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Question
I own a 2002 Dodge Durango SLT 4x4 (tires 265 70R 16). It has 56,000 miles and the original tires. I'm ready to purchase a new set.  I'm generally cheap but I will pay for quality when I'm sure I'm getting it.  I recently purchased a small single axle travel trailer (K-Z Sportsman Classic  gvwr 3,500 pounds and dry hitch weight of 390 pounds).  I use the Durango to pull the trailer in the spring, summer and fall (roughly 2,400 miles per year) and to get to work on nastier days in the winter (roughly 600 miles per year).  No plans to sell or get rid of the Durango. It is in good shape.  Any recommendations on the type of tire to purchase given the new stress of towing?  I live in the midwest and the topography is generally rolling hills. Climate is wet springs, hot summers and windy and wet falls and snowy and icy winters. Thanks!

Answer
Gregg,

Tires don't care about how the load arrives - whether it is by towing a trailer or a load in the cargo area - they only care about the load.  So your first step is to assure the vehicle is capable to towing what you intend to tow.  You'll need to consult with the vehicle manufacturer for that.

After that, it is a matter of selecting tires that suit the intended purpose - and for practical purposes what you've described is fairly mild - so any all season tire should work.

However, within the "all season" category is a wide range of performance differences - and you should focus your search for those things that are important to you.  If we are talking snow traction, then you should look for that.  Needless to say, there are tradeoffs.  Tires with good snow traction, for example, generally don't wear very well - and vice versa.

Basically, if you buy tires that suit your expectations, the towing issue will take care of itself.  

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Barry Smith

Expertise

I have over 30 years experience in the design, manufacturing, and testing of tires. I have served as the technical advisor to the "800" number. I have authored or co-authored many publications - usually without credit. I can answer almost any technical question, but please don`t ask me to compare brands. I probably have prejudices because of my work experience.

Experience

Member SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) Member Tire Society (Tire Technical Organization) SCCA Regional Competiton License holder Authored many training manuals on tires, their care and use.

Organizations
SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Tire Society

Publications
You may want to visit my web site: http://www.barrystiretech.com/index.html

Education/Credentials
I am a graduate of the University of Dayton, Dayton, OH - BME, 1971 I attended graduate school at the University of Akron - but did not complete my PhD - something I regret.

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