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.
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.
Fortera TripleTred vs Assurance TripleTred