When it comes to getting new tires for your 5th wheel or RV trailer, the possibilities can seem endless. There is a lot of debate about whether ST (specialty tires) are best for a trailer or LT (light truck) tires are better.
After the debate, however, whatever your opinion, there are a few things that are true when it comes to trailer tires.
Can I use Regular Tires On My RV Travel Trailer?
First, it is generally best to use 5th wheel or RV trailer tires; LT tires have thinner sidewalls than trailer (ST) tires and do not hold a vertical load as well.
Only in a few specific applications are LT tires acceptable for use with a 5th wheel or RV trailer and generally not a better choice.
Second, there are two types of ST tires, radial and bias tires. Bias tires are made with belts that extend the length of the tire at an angle of 30-45 ° to create a stiff, yet durable tire.
They are great for use in agricultural and construction applications and a good choice for utility vehicle 5th wheel or RV trailer.
Radial tires have a belt that runs at a 90 ° angle along the rim and are much better for highway trailers such as RV trailers and ATVs. They last longer, generate less heat (are less likely to blow out), and since this review is about the Best tires for a 5th wheel and RV Trailer, I’ll only be rating radial trailer tires as they are the best choice for the common RVer.
Side note: never mix diagonal trailer tires with radial tires; all tires on your RV Trailer or fifth wheel should be the same.
After all, size and load ratings are everything. You need to choose the right tire size not only for the rims, but also for the axle and the maximum trailer weight.
Your trailer can only carry as much as the axles can. So remember to buy tires that can carry more weight so as not to necessarily increase the loading capacity of your trailer.
At the end of this test report, you will find out how to find the information about the load capacity of your trailer and the required tire size.
You will find the necessary info of the different layers and the ratings C, D and E.
Side note: Never mix crooked trailer tires with radial tires. All tires on your caravan or fifth wheel should be the same.
Best Travel RV Trailer & 5th-Wheel Tires Reviews
Goodyear makes some of the best tires you can get, and their trailer tires are highly recommended and trusted by RVers. The sidewalls use durawall technology which makes them resistant to punctures, cuts, and scuffs.
They are radial tires which mean better, cooler towing, and less chance of a blowout. The polyester material and steel belts are strong, durable, and great for towing heavy loads.
The speed rating for these trailer tires is 87 mph. That’s fast for a travel trailer or 5th-wheel and it’s not recommended to go over 65 mph when towing but if you want the option to go faster then Goodyear Endurance has you covered.
Whether you are towing a single axle travel trailer or a large triple axle 5th-wheel there is a size of Goodyear Endurance trailer tires for everyone.
You can get the smaller ST205/75R15 107N (click to view on Amazon) which is rated for 1,700 lbs. This size of a trailer tire is most likely to be found on smaller travel trailers.
The standard ST225/75R15 117N linked above is rated for 2,833 lbs and is perfect for large travel trailers with a total GVWR of around 9,000 lbs.
Be sure to check the recommended tire size on the information sticker on your trailer before purchasing RV tires. And always go by the GVWR weight and not just the ply or load rating as it is different depending on the brand of trailer tire.
The Goodyear Endurance All Season Radial Trailer Tires are the best option for every style of camper whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time RVer.
They will keep you safe on the road and last much longer than other brands of tires. I highly recommend Goodyear tires and they are my top choice for the best trailer tire overall.
I talk a lot about how fantastic Goodyear trailer tires are but Maxxis runs at a close second and is the top trailer tire choice for lots of RVers.
The Maxxis M8008 is a radial trailer tire made with steel belts and comes with full nylon caps in larger tire sizes for increased durability and strength.
They are known for their shock absorption capabilities, and smooth towing for any size of the trailer. The tread is designed to decrease roll resistance and can even increase gas mileage on long camping trips.
The speed rating on most Maxxis M8008 trailer tires is 65 mph. The tires are technically built to withstand much higher speeds but Maxxis keeps their trailer tires rated for 65 mph due to an agreement with the Tire & Rim Association.
The standard ST225/75R15 is 8 ply and rated for 2,540 lbs. If you have a larger travel trailer that weighs around 9,000 lbs like me you may want to consider getting the 10 ply version (click to view on Amazon) which is rated for 2,830 lbs at 80 psi. Just make sure your rims are compatible with that high of air pressure.
There is also the smaller version available like the ST205/75R15 BSW (click to view on Amazon) which is 6 ply and rated for 1,820 lbs.
And the larger ST235/80R16 BSW (click to view on Amazon) is 10 ply and rated for up to 3,420 lbs. It’s a common size for 5th-wheels that are around 12,000 lbs.
The Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire is another fantastic choice for any kind of camper.
Whether you are about to head out on a long camping trip or just take your trailer out every weekend you can never be too careful about the quality of trailer tire you get.
Maxxis is a great contender to the Goodyear Endurance and if the load ratings and specs match your trailer better it’s a great choice.
Carlisle tires are made by the Carlstar Group which is one of the top producers of specialty tires like camper trailer tires. They’ve been making tires for years and their Trail HD tire is another favorite among full-time RVers and weekenders.
The Trail HD tire is a radial trailer tire made for distance and durability. The tread is designed to keep the tire running cool to reduce the risk of blowouts and is compatible with a wide range of trailers including RVs, horse trailers, toy haulers, and boat trailers.
The new HD version is made to be a direct replacement for their older Trail RH models. If you’re a long-time Carlilse tire fan you won’t be disappointed by the Trail HDs.
The ST 225/75R15 117 M linked to in the picture above is a 10-ply trailer tire rated for 2,830 lbs at 80 PSI. If you have a smaller trailer you can get the ST205/75R15 107M (click to view on Amazon) which is an 8-ply that has a load capacity of 2,150 at 65 PSI.
They also have a high-speed rating of 81 mph on the smaller versions and 87 on larger ones. If you want peace of mind knowing that your trailer tires can take going much faster than 65 mph if ever needed.
Side note: most travel trailers and 5th-wheels are not rated to go faster than 65 mph. This is a structural rating and getting faster tires doesn’t change the standard 65 mph recommendation.
If you have a larger 5th-wheel or toy hauler there is also the ST235/80R16\ 124L (click to view on Amazon) which is a 10-ply with a load rating of E and 3,520 lbs.
The Carlisle Radial Trail HD Trailer Tires are another trusted trailer tire that will keep you and your RV safe on the road.
This brand has been around for a long time and a lot of RVers swear by them. If the weight ratings and sizes fit your trailer they are a fantastic choice.
My Final Thoughts on Travel RV Trailer & 5th-Wheel Tires
You may have noticed that I only recommend 3 brands for RV Trailer & 5th-Wheel Tires, I do extensive research when I review and recommend products, and use my own knowledge and experience as a full-time motorhome driver to provide the best possible information.
You should never compromise on quality, this could be a fatal mistake under the wrong circumstances. There are tons of trailer tires out there and while some weekend RVs have no problem with other brands, I can only recommend those that I think are the safest and best.
Trailer tires on the market. Even so, accidents happen and there isn’t a single tire that is immune to punctures and blowouts, but Goodyear, Maxxis, and Carlisle are three amazing tire companies that make excellent trailer tires that have been tested by RVers.
To get the best out of your tires keep them fully inflated and never go faster than that recommended speed of 65 mph, your chances of blowouts are greatly reduced.
You and others will be safer on your way to your next great adventure.
What is the difference between RV ST vs LT Tires (trailer tires vs light truck tires)
A Motorhome dealer or RVer may recommend using LT tires for your RV Trailer or fifth wheel. Some believe that LT tires can be the best option for certain types of trailers and like how the tires look on their trailer as they do on their truck.
After much research and asking around, the general consensus seems to be that trailer STs (specialty tires) end up being the best long-term option.
ST Tires are designed with thicker sidewalls and can support more vertical weight than LTs. Tire and you don’t risk losing your trailer warranty.
What Can Causes A RV Trailer Tire To “Blowout”?
Heat is the number one cause of RV trailer tire bursts and the number one reason you should always buy a trailer tire that is rated for the weight of your RV trailer and always inflate it to its maximum PSI.
What Do The Numbers On My RV Trailer Tires Mean?
If your trailer has the right tires the first letters you will see will be ST which means specialty tires. In certain cases, the previous owner or dealer may have put LT (light truck) tires on your trailer.
The debate on whether or not LT tires are ok for a travel trailer or 5th-wheels is still ongoing but for now, the general consensus is that ST tires are still the best for trailers.
The numbers that come after ST are what indicate the width of the tire in millimeters. Common numbers for trailers are 205, 225, and 235.
Make sure you always get the number that is on the information label somewhere on your motorhome. (Check the door or near the front storage space)
The next number is the aspect ratio (ratio of height to width) on trailers. it is generally 75 and sometimes 80, depending on the tire size.
The next letter “R” stands for radial. If your caravan has a D instead of an R, it means they are biased and you may want to swap them out for radial tires as they are more durable and provide a gentler trailer for camper trailers.
The last number is the diameter of the tire. Many trailers have standard 15 “wheels, but sometimes you will see 14” and even 16 “wheels. on your trailer as well as on the sticker, as people sometimes get new tires.
In the information sticker that tells you what type of tire your trailer is compatible with, the tire code sometimes ends with a C, D or E. This indicates which recommended tire load rating you should purchase for your trailer.
Not all tires are created equal. Also, check the gross vehicle weight rating of your trailer and the load capacity of each tire to ensure that the tires you receive can carry the maximum weight of your trailer in combination.
What Does The C, D, and E Load Rating And Ply Rating Mean On A RV Trailer Tire?
Load Range and Ply Ratings normally work together to mean the same kinds of things, I’ll illustrate it in the table below.
|Maximum Load Pressure
There’s no exact weight rating for each load range and every manufacturer is going to have their specific load rating a little different so make sure you get those numbers before you purchase.
Is It Good To Get Tires With A Bigger Load Range Than What’s Recommended For My Trailer?
Yes, it is technically okay to buy tires with a higher load range for your caravan, but it is not always necessary.
Some people believe that buying a bigger tire will last longer, in some cases it is true, but if you buy the right size quality tires and keep them fully inflated you shouldn’t have blowouts.
Remember that a trailer can only carry the amount the axle is designed for, and tires with a higher load capacity will not change the overall weight of your trailer. Tires that are too strong can make the journey more difficult for your trailer.
How To Calculate The Right Trailer Tire Load/Weight Rating For My RV Trailer?
Load range and ply ratings are great for reference, but it all comes down to getting tires that can support at least the maximum weight of your trailer – a lot of people say you should get tires with at least 20% more rating. the total weight of your trailer.
To find out what the total weight of your trailer or the gross vehicle weight rating can be, check the information label, which is usually located in the door or sometimes outside near the part.
For example, the gross vehicle weight rating is 9,000 pounds, if I just take that number and divide it by 4 it means I need trailer tires rated at 2,250 pounds or more.
As a rule of thumb, I always need tires with a gross vehicle weight rating of 20% of my trailer, then I need tires that can carry at least 2,700 pounds. (9,000 x 0.2 = 1,800 I 1,800 + 9,000 = 10,800 I 10,800 / 4 = 2,700)
How Often Should I Replace My RV Trailer Tires
Trailer tires will last anywhere from 3 to 6 years depending on how often you camp, and if you are a full-time RV you may need to replace your tires more often.
The minimum US legal tread depth is 2/32 “. Inches in each major groove. If you lower your trailer tires this deep, you and your RV are at risk.
You may want to change them before the tread gets that bad, especially before a long drive. Your trailer’s tires are for penny testing.
Take a penny and place it between the trailer’s tire tracks with Lincoln’s head facing down. If you can see the entire Lincoln head, the tire tread is 2/32 of an inch or less and your trailer should have tires immediately. Even if the tread still looks good after more than 6 years, you should still seriously consider replacing the trailer tires.
Even with good storage, tires can dry out over time and start to crack. Explosions are easiest to happen with old tires and can be very dangerous not only for you and your trailer but also for other road users.
Can You Put Car Tires On A RV Trailer?
No, car tires are known as passenger car tires and are not designed to support as much weight as a trailer tire.
Some people prefer light truck tires to lighter caravans, but most tires or RVs do not recommend it. The safest way to do this is with tires that are suitable for your vehicle or trailer type.
Always make sure that the tire weight is sufficient for the total weight of your trailer or motorhome. All Lincoln Head tires are 2/32 of an inch or less in profile and trailer tires should be replaced immediately.
Even if the tread looks good, if it has been more than 6 years you should still seriously consider replacing the trailer tires.
Good storage tires can dry out and crack over time. Flat tires are easiest to happen with old tires and can be very dangerous not only for you and your trailer, but also for other road users.
Should I Inflate My RV Trailer and 5th Wheel Tires To The Max PSI?
Yes, in order for a trailer tire to have the load capacity for which it was manufactured, it must be inflated to the maximum PSI.
This is why it is important to buy a trailer tire that is neither too small nor too big for your trailer. If you receive a trailer tire with too high a maximum PSI, it will hit your trailer making it difficult to tow.
Even if you don’t inflate the trailer tire to the correct PSI, the extra surface area of the tire will cause excessive heat build-up to cause a blowout.
Do my RV Trailer Tires Need To Be Balanced?
Yes, Trailer tires have to withstand a lot, be it from stones in the roadway or uneven weight distribution.
It is also a common misconception that trailer tires do not need to be inflated to their maximum psi.
Tires wear out faster and do not have the full load-bearing capacity they were designed for. Kickback is also another reason trailer tires wear out so quickly, especially fifth-wheel tires since fifth-wheels can roll back at much sharper angles than travel trailers. Take more punches than the other three, so you’ll have to spin your trailer tires like a vehicle.