Achilles Desert Hawk XMT Tyre Review; how did they go?

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.

Tyre wear
Our Achilles Desert Hawk X-MT tyres at end of life, with very average wear

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.

Reconn and Dmax
Our Achilles tyres saw almost every terrain you could throw at them

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 caravan 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 Electric 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!

Blown tyre on the way to Shark Bay
We had a tyre completely fail on the way to Shark Bay
One very dead tyre
A complete and utter bin job

We could have cared for these tyres much better if we knew the cruisemaster suspension 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. This is one of the reasons you should really think about whether you get a single axle vs dual axle caravan.

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 AT 697, both of which are independent and done by me.

Toyo Open Country RT
We’ve gone for Toyo RT’s on our Dmax and Reconn R2 now too

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  1. Hey David,

    I have a two comments:

    1) – Mud terrain tyres are a daft idea on caravans and campers, and the only reason they get fitted is because they’re cheap, have a high load rating and ‘look good’. Get yourself a decent set of all terrains and the wear will be so much better. We went with the Toyo Open Country RT, which is an aggressive muddy and they’ve been SO much better. If you are doing mainly bitumen there is zero reason to run a mud terrain tyre.

    2) There are varying levels of alignment. Do you have the figures for each time it was done? If you google the Cruisemaster alignment process you’ll see its fairly easy to do yourself, and then you know exactly how its going. Ours wore badly but I’ve just had it resolved by Cruisemaster themselves, who installed offset spindles to give it the right amount of adjustment. You can read about that here –

    Unfortunately once bad wear starts it can be very hard to combat. I’d replace the tyres when you can (or just wear them right out) with something better, and see how your alignment really is.

    All the best

  2. David Hadfield says:

    Hi Aaron
    Good review on DH XMTs, we have them on our ReconnR2, after about 30K the wear is not good.
    We have had two alignments, one twelve months after buying and another twelve months on.
    In particular the kerbside tyre gets far more wear on the outside lugs, this tells me it’s alignment but two alignments and still the wear is happening.
    Any Ideas? Mainly bitumen use.