4th Gen Ram Tech2009+ and up Rams: This section is for TECHNICAL discussions only, that involve the 2009 and up Rams. For any non-tech discussions, please direct your attention to the "General discussion/NON-tech" sub sections.
Hello, I'm sure this question has likely been asked to death, but I cannot find much by searching the forums...
I have a 2012 Ram 1500 QC w/3.92 gears which I've installed a B&W gooseneck hitch and TLC air springs in order to tow a 3 horse gooseneck horse trailer which weighs around 4,600 empty and usually only have 2 horses in it (1,100-1,200 pounds each). The truck seems to handle the load pretty well. Obviously a 3/4 or 1 ton rig would be more ideal, but my wife commutes 80 miles a day and we only tow the horses around 4k a year so this rig fits the bill.
Here is the issue, it has the 20" chrome clad rims with the Goodyear "P" tires. The tires have 26k miles and have never had great winter traction. We are looking to upgrade to some A/T tires in the somewhat near future... but I'd like LT grips to keep the load a bit more planted.
What have people in similar situations been finding as options that provide good winter traction, towing, don't kill MPG too bad, and of course don't beak the bank?? I figure we aren't in TOO big of a rush, but it's been my opinion it is better to have an idea of what I want and then keep eyes open for deals...
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As you've found, the stock Goodyears are just crap in winter driving. I lived with them through two winters, then 'fortunately' they wore out early and I replaced them the next fall. I went with Cooper Zeon LTZ tires. They look great, get way better traction in wet, icy, muddy, and snowy conditions, aren't much louder than stock, and only impacted fuel economy maybe 1 mpg. I've also towed occasionally, including a trailer heavier than yours, and they are fine for that. They were also very cheap at the time, though sales on them are harder to find now. Downside is that they don't seem to last very long either. I think they will last only in the mid 30k mile range.
2010 RAM 1500 4x4 Sport, Deep Water Blue, leather, trailer brake controller, side steps, 3.92, HEMI, more...
You don't have many options in the 275/60/20s but if you go to 275/65/20s you have many E range tires available to you. Some aren't willing to do this but the difference is nominal and if you plan to stick with the towing you should get the speedometer re-calibrated. JMO. Good luck.
I run Falken Rockey Mountains LT305/55R20 on 9" rims at the rear (it is w/in 2% circumference of 275/60R20 tire).
Compared to Goodyear OEMcrap tires - wet and snow traction are dramatically improved and they run as quiet as the Passenger tires. Lost about 2-3 MPG with the A/T tires on all four corners
I just picked up the Cooper AT3's. They are a much smoother ride than my LTZ's were. My wife hated riding with me in my truck when I had LTZ's on as they were much stiffer and rougher riding than the stock tires. Don't get me wrong, any A/T tire you choose will be rougher, but with the LTZ's being an XL Load rated tire, the sidewalls were fairly stiff. They did okay in the snow. 10/10 for wet, 9/10 for dry, 6/10 for snow. Drive them in many snow storms for the 6yrs I owned them.
Just took my truck out in two different snow storms with the AT3's and they were MUCH better in snow and slush than the LTZ's were. Ride smoother and are just as quiet. They don't look as aggressive in their styling but I only paid $680 shipped from Treaddepot.
There are many options out there but I was on a budget. The 276/65/20 AT3's have 16/32nds tread(4/32nd more than the 275/60 size) and are E-load. They will last a bit longer but will be much stiffer and rougher in their ride on a 1500. They are also $80 more per tire.
The standard load AT3's are 115 load rated so they are cap[able of towing anything your truck is rated for. I would imagine your wife won't want to drive around in a lumber wagon when not towing? Your call but it was night and day as far as stiffness goes when I went from stock to the XL LTZ's.
Drop down to a 17 in rim, tow ratting increases abd thiers more cheaper options in 265 70 17 LT tire. No advange in a larger rim, less cool perhaps..but need out strips bling.
The main reason for 17's having a slightly higher tow rating is because they have a smaller diameter tire!
20's = 33"
I've calculated the rotating mass before and it's not all that much different when you begin to compare 17's w/33" tires vs 20's w/33". It's negligiable, like 100lbs lower towing... The overall tire diameter is what mostly matters besides the rear gear ratio.
Anyone who already has 20's w/33" tire probably isnt going to want to look at a smaller tire diameter on their ride. Sure it's cheaper, but the wheel wells look a bit more empty. Most guys that drop down to 17" get a 33" or larger tire which would keep their towing ratings that same.
I have 26.6" snow tires on my Daily driver, down from 27.2" when I have my summer wheels on. I can definitely see the 1/2" tire diameter difference!
I was contemplating going down to a 17, or even a 18 aftermarket. I have 17s with Transforce LTs on my '13 Tradesman (company car). I don't HATE the look, but the wife prefer the 20 chrome clad on the '12. I always thought that the 20s lowered the tow capacity. But if it doesn't change it more than 100 lbs I don't see any reason to give up the 20s that my wife likes. (Personally I think the chrome clads look a bit cheap close up). Thanks for the input!
Im happy with 17 in rims on my 2500, cosmetics aside, I have no need for larger rims and tires..but thats only my thought, 15 in tires used to be th standard next 25 in rims and tires..
Chrome or aluim rims only matter to the othier person looking at your truck, at 60 mph your not looking at the rims...chrome clad fo have one big huge advantage, they dont crazy glue to the hubs like aluim rims do.
Last edited by cyclone429; 03-03-2014 at 05:21 PM..