So you found the perfect trailer, now it’s time to talk tires. Let’s start shopping! It’s important to note that we will be specifically discussing trailer service rated tires in size 225/75R15. The good, better, and best.
For starters, let’s establish what the numbers in a tire size mean. Trailer tires come in metric or euro-metric sizes, which means they are measured in millimeters. The first number (in this case, 225) is the width of the tire. The larger the vehicle, the larger the width is generally a safe rule of thumb. The second number (in this case 75) is the aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is a percentage that is determined by dividing sidewall height (from the rim to the top of the tire tread) by tire width1. Finally, the third number (in this case R15) is the rim or wheel size in inches. With over 100 models of trailer tires on the market, you’ll need to narrow it down to the best fit for your trailer, budget, and possibly reputation.
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How to Choose the Best Trailer Tires for 225/75R15
When choosing a trailer tire you will need to take into consideration a few specifications. But first, let’s talk about the difference between a passenger tire and a trailer tire. It’s important to note that the two can not be used interchangeably. A passenger tire differs from a trailer tire in a few ways. Number one is passenger tires are designed to carry a limited weight and generally hold an average psi (pounds per square inch) of 35. Trailer tires are designed to carry heavier weights and can hold a psi of up to 80. Chrysler Service Dispatcher in Norwood, Massachusetts Lisa D. says “I see way too many people using passenger tires where a specialty tire should be used; friendly reminder, passenger tires are NOT designed to take the higher psi that the specialty tires can accommodate… and I can’t stress this enough!”. The next difference is the tread thickness and style. Passenger vehicles generally use a thickly treaded tire whereas a trailer tire will have a thinner tread width. The next difference is the structural integrity of the tire. Passenger tires have a thin sidewall and trailer tires, for obvious reasons have a thicker sidewall.
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Step one in choosing a trailer tire; first, and foremost you will need to consider the tread thickness. A thin tread is ideal for trailer tires because trailer tires are used for towing. With a passenger tire, you’ll need to choose a thicker tread pattern as the tire is used to transfer power to the road through acceleration and braking. You’ll also need to steer with a passenger tire, so a thicker tread pattern is ideal. Because no steering is controlled with a trailer tire, a thin tread pattern is sufficient.
Next, you’ll want to consider the load range of the tire. The load range tells you how much weight a tire is designed to hold at the manufacturer’s recommended psi. Load ranges are categorized by letters and span from B, C, and D to E. Load range B tires can hold weight at up to 35psi and range all the way up to load range E, which can hold weight at up to 80psi. Step 3 in choosing a tire for your trailer requires making a decision about the tire’s “fingerprint” or tread pattern.
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A tire’s tread pattern can be looked at like a fingerprint; they are mostly unique by tire make and model. Starting tread on a new tire is between 10-12/32nds of an inch… a strange measurement in and of itself. A tire with this tread depth should get you 30 to 60k miles depending on how you treat it (what type of terrain you drive it on) and routine maintenance (proper inflation, frequent rotation). Auto mechanic Josh R. of Muzi Ford in Needham, Massachusetts says “it’s important to rotate tires at least every 10k miles for optimal life expectancy”. Something unique you’ll want to consider is the tire’s “fingerprint” or tread style. Differing tread styles are used to grip the road in different ways and under different terrains and weather circumstances (i.e. water and snow).
When it comes to tires size 225/75R15 you have a few options. You will want to choose tire type ST, which stands for “special trailer”. Special trailer tires are designed to carry the extra weight of boats or the weight on travel and utility trailers. Size 225/75R15 tires can also be used as fifth wheels; a fifth wheel is wheel number 5 which is attached using a “jaw hitch”2. A fifth wheel is used in place of a travel trailer, yet the wheels used on both are the same. Below, we’ll discuss the leading makes and model of ST style tires.
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1. Goodyear Endurance: Trailer Service
The top choice trailer tire is easily the top-selling and consumer recommended Goodyear Endurance. The Goodyear Endurance is easily the most expensive of 225/75R15 tires. With a price of around $135.00, you can expect the highest quality and a consumer rating of over 4.8 out of 5 stars. This tire rated load range E is designed to carry a weight of 2,830lbs as are most trailer tires. Cindy C. a Ford Service Advisor in Cape Cod, Massachusetts tells us that in conjunction with being the first tire discussed, it is also the “best option from a mechanical standpoint and regarding brand reputation”.
2. Power King Towmax SRT II
Next in our lineup is the Power King Towmax STR II, a more modestly priced tire than the Goodyear Endurance, yet still a highly reputable tire. You can purchase the PowerKing Towmax STR II for around $90.00, making it a best seller. The main difference between these first two tires is honestly probably the brand reputation. Goodyear has been around forever and is a well-respected and well-known brand whereas PowerKing is a newer brand that has not had the same amount of time to develop a reputation and make a name for itself. The fact of the matter is that both tires are well suited to be used as special trailer tires of the size 225/75R15, in fact, I’d probably suggest this more economically priced Power King over the Goodyear if you’re looking for a better deal.
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3. Power King Towmax Vanguard
The newest of the tires we’ve discussed is also a top seller. In the average price range, the Power King Towmax Vanguard is around $95.00 and boasts about 4 of 5 stars. Power King seems to be the most popular brand for trailer service tires, so is easily a safe bet.
4. Power King RST:
The best and lowest priced trailer service tire is the Power King RST. Averaging a price of $70.00 the Power King RST is the most economical of the choices, and still has great ratings. If the price is your biggest concern, this is the tire for you.
5. National Roadmax ST
The National Roadmax ST comes in at an average price of $82.00 which is a steal for such a well-known brand name. If you’re looking for an average tire at an average price, this is a good choice for you.
6. Carlisle Sport Trail LH
The Carlisle Sport Trail LH is on the higher end of the tires we’ve already discussed but is not as elite as the Goodyear Endurance. At a price averaging $102.00, this tire is on the more expensive end, and as we’ve already discussed means it is a slightly higher quality tire.
7. Zenna ST Radial 117N : Trailer Service
Coming in at the second least expensive tire is the ever so economical Zenna ST Radial 117N. This tire prices out at about $75.00 making it a good choice if you’re balling on a budget.
8. Taskmaster Bias Ply 888
The Taskmaster Bias Ply 888 is next on our list at number 8 (see what I did there… lot’s of 8s). This tire is also extremely economical, price matching with the Power King RST averaging at $70.00. The main difference between the two is the brand name (which means this particular tire is less popular).
9. Goodride ST200 117/112M
Not to be confused with the Goodyear, the Goodride ST200 117/112M is a decent tire and prices at an average of $80.00 making it a middle of the road price. A great deal on a good tire, no frills and nothing fancy.
10. Onyx NY-ST179
Last but certainly not least is the Onyx NY-ST179 which costs an average of $80.00 again middle of the road pricing and a good tire for the price.
If we rate these from good, to better, to best, I would rank the tires as follows: Taskmaster Bias Ply 888, Power King RST, Zenna ST Radial, Onyx NY-ST179, Goodride ST200 117/112M, National Roadmax ST, Power King Towmax STR II, Power King Towmax Vanguard, Carlisle Sport Trail LH, and Goodyear Endurance.
Figure 6: Source 1
Now that we’ve compared and contrasted the top 10 best trailer tires in size 225/75R15, you’re left with a decision to make. Of the tires discussed, which will you choose? Are you going to spend your every last dollar on the Goodyears and go after the name brand reputation? Are you going to keep cost in mind and buy a Power King or a Taskmaster forgoing the well known name? Whatever your decision, let us know what you’ll be driving off with in the comments… or if you have a make and model you prefer over those listed, let us know.
For more information, specifications, shipping information and a compare feature, or to make a purchase, check out the links below.