Camper tyres

Submitted: Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 20:11
ThreadID: 136910 Views:4765 Replies:14 FollowUps:11
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Hi all
What's the general opinion regarding the sort of tyres you put on your camper? I have a 12' off-road camper/van of about 1.5 tonne. We take it most places where there is a reasonable dirt road. As I have just changed the rims I now have to get new tyres for it.
Do people just get the same as on the car or is it ok to go for one of the cheaper tyres on the trailer. I currently run Bridgestone 697 (although Stephen has nearly convinced me to give Toyo a go next time) on the car but was wondering about brands like Kingrun for the trailer.
Any advice from people with a similar setup welcome.
Prado SX and a little van

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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 20:52

Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 20:52
Suitcase .
Now be prepared for a lot of strong opinions

There would be at least 10 different tyre manufactures that sell decent tyres .

Go with a good quality AT and you will be fine .
Correct tyre pressure on different surfaces is the key to looking after your tyres .
You don't need to get the same tyre that's on your car .
My opinion only .
Now here we go again .

AnswerID: 619836

Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 20:57

Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 20:57
I use the same rims and tyres as I have on my ute. In a pinch I can swap tyres around the whole setup. No use having good tyres on the on the tow vehicle if the cheap tyres on the trailer let you down. I run Maxxis 980 as a good all rounder. Not cheap and not expensive and we haven't had much grief with them.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 22:18

Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 22:18
Hi Suitcase

As you know, I am very impressed with the Toyo AT11 and because they are a great tyre, I also put them on our Ultimate camper, in the same LT construction, but in 16".

Last year was their first dirt road test, as I was getting extremely bad chipping from my previous BFG's.

Last years trip included the these all dirt roads: 1100 km Tanami, 550 km Duncan Road, many of the Eastern Kimberley Roads, a double drive (in and back out) of the Central Arnhem Highway of 780 km one way as well as other dirt roads in between. And then on October we were on more direst tracks out to the Ooldea 100th Anniversery and other west coast dirt tracks.

Looking at the tyres now 12 months later and there is not one mark on then and they are like new.

Pricing wise, they were cheaper than my Prado and were $230 per tyre fitted and balanced.

The Toyo' on the Prado are wearing unreal and from the distances and places where we have been, I know that I would have had to replace them if they were my old 697's Bridgestone's.

As again I still prefer my Toyo's and when it come time to replace them (I never let my tyres go below 50% tread depth) they will be replace with another set of Toyo's


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Reply By: Ron N - Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 23:43

Thursday, Jun 28, 2018 at 23:43
My opinion below, as regards tyres, after several decades of tyre buying and use, running into literally thousands of tyres.

Bridgestone - Generally excellent. Just watch out for the Bridgestone factory rejects sold on eBay.
Michelin - Excellent, but pricey. No longer the leading tyre in the world.
Goodyear - Highly variable, according to tyre type. They seem to have improved in recent years.
B.F. Goodrich - Highly variable quality, according to tyre type. I long ago decided there were better tyre brands around.
Toyos - Very very good, on a par with Bridgestone.
Sumitomo - Quite good, but hard to find, and limited range.
Kumho - Very good, nearly up with Bridgestone.
Maxxis - Made in Taiwan, often hard to find, good quality.
Continental - good quality, hard to find, rarely cheap.
Pirelli - Variable quality, according to tyre type. Quite often too soft for our conditions.
Dunlop - Not nicknamed "Banglops" for no reason. Some of the worst tyre performance I've endured, came from Dunlops.
Chinese tyres - Highly variable in quality. Some good, some just plain cheap rubbish. Look for who they got their tyre technology from (a lot of the more common Chinese tyre manufacturers got their tyre technology from Bridgestone, Sumitomo, Michelin, and European manufacturers such as Continental).

I find it useful, but not of over-riding importance to have the same wheels and tyres on the trailer/camper/van, as on the tow vehicle.
The problem with that setup is, that if you need to swap tow vehicles, you often end up with a mismatch.

The single important feature is to have trailer/camper/van tyres fitted that have adequate load capacity, and speed rating.
You might be surprised to find how many trailer/camper/van tyres are running at their limit - particularly seeing as most towed items are loaded to the max.

Lower profile and heavier wall tyres will reduce trailer sway movement - at the expense of poorer off-road capability in the case of the former, and heat buildup at highway speeds, in the latter.

Always remember your trailer/camper/van tyres collect all the road debris and rocks thrown up by the tow vehicle. As a result, cheap tyres are always a risk.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - nick b boab - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 06:20

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 06:20
G'day : I have just done the same exercise as you and have gone for a mid-range priced tyre , not a lot of saving . The tyres I have just replaced were second hand cheap brand when I put them on many years ago & have done a Cape York trip and the Kimberleys prior to that and many in between without any problems . But it will come down to how you drive , if you are inclined to be a Speedster and treat them badly you may not have the same luck . In saying that 1.5 ton of camper you are carrying a fair load .
I don't believe that it makes much difference in tyre brands when you are purchasing the big name tyres brands it comes down to personal preference. Any failure in these tyres in most cases would come down to driver error~ of course you are going to have some defects.
What sort of camper have you got ?
Cheers Nick b

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Follow Up By: Member - Suitcase (QLD) - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:42

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:42
Hi Nickb
The camper is from NorthCoast Campers in Caloundra.
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Reply By: Member - Cuppa - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 06:58

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 06:58
If you can fit the same brand/size tyres to the camper as you have on the car ... that is the best way to go.

I'm running D697's & have been happy with them. Chose them over Toyo Open Country based on price. I reckon both are good, & depending upon the final mileage I get out of the Bridgestones I'll either go with the same again or try the Toyos. Where we used to live the local mine support vehicles - Patrols all very heavy - constant 5Tonnes, all used Toyos & got good life out of them.

See 'My Profile' (below) for link to our Aussie travel blog, now in it's 6th year.

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Reply By: Hewy54 - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 07:26

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 07:26
I would not go for cheaper tyres on my van.
Rough figures only, but fully loaded with the camper on my BT50 weighs 3000 kg, so 750 kg per corner. The trailer weighs 1540 GTM so 770 kg on each tyre.
The ute is valued at $40000 the camper at $50000.
I would not skimp on tyres for the camper.

In an ideal world your trailer and car tyres would be interchangeable.

As far as brand of tyres, I have Kumho AT 51 on the ute as they were on there when I got it, and Mickey Thompson Deegan 38 on the camper.

The recommendation from my two tyre experts at the moment are for Mickey Thompsons or Toyo Open Country.
AnswerID: 619849

Reply By: Greg J1 - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:02

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:02
I don’t know why people think the camper doesn’t need the same quality tyres as the vehicle. It’s going to the same places isn’t it?

My brother in law done a trip up to cairns in the mid 90’s. He fitted new retreads to his old jayco lol. Even got one for the spare. Yeah blew all 3, lovely black pin stripes on both sides and you guessed it, 3 new proper tyres he bought on the trip somewhere.

My theory is a tightwad always pays for things twice!!

Do they even sell retreads anymore ?

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:57

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:57
Greg - yes, they do still manufacture and sell retreads - and trucks still use them.
But there's retreads and retreads.

Good retreading places conduct a thorough examination of the tyre carcass to determine damage that will affect the retreads life.

The quality of that examination is dependent on the level of "pickiness" of the person doing the examination.
Bruising of a tyre carcass via hitting rocks, kerbs and potholes at speed, leads to blowouts when the carcass eventually fails, due to it being weakened by the severe bruising.

Good retread places are also "picky" on the brands that they retread. They select only the top brands with a proven track record of a low failure rate. The "also-ran" retreaders, retread anything.

The retreaders are struggling to survive against the onslaught of cheap new Chinese tyres - and a good brand of new Chinese tyre will beat a retread any day.

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Suitcase (QLD) - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:46

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 09:46
Thanks everyone - I think you have all confirmed what I suspected. I had always used Bridgestone on our TVan but was after confirmation that the good stuff was still the way to go.
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Reply By: Member - David M (SA) - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 10:07

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 10:07
If there round and black and from a reputable maker they should be OK.
AnswerID: 619857

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 10:34

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 10:34

Have to agree .

For some reason people get caught up in the my favorite tyre thing .

If I was a real adventurer like Mick O Equinox and The Landy I would also buy top notch tyres .

For most part time dirt road travellers a good brand is all they require .

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Reply By: Gbc.. - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 13:02

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 13:02
I've had various brands/sizes/country of origin. My newest camper trailer was delivered on Goodride LT MT tyres which I'd never heard of. 20,000 kms later I am waiting for them to show any signs of wear much less wear out. I am very happy with them and would recommend them to anybody. Mud terrains are not what I would probably choose on a trailer but they were there and they aren't exactly intruding into my life in any negative way so I suppose they can stay. My last trailer was a trackshak with highway terrain coopers second hand off one of my vehicles. They were on it for way too many years and did a perfect job in places you'd never dream of taking a 4wd on HT tyres.
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Follow Up By: Member - Suitcase (QLD) - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 14:20

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 14:20
That's sort of why I asked the question. I have noticed a few camper trailers etc out there with tyres e.g. Goodride and wondered what sort of experience people had had with them. I don't suppose we really know until people use them a bit and word gets around. I wonder if Kuhmo and Hankook etc started out with everyone thinking they were rubbish.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 20:00

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 20:00
Yes, Kumho and Hankook were regarded with suspicion by dubious buyers when they first appeared, and they had to develop their reputation by providing good service. Both are regarded as a highly satisfactory product today.

I have a mate running a triple road train, Perth to Pt Hedland and back weekly, grossing 120 tonnes nearly every time.
He uses Chinese Double Coin tyres and swears by them, reckons he's hardly had any tyre failures since he started using them over 20 years ago.
He even recaps the worn carcasses and gets a good run out of the recaps as well.

It takes time to sort the also-rans from the winners, and user experience, as well as feedback.
Fortunately, good tyre technology is well-established today, and it's quite heavily automated in nearly all top tyre brand factories.

Then there's these blokes, with their professional (cough, cough) Indian retreading operations.
After seeing this, it would make you steer well clear of any Indian buses or trucks coming towards you!

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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 23:00

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 23:00
Geez Ron, I've watched new tyres being manufactured and it seemed to involve less work than that retread!


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 23:13

Friday, Jun 29, 2018 at 23:13
Allan, don't you just love the Indians tyre buffing technique!

Concentricity guaranteed! - to the nearest inch or three! LOL

Meantimes - back at the Bandag retread facility - all we have to worry about, is whether the correct selection is pressed on the touch screen! [;-)

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Follow Up By: 9900Eagle - Saturday, Jun 30, 2018 at 07:06

Saturday, Jun 30, 2018 at 07:06
Ron, yep the double coins are a great truck tyre. RLB1 drive tyres on B double work 200,000K before replacement.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 14:50

Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 14:50
We may all laugh at the Indian 'retread' except for 1 tiny little aspect , that being the video is of a 'micro' enterprise giving an income ...from small acorns big trees grow ....'Bandag' was once just as labour intensive ...
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 18:22

Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 18:22
Alloy c/t - Yep, but the worrying part about the backyard Indian retread operations is the general lack of attention to carcass selection, the lack of careful carcass damage inspection - and the fact that the tyre is then more than likely, overloaded to the max, and also driven at breakneck speeds!

I prefer to think that the tyres I'm passing, or the tyres coming towards me, heavily loaded and at speed, have all passed intensive inspections and checks, related to tyre safety!

I'll wager their boiler has never been properly engineered, or been inspected for corrosion, either!
I wonder if it's even fitted with a fusible plug?

Cheers, Ron.
FollowupID: 892222

Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 23:22

Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 23:22
And for all there faults Ron their country will be forging ahead while ours will be drowning in a union led OHS swamp.
FollowupID: 892227

Reply By: KevinE - Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 10:46

Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 10:46
Hi Suitcase, there were Goodride HT's on our camper trailer when we bought it. My initial thoughts were that they wouldn't last & that I'd replace them when they failed (our first trip on them was up to Dalhousie via the Oodnadatta track & on through Mt Dare, the old Ghan track to Chambers Pillar, Lamberts Centre etc). We had the camper 5 years & they were still on it when we sold it. The spare had never been used. They had been towed many 1,000's of KM's through the outback, including Lorella Springs, the Birdsville track, Cameron Cnr & Innamincka, the Savannah Way etc. Not even a flat on the Goodrides during that time!

AnswerID: 619891

Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 11:02

Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 11:02
Hi Suitcase

We run same rims and tyres all-round on the vehicle and camper trailer (TVAN).

It has advantages in giving inter-changeable spares should the need ever arise. You'll probably only need to buy one set of tyres for your van/camper trailer so the expense will pay itself off over time with an added advantage of having more spares, in need.

I run Toyo's and have found them most satisfactory (M55s), a personal choice that has served me well.

But on tyres, you'll find none are puncture proof, some will outperform in certain conditions and less so in other conditions. So I always recommend that if you find a tyre you like that suits the road / track conditions that you most commonly travel, stick with them unless there is a compelling reason to change.

My experience is that more tyres are damaged through under-inflation for the weight carried, and/or speed travelled, than anything else. Get this right and you should get good economy from most brands...

Good luck out there,

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
AnswerID: 619892

Reply By: swampy - Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 14:29

Sunday, Jul 01, 2018 at 14:29
Geez Indian tyres, 4 tyres retreaded / produced every 4 hrs ha ha
AnswerID: 619893

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