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Unread 07-06-2013, 03:55 PM   #1
Kally
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Best tires for a Cross Country Road Trip?

Hi All! My wife and I are about to take off on a cross country road trip from California to Delaware. I'm taking my 2005 Grand Cherokee, 4.7, rear wheel drive (no traction control). I'm currently running Goodyear Tripletreds on it. It's a stiff tire and doesn't have the best handling, not very comfortable for a 7000 mile round trip. However, because the Jeep is a rear wheel drive with no traction control I like the wet road capabilities of the tripletreds, they really stick nicely.

I'm planning on keeping the tripletreds for the rainy months. But, I'm not sure what would be a good tire to put on for this trip. I'm certain I'll come across some serious rain storms out there, we'll be gone for two months. So trying to find a tire that is great for "touring" but can keep us safe on wet roads. It doesn't rain much in Southern California.

Any thoughts on these:

Firestone Destination LE
Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II
Bridgestone Dueler H/L-422 (What's the difference in H/L & H/T?)
Hankook Dynapro H/T
Michelin Cross Terrain
Michelin Latitude Tour
Toyo A-20 Open Country
Yokohama Geolander H/T-S
Cooper Discoverer H/T
Continental Contitrac TR
Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor
Nexan Roadian H/T SUV

Also, any thoughts on how to get the Jeep ready and keep it going strong while on such a long journey? It's got 82,000 miles on it now. Much appreciated, Kally

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Unread 07-06-2013, 09:16 PM   #2
Kally
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Anyone, Anyone . . . ?
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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:28 PM   #3
bondosgto
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Saturday of the 4th of July and five hours later, most are probably taking a long vacation so ill bite. Interco Thornbirds are the best for what you are wanting to do.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 10:46 PM   #4
Kally
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Never heard of those but I'll certainly look into them. And thanks so much for the feedback.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:27 PM   #5
Charley3
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Thornbirds are a terrible tire (for anything on or off road). Yuck. I think the guy who recommended them was joking. I can't imagine anyone seriously recommending that tire.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:29 PM   #6
Charley3
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Do you a want tire for on road use only, or for on and off road?

If only for on road, get a good all season tire with snowflake Winter traction rating. Pasenger P rated are fine (preferable really).

If for on road and mild off road, then a good All Season with load C rating. Snow flake Winter rating is a plus.

If for on road and intermediate off road, then a good All Terrain tire with load C rating. Snow flake Winter rating is a plus.

If any of the above types of tire with snow flake rating for Winter, you can use same time year round. That is ideal for convenience and cost savings.

I will work on a list of tires for you, but not tonight.
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Unread 07-06-2013, 11:47 PM   #7
Kally
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Road use only. I'm sure we'll hit a few dirt roads or gravel roads along the way but It's not a 4x4, it's a rear wheel drive only so can't do any real off roading in it. Also, because its a rear wheel drive 8 cylinder with no sort of traction control, it's not real good on wet roads. I guess I'm looking for something that will ride smooth & quiet for the long journey but handle well on wet roads and keep us safe.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:50 AM   #8
Kally
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Thanks for all that great information. I appreciate it. And I agree with you, after looking at the thornbirds those are not the tires for a 7000 mile road trip. Can't imagine running those things for a cross country and back trek. Let me know if you think any of those I listed are solid. Thanks again.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 12:54 AM   #9
Charley3
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Well, for road use only, it'd be either highway tires or all season tires.

A highway tire (HT) gives best gas mileage on dry highway and traction is fine on dry highways. They also tend to last the longest of any type of tires. However, they are not very good on wet highways, and they are terrible in Winter conditions. I don't recommend HT to anyone, unless they are driving long distances in dry climates. So I suggest you stop looking at HT tires. I would never run an HT myself because I live in Western Washington State in a rain forest climate.

One thing I know a lot about is wet highways. It's wet here 7 to 10 months of the year, depending on our weather-luck any given year.

All Season (AS) tires are designed to excel on wet highways, and they do. Most brands of AS tire do very well on wet highways, especially if you buy a good brand. They are also excellent on dry highways, and although their fuel economy isn't going to be quite as good as HT, AS fuel economy is good enough to make most people happy.

---

Highend, excellent (expensive) AS I like (in no particular order): Toyo, BFG, Michelin, and Nokian.

Mid priced, very good AS I like: Cooper and Hankook. The Hankook isn't really mid priced though, it's kind of between high and mid.

Low priced, very good AS (IME) is Uniroyal. It's a great tire for the money. My dad has their AS tires and they are very good and were cheap. He always buys cheap, and in this case he lucked out. They are good tires.

---

The above describescost, not actual performance.

---

The Hankook is (IMO) just as excellent performing as Toyo or BFG, and perhaps as good as Michelin. The Hankook is certainly the best buy of the really good AS performers. Next time I get AS for my Buick car, I'll buy Hankook.

---

What really separates the wheat from the chaff among AS tires is whether (or not) they are snow flake rated to perform as Winter traction devices.

The best AS are snow flake rated. Hankook and Nokian are, and possibly some of the others I mentioned too. Of the snow flake rated AS, the Michelin, Hankook, and Nokian are the best. The Nokian is the best period, but is spendy. Michelin is good, but not as good as Nokian, yet Michelin costs about same as Nokian. So if you want the best AS, get a Nokian AS that is snow flake rated. Second best are the Michelin and Hankook snow flake rated AS tires. But if wanting to save money, and settle for second best (which is more than good enough) get the Hankook because it saves you a couple hundred dollars on a set of tires compared to Michelin or Nokian.

Why would you care if your AS are Winter traction rated with the snow flake rating? A few reasons. You then only need one tire for year round, including Winter. Also, the state police (in many states, perhaps all states) only allow people with traction devices to travel through mountain passes during Winter storms. Traction devices means any of the following, chains, studded tires, or snow flake rated tires. If you don't have any of those, you spend several days to a week in a hotel (if there is a vacancy) waiting for the pass to open.

I realize you aren't traveling in Winter this time, but what if you ever want to in future? A snow flake rated AS allows you to do that.

If you'll never be traveling through mountains during Winter, then the snow flake rating doesn't matter. So then almost any brand of AS will work fine. If you really don't care about snow flake rating, then get some Uniroyal AS because they are cheap and good, but not snow flake rated.

Oh, P.S. - Cooper AS tires are probably excellent too, and mid priced. I own Cooper All Terrain (AT) tires and they are great, but I don't really know any info about their AS tires. I just assume their AS must be good and mid priced since that was the case with their AT tires I bought for my Jeep.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:01 AM   #10
Charley3
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You might also consider Micheline LTX AT2 or Kumho Road Venture SAT. Those have AS tread, but the toughness of all terrain (AT) tires, if you ever want to go off road. The Michelin and Kumho would both be great on wet and dry roads. The Michelin would also be excellent on Winter roads. The Kumho would be adequate on Winter roads.

The Michelin LTX AT2 are expensive (as is any Michelin product). The Kumho SAT are bargain priced (but good).
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:09 AM   #11
Charley3
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Having said all that, if you really just want a tire that's for dry weather highway cruising, then get a highway tire (HT).

But the problem with that is you can't rely on weather. Wouldn't it be safer to get a comfortable riding all season tire (AS) that does it all, including ride comfort? Good AS tires are comfortable riding and quiet.

If you really want a HT, I don't know what to recommend. This is a Jeep forum, and like most guys here, I am not an expert on HT. I know the generalities, like good for gas mileage and quiet on dry highway, but poor traction when wet, and slick on Winter roads; but I don't know which HT to recommend.

I know a fair amount about AS since I use them on my car, and prior cars. I know a lot about AT because I use them on my Jeep, and prior Jeeps.

My point is, this is a Jeep forum. You won't find very many guys here who know much about HT. That might be part of the lack of response. Your OP asked about HT and most people at this forum probably yawned and moved on without responding. Sorry, but that's how an off road oriented forum is.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:12 AM   #12
Charley3
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Perhaps you should subscribe to ConsumerReports.org and read their tire reviews. You could also look at TireRack.com tire users reviews.

Consumer Reports and Tire Rack have reviews for HT, AS, AT, MT, and Commercial Traction tires.

So you could see reviews for any category of tires you want, including HT reviews, if that's really what you want.

Also, at this forum, you might consult with Mschi772. If anyone here knows HT tires, it might be him.

Also, what's wrong with asking local tire stores?

Though in closing, I still think you'd be best of getting a good AS tire that does it all well, including comfortable ride and quiet. You can have a tire that does it all. No need for sunny weather HT tires, and harsh riding AS tires for rainy season. You can get a good AS that does it all, and then leave them on year round, and sell your TripleTread tires.

I think I'm done with this thread because I told you what I know. I won't be returning, unless you PM me and ask me to. Thanks and best wishes, Charley.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 01:55 AM   #13
Kally
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Charley, thanks for going above and beyond with your knowledge. I can't thank you enough. I plan on going to some of the tire places around here but I was hoping to gain some knowledge on what I was looking for before I did, which thanks to you I have. But now it looks like I have quite a bit of reading to do.

I'm fine to switch out my tires, I use a little repair place down the street and I've become friends with the owner. They charge me literally $20 to switch out the tires and they balance them. Also, I really do like the tripletreds in the rain, they handle amazingly well.

We live in Southern California (completely opposite from the "rain forest" that you live in) so there is little need for snow or winter type tires. I've not seen rain in about six months. Going back East will be very different, it's going to be raining a lot.

So for my needs/purposes I simply need something that will handle well, be quiet, ride smooth, ease the gas prices and (Very Important) handle the wet weather like a champ! As well, in all honesty, I'm probably going to trade this one in for a newer model sometime in the next 3-6 months.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 02:38 AM   #14
Charley3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kally View Post
Charley, thanks for going above and beyond with your knowledge. I can't thank you enough. I plan on going to some of the tire places around here but I was hoping to gain some knowledge on what I was looking for before I did, which thanks to you I have. But now it looks like I have quite a bit of reading to do.

I'm fine to switch out my tires, I use a little repair place down the street and I've become friends with the owner. They charge me literally $20 to switch out the tires and they balance them. Also, I really do like the tripletreds in the rain, they handle amazingly well.

We live in Southern California (completely opposite from the "rain forest" that you live in) so there is little need for snow or winter type tires. I've not seen rain in about six months. Going back East will be very different, it's going to be raining a lot.

So for my needs/purposes I simply need something that will handle well, be quiet, ride smooth, ease the gas prices and (Very Important) handle the wet weather like a champ! As well, in all honesty, I'm probably going to trade this one in for a newer model sometime in the next 3-6 months.
Then buy a Uniroyal AS (like my dad has) tire because cheap and great for wet and dry pavement. Also, smooth riding, quiet, and good gas mileage. The only thing it lacks is snow flake rating for Winter, but you don't care about that. Another cost effective option would be a Cooper AS.

There are probably other good low cost AS tires that I don't know about. But those two would be my choice for low cost. For slightly more money the excellent Hankook AS, which is what I want to buy for my Buick.

However, I am quite impressed with my dad's Uniroyal AS, especially since ride quality and price are great. The only reason I want the Hankook instead of Uniroyal is the Hankook AS has the snow flake Winter rating. Both are great on wet and dry highway. My dad's Uniroyal get great gas mileage. I don't know how the Hankook (or most others) are for gas mileage, but I assume are good. I do know the Uniroyal and Nokian give great gas mileage. Those two are (ironically) among the cheapest AS, and the most expensive AS.

My 3 favorite AS are the Uniroyal, Hankook, and Nokian.

The Uniroyal is cheapest, the Hankook and Nokian are Winter rated AS (year round use in all climates). Other than those issues, they perform about the same on highway (wet and dry) for normal driving.

The Nokian is the best AS (and most expensive) because it's rated for 140 mph, fast cornering, and high horsepower, as well as Winter rated.

But for normal driving the Uniroyal and Hankook are great. The Uniroyal is cheap and great, but not Winter rated. The Hankook is great, mid priced, and Winter rated.

So for you, the Uniroyal looks good. Also, even though it's not Winter rated, my dad's car is good enough on Winter roads using the Uniroyals. His Uniroyal AS are much better on Winter roads than any HT. All AS tires (even ones without Winter snow flake rating) are better on Winter roads than any HT.

A good AS tire frees you from worrying much about weather. An HT leaves you as the mercy of the weather, hoping for sunny and dry.
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Unread 07-07-2013, 07:37 AM   #15
Charley3
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I woke up this morning with a few new thoughts on your topic.

I suggest you diagnose your existing Tripletread tires to figure out why they ride to harsh for your ride comfort. What load rating are they? Since you don't drive off road, you want a Passenger Tire (rated P).
Passenger (P) tires are for on road use, and they ride the softest of all the load ratings and they get the best gas mileage. Passenger tires are for cars on road.

For towing, heavy cargo, or off road, you need a heavier, stronger tire (side effect is stiffer and harsher ride). Load C tires are for 1/2 ton trucks and/or off road. Load C are what I have on my Jeep because they are tough, and they still ride reasonably soft on a 1/4 ton Jeep, though not as soft as a P rated tire.. Load D are for 3/4 trucks, load E are for 1 ton trucks. Load D and E are (IMO) to heavy and stiff for a 1/4 Jeep.

If your Tripletread tires are load D or E, that would explain why you think they ride to hard for comfort. Load C is OK, but does ride harder than P.
1) Check the load rating of your Tripletread tire. Are they P, C, D, or E? If they are D or E, there's your problem. If they are C, that might be part of the problem.

2) Do you have stock size tires? If so, tire pressure is easy. Just set it to whatever the sticker says on the door (open door to see it). If your tires are not stock size, then you'll need to weigh the vehicle on a truck scale to determine vehicle weight. Tire pressure can be calculated-estimated based on tire size, tire load rating, and vehicle weight.
Most tire stores put in to much air. If you rely on the tire store for air checks, this might be your problem. To much air causes a rough-harsh ride. You need to buy a good tire gauge (I prefer digital gauge because more accurate) and start checking tire pressure yourself. Park in shade for at least an hour before checking it. Best to check in morning or evening during daylight hours.

Proper tire pressure has a huge affect on ride quality vs gas mileage. To much tire pressure and you get a harsh-rough ride. To little tire pressure and gas mileage is reduced dramatically, and cornering-handling suffer.
If excessive air pressure is the problem, your existing Tripletread tires could be adjusted to ride better-softer by reducing air pressure.

If to high a load rating (C, or especially D or E) is the problem, you're halfway out of luck, but even those would ride somewhat better with proper air pressure.

3) It is possible that the Tripletread might be a stiffly built tire, even in Passenger P rating. Some models of tires are built stiff, even in lower load ratings like C or P. I'm not familiar with Tripletread's design or ride characteristics. That would be a question to ask a tire store, or read Consumer Reports reviews about it.
There is a new version of the Tripletread called the Tripletread All Season. Consumer Reports rates it highly. I don't think they'd rate it highly if the ride quality was harsh/bad, but I'm not sure. I forgot my password for ConsumerReports.org. So I can't login to Consumer Reports to read the details of their Tripletread All Season review.
===

You might be able to use the above info to make your current Tripletread tires ride nice, or if not, then at least understand why they ride harsh and apply that knowledge to make an intelligent, informed, new tire purchase. The other info in my prior posts still applies too.

===

Now you should know enough to be able to learn more and make informed decisions. Whatever tire you use, buy an air gauge, check the air pressure yourself. Don't leave air pressure to the tire stores to check and set. My 12 year old nephew does my air checks. He's way more accurate and reliable than tire stores, and he'll put the pressure I tell him. I have him do it for me most of the time because I'm injured from a car wreck. In your case, do it yourself. I did it myself for years. Sometimes I still do. Most of the time, tire stores are sloppy in their air checks, and sometimes they are way off. You can only trust yourself.
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