Thinking switching from 315/75/R16 to 255/85/R16 - Good for desert sand?

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As part of the resurrection of my LX450, I need to replace the worn out Toyo Open Country MTs'. My buddy and I are planning a long road trip next year to the US south west. We plan on doing a lot of wheeling in the deserts. I want to replace the 35s' with 33s' to gain a bit better fuel economy (now at 22L/100 kms - 10.7 MPG). was thinking of switching to 255/85/R16 but after watching too many Matts Off-Road Recovery YT vids, it seems bigger/ wider is preferred. Thoughts?
 
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In sand flotation helps, so wider is better. Have you thought about doing the hf2a gears to get a better highway cruising ratio? Just switched from 255/85R16 toyo M55 to 315/75R16, so far no changes in mileage but am also due an oil change...
 

shermantank55

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I have been running 255/85R16 tires for over 10 years and lots of miles throughout the western US (Eastern CA, Nevada, Southeastern Oregon, Utah, Arizona). I have found they are a good choice for on and off road travel to include rocks and desert driving. I run at 35-40 psi on pavement and air down to 15-20 off road. I am also an instructor at an off road mobility school up in western Colorado/eastern Utah. All of our school vehicles run 255/85R16 or 235/85R16 tires. We run tires at 15 psi when driving on the sand dunes.
My personal preference in tires: Cooper ST/Maxx and Toyo Open Country MT. I have not been as satisfied with BFG KM3.
Good luck.
Cheers,
Greg
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ChaseTruck

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Just watched this since I'm still a bit tired from my Sunday morning workout.
Clff notes:
1. Sounds Aussie to me. I believe they don't have the tire choices we have in the US. I'd consider all of the tires in the video as too small for a capable 4x4.
2. It's about Rovers and such. Make your own conclusions.
3. Differences between the tires under consideration are minuscule - in the low single digit percentages. Probably close to margins of error for any measurements. As the test were set up, there can't be any statistical support - I venture to say that the observed differences won't be statistically significant.
4. Conclusions are being drawn based on those minuscule differences. In my view, none of those conclusions are warranted.
5. Listed on the plus side for wide(r) tires is 'Looks'... There you have it. :)

3 of the 4 vehicles in our fleet are on 315s, wheeling generally in the AZ or UT deserts. That tire size has done well for many years, and everyone usually gets through obstacles where they fit. Personally, I find it difficult to think of a 315 as a 'wide' tire.
 
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Thanks!
I pretty much agree with everything in the vid based on my experience. I had 33” Toyo MTs’ previous to my 35 Toyos, and didn’t see much of a difference in capability other than a little less contact with the chassis. Others in our club running 33s’ went everywhere I went, maybe with slightly more difficulty. It’s also the fuel economy and rotating mass that is a big issue. I have the Toyota steelies which weigh about 38 lbs along with the 68 lbs for the Toyo 35s’ is a lot of rotating mass. I will actually go back to my factory alloy rims to reduce my rotating mass. Seems the 255/85/16s are a no brainer, but I have to say that the 40”? tires that Matt has on his Morrvair when aired down to 8 psi make a huge difference.
 
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Wide tires are an American thing, I think. We’re one step above those Chevy/ford/dodge idiots running spacers and tires sticking out 4” past their fenders. There’s a reason most of the 4x4’s in the rest of the world that get used stay stock or close to it and are fairly tall and skinny. 255 or 295’s are a good tire IMO, which is mostly worthless. 😂

Edit: I’ve run 315’s for 50k. Once they’re worn out, the 255 and 295’s are the only considerations. I doubt I’d ever buy a other 315. My previous 80 had 33x9.5’s and they were much better in every scenario than the 315’s.
 

tlc1995

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Have a set of 5 BFG"s with less than 1k miles on them and have been considering going to 315's. Maybe we could work out a deal
 

cartercd

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One thing to keep in mind is that there is not very much deep sand in the desert southwest unless you are actively seeking it. You can bury your rig in sand if you are going to some of the sand dune OHV recreational areas like Imperial Sand Dunes, but a lot of the southwest is hard-packed dirt with plenty of rocks (and some mean cacti thorns). Where you tend to encounter sand is crossing desert washes, but these tend to be pretty short stretches. Having wheeled in Arizona, southern California, and southern Utah for 20 years, I prioritize sidewall toughness over tire diameter or width. I just bought my 2nd set of 255/85/16 Cooper ST Maxx because they are great all-around performers in this environment with beefy sidewalls and fairly aggressive tread pattern. 285s are a great size option too, and more widely available. If you do some research you'll find some popular off-road brands/models have notoriously weak sidewalls and don't sell well here in the desert inferno.
 
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One thing to keep in mind is that there is not very much deep sand in the desert southwest unless you are actively seeking it. You can bury your rig in sand if you are going to some of the sand dune OHV recreational areas like Imperial Sand Dunes, but a lot of the southwest is hard-packed dirt with plenty of rocks (and some mean cacti thorns). Where you tend to encounter sand is crossing desert washes, but these tend to be pretty short stretches. Having wheeled in Arizona, southern California, and southern Utah for 20 years, I prioritize sidewall toughness over tire diameter or width. I just bought my 2nd set of 255/85/16 Cooper ST Maxx because they are great all-around performers in this environment with beefy sidewalls and fairly aggressive tread pattern. 285s are a great size option too, and more widely available. If you do some research you'll find some popular off-road brands/models have notoriously weak sidewalls and don't sell well here in the desert inferno.
I remember when I started wheeling and at the same time a guy with a Land Rover Disco started as well. He had BFG ATs’ at the time and punctured the sidewalls in every one including the spare. In all my years of off-roadung, my Toyos’ have never failed once. My buddy has a lifted FJ Cruiser and swears by the BFG KO2s’ but he really hasn’t wheeled it all. I’m dubious, and will likely stick with the Toyos’ if I can find them. Most places I checked on line are out of stk.
 
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Ordered the Toyo Open Country MTs in 255/85/R16 from the local garage. They found some for CAN$350 which seems like a great price even compared to the price of US$335.96 I found on-line at Tirerack.
 
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I just got rid of my Toyo 305/70R16s and swapped on the Cooper ST Maxx 255/85R16.... I am also waiting to see the mileage change and to see how they fair in the sand...

ASPW on 4XOverland on Youtube breaks down the cost/benefit analysis of tires.....

 
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Watched the vid, and now I am hooked on ASPW. Damn you! Lol!
 
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Surprised to see that he mentioned that the 80 series may have been the pinnacle of Toyota 4x4 engineering. Makes me feel very fortunate to own one.
Back to tires. They’ll arrive tomorrow, and I’ll likely get them installed next week. Now looking at new suspension kits…
 
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ASPW is great! I can hear his voice in my head urging me to move to 255s. His favorite “tyre” size. 😁
 
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Here’s my truck on the 255s and back on the refurbished factory alloys. Definitely looks more stock-like than before. Tires seem to fill out the wheel wells nicely from the side. I have a 1” body lift, but the springs (2.5” OME) are old and likely sagging a bit. From the side, the skinny tires do look a little too skinny for my tastes, but I’m sure I’ll get used to the look. Truck does feel a bit more peppy, but I have a good size hole in the fuel line up to the engine, so need to get that fixed next week to see for sure how much better it feels. Lol! Surprised to see the tire sticking out past the DS front fender which had the factory flare ripped off about 6 years ago. I have a colour matched one with a flare sitting in my shed.

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