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Should I replace truck tires before heading to Alaska?


outwestbound

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Hi folks. May I please have some opinions about whether I should replace my existing tires before going to Alaska? I'll do my own homework and the decision is mine, but help would be great.

 

Facts on existing tires, truck and trailer:

  • 2011 Ford F350 Lariat 4WD, DRW
  • Existing tires: BF Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A LT 245/75R17 121/118R
  • Manufactured August 2010
  • Tires have 1/4" tread depth and have been rotated, so wear is uniform
  • Tires don't seem to have evident cracking and seem to help pressure well over long time periods
  • Tires have 30,000 miles, about 50% towing 18,000# CarriLite 36XTRM5, balance around town not towing
  • My camper weights 18,000#, so I'm at about 27,000# all-in (truck + trailer) as to GVWR on truck
  • Truck spare is full sized same tire
  • Camper spare is a smaller wheel G614 Goodyear manufactured in 2010 (what it had before I bought G114s and upsized the wheels)

Trip

  • Trip is to Alaska leaving May 2016. I'd stay over Winter (not in the RV), then leave Alaska October 2017 back to Seattle
  • Trip is all driving, no ferry. Up shortest round: Cassier, Back: no telling. Probably drive everywhere in Alaska; gravel roads don't worry me
  • All-in, Tampa back down to Seattle: 13,000 miles or more. Gravel and snow won't be unusual
  • If snow, I'd throw chains or socks on

 

Thoughts

  • If I replace the tires now, I'd try to sell the used tires. If selling them was a hassle, then I'd either store them in my warehouse or discard them. I know absolutely zero about used tires and not much about new ones either
  • If I roll with what I have, I'd be at 43,000 miles when I get back to Seattle
  • I have no idea what tread will be left when I return after towing on this journey
  • I can afford to replace them, if this is prudent, but don't want to waste money
  • I have new Goodyear G114s on my camper

Questions

  • What should I do on the tires?
  • What tires should I buy? (all season seems to make sense + chains or socks for snow)?
  • Is my existing G614 Goodyear camper spare sufficient?
  • Is having only 1 truck spare sufficient, or should I carry a second?

Sorry the long post. I hope all are well.

 

 

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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With the caveat that tires are one area I never choose to skimp... considering the age, the fact that they're on the downside of 40%, the amount that you're towing and the length of your trip... I would switch them out without even thinking about it. I would look first at trading them in for a new tire credit, but if you can't find anyone willing to do that, then I would probably just craigslist them rather than paying to store them or scraping them outright.

 

One matched spare for the truck should be sufficient.

 

That being said. I would be more concerned about the trailer tires. If they're more than 3 years old I would definitely make switching them out a priority. If you have the cargo space/capacity, I would also take along 2 new tires so that an axle can be changed out with a matching set. The spare might get you to a tire shop, but getting in the same brand and model may prove problematic and it will most certainly cost you a small fortune that far North. Granted.. it will depend on where you'll be spending your time, but but for the weight, cost, and convenience trade-off, it would be worth it to me to have a set "on tap".

 

If you have the opportunity, my preference would be to do a shorter "shake-down" trip on the new tires before heading for Alaska. Hopefully get at least a couple of hundred miles on them and then have them checked for wear/alignment/balance.

 

It's certainly a fantastic trip though! I've done it a couple of times myself and it's some of the most stunning country and wildlife you'll see.

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It's certainly a fantastic trip though! I've done it a couple of times myself and it's some of the most stunning country and wildlife you'll see.

 

I can't wait. I just put new Goodyear G114s on the trailer and went up on wheel size from 16" to 17.5" because the G614s were too close to their capacity. Thanks for the info on spares.

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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I can't wait. I just put new Goodyear G114s on the trailer and went up on wheel size from 16" to 17.5" because the G614s were too close to their capacity.

 

Sorry.. the "I have new Goodyear G114s on my camper" didn't sink in on my first read. :blink: Good call on the upgrade.

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You don't say whether or not you have made the trip before. If not, realize the road surfaces there are coarser than in the lower 48. The coarse road surface could result in faster tire wear. Prices for tires up there are also likely to be higher due to extra shipping costs. Labor to install may also be higher.

 

I would replace the tires now. I had to change a motorcycle rear tire on the side of the road up there once. Lucky for me I had a lot of help.

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Maybe swap out the truck tires before you head into Alaska. Even in Canada with the $ rate may be cheaper. That way you run the mileage a bit more on good roads and new rubber for the northern run.

 

I'd carry the 114 spare instead of the old 614. If you need a tire up there you may have to run a ways till you can get a replacement. Running on a loaded 614 may be taking a chance.

 

Have a great trip.

Bill and Joan and 3 Collie pups

2001 Volvo VNL 770 "The Doghouse" Singled short, "ET" hItch VED12 465HP Gen 1 Autoshift 3.58 ratio  2005 Mobile Suite 38RL3  2011 Smart Passion loaded piggybacK

Weigh-It Portable RV Scales http://www.weighitrv.com/

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How about purchasing 2 new truck tires and taking them along (secure them to the roof of the camper if possible). Then if you have tire issues along the way you could get both tires mounted and carry your remaining old tire as the new spare. Just because you have new tires does not eliminate tire issues. I would carry extra spares for that long of a journey.

I run Michelins on my dually and get 70k+ miles on a set, running 3rd set now.

Greg

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Thanks all.

 

Got it down to

Michelin LTX A/T II vs. Goodyear Wrangler All Terrain with Kvlar. Same price.

 

Went with the Goodyear. Like the S speed rating and the tread pattern better, plus American company, not French.

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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I tried the Kevlar belted GY tire on my 2012 F350 DRW and they could never get the truck smooth. New tires, rotated on rims, moved on truck and I finally gave up and went with the 30 day ride guarantee and put on Michelin LTX M/S II and never looked back. I have since run across two others that were not happy with the Kevlar belted tires and yanked them off.

 

Go ahead and get the Michelin LTX tires.

 

Ken

Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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I tried the Kevlar belted GY tire on my 2012 F350 DRW and they could never get the truck smooth. New tires, rotated on rims, moved on truck and I finally gave up and went with the 30 day ride guarantee and put on Michelin LTX M/S II and never looked back. I have since run across two others that were not happy with the Kevlar belted tires and yanked them off.

 

Go ahead and get the Michelin LTX tires.

 

Ken

Thanks Ken. What does "smooth" mean? I know nothing about tires other than that they are rubber. The ride isn't good?

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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We went up and back in 2012, if you have any reservations about tires or any of your equipment. Replace it, the idea of buying in Canada to optimis the exchange rate is not a bad idea, I would shop on line and compare pricing. The roads are very hard on equipment and a break done especially north of say Prince George or Watson Lake will be time consuming and expensive.

Rick and Alana

Fulltimers

2018 Newmar Ventana 4037

2020 Jeep Gladiator 

1997 Jeep TJ

2009 Mobile Suites 36RSSB3

 

formerly owned 2000 Volvo 770, 600 Cummins ISX,18 speed autoshift, 14 foot "garage"

ET,Jackalopee,MaxBrake,Pressure Pro pro

www.rickandalanasgreatadventures.blogspot.com

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Thanks Ken. What does "smooth" mean? I know nothing about tires other than that they are rubber. The ride isn't good?

The truck felt like there was an out of balance tire or two. They balance and rebalanced and swapped tires but the truck had the jitters at higher speeds. What was strange was the local Ford dealer said he had a couple of other DRW owners with the same problem. They switched tire brands and no more jitters. SRW trucks were not having the issue.

 

Ken

Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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The truck felt like there was an out of balance tire or two. They balance and rebalanced and swapped tires but the truck had the jitters at higher speeds. What was strange was the local Ford dealer said he had a couple of other DRW owners with the same problem. They switched tire brands and no more jitters. SRW trucks were not having the issue.

 

Ken

 

Interesting. Thanks

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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I had a set of Bridgestone tires on the Dodge dually. They would not balance out. I had them "Trued" were they actually shaved tread off so the rolling surface was perfectly round. Balanced and rebalanced, tried Dyna beads both with and without wheel weights, rotated every which way, mounted and re-mounted etc. Even changed rims, all with no success. The ride would smooth out for a few miles and then start vibrating again. Not violent, but enough I didn't like it. Finally went and replaced with Michelin's and the issue disappeared for $1800....

Jim's Adventures

Old Spacecraft.... Who knows whats next

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I'm going with the Goodyear tires.

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just went to Alaska last year and drove 12,000 miles on the trip, tires did not have a lot of tread when I left Dallas and they did need replaced when I got home the wear bands were showing and they did not give me any problems. The OEM tires had 29,000 miles when we left and over 42,000 mile when I got home. I figured we drove between 300 and 400 miles over 3 days of gravel road towing our 36 ft FW over the top of the world highway and untold miles and miles of road under construction. In my opinion the tires should be fine.

Dave Watkins

Highland Village, TX

2014 F-350 Dually

Open Range 349RLR

 

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I just went to Alaska last year and drove 12,000 miles on the trip, tires did not have a lot of tread when I left Dallas and they did need replaced when I got home the wear bands were showing and they did not give me any problems. The OEM tires had 29,000 miles when we left and over 42,000 mile when I got home. I figured we drove between 300 and 400 miles over 3 days of gravel road towing our 36 ft FW over the top of the world highway and untold miles and miles of road under construction. In my opinion the tires should be fine.

I had similar results from the B.F.Goodrich TA Commercial tires on my dually, also AK in '12. Those tires are on my dually today, and still not worn to the tread-wear indicators. If memory still serves me, they have around 60,xxx miles on them.

Reason I buy B.F.Goodrich TA commercial tires is, I figured since UPS runs them on their delivery trucks they are good enough for my truck too. After all, their accounting dept. squeezes every penny out of what they purchase, which is a major reason they are the biggest and best at their job.

 

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961

 

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Thanks.

2011 F350 Lariat, 6.7L, 3.73, CC, DRW, 8' Bed, Reese Elite 25K, TST 507
2011 Carri Lite 36XTRM5, MORryde IS/ Pin Box, Hydraulic Jacks/ Brakes, 17.5" Wheels/ G114 Tires

Solar 960 watts, (2) 50amp controllers, 3,000 watt hybrid inverter/charger, 830 AH batt bank

WiFi Ranger Elite Pack; weboost Drive 4G-X

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  • 4 weeks later...

As an old tire guy we always say 90% of issues come up in the last 10% of tread. And knowing the roads in Canada and Ak. And the price of tires up here(used to sell them) I would say its in your best interest to start the journey with a fresh set of rubber.

2016 Road Warrior 420

2001 Volvo VNL 660

Alaska Based.

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