Do Bigger Tires Affect Towing Capacity?


Are you looking into purchasing new tires for your vehicle? If you plan on towing using the said vehicle, it is important to understand what tire size does to towing capacity.

Smaller tires, similar to a smaller gear, rotate faster but transmit more torque to the ground. Larger tires rotate slower and transmit less torque. This means, smaller tires raise your engine rpm at a given speed, but also give you more towing power; larger tires lower engine rpm and towing power.

When towing, understanding the mechanics of your vehicle is vital to efficiently tow. Crucial points for towing are listed and explained below.

Why Tire Size Affects Towing Capacity

While towing, especially large loads, knowing your vehicle’s towing capacity is an essential factor to think about before you begin your trip. Understanding how tire size affects your towing capacity can greatly benefit your towing needs. Choosing your tire size is as important as knowing how much your vehicle can tow.

When deciding between a smaller or larger tire size, understanding how this will affect not only your towing capacity but how your vehicle will now normally run is important. Smaller tires will rotate and turn faster using less power for each rotation but will require more rotations to reach the same distance. Larger tires rotate at a slower speed using a higher amount of energy for each rotation but will rotate fewer times to reach your destination.

Aside from the speed of tire rotations, tire size will also affect how much control you have over the vehicle.

Larger tires take up more space on the road. As the size of the tire increases, it covers more surface area on the road. This larger covering of the road allows the driver to have more control over the vehicle. You will have more hold on the road which offers the driver more handling and ability to maneuver.

When you tow something, your vehicle will be forced to exert a higher amount of energy to pull the load. While a larger tire size is beneficial for regular drives where you are not towing anything, using larger tires for towing is actually less efficient.

Your vehicle has to work harder for each rotation, which affects how much power can be applied to towing.

The larger the tire, the slower it will rotate and the less torque it will transmit to the ground. Smaller tires, on the other hand, use less energy to rotate which allows the vehicle to use the rest of its power to tow. Smaller tires will equal a higher rpm (rotations per minute) but will emit more torque to the ground.

When looking at a large SUV, changing the tire size from a 16″ to a 17″ had a dramatic change on the vehicle’s capacity to tow. The smaller tire could tow 400 to 500 more pounds than the larger tire (depending on which model you have).

Best Tires for Towing

Now that we have discussed why you should be aware of which tire sizes to and not to get, we can look into the best tires for your vehicle to tow.

Toyo Open Country H/T II

The Toyo Open Country H/T II tire is an all-season, highway terrain tire that has been manufactured for SUVs and light trucks. This tire has a 50-70,000 mile warranty, which is a great idea whenever you look into buying new tires. The constant surface contact upgrades control the vehicle, as well as driving stability. With a stronger internal structure, these tires enhance the load and driving durability, which prevents the shape’s deformation.

  • Average cost is between $130 to $200
  • Section Width is 265 Millimeters
  • Rim Width is 10.7 Inches
  • Load Capacity is 2679 Pounds
  • Tread Depth is 12.1 32nds

These tires are highly ranked and given great reviews. Many customers who have purchased these tires have discussed how the low price contradicts the great quality of these tires.

Click here to view this product on Amazon.

Firestone Transforce HT2

The Firestone Transforce HT2 is a commercial highway tire that was built for light trucks and commercial vehicles. The design of the tread provides great tear and chip resistance as well as delivering solid traction throughout wet conditions to aid in the reduction and the risk of hydroplaning. Build with all-season capabilities, this powerful tire will work to ensure you can tow the load which you are attempting to tow.

  • Average cost is between $145 to $215
  • Section Width is 235 Millimeters
  • Rim width is 6.5 Inches
  • Load Capacity is 3085 Pounds
  • Tread Depth is 15 32nds

Many of the reviews on these tires rave about the traction and durability which they hold. These reviews frequently discuss how the price is great and worth it for the quality of these heavy-duty, towing tires. These tires have received great reviews.

Click here to view this product on Amazon

Maxxis Bravo Series HT-770

Not only a tire, the Maxxis Bravo Series HT-770 is the result of over three years of market research and engineering. A highway terrain tire with improved finer details in order to provide a true all-season premium tire. This tire is best for the most discerning truck owner. This tire has a greater amount of traction which can ensure the driver that their vehicle will stay in control as they drive and tow.

  • Average cost is between $100 to $180
  • Section Width is 235 Millimeters
  • Load index rating is 115.0
  • Load Capacity is 2095 Pounds
  • Tread Depth is 13 32nds

Customers who have purchased these tires often talk about how cheap these tires are for the quality and the durability which they hold. The price is great for how well these tires hold up and are able to tow. Customers thoroughly enjoy this product.

Click here to view this product on Amazon.

Michelin Defender LTX M/S

Michelin Defender LTX M/S All-Season tires can offer the driver a long-lasting mileage with the safety you should expect. With great traction while you enjoy the comfortable and quiet ride. Excellent for Ford F-Series, as well as for Chevrolet. Michelin Defender LTX M/S ties provide the balance of long-wear life, all-season grip, and comfort. These tires can ensure the driver will feel safe and in control of their vehicle as they tow and travel.

  • Average cost is between $170 to $250
  • Section Width is 265 Millimeters
  • Rim Width is 9 Inches
  • Load Capacity is 2679 Pounds
  • Tread Depth is 12 32nds

The reviews for this product are very positive. Customers have expressed their obvious like for these tires. The durability and quality of these tires are what bring customers to review them so highly. These tires will keep the driver on the road while ensuring you can tow properly.

Click here to view this product on Amazon.

Other Ways to Increase Towing Capacity

Understanding how tire size affects towing capacity is an important factor to look into as you are considering which size of the tire to purchase for your vehicle. But for some, tire size is too big of a factor to not upgrade. Here are a few tips to try on your vehicle to increase your towing capacity.

Get the Right Hitch

Before you can tow anything, regardless of the tire size or your vehicle’s towing capacity, you must have a hitch attached. Investing in the right kind of hitch will be very beneficial for all your towing needs. You will want to choose a hitch which is rated to handles the weight of what you will tow.

In order to aid your vehicle as it tows, you’ll also want to find a weight-distribution hitch. A weight distribution hitch will distribute the weight of what is being towed throughout more of your vehicle’s frame rather than just the hitch receiver. This will allow your vehicle to tow more weight without causing any damage to the frame or engine.

Use a Programmer

Vehicles are often set to give the driver the best fuel efficiency possible while attempting to not lose efficiency in other areas. The issue is, this can downgrade the horsepower and torque of the vehicle, leaving you will an incapacitated towing machine. Using a programmer can resolve this issue by adjusting the setting in a vehicle, giving you the power needed to tow larger loads.

Replace Axles

Although your vehicle may have high horsepower and torque, if the axles aren’t able to handle the weight of what you will tow, it is inefficient. Because of this, replacing your current axles with heavy-duty versions can greatly impact your towing ability. Be sure you switch out the differential to the correct and better heavy-duty parts as well.

One tip to look into depending on your vehicle is to use RV parts in place of truck parts if they fit your vehicle model of course. These parts were designed to carry heavy loads and can fit on most truck bodies. For sake of your safety, this may be a job best left for professionals.

Upgrade Braking System

When towing a larger load, a stop can quickly become a great issue. Because of this, upgrading your vehicle’s brake pads and rotors, ensuring you receive the best on the market.

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