Tire selection for Towing/Off Road/ Snow Ice : New FZJ80 Owner (1 Viewer)

Joined
Oct 23, 2019
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Grand Junction, CO
Just traded my 2011 Tacoma for a 1997 Land Cruiser. Trying to figure out tires. I had 255/85/16 KM3' on the Tacoma and found they didn't suite my needs.

I tow a 2400 lb Casita trailer long distances and don't really want to do 35's as I feel the mileage would be absolutely abysmal, but I want something with decent traction.

I did not like the 255/85/16 KM3 M/T's as they only seemed really useful for rock crawling, which I do not do all the time, I'm on mild dirt roads in Utah most of the time. Felt tippy on the freeway, useless in snow, and not that good in the rain. Didn't feel I could take them on long distance trips where I might run into a lot of different terrain/weather.

I've run to Canada twice in the last two summers and Northern California/Oregon once. I live in Western Colorado and take this up to the ski resorts in winter, and explore the San Juans in the summer (Imogene/Engineer Pass etc), and think I would like a nice all around tire. I'm thinking a 285/75/16 All Terrain like a KO2. The mileage wouldn't be abysmal with the trailer like a 315/75/16, it would be pretty good off road (remember I'm coming from an IFS Tacoma), and maybe I can hold off on regearing for a little bit. I figure if I really get into rock crawling I can get a dedicated M/T 35 or 37 in the future.

Old Tacoma on Engineer Pass:
Taco.jpg


LC as it sits:
lc.jpg

Mostly working on fixing things on it right now. Fuel gauge, power locks and windows, and praying the low coolant wasn't from a blown headgasket. No white smoke, doesn't over heat, but I haven't checked the oil yet. The tires on it have tread but look old and not for off road.
 

baldilocks

Battle Ground, WA
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255 or 315 the mileage difference wouldn’t be enough to change your life. However, available towing power would be reduced noticeably especially if you didn’t regear. I second the duratrc and recently finished a run of 110k miles on two sets of Duratracs on my dodge/Cummins. I discovered the Nitto Exo Grappler AWT and decided to try a set on my dodge this time around. I’ve only run them three months but I like them so far. They are a hybrid tread design and were designed to compete with Duratracs.
 

Squash

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Duratracs!
Just finishing a backcountry ski trip in British Columbia. We've had everything Mother Nature could throw at us, plus the luxury of chaining up for the single track logging road which got us close to our summit
 
Joined
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Olathe, KS, USA
I'll third the Duratracs. 285/75-16, "E" rated version.

I have 73K+ on my set.
Make sure you rotate every 5K-8K or they'll get noisy.

I run them at 34 PSI. I love them in the snow, rain, and mud. Not so much on the rocks because they seem to be slick. If I'm heavily loaded, I'll run them at 45 PSI, but they are rated for 80 PSI.

I DD my truck for about 20K/year.
 
Joined
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Ramona, CA
I'd say avoid the Duratracs. I have them in LT285/75R16 and they are some of the worst tires I've had. I daily drive my 80. They have gotten incredibly noisy and the sidewall strength is terrible. I got a sidewall puncture from a small stick in the desert, a stick less than 1/4" diameter that was old dead and brittle.

@BILT4ME , No LT tire should be run at pressures lower than 35 PSI on the street, they are not rated for anything lower than that. The calculated OEM equivalent pressure for an LT285/75R16 of any brand on a 96/97 Land Cruiser is 38PSI and that is good for up to the GVWR of the vehicle.
 
Joined
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I'd say avoid the Duratracs. I have them in LT285/75R16 and they are some of the worst tires I've had. I daily drive my 80. They have gotten incredibly noisy and the sidewall strength is terrible. I got a sidewall puncture from a small stick in the desert, a stick less than 1/4" diameter that was old dead and brittle.

@BILT4ME , No LT tire should be run at pressures lower than 35 PSI on the street, they are not rated for anything lower than that. The calculated OEM equivalent pressure for an LT285/75R16 of any brand on a 96/97 Land Cruiser is 38PSI and that is good for up to the GVWR of the vehicle.
OK, they don't work for you. You don't have snow and don't go in the mud. Run your tires 1 PSI more than I do and you'll be golden.
 
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OK, they don't work for you. You don't have snow and don't go in the mud. Run your tires 1 PSI more than I do and you'll be golden.

Nope, no mud or snow here typically. I used to run then at 35 but they were not wearing evenly and I found out how to calculate the proper pressure. They are doing better at 38 and have actually quieted down a little but once they wear down past half tread, might as well be running Swampers they are so loud. Rotating regularly didn't make any difference on the noise. They do last a long time though, I'll give 'em that.
 
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Nope, no mud or snow here typically. I used to run then at 35 but they were not wearing evenly and I found out how to calculate the proper pressure. They are doing better at 38 and have actually quieted down a little but once they wear down past half tread, might as well be running Swampers they are so loud. Rotating regularly didn't make any difference on the noise. They do last a long time though, I'll give 'em that.
I don't disagree on the noise. I mistakenly forgot to rotate early and I had 18K on them before rotating, so they had already started to cup. They have been fairly noisy since, but I deal with that, as the OLD 4x4's I've had all had the bias ply pizza cutters you could hear from miles away. I recommend rotating every 6000 miles, which is about every oil change for me, which seems excessive, but necessary.
 
Joined
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Silverthorne, CO
I will throw in another vote for Duratracs. I am now on my 3rd set, so clearly I like them. My 80 is my DD and I dont think they are loud at all. That being said they are the only tires I've had on my vehicles for the last few years.

I did manage to tear a sidewall on my last set, but that was due to hitting a sharp and large rock at about 25mph. That impact also bent the rim and the steering knuckle on my old FJ cruiser, so in retrospect the tire handled it pretty well.
 

LC4LIFE

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The mileage between the 285 or 305 or 315's will not differ much pulling a trailer. I have been pulling trailers regularly with my 80 for about 15yrs. Everything from small light teardrops, to heavier 3500#ish trailers and all three tire sizes. The biggest way to save fuel has always been to drive slower. I would be inclined to do the 10% under drive in the t-case regardless of tire size. It's an easy change to make and since you tow regularly it will make it a bit better, but don't get fooled into thinking the 80 is anything other than a slow (sometimes a very slow) tow vehicle. My vote for tires, would either be the Duratrac or KO2. I have run them both in CO towing and in all sorts of weather and I think the performance difference between the two is minimal. Long highway drives I would give the nod to the KO2 though. I just so happend to tow my boat back 600 miles from AZ to CO and when it was flat, all good, when the road pointed up hill, prepare to go very slow.

This is top of Wolf Creek pass last weekend.

IMG_5430.jpg
 
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Joined
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285/75/16 KO2 is the perfect choice for your needs. Great in snow, great offroad, quiet on the highway, durable, big enough but not too big, etc... I have 50k miles on mine and they probably have another 25k miles (or more) left before replacement is needed.
 
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Boulder, Co
I'll voice a different opinion - would you consider a second set of wheels mounted with dedicated (real) snow tires?

I spend a lot of time in the CO mountains and pretty much decided "all around" "all season" "All terrain" or "all anything" wasn't good enough for me. The softer rubber compounds and plenty of siping of a real snow tires make for much more secure footing when the snow gets packed, glazed and slippery. I've seen too many vehicles off the side of Monarch pass - a good number of them have had AT type tires.

I know there are a lot of folks who say their AT tires are great in the snow. More power to you guys, but I stopped telling myself that years ago and haven't looked back. Come snow season, I take off my ATs (KO2s, fwiw) and put on the dedicated snows.
 
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Exeter CA
I've had really good luck with cooper at3's I had a set of the non xlt run for 60k on my work truck and replaced them with a set of at3 xlt's and was impressed. I'll be throwing a set on my new truck when the factory tires wear out.
 
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I run Duratracs year round and for snow. You just have to know their limitations which is that they have a weak sidewall when wheeled in mainly desert/rocky environments.

They are excellent snow tires and fairly quiet and light weight. I get better mileage on the Duratracs than I ever did with KM2s which were absolutely awful in wet and snowy conditions. They did however last forever. Ymmv.
 
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285/75/16 KO2 is the perfect choice for your needs. Great in snow, great offroad, quiet on the highway, durable, big enough but not too big, etc... I have 50k miles on mine and they probably have another 25k miles (or more) left before replacement is needed.
I've never been convinced that there has been a better tire than the KO2 for the LC and I am going to put them on the Tundra I am going to buy next fall.

They are expensive, there is no doubt about it, but I have had them with almost 80K and they still aren't worn down enough to be unsafe or still decent for regular winter driving or mild off road use.

There is a reason beyond the sponsorship that all of the LCs at the Heritage Museum have them. You can't go wrong.
 
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Colorado Springs, CO
I've been running 35'' Toyo Open Country AT2 extremes. They are pretty awesome so far. I've taken them on a 3k mile road trip and multiple offroading adventures in the rocks and snow. Fairly "quiet" on the highway, and no issues cruising at 70-80mph.
Almost 4k miles on them now and zero complaints.
 
Joined
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Silverthorne, CO
Even though I love my duratracs I would also agree with @nemoblackdog. No AT (even snow specific) will come close to a dedicated winter tire.

In a perfect world I would be running MTRs in the summer and have a dedicated winter set. Unfortunately I spend too much money on firearms to afford that option.
 

LINUS

Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
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Duratrac as a whole are very much like say a brand of handgun that rhymes with ‘clock’.

-People love & swear by them, or they just see no use for them.

I’ve never had Duratracs myself, but it was very telling when I went to Discount Tire & they were no longer going to sell them.
That was news just prior to the Black Friday sale - in fact they already had their in-house tire that was called the Dura-Venture (or close to that) - in stock.

I was in a crunch to get tires, but I was extremely close to taking @baldilocks ’s suggestion for the Nittos but the only guy I knew runninng them was having trouble, but all 3 of us are in trucks with a ~70/30 weight balance, and myself and the guy who I work with who had issues both have airbagged axles - as a 80 tire I damn near expect the Nitto will go on my 80 as I want “severe service” tires now more than aggressive rock/dirt/mud terrain.

I defaulted to KM3’s (for my Tundra, with lift /stiff leaf springs, airbagged, and primary duty is to tow my boat & keep traction on sketchy / poor maintained boat launches) - which I can confirm run notoriously small compared to carcass claimed sizes, but it’s not a tire for what you want to do it sounds (and I think I see a set on your Tacoma, so you would know).

I really think the Nitto is a great new tire, and that tire that Discount Tire is replacing Duratracs with bears a very striking resemblance to the Nitto Exo Grappler.

You migth look at Discount & see that new tire for yourself - the guys who kept Duratracs round were guys rotating the E-load ones well ahead of 5K intervals -he said 1 guy was in every 3K and he was the most successful & satisfied owner - that was right from the mouth of the manager at Discount when I was talking with him.

From what Discount knew at the time, the Dura-Venture was going to be exclusive to,them at least for a window of time - but they were only going to order singles or replacement Duratracs starting quote soon after Black Friday sales were over.
It may already be in effect there, IDK.

HTH.

—Any chance you bought that 80 out of the Moses Lake / Central WA state - like within the last 4-5mo?
 
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Joined
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Keizer Or
Quiet good all terrain tire, Falken wildpeak at3w. I have had nitto trail grappler (rebadge toyo), bfg a/t (too soft) and ko2 (too hard), toyo m/t (heavy and hard).

Love the Falken at3w, they did drop the gmc envoy mpg a solid 1.5 mpg on the freeway. We had snow and ice in eastern Oregon, they were flawless.

Ran them on my 1996 fj80 in 285/75 17 and again flawless except for 11.8 mpg 😂
 

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