Should I switch to LT rated tires? Old tires still plenty of tread but are 11 years old. Time to get new ones.

c good

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2011
386
2002 Envoy 4x4. 3000-4000 miles per year. I use it mainly for weekend exploring the local deserts. Mostly trails and roads. No serious "rock crawling" type of situations but lots of sharp rocks and gravel, some steep hills, and sand washes. I recently purchased a small trailer. 2000 lbs with 900 lbs of carrying capacity so approx 3000 gross weight. I will be towing it into some of these remote desert areas. I also tow a small 3500 lb boat and trailer once or twice a year on a 600 mile round trip.

I'm considering an All terrain type of tire like the Cooper Discoverer AT3 4S or the Falken AT Trail. I plan on staying with the stock size of 245/65/17 or as close as possible in an LT tire.

Would I benefit from a heavier duty LT type of tire? I'm open to suggestions for both options LT or P rated. I would like to keep the tires in the $150.00-$170.00 each range. Mounted and balanced.
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
21,859
Ottawa, ON
I know for trailers it's recommended to replace tires at 5-6 years. For vehicles, Car and Driver also recommend 5-6 years with a maximum of 10. Tires usually start cracking and dry rotting when they're getting up there.

The Cooper AT3 are excellent tires and competitively priced. I like them because they're also winter rated so no need to buy a separate set of winter tires.

LT tires are needed if you require the extra load carrying capability. With these trucks, it's not really needed and would stiffen the ride too much IMHO.
 

JerryIrons

Active Member
Dec 20, 2011
420
I use AT tires (all terrain) on all of my vehicles now, and have for years. Like mooseman said, I don't have to screw around with winter tires anymore. Upside is you always have great traction, all the time, everywhere. Downside is that they tend to be a little noisier, and wear down a little quicker, and cost a little more.
 

flyboy2610

Registered Member
Aug 24, 2021
104
Lincoln, Ne.
I just put Firestone Destination A/T2's on my '04 TB EXT. I've had 'em up to 75mph on I-80. I don't think the road noise was bad at all. They do have a center rib that cuts down on the noise. Not all AT tires are built that way, though. The wife has Goodyear Wrangler's on her '06 TB, and they do make more noise on the highway.
 
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Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
21,859
Ottawa, ON
I also have a set of Destinations on my TB and like those too. Not noisy at all. However they're not winter rated even though it says "Mud and snow". Doesn't have the snowflake symbol. Have a separate set of winters for it.
 
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BrianF

Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2013
934
West central Sask.
I have run LT tires on my Trailblazer since I burnt the remnants of the original forteras off. Maybe a bit stiffer ride but more stability towing and somewhat tougher tire to get a flat on. Maybe I lose a bit of fuel mileage but I run enough gravel roads that this is a non issue. Go with the LT.
 

Matt

Guru
Dec 2, 2011
3,838
Honestly, no. But if you want a decent AT tyre that a very good price, have a look at the Nankang Conqueror AT-5. I put them on mine and they were great.
 

flyboy2610

Registered Member
Aug 24, 2021
104
Lincoln, Ne.
I also have a set of Destinations on my TB and like those too. Not noisy at all. However they're not winter rated even though it says "Mud and snow". Doesn't have the snowflake symbol. Have a separate set of winters for it.
Interesting. The A/T2 have the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol.

Do you have a different model of Destination's?
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
21,859
Ottawa, ON
I'll have to check mine but I'm pretty sure they're not winter rated. The sidewall threads look different than mine. Maybe they're just A/T?
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
21,859
Ottawa, ON
Mine are older, dated 11/15 and are not winter rated. I guess these are Destination A/T1.
 

59840Surfer

Registered Member
Apr 19, 2020
53
Montana
Tires ... unlike wine, cheese and women... don't get better with age. If you're accurate on that tire age .... well ....... < ahem!>

Check the true date on your tires. It's a 4-digit Julian date code with the week number and the last two digits of the year .... like the following.....

2490 would be the 24th week of 1990.

If you decide to consider it ... I have 10 ply E-rated snowflakes that have just recently knocked off the casting pips after two years/13K miles on the ground.

They are smooth, firm and stable ... but not harsh ... however they give me terrific stability around turns and offroad.

Best of all ... the LT 225/75/16 Wild Country XTX Sport A/T Load E tires I purchased will dive into deep snow and get superior traction and directional control so that hauling 5000 lbs of firewood on my trailer doesn't let the "tail wag the dog" ... in case you have ever experienced that dangerous situation.

I do NOT rotate my tires.
 
Last edited:

Redbeard

Guru
Jan 26, 2013
2,996
If you want to stop all tire cracking use 303 UV Protectant Spray. Spray it on your tires two or three times a year (both sides) and if you do it when rotating tires you don't even have to lay on the ground spraying the inside of the tire. I have been using this stuff for about 15 years and it works. In late 2020 I replaced the original tires on my 2010 Ram pickup. Zero cracking, none whatsoever! 10 years they were on my truck. The last gallon of the stuff I picked up at Camping world for about $45. Amazon sells the stuff also but I would be concerned how long it has been on the shelf.
 
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