When we purchased our Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper Trailer, it came with 3 Achilles Desert Hawk XMT tyres, in a light truck construction. We’ve just replaced two of them with Toyo RT’s, and have kept the third Achilles as the spare tyre.
Where did we take the Achilles tyres?
We are the second owners of our hybrid camper trailer, and the trailer was used for some desert trips, but I don’t know too much beyond that. For us, we’ve taken it over virtually every terrain you can including plenty of sand, gravel, corrugations, mud and the nasty, rocky 4WD tracks in the Pilbara.
Of course, they also did a huge number of kilometres on the bitumen as well, as that’s inevitable when travelling around Australia.
How many kilometres did they do?
Honestly, I have no idea, as we don’t have any way of tracking the mileage on the camper trailer, and I don’t know how many kilometres it had done prior to us getting it.
If I had to guess, I’d say around the 40,000km though. We’ve done a huge number of longer trips, with our biggest one at around 8500km.
Did we have any issues with them?
We had 3 issues with the Achilles tyres. We had a valve stem leak, pretty terrible tyre wear and then finally had one blow up. The valve stem was likely a manufacturing defect not related to the tyre itself.
Our wheel alignment and balancing wasn’t good, and must have come loose, which caused the majority of the tyre wear. On top of this, I had our brake controller up too high, which contributed to the scalloping as you can clearly see the wear is in reverse to the rotation the tyres took (meaning the brakes caused it!)
Both tyres were used to their full extent, and despite having a bit of life left in them one completely failed mid way to Shark Bay. I suspect this was due to a small leak (valve stem or puncture) that we didn’t notice. The tyre then gets hotter and hotter, until the rubber separates, and you see the tread take off in a different direction to your camper trailer!
We could have cared for these tyres much better if we knew the alignment and balancing wasn’t good, had the brakes set better and equally as importantly, rotated the tyres more regularly. Mud terrain tyres on trailers are a recipe for bad wear to occur, and the best way to combat it is to do regular wheel alignments.
Would we get them again?
Honestly, I reckon I would, but I think there are probably better quality tyres out there, and given what we do and the fact that we do not have a dual axle setup top quality tyres are a smart decision. We can’t afford to have a puncture or blow out any more than seriously rarely, and spending extra on the best tyres you can get seems easily justifiable.
On top of this, we actually couldn’t find any light truck versions of the Achilles Desert Hawk XMT anyway; you could get the non LT ones, but not the LT style. This just means you get a lower load rating, and no doubt they are not quite as strong.
We’ve gone with Toyo RT’s this time on both our camper and Isuzu Dmax, which seem to be a pretty good balance between strength, weight and traction.
Overall, I rate the Achilles Desert Hawk X-MT tyres as a medium range quality tyre, and can’t say I was too unhappy with their performance.
If you want to read more tyre reviews, we have one on the Toyo Open Country AT2, and one on the Bridgestone Dueler 697, both of which are independent and done by me.