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View Full Version : Tire size for a one ton truck 235/85/16 vs 265/75/16??



wonderfulremark
02-21-2012, 06:40 PM
Hello folks,

I'd like to hear your opinion on tire sizes.

I currently have a 94 K3500 crew cab, long box.
This rig will see 25% logging roads and 75% pavement.

And I plan to haul around a Hard side camper but no towing planned.

Now that the current tires are pretty much shot, I am in the market for a set of new tires.

The truck currently has 245/75/16's on them.
And I plan to put on some bigger rubbers on the truck and came down to two choices.


235/85/16 vs 265/75/16??

based on my googling skills, they are basically the same height but the 235's are 1 inch narrower.

Would it be beneficial for me to get the narrower tires?

I know the 265's have a higher load limit by 400lbs/tire. But they cost abotu $60 more per tire.


I am not just opting for narrow vs. wider tires going off road(this is a crew cab, long box truck after all) but more so, in terms of MPG, hauling the camper and daily driving.


I've been a faithful believer of BFG AT's and they are the cheapest tires I could get from Costco.
However, I think I might try other tires, Michelin LTX AT2's or BFG commercial Traction T/A.
Any thoughts? I want them to last long!! :D


Thanks

Mark Harley
02-21-2012, 07:08 PM
I switched from 245-75-16 to 235-85-16 on my 2002 GMC 2500HD.
The 235-85-16 tires did increase fuel mileage 1-2 mpg.
I like the look of them and they don't scrub on turns like a wider tire.
I run Highway Hankooks in the summer and BFG commercial traction in the winter.

I am happy with both.
I run the same on my trailer.

wonderfulremark
02-21-2012, 07:32 PM
Those tires look A LOT better with some lift.. :)

redthies
02-21-2012, 07:50 PM
I also love the BFG ATs, but we run the commercial TAs on some of our work rigs. (Mitsubishi Fuso, and Dodge 4500). I would look at both. I would, however look at either a 255-85 R16 or a 285-75 R16. They are a bit taller and will offer you more clearance in the already low to the ground GMC truck.

Flagster
02-21-2012, 07:58 PM
I have E rated Hankook ATMs 265 75 16s on my 2000 GMC 3500...they are great all around tires...

ExpoMike
02-21-2012, 08:03 PM
Downside of the 85 series tires is, you are not likely to find a replacement in stock at most any tire store. If you really end up needing one in a hurry, it could be a problem. The 265 or 285/75 you are likely to find a replacement (might not be same brand) at almost all tire stores, in stock.

I was going to try the 255/85-16 but did not want to risk not finding a tire when/if I ever really needed one. Also the 85 series seems to be very limited in what's available (brands, tread type, etc.).

Just food for thought...

wonderfulremark
02-21-2012, 08:09 PM
@ExpoMike, you have a very valid point. More shops are likely to have 75 tires than 85 tires. But that doesn't really concern me. As if I were to get a flat and the shop didn't have a 235/85, I'd just buy a set of two 265/75's and put them on the rear. But that is just what I would do for temporarily.

@redthies, I don't think my truck will clear 255/85's :(

wonderfulremark
02-21-2012, 08:13 PM
My own thoughts regarding the two different sizes is that IF the narrowness of the tires does not effect hauling the camper, I'd like to go with the 235/85's and save myself some cash.

But I like the idea of the wider tires on a BIG truck for more stability :) but how much stability you gain from 1" wider tires I am not quite sure of.

Plus the 265/75's have about 400lbs more load capacity.

I believe my rims are stock and are 6.5" wide, so 235 would fit better...

Hmm tough decision again! :D

1stDeuce
02-21-2012, 08:15 PM
To some extent it matters where you're using the truck too. If you commonly drive in soft terrain like wet/muddy logging roads, the extra flotation of the 265 is nice. I had 235/85's on my '96, and I have a set of 235/80R17's for the '06. They are great mileage tires, and work fine in the soft if aired down some, but when they're hard, they will cut to the bottom. This works well in snow and shallow mud, but no so good in soft mud where the bottom is deep enough to cause problems... Oh, the 235's are also almost impossible to hydroplane, even at 60mph with several inches of standing water!

So if your roads are hard surface, go 235 for mileage, and if you need a little extra flotation without the need to air down, the 265.

BTW, You might check the 235/85R16 Cooper STMaxx. It has a slightly wider tread than the BFG AT of the same size, which is IMO really narrow.
Good Luck!
C

wonderfulremark
02-21-2012, 08:25 PM
I would really love to go get the Michelin XPS Traction tires but at $350/tire(mounted and balanced) it's too steep for me LOL

BCHauler
02-21-2012, 10:46 PM
I have a fullsize crewcab 4x4 and run 235/85/16 tires during the winter. I regularly haul an 8' truck camper, and full bed full of firewood. That size is good on the highway, good on fuel, very common size if you need a replacement, and inexpensive. Also a good choice for the Wet Coast climate (ie. smaller footprint so less hydroplaning). Admittedly they don't look all that beefy though. I picked up a used set of 35's for that.

wirenut
02-22-2012, 02:43 AM
Since you'll be hauling a hard side camper I'd get the 265s since they have 400 pounds more capacity. That's 800 pounds total. Hardside campers are heavy and tire capacity is usually a problem Make sure to get E load range.

lstzephyr
02-22-2012, 04:16 AM
I don't know if Expomike had availability issues because of his area but I have never had an issue as far as getting a 235/85/16 tire. I have bought a couple sets so far and they were always in stock or sent to me within a day(when I installed my own tires). I have noticed plenty of choices in 85 series as well. I like the tire size. I prefer my "Hankook-whatever" that is on my truck to my previous "Hercules-whatever" that was on it before. If you want specifics I can look but I just remember they had general brand name and a second name.

I like the narrower tire in the snow and the shallow mud I get into. I will second the 235/85's resistance to hydroplaning as my truck is rock solid in any water that is lower than the hood(about 4')! I hit stuff I am unsure about with speed and momentum so I like the truck to dig in and have stability in sloppy conditions. Normally I don't take my truck through anything deep as it is 3 tons and I have a dirtbike for screwing around though so keep that in mind.

greengreer
02-27-2012, 06:40 PM
I went from 265/75 to 235/85 on my '98. Very happy with the narrower tire, better in snow, quieter and cheaper. If only 255/85/16 was a more common size that would be my preference. 235/85/16 is available in near any tread at most tire shops around here, same with 265's and 285's.

FellowTraveler
02-27-2012, 07:07 PM
I suggest Good Year Silent Armor in 285/75/16 (e) they are load rated at 3,750 lbs. When aired down they would still have the load capacity to operate your K3500 safely. I like the tread pattern which is trail friendly and great on paved surfaces. However, the lower trailing edge about six (6) inches of your front fender (s) will need to be rolled or trimmed for tire clearance at full turn.

As a side bar; When going to larger diameter/width tires expect control arm bushings to wear quicker, suggest polyurethane graphite impregnated like Energy Suspension (I have no affiliation) black bushings. Aside obvious suspension/steering components poly bushings will last much longer than rubber bushings and will keep your tires squarely on the road surface.

wonderfulremark
02-27-2012, 07:22 PM
I expect to put the orders in this week.

Probably Cooper Discover AT3's in 235/85/16.

The fact that 265's require minimum 7" rims kinda scares me away.


I went from 265/75 to 235/85 on my '98. Very happy with the narrower tire, better in snow, quieter and cheaper. If only 255/85/16 was a more common size that would be my preference. 235/85/16 is available in near any tread at most tire shops around here, same with 265's and 285's.

I wish 255/85/16's were available with more options than Just BFG KM2's.
Don't get me wrong, I love the KM2's but not on a rig that'll cruise on highway majority of the time with a camper on..

I'll report back once I get them :D

86cj
02-27-2012, 11:09 PM
I went from a 235-85-16E to a 265-75-16E on my 83 HD 3/4 ton hauling a 12' cabover camper and picked up alot of steering control and less rear wallow.
.
I went from a 225-75-16D to a 235-75-16E on my 98 K3500 with same 12' camper and lost alot of steering sharpness, I went to 265-75-16E and got it back.
.
The 235-85-16 was THE E load tire for many years, it is Not as common now. I had a set of steel carcass 235-85's 20 years ago, the steering was tight and the ride was like a rock for 80,000+ miles. The last couple 235-85's I had were E load but had thin mushy sidewalls and rut tracked as bad as they cornered, Goodyear and Michelin BTW................
.

A crew cab long box with a camper ran 235-85-16's for years because they had to, now there are better choices. The E load range 265's showed up on the Ford Super Duty I think.

bjm206
02-27-2012, 11:51 PM
You can get Toyo M-55 commercial traction tires in 255/85-16 but they are expensive.

wonderfulremark
02-28-2012, 06:59 PM
I looked at the Toyo M55's but at almost $400CDN, I will pass LOL.

235/85's are the ones I will probably choose. Though 86CJ's comment kinda scares me to do so.


235/85's are still wider than the stock and the same weight capacity. I am looking forward to it.

bfdiesel
02-28-2012, 10:27 PM
If you are running stock rims the 235/85 16 is the one to get they will wear better in the long run. If you have a wider after market rim then coin toss.

BillTex
02-29-2012, 02:36 AM
I went from a 235-85-16E to a 265-75-16E on my 83 HD 3/4 ton hauling a 12' cabover camper and picked up alot of steering control and less rear wallow.

I went from 245-75-16E to 265-75-16E Commercial TA's running a 3000# TC. Gained quite a bit of stability with a load and is a bit smoother unladed, so ride quality and handling has improved all around.
Finaly got to run them in snow last week (we have not had much snow in NE this winter...) and they were great in the snow.
Only down side is I seem to have lost 1-2 mpg...but I can't decide if this is real or a matter of needing to recalibrate the odo due to change in size?

Truck is 06 Duramax CC 3/4 ton.

Carrying a TC...I would opt for all the load capacity I could get...

Bill

wonderfulremark
02-29-2012, 03:11 AM
Bill, are you running 265'swith stock 6.5" rims??


265's require minimum 7" rims. I wonder how dangerous that is??

redthies
02-29-2012, 04:16 AM
265's require minimum 7" rims. I wonder how dangerous that is??

Ummmmmm, don't lose any sleep... Using 6.5" rims where a 10" is recommended might be a bad idea. An inch either way on a 30" plus tall tire is fine.

BillTex
03-01-2012, 02:40 AM
Yeah...I went round/round with this...but depending on what tire Mfr you look at there was some over lap. And in any case we are talking about a very small difference in width/side.
I heard from many Folks on the TC forum that were running 265's on stock GM wheels for many, many miles with heavy loads...and no one reported any issue.
So I closed my eyes and went for broke just prior to a very heavy cross country trip last summer (Rocky MT NP, Yellowstone, Rushmore...). The tires were a significant improvement.

To be honest; these tires feel like they are the right size for this truck They have been an improvement in every way over the 245's.

The only thing I cannot comment on yet is the wear...I only have about 10k since I put them on.
I don't really use the truck as a DD...mostly just for adventures (like skiing last week).
I am fortunate enough to ride my bike to work the rest of the time...

Don't hesitate to put 265's on the stock wheels.

Oh yeah...one more thing; I bought the tires at my Chevy dealer (they matched tirerack) and they mounted them. I did this because I was concerned about the stock wheels. They didn't flinch..and I figured if anything did go wrong...they would have some (?) liability as they sold me the tires, and mounted them on stock wheels. My dealer is pretty good...and I asked several times about making the switch to 265's. They had no issue.

Bill

wonderfulremark
03-01-2012, 02:43 AM
I ordered the tires tonight.

265/75/16 Cooper Discoverer ATP. I thought I'd be the guinea pig and test them out!

nosnerd
03-01-2012, 02:51 AM
i run a housebrand (private label ) tire on my 88 2500 rclb 2wd..i had the same dilemma last month..i chose to run with the 235 85s (truck serves more to tow my 70 nova right now-though a custom built cap is i the work so it can serve dual duty)...this is my second truck with this tire size...at 124 my cost...i could not go wrong..:smiley_drive:

Canadian Tire Motomaster AT...

imho..i would go with the 265s....

gm4x4lover
03-01-2012, 03:31 PM
Coming from a tire sales guy, a heavy hard sided camper hauling guy, and one who dd's a dually, the 265's are the best choice for how you use your vehicle. I changed out the tires on my duall and swapped to the 265's from the 235's. The added carrying capacity was my main motivator. Also here in colorado the 235's are alot less common that the 265's. I keep 7 sets of the 265's, 5 of which are 10 plys, and one set of 6 of the 235's. I probably only sell 2 full sets of the 235's a year.

Mark Harley
03-01-2012, 05:50 PM
The 235-85-16 are popular in Pittsburgh.
They sell a lot to the delivery guys with duel's

I think I am the only one local running the 235-85-16 on my 2500HD,
I like them and my mileage is higher than others with them.

wonderfulremark
03-01-2012, 06:02 PM
I am picking up some new rims today.
Just happened to see a guy selling a set of 4 alloys on local Craigslist. In a small town where I live, finding what you are after on craigslist is very slim. What are the chances.

these rims are 16x8 load range E :D.

He is asking $400 and told me his lowest price would be $300 on a set of alloys with the powder coat starting to flake... hmm.

bfdiesel
03-04-2012, 01:08 PM
Coming from a tire sales guy, a heavy hard sided camper hauling guy, and one who dd's a dually, the 265's are the best choice for how you use your vehicle. I changed out the tires on my duall and swapped to the 265's from the 235's. The added carrying capacity was my main motivator. Also here in colorado the 235's are alot less common that the 265's. I keep 7 sets of the 265's, 5 of which are 10 plys, and one set of 6 of the 235's. I probably only sell 2 full sets of the 235's a year.

We have the inverse in NW Colorado 235's are always in stock , but you may have to wait a week or so for 265's.