Reviews

Best Tires for Towing: The Right Support for Effective Towing Power

These top towing tires provide the best durability and stability

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BY Daniel Rika , Linsay Thomas , Suvajit Banerjee / LAST UPDATED ON November 21, 2019

Towing is serious work, and regular tires won’t be able to withstand certain loads. Selecting the right tires for towing is extremely important for safety. It's a good idea to do your homework before buying new tires because there are quite a few factors involved. Take a look at the best tires for towing in the buying guide below.

Best Overall
Michelin Defender LTX M/S All- Season Radial Tire
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Summary
Summary

These all-season tires provide shorter wet stopping distances and provide great traction in the snow. They come with a 70,000-mile manufacturer's treadwear limited warranty, and they're eco-friendly.

Pros
Pros
  • These tires are solid and provide great traction in rain, snow, and on dry pavement
  • They handle really well, ride great at highway speeds, and have stable sidewalls
Cons
Cons
  • They tend to be noisy, and they may wear out much earlier than the 70,000-mile warranty
  • They may also vibrate after a few thousand miles
Best Overall
Michelin Defender LTX M/S All- Season Radial Tire
Best Value
Firestone Transforce HT Radial Tire
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Summary
Summary

These light truck all-season tires are constructed of steel and polyester. They feature circumferential grooves for extra traction in wet conditions, continuous shoulder ribs, and a computer-designed body.

Pros
Pros
  • They're stable and smooth when pulling a heavy trailer
  • They perform well in wet conditions and also on mud, snow, and soft surfaces, even though they're a road tire
Cons
Cons
  • The tread life of these tires may not be as long as the manufacturer claims
  • They may also wear unevenly, and the sidewalls may crack after a short period of use
Best Value
Firestone Transforce HT Radial Tire
Honorable Mention
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Traction Radial Tire
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Summary
Summary

These off-road terrain tires provide extra traction in deep mud and snow. They are designed for towing and hauling, are snow certified, and come with rim protectors.

Pros
Pros
  • They look and feel great, whether you’re riding on snow, ice, mud, or the highway
  • They don't make a lot of road noise, and they ride smoothly
Cons
Cons
  • Their lateral stability is not so good, and when towing you may feel like you're moving all over the place
  • Sidewalls seem to be softer than other brands
Honorable Mention
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Traction Radial Tire

Why Trust Us


All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Tires for Towing

  • Safety. You need specific tires for towing because the wrong tires may deform under the weight. When you tow something with the wrong tires, they can lose their shape, which can cause a flat tire or blowout.
  • Performance. If you want the best performance out of your vehicle, you need the best tires for truck towing. They are specifically designed for the job. The best truck tires for towing make the ride go smoothly, while the wrong ones can be uncomfortable and ineffective.

Types of Tires for Towing

All-Season

If you drive your pickup truck or SUV largely on paved roads and only occasionally on gravel to places such as campsites, then you can use all-season tires. The best all-season truck tires for towing are great on the highway but are also fine on wet roads and a nominal amount of snow and ice. They generally provide a smooth and quiet ride and feature load ratings to tow a trailer or camper.

All-Terrain

You need the best all-terrain tires for towing if you plan on going off-road. These aggressive tires feature wide and deep tread grooves that grip the dirt. They also work well in the mud and on the sand, and the extra traction keeps you from getting stuck. However, they tend to be noisy on the highway and aren't as good at cornering. They also wear faster and have longer stopping distances.

Top Brands

Goodyear

Goodyear is based in Akron, Ohio, and was founded in 1898. The company is one of the most recognized tire brands and is one of the largest tire companies on the planet. One top towing tire is the Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Traction Radial Tire.

Firestone

The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company got its start in Akron, Ohio, in 1900. Founder Harvey Firestone was pals with Henry Ford, so his company initially supplied Ford Motor Company with tires for its automobiles. The Japanese Bridgestone Corporation then bought Firestone in 1988. One popular product is the Firestone Transforce HT Radial Tire.

Kumho

Kumho Tire has been around for more than 50 years. The company manufactures tires for passenger vehicles, light trucks, SUVs, and commercial trucks. The South Korean tire company has its headquarters in Gwangju. One of its top towing tires is the Kumho Road Venture AT51 Radial Tire.

Michelin

This French tire company is the second-largest tire manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone. The company invented the radial tire and was incorporated in 1889. One of its top towing tires is the  Michelin Defender LTX M/S All-Season Radial Tire.

Tires for Towing Pricing

  • Under $150: You may have to save a little bit of money if you want to purchase the best truck tires for towing a travel trailer, boat, or other large vehicles. Tires in this price range will tow efficiently.
  • $150 and up: You’re going to need to spend a little more money on tires if you plan to go off-road frequently since you’ll need all-terrain tires. These tires have a more aggressive tread, are typically rather large, and are more expensive.

Key Features

Load Rating

Use the recommended load rating when purchasing the best light truck tires for towing. If you're not sure what load rating your vehicle requires, look at the original tires and use that as a baseline. You can go higher, but do not go lower. A higher load rating won't affect the load capacity. The load rating is denoted by a letter (B, C, D, E, etc.), which lets you know how durable the tire is, how much air it can hold, and how much weight it can carry. 

Speed Rating

Not all tires are rated for the same speeds. For example, most C-E rated tires are only designed for speeds up to 65 mph. Should you go over this speed, you can blow a tire. Make sure to look at tires that are rated for higher speeds if you plan on driving faster than 65 mph. 

Treadwear

The longer the treadwear, the better. The faster the tread wears on your tires, the sooner you will need to replace them, which can drive up the cost. Tires feature a three-digit code that alerts buyers to the expected treadwear. The code is based on tests by the manufacturer. Many companies include treadwear limited warranties. Keep in mind that if you drive in extreme conditions or don’t properly maintain your tires, the tread will wear faster. 

Other Considerations

  • Noise. Most people would prefer quiet tires to loud ones. This is especially true when you're driving on the highway. Keep in mind that light truck tires tend to be louder than passenger tires. However, some are quieter than others based on the tread. If noise is a concern, check the reviews to see if a tire is particularly loud.
  • Soft Sidewalls. A smooth ride is important when you're towing a vehicle. You will be more comfortable if you have tires with soft sidewalls that flex when you're driving under normal conditions. Light truck (LT) tires are not as comfortable as passenger (P) tires, but they are better for towing and heavy loads.
  • Season. Different tires perform differently in different conditions. Determine which season you will be towing a trailer, and choose tires accordingly. As we noted earlier, the treads on all-season tires are different from those on all-terrain tires. Choose tires that match the conditions of the drive.

Best Tires for Towing Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Michelin Defender LTX M/S All-Season Radial Tire

These all-season light truck, SUV, and crossover tires provide shorter wet stopping distances compared to their rivals. They also provide great traction in the snow. The MaxTouch construction saves users up to 65 gallons of fuel through the tire's lifespan. The tires also come with a 70,000-mile manufacturer's treadwear limited warranty.


These tires provide excellent wet and dry traction and are solid in rain, snow and dry pavement.  They perform well and have a great tread life. You can get thousands of miles out of the tires even if you run them on hot roads in southern states. They have stable feeling sidewalls and overall handle really well. They also ride great at highway speeds.


Because they are rated to handle higher weights and loads, they are noisier than passenger-rated tires. There have also been some complaints that the tires wear out significantly before 70,000 miles. Also, they may also start vibrating after a few thousand miles.

Best Value
Firestone Transforce HT Radial Tire

Firestone's Transforce HTs are all-season tires for light trucks and commercial use. They feature an advanced high modulus tread compound and steel and polyester construction to promote long wear. They also have circumferential grooves for extra traction in wet conditions,  continuous shoulder ribs, and a computer-designed body.


The tires perform really well when you're pulling a heavy trailer.  The ride is smooth, and their wet weather performance is excellent. They are stable, quiet and do what your trucks need them to do. Even though they're a road tire, they do fine in mud, snow, and on soft surfaces.


One complaint is the tires have a short tread life at 50,000 miles, which may be less than Goodrich, Goodyear, and Michelin tires. There have also been reports that the sidewalls crack prematurely, and the tires may wear unevenly.

Premium Pick
Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Traction Radial Tire

These off-road terrain tires feature an aggressive tread design and are ideal for towing and hauling. TractiveGroove technology provides extra traction in deep mud and snow. They also feature self-cleaning shoulder blocks to clear debris. They are severe snow certified, and a rim protector protects the wheels from accidental curb damage.


These tires work really well on snowy, icy, muddy, and dry roads. They feature highly angled center tread blocks that boost traction while reducing road noise. They look and feel great and ride pretty smoothly considering the aggressive tread.


However, their lateral stability is not very good. When towing, you may feel like you're moving all over the road. The tires may also feel squirrely on the highway and speeds over 60 miles per hour because they're all-terrain tires. Also, the sidewalls seem slightly softer than some rival tires.

Most Aggressive Looking
BFGoodrich All-Terrain Radial Tire

This is one of the most capable tires for towing or hauling heavy trailers, boats, RVs, motorhomes, or fifth wheels. It’s an all-terrain tire that is more at home off the beaten path than on it.


The tire features a hefty load weight of 2,470 pounds, and larger ones are even capable of hauling up to 3,085 pounds. This specific tire sits in the E category of weight range. It is also built with some of the toughest sidewall armor around, enhancing its overall traction and control. 


However, you may find that the ride might not be as comfortable if the truck isn’t weighted down. A lighter load or none at all might reduce the performance of the truck. The tires' large tread design may also kick up a bit more rocks and pebbles if driven on dirt roads, causing paint chips and damage to the exterior.

Honorable Mention
Firestone Destination LE All-Season Radial Tire

This Firestone Destination LE All-Season Radial Tire is built for highways and streets no matter the season and is great for SUVs, Jeeps, and trucks. 


The tire is cheaper than the other Firestone tire choice, making it just a bit more affordable. With the reduced price, the tire doesn’t lose out on carrying capacity as it can carry up to 2,535 pounds as well. It includes a symmetric tread pattern that is designed to be long-lasting, comfortable, and extra grippy.


The sidewall may be the tire’s weakest part—it may not hold up all that well to bumps or scrapes with curbs. The rubber coating may peel away as well. It’s also not the best looking or most stylish tire.

Most Versatile
Firestone Destination All-Season Radial Tire

This tire includes a wide and deep tread pattern that helps it climb over dirt paths, rocks, and off-road terrain. It makes an excellent tire for Jeeps, pickups, full-size SUVs, and crossovers. They’re also rather quiet on the road and highway.


By carrying up to 2,535 pounds of weight, the tire is exceptionally great at towing and hauling hefty gear. Whether you’re pulling a toy hauler or travel trailer, the tires will ensure it makes it there and back again several times over. It also includes a tread compound molded into the symmetric pattern for increased performance, quality, and comfort.


All in all, it’s great on practically every terrain but may not be the best on snow or ice. That being said, the tire still performs well but just gets bogged down in thicker snow. Also, keep in mind that a set of four tires will set you back quite a bit.

Honorable Mention
Kumho Road Venture

Designed for light trucks, pickups, and SUVs, the Kumho Road Venture tires feature a robust and powerful-looking tread design. The unique pattern is built to help the vehicle get over snow, muddy tracks, and slick surfaces. It also includes wide grooves to fling away rocks and pebbles. 


However, its best overall feature is its ability to carry a whopping 3,415 pounds—a hefty amount of weight for a light truck tire. Kuhmo even uses a special ESCOT Casting Technology that enhances the strength of the sidewall cord tension. That’s a fancy way to say that the rubber is more responsive and the tread lasts longer.


However, you may find the tread pattern may not last as long as the sidewall and may begin to deteriorate before the side of the tire. Also, the ride may be stiff at times.

Honorable Mention
Cooper Discoverer AT3 All-Terrain Radial Tire

This tire is built to handle just about any difficult terrain, including dirt, mud, gravel, light snow, and pavement. These Cooper tires are robust and include a deep tread pattern designed for climbing and hauling.


The tire comes with a weight capacity of 3,195 pounds. So, you can tow just about anything from a short camping trailer to an extended fifth wheel for you and the family. The tread is made out of a shred-resistant silica compound that maximizes handling and traction on all terrain types. Plus, its deep channels and wide notches improve its performance in the rain.


Although it’s an excellent towing tire, the price is a little high, and a full set will cost you in the long run. Another issue may be the amount of weights used to balance the tires properly. This could lead to more time and money spent at the shop.

Tips

  • Each tire comes with a specific load rating that should match the load you are towing. The tire load ranges are mentioned in the specifications with the letters B to F. A tire marked by a higher letter will handle heavier loads.
  • The air pressure in the tire can affect the vehicle’s overall performance. While towing, it is necessary to inflate the tires to the right pressure level. This not only ensures a good ride quality but also prolongs tire life.
  • Towing tires can be one of two types—bias-ply or radial. The main difference is in the arrangement of the steel cord inside the tire body. While radial tires are tougher and offer better fuel economy, bias-ply tires are less expensive.

FAQs

Q: How are towing tires different from car tires?

The tires on a passenger vehicle are designed to provide better traction and a comfortable ride. Towing tires have more tread depth, larger beads, and rigid sidewalls designed to prevent sway. They are also not designed for higher speeds like car tires.

Q: How frequently do I need to change towing tires?

Replace the tires every six to seven years. It will also depend on the frequency of use and the road surface quality you drive on. The tread should be checked at regular intervals, and if it falls below acceptable limits, the tire needs to be changed.

Q: How do I maintain towing tires?

When stored outdoors under the sun, the rubber can degrade from the effects of UV radiation and heat. Covering the vehicle with a tarp will not only prevent such damage but will also keep the tires dry, reducing the risk of corrosion. Also, rotate the tires at regular intervals, so that they wear uniformly.

Final Thoughts

The Trailer King ST Radial Tire is our top pick for long-distance and heavy towing. It is robust and durable and provides safety on the road.

If you are looking for stable performance at an economical price, the Carlisle Sport Trail Trailer Tire is a good choice.