LT tires better for towing?

jvm051

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Was reading a random FB post and someone mentioned if swaying was present that LT tires are a must and should be used for towing. I will be towing occasionally a race car to some different tracks in the southwest and am currently looking at tires for my new wheels. Gonna do 285/70/17's, and weight wise there are some lighter non LT options...but if the ones with more plies are safer, might be worth the weight increase.

 

Mastodon

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In general, yes LT (Light Truck) tires are designed for heavy towing and feature heavier body plies, bigger beads, more tread depth and an overall heavy-duty design made for higher inflation pressures for heavier loads. They may ride a bit harsher than P tires when the truck is empty or lightly loaded but are generally better for heavy loads and towing.

That said, the Ranger doesn’t do heavy towing. It has a 750lb hitch weight limit, and a max (depending on configuration) of 1800lbs of payload. That’s not a lot of downward pressure on your tires, and I don’t think you need an LT tire for that. It’s a Ranger, not a Super Duty.

If you have sway, slow down and get a hitch that has sway control on it. If you REALLY can’t control sway, get a Hensley Hitch.
 

Danager

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Agree with the above. The additional plies help with the pressure which helps with the load rating (for the tire), also reduces sidewall flex. They make a difference when towing. You notice them when not towing. The truck rides harder/harsher, the rear is a little bouncier. You can air down a bit when not towing and air up when towing. That helps, regardless if you run P or LT. Just follow the manufacturers recommendations.

That said, I wouldn’t believe it is worth it to run an LT. I have switched to LT on two previous F150s once the OEM tires needed to be replaced. I did not do this on my last F150. All three had max tow, none came from the factory with LTs.
 
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jvm051

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Thank you for the responses. Think I will stick with the P tires and save some rotational weight.
 

cactuss4

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I've been pulling a ~5k# loaded car trailer to the CA tracks and I didn't like the trailer pushing the truck around. Sumo springs helped the most for me. I then did Bilstein 5100 rear shocks and have some AT3W tires sitting in the garage, but haven't found a need yet.

You can get a step up in load rating without going to LTs. Stock tires on my truck are ~110 load rating, you can find ~116 load rating vs LT that are ~121. If higher load rating P tires aren't enough, get the sumo springs or another type of helper spring.
 


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Michelin AT/2 are the finest on road truck tires you can get.
Michelin Defenders are a good substitute if you only occasionally tow.

But trailer sway has much much more to do with how the trailer is balanced and loaded than the tires. Usually you are too light on the tongue when this happens.

 
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Dgc333

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FWIW, my Tremor came with LT265/70-17 General Grabber ATx tires. The dealer delivered the truck with 48psi in them definitely rode harsh. Lowered them to the door sticker recommended 39psi, big improvement in ride. I may try going down to 35psi.

Won't be towing anything near the trucks rating so will likely replace these tires when worn out with P-metric tires.
 

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As alluded to above, F150s don''t hit payload numbers that require LT tires--you need to be in super duty territory for that. IMO they're mostly a fashion accessory for people in smaller trucks. There's some truth (especially historically) to the argument that the heavier sidewall can help offroad even if payload doesn't require an LT, but there's no guarantee that every modern LT will have more cut resistant sidewalls than every modern offroad P.
 

 
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