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Trailers are a symbol of freedom, excitement, and fun times. For many people, there is nothing better than going on a long road trip with a fully-equipped trailer, and we are all for that! However, the long-planned journey can become an absolute nightmare if you don’t prepare properly.
And, of course, we are talking mostly about tires here. We have seen many instances where big crashes happened due to worn-out trailer tires but also due to the wrong tires being employed for the job. And we’re mostly talking about the capacity of the tires to carry the whole weight of the trailer.
Most often than not, trailer owners purchase tires that don’t have a load rating that’s high enough for their trailers. Sure, the tires you purchase might be good for the trailer itself, but what about the additional load you put inside?
When it comes to trailer tires, it is crucial to purchase a set that will comfortably carry the whole weight of your trailer. If the tires don’t have the load-carrying capacity required, you are at high risk while on the road.
When overloaded, trailer tires will not be able to provide you with adequate stability on the road, especially at higher velocities on the highway. Moreover, when overloaded, the tires will wear quickly, and they might even explode. Can you imagine that happening while you’re on the road with your family?
If you want a completely safe and stable drive with a trailer attached, we recommend going for heavy-duty trailer tires. These tires have higher load capacities, which means that they can easily carry the weight of the trailer plus the load inside.
Moreover, heavy-duty trailer tires can prove to be more durable in the long run, which in turn, makes them more cost-effective. That’s especially true if you leave your trailer stationary for longer periods – tires with insufficient load ratings will quickly warp.
The issue with these tires is – there is not a lot of information about them. For passenger-car tires and truck tires, you can easily find everything you need, but there is not a lot of details about trailer tires. Moreover, trailer-tire brands are not as easily recognizable as manufacturers of passenger tires, such as Michelin and Bridgestone.
Fortunately, we can help you make the right decision. In this article, we compiled a list of the best trailer tires for heavy loads that you can purchase directly online. Our list of the ten best models contains high-quality tires that can withstand the whole weight of the trailer and give you a safe and stable ride when you hit the road.
For those that don’t understand heavy-duty trailer tires that well, we also prepared a detailed buying guide on these models. We recommend checking the guide as it contains valuable information, such as load ratings, internal construction, and maintenance advice.
So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best trailer tires for heavy loads right now.
The 10 Best Trailer Tires for Heavy Loads Available in 2023
The latest iteration of Maxxis’ class-leading special trailer tire, the M8008, brings several improvements that are enough to keep it at the top of its category.
Thanks to the all-new tread and sidewall compounds, the M8008 Plus has better heat resistance, meaning it will remain cool under load. As a result, you can expect stellar performance, even if your trailer is loaded to the max. Highway stability is excellent, and there is an excellent lateral grip, even when it rains. Currently, no other tire can really compare to the Maxxis M8008 Plus in the road performance it provides.
Okay, but what about durability? Maxxis has you covered there as well. The M8008 Plus features a durable and proven nylon cap-ply construction but adds a new inner liner design to maximize air retention, and its compound is even more resistant to UV rays thanks to antioxidant agents.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you can leave it in the sun and forget about it, but it’s nice to know that it will outlast most other special trailer tires out there. I also wouldn’t worry about treadlife, as the previous-gen M8008 was already stellar in that regard.
With that said, the Maxxis M8008 Plus is only designed for on-road driving, so it’s not fit for off-roading or agricultural use.
- Strong grip on dry and wet roads
- Excellent high-speed stability, even under load
- Tough construction that withstands high loads
- Long treadlife and very good weather resistance
- Not fit for off-roading or agricultural use
Goodyear’s Endurance trailer tire might be expensive, but it’s a tire you can rely on when towing very heavy trailers, toy haulers, or campers.
The American tire brand knows a thing or two about designing tires, and that shows in the Endurance. With its Durawall Technology and scuff guard, this trailer tire can resist punctures and cuts, while the redesigned polyester construction makes it even stiffer and more resistant to warping when left stationary for longer.
The tough construction also makes the Endurance very stable on the highway, as the sidewalls keep the tire from warping under load. Meanwhile, the enhanced tread pattern and advanced compound allow for excellent lateral grip and good braking performance, even on wet roads.
Thanks to the advanced compound Goodyear uses, the Endurance trailer tire also provides excellent treadlife. Owners report very good wear characteristics, especially when compared to cheaper import tires. Although there aren’t many reports on this, the Goodyear Endurance should also be more resistant to UV rays and changes in temperature than most of its rivals since it’s a quality made-in-USA product.
And, sure, the Goodyear Endurance isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for here!
- Very stable at higher speeds, even when loaded to the teeth
- Good traction on dry and wet roads
- Stiff construction that resists cuts and punctures
- High-quality, made-in-USA tire
- Not fit for off-roading or agricultural use
The Vantra Trailer is Hankook’s first foray into the trailer tire category. Naturally, when a manufacturer enters a new category, it can’t immediately compete. However, in this case, Hankook isn’t fighting with big names like Michelin and Bridgestone, and as a result, it immediately got a big hit on its hands.
Looking at the features of the tire alone, it’s evident that Hankook took its time developing the product and made sure it tackled everything that’s important in a trailer tire. So, the Vantra Trailer comes with a high-strength bead wire bonded with a stronger belt edge tape, allowing the structure to better sustain higher loads.
Moreover, the tire features a three-ply carcass and a folded edge tape, which give the tire even higher stiffness. But Hankook went a step further and designed the tread with a high-stiffness pattern block and groove stiffness. Another interesting addition is the decoupling groove, which disengages from the shoulder part to reduce heat generation.
Okay, but have these technologies affected the tire’s performance? Bet they did; the Vantra Trailer provides excellent stability on the highway without the wandering usual for cheaper tires. It also provides a very good grip in dry and wet conditions, and according to owners, it’s very resistant to punctures.
It’s probably too early to talk about treadlife since Hankook launched the Vantra Trailer in 2021, but the company ensures low wear and excellent resistance to the elements.
- High-tech construction and advanced tread design
- Excellent straight-line tracking and high-speed stability
- Very good traction in dry and wet conditions
- Strong and puncture-resistant casing
- Pricier than most rivals
- Too early to tell if it’s durable
- Not fit for off-road use
Thanks to the variable-pitch design, the Carlisle Trail HD resists overheating like almost no other trailer tire. This makes it superior for heavy loads when compared to many competitors. The Carlisle Trail HD is available in load ranges C, D, E, and F.
The tire is also equipped with low-rolling-resistance technology for improved fuel economy while offering excellent ride and stability. Moreover, the DuraTrail high-strength belt package and HeatShield heat-resistant compound technology give this tire excellent durability.
- Stable on the highway, even when loaded
- Very strong construction
- Excellent overheating resistance
- The radial construction isn’t suited for off-roading
The Trailer King ST Radial tire is another excellent option for drivers that want a safe and dependable solution. Thanks to the tough construction, this tire can carry very heavy loads without any stability issues.
Moreover, thanks to the center groove, the Trailer King ST works outstandingly well over wet surfaces, even in heavy rain. Trailer King also provides a 5-year warranty, which is excellent for the price.
- Outstanding stability on dry and wet surfaces
- Very tough construction
- Long 5-year warranty
- Not the best choice for off-road terrain
The Freestar M-108+ is an excellent low-cost solution for drivers that want a dependable trailer tire for heavy loads. This tire offers excellent highway stability, even when loaded to the maximum.
Moreover, the tire is very tough and durable, thanks to the double-steel belted internal radial construction. That said, the M-108+ can be somewhat hard to install, so make sure that you visit a tire technician for these.
The Provider ST is comparable to the Westlake ST in terms of performance. On the highway, this tire is very stable, even with very heavy loads – the Provider ST has an outstanding maximum load capacity of 4,440 lbs.
This model is also equipped with Tread Wear Indicators, but sadly it only comes with a 2-year warranty. On the other hand, though, the price is also lower, which makes it a better choice for budget-conscious buyers.
- Very good highway stability
- Strong and durable
- High load capacity
- Fair price
- Short 2-year warranty
- Not suited for agricultural use
Hartland’s trailer tires aren’t very popular, even in trailer circles, but Discount Tire, which exclusively sells models from the brand, wants to change that. The company’s bread and butter model, the ST Radial, looks very unassuming from the outside, with a pretty boring tread pattern.
But the simple arrangement of the tread blocks helps with straight-line tracking, and any additional sipe or groove would be detrimental to that. Besides, the design also helps with lateral grip on dry roads, which is pretty good for the money. Performance in rainy conditions will be worse than the premium competition but still not too bad for the money.
Now, the internal construction of the Hartland ST Radial is standard for a trailer tire of its category, so I wouldn’t worry about tread separation, dry rot, or bulges. Still, Discount Tire doesn’t mention any protection against UV rays, so I’ll be very careful if I had these tires on my trailer, and I would’ve protected them when leaving the caravan stationary for longer.
With that said, Discount Tire has a wide network of dealerships across the US, and the company says it gives complete coverage down to 2/32 inches of wear. This not only gives peace of mind but also adds great value to the tire.
Finally, the Hartland ST Radial comes with high load ratings, fit for the largest travel trailers, boat trailers, and fifth-wheel trailers.
- Excellent straight-line tracking and stability on the highway
- Good grip in dry conditions
- Stiff and durable construction
- Excellent warranty from Discount Tire
- Fair price
- Not as good in the rain as its premium rivals
- The manufacturer doesn’t mention UV resistance
- Not fit for off-road use
Power King is one of the most successful manufacturers of trailer tires in the US and a brand that’s synonymous with quality and reliability. However, it still positions its tires as budget offerings when compared to Maxxis’, Goodyear’s, or Hankook’s models.
Fortunately, though, Power King didn’t skimp on features. The Towmax Vanguard is a well-designed and thought-out tire that definitely pushes above its weight. Using the brand’s next-gen Towmax technology with a pretty deep 8/32-inch tread and decoupling grooves, similar to Hankook’s Vantra Trailer.
As a result, the Power King Towmax Vanguard resists heat buildup very efficiently and remains stable at highway speeds and on uneven roads. The tread pattern also resists hydroplaning quite well, and overall the traction on dry and wet roads is commendable. And since every size comes with an N-speed rating (87 mph or 140 km/h), you can drive at road-legal speeds without worrying about increasing the pressure.
The internal construction of the Towmax Vanguard is usual for a trailer tire of its price and includes polyester plies, twin steel belts, and nylon overlays. As a result, it’s very stiff and retains its structure under load, even when stationary for longer.
However, owners don’t seem very satisfied with the overall durability, particularly when you compare the Towmax Vanguard to its premium rivals. Most of the issues might be due to bad wheel alignment or low pressure, but it’s a fact that owners of the Maxxis M8008 Plus and Goodyear Endurance have more luck.
So, if you buy these tires, make sure you always keep them properly inflated and never overload your trailer.
- Good stability on the highway
- Solid traction on dry and wet roads
- N-speed rating on every tire size
- Very affordable
- Some owners report tread separation and blowouts
- Lower durability than its premium rivals
- Not designed for off-road and agricultural use
Want to save some cash but still have a dependable set of tires on your trailer? The Taskmaster Contender TTT868 might not be the best-performing trailer tire out there, but it’s pretty good for the price and should last you for a few seasons if you take good care of it.
So, since the Contender TTT868 isn’t made from exotic materials to cut costs, it’s not as resistant to external factors like high-temperature change and UV rays. So, covering the tires when you leave your trailer stationary for longer should become a habit. Also, make sure the tires are always properly inflated before hitting the road.
Other than that, I think you won’t be disappointed with how the Contender TTT868 handles on the road. Highway stability is pretty good, with the trailer easily staying in the lane. Also, there is enough dry/wet traction to keep you planted in the corners.
Now, sure, premium tires like the Maxxis M8008 Plus, Goodyear Endurance, and Hankook Vantra Trailer perform better on the road. However, the Contender TTT868 costs almost half the money of those tires, so nobody should expect stellar performance. For the money, though, this is a good-performing tire.
Like many of its road-focused competitors, the Contender TTT868 isn’t designed for use on uneven and abrasive terrain.
- Good on-road stability and straight-line tracking for the price
- Solid traction in dry and wet conditions
- Very affordable
- Lower traction than its premium rivals
- It isn’t as durable as some more expensive trailer tires
Heavy-Duty Trailer Tires – Buying Guide in 2023
The first thing you should know about trailer tires is that they are different from passenger-car tires in many ways. They might look similar on the outside, but trust us — they are distinct in how they work.
With passenger-car tires, the first thing that buyers ask is the overall performance of the tire. Particularly, people want to know about dry and wet handling and braking, as well as highway stability. Also, treadlife is extremely important in passenger and truck tires – you will cover a lot of miles with them.
Now, sure, trailer tires should also provide you with good handling in the corners and give you a good treadlife. However, trailer tires don’t spend nearly as much time on the road as regular tires. As a result of that, treadlife is less important with these tires, and durability is measured in the toughness of the construction.
Usually, the strength of a trailer tire is directly correlated to the load rating, something that we will discuss in detail below.
First, though, let’s see how you can distinguish truck and trailer tires in the first place.
1. The Difference Between ST-Metric and LT-Metric Tires
Even in 2020, there are still drivers that install LT-metric tires on their trailers. In the mind of these people, LT-metric tires already have high load capacities, which should be enough to carry the weight of the whole trailer.
However, we strongly advise against putting LT-metric tires on your trailer. These tires are specifically designed for light trucks – the “LT” abbreviation on these tires means “Light Truck,” and that’s the only application where you should use them.
LT-metric tires are tough for sure, but their sidewalls are still not nearly as strong as ST-metric tires. Instead, LT-metric tires are designed to give you responsive steering, excellent traction during hard acceleration, outstanding corner grip, strong braking performance, and a comfortable ride.
Now, that doesn’t mean that they are usable on trailers. LT-metric tires aren’t designed to be stationary for long periods, especially with a lot of weight on them. These tires will quickly warp if you leave them on the trailer for a while, which renders them useless later on.
For that reason, we strongly recommend installing ST-metric tires on your trailer. The “ST” abbreviation in these tires means “Special Trailer.” These tires have a much stiffer internal construction, which means that you can leave them stationary for long periods without worrying about damaging the tires.
The stiffer sidewalls on ST-metric tires also provide you with much better stability on the highway, especially after you put heavy loads inside the trailer. Normal LT-metric tires will easily warp in the corners, which might make the trailer unstable.
Now, sure, ST-metric tires don’t have excellent traction and aren’t very comfortable. But, when you think about it, these things aren’t very important for trailers because they don’t have powertrains or passengers. Here, the most important things are strength, stability, and grip.
2. Load Range Capacity and Ply Ratings
Apart from the tire dimensions, which should be similar to the tires you already have on your trailer, the single most important thing when purchasing ST-metric tires is to get the load rating right.
These ratings signify how much weight can the tires carry before they become unstable on the road. Load ratings are important for safety as well as durability. Tires with insufficient load ratings aren’t safe and won’t last as long.
Today, the load ratings are marked with letters, but before, they were known as “ply ratings,” a designation that is still widely used today. Here is a list of the most popular load ratings for trailer tires, together with the corresponding ply ratings:
- Load Range B (4-Ply Tires) – maximum load pressure of 35 psi (240 kPa)
- Load Range C (6-Ply Tires) – maximum load pressure of 50 psi (350 kPa)
- Load Range D (8-Ply Tires) – maximum load pressure of 65 psi (450 kPa)
- Load Range E (10-Ply tires) – maximum load pressure of 80 psi (550 kPa)
- Load Range F (12-Ply tires) – maximum load pressure of 95 psi (655 kPa)
- Load Range G (14-Ply tires) – maximum load pressure of 110 psi (760 kPa)
For heavy-duty trailer tire applications, we recommend installing at least “Load Range D” or 8-ply tires on your trailer. Tires with lower load ratings are usually intended for use on smaller and lighter trailers and aren’t well-suited to heavy-duty applications.
Now, you can always purchase tires with higher ply ratings to be safe, but they are also more expensive. That’s why we strongly recommend making a simple calculation before hitting the “buy” button.
For example, if your trailer has four tires, make sure that the load capacity of all tires exceeds the weight of the trailer. As an illustration, 16-inch load range E tires (10-ply) have a load capacity of around 3,000 pounds per tire, depending on the model. This means that you can carry up to 12,000 pounds on four such tires.
Nevertheless, we strongly recommend you check the specification list of the tires, as in some models, the load ratings are lower when more tires are employed.
3. Radial Trailer Tires vs. Bias-Ply Trailer Tires
After deciding on the size and load rating of the tires, it’s time to ask yourself if you need radial or bias-ply tires. This is a question that drivers of vehicles don’t ask anymore – each passenger-car tire has radial internal construction.
Radial tires have plies that are positioned radially. As a result of that, they are very light but also more responsive in the corners. Moreover, radial tires also stick to the road better, especially on paved roads. In other words, your trailer will be much more stable with a set of radial tires.
Furthermore, radial tires also have lower rolling resistance, which translates into better fuel economy. Finally, radial tires also have a much longer treadlife than bias-ply tires.
With that said, bias-ply tires are still the preferred choice for toughness. Thanks to the 45-angle plies inside, bias-ply tires have a much stiffer construction.
This makes them a much better choice for driving over uneven surfaces, such as off-roading and for agricultural use. In the same circumstances, radial tires will suffer. Moreover, bias-ply tires can be left stationary for very long periods without being warped in any way.
That said, bias-ply tires are also heavier, which hurts on-road performance. These tires aren’t the best choice for highway driving – they are less stable and responsive. Also, you might experience worse fuel economy and accelerated tread wear.
To sum things up, radial tires are the preferred choice for drivers that drive on the highway most often. On the contrary, bias-ply tires are the preferred choice for commercial use, agricultural use, and off-roading.
4. ST-Metric Trailer Tires Maintenance
Even if you purchase the highest-quality trailer tires, they won’t last long if you don’t maintain them properly. Here are a few simple tips on how to extend the life of your trailer tires and also keep them safe while on the road:
- Always keep the tires properly inflated by following the exact pressure provided by the tire manufacturer. Please note that the more weight you put on the tires, the more you need to inflate them. Tires that aren’t properly inflated will perform poorly on the highway and might become completely unstable. Moreover, underinflated tires can easily warp and even completely disintegrate. Overinflating the tires can also cause issues – in some cases, they might even explode!
- Keep the tires out of the sun, especially when you leave the trailer stationary. The sun can quickly degrade the rubber of the tires and turn it almost into a plastic-like material. Tires that have been left in the sun for a long time will lose the ability to grip the road well and can become very unstable on the highway. Be sure to always put covers over the tires to mitigate this issue.
- Check how much tread there is left on the tire. If your trailer tires are worn down, there is a high risk that the trailer will slide when driving over wet surfaces. You can check the tread depth via the Tread Wear Indicators (TWI) if the tires are equipped with them. Or, you can use the Lincoln penny test – turn the penny upside down and put it inside the grooves. If the whole head of Lincoln is still visible, then it’s time to replace the tires.
- For safety, replace the tires every 4-5 years, even if you didn’t use them that much. The rubber compound on the tires can become harder over time, which limits its ability to grip the road.
We hope that this extensive article helped you find great heavy-duty trailer tires for your particular needs. However, we have one last bit of advice, and it’s about driving.
Trailers can be very demanding for the driver, especially when driving at higher speeds. Also, when the trailer loses traction, there is almost nothing the driver can do.
That’s why be sure that you always drive carefully and adhere to the speed limits. Even the best trailer tires can’t save you if you drive too fast!
In the end, we wish you a happy time and enjoy every minute you spend on the next road trip. Be safe!