In 2021, Americans ordered over 600,000 new RVs! As international travel remained uncertain, hundreds of thousands invested in driving vacations.
And it seems more and more of us are discovering the wonders of RV vacations. Even as gas prices continue to rise in 2022, orders remain high.
But nothing stands in the way of enjoying your time away more than having subpar tires. But which are the best tires for travel trailers?
Travel trailer tires are specifically selected because they’re stronger than regular car tires. But what’s the difference between car tires and trailer tires?
And what’s the difference between radial and bias tires, and which do you need? Which travel tires are the best?
The choice of brands and types can be overwhelming. That’s why we created our travel tips blogs! Today, our full RV tire guide has got you covered.
Why Choose a Trailer Tire?
Typical tires are designed for more everyday use. But manufacturers design ST tires to be more durable but used less frequently.
As the name suggests, trailer tires are designed for heavy loads. Companies make these “special trailer” (ST) tires to strict industry standards. They’re designed to give you the safest ride possible in your RV.
ST tires feature thicker, stiffer sidewalls than normal tires. This is due to the addition of larger polyester cords during the manufacturing process. Steel strands in an ST tire also have a larger diameter and increased tensile strength.
Because of these factors, ST tires are less likely to develop sidewall punctures and turn-in under the rim. They also reduce trailer wobble and help the trailer track more accurately behind the towing vehicle.
What are Radial and Bias Tires?
You’ll probably come across the terms radial and bias ply tires when looking up how to select RV tires. Here is a closer look at how they differ from each other.
Polyester cords are folded over at a 90-degree angle from the tire’s center to create radial tires. They provide a smoother, quieter ride and are superior at controlling sway. Additionally, they have better fuel efficiency and operate cooler.
Bias tires are usually less expensive than radial tires. They perform well when traveling straight, but are less adept at turning. Manufacturers construct them using diagonal layers that are 45 degrees apart from the tire’s center.
Bias ply tires often don’t perform quite as well as radial tires. The difference is especially clear when towing a camper or RV at highway speeds, or wanting to travel further from home.
The vast majority of RV owners prefer radial tires. Although they cost more than bias tires, they provide greater comfort and handling.
Additionally, they deliver better fuel efficiency. In the long run, that makes them better value for money.
But it may be that bias ply tires are the best tires for your travel trailer! So we have also included them on the following list. Always check your RV’s manual for these details.
Which are the Best Tires for Travel Trailers?
Now that you know what these tire terms mean, how do you go about choosing tires for your RV? Sure, some people live in their RVs full time, so they need to invest! But is it worth investing when it’s just a vacation vehicle?
Absolutely – but that doesn’t mean they have to break the bank! Here are the best tire brands, not just in terms of functionality but also value for money.
Trailer King’s radial tire has a durable design and materials. It can continue to function well under heavy use, ensuring your safety while driving.
You can select from a variety of sizes and load capacities. They function effectively in any climate and on any surface.
A nylon layer is also present on these tires, further improving the durability for heavier RVs.
The shape of the shoulders is fantastic for dispersing heat. In addition to protecting the thread from wear, doing this helps the tires last longer.
The center grooves create better and more fluid tracking on the road. They have especially outstanding traction and handling.
The M-108 6 Ply C Load tire from Freestar is great even for long-distance trips. That makes it perfect for an RV.
This product is suitable for C load range, which makes it ideal for many models and types of travel trailers. It also comes in a variety of sizes.
As you would expect from one of our top recommendations, it performs well in all categories.
- It is suitable for long and short trips
- It has excellent handling and traction
- It works well in demanding conditions and on uneven terrain
- It is built to last for years and to do more mileage than other tires
The tire excels in many of these areas due to the tire’s material. The solid and durable rubber compound improves its durability and lifespan. And it helps it to perform well in a wide variety of road conditions.
However, all of these benefits come at a price. This tire is one of the more expensive options. Depending on the type of trips you take, it may not be worth the investment.
The 6H04561 from Carlisle is all about distance. Its unique tread design is built for wear and tear.
Whether that wear and tear comes from extensive use over years or unrelenting uneven roads, the tires will hold up. They are made to be used and abused.
This durable design of course means it can handle every road condition out there. This tire is a top pick either for those looking to use their travel trailer:
- very frequently
- on very long journeys
- in unpredictable road or weather conditions
Of course, it will still perform excellently on short trips and on smooth roads. However if those are the trips you’re likely to take, these quality RV tires may not be worth investing in. It doesn’t come with a wheel included, making it a more expensive option.
Carlisle also manufactures the Sport Trail LH Bias tire. It also doesn’t come with a wheel included, but otherwise is very different. This one is all about performance.
These tires for RVs come in many sizes, so are an accessible choice for many RV owners. As a bias trailer tire, it is puncture resistant. So it’s also a great choice for uneven terrain.
It has a wider shoulder design than most. This means it has better road contact than other tires.
The tire’s lifespan is also extended by its design. First of all, the tread design offers low rolling friction, increasing its mileage. Second, it’s designed to disperse heat in use, helping it last longer.
The “sport” design also creates a quieter driving experience. If that’s important to you, we highly recommend choosing these tires for your RV.
From New Premium, one of the DURUN tire’s best features is its 8-ply design. It makes it even more durable and long-lasting. You can trust this tire to deliver extensive mileage, even with frequent use.
It features a D load range, one of the most practical on the market. Its speed rating is 107L, which is a solid rating you can trust.
Its maximum weight capacity is 2150 lbs. This is quite high compared to the market average. However, consult your RV manufacturer’s recommendations to check if this is suitable.
Otherwise, it is a durable tire suitable for most road conditions. Note though that rims are not included.
New Premium also offers the dependable FREE COUNTRY tire.
This tire doesn’t come with quite the same spec as its counterpart. Specifically, the maximum load is lower. At only 1820 lbs when at 50 psi, it may not be best for all RVs.
If this is enough for you though, it’s an excellent choice. Its high-quality design is apparent in its strong sidewall and lower rolling friction.
It’s durable design can be trusted in a wide variety of conditions. Extreme weather or uneven terrain aren’t a problem when using these New Premium tires. Despite these pros, these quality RV tires are affordable.
Power King’s tire “Low Boy” is an incredibly tough tire. Its maximum load is massive at 2300 lbs – great for vehicles loaded up with several RV appliances.
It can handle a whopping 95 psi. And, it has 12-ply construction!
This durability means the tire will perform better for longer. In fact, it comes with a two-year warranty.
This tire is a tubeless model with straight tracking capabilities for easy tire rolling. It is able to carry you over all kinds of uneven terrain. Whether you have short or long-distance journeys in mind, this is a great pick if you need heavy-duty tires for your RV.
Gladiator’s 20575R15 stands out because of its unique design. Its belted reinforced construction makes the tires durable, reliable, and achieve good mileage.
Its 8-ply design is above average and adds to its lifespan.
The only real drawback is the price. Its specifications are of course top-end, but other high-quality RV tires cost less. That being said, if you can find a good deal, they’re definitely worth the investment.
As you may have guessed by this point in the list – this tire is durable. The S622 6 Ply C Load tire from Nanco does great in all weather conditions, on uneven roads, and on long distances.
Where this bias tire stands out is its design. It is constructed with overlapping nylon piles. That reinforces the tire’s strength, and therefore lifespan.
For this reason, it is trusted for sports, agriculture, and even cargo usage. So it is definitely up to scratch for your RV.
Those looking for radial tires frequently choose the M8008 from Maxxis. It comes in many sizes, including larger ones that not all brands offer.
It provides a smooth driving experience. That’s thanks to its perpendicular polyester plies and crisscrossing steel belts.
Its double-belted design further increases its strength. Though it is only a 6-ply design, it is durable enough for most types of journeys.
Where this bias tire stands out is its design. It is constructed with overlapping nylon piles. They reinforce the tire’s strength and therefore lifespan.
This tread design also improves its fuel economy, saving you money in another way!
Initially, eCustomRim’s tire may not seem particularly impressive. Its average 6-ply construction isn’t the best out there. But it shines in other areas.
First off, it’s steel construction gives it a great lifespan, as well as durability.
It’s also well known for the quiet driving experience its design achieves. Its weight capacity is quite good at 1820 lbs.
This trailer tire is also affordable and accessible. It comes in many sizes that other brands don’t. They have even gone up to 16 inches before!
There are no real issues with the WE 14-2B from White Spoke. It’s durable, does well in all weather, and operates quietly on the road.
In some areas, it comes up worse than its competitors, such as its 1760 lbs weight capacity. Overall all though, it is a good choice.
That being said, it’s relatively expensive considering its specifications. As we’ve said before, if you can get it discounted, go for it! Otherwise, another tire may offer more bang for your buck.
We’re Here to Help You Hit the Road!
The best tires for travel trailers depend on the type of trips you’re taking. Their length, frequency, as well as your budget all come into play.
But we can help you with more than just tires! Once they’re sorted, check out our other RV kit recommendations. Like our top five bike racks for RVs in 2022.
Is your equipment all set? Our blogs are also full of maintenance tips and tricks. Like this article on the proper hitch height for travel trailers.
And if there’s another topic you’d like us to cover, let us know in the comments!