Best Truck Tires For Towing Fifth Wheel Trailers: Safe RVing

Towing a fifth wheel can be a daunting task, but with the right equipment, it can be done safely and efficiently. One of the most crucial components of towing a fifth wheel is selecting the right tires for your truck. By carefully researching and selecting tires for our Ram 3500 dually, we have safely towed our 20,000lb fifth wheel 25,000 miles over 11,000 mountain passes, up and down steep stretches with 10 percent grades, through snow and rain, and over muddy roads and sandy terrain while boondocking.

When we picked up our fifth wheel “Rio” ahead of our full-time RVing adventure, we had never towed a fifth wheel before. In fact, our only towing experience was pulling our 3500 lb, 17-foot fiberglass Casita behind our Toyota Tundra. Suddenly we found ourselves in a Ram 3500 Dually, heading 1300 miles to pick up our new RV that would double as our home on wheels. It was a big learning curve and we want to share that knowledge with you so that you can feel confident in your towing setup and have the smoothest RV and camping adventures possible! In this article, we’ll cover the importance of truck tires when it comes to towing, and factors to consider when selecting the best tires to tow your fifth wheel.

What It Takes to Safely Tow a Fifth Wheel

Before we dive into the importance of selecting the right tires for your fifth wheel, let’s first go over the basics of what it takes to safely tow a fifth wheel, based on our experience as full-time RVers for the past 2 years.

Fifth-Wheel Towing Basics

A fifth wheel is a type of RV that is designed to be towed by a pickup truck (or heavier duty truck). Unlike a traditional travel trailer, a fifth wheel has a special hitch mechanism that is mounted to the bed of the truck. This hitch allows for greater stability and maneuverability when towing the fifth wheel.

Fifth wheel hitch

The fifth wheel hitch is a specialized hitch that is mounted to the bed of the truck. It provides a secure connection between the truck and the fifth wheel, allowing for safe and stable towing. A hitch will be attached to your bed typically through a special puck system, as part of your tow package. You can also mount a hitch in your truck bed with rails that attach to the truck’s frame. We use a Mopar fifth-wheel hitch by Curt that is rated for 30,000 lbs.

READ MORE: RVer’s Guide To The Types Of Fifth Wheel Hitches

Tow Vehicle

When purchasing a tow vehicle to pull your fifth wheel OR deciding on a fifth wheel that is able to be safely towed by your current truck, it is essential to confirm that your truck has the proper payload capacity for the weight of your fifth wheel.

When towing a fifth wheel, it’s important to use a truck that has a sufficient payload capacity, something you can spot right away when you see trucks “squatting” under the weight of an RV they probably should not be pulling. A one-ton truck or a dually is typically the best option for most fifth wheels. These trucks are designed to handle the weight of the fifth wheels and provide the necessary stability and control for safe towing.

For reference, a 1/2 ton truck would be something like an F150, Ram 1500, etc. A 3/4 ton truck is equivalent to an F250, Ram 2500, etc., and an F350 and a Ram 3500 are 1-ton trucks.

  • For fifth wheels with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 15,000 lbs and above, you will want to consider a dually
  • For fifth wheels with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 15,000 lbs or below, a standard 1-ton pickup truck (or in some cases a 3/4 ton pickup) should do the job
  • For small or ultra lite fifth wheels, such as the 19′ Scamp Fifth wheel, a smaller pick-up truck like a half-ton should suffice

RV/ Trailer Tires

The tires on your fifth wheel are equally important. RV tires are designed to handle the weight and demands of an RV. They are typically heavier duty than regular passenger car tires. 

It’s important to choose tires that are rated for the weight and size of your RV, as well as for the type of terrain and weather conditions you’ll be traveling in. In addition to load-carrying capacity and traction, you’ll also want to consider factors such as durability, tread life, and resistance to punctures and blowouts. RV tires typically have thicker walls for increased durability while the trailer is being maneuvered into place, as this can put a lot of stress and pressure on the tires.

RVer inflating his truck tires using the Viair portable air compressor a must-have RV accessory
We carry a VIAIR portable air compressor to keep our tires inflated to the optimal pressures at all times

Braking mechanisms

When towing a fifth wheel, it’s important to have a braking mechanism that is designed to handle the weight of the load. Many fifth wheels come equipped with their own braking system, but it’s also important to have a powerful braking system on the truck. When it comes to towing safety, being able to move your fifth wheel is one thing, but being able to stop it is another.

Our truck has an exhaust brake, is rated to two over 30,000 lbs, and our fifth wheel has electric over hydraulic automotive disc brakes. These features help us to feel confident in our towing setup and were big factors in our purchase decisions.

Truck Tires

The tires on your truck are a crucial component when it comes to towing a fifth wheel. It’s important to select tires that are designed for the weight and demands of towing a heavy load, based on your fifth wheel’s weight and how and where you plan to travel with it. You will also want to think about how you plan to drive your tow vehicle while not towing as well so that you can have the driving experience you desire. There may be some sacrifice here. Our dually “Judy” may not be the smoothest daily driver, but she is configured in a way that makes for the best possible towing experience.

Next, we’ll dive into how weight plays a role in selecting truck tires for towing a fifth wheel.

How Weight Plays a Role

Weight plays a critical role when it comes to towing a fifth wheel. The weight of the fifth wheel, as well as the weight of the truck and any additional cargo, all need to be taken into consideration when selecting the right tires.

Lightweight vs. Luxury Fifth-Wheels

There are a wide variety of fifth wheels available, ranging from lightweight models to luxury models that can weigh over 20,000 pounds. The weight of your fifth wheel will play a major role in selecting the right tires for your truck.

While shopping around for fifth wheels, it is important to note that there is currently no standardized way of comparing models. Some RVs are labeled as “luxury”, even though they may be lighter, and some fifth wheels may be heavier, even though they are not labeled as luxury, especially if they are longer. Always check the labels to find out the dry and wet or “gross” weight to ensure you will be able to tow the RV safely and legally.

For more information on safe towing and laws, check out our article on whether or not fifth wheels need to stop at weigh stations, which might come in handy as you build out your RVing setup and plan your travels.

Why Truck Tires Are Important When It Comes to Towing a Fifth Wheel

An large RV, brown dog, and white Ram truck, boondocking on the beach at Lone Rock Beach Dispersed Camping area in Big Water Utah
Our truck has towed our home through a variety of terrain, including sandy beaches

Truck tires are designed to handle the weight and demands of towing a heavy load. When it comes to towing a fifth wheel, it’s important to use tires that are designed for the task. 

Here are a few reasons why truck tires are so important when it comes to towing a fifth wheel:

Safety

One of the biggest concerns when towing a fifth wheel is safety. The weight of the load can put a significant strain on the tires and the truck. Using tires that are designed for the weight and demands of towing a fifth wheel can help to ensure a safe and stable towing experience.

Ride Experience

The ride experience when towing a fifth wheel can be greatly affected by the tires on your truck. Using tires that are designed for towing can help to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride. This can also help with things like fuel efficiency, which is not only nice for your wallet but also important when it comes to being able to tow longer distances without worrying about fueling up, which can sometimes be harder to come by in more remote or mountainous areas.

We chose tires that help with fuel efficiency and also installed an auxiliary fuel tank as one of our RVing gadgets that has really leveled up our RV travel experience.

Silver auxillary fuel tank and tool box installed in the bed of a Ram truck used for towing a fifth wheel RV
Our auxiliary fuel tank provides 40 additional gallons of diesel and doubles as a toolbox

Minimizing Blowout Risk

Blowouts can be a major concern when towing a fifth wheel. The last thing you want is to spend your precious vacation time stranded on the side of the road or changing your tire on a busy highway due to a tire blowout that could have been prevented. Using tires that are designed for towing can help to minimize the risk of blowouts, which can be dangerous and cause damage to your vehicle. By carefully choosing both our truck and RV tires and doing careful research and using a TPMS system, we have thankfully yet to experience the dreaded tire blowout.

Numbers on a screen of an Eez tire TPMS monitoring system, with an brown fifth wheel RV in the background
We use our TPMS on every towing day for the RV tires and also have tire pressures digitally for the truck tires as well

Best Truck Tires For Fifth Wheel Towing

You might be in the market for new tires if you to upgrade your stock tires, notice a lot of tire wear, or are noticing suboptimal towing or daily driving experience. Keep in mind that the tires you choose for your truck/tow vehicle can impact your fuel mileage, as well as your safety, based on things like load rating, size, and tread design. After extensive research, these are the tires that seem to perform best for towing fifth wheels, so you can spend more time out in nature and on the open road, and less time in the shop or on the side of the road.

When describing tires we recommend, use words like smoother ride, better grip, high-quality tire, durable tire, and include tires meant for rough terrains and off-road terrains, long distances, 

Michelin LTX A/T 2

Michelin produces high-quality tires. The LTX A/T2 is suitable for use on both wet and dry roads, as well as on light off-road terrain. This is not a tire built for off-road use but has done great for us when towing uphill on loose gravel or taking the truck on the sand every so often. The LTX A/T2 has also been praised for its comfort, smoother ride, and low noise levels and we have found it to be a high-quality and durable tire.

MICHELIN LTX A/T2 Car Tire, All-Terrain, All-Season, Light Truck, SUV and CUV - LT275/65R20/E 126/123R
$386.99
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02/18/2024 09:42 pm GMT

Continental Terrain Contact A/T

The TerrainContact A/T features a specially designed tread pattern that helps to provide excellent grip on everyday surfaces. It also has a durable construction that helps to resist punctures and cuts. Its Comfort Balance technology helps to reduce road noise and vibrations, while the tire’s tread design and construction work together to provide a smooth ride.

Continental TerrainContact A/T all_ Season Radial Tire-275/60R20 115S
$143.14(-55%)
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Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain

The Wrangler All-Terrain Adventure features a tread pattern with a combination of biting edges and blocky tread elements that help to provide good traction on both wet and dry surfaces. It also has a durable construction that resists punctures and cuts, making it a good choice for drivers who frequently encounter off-road conditions.

Goodyear Wrangler AT Adventure All-Terrain Radial - 275/55R20 113T
$250.58
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Michelin Energy Saver A/S

The Energy Saver A/S is an all-season tire designed with a silica compound that boosts traction and braking on dry or wet roads. To improve gas mileage, the tire features EnergySaver Construction and a special tread rubber that work together to keep the tire cooler and reduce fuel consumption. We’d view all-season tires as the minimum level of performance (for traction, weather performance, etc.) for towing a fifth wheel.

MICHELIN Energy Saver All Season Radial Car Tire for Passenger Cars and Minivans, LT235/80R17 120R
$258.00
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BFGoodrich All-Terrain T

The All-Terrain T/A KO2 is well known for its stability and handling, both on and off-road. Its interlocking tread design helps to provide stability and traction, while its advanced deflection design helps to protect the tire from damage caused by rocks and other debris. Note that this has a more aggressive tread pattern than the tires above, so we’d only consider this if you plan to be doing a fair amount of driving off the pavement and off-road terrains.

BFGoodrich All Terrain T/A KO2 Radial Car Tire for Light Trucks, SUVs, and Crossovers, 30x9.50R15/C 104S
$210.99
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Our Full-Time RV Set-Up:

  • DRV Mobile Suites Fifth Wheel ~ 19,000 lbs
  • Ram 3500 Dually
  • Truck Tires: Michelin LTX A/T 2 (we tow between 250 and 400 miles every 2 weeks and rotate our tires every 10,000 miles and replace our tires every 30,000-50,000 miles)
  • RV Tires: Goodyear G114

Read more about why we chose our DRV fifth wheel: Best Fifth Wheels For Full-Time Living

Important Factors To Consider When Purchasing Truck Tires

A fifth-wheel RV used for full time travel parked in the Arizona desert at Pump Station Road
Boondocking can take you on some rocky, off-road type terrain

When selecting the best tires for your fifth wheel, there are several important factors to consider. Here are some of the key factors that should be taken into account:

Load carrying capacity

The load-carrying capacity of the tires is a crucial factor when it comes to towing a fifth wheel. The tires need to be able to support the weight of the fifth wheel that is placed on the truck and any additional cargo. You can get a sense of how much weight you will be putting on the tires based on your truck’s towing capacity, the GVWR and payload of the truck, and the pin weight of your fifth wheel.

Aspect Ratio

Aspect ratio is a measurement used to describe the height of a tire’s sidewall as a percentage of its width. The aspect ratio is calculated by dividing the height of the sidewall by the tire’s width.

  • For example, a tire with a width of 225mm and an aspect ratio of 60 would have a sidewall height of 135mm (225mm x 0.60 = 135mm).

The aspect ratio is an important factor to consider when selecting tires because it can affect the tire’s performance in several ways. A tire with a lower aspect ratio (i.e., a shorter sidewall) typically has better handling and steering response but may provide a rougher ride and be more susceptible to damage from potholes or other road hazards. A tire with a higher aspect ratio (i.e., a taller sidewall) typically provides a smoother ride and better shock absorption but may have reduced handling performance and be more prone to sway when cornering or changing lanes.

In addition to handling and ride comfort, aspect ratio can also affect the tire’s load capacity and durability. Tires with a lower aspect ratio tend to have a higher load capacity but may be more prone to sidewall damage or punctures. Tires with a higher aspect ratio tend to have a lower load capacity but may provide better resistance to sidewall damage and punctures.

Therefore, when selecting tires for towing a fifth wheel, it is important to consider the appropriate aspect ratio based on the vehicle’s weight, load distribution, and intended use.

Sidewall Width

The sidewall width of a truck tire refers to the measurement of the distance between the outer edge of the rim and the outer edge of the tire’s sidewall. It is typically expressed in millimeters or inches and can be found on the tire sidewall as a three-digit number (e.g. 295/75R22.5).

In the example above, “295” refers to the tire’s section width, which is the measurement of the tire’s widest point from sidewall to sidewall in millimeters. This means that the sidewall width of the tire would be half of the section width (since the tire is symmetrical), so in this case, it would be approximately 147.5 millimeters (295/2).

It’s important to note that the sidewall width of a truck tire can vary depending on the specific make and model of the tire, so it’s always best to refer to the tire manufacturer’s specifications for accurate measurements.

Traction

Traction is another important factor to consider. When towing a fifth wheel, you need tires that can provide good traction in a variety of conditions, including wet, snowy, or icy roads.

Stability & Control

Stability and control are critical when towing a fifth wheel. The tires on your truck should be able to provide the necessary stability and control to ensure a safe and stable towing experience.

Durability for various weather conditions

The durability of the tires is also important. Tires that are designed for towing should be able to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including rain, snow, and extreme heat.

Type of Tire

There are several different types of truck tires that are designed for towing. Here are some of the most common types of truck tires.

Truck tires do not necessarily differ between diesel engines and gas engine trucks, as the tires are designed to support the weight and performance characteristics of the vehicle regardless of the type of engine. However, the specific tire size and load-carrying capacity may vary depending on the weight and size of the vehicle, as well as the manufacturer’s recommendations.

It’s important to select truck tires that are appropriate for the weight and size of your specific vehicle and to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for tire size, load-carrying capacity, and inflation pressure. Additionally, some manufacturers offer specialized truck tires designed for specific applications, such as all-terrain tires for off-road use or winter tires for snowy conditions.

Tire Construction

Radial Tires: These tires are constructed with layers of cords or plies that are arranged radially, or perpendicular to the direction of travel. Radial tires are known for their durability, improved handling, and longer tread life. Good for on-road use.

Bias-Ply Tires: These tires are constructed with plies that are arranged diagonally across the tire, creating a criss-cross pattern. Bias-ply tires are known for their strength and durability but may provide a harsher ride compared to radial tires.

Belted tires: A type of radial tire that have additional layers of reinforcing material, typically made of steel or synthetic fibers, wrapped around the tire’s circumference under the tread. These belts are designed to provide additional strength and durability to the tire, allowing it to better resist punctures, cuts, and other types of damage. The belted construction also helps to distribute the load more evenly across the tire’s surface, which can improve handling, stability, and tread wear. In addition, belted tires typically have a stiffer sidewall, which can help improve steering response and reduce rolling resistance, resulting in better fuel economy. They are often recommended for vehicles that regularly carry heavy loads or operate in challenging conditions, such as off-road or high-speed driving.

Tread Types

All-Terrain Tires: These tires are designed to provide reliable performance on a variety of surfaces, including pavement, gravel, dirt, and mud. All-terrain tires typically feature an aggressive tread pattern for improved traction, as well as a durable construction for increased resistance to punctures and damage from debris.

All-Season Tires: These tires are designed to provide reliable performance in a range of weather conditions, including rain, light snow, and dry conditions. All-season tires typically feature a less aggressive tread pattern compared to all-terrain tires but still provide good traction and handling in most driving situations.

Winter Tires: These tires are designed specifically for use in snowy and icy conditions, and feature specialized tread patterns and rubber compounds for improved traction on slippery surfaces.

Off-Road Tires: These tires are designed for use in off-road conditions, including mud, sand, and rocky terrain. Off-road tires typically feature an aggressive tread pattern, larger size, and specialized construction for increased durability and traction in challenging driving situations.

Tire Use Cases

Passenger Tires: These tires are designed for use on passenger vehicles, and may not be suitable for towing heavy RVs or hauling heavy loads.

Light Truck (LT) Tires: These tires are designed for use on light trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles with a high load-carrying capacity. LT tires typically have a higher load-carrying capacity and stiffer construction compared to passenger tires.

Special Trailer (ST) Tires: These tires are specifically designed for use on trailers, including RV trailers, and feature a unique construction (thicker sidewall, etc.) that can handle the stresses of towing.

Ply Ratings

Ply rating refers to the number of layers of fabric used to construct the tire. Tires with a higher ply rating are typically stronger and more durable than tires with a lower ply rating.

The ply of tires is a concern for both the truck/tow vehicle and the RV. The ply rating indicates the strength and load-carrying capacity of the tire, which is important for both the vehicle and the RV. A tire with a higher ply rating will be able to carry a heavier load and withstand more wear and tear, which is crucial for the safety and performance of both the truck/tow vehicle and the RV. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right ply rating for both the truck/tow vehicle and the RV based on their specific needs and usage.

We have 16-ply tires on our DRV Mobile Suites Fifth wheel, which is on the higher end for what you can expect to see on fifth wheels, as our fifth wheel weighs upwards of 20,000 lbs. For lighter fifth wheels you might see 12, or 14-ply tires.

On our Ram 3500, the Michelin LTX A/T2 tires are 10-ply. These tires are designed to handle just over 3,000 lb each.

Size

There are a wide variety of tire sizes available for trucks and fifth wheels. It’s important to select the right size tire for your specific vehicle and towing needs.

Examples:

  • 16-inch tires: These are the most common tire size used on trucks towing fifth wheels. They offer a good balance between weight capacity, fuel efficiency, and ride comfort. They are also relatively affordable and widely available. However, they may not be suitable for heavier fifth wheels or extreme off-road conditions.
  • 17-inch tires: These are a slightly larger tire size than 16-inch tires, and they offer a bit more weight capacity and better off-road performance. They are also a popular upgrade for trucks that come with 16-inch tires from the factory. However, they may be more expensive and may reduce fuel efficiency.
  • 18-inch tires: These are a larger tire size that offers even more weight capacity and off-road performance than 17-inch tires. They are often used on heavy-duty trucks that are designed for towing and hauling. However, they may be more expensive and may reduce fuel efficiency even further.
  • 20-inch tires: These are the largest tire size that is commonly used on trucks towing fifth wheels. They offer the highest weight capacity and off-road performance, but they are also the most expensive and can significantly reduce fuel efficiency. They may be best suited for extreme towing conditions or heavy-duty applications.
DRV Fifth wheel at rest stop on I-10 East

Vertical Load, Load Range, Load Index & Load Capacity

Vertical load is the weight that is placed on the tire, the load index is a numerical code used to indicate the maximum weight capacity of a tire, load range is a letter code used to indicate the tire’s ply rating or weight capacity, and load capacity is the maximum weight that a tire can safely carry under normal operating conditions. All of these factors are important considerations when selecting a tire that can safely support the weight of a vehicle and any cargo.

Load range, load index, and load capacity all refer to the weight that the tire is designed to carry. It’s important to select a tire with the appropriate load capacity for your fifth wheel.

Vertical load refers to the weight that is placed on an individual tire when a vehicle is loaded and in use. When a vehicle is stationary, the weight of the vehicle is evenly distributed across all of its tires. However, when the vehicle is in motion, the weight shifts forward or backward depending on the vehicle’s speed, acceleration, and braking, as well as the distribution of weight within the vehicle.

The amount of vertical load on each tire is important because it affects the tire’s performance and durability. Tires are designed to support a certain amount of weight, and if the load on a tire exceeds its maximum weight capacity, it can cause the tire to fail or wear out more quickly.

In the context of towing a fifth wheel, vertical load is particularly important because the weight of the fifth wheel is concentrated over the hitch, which places a greater load on the rear tires of the towing vehicle. This can lead to uneven tire wear or failure if the tires are not designed to handle the weight and distribution of the load.

To ensure proper tire performance and safety when towing a fifth wheel, it is important to select tires with the appropriate load rating and to maintain the proper tire pressure for the vehicle’s weight and load distribution.

Load Range: Load Range is a letter code used to indicate the maximum weight capacity of a tire. The higher the load range, the greater the weight capacity of the tire. For example, a tire with a load range of E can carry up to 3,000 pounds. Some common load range codes and their weight capacities are:

  • Load Range C: up to 1,820 pounds
  • Load Range D: up to 2,535 pounds
  • Load Range E: up to 3,000 pounds
  • Load Range F: up to 3,750 pounds

Load Index: The load Index is a numerical code used to indicate the maximum weight capacity of a tire. The higher the load index, the greater the weight capacity of the tire. For example, a tire with a load index of 98 can carry up to 1,653 pounds. Some common load index codes and their weight capacities are:

  • Load Index 75: up to 853 pounds
  • Load Index 85: up to 1,135 pounds
  • Load Index 98: up to 1,653 pounds
  • Load Index 110: up to 2,337 pounds

Load Capacity: Load Capacity is the maximum weight that a tire can safely carry under normal operating conditions. It is usually expressed in pounds or kilograms. For example, a tire with a load capacity of 2,000 pounds can safely carry a load of up to 2,000 pounds. The load capacity of a tire is determined by the manufacturer based on various factors such as tire size, construction, and speed rating. Some examples of maximum load capacity for popular tire sizes are:

  • P225/60R16: up to 1,653 pounds
  • P235/65R17: up to 2,039 pounds
  • LT275/70R18: up to 3,640 pounds
  • 225/70R19.5: up to 4,080 pounds

Traction Grades

Traction Grade is a letter code used to indicate the tire’s ability to stop on wet roads. The grades range from AA (highest) to C (lowest). The traction grade is determined by testing the tire’s braking ability on wet pavement. Some examples of traction grades are:

  • Traction Grade AA: The highest level of wet traction.
  • Traction Grade A: Adequate wet traction.
  • Traction Grade B: Less wet traction than A.
  • Traction Grade C: Lowest level of wet traction.

Temperature Grades

Temperature Grade is a letter code used to indicate the tire’s ability to dissipate heat and resist heat-related damage. The grades range from A (highest) to C (lowest). The temperature grade is determined by testing the tire’s performance under high-speed conditions. Some examples of temperature grades are:

  • Temperature Grade A: Can withstand high temperatures and speeds for extended periods.
  • Temperature Grade B: Can withstand moderately high temperatures and speeds for short periods.
  • Temperature Grade C: Can withstand relatively low temperatures and speeds.

UTQG Rating

UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) is a system developed by the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide consumers with information about tire performance. The UTQG rating includes three metrics: Treadwear, Traction, and Temperature. The treadwear rating is a numerical code that indicates the tire’s expected lifespan compared to a reference tire. The traction grade and temperature grade are the same as the ones described above.

Truck Tires and Fuel Economy

Truck tires can have a significant impact on fuel economy when towing a fifth wheel. The primary factors that affect fuel efficiency are tire size, tread design, and tire pressure.

Larger tires typically have more rolling resistance, which can reduce fuel economy. Additionally, wider tires can create more drag and wind resistance, which can further reduce fuel efficiency. Therefore, it is important to choose tires that are appropriately sized for your vehicle and trailer, and avoid oversized or overly wide tires if you want better fuel economy. 

Tread design can also affect fuel economy. Tires with a more aggressive tread pattern can create more rolling resistance, reducing fuel efficiency. However, tires with a less aggressive tread pattern may not provide sufficient traction for towing heavy loads. Therefore, it is important to choose tires with a tread pattern that strikes a balance between traction and fuel efficiency.

Finally, tire pressure can have a significant impact on fuel economy. Underinflated tires can increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel efficiency, while overinflated tires can reduce traction and increase the risk of tire failure. Therefore, it is important to maintain the proper tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Where to Purchase Tires

When it comes to purchasing tires for towing your fifth wheel, there are several options available.

If you’re looking to purchase tires for your regular pickup truck or dually (dual rear wheels, 6 tires total instead of 4), you can purchase them from a variety of tire retailers or from your local dealership. We have had great success with getting our tires through Discount Tire, a tire dealer that specializes in all types of tires, is available throughout the US, and provides an efficient and cost-effective service. 

You can also order tires online and change them out yourself if you are looking to save a bit of money on mechanic labor costs.

If you’re looking to purchase tires for your semi-tractor, you can purchase them from commercial truck dealerships or tire retailers that specialize in commercial truck tires. Semi-tractors are a popular choice of tow vehicle for larger, heavier fifth wheels and can offer a more comfortable ride when equipped with air ride features. While tires are larger and more expensive for these larger commercial-size trucks, they are often much more durable and longer lasting, with less frequent changing or replacing needed. 

Truck Tire Maintenance

Half-inch drive impact socket set with red M-12 Milwaukee impact wrench sitting in front of Ram Dually tires

Proper maintenance of your truck tires is important to ensure a safe and reliable towing experience.

Here are some tips for maintaining your truck tires between towing:

Travel Day

Before hitting the road, make sure to inspect your tires for any signs of damage or wear. Check the tire pressure and adjust it as needed. It’s also important to make sure that the lug nuts are tightened properly.

  • Pressures and TPMS Monitoring

Maintaining the proper tire air pressure is crucial when towing a fifth wheel. The recommended tire pressure can be found in the owner’s manual or on the tire itself. It’s important to check the tire pressure regularly and adjust it as needed. Many modern trucks are equipped with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), which can alert you if the tire pressure is too low. We also use a TPMS system for our RV tires to keep an eye on them during travel days. It sends alerts so that you can catch potential problems before they end up as something more major.

  • Tightening Lugs

Properly tightening the lug nuts on your truck is important to ensure that the wheels are securely attached. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended torque specifications and to use a torque wrench to ensure that the lug nuts are tightened properly. We carry a torque wrench to check both our truck and RV tires before heading out on travel day.

Long term

Over time, tires can become worn or damaged, which can compromise their performance and safety. It’s important to regularly inspect your tires for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or bulges. It’s also a good idea to have your tires rotated regularly to ensure even wear.

  • Rotation

Rotating your tires can help to ensure even wear, which can extend the life of your tires. The recommended rotation schedule can be found in the owner’s manual.

  • Maintenance

Regular maintenance, such as tire rotations and alignments, can help to ensure that your tires are performing at their best. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and to have your tires serviced by a qualified technician.

Conclusion

When it comes to towing a fifth wheel, selecting the right tires is crucial for a safe and reliable towing experience. There are several factors to consider when selecting the best tires for your fifth wheel, including load-carrying capacity, traction, stability and control, and durability for various weather conditions. It’s important to understand the different types of truck tires that are available, as well as the various specs and ratings that are used to evaluate them. With proper maintenance and care, your truck tires can provide the necessary support and stability for a safe and enjoyable towing experience that can take you to some beautiful and fulfilling destinations in some of the most breathtaking places in nature.

Our fifth wheel and dually has taken us to over 25 states and 21 National Parks and allowed us to spend more time connecting with nature than ever before. While things like tires might not be the most exciting part of your RVing travels, they are an important aspect that lays the foundation for the experiences and memories you can enjoy.

Interested in purchasing a fifth wheel or learning about a full-time RV lifestyle? Check out these other resources:

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