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
Asking about highway/touring tires on Jeepforum. I salute you. The slow response has less to do with the holiday in my opinion and more to do with the fact that these tires are completely alien to most guys here.
I'm not surprised that you find the TripleTreds to be uncomfortable. Their road traction is spectacular, but their handling and comfort are lackluster. On compact cars, those downfalls are hardly noticeable, but under the weight of a WK...I don't blame you.
Alright, here we go!
Firestone Destination LE: This is a hall-of-famer. It was very popular and for good reason. The Destination LE2 is out, and I feel it is even better. It is not a touring tire, but it is quite comfortable.
Bridgestone Dueler H/T 684 II AND Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia: The difference? The H/L is a touring tire vs the H/T being simply a highway tire, and the H/L is a clear winner between the two ESPECIALLY for you.
Hankook Dynapro H/T: A rather new tire I have no experience with and can find very little info about. Trying to judge it by look alone and the fact that it is not classified as a touring tire leads me to believe that we can ignore this one without missing-out in your case.
Michelin Cross Terrain: A decent tire, but not good enough to make the cut considering your other options in my opinion.
Michelin Latitude Tour: Ho-hum. Not even as nice as the Cross Terrains. They don't handle cold well and don't really excel in any one area.
Toyo A-20 Open Country: I have no experience with and can find very little info about. It is classified as highway instead of touring and can be found as an OEM tire on some vehicles. Being OEM isn't always bad, but it doesn't inspire optimism because it is the exception when a manufacturer picks a good tire as OEM, and then it's usually not a tire categorized as an OEM offering such as Duratracs (Chevy chose to put them on many fully-loaded ZR-2s). Moving on.
Yokohama Geolander H/T-S G051: Good tire, but I'm not sure it's good enough to make the cut given how good the Destination LE2s are and because a touring tire is really what you're looking for given the cross-country driving. The G052 model makes sacrifices for looks, and the G053 is for heavy loads.
Cooper Discoverer H/T: Where the Destination LE2 reminds me of a milder version of my current Kumho RoadVenture SATs, these remind me of a milder version of Charley3's current Cooper Discoverer AT3s. I have no experience with them and can only find a little info out there, but I'm inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt; I'm not sure Cooper is capable of making a BAD tire.
Continental Contitrac TR: Yucky! Consider Continental CrossContact LX20 instead. Great touring tires equal or greater than the Dueler H/L 422.
Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor: This is an AT tire. Great AT tire, but totally not what you're looking for.
Nexan Roadian H/T SUV: I've already got a shortened list for you in my mind, and this isn't on it. Let's get to it!
Here's my bottom line. These are the ultimate contenders you should be considering in my opinion, so let's split a few hairs:
Firestone Destination LE2: A highway tire, but a fantastic one. In my opinion, unless some new tires really prove themselves, it is the only choice in the highway category for SUVs.
Bridgestone Dueler H/L 422 Ecopia: Ironically, as great as this tire is, its handling may be a little worse than the TripleTreds when pushed to its limits such as higher speed cornering. This tire is quite popular and is a fantastic choice, but I feel like the REAL choice is between the two following tires because they're all the Dueler H/L is and more. Food for thought: compare the tread pattern of this tire to the FS Dest LE (not LE2). VERY similar. Both have been all-star tires, but FS has decided to leave the tread pattern behind. I'm not trying to imply anything; there's way more to a tire than just its tread pattern especially since I'm talking about tires from two different categories here, but it is food for thought nonetheless.
Pirelli Scorpion Verde: The bottom line here is that this is the Dueler H/L but with better handling and better traction in less than ideal conditions (water, snow). I believe that from your perspective, this is also all the TripleTreds are to you as well as better handling and nicer ride.
Continental CrossContact LX20: A VERY close call between this on and the Scorpion Verde. Long story short, if temps will be warmer with more rain encountered, the Continental would be my choice. If colder temperatures are in the forecast with snow likely to be encountered, the Pirelli (and maybe even the Dueler H/L even more so) will likely handle the snow better. I'm REALLY splitting hairs at this point; you can't lose with either one.
(Yeah, I know, my two picks weren't even on your list to begin with. If for some reason you don't have access to them, my pick is the Dueler H/L hands-down.)
Rolling resistance is quite low on all of the tires above, so I wouldn't be concerned about fuel economy. Being a different class of tire, I'm not sure how the FS Dest LE2 compares to the tourers, but as a highway tire, it is quite easy on fuel.
Make sure you get a tire with a load rating appropriate to your vehicle. According to wkjeeps.com, your 2wd 4.7 WK has a curb weight of 4368 lbs. Like Charley3 said, tire pressure is super important, and do not trust the tire shop to get it right.
You know, if your heart isn't really in your current Jeep, and you're planning on selling it soonish and don't feel that buying new tires is a good investment for you, TripleTreds are great tires. I've made numerous comments about how other tires are better, but they may not be better ENOUGH to justify the cost for a few months of ownership. You may not be too happy with the TripleTreds, but are you sure your problem is definitely with THEM and not your WK? Do they have the appropriate pressure? It's amazing how so many people, including professionals, get a simple thing like tire pressure all wrong. More pressure is not necessarily better, nor is less pressure. Every vehicle has an ideal tire pressure for a given tire size and application. I'm not telling you that your WK is to blame or that getting better tires won't be a good investment. If I was you, I'd give a new, better tire a go despite how good TripleTreds are especially if a WK2 uses the same tire size and your local shop would just swap them to the new vehicle for you when that day comes. I'm just exploring some thoughts I've had based on comments you've made.
Regarding other things to get it ready to go...fresh fluid changes beforehand for sure. Give your brakes a thorough check-up, and if you're almost due for a tune-up, you might as well get that out of the way before the trip as well. I'm not sure how or where the spare tire is secured on a WK, but make sure it's in good shape and will be able to be accessed/removed (for example, the underbody ones really like to rust into place) if needed. Make sure you've got some emergency roadside gear packed: jumper cables, handful of commonly-needed tools, lights/flares, rain coat, first aid, etc.
P.S. "Highway tire" and "all season" are not mutually exclusive as Charley3 seemed to imply earlier. All of the tires I've discussed are "all season" tires while ALSO being either "highway" or "touring."
P.P.S. *BLUSH* I read through this thread a few times and only this last time caught the part where Charley3 referred to me. I'm flattered. Had I gotten to you first, I'd have referred you to him. He and I don't always feel the same ways about things, but we're both "tire guys" who are pretty active around here, and I respect the hell out of him and his opinions. Like anyone, my advice comes with my own biases, so I welcome feedback/disagreement/counterpoint/devil's advocacy/etc. You may want to ask the WK guys in that forum if there's anything WK-specific to be aware of for a long trip.
IMPORTANT! DISCLAIMER! I just saw your profile say that you're using GY Fortenza (you mean Fortera?) TripleTreds. I'm only familiar with the GY Assurance TripleTred All-Season. The Fortera model was the truck/SUV version and has been discontinued; it did get similar reviews to the Assurance, though; for this reason I will leave any comments/comparisons I've made to the TripleTreds in place above.
Charley, you've gone above and beyond. I'm going to sit down and go through all the information you've provided. And I agree, the guys in this forum are not to much for "Highway"
tire talk. You guys are much more advanced. As soon as I can go through all this I'll be back. Thanks again!
We took our JK cross country, route 66 from Illinois to California and back on a set of Goodyear wrangler silentarmors. They performed flawlessly on the various asphalt conditions with little road noise. Wet weather traction didn't phase them at all.We even took it through Moss Wash in Arizona and Joshua tree, California which has plenty of sharp jagged rocks without incident.
I also run these on a 2004 WJ with a 2" lift. I hardly use 4 wheel drive in the snow unless it is fresh deep undriven conditions. If I could find them in 315 70 17 I would buy another set for the Wrangler.
Here's the thing Mschi, and anyone else, I'm 45 years old and my 4x4 and tire experience started in 1977 when my dad bought his Jeep. I now own my 3rd Jeep.
I have 37 years of experience with Jeeps and tires on Jeeps (HT, AT, MT, and what I'd call a hybrid of AT/MT). Mostly stock Jeeps, though my LJ was brought from stock to modified. I have 27 years experience with cars and passenger car (P) tires.
Some people thought I was a noob when I joined this forum, but really I was only new to this forum, and to modifying XJ specific things, but I'm experienced with 4x4s in general and with tires.
My long experience with tires is both a strength and a weakness. It's a strength for having classic knowledge about things that never change. It can be a weakness if I don't stay up to date.
I live in a rain forest climate that sometimes freezes in Winter, and is wet 7 to 10 months of the year. I am well versed in all season tires. I love AS for cars and they are what most people here use on cars. A few people here use year-round-use snow tires on cars. Currently I am using a year-round use snow tire on my Buick, and it's great, but it reduced my gas mileage from 35 to 32 mpg. So I will put AS tires on my car again (now that I own a Jeep again) when my Winter tires eventually wear out. However, my Hankook Winter I-Pike year-round-use tires are showing no wear after 1.5 years. So I'll be on these tires for a long time.
I've been interested in AS ever since they were invented. I remember when they first became available (many years ago, can't remember exactly when) and I thought they were great. I still think they're the best thing for a wet climate, and I stay current on AS.
Years ago highway tires and all season were different things. It's my historical perspective that makes me sound like HT and AS are two different things. They were two different things. Now in modern times a tire can be both.
I think the Uniroyal tire I recommended is a mix of HT and AS.
From what I've experienced and read: Modern tires that are both HT & AS are great HT and great AS tires, but are NOT Winter traction rated. The HT/AS mix gets get better gas mileage and lasts longer than a Winter rated AS.
The tires that are AS (not HT) are often Winter traction rated, which is important to me, but might not matter to OP.
I never thought of it that way, or put it into that perspective until Mschi's latest post gave me an updated perspective.
An example of a great tire that is both HT & AS is the Uniroyal I recommended. Possibly also some of the tires Mschii recommended. I think the HT he recommended looks like an HT/AS to my eye, and some of the others he recommended look like AS to my eye. I say "to my eye" because I looked at the tread pics, but I'm not familiar with those tires.
A couple years ago I became interested in year-round-use Winter tires, which I think is a relatively new thing within last 5 years or less. At least good ones are a recent thing. I have tried using them on my Buick in place of AS Winter traction rated tires with great success for more Winter traction, more mud traction, and tougher on gravel roads. The Winter tires have been as good on wet pavement as AS tires. The downside of Winter tires is 3 less highway mpg compared to AS. Now that I own a Jeep again, I'll put the Buick back on AS when the Winter tires wear out. However, that will take years because my Hankook year-round-use Winter I-Pike tires are showing no signs of wear after 1.5 years of year-round use.
I'm also well versed in All Terrain tires because that's what I like for DD on Jeeps. Since this is a rain forest climate, mud is a common terrain off road, even on trails. I get into mud even when I'm trying to avoid it. So I've been looking for years for a tire with best possible AT road manners for DD that can handle some mud and be good on Winter roads too. I was in love with Duratrac for the best possible compromise, but now the Hankook ATM and Cooper AT3 are more to my liking because they are (IMO) better on road, good enough in mud, and (IMO) as good on Winter roads.
FYI - Mschi, the word "hybrid" was commonly a few years ago used to describe a tire that is a mix of AT and MT qualities, like the Duratrac. I didn't invent that word. I use it because it was (at one time) the word to use, and still should be, IMO. On Cooper's website, Cooper refers to some of its tires as hybrids. Recently, I've been using the word "mix" instead of "hybrid" so you (Mschi) don't freak out and lose your mind.
I was young, but I remember when ATs first became available. I think it was BFG AT. Up till then, you either used MT, Commercial Traction (a hybrid AT/MT, but mostly MT in those days), or highway tires for DD and wheeling. My dad wheeled with highway tires (and broke belts, got flats, ripped sidewalls, and got stuck in mud a lot). He hated MT for DD. MT were a lot worse in the 70s for DD than they are now. I hated HT for wheeling.
My dad refused to try ATs and kept using HT for DD and wheeling, until he finally quit wheeling because he was sick of wrecking tires. Many of his friends switched to ATs (BFG AT, I think) in the late 70s with excellent results (especially compared to the weak HTs and godawful MTs of the day). I have been fascinated with ATs since I was 10 years old in around 1978. I keep myself very current on ATs.
I have little interest in MTs. I owned two sets on my LJ and hated them both on road. I never want MT on a DD again. Now I understand why my dad hated MTs so much that he'd wheel with HTs (especially since MT road manners in the 70s were a lot worse than MT road manners now).
I am mostly ignorant of modern highway tires (HT) because I didn't like HT back in the day (and I haven't stayed up to date on them). That statement dates many years back to when HT were a different thing entirely from AS. Back in the day, HT were not very good in the rain, and were terrible on Winter roads. Back then, we had to use dedicated Winter tires during Winter because the HT were very slick on Winter roads. I am left with a lasting dislike of old school HTs for being slick in Winter, and a lasting dislike of dedicated Winter tires because they are a nuisance to change every year, and they wear out fast.
These days AS are even better than ever, and as Mschi pointed out, many excellent modern HT tires are both HT and AS (though probably not Winter rated). This makes dedicated Winter tires less necessary for cars in my area. Even better for my climate is the latest generation AS rated for Winter. That makes a dedicated Winter tire unnecessary on a car in my climate. There are now also good latest generation year-round-use Winter tires that make dedicated Winter tires obsolete, IMO. I only see old people buying dedicated Winter tires in my area. Old folks who haven't updated their thinking to match the new tire tech. The days of needing single purpose tires for each season is gone. Most modern tires are multi-taskers. Some more than others.
The prior paragraph applies to cars and SUVs.
For SUVs specifically, the latest generation ATs are so good at all terrains and all seasons, including many ATs are Winter rated, and a few can handle mud reasonably well too. So here again dedicated Winter tires are unnecessary, IMO. As good as the Duratrac and Cooper AT3 are at mud, and to a lesser extent the Hankook ATM, they are making MTs unnecessary for DD guys who only see moderate mud. My Cooper AT3 have taken me the length of a muddy trail and through a muddy creek twice in 2wd (open diff) without spinning.
As technology gets better over the years, tires become better multi-taskers. The old way was to have a speciality tire for each thing (HT, dedicated Winter tire, MT, sand running tires, etc), which sucked, or be like my dad and say F it and use an HT for everything (which was crappy), or be like some other old timers who used MT for everything (which was crappy).
Technology today is awesome. Tires have come a long way. I wonder how much better they'll be in 5 years?
Warning: I often edit my posts a few times to get them complete, or to correct errors.
Mschi you and Charley are amazing, I can't thank you enough. I know I am on an off road forum but I didn't know where else to really turn and you guys came through, BIG! I'm still confused about a few of the abbreviations such as, WK. But, I'll pay attention and hopefully figure that one out. I have to figure out what the load rating is on my tripletreds. They are stock size tires, 245/65/r17 I wanted to go up to 255 but never did.
Another question I had (which I'm sure you guys will have some good opinions on) is I see a lot of used tires on eBay for not much money. Are those safe to buy? Have you had any experience at all with these or know anyone who has?
I'm honestly thinking I could probably pick up a set for under $400 and just use them for the trip, then switch back to the tripletreds when I got back. But, I don't know how safe/reliable those tires are?
My Jeep Grand Cherokee has 82,200 miles on it, I know it's time to change the fluids and get the brakes checked (had them replaced about three years ago) but is it time for that tune up or can I make it through this trip without one.
I'm thinking this is going to really start to get expensive and maybe I should just rent a car for two months! Ha! But, I love my Jeep and actually I'm looking forward to taking it on a long trip. Thanks again everyone!
WK = Jeep Grand Cherokee 2005-2010 (aka 3rd generation).
I say that if you're thinking of upgrading from your WK to a WK2 (2011+ Grand Cherokee), see if whatever tire size you'd buy NOW would also fit a WK2 in the future that way, if you like the tires, you can keep them for the new Jeep and sell your WK with the Triples on it. I honestly don't know if they use different tire sizes or whatever. My Grand Cherokee specific knowledge plummets after the WJ (99-04). I also don't know what the maintenance intervals are for it, so I don't know when it should be tuned-up. The WK forum (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f67/) can easily answer these kinds of questions, though.
Charley3: there are still some "summer only" tires out there, but since they're basically the exception now, they're usually labeled as such (Summer highway, Summer touring, Summer street, whatever), and it's become a forgone conclusion that the rest are all-season. Luckily I was a street kind of guy with my previous vehicles (immersed myself fully into both the muscle car crowd and the luxury car crowd with each respectively--see signature of course), so I've gotten to carry some of the knowledge along with me here. I used to be a spare-no-expense kind of guy who was a bit blind in his loyalty, but my feelings have changed dramatically (hence my distaste for Michelin where I used to crave their tires especially on my Caddy). I'm glad that I'm starting to be recognized as a bit of an ... authority? (stronger word than I'd like to use) on street/mild offroad DD Jeeps. There loads of guys who know all the ins and outs of wheeling around here but few who know how to build a subtler/tamer rig, and I've been really trying to help fellow non-wheelers as much as I can.
Regarding used tires via ebay: I'd never be comfortable doing it. Used tires make me uncomfortable all on their own unless I know how old they are, how they were driven, who installed/balanced/removed them, etc. I can imagine situations where I MIGHT buy a used set of tires, but prior to a transcontinental road trip is extremely not one of those times.