GUIDE

The further away from civilisation you get, the better idea it is to run precisely the same tyres and wheels on your trailer as your tow vehicle so in the event of an emergency you can swap them around. And, as trailers don’t get used as much as those on the tow vehicle, when you’re back home you can rotate the tyres around for extra mileage (read our article about carrying two spares into the outback here) But if you’re not going to match trailer-tow vehicle, what tyres make sense for which trailers?

Mud- and all-terrain tyres make perfect sense for your tow vehicle, but do you really need them on your camper trailer, caravan or toy hauler?

Mud- or all-terrain tyres on a camper trailer?

WORDS BY ROBERT PEPPER

 Do you really need 
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Due to size and weight only camper trailers will be going hard off-road, and as they generally have less weight on the wheels than the tow vehicle, the centre of gravity is typically lower, and a two-wheel trailer always has both tyres firmly on the ground, there’s less traction demand on the tyres compared to those on the tow vehicle.

And all trailer tyres have to do is provide lateral traction and brake; no steering or drive, or combat tail wagging from the drawbar, so there’s really very little traction demand. So, even if you run muddies on the tow vehicle, all-terrains can work just fine on the camper. Remember that tyre pressure is a function of weight on the wheel, so often you need to run lower pressures on a lighter trailer even if the tyres are identical.

For larger trailers like caravans the same sort of thinking applies. You won’t tow a tandem-axle caravan anywhere seriously off-road, but you will tow it at speed over soaking wet bitumen on windy days on roads shared with B-doubles. And we’ve all seen those videos, so maybe choose a tyre oriented towards that sort of grip so you don’t appear on the Best of Dashcam Fails.  If you need more grip off-road, drop the trailer’s tyre pressures, but you can’t improve the wet-bitumen grip of a mud tyre, particularly after trailer sway sets in.

Basically, match your tyres to your intended terrain and where you really want the grip. If your trailer is road-oriented, use road tyres, but if you do a lot of dirt consider an all-terrain, but not a mud tyre.

ABOVE Track Trailers doesn't fit mud-terrain tyres to its camper trailers and they get dragged along some of the toughest tracks in the country

The cast Torque, available in two finishes matte bronze and matte black and is offered in 17”x9” and 20”x9” - 5x5, 6x5.5 & 6x135 to start with additional sizes and fitments to follow. For more information on all of our products, including the Gripper A/T, M/T, and X/T range of tires visit us online at: fueloffroad.com

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Puncture protection
Whichever tread pattern you select, what you do need to do is ensure the tyres are of LT (light-truck) construction, which are much tougher and puncture-resistant than P (passenger) construction tyres. Don’t confuse tread pattern such as road, all-terrain and mud with construction – you can have road pattern LT tyres, and mud-terrains in P construction.

You should also take care that the age of the trailer tyres is less than four years, because aged tyres do not grip well regardless of design and are prone to sudden carcass failures. Replace trailer tyres by age, not just tread depth. But if your trailer tyres are wearing low definitely replace them, as the greater the tread depth, the less chance there is of a puncture. Also, with all-terrain or mud tyres the performance drops off rapidly once they are about two-thirds worn, which is often well before the legal limit of 1.6mm tread depth.

ABOVE Mud-terrain tyres look good but not all will provide the sort of puncture protection you might expect

Other tyre-choosing considerations are cost and fuel consumption. As they’re more strongly constructed, LT tyres will use more fuel that P tyres, and they’re more expensive too. Mud tyres are also more expensive than all-terrains, which are more expensive than road tyres. So, while tyres are a very, very important safety consideration, costs need to be considered too.

ABOVE You don’t always need to match your trailer tyres to your vehicle; what’s more important is ensuring the tyres match the intended purpose

GUIDE

Mud- or all-terrain tyres on a camper trailer?

WORDS BY ROBERT PEPPER

 Do you really need 

Mud- and all-terrain tyres make perfect sense for your tow vehicle, but do you really need them on your camper trailer, caravan or toy hauler?

The further away from civilisation you get, the better idea it is to run precisely the same tyres and wheels on your trailer as your tow vehicle so in the event of an emergency you can swap them around. And, as trailers don’t get used as much as those on the tow vehicle, when you’re back home you can rotate the tyres around for extra mileage (read our article about carrying two spares into the outback here) But if you’re not going to match trailer-tow vehicle, what tyres make sense for which trailers?

FROM $49,990
ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

Due to size and weight only camper trailers will be going hard off-road, and as they generally have less weight on the wheels than the tow vehicle, the centre of gravity is typically lower, and a two-wheel trailer always has both tyres firmly on the ground, there’s less traction demand on the tyres compared to those on the tow vehicle.

And all trailer tyres have to do is provide lateral traction and brake; no steering or drive, or combat tail wagging from the drawbar, so there’s really very little traction demand. So, even if you run muddies on the tow vehicle, all-terrains can work just fine on the camper. Remember that tyre pressure is a function of weight on the wheel, so often you need to run lower pressures on a lighter trailer even if the tyres are identical.

For larger trailers like caravans the same sort of thinking applies. You won’t tow a tandem-axle caravan anywhere seriously off-road, but you will tow it at speed over soaking wet bitumen on windy days on roads shared with B-doubles. And we’ve all seen those videos, so maybe choose a tyre oriented towards that sort of grip so you don’t appear on the Best of Dashcam Fails.  If you need more grip off-road, drop the trailer’s tyre pressures, but you can’t improve the wet-bitumen grip of a mud tyre, particularly after trailer sway sets in.

Basically, match your tyres to your intended terrain and where you really want the grip. If your trailer is road-oriented, use road tyres, but if you do a lot of dirt consider an all-terrain, but not a mud tyre.

ABOVE Track Trailers doesn't fit mud-terrain tyres to its camper trailers and they get dragged along some of the toughest tracks in the country

The cast Torque, available in two finishes matte bronze and matte black and is offered in 17”x9” and 20”x9” - 5x5, 6x5.5 & 6x135 to start with additional sizes and fitments to follow. For more information on all of our products, including the Gripper A/T, M/T, and X/T range of tires visit us online at: fueloffroad.com

SCROLL TO CONTINUE
ADVERTISEMENT

Puncture protection
Whichever tread pattern you select, what you do need to do is ensure the tyres are of LT (light-truck) construction, which are much tougher and puncture-resistant than P (passenger) construction tyres. Don’t confuse tread pattern such as road, all-terrain and mud with construction – you can have road pattern LT tyres, and mud-terrains in P construction.

You should also take care that the age of the trailer tyres is less than four years, because aged tyres do not grip well regardless of design and are prone to sudden carcass failures. Replace trailer tyres by age, not just tread depth. But if your trailer tyres are wearing low definitely replace them, as the greater the tread depth, the less chance there is of a puncture. Also, with all-terrain or mud tyres the performance drops off rapidly once they are about two-thirds worn, which is often well before the legal limit of 1.6mm tread depth.

ABOVE Mud-terrain tyres look good but not all will provide the sort of puncture protection you might expect

Other tyre-choosing considerations are cost and fuel consumption. As they’re more strongly constructed, LT tyres will use more fuel that P tyres, and they’re more expensive too. Mud tyres are also more expensive than all-terrains, which are more expensive than road tyres. So, while tyres are a very, very important safety consideration, costs need to be considered too.

ABOVE You don’t always need to match your trailer tyres to your vehicle; what’s more important is ensuring the tyres match the intended purpose

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