Tires for the Caribbean (1 Viewer)

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Aug 28, 2019
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I am "agonizing over the types of tires to choose" and could use some help!

I have an 2016 LX 570 that I bought for the family vehicle for use on a Caribbean island. Before I ship it down, I’m replacing the 21” OEM wheels with 18” ones mainly because of supply chain availability and also because of the greater sidewall width.

I've decided to get 275/70/18's

I've narrowed it down to:

Goodyear All Terrain Adventure with Kevlar
Cooper Discoverer AT3 XLT
Goodyear Wrangler Ultraterrain AT
Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac
Cooper Discoverer MTP
Cooper Discoverer STT Pro

Now, I am researching the type/brand of tires to get and am looking for some recommendations. Most AT and All Season tires describe the trades between winter snow, ice, mud and rain. Obviously I do not care about any winter ratings. It is hard to find a “summer tire” that isn’t a street performance one. I’m not sure a Baja racer type tire is good, since I need it to perform well in the rain and wet.

The terrain is very hilly - borderline mountainous with steep, narrow windy roads, in generally terrible conditions. I think the average speed is around 25-30 MPH. I’ll never hit 60 MPH. It’s hot; 85-105 F, and very rainy and wet for the fall season. Sometimes the streets are literally rivers (1-3’ ft). Roads can get washed out (sandy mud). The truck will be parked outside year round in the sun. Stopping power and traction in a sudden swerve situations is important since drivers are generally idiots (you never know when some tourist is going to be heading towards you in the wrong lane).

The general recommendation from tire shops is either the most expensive, or the cheapest. Not much help there.
 
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
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Jersey, 07740
cooper at3 if your looking for something more mild and road oriented, stt pro for more aggressive tires. skip the goodyears, their usually only good for a year
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
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Florida
Where in the Caribbean? I would make sure you can get it serviced. No Lexus in the Caribbean, correct?
 
Joined
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Virgin Islands
US Virgin Islands. There is a Toyota dealership that services our RX, and there are other Lexus' on island.

I ended up ordering the Goodyear all terrain w/ kevlar in 285/65/R18. The wheels I'm ordering are Method 18x9s, so I needed the wider tire to fit on the rim. It's about 2 week wait for the rims, so now I'm having 3rd thoughts!

I couldn't find Cooper AT3 LT tires in 285/65/18, but they do have the XLT, and the STT pros. The STT pros seemed a bit too aggressive (also weight).

Also, now that I do some more digging I see that I can get AT3s in 275/70/18 and they are rated for a 7.5-9" rim. That would give me the lightest overall change. 72.3 lbs for the OEM rims and wheels vs 84.3 lbs for the Method wheels and Cooper AT3s. Based on the Tire/wheel database in the 200-series forum no-body had rubbing issues with 275/70/18, but people did with the 285's (although all of them had lifts and 0 offset).

I think I'm changing my order...
 
Joined
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Florida
Will you be on paved roads? Dirt? Sand? If on pavement & sand I would think a less aggressive tire would be better (Michelin Defenders in LT275/65/18 maybe?). An aggressive AT may not be best choice for pavement stopping distance, wet roads or sand. Just a thought.
 
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Virgin Islands
Ok, it's not like EVERY road is like this, but it gives you a good idea of the varied terrain. @1:30 is a good idea of the inclination that is often found. First person off-road vids never do anything justice to the real world experience.
 
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Florida
Interesting , thanks for posting. Looks like 18” wheels on a 200 would be more comfortable than a Jeep. Curious, is that vid pre- or post- hurricane? Lots of vegetation.
 
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Virgin Islands
That video was from 2016. All the vegetation came back within 2 months of Irma and Maria. It was crazy because of the vistas that opened up as well as being able to see all the houses.

I did end up with the Goodyear All Terrain Adventures with Kevlar “pro grade”. I didn’t get a chance to change my order before they were mounted and on the way. I only have about 75 miles on them but they transfer every little bump and crack. Like teeth vibrating bad. I hope they soften up. I have 37” Goodyear MT/Rs on my Jeep and its a way better ride. I didn’t get a chance to check the tire pressure as I had to get everything ready for it to get shipped to the island while I am back home so that could be a part of the problem.

I do get a bit of rub at 3/4 turn on the back of the front wheel wells. I’ll be trying the heat gun mod to get it shaped a bit to clear the tires.
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2018
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Florida
I would imagine you could air down significantly since you wou won’t be driving at high speeds; that should soften the ride. Good luck!
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
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The shop may have them way high if you have E-Rated tires. They probably have 50 psi in them. Might have even put the max 80.
 
Joined
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Virgin Islands
The shop may have them way high if you have E-Rated tires. They probably have 50 psi in them. Might have even put the max 80.
You were absolutely correct. I picked it up from the shipping company on Friday and didn’t get around to checking the tires until late this afternoon. Tire Rack had them WAY over 50 psi (my gauge didn’t go higher). I brought them down to 37 psi, and it’s a completely different ride. So much smoother, even on our crappy roads.
 
Joined
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DC
Ah. We were just down in St John. The roads aren’t great but it adds to the adventure.

I’ve got E rated tires on my 100. When I first got them the installer wayyyy over inflated them. I brought them down to 34-ish psi and that made a huge difference. I may even lower them a bit more since they are still a bit rough on Potholed city roads.
 

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