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As far as going back down to 245s, I kind of feel that all of the sidewall, and having them blown up on the factory 6.5” wide wheels, is working against me a bit and not helping my particular situation. Plus, I’ve noticed a sizable decrease in my MPG and even a touch more heat in my trans fluid, just from the tire change. I keep an eagle eye on a lot more things that most will though.
I can understand your concerns about tire stability and trans temperature. I towed well over 300,000 miles on 265's with my LBZ pulling the biggest of the toy haulers cross country up and down the Rockies and never had a trans temp issue but I always towed in 5th gear or lower with the turbo brake engaged in the mountains. My ideal tow speed was 62 mph, anything over that and you could watch the fuel economy go out the window. I actually felt that the truck was more stable on 265's due to the larger footprint which you learn to appreciate in wet weather and the additional load capacity. They were always inflated to 80psi when towing, 70psi running empty. Maintaining proper alignment and tire pressure is crucial to stability and tire life, I checked mine every morning when loaded and was able to get 94k on one set and 92k on another set of 265's. The average fuel economy difference was negligible between the 245 and 265. However, jumping to 285's, you will see a difference in all 3, fuel economy, stability and trans temp as well as coolant temp in some areas during the summer. Average tow mileage was 10-14mpg depending on what was being towed, never used a tuner when towing, only when running empty.
Deciding on which tire to run is a big decision especially with limited experience with this tire or that tire. Elkhart is one of the most competitive tire markets in the country, 80% of all RV's produced in the U.S. are made in the Elkhart area and they all have to be outfitted and delivered somewhere. Michelin had a monster warehouse right down the road from the Discount Tire that most of us used. There were more than 20 companies at the time I was doing this and our company alone had over 1,000 drivers. I can only tell you what I experienced from actually doing commercial towing. I'm sure tire salesmen have their opinions and can quote what customers claim. I know what actually worked for me and others that I ran with. There are other haulers on this site, perhaps someone else will chime in also.
Good luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #82 ·
Did you feel kinda like you were on slippery, icy roads? That’s the feeling I got with the BFGs on bare, dry summer highway. Tread squirm. Not a good feeling
Yes. 100% what it feels like.

I also do quite a bit of towing in the winter here (enclosed snowmobile trailer 2600-4500 lbs depending on load out) so I need a capable tire for winter roads too. The BFGs did great in that aspect last winter. That trailer is much easier to handle though too.

I can understand your concerns about tire stability and trans temperature. I towed well over 300,000 miles on 265's with my LBZ pulling the biggest of the toy haulers cross country up and down the Rockies and never had a trans temp issue but I always towed in 5th gear or lower with the turbo brake engaged in the mountains. My ideal tow speed was 62 mph, anything over that and you could watch the fuel economy go out the window. I actually felt that the truck was more stable on 265's due to the larger footprint which you learn to appreciate in wet weather and the additional load capacity. They were always inflated to 80psi when towing, 70psi running empty. Maintaining proper alignment and tire pressure is crucial to stability and tire life, I checked mine every morning when loaded and was able to get 94k on one set and 92k on another set of 265's. The average fuel economy difference was negligible between the 245 and 265. However, jumping to 285's, you will see a difference in all 3, fuel economy, stability and trans temp as well as coolant temp in some areas during the summer. Average tow mileage was 10-14mpg depending on what was being towed, never used a tuner when towing, only when running empty.
Deciding on which tire to run is a big decision especially with limited experience with this tire or that tire. Elkhart is one of the most competitive tire markets in the country, 80% of all RV's produced in the U.S. are made in the Elkhart area and they all have to be outfitted and delivered somewhere. Michelin had a monster warehouse right down the road from the Discount Tire that most of us used. There were more than 20 companies at the time I was doing this and our company alone had over 1,000 drivers. I can only tell you what I experienced from actually doing commercial towing. I'm sure tire salesmen have their opinions and can quote what customers claim. I know what actually worked for me and others that I ran with. There are other haulers on this site, perhaps someone else will chime in also.
Good luck with your decision.
I tow our 7,000 lb camper with the trans in 5th, tow/haul on. Last weekend, flat ground, 65-70 mph, very light (5-8 mph) head wind, 85 degrees and 60% humidity, trans temp was running 200 degrees and the truck was getting 9-10 mpg. I could run through the rolling hills in western lower Michigan last summer, same everything but I was running 245 Michelins, and the trans temp was 20-25 degrees lower and the mpg was 11-13. Truck was/is very well taken care of and now has just shy of 220k on it. I know the trans temp jump and loss of mpg is no big deal to most but I like a buffer on the trans temp. If I were on the road for longer than I was, and got “up north” in the hills, that trans temp would probably have easily been in the 220-230 range. Coolers are all clean with good air flow through them. Truck is 100% stock. Maybe I have a torque converter going or a cooler getting restricted internally but I don’t see any sign of that on the magnets in the fluid/filter. Thanks for chiming in though. I appreciate the perspective from someone that has done a lot of similar towing with a similar vehicle.
 

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So, just an idea. Not a cheap one. How about finding some wheels and buying some Michelins for summer and keep the KO2s for winter. When I was growing up my dad always had a set of winter tires we would put on during the cold winter months. He even had them studded which really helped a lot. Not sure you want studded snow tires on a truck hauling a trailer but this is just another idea. As for a road tire I don't think you can beat a Michelin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #84 ·
So, just an idea. Not a cheap one. How about finding some wheels and buying some Michelins for summer and keep the KO2s for winter. When I was growing up my dad always had a set of winter tires we would put on during the cold winter months. He even had them studded which really helped a lot. Not sure you want studded snow tires on a truck hauling a trailer but this is just another idea. As for a road tire I don't think you can beat a Michelin.
This is probably the direction I will be going. I didn’t want to, I wanted one tire that could do all of it well but I’m gun shy to try another a/t tire. If I was really doing a set for winter though I would have much rather have had some real, actual snow tires like Blizzaks, etc. The BFGs will work though. Just not super happy about doing it this way.
 

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I have your second set we can deal on😉
 

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I bought a set of factory take-offs for $400 for my winter studs (eBay), easy seasonal swap using the same set of lug nuts.
 

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I towed professionally cross country for several years, everything from toy haulers to big park models. The only tire that worked for me on my '07 LBZ 2500HD was the 265/75/16E Michelin LTX MS2 on factory alloys. I got 94,000 on the first set and 92,000 on the second set. The truck came with Bridgestone Revos and I could not wait to get them off. The trick is to constantly monitor your air pressure, 80psi loaded, 70psi empty. Other haulers would buy a cheaper tire but they never got the mileage or handling. The ones that switched to the Michelins reported that they were getting close to the mileages that I had mentioned with better control. I always ran air bags (Airlift) but seldom used a WDH, only when the company mandated and I never had any control issues, even in 20mph winds, company limit was 25mph. Most of the professional haulers will run a premium tire, better reliability with less down time and a better quality ride with improved.
control.
I'm sure that there are a lot of guys on here running something other than Michelins and they probably work O.K. for them but from someone who hauled professionally, the Michelin LTX MS2 is hard to beat I tried the AT on my '03 Duramax towing one time and was not happy with it.
thanks for this information. I run Cooper AT3 265/75r16 load E on my 07 LBZ towing a 39’ Torque T333 bumper pull toy hauler (12k loaded) using an Equalizer 14k WD hitch. I do not like how these tires handle, the truck wanders, feels mushy, and generally handles poorly. So, I will be looking to move to the Michelins!
 

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Dry pavement. I have been fighting a handling issue while towing our camper since installing these tires last fall. I’ve been trying to document it all in this thread just to share ideas and gain insight as to what had worked for others and for a conclusion once I can get mine to handle like it should/better.
I am battling the same handling issues with my 07 GMC Sierra LBZ CCSW. I have the cooper at3 265/7516E and thinking of going back to Michelin 245/7516E. Keep the info coming and I’ll post my experience. Thx
 
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