Best All Terrain Tires For Van

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cortttt

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cortttt

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29chico said:
I'm usually not a big proponent of Toyo tires as they are spendy and not worth the extra $$$.  Often you can buy a better Michelin tire for cheaper from Costco.  Les Schwab is the biggest seller of Toyo tires but they charge lots for cheap tires.  So buying a set of M-55's is probably going to hurt.  LS does have good customer service and a lot of stores in the west.  

However, the Toyo M-55 has earned a reputation as being the toughest light truck tire that one can get up on the very rugged Alaskan/Yukon gravel roads and many other places in the world where tire damage is a big issue.  It is a commercial traction/all terrain tire that will not get many compliments for having a smooth ride or being civilized.  They are all about getting you there and back.  If interested, please do some research on the M-55 and post up what you think.  

About going up to 265 75 16 load range E tires: I don't know if the wider size will fit for sure on your Savana.  I do know that Costco is pretty conservative about up-sizing tires so probably it is OK.

The 265 75 16's are 32 inches in diameter and the stock tires are about 30.8 inches.  So your clearance will be upped by 6 tenths of an inch.  You could also go with go with the 235 85 16 load range E tires, they are 32" also.  I'm a bit of a skinny "pizza cutter" tire fan myself.  I'm guessing that you will go for the 265's for the flotation, for good reason.

I just ordered a set of front Sumo Springs solo bump stop style spring helpers.  Pretty cheap and look super easy to install.  While they will not do what most folks think as "raising" your rig, they should reduce the sag of the front end, especially when one is bouncing a bit while navigating rugged roads.  Since we are talking about a 2wd van, crawling along at super low speeds is sometimes not an option as some momentum is required where a 4wd could go a bit slower w/o getting stuck.

Sumo Springs link:  http://www.truckspring.com/products...xpress-GMC-Savana-Solo-Front__SSF-204-47.aspx

I'm having a Detroit True Trac limited slip differential installed this week.

An aluminum front winch bumper and winch, with synthetic line to keep the weight down, will be installed the following week.  That is why I am getting the Sumo Springs.  Hoping that my front end will be no lower than stock with about 90 pounds extra hanging off of the front end with the Sumo springs doing their job.

It is interesting that we are both thinking somewhat along the same lines again.

Thanks....I like those Sumo Springs :)...The less bounce the better - it's the bounce that often is the problem. Installing the Bilstein shocks definitely helped with that but I could still use less bounce. I wonder if having them on puts less pressure on the suspension? Which I have heard is a weak area for the GMC/Chevy's. 

Congrats on the limit-slip....(Now i am getting jealous :))

What winch are you getting?

ME-55's get great reviews; I don't know if they are available for the van; Toyo does not list them - https://www.toyotires.com/tire-finder/85147. The Open Country's do get good reviews.
 

cortttt

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Gadget728 said:
The first thing I did to my van was swap out the Firestones with BFG AT KO2's. My van is heavy and has had no trouble on any terrain so far.   Mud, Ice and snow, they plow right through. I've had a couple of sets of these on my old F-250 4x4,, they were great on it too.

Excellent review on the KO2's here - http://expeditionportal.com/?s=goodrich+KO2&submit=GO!
 

Ballenxj

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akrvbob said:
The most important thing is airing them down, if you do the side lugs will actually start to bite too.

It sounds like having a good on board air compressor is a necessity if you plan on much trail riding then?
 

29chico

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Almost There

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Txjaybird said:
I've recently started driving a 1998 GMC Safari conversion van  What is the difference between a Savanah & a Safari?

After driving a 4x4 Ranger for 13ys unless when it was in 4whl drive I could make sharp/tight R&L turns.  The tires on the Safari rub on sharp turns.  A friend said I might need to have "the wheel wells cut"  I'm sure it has passenger tires on it however I will check.  The van came from my Mom and after 18ys she didn't know if it had 4....6....or 8cyls.

I'm glad to see this thread as I will replace the tires at some point with  at least a LT tire.  Someone at a tire store told me a XL tire will sometimes have a higher load rating than a LT tire.  I'm use to road racket from AT and Mud grip tires.  I just need advice from folks who R not trying to sell me something

This will be a multi use van.  Daily driver, travel boon docking live in van, and tow vehicle for a Aliner pop up.

It will be a Grandma's van however not a little 'ol lady's just going to the mall for coffee with the girls van.  Please...... Please if anyone's listening up there in the cosmos.......Pay Attention Would Ya :D

Jewellann

PS Did I Hijack this Thread?  If So Sorry...Not My Intent.

The GMC Safari is identical to the Chev Astro mini van. They are the largest of the mini vans ever made. The Savana is GMCs twin to the Chev Express. Both are full size cargo vans.

Do NOT listen to the friend who said that you might have to cut your wheel wells. If the tire that are on the van now are indeed rubbing (you may be hearing a rubbing noise that is NOT coming from the tires against the wheel wells), then they are absolutely the wrong size tires that your mom put on there. The right size tires for the van will have plenty of clearance in the wheel wells.

Using way oversize tires (if that is indeed the problem) will have an impact on a lot of things in the steering.

The easiest way to figure out if you've got the wrong tires on the van - they should be P215/70/R15 for the 1998 version.

I avoid going in to a tire store and asking what they recommend - I go in knowing what I want.

In this case I would be looking at LT215/70/R15s. As to the brand, - more research required.

I'm happy with my Michelins' but I don't know if they come in that size.
 

cortttt

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Ballenxj said:
It sounds like having a good on board air compressor is a necessity if you plan on much trail riding then?

Thanks to Bob's advice  - got one - and it got me out of one jam :)
 

cortttt

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29chico said:
Toyo M-55 sizes and pricing:  http://www.tiresdirect.net/TOYO-M-55-C178.aspx

After seeing the above pricing on the M-55 and reading the above KO2 review I'd probably give the KO2's a try.  Especially since the M-55's would be over $400 a set more expensive all in.

Winch link:

http://www.4wheelparts.com/Winches-...aspx?t_c=18&t_s=300&t_pt=100700&t_pn=S/B98512


Wow! Those are expensive tires...Maybe if I was traveling the back country of Alaska constantly....The KO2's look good and Costco does have their sales.
 

29chico

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cortttt said:
Wow! Those are expensive tires...Maybe if I was traveling the back country of Alaska constantly....The KO2's look good and Costco does have their sales.

I have been thinking for a while now that a pair of the KO2's, in the stock 245 75 16 load range E , mounted on stock rims would make for some fine spares. The issue is where to mount the second spare? Inside the van on a secure mount? Or on a crazy expensive rear bumper with swingeing arms?

I'm going to start a new thread about vehicle recovery, the gear required to do so and the techniques needed to do it safely.
 

jimindenver

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Every Road Leads Home said:
Speaking of air compressors, what is everyone using for a portable compressor for tire inflation?

MV-50, 12v and very fast
 

29chico

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akrvbob said:
I put Wrangler mud tires on my 2001 Chevy Expres and have been pleased with them. I've had them stuck 3 times, so don't expect miracles of traction, they will disappoint if you do. The most important thing is airing them down, if you do the side lugs will actually start to bite too.

They sell a version with kevlar in the side walls, next time I will get them instead.

FWIW I just called a friend who has the latest gen Wrangler mudders with Kevlar. He does not like them one bit, the sidewalls are way too stiff & not compliant enough. He had the previous gen Wrangler mudders on his mid '80's built up Blazer 4x4 and loved them. So you might have the better version of the Wrangler mud tires on your van now.

My buddy will be putting on a set of the BFG All terrain KO2's next time.
 

Txjaybird

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Almost There said:
The easiest way to figure out if you've got the wrong tires on the van - they should be P215/70/R15 for the 1998 version.
I'm happy with my Michelins' but I don't know if they come in that size.
Thank you for all the info.  I spoke to my mechanic and when he replaces a wheel speed sensor on Wed. he'll give the van a more thorough going over.  Do you have a build thread anywhere?.   Do these vans sit close to the ground or is it just my imagination?

Thanks Again

Jewellann
 

Ballenxj

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jimindenver said:
MV-50, 12v and very fast

Can I do a search using just this information, or is there a brand name to start with?
Oh Boy, another thing to add to the list of things I need to buy.   :p
 

LeeRevell

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From my motorcycle days, I always carried a "Slime" brand 12vdc pump. It has proven itself several times. It is still in the emergency kit, but my Schmacher jumper pack has a built in air pump I have used a couple times. Works well.
 

highdesertranger

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I had a top of the line Viair 12v compressor, I was not impressed. now I have an engine driven air compressor, now I am impressed. highdesertranger
 

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