Trailer tires are often neglected and can become dangerous without replacing them in time. Choosing tires that are designed specifically for your trailer load will ensure that you have the best possible towing experience.
The best trailer tires are the Carlisle Radial Trail HD Tires, which use a 8 ply construction and are available in 15 different sizes.
Choosing between trailer tires is highly dependent upon the weight of your trailer. Load ratings are marked upon the sidewall of the tire and range between B and F.
Table of Contents
- Best Trailer Tires
- Trailer Tires Buying Guide
Best Trailer Tires
|Trailer Tires||Type||Load Range|
|Carlisle Radial Trail HD||Radial||D|
|Trailer King ST||Radial||D|
|Maxxis M8008 ST||Radial||E|
|Carlisle Sport Trail LH||Bias Ply||C|
|Free Country 80D13||Bias Ply||C|
As with standard tires, the trailer alternatives also include industry standard metrics. These include the width in millimeters, the aspect ratio, which refers to the size of the sidewall and a letter that states whether it is a Radial or Bias type of construction.
Other ratings to check with regards to trailer tires include the speed rating, traction and temperature grade, load index and certification.
Below is a list of the best trailer tires that are available in a range of sizes with greater heat resistance and tread wear reduction for improved towing.
Carlisle Radial Trail HD Trailer Tire
One of the most popular trailer tires is the Carlisle Radial Trail HD tire, which is available in 15 different sizes. They are designed to be heavy duty and suitable for various applications. Carlisle also offer these tires as a bias ply alternative but the radial construction is the best option.
They are the new and improved trailer tire that the brand claims has improved tread wear and heat resistance compared to previous tires.
Features of the Carlisle Radial Trail HD tire include:
- 8 Ply construction
- Load range D
- 65 max PSI
- M speed rating (rated at 81 MPH)
- Maximum capacity of 2,150 LBS per tire
- Interconnected tread blocks
Carlisle are a reputable brand and the Radial Trail HD trailer tires are highly rated. Not only are they long lasting but they are available in multiple sizes to suit a range of trailer wheels and heavy loads.
Trailer King ST Radial Tire
The Trailer King ST are also very popular trailer tires that are suited to heavy loads. They have an enhanced shoulder design that improves heat dissipation. This results in even wear and a longer lasting tire compared to similar priced alternatives.
Other features of the Trailer King ST tires include:
- Center groove that improves stability and tracking
- Nylon overlay construction for additional strength
- Load range D
- Speed rating L
- 8 ply radial construction
- Maximum PSI of 65
- Includes a nationwide limited warranty
Considering that are rated at 2,150 LBS per tire and come with a nationwide limited warranty, these trailer tires provide excellent value for money. Trailer King offer a variety of sizes and the option to include a wheel as well as the tire.
Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire
The Maxxis M8008 are premium trailer tires that has a double steel-belted construction for additional strength. They are radial tires for a trailer that are designed to decrease rolling resistance and improving towing stability.
Other features of the Maxxis M8008 Tires include:
- Superior load handling performance
- Advanced tread compound
- 10 Ply rating
- Load range E
- Speed rating R
- 2,540 LBS weight capacity per tire
The Maxxis M8008 are considered as the best RV trailer tires due to the impressive weight capacity per tire. The tires also provide excellent shock absorption, which helps improve the smoothness of the ride.
Carlisle Sport Trail LH Bias Trailer Tire
An alternative to the radial trailer tires listed above is the bias ply Carlisle Sport Trail. The brand claim that these tires use a new and improved design that reduces rolling resistance and increases longevity.
They are designed for short distance cargo hauling, utility trailers and boat trailers with a max weight capacity of 990 LBS.
Other features of the Carlisle Sport Trail LH include:
- Bias ply construction
- Maximum PSI of 90
- Load range C
- Puncture resistant
- 12 different tire sizes
- Reduced road noise and heat build up
Overall, the Carlisle Sport Trail LH tires are the best option for those that require a bias ply construction. They also offer excellent value and include a two year warranty for peace of mind.
Free Country Bias Trailer Tires
Another bias ply trailer construction are the Free Country trailer tires that offer the most bang for your buck. There are five different sizes to choose from with all being designed for trailer usage only.
Features of the Free Country ST Tires include:
- Set of 4 tires
- Bias ply construction
- Load range C and 6 ply rating
- Max weight capacity of 1,360 LBS
- Max PSI of 50
- Include a 1 year warranty
Overall, the Free Country tires are an excellent option that are cheap, durable and suitable for a range of applications.
Trailer Tires Buying Guide
To ensure that your towing experience goes to plan, you should ensure the tires of the trailer are in the best condition. If you notice that they are losing pressure, have cracks in the sidewall or irregular tread wear, it is advise to replace them.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the comprehensive guide below regarding trailer tires.
Type of Tire
At the beginning of the tire size metrics, there is a letter that states the tire type. For example, winter tires will have the letters “M+S” whereas trailer tires are labelled with “ST”. The abbreviation “ST” stands for “Special Trailer” and these types of tires are designed specifically for trailers. Unlike standard passenger tires, they are far tougher as they are constructed of a heavier duty material.
Bias Ply vs Radial
When browsing through the various tires available for trailers, you will come across bias ply and radial tires. The main difference is the way the plies are constructed within the tire.
Radial tires have plies that run perpendicular across the belt of the tire. They are the best option for trailer tires as they run cooler, less likely to develop flat spots and are tougher due to to the fact they use steel belts. This makes them more suitable for heavy loads.
Bias Ply Construction
Unlike plies that run perpendicular, this type of tire has plies that run at 30 degree angles with a cross hatched construction. This provides them with a stronger sidewall but they may not last as long as the radial alternative. However, they are normally much cheaper, which can be very beneficial for those requiring multiple tires.
On all tires, there will be tire sizes marked upon the sidewall. These include the width, aspect ratio/profile and the diameter.
The first three digits refer to the width in millimeters, which usually ranges between 145 and 235 mm. The next two digits refers to the aspect ratio or profile of the tire, which is the percentage of the tires width. The last two digits refer to the diameter of the tire in inches.
Common trailer tire sizes that suit a range of applications include:
Load Range/Ply Rating
Just as important as the size of the tire are the load ranges. Depending upon the number of plies and the rating of the ply, will play a big part in the load capacity of the tire. Load ranges for trailer tires vary from B to F, which determines whether they can handle light or heavy loads.
The speed rating of the tire is another rating to check but the majority of drivers will rarely travel at high speeds whilst towing. Most ST trailer tires are rated at 65 MPH/104 KM/H but there are premium tires that exceed these speed limitations.
The inflation and load conditions may increase or decrease the speed at which the tire is capable of handling. Exceed the speed may result in additional heat, which can cause a blow out such as the below image.
Uniform Tire Quality Grading
The UTQG rating of a tire stands for Uniform Tire Quality Grading. It is a rating system that provides additional information such as the treadwear, traction and temperature grading of tires. The system is developed by the US Department of Transportation with the ratings engraved onto the sidewall.
Trailer Tire Pressure
Inflating the tires to the correct pressure is crucial to ensuring you have the best towing experience. Maintaining the pressure will also extend the life of the tire and ensure maximum safety out on the road.
Under-inflation causes additional strain of the sidewall that produces excess heat and weakens the structure of the tire. Eventually, this will increase the chance of a blow out, which is very dangerous at high speed.
Over-inflation is less common and is usually caused by not reading the max PSI rating on the sidewall. Exceeding the maximum pressure reduces the tread contact with the road, causes uneven wear, skipping of the trailer and a bouncier towing experience.
We strongly recommend that you have a tire inflator that you can use to regularly check the pressures. It is advised to match the pressure of each tire and check them before any long journey.
Maintenance and Safety
Maintaining your trailer tires not only ensures that they are safe to use on the road but also improves the longevity of the tires. Inspecting them on a regular basis before departing upon a road trip is essential. Visual checks of the sidewall and tread can uncover multiple defects that could potentially cause a blow out.
All tires have a lifespan and will need to be replaced eventually. However, exposure to UV rays can reduce the lifespan of the tires quite significantly and cause cracks to appear on the sidewalls. If the trailer cannot be stored under shelter, we strongly recommend that you invest in tire covers for protection.
Tires that tend to lose pressure after a few weeks or days may have issues with the valve stems. The best way to test whether they are defective is by simply pushing against the stem and listen for any hissing sound. If you do hear the hissing, this indicates that air is leaving the tire and the stems need changing.
If you intend on leaving heavy loads upon on a trailer that is left to sit around, the tires may develop flat spots. To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you jack up the trailer and place jack stands underneath to keep the tires lifted off the ground.
All of our recommendations are suited for a range of trailer loads and available in a variety of sizes. Trailer tires do not last forever and are often left neglected, which can lead to a blow out if they reach high temperatures. Therefore, it is critical that you check them on a regular basis.
Before purchasing any tires for your trailer, its strongly advised that you ensure the size and load rating is correct. You should also ensure the trailer hubs and other components are is good condition before departing upon any long journeys.