read they are the same shock internally but the 5100 allows certain lift levels. I just did a little 2" level to help clear the monster truck tires so I got the 0-2" lift model 5100s. I'll report back with my experience. I don't intend to do a bunch of hard off-road, that's what my electric bikes are for, so I didn't go remote reservoir or custom valving.
 

180out

Active member
Forgive me if I have already said this in this thread:
If you go with the 335s, in addition to the secure mounting of the spare, try to figure out a place to store a (second) unmounted tire. 20” MPTs of any brand don’t grow on trees, and the vast majority of tire dealers in or out of North America will look at you like you’re on hallucinogens or from another planet if you ask them to quickly come up with one.
that's a fact! drove past an over lander with two flats every day for a week while he waited for a commercial tire dealer and mobile repair truck to come from 200 miles away. i bet that was not cheep. the nice part of DRW's is that you have three spare tires in a pinch and 19.5 tires can be found in a lot of places. the ride is not great but my TOYOs have been good to me so far. i just air them down to 50 when im off road. its a 8 ton truck after all not a Lincoln.
 

greengreer

Adventurer
I have an f550 for my business. It's got a 6ft tall steel box on top of a flatbed dump so probably taller and definitely heavier than most rv setups.
It's a 2000 model so leafs front and rear. I run the yellow and blue bilstein (4600?) They made a definite improvement on weight transfer when loaded. They're a stiff shock on other vehicles I've used them on and it seems to be a good match for the 550.
Tirewise I'm still on 225's, they sink like a stone in soft surfaces. Great in snow but terrible on anything else remotely soft. 245's would help but if I was buying new wheels I'd go 265 to have a lower ground psi. I really don't think they'd make a huge difference in ride quality. Sure it's more rubber and air but alot of the benefit of a bigger tire is being able to run lower pressures and maintain load capacity. You can't really do that on these all steel commercial tires. They need to be run at or near max psi and won't deflect much at all when aired down. Good v bar tire chains are gonna be your best bet when getting off of hard surfaces.

We run open shoulder drive tires f&r. That being said I'd like to try a closed shoulder drive next time I do fronts. Should wear more evenly and run a little smoother. We're on ironman i604 and they're really good, especially for the price. Just put 4 on the back for less than $800 out the door. Made in Thailand, just like the fallkens on my pickup that cost 50% more.

Most places here don't stock anything in 19.5, unless they're a truck shop. Probably a good idea to have spares, even if you don't have the wheel. Any old school tire guy can change one out with a set of irons.
 

tmckenna13

New member
OP, I seem to be in the same dilemma as you. I'm still in the planning phase so no real life experience from me, but I'm a bit neurotic when it comes to planning so I like to think I have a pretty good handle on things. I had an idea for this situation and am curious what users on here think. Here goes nothing.

Basically as OP stated there arent a ton of on/off road options when it comes to 19.5" tires, and pretty much all of them result in a very harsh ride and poor MPG. What I was thinking of doing was buying a set of aftermarket 20" diameter wheels (there aren't a ton for 10 lug, but theyre definitely out there). The 20" diameter obviously has a much bigger selection of tires and there are some that should have no problem holding that weight. The Toyo Open Country AT3 just as an example (which I run on my current SUV) are available in many sizes, but lets take the LT295/65R20. In a single configuration they're rated for 4080 pounds, so effectively the tires on the front axle are good for 8160 pounds. Now on the rear axle, in a dual configuration theyre good for 3750 pounds each, so effectively you have 15,000 pounds worth of tire capacity on the rear axle (thats 23,160 pounds total for those who are counting). I also imagine that the Open Country AT3 will ride significantly better than any commercial tire.

The only downside is that you don't get 6 way interchangeability with an aftermarket wheel setup. I spoke to someone at a company that said an additional inner rear wheel would serve as a great full size spare for the inner rear wheels or the front wheels, so the only issue would be the outer rear wheels. Now you could carry an additional outer rear wheel, or just plan on limping to a service location in the instance of a flat, but either way you get pretty decent piece of mind with just 1 spare.

Again, its all in theory so I'd love to hear some feedback.
 

greengreer

Adventurer
The 20's and even some 18's have the same load capacity as the stock 225's. I think it'd be an interesting option to be able to run an LT tire. I'd be willing to bet they would wear rather quick running at 16k+ lbs day in and day out.
 

tmckenna13

New member
The 20's and even some 18's have the same load capacity as the stock 225's. I think it'd be an interesting option to be able to run an LT tire. I'd be willing to bet they would wear rather quick running at 16k+ lbs day in and day out.
Would be interesting to see a cost analysis of MPG vs frequency of tire change. If it was anywhere near even I think the LT would certainly be the better option for comfort and "on the go" cost (meaning youre stopping less and paying less for gas during long trips) and your only added cost would be a lump sum every maybe 3 years or so?
 

tmckenna13

New member
The 20's and even some 18's have the same load capacity as the stock 225's. I think it'd be an interesting option to be able to run an LT tire. I'd be willing to bet they would wear rather quick running at 16k+ lbs day in and day out.
I was specifically looking at Hankook Dynapro AT2 in LT285/65R20 (so basically 35" diameter). These newest Dynapros are supposed to have extremely low rolling resistance for an all terrain tire which means maximum MPG and minimum noise. Theyre E Rated tires, and have a paper weight capacity of 3860 pounds ( so somewhere in the neighborhood of 23,000 pounds total capacity). Theyre all S Speed rated so capable of 112mph (though I don't think thats a good idea with a rig that weighs 8 tons), and theyre even three-peak mountain snowflake (3PMSF) rated for maximum performance in the snow.

Sorry if it sounds like a sales pitch. I've been doing an ungodly amount of Tire research recently and its pretty boring lol.
 
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