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Old 09-05-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Hi guys,
I'm getting ready for new shoes as we embark on the journey into 'light is right'. Now if this were on a 4x4 Ford the answer would be clear: load range E all the way. The new base vehicle changes things a little bit though being a 1/2 ton AWD Express. I haven't ran it across the scales yet, but on paper it should be about 5000# empty and has a max GVWR of 7200 pounds which is probably a fair estimate of where we will be when it is completed and packed up for a trip.

So... for comparisons sake in the same tire we have:
P245/70R17, 2210# max load @ 44 PSI, tire weight = 35 pounds
LT245/70R17, 3000# max load @ 80 PSI, tire weight = 42 pounds

Clearly either tire will take care of the load without an issue. Gut tells me to just do the LR E and forget about it. I am certain that I will want the stiffer sidewall with the rig being 'loaded' more or less all the time. I'm guessing that the rolling weight while looking significant at 7# per tire is going to be negligible in the real world.

Does anyone have experience with similar 1/2 ton type rigs that they've gone to or from an E-rated tire and have feedback? I do remember Accrete mentioning that the change to LR E tires on their Express was a good thing. Thanks!
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:51 PM   #2
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

LT all the way....it'll wear better and you'll appreciate the added load capacity. What tires are you looking at? I think a few here are running and have had good luck with Michelin LTX M/S2. Similar tire is the X radial LT2, at costco.
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Old 09-06-2014, 02:53 PM   #3
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockbender
....cut......

So... for comparisons sake in the same tire we have:
P245/70R17, 2210# max load @ 44 PSI, tire weight = 35 pounds
LT245/70R17, 3000# max load @ 80 PSI, tire weight = 42 pounds

Clearly either tire will take care of the load without an issue. ........cut.......
Personally I wouldn't assume 2210 pounds per tire is enough. Check your axle ratings to make sure both front and rear do not exceed 4420 pounds. The data should be on the driver's door. It would not completely surprise me if at least the rear axle is not rated above 4420 pounds.

I'd also weigh the van first. Well worth the $10 or so. You can't assume weight is evenly distributed on all four corners or even across both ends of same axle.
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Old 09-06-2014, 08:22 PM   #4
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Our van grosses about 7500 lb fully loaded, and we like our load range E tires just fine. I have been experimenting with lower pressure - I think we're at 70 psi rear and 50 psi front.

We had an older van which weighed about the same and used 15" "SUV" tires. In my recollection, it made for mushy handling.

Another thing to consider is rock punctures, don't know if the E tires are more rugged?
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:52 AM   #5
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhally
... Another thing to consider is rock punctures, don't know if the E tires are more rugged?
Yes! they are.
That's the reason (not vehicle weight) that I wouldn't go off pavement even in a Morris Minor with less than E rated tires.

I guess I'm pretty paranoid about that. It comes from getting 2 rock punctures in one day on D rated tires.
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Old 09-07-2014, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

I prefer matching tires to load.

I run D ranges on my 8700lb van, and have for years with no problems. Unfortunately, my choices for tires in that range are diminshing.

Load range ratings are about the air pressure in the tire to hold up the weight. Some D and E range tires are essentially the same construction, with just some beefing up to handle say 30-40% higher pressure. People often get confused these days by "ply ratings," which come from the old days and don't necessary identify how many belts are built into the tire. They aren't necessarily more puncture proof, although they might be; the primary reason for the difference in constructions is load though, not puncture resistance. And I've driven vehicles, like light 4x4s, with say D range tires that made the vehicle drive like crap, since they were constantly overinflated, harsh riding, noisy and never did soften up enough when aired down. The BFG AT KOs, for example, in E range aren't rated as highly for snow as the D range; they have a shallower tread depth. They are a bit beefier, but again that is to allow more weight with less deflection (which can work contra to your desires if you air down), and to allow higher speed without excess heat (which is not puncture resistance but blowout resistance, which is much more important).

And I would rather have a tire that performed well than something that simply prevented punctures. I like to stop, corner and get over marginal terrain, and a good tire/vehicle match facilitates that.

OTOH, P rated tires are not just about load rating. They do have less sidewall protections, etc, by design. I'd recommend a LT truck tire, and in a size that fits your vehicle. Definitely weigh it. It's surprising how many pounds some of these gain
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Old 09-07-2014, 03:58 PM   #7
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Hi,

I've driven a long way in conversion vans. They're fairly light like your E150, but the heat rejection, puncture rejection, and firmer ride of an LT have always steered me towards them and away from P series tires.

An E series tire with higher load bearing and inflation pressure capacity is sure to give better puncture resistance off road. Air them to your load needs and enjoy one less worry.

Regards,

Gavin
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Old 09-07-2014, 11:17 PM   #8
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Thanks for the input, guys. Ref, the M/S2 is exactly the tire I'm referring to. Boring looking tire going on a boring white van. I'm looking forward to the setup doing great in the winter, though!

If I could get an LT C or D range I would like go that route, but since it is either the P tire or LT-E, I think common sense sends me to the E. The rear axle is rated to 4000# and the front at 3700#, so I truly don't think I'll be overweight with the P tires, but as I approach the limits I think I'd rather be on a stiffer tire than wallowing down the road.

Dhally - you're coming DOWN to 50/70 PSI! I'll do some tire chalking once I get tires on and the van loaded, but I was thinking I was going to be more in the 45/50 range.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Michelins-$70 off a set of 4 at Costco 9/4-9/28
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: Tires - LT / E vs. P (for a light van!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by REF
Michelins-$70 off a set of 4 at Costco 9/4-9/28
I haven't decided if I'll go that route or try to get America's Tire to price match. I like Costco, but their tire center is such a zoo. America's might be better for service if needed afterwards too.
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