Wide vs. Narrow tire size for Truck Campers

sertguy

Observer
I have a 2005 Ram 3500 SRW Quad cab 5.9 diesel with a Bigfoot 1500 ( about 3000 pounds) going on it in the next few weeks. Stock wheel size is 265/70R17. I bought the truck with 295/70R17. There are no rubbing or clearance issues but, they are getting worn and LOUD M/T tires. Although, I do like how the size looks on the truck.

I drive about 75% on road and 25% on forest roads (White rim trail, Death Valley etc.), with occasional snow, rain and mud, mostly on pavement.

On is pavement stability is most important, followed closely by the ability of the tire size(with) to tame those nasty wash board roads (airing down). Road noise drives me crazy as well.

I'm 90% sure I'm going with the Cooper Discoverer AT3, load range E, but open to suggestions. I also need new wheels as 2 of mine are cracked, so open to suggestions there as well.

My question is should I go with a narrower, close to stock size tire, or go with a wider tire?

Is there any benefit of changing my wheel size from a 17?

Or am I over thinking this whole thing?



Thx,
Sean

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Last edited:

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
If what you have has been working, I see no real reason to change it out.

Going wider has both benefits and drawbacks, and the only reason Id push to a different size wheel is for tire selection.
Going wider will net you a higher load capacity though.

Personally, I went to an 18" wheel to get the tires I wanted, in the size/load-rating/load capacity I wanted.

Toyo AT2 285/75R18 (34.8 x 11.2) a Load E tire rated at 4080lb per tire.

Going with these tires with such a high load capacity I'm able to run at a considerably lower PSI that the stock tires.
Softens the ride, increases grip, and the tires are less prone to punctures/damage.
 
Same tire I run on my F350. Great tire, not overly excited by their performance in deep sloppy snow, but that could just be the truck too. Haven't had the camper on in those conditions, so not sure if the extra weight would help or not. It's effectively a 35x11.5.

For wheels, just make sure to do your research and make sure of weight capacity, etc. Watch the offset and backspacing too so you don't push them out so far that it causes clearance issues. Looks are so subjective, ranging from Bling to Klingon Bah Mitzvah, and everything in between.
 
Super happy with my Nitro Ridge Grapplers. Very quiet on the road, air Dow great, and carry my 4k# camper well. I’m personally running a 35x12.5 18 load range F. Other sizes available though. Just be aware of load rating as different sizes of same tire can vary.


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Darwin

Explorer
I have 295/70/18 Cooper ST Maxx tires 34.25x12x18 tires. Currently they have 50K miles on them. They have survived two Baja trips with some offroad thrown in all the way down to the bottom of the Peninsula and one trip through Mainland Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and are on their second trip through mainland Mexico currently. I have a loaded 4000 lb camper on the back that has pretty much been on the life of the tires. They are rated for 4,080 lbs.
 

sertguy

Observer
If what you have has been working, I see no real reason to change it out.

Going wider has both benefits and drawbacks, and the only reason Id push to a different size wheel is for tire selection.
Going wider will net you a higher load capacity though.

Personally, I went to an 18" wheel to get the tires I wanted, in the size/load-rating/load capacity I wanted.

Toyo AT2 285/75R18 (34.8 x 11.2) a Load E tire rated at 4080lb per tire.

Going with these tires with such a high load capacity I'm able to run at a considerably lower PSI that the stock tires.
Softens the ride, increases grip, and the tires are less prone to punctures/damage.

Thanks. The exact kind of info i'm looking for. So I'm assumeing a lot more tire size selection if I move up to 18's? I looked at the tire you are running but when I "converted" it showed 33.8x11.2, not a 34.8?
 

sertguy

Observer
Same tire I run on my F350. Great tire, not overly excited by their performance in deep sloppy snow, but that could just be the truck too. Haven't had the camper on in those conditions, so not sure if the extra weight would help or not. It's effectively a 35x11.5.

For wheels, just make sure to do your research and make sure of weight capacity, etc. Watch the offset and backspacing too so you don't push them out so far that it causes clearance issues. Looks are so subjective, ranging from Bling to Klingon Bah Mitzvah, and everything in between.
Great tire, I just hate the road noise. Mine are horribly loud.
 

sertguy

Observer
I have 295/70/18 Cooper ST Maxx tires 34.25x12x18 tires. Currently they have 50K miles on them. They have survived two Baja trips with some offroad thrown in all the way down to the bottom of the Peninsula and one trip through Mainland Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and are on their second trip through mainland Mexico currently. I have a loaded 4000 lb camper on the back that has pretty much been on the life of the tires. They are rated for 4,080 lbs.

How's the road noise with the ST Maxx?
 

IdaSHO

IDACAMPER
Thanks. The exact kind of info i'm looking for. So I'm assumeing a lot more tire size selection if I move up to 18's? I looked at the tire you are running but when I "converted" it showed 33.8x11.2, not a 34.8?
I don't know about broader selection, I just know that to get the tire I wanted I had to step up to an 18" wheel.

I believe that you do have a bit better selection for truck tires in when you go to 18" vs 17" though.
 

jadmt

ignore button user
check out some 285/75-17 ST Maxx's. they are quiet and wear well. I have run several sets of Toyo AT2's and Cooper ST Maxx's and the nod for me goes to the ST Maxx simply because it gives a bit better offroad traction. Granted I am running them on lighter vehicles. The AT3xlt looks good too.
 
D

Deleted member 9101

Guest
18" rims will definitely get you more tire choices and a narrower tire will typically get better fuel mileage.
 

sertguy

Observer
So I checked some of the tire and wheel suggestions at America’s Tire. After discussing tires, the guy helping me suggested I go with the MB Legacy wheel. Good price at 100 bucks. He said it would be strong enough for my truck camper combo. At home I looked them up and they are rated at 2500 pounds each.

Now I the furthest thing from a mathematician, but the weight of my truck, about 8000 pounds (maybe 3000 pounds at the rear wheels), and the 3000 pounds of camper is well above 5000 combined rating of the recommended wheels.

Is the salesmen correct and I’m missing something????

Thx.


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No. You’re not missing something. He’s got no idea what he’s talking about. He just put your truck into a computer and it said that those fit. And they do fit. But not what you want.

I shopped around on the web looking at manufacturer data for lots of wheels before selecting the Method wheels I bought. There are a few choices but not a ton. Lots of bling wheels but most rated in the 2500 range.

It’s only 1 guy in a hundred that will actually know enough to really help you. Don’t trust the tire store guys. They just don’t know.


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