Expedition Trailer Tire Selection


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Expedition Trailer Tire Selection

OK so when I bought my M416 & was bringing it home the tires were dry rotted & were leaking so fast I had to stop & buy tires

I was forced to purchase trailer tires according to the shop rules (tirewarehouse) & they offered me ST tires however I wanted LT tires

I wanted aggressive mud tires for the trailer

so doing some research about this [since it still bugs me] I found:

Itrailer mentions, "There is an ongoing debate as to whether LT or ST tiresare the best option. LT stands for Light Truck-metric. LT tires can carry a substantial load and are used not only for trailers but also for full size vans, SUV’s and pickup trucks. LT can typically carry up to two thousand pounds of weight. ST stands for Special Trailer Service. ST have been specifically made for trailers and RV’s and are usually cheaper than LT".

TireRack claims, "Your trailer is a follower, which often makes tire sidewall flexing a negative. Sidewall flexing on trailers, especially those with a high center of gravity (enclosed/travel trailers) or that carry heavy loads, is a primary cause of trailer sway. Typical passenger radial tires with flexible sidewalls can accentuate trailer sway problems. The stiffer sidewalls and higher operating pressures common with Special Trailer (ST) designated tires help reduce trailer sway.

Also consider that Special Trailer (ST), as well as Light Truck (LT) tires are fully rated for trailer applications. This means ST- and LT-sized tires can carry the full weight rating branded on the sidewalls when used on a trailer.

However when P-metric or Euro-metric tires are used on a trailer, the load capacity branded on the sidewalls must be reduced by 9%. This means P-metric or Euro-metric tires with a maximum branded load rating of 1,874 lbs. for use on a car is only rated to carry 1,705 lbs. when used on a trailer".

Ok so the sidewall is stiffer, one good thing I guess

What really angers me is this:

Discount Tires states, "Speed

All "ST" tires have a maximum speed rating of 65 mph.

As heat builds up, the tire's structure starts to disintegrate and weaken.

The load carrying capacity gradually decreases as the heat and stresses generated by higher speed increases".

& now I need not speed, not that I do

so lesson learned on my part





I had very similar issues with my trailer. I ended up finding a small shop and said put these LT tires on these rims. They 'knew' it was for a trailer, but did it anyways. They gave me the whole song and dance about ST vs LT; but I shared with them that the speed rating was my biggest issue. I tow outside of CA which says my max speed can be 55. Outside of CA, I don't mind towing at 65-70; therefore my speed rating needed to be higher.


Like to Camp
My trailer has the same tires as my Jeep (32" Goodyear MT/Rs with Kevlar... LT). I like the looks of it, but also the Jeep's spare also works for the trailer (although I doubt I'll ever have a problem). My trailer is about 1200#s loaded.

I'd go with LTs myself.

Mark Harley

Expedition Leader
The biggest concern I see with trailer tires is those mounted on a tandem or triple axle trailer.
The scrub factor is high and the sidewalls may not take the stress. A single axle trailer like most here run just
follows along behind us.

I have the same 8 bolt GMC factory rims on my trailer as the truck runs.
I bought six E rated tires No mounting questions at the tire shop just a couple about the trailer.


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Regulations allow you to run LT tires on trailers, so legally you can do it.

Sidewall construction is something to consider, as you said it can contribute to trailer sway. We have only seen this issue with some of the less expensive tire store brands, not with the big names.

I haven't heard of the 9% load capacity rule for LT tires, but I don't think it is of concern as the load capacity of the tire is for each tire. In the example you give the tire is rated at 1,874 lbs. and reduced by 9% for trailer use to 1,705 lbs. As you are using two tires the max. load capacity is 3410 lbs which is 90 lb less than you bearing max capacity.

So I think you are good to go.


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Totally agree with Martyn and Mark. The only concern would be with tandem and tri axle trailers. Not many of those on the expedition runs.

Your safe, and I would do the same size at the tow vehicle. It helps in emergencies, and I hate to admit it, but have had two flats and used both spares on the same run.


I can change my custom title now!!
Your safe, and I would do the same size at the tow vehicle. It helps in emergencies, and I hate to admit it, but have had two flats and used both spares on the same run.
I totally agree with this. I run 31x10.5x15 LT All Terrain (BFG) on my trailer, and it tows like a dream. I estimate it weighs (loaded) 1200#, it has shocks to control the damping and I usually find that running the tires around 20 PSI is a happy place on road. If I were to tow it for very long distances on road I might go up to 25-30 PSI. Offroad, probably more int he neighborhood of 15-18.

Oh and my tires are C Load Rated, so the sidewall can flex more that a D or E load rated tire. I am ok with this...has not been an issue at all so far, and they match my tow vehicle so I can be rolling with 2 spares if needed.


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In California the posted speed is 55 for all trailers. semi, military and civilian. But the state also has the policy of flow of traffic. If you are running 65 in the right lane and moving with or behind flow of traffic you normally will not have a problem. But the key is to stay in the right lane. Venturing into the middle lanes brings problems normally. It is legal to drive in the right lane, and only one over, and in the act of passing or merging from a free way, but then you have to be in the farthest right lane allowed.

Staying in the right lane, and driving with the flow of traffic will normally keep you out of trouble. I have been stopped though just driving along, as the CHP just wanted to look at the truck and trailer. A good thing I guess. California is pretty reasonable up to a point. Slashing across lanes and driving above 75 will get you a ticket for sure.


A lot places have a rules that they won't put a truck tire in a trailer. Same BS with TPMS sensors, if they have them when you bring the wheel in, they need to have them when it leaves. I just take wheels in and don't give any info on application. I agree with others that it does not matter on a single axle trailer. Unless you are matching wheels to tow vehicle why not just get a cheap truck tire?

Rather than going through the trouble of matching my trailer and truck I just throw a trailer and tow vehicle spare in the in trailer.


When I upsized the tires on my Lifetime Tent Trailer from its original 13-inch ST tires, I used 31x10.5R15 Pro Comp All-Terrains to bring the trailer up to the same height as my Jeep. These are an LT tire with load range C. If it wasn't such a lightweight trailer (<500 pounds) I would have gone to a 16-inch tire with load range E for much more sidewall stiffness. But as it is, I have never had any trailer sway and I'll never even approach the tires' load capacity.

And yes, what skersfan said is correct about California's trailering rules and etiquette.
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New member
e rated tangent

Thanks for all the discussion on this topic. SO helpful!

I am getting ready to build my trailer and am doing the final due diligence regarding axles and tires. It is my first trailer build and I am a metal fabricator by trade, only usually doing more of the interior pretty stuff. The trailer will be similar in stance to the AT flatbed, though not as tall. Probable deck height of 20-24" depending on which axle I choose in the end. It will be sized to haul 5X10 sheets of steel when I need to, but mostly to fit two "adventure" type motorcycles with storage boxes on the front and sides at the front- somewhere in the ballpark of 1000# empty. I have a Chevy 3/4 ton that uses 17" rims with E rated tires. I love the look and function of having matching tires for the trailer, not to mention it does help the math for getting good ground clearance. But how far do you go? Is an E rated tire too much for a trailer that will generally be in the 2000# zone, fully weighted, most of the time? The consistent word on this forum is to go with more axle than you need, but throw an E rated tire on that and one could end up with a potential bouncer. The trailer will use a Dexter 3500# torsion axle, but I can only get 5 lugs in a few patterns. So is it worth it to have the same size tire if the rim doesn't have the same lug pattern? That would be a complete PIA to have to break the bead on the trailer spare to actually use it on the truck if the truck spare takes a crap- but doable. Or do you get a spacer that goes from the 5 lug to 8 which, from what I've read, is not the greatest plan as it causes un-natural stresses on the axles. Mind you, that beta usually refers to vehicles of greater weight. I have to buy 3 new wheels and tires anyway, so I was going to use the stock tires that are on the truck now for the trailer and use the opportunity to get some more off-road oriented tires on the truck. But then I have to carry 2 spares if the lug pattern is different.

Any thoughts or advice appreciated!!


I went the opposite way of most and bought 5 lug rims even though my tow vehicle is 6 lug.**Saving money was paramount so if you're buying off road tires you know you could be at no less than 250.00 per wheel in tires alone if you're going with something big.**Add the cost of rims and a spare and you're more than 1000.00 in just to roll.**I found awesome deals on craigslist for 4 BF goodrich Mud Terrains for 100.00 with about 50% tread (guy had them listed for 100.00 each but who is going to buy 4 tires for 400.00, needless to say after two weeks of pestering him he gave in).**Then I found rims that were hub centric to the dexters for another 100.00 then sprayed them black with bed liner and boom I was done for 200.00 plus I have two spares or I can rotate wheels to hearts desire.**I use the trailer at minimum 2 times a month with at least 500 miles driving each trip and I don't expect to be changing tires for quite a long time.**Just remember that lots of tread in new tires of the off road version are pointless on a trailer other than looks.**They don't require traction since they're not driving anything so 50% tread is plenty especially if you're not using the trailer every day.

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