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Unread 03-06-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
XJNKY
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Tow rig tires, skinny or wide?

Alright, back story is that I'm looking at trading one of my Jeeps to the father in law for a tow rig. His old 3/4 ton Chevy ('97 2500, 5.7 auto, hitch and 5th wheel). It's been parked for a few years (fuel pump, and broken window), so it needs a little TLC, but I only have $1K in the WJ I'd be trading him. So, I'm trying to figure out what it would cost me to get the 2500 up and running, and in shape to tow.

My biggest question boils down to tires. I'm familiar with the pizza cutters vs fatty arguments. I've had skinny and wid(er) tires, and know the benefits and downsides of both. I don't plan on really taking the truck offroad itself, but I've seen guys have to unload their trail rig to pull the tow rig out of a muddy parking area before, and I'd like for it to be able to drag a trailer through a muddy field if need be. (Snow traction is not really an issue, because I still have my DD XJ, and it goes wherever I ask it to.)

So, I'm trying to decide between 255/85/16, or 285/75/16. Been shopping, and I'm down to either BFG KM2's, or DC FC2's. FC2's only come in 285.

Here's my thoughts:
255-
Good: Better gas mileage, quieter(?), better light mud and snow traction (dig), $30 cheaper per tire, better wet pavement traction
Bad: More focused weight might sink with weight of trailer, not sure about stability while towing/braking, less pavement traction (?)

285-
Good: Look better, more flotation in mud (less sinking in), better towing stability/ pavement traction (?)
Bad: Louder, more expensive, less traction in the slop, less traction on wet pavement.

So, from a towing standpoint, which one would be more stable, and provide the best handling/braking. I almost feel like any flotation/sinking issues are probably a wash, with one scenario just as likely as the other.

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Unread 03-06-2013, 07:12 PM   #2
thantos858
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Not really a big difference between the 2 sizes. As far as towing the one closest to stock you can get the automaker did a lot of work to find out what one would work the best overall.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 07:27 PM   #3
MO2500
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Rim width and load range are also factors.

I just went down from 285/75/16 in a load D to 265/75/16 in a Load E on my 2500HD and like it a lot better for towing. The 285s always felt floaty to me while towing and while there are a few E range tires in that size, there are much fewer options than other sizes and they are more expensive, so that's something to consider. I personally would go with the smaller of the two in a Load E.

For strictly towing I would agree with the above poster, the smaller of the two and in a load range E for a 3/4 ton truck. The bigger and wider the tires are the more sidewall there is. That usually leads to more sway under load.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 07:33 PM   #4
XJNKY
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I mean, that's always a solid argument, but there's also two sides to it. The factory puts a lot of time into engineering compromises. Just because they set it up that way doesn't mean that's how it would work best for every application, but it also doesn't mean it's wrong. They balance performance, cost, and longevity. If, hypothetically, I'm more concerned with one of those 3, I certainly can adjust the compromise, just at the cost of one or both of the other 2 aspects.
That being said, the contact patch on the 255 is closest top the factory 245. Sidewall flex is really my concern.

And 30mm is about 1.2", so... about a 12% difference in contact patch. That's not negligible, but I guess it's not monumental either.
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Unread 03-06-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
XJNKY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MO2500 View Post
Rim width and load range are also factors.

I just went down from 285/75/16 in a load D to 265/75/16 in a Load E on my 2500HD and like it a lot better for towing. The 285s always felt floaty to me while towing and while there are a few E range tires in that size, there are much fewer options than other sizes and they are more expensive, so that's something to consider. I personally would go with the smaller of the two in a Load E.

For strictly towing I would agree with the above poster, the smaller of the two and in a load range E for a 3/4 ton truck. The bigger and wider the tires are the more sidewall there is. That usually leads to more sway under load.
yeah I'm sticking with E either way. I've hauled big loads on D tires before and I was... wobbly
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Unread 03-07-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
MPond
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When I upgraded my 2500 Suburban to 285's I noticed a significant improvement in stopping performance (both wet & dry). I tow two different trailers with the Suburban - a 7000 lb boat and an 8000 lb enclosed trailer, and I've been happier with the wider tires in both cases.

I also take the cargo trailer on the beach, and the wider tires make a huge difference there as well.

Just my $0.02...
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:51 AM   #7
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Physics be damned! A wider tire presents a bigger contact area to the road. Sure it does.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010
Physics be damned! A wider tire presents a bigger contact area to the road. Sure it does.
Huh? Which part are you rolling your eyes about?
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Unread 03-09-2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MPond View Post
Huh? Which part are you rolling your eyes about?
Internet rule #37, never respond to a troll.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJNKY View Post

And 30mm is about 1.2", so... about a 12% difference in contact patch. That's not negligible, but I guess it's not monumental either.

No high school, huh? Sorry. But, its never to late for you to learn.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:12 PM   #11
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I have ran both 285's 75's and 265 75's RANGE E on my 2500 and prefer the 265's. Big equipment trailer with two TJ's probably around 15k or so.. Not much of a difference but it seemed to track straighter.. If your towing a lot of weight through your mud situations or whatever, I think the tread design will have a lot more to do with the performance in those scenarios than the negligible tire size change.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:21 PM   #12
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Alright, I guess it's time to violate some rules...
1"=25.4mm. 30mm=1.18". 255/30= 0.117, or about 12%. Your contact patch is roughly the shape of a rectangle, who's area is calculated by multiplying the length X width. Stop me if I'm going too fast for you... now, the commutitive property tells us that the increase in one dimension will have similar effect on area, so, yes 30 mm wider gives roughly a 12% increase in contact patch. Now, whether or not that increases traction requires more information, such as forces applied ( mass x accelerating due to g), coefficient of friction, tire pressure, surface pressure, load distribution, and a whole host of other trivial factors such as temperature, number of contact edges, blah blah blah.

You're the sort of dickweed that short changes customers at McDonald's because " you can do math in your head", aren't you?
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJNKY View Post
Alright, I guess it's time to violate some rules...
1"=25.4mm. 30mm=1.18". 255/30= 0.117, or about 12%. Your contact patch is roughly the shape of a rectangle, who's area is calculated by multiplying the length X width. Stop me if I'm going too fast for you... now, the commutitive property tells us that the increase in one dimension will have similar effect on area, so, yes 30 mm wider gives roughly a 12% increase in contact patch. Now, whether or not that increases traction requires more information, such as forces applied ( mass x accelerating due to g), coefficient of friction, tire pressure, surface pressure, load distribution, and a whole host of other trivial factors such as temperature, number of contact edges, blah blah blah.

You're the sort of dickweed that short changes customers at McDonald's because " you can do math in your head", aren't you?
Don't toss that MCDonald's hat away loser. The area of the contact patch of a tire is the weight of the vehicle divided by the pressure of the tire, divided by the number of tires. Nice try with all that mumbo jumbo.

Maybe a GED is in the future for you.
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssquier92 View Post
I have ran both 285's 75's and 265 75's RANGE E on my 2500 and prefer the 265's. Big equipment trailer with two TJ's probably around 15k or so.. Not much of a difference but it seemed to track straighter.. If your towing a lot of weight through your mud situations or whatever, I think the tread design will have a lot more to do with the performance in those scenarios than the negligible tire size change.
Thanks for the helpful input. I would imagine between those two t 265 would, but it has less sidewall two I'm comparing have pretty much the same sidewall ( both 33's)
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Unread 03-09-2013, 04:42 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilson1010 View Post
Don't toss that MCDonald's hat away loser. The area of the contact patch of a tire is the weight of the vehicle divided by the pressure of the tire, divided by the number of tires. Nice try with all that mumbo jumbo.

Maybe a GED is in the future for you.
I'm sorry, are you 12, or just retarded? I'm talking about at the same pressure. Of course I can adjust the pressure. And I understand what psi means. And I guess I could get the same contact area with a 165... if I ran it flat. Load E tires give you a pretty wide range to run pressure, so just go ahead and write that one off. I'm glad you googled contact patch and did some light reading, but you're so far away from understanding the conversation here it's embarrassing. Of course i could get the same contact area with both tires, but I'd have to run the skinnier tire at a lower pressure to do it, giving up some sidewall stiffness


What is it with this forum these days where every single thread is infested with these 20 year old GED holding mouth breathers scanning for threads to troll. If you're going to get on here and talk **** at least have some idea of what you're talking about.
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