Dirt worthy wheel and tire options for heavier campers

#1
I'm trying to figure out what wheel, tire and axle combination to go with on my new E450. I'm rated for 4600 pounds on the front axle and 9450 on the rear axle. Therefore, I'm looking for a tire and wheel combo rated for 4725 pounds. I can't imagine actually ever having that much weight over the rear axle, but legally I'd like to have a tire rated to match or exceed the data plate. I've been reading lots of threads on vans, F450 and F550 builds, ambulances etc. There's a recurring question in lots of them about what wheel and tire combo is that? I thought it would be worthwhile to have one thread where folks can cite examples they've seen or what they're using. Surplus military wheels, wildland firefighter trucks, conventional pickup truck tires etc. Many of us are also doing research on DRW to SRW conversions, and have questions on hubs and wheels. It seems that most of us want a tire that does 90% highway to get to the good stuff, then 8% dirt roads, and the rare 2% is a more gnarly trail to the actual campsite or beach.

Untitled by Trevor Stellrecht, on Flickr
Data plate by Trevor Stellrecht, on Flickr

http://firematic.com/fireshop/store1.cgi?p_id=FMIFOUNDERS195&xm=on&origin=firematic.com/irok.htm



Founders MT tires are designed and built for a specific purpose: To allow Ford F-550 and Dodge Ram 5500 trucks to maintain their intended GVW with a super single tire, while also providing superior longevity compared to any other tire its size. It features a tread design optimized for clearing mud/sand/snow while keeping enough rubber on the road to prevent overheating, wear, and blowouts that plague over-aggressive tread patterns. That makes these tires ideal for wildland fire fighting and rescue operations that require driving both on pavement and off-road. Use with super single wheels.

Tire Size: 36x13.50-19.5
Overall Diameter: 36.00"
Cross Section: 13.50" (on a 9.75" Rim)
Weight: 92 pounds
Ply Rating: 16
Load Range: H
Max Load: 6400 pounds
Max Pressure: 110 PSI
Recommended Rim: 9.75"-11.25"
Sidewall: 8 ply nylon
Tread: 10 ply nylon.

FMIFOUNDERS195
$645.00
 
#2
Continental MPT 81 - 275/80 R 20 - (10.5R20)



The MPT 81 is the most common tire purchased for customers that spend a good amount of time on-road as well as off-road. These tires are quiet at speed, offer low rolling resistance, and do excellent in Sand, Snow, and the Rocks. In extreme mud the MPT 81 tends to have a hard time clearing itself and the MPT 80 is probably a better option. The MPT 81 is a direct competitor to the Michelin XZL.

Height 37.4" Tall
Width 10.43"
Speed rated for 68 MPH
Max load rating is 4674 Lbs at 77PSI.
Preferred rim is 9" Wide.
 

java

Expedition Leader
#3
G275MSA



Better road performance and wear than the MPT81, but only available in 335/80R20 (41") or the larger 365/80R20.

335/80R20
Height: 41.4"
Width: 13.1"
Weight: 133
Load:Highway 6,395 @ 80psi
Rim: 9-11"

365/80R20
Height: 43.0"
Width: 14.4"
Weight: 162
Load: Highway 8,270 @ 95psi
Rim: 10-11"

Max Speed: 81MPH for both
 
#4



BFG AT KO2, same tires I have on my Motovan now that I'm really impressed with. They're available in a 295/75R16, 33.3" tall, 3,970 pound capacity. With a 5400 pound axle weight with just my XR650R in the back, that would give me an empty axle weight of about 5100 pounds. With those tires I would be limited to 7,940 on the rear axle for a useful load of 2,840 pounds. This would include everything for the build out and cargo. 2 bikes, batteries, water, cabinets, wiring etc.... That's 1,510 pounds below the axle weight rating, 755 pounds per tire. Maybe I can live with that?

Also available, the BFG AT KO2 in a 315/75R16, 34.5" tall and a capacity of 3860 per tire and a 2,620 pound useful load.
 

brian94ht

Chateau spotter
#8
How many spares you plan to carry and availability in areas of travel are good things to consider in this decision too.

That box is going to be really tall on 35-36" tires and a 6" lift....
 

brian94ht

Chateau spotter
#10
My approach would be (and I have given it some thought because I want to do a cutaway chassis and custom box) to have the custom rear springs made to the final weight of the camper loaded with bikes and gear with a bit over.
If you spring the truck for its total available GVW it will always ride harsh in the rear, won't articulate well, and will sway back and forth all over off road and on uneven surfaces.
Using the "final total camper weight" approach allows you to use a smaller tire with a comfortable weight rating margin.
You could estimate it? Or build it out first, and use lift blocks if going 4x4 before its complete, and buy/size springs at the end.
 
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#11
I weigh in at 14,500 lbs, running single rear wheels on a Sterling Bullet 5500 4x4
for the past 6 years I've been using Yokohama TY303 tires with pretty good luck, they got me 50,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

http://www.yokohamatire.com/tires/ty303

they do ride a bit hard, but are very reliable
they are a 16 ply 'H' rated tire with a 6395 lb capacity

I did just change out to the toyo M608 with the exact same rating & capacities

www.toyotires.com/commercial/tire/pattern/m608-regional-and-urban-drive-tire

I do think I like the Toyo's better, as they seem to give a softer ride
 
#12
My approach would be (and I have given it some thought because I want to do a cutaway chassis and custom box) to have the custom rear springs made to the final weight of the camper loaded with bikes and gear with a bit over.
If you spring the truck for its total available GVW it will always ride harsh in the rear, won't articulate well, and will sway back and forth all over off road and on on even surfaces.
Using the "final total camper weight" approach allows you to use a smaller tire with a comfortable weight rating margin.
You could estimate it? Or build it out first, and use lift blocks if going 4x4 before its complete and buy/size springs at the end.
That is my plan. I intend to build out the whole box first for several reasons. Cost, time, knowing the final weight, and knowing if this size box will be able to do enough of the things that I want before investing the time and money of going with 4WD. I'm not completely opposed to going long travel 2WD again either. My motovan can run through the desert much faster and smoother than Tyson's van, which is one of my priorities. I don't like having to slow down to 10 mph because I'm getting shaken to death.
 

java

Expedition Leader
#14
I weigh in at 14,500 lbs, running single rear wheels on a Sterling Bullet 5500 4x4
for the past 6 years I've been using Yokohama TY303 tires with pretty good luck, they got me 50,000 miles before needing to be replaced.

http://www.yokohamatire.com/tires/ty303

they do ride a bit hard, but are very reliable
they are a 16 ply 'H' rated tire with a 6395 lb capacity

I did just change out to the toyo M608 with the exact same rating & capacities

www.toyotires.com/commercial/tire/pattern/m608-regional-and-urban-drive-tire

I do think I like the Toyo's better, as they seem to give a softer ride
Tell me more about this. That's what I weigh. Running as a single in the rear? Wheels? EDIT: OK I see the Rickson's. Sadly I have heard too many horror stories of them, Still happy with yours?



Java, that Toyo M608 in 285 70R19.5 might work for you. 35" tall, 6395 pounds as a single.
Yep, if I stick with a 19.5 tire. I don't like the non ability to air down (yes I have read the article by ATW). Sadly they will not fit on my rims. I am currently running those tires in a 225/70 though. I like them so far, they have a serious hum at 50-55 though.
 
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heimbig

OnTheRoadAtLast
#15
I have an F-550 loaded to 19,000 lbs. I'm 7' wide so duals don't work. Finding a tire that would handle that load, fit on my 550 with minimal modification, have reasonable mileage, have global availability, and survive bad roads was a challenge. I choose 295/60r22.5x9.00. Specifically Michelin "X MultiWay XD" however, I probably would not pick a lugged drive tire (regional drive) as I've have had some issues with minor tears in the lugs in sand over rock conditions. Note that EarthRoamer uses 295/60r22.5 (unless you upgrade) with the non-lugged 'steer' tire. 295/60r22.5 are available globally from Continental, Michelin and Toyo(?). 7390lbs load per tire, 36.5 diameter.

My suggestion, based on your requirements - stay with the duals your tread contact (ie floatation) will be greater, tires cheaper, no real off-road issues. Duals will also be more stable with 8 side walls limiting your 'sway' and smoothing the road.

http://forum.expeditionportal.com/t...ehicle-Economical-build?p=1457330#post1457330