- 1 Top 5 Best Trailer Tires
- 2 Best Trailer Tires Buyer’s Guide
To help you find the best trailer tires, we analyzed nearly two dozen products based on versatility, construction type, load rating, inflation pressure, durability, and speed.
Of the five items included in our shortlist, Wheels Express Inc.’s ST205/75D15 bias tire stood out for its compatibility with the most popular utility and recreation trailers. The highly stable tire features a moderate load and speed rating. It can also be installed easily. This is an attribute that the majority of non-commercial trailer owners look for. Keep reading to learn more about our top pick and our other highly recommended tires.
Top 5 Best Trailer Tires
#1 Wheels Express Inc. Bias Trailer Tire
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: This 15-inch tire from Wheels Inc. has a C load rating and is highly recommended for people who go on short fishing or sailing trips. The product’s compatibility with a wide variety of boat, big utility, and cargo trailer brands make it the spare tire of choice.
This pre-filled ST205/75D15 tire and wheel combo has a maximum carrying weight of 1,820 pounds and a maximum air pressure of 50 pounds per square inch (PSI), which allows safe travel at an M speed rating (81 miles per hour).
It also offers maximum stability with its 5” x 4.5″ bolt configuration. Its wheel has five lugs or bolt holes, while the diameter of the circle that these holes form is 4.5 inches. Its tread depth is 0.24 inches.
The tire can be mounted on most boat trailers manufactured by brands such as Alumacraft, Lund, and Crestliner, and on cargo trailers made by Big Tex, FastTrac, Wells Fargo, and more. Just use the best car jack and it is easy.
#2 Trailer King ST205/75R15 Radial Tire
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: This radial tire is designed to withstand heat buildup through its durable materials and tread design. The tire’s D load rating and tread wear indicator allows for safe driving, even while traveling with heavier cargo.
Trailer King designed the tire’s shoulder to prevent heat buildup, which would degrade the rubber, cause over-inflation, or even lead to a blowout. The design extends the good traction and the overall longevity of the tire’s tread.
Its nylon overlay construction and 65 PSI further support higher load whether you use the tires for boat, utility, or RV trailers. Its enhanced center groove and D load rating ensures stability and consistent tracking while driving at an M speed rating. For another one of the best trailer tires, check out the Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire. This product performs well with excellent shock absorption, and the advanced tread compound is designed to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy and tread life by decreasing rolling resistance. Its double steel construction also makes the tire stronger and provides towing stability. And since you are upgrading your trailer, you may want to outfit your vehicle with the best truck floor mats while you are at it.
#3 Trailer King 225/75R15 ST Radial Trailer Tire
Award: Best 225/75R15 Trailer Tire
WHY WE LIKE IT: This wider ST225 model is for you if you travel frequently with an RV or with a camper trailer in tow. It provides added traction, optimum air pressure control, and tread strength.
Wider from sidewall to sidewall compared to the ST205, the ST225 tire can help stabilize your trailer, especially if it tends to sway despite even cargo distribution.
Just like the ST205, the ST225 will give you long years of service through its strong nylon overlay, heat-reducing shoulder, and tracking-consistent center groove. It also has a D load rating and 65 PSI. Since you are hauling things in a trailer, you likely also need the best truck bed liner mats too.
#4 Carlisle ST205/75R15Radial Trail HD Trailer Tire
Award: Best 205/75R15 Trailer Tire
WHY WE LIKE IT: This 8-ply tire is built with heat-resistant technology, high-tensile belt structure, and low rolling resistance to withstand different road conditions. Mountable on RVs or on stock, boat, and utility trailers, this Carlisle HD series product makes travel safe for either work or play.
Carlisle’s heavy-duty (HD) tires are 10% more durable than the RH series. The weathering and ozone protection of the ST205/75R15 reduces the heat absorbed by tires, which is vital during summer travel.
Its 2,150-pound maximum carrying capacity is supported by a high-tensile belt that can withstand punctures. Moreover, the tire’s closely interconnected tread pattern evens out wear and tear. The product has an M speed rating and a maximum 65 PSI. MaxAuto also makes great tires for travel trailers, like the ST 205/75D15 Load Range C Deep Tread 6 Bias Ply Tires. The tires are designed with a nylon overlay across the entire tread area for additional safety, and with their tire load range being C, they can support a maximum weight of 1820 lbs. When hauling a trailer, it might be a good idea to have the best jump starter with you as well.
#5 WINDA Free Country ST 225/75R15 Trailer Tires
Award: Best for Heavy Loads
WHY WE LIKE IT: Each of the four tires that come with every order features a full nylon overlay and side cuffs. These features, plus their higher load rating, make this set a truly good pick for power towing and off-road travel.
These WINDA tires can help your trailer carry more cargo with their E/10-ply load rating and maximum 80 PSI. Their sturdy scuff guards, or the thick rubber protectors on their sides, can minimize damage on your wheels if ever they accidentally get rubbed against curbs during sharp turns.
They have an L speed (75 miles per hour) rating that’s just right for off-road driving. And since anything can happen off road, make sure that you carry the best transmission jack with you.
How We Decided
All the tires we selected are geared for recreation and non-commercial cargo trailers. Hence, the items on our list have a load rating of E and lower.
We also selected products with widths, aspect ratios, and diameters that are commonly found in most trailer tires: ST205/75R15 and ST225/75R15.
Moreover, we recognized the practicality, in terms of distance and load capacities, of using the more long-lasting radial tires compared to bias tires, despite the latter’s strengths. Four of our five picks are radial tires due to their long-distance and greater load-bearing capabilities.
Best Trailer Tires Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Factors to Consider
The quality and performance of your tires will determine how convenient your travel experience will be. The key to finding the best trailer tire lies in understanding the combination of numbers and letters on the sidewall of your current tires. Your new tires should match the size, construction, maximum capacity, and speed of the tires you’re using.
Your search should start with knowing the tire size you need. Trailer tires are identified by the letters “ST” (special trailer), followed by three digits that refer to the width of the tire. The width, in millimeters, is measured from one sidewall to the other. If the sidewall marking says ST205/75D15, the next two numbers that come after the slash is the aspect ratio. It’s expressed as a percentage of the tire’s width from the rim of the wheel to the top of the tread. So, if the markings say 75D15, it means that the aspect ratio is 75% of its width of 205 millimeters.
- Construction and Diameter
The letter that comes after the tire height or ratio indicates its construction type, whether radial or bias, and the two numbers that follow pertain to the tire’s diameter in inches. The current standard is “R” or radial construction, in which the plies or layers that make up the tire are laid perpendicular to the direction of travel. The other type of construction is “D” (although “B” is also used) or bias ply, in which the plies are laid diagonally or crisscrossed. Made of rubber-coated steel plies, radial tires provide less rolling resistance, allowing them to stay cooler than bias tires. Besides promoting longer tread life and better fuel economy, this quality of radial tires makes them the best trailer tires for heavy load and long-distance travel. Meanwhile, the generally cheaper diagonal bias tires, which have cross-hatched nylon and steel layers, have a stiffer sidewall, making them suitable for unpaved back or farm roads. However, they wear out easily, so they’re just good for frequent short-distance travel.
- Load Rating/Load Index
When buying the best tires, ensure that you choose those that exceed the weight of the cargo you’ll be loading onto your trailer. A tire’s load rating refers to how much weight a tire can carry. You can determine this by looking at the three digits following the letter and number combination that indicates the tire’s construction type and diameter measurement. Sometimes, the carrying strength of your tire is expressed via load range (indicated by A, B, C, D, E, and F) or ply rating (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12). Your replacement tires’ load range must be equal to or more than what’s recommended on your owner’s manual or vehicle door placard.
- Inflation pressure
The amount of inflation pressure of your tire is the two-digit number ending with PSI (pound force per square inch). The PSI determines your tire’s ability to carry a specific weight. The rule of thumb is to inflate your tires up to the maximum cold pressure that’s printed on your tire’s sidewall. It can be different from what your trailer or vehicle manufacturer recommends, but it’s the maximum pressure set by the tire manufacturer. Driving with under-inflated tires can shorten the lifespan of your tires and will reduce your fuel economy. Buy a tire pressure monitoring tool to help you regularly check the amount of pressure in your tires.
- Speed Rating
The letter after your tire’s load rating is its speed rating. The rating usually starts from L to Y, ranging from 75 to over 186 miles per hour.
- Road Conditions
You need to look at extra markings on tires if you intend to use your trailer in rugged environments and under harsh weather. Look for tires with “M+S” (mud and snow) on the sidewall. These tires can provide you with above-average traction for icy or muddy roads.
Trailer Tires FAQs
Should I regularly inflate my tires?
Although regular use, driving style, altitude change, and temperature change cause deflation, tires also lose air pressure when they're left unused for a long time. Proper inflation will prevent excessive friction between the tire rubber and the road, swaying, or a blowout, which may happen if you use your fully loaded trailer with under-inflated tires.
Should I regularly inspect the tire's tread and sidewall?
Be sure to also check the thickness of your tire or its tread depth. Your tire needs changing when its depth is down to 3/32" or 2/32". To test its depth, take a penny or a quarter and insert it into a groove with Lincoln or Washington's head upside down. If the tread is still deep enough, a part of the head on the coin will be covered. Look for cracks, bald spots, bulges, or possible areas where the belt below the tread shows through the rubber. Also, check the wheel's caps and valves.
How often should I rotate tires - when I hit 5,000 to 7,000 miles?
Doing so will prevent uneven tread and improve overall handling.
Should I clean and provide covering for my tires?
If you're not going to use your trailer for a long period of time, cover your tires with a tarp. This will prevent cracking due to ultraviolet exposure and corrosion from rain and flood. Use a tire brush, soap, and water to rid your tires of gunk and grime. Wipe them with a towel before air-drying.
Should I keep my tires off the ground?
To prevent the weight of the trailer from causing damage on your tires in the long-term, position your tires on thin plywood, or jack up your tires, so they have limited contact with hot asphalt that could cause dry rot. Store them in airtight plastic bags. You can also dismount them and put them inside big, dark bags, like garden or lawn bags, to help prevent lubricating oil from evaporating. Remove as much air inside the bags before sealing them. Store them upright.
How often should I replace my tires?
Rubber tires wear out with age. You'll know how old your tires are by checking the four digits that come after the letters DOT (Department of Transportation). These numerals denote when they were manufactured. For instance, 3507 means the 35th week of 2007. Ideally, trailer tires should be changed every five to six years or after traveling 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Change them every three years if they show signs of wear and tear early.
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