If there’s one thing that makes a huge difference to how a 4WD performs off road, a good set of 4WD tyres is it. Choosing the right tyre size and tread pattern can be challenging, but get it right and your 4WD will behave in a very, very different way.
In this post we cover everything from tyre age to beach driving pressures, why fitting bigger tyres isn’t always a good idea, how to repair punctures and the list goes on.
4WD Tyre Sizes
One of the most common modifications done to a 4WD is to fit bigger tyres to it. This is done for a number of reasons, but the primary one is to gain more clearance. You won’t get far with the bottom of your 4WD dragging on the ground.
If you are wondering whether you can legally run 35 inch tyres, this post looks at what you need to consider, and whether its a good idea. Bigger tyres offer some benefits, but aren’t without their downsides too.
Changing tyre sizes on 4WD’s is relatively common practice, but there’s a few things you want to consider before doing it. Knowing what the standard tyre size is for your 4WD is imperative when making these choices. If you’ve bought a vehicle second hand, how do you know whether the tyres on it are the standard size?
The question of ‘how much bigger tyres can I fit’ on your 4WD comes up regularly, and one of the most overlooked pieces of information is what the law is, and what the consequences are of running a vehicle that has tyres bigger than they are allowed to be.
Bigger tyres can be beneficial in some ways, but like everything, they come at a cost. Do you know what that is? Here’s 8 reasons why you might regret fitting bigger tyres to your 4WD.
4WD Tyre choice
Quality 4WD tyres are probably the easiest way to change how well a vehicle drives off road. A simple change of tread pattern will take a mildly capable 4WD to the next level, and have it going places you’d dream of taking it before.
If you are in the market for a new set of 4WD tyres, but aren’t sure where to start, this post looks at what you need to consider. Don’t be fooled by tyre reviews that really don’t mean much to your own situation.
There are many things that affect fuel economy in a 4WD with regards to tyres. One of the more common questions is whether changing tread pattern affects fuel economy.
Where possible, its a good idea to have your trailer wheels and tyres the same as your tow vehicle. They don’t have to be exactly the same, but having them interchangeable is well and truly worth while. This applies to everything you’d take off the beaten track; camper trailers, boats and caravans.
4WD Tyre reviews
I’ve long been a bit sceptical when reading tyre reviews. Most are sponsored, and if they aren’t the tyres haven’t done much work, and if they have, its on a vehicle that’s totally different to yours and not really relevant.
After a decent run of different all terrain tyres, I purchased 6 Toyo Open Country RT tyres, which are a bit more aggressive. This was done for a number of reasons, but here’s our initial thoughts, after running them on both our Hybrid Camper and Dmax for some time.
After more than a year, and at least 30,000km done on our Toyo Open Country RT tyres in every possible terrain imaginable, here’s our formal review of the tyres that we’ve been running on our Isuzu Dmax and Reconn R2 Hybrid Camper.
We gave our Bridgestone Dueler 697’s a final farewell, doing 3 weeks through the Pilbara where we gave them a flogging. In this post, we cover what we’ve done with them, how many punctures we’ve had and whether they are actually worth buying.
After running our Bridgestone Dueler 697’s for about 40,000km its time to do a comprehensive, unbiased review. Wondering how they fare compared to the Toyo AT2 tyres, and if we’d get them again? Find out here.
4WD Tyres are one of the hardest things to compare accurately for a whole range of reasons. You’ll have heard some people rave about a particular brand, whilst others rubbish it and say another brand is the best. This is why finding the best 4WD tyres is almost impossible.
After running a set of Achilles Desert Hawk XMT Tyres on our Hybrid Camper trailer, its time for an unbiased review, and some comments on how one finally failed on our way to Shark Bay.
4WD Tyre Pressures
You’d think after 4WDing for more than 15 years I’d know what to do, and what not to do. In this post, we look at two scenarios where tyre pressure for beach driving proved to be critical, and one led to us being badly bogged for quite some time!
When you take a 4WD off the bitumen, the single most important factor is your tyre pressure. I’ve lost count of the number of people who we’ve come across that are bogged to the chassis rails with tyre pressures that are not correct for the terrain they are driving on.
If you’ve ever wanted proof that correct tyre deflation is necessary when travelling on gravel roads, have a read of this. I’ve never seen so much damage done in a short period of time!
Picking the right tyre pressures to run in your 4WD tyres can be quite difficult, with even those in the know pumping them way beyond what they should be run at. Fortunately, there’s a simple equation that you can use to calculate the correct 4WD Tyre pressure, which you can read about here.
4WD tyre pressures are probably the most critical factor you control when you get off the bitumen road. Whether its gravel roads that are full of corrugations, big mud holes or a soft beach you are travelling on, having your tyres at the right pressure for the terrain you are driving on is crucial.
Punctures and blow outs
If you don’t carry a Tyre Repair kit in the back of your 4WD, you are mad. They are incredibly cheap, and super useful for your 4WD and other vehicles in doing quick tyre repairs. Want to know how simple they are to use, and where you can get them from? Check this out
Some people say you should never deflate on gravel or rocky terrain, because it increases the chances of a sidewall puncture. Are they right? Maybe, but there’s a lot more to consider!
On the way to Shark Bay, I felt a shake, and then saw the tread of our camper trailer tyre depart the wheel and head off down the road. It was our first camper trailer blow out, and went fairly smoothly overall, but was a bit of a pain.
Tyre wear and age
Wondering how long you might get out of a set of 4WD tyres? There’s lots of variables, but in this post we cover what you should do to maximise the life, and how long you’re likely to get.
At what point do you replace your tyres? There’s a huge number of opinions and suggestions, and realistically there’s no right answer.
After having the inner tyres scrub out on our Isuzu Dmax (which is really common), I had to take it for an alignment, and wheel rotation. As it turns out, the main reason for the wear was our camper trailer tow ball weight!
We’re getting something different this time, and I’m keen to have a bit more traction. Want to know what we fitted? Check it out here.
We spend a lot of time picking out the tyre size and tread pattern on our 4WD tyres. Have you ever thought about their age though?
If you are running tyres that are really old, it might be time to consider replacing them. So, how old is too old? In this post we take a look at the legislation, and what the recommendation is for tyre age replacements.
Wheel choice and torque
If you aren’t taking the time to torque your wheel nuts up to the right specifications, you might learn a painful, expensive and avoidable lesson in the future. Wheel nuts loosen themselves over time, and using a torque wrench is hugely important.
Wondering if its a good idea to use anti seize on your wheel studs? This dives into both sides, and looks at what you absolutely should not do (which we did!)
Running 4WD tyres that are too wide for a particular rim is illegal, and many tyre shops will tell you they won’t install them on certain wheels. There’s a reason for this, and a specification that you need to follow, so don’t get caught out.
If you’re still letting your tyres down with a stick or rock, its time to make the move to a tyre deflator. Here’s how to use them, and enjoy the significantly faster, and easier tyre deflation method!
If you want to keep up with the Joneses, Imitation Beadlock Rims are all the rage. The thing is though, are they actually any good, and are they worth getting? We’ve had a set on our Hybrid for a while now, and here’s our thoughts.
Ever rung a tyre shop and asked for tyres to be fitted to a wheel, only to be told that the wheel is not wide enough? There’s a set of standards to tell you what the minimum width wheel is, and most tyre shops do a pretty good job of adhering to it.
There’s a heap of information on the side of your tyres, and in many cases its worth knowing what it all means. From cold pressures to load ratings, designation, age and more, here’s how to read it all
Ever wondered how much a 4WD tyre weighs, and how much of a difference it can make? I looked into this as a matter of curiosity, and found quite a few interesting facts. If you want to hurt your payload and unsprung weight badly, fitting some tyres and wheels will do exactly that.