- Best all-round trailer tire: Carlisle Trail HD, "one of the best tires when it comes to stability and road holding, but it is also very durable, even when used on heavy trailers"
- Best for heavy trailers or cargo: Freestar M-108, "one of the toughest tires you can buy"
- Best travel trailer tires for long tread life: Maxxis M8008, "equipped with advanced tread compound designed for decreased rolling resistance"
- Best for rougher terrain: Carlisle Sport Trail LH Bias, "the first thing I can think of is agricultural use, but they can also be used for boat trailers"
- Best boat trailer tire: Trailer King ST Radial, "a very safe choice, offering the owner very good road characteristics, durability, long tread life, and fair price"
- Budget trailer tire with wheels combo: Silver Mod Trailer Wheel with Radial Tire, "this tire and wheel combo is a great option for smaller and lighter trailers and shouldn’t be overlooked"
- Best trailer tire with wheels: Wheels Express White Spoke Trailer Wheel with Radial Tire, "If the design is of paramount importance to you, then the Wheels Express wheel and tire combo is a great choice"
- Best set of 4 trailer tires: Million Parts E Load Radial Tire, "If you want to buy excellent trailer tires at a lower price point, you can get great deals if you buy them as a set of four tires"
From boats and cargo, to fully featured small apartments, there are seemingly infinite varieties of trailers out there. People in North America simply love trailers due to their utility and advantages, that these vehicles are one of the reasons why SUVs are that popular today.
Having said that, trailers are a bit big for most car owners, especially those who don’t have a place in their backyards to keep it through the year. Sure, trailers are excellent for hauling stuff, but most of them are used only a few times per year. The question is, how do you take care of a vehicle that is used only sporadically?
One of the most important parts of a trailer is the tires. Accidents with vehicles that tow big trailers are often caused by bad tires on the trailer. And it is not just loss of traction – more often than not, trailer tires can explode, which causes havoc to the driving dynamics. Almost nobody can control a trailer after an explosion of the tire.
By now I am sure that you understand how important tires are for safety, something that’s especially true when you’re towing. In this article you can read everything there is to know about trailer tires, including the Top 10 best travel trailer tires and best boat trailer tires on the market, a short buying guide, and how to take care of them in the long run.
Top 10 Best Trailer Tires
Carlisle Trail HD Trailer Radial
Best all-round trailer tire
The first tire on the Top 10 list is also very popular with trailer owners due to its plethora of strong advantages it has over its competitors. While some tires offer good performance and stability, but not durability, and vice-versa, the Carlisle Trail HD Trailer offers seemingly everything. It is one of the best tires when it comes to stability and road holding, but it is also very durable, even when used on heavy trailers.
Both the performance and durability are connected to the ultimate goal – safety. I am happy to say that the Carlisle Trail HD Trailer provides excellent stability, even at higher speeds, thanks to the heat-resistant rubber tread compound. The grip is excellent, while the strong sidewalls mean that the driver can still trust these tires when the trailer is full of cargo. That’s very interesting because this is still a radial tire that weighs less than some bias-ply competitors (even though it is equipped with multiple plies). Ah yes, it also works great both in dry and wet conditions, which is an additional plus.
The strong sidewalls have other function, like keeping the tire durable when not in use. While other tires may lose their shape over time, the Carlisle Trail HD Trailer stays the same for longer. This means that the performance will not degrade as fast over time, especially when the trailer is stationary. Owners of this tire also report excellent treadlife, and that’s not a surprise given the fact that it is equipped with interconnected tread blocks.
The Carlisle Trail HD Trailer is available in many different sizes and it is compatible with trailers used for boating, cargo, utility, or horse and stock, as well as towable RVs and toy haulers. It has a max capacity of 2,540 pounds, and it can work at a maximum of 65 psi. However, the capacity changes depending on the size of the tire and the sidewall, so it is best to check before you buy.
Whatever size you choose, you can be sure that the Carlisle Trail HD Trailer gives you the best of everything. Excellent performance, durable sidewalls, long tread life, and low price point. Highly recommended!
Freestar M-108 10 Ply
Best tire for heavy trailers or cargo
If you need a tire for really heavy trailers, the Freestar M-108 10 Ply is the best choice. Sure, the Carlisle Trailer HD Trailer will do the job just fine, but I trust the Freestar more in case of heavy cargo. Their name is a staple in the trailer tire industry, and they are especially known for durability and robustness. The M-108 model is 10 Ply rated (it also comes as 6 ply and 8 ply for lighter trailers) and is one of the toughest tires you can buy.
But, let’s talk about performance first, because the M-108 is great in this category as well. Stability is very good, even at higher speeds, even when the trailer is loaded. It is also very smooth for a tough tire – you should thank the radial construction for that. Gone are the days when trailers were only equipped with bias-ply tires – today we have tires that are tough, have excellent performance, and plush ride. Oh, and the lower weight when compared to bias-ply tires mean that fuel consumption will be lower, and straight-line performance will be better.
I already mentioned that the Freestar M-108 is tough, and that really shows when you load your trailer to the max. It has a load rating of 2830 pounds, and maximum 80 PSI – sufficiently good for most trailer owners. So, the sidewalls are strong and can withstand a lot of weight on their shoulders, but what about tread life? The M-108 is very popular with the trailer crowd not only because of its toughness but also because it is durable. You can get thousands of carefree miles from this one. In other words, excellent for both short and long trips.
One thing that annoys some people about the Freestar M-10 is that it is not very easy to install, but to them I say – leave that to your mechanic! Other than that, this tire is almost perfect for any trailer owner out there, especially for those that need to tow a lot of cargo (or big trailers). The price is also not very high for what you get, so yes, highly recommended.
Maxxis M8008 Radial Trailer Tire
Best travel trailer tires for long tread life
Another tire that is very popular within the trailer community, the Maxxis M8008 is a great all-rounder with good performance across the board. To be honest, this is expected from Maxxis, a tire manufacturer that can always be trusted when it comes to tough and strong tires for trailers, RVs, UTVs or ATVs.
The M8008, the latest in their portfolio of trailer tires, is equipped with advanced tread compound designed for decreased rolling resistance. This improves fuel economy, which is not something that you often see in trailer tires, but it also helps in tread life. Trailers aficionados around the world consider this tire to be the longest lasting tire, which means that it is great for long road trips. Like with your family on summer vacation for example.
While we’re at it, the Maxxis M8008 is also very plush – the sidewalls have excellent shock absorption. Stability is also very good, even at higher speeds and with a lot of cargo. Traction and braking performance are very good even in wet conditions – not something you often associate with trailer tires. Despite the plush ride, great performance and low rolling resistance, the Maxxis M8008 is also very tough and can withstand a lot of weight. It is 10 Ply rated and equipped with double steel-belted construction.
All things considered, it looks like the Maxxis M8008 has everything a trailer owner needs in one package, and that’s true for the most part. The biggest drawback is the price, which is generally higher than what most competitors offer. Sure, you will get better fuel economy with this tire, but we are still talking about small improvements here, that you may not even notice.
That said, due to the longer tread life, you may change these tires less often, so for buyers that tow their trailer often and cover a lot of miles annually, the M8008 might be the best choice out there for the best tires for travel trailer .
Carlisle Sport Trail LH Bias
Best bias-ply trailer tires / best trailer tires for rougher terrain
Bias-ply tires are definitely the tougher choice when compared to radial tires, but they are heavier as well. This makes them suitable for shorter trips on rougher terrain, or with more cargo on the trailers. The first thing I can think of is agricultural use, but they can also be used for boat trailers.
Carlisle says that this tire is compatible with popular boat trailers from manufacturers such as Alumacraft, Continental, Crestliner, Karavan, Lund, Mako, Nitro, Ranger, Regency, River Pro, Sea Ray, Smoker Craft, Stratos, Striper, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Tracker, Triton, Triumph, Warrior, and Yamaha. The Sport Trail LH Bias is also compatible with utility trailers, such as Big Tex, Carry-On, E-Z Hauler, FastTrac, Lark United, Miska, Performance Trailers, PJ, Quality Trailers, Remeq, Road Force, Teske, Top Hat, Triple Crown, and Wells Cargo.
Whatever the trailer, you can expect excellent durability from the Sport Trail LH Bias on uneven terrain – you shouldn’t worry about the tire changing its geometry. That said, for longer trips, the tread life may suffer and the tires won’t last as long. In other words, I recommend using this tire only for shorter trips, and not for long trips with recreational vehicles. Bias-ply tires are also heavier, which means that performance and fuel economy will also suffer as a result. They are also tougher, which means that they are not as comfortable, nor as quiet. On the positive side, stability is very good for a bias-ply tire, but don’t expect high-speed stability on the level of radial tires.
The Carlisle Sport Trail is that it is available in many sizes, even smaller ones for agricultural trailers, but the best thing about it is the price – it costs much less than radial tires with the same size, even though you still get a durable tire that will last you for a few seasons. Just be sure that you don’t use it for very long trips and you’re good to go!
Trailer King ST Radial
Best tough trailer tire / best boat trailer tires
Trailer King is also one of the most famous trailer tire manufacturers. Their ST Radial model is a very safe choice, offering the owner very good road characteristics, durability, long tread life, and fair price. Trailer King says that this tire is compatible with popular boat trailers, such as Alumacraft, Continental, Crestliner, Karavan, Lund, Mako, Nitro, Ranger, Regency, River Pro, Sea Ray, Smoker Craft, Stratos, Striper, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Tracker, Triton, Triumph, Warrior, and Yamaha.
It is also compatible with the most popular utility and cargo trailer brands out there, including Big Tex, Carry-On, E-Z Hauler, FastTrac, Lark United, Miska, Performance Trailers, PJ, Quality Trailers, Remeq, Road Force, Teske, Top Hat, Triple Crown, and Wells Cargo. In other words, there is a model for almost every trailer owner out there, even those with recreational trailers.
But, compatibility isn’t everything, and I am happy to say that the Trailer King ST delivers on other ends as well. It is very stable on the road, up there with the best in its class. The center groove certainly helps here, providing stability at high speeds. The shoulder design, on the other hand, makes this tire more durable by dissipating heat. The Nylon overlay makes the tire much stronger and tougher. You can leave a trailer with these tires stationary and forget about it, without losing too much performance.
Trailer King also says that this tire is made of long-lasting rubber. Tread life is very good, albeit perhaps not as the best out there. For people that cover many miles with their trailers, perhaps the first three tires on this list are a better choice, but the difference is still not very big.
The best thing about the Trailer King ST Radial is that you get a tire that is 10 Ply rated, or in other words, one that can carry 2,600 pounds of weight. For the price, I think that this is pretty fair, especially because it is a radial design, which means that it’s good for fuel economy and performance as well.
Silver Mod Trailer Wheel with Radial Tire
Best budget trailer tire with wheels
Trailer tires are not the easiest to replace or install, and that’s why some buyers often buy them together with a wheel. Such is the Silver Mod Trailer Wheel that comes with a trailer tire attached. It is available in several different sizes and bolt patterns for a wide range of different trailers. The design of the wheel is pretty conventional, but it’s not like trailer owners care how they look. Okay, maybe recreational trailer owners care, but that’s still very rare. The most important thing is that these wheels are built to last and to be as light as possible.
The tires attached to the wheels aren’t the best out there, to be honest, but the price is extremely low and the expectations shouldn’t be very high. Compared to other tires on this list, the Silver Mod ones are cheaper, even though they come together with a wheel. And the performance they give is not bad – it is just not as good as the others. Still, for the casual driver and smaller trailers, they are certainly good enough. Just be sure that you don’t drive over 65 mph with a set of these tires and you should be fine.
Durability shouldn’t be a concern either. The sidewalls of these tires are very strong, despite it being a radial tire. Tread life is also very good, which makes this tire excellent for longer trips as well. That said, the 6 Ply load range rating and maximum weight rating of 1820 pounds may be limiting to some people – very large and heavy trailers are out of question here.
With all that said, considering the price of the Silver Mod Trailer Wheel with Radial Tire combo, we can’t argue too much. You still get a capable tire for most conditions and one that is very durable as well. In my opinion, this tire and wheel combo is a great option for smaller and lighter trailers and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Wheels Express White Spoke Trailer Wheel with Radial Tire
Best trailer tire with wheels
The Silver Mod tire and wheel combo may be excellent for the price, but the design may be a real letdown for recreational trailer owners or owners of boat trailers. If the design is of paramount importance to you, then the Wheels Express wheel and tire combo is a great choice. The wheel in this combination is white and has a modern design, which makes it a great choice for modern trailers that put looks on the same page as a utility. Imagine a set of these tires on a trailer with a dynamic yacht on top – looks good, doesn’t it?
While we are talking about boat trailers, the Wheels Express White Spoke Trailer Wheel is available with the most popular models out there, including Alumacraft, Continental, Crestliner, Karavan, Lund, Mako, Nitro, Ranger, Regency, River Pro, Sea Ray, Smoker Craft, Stratos, Striper, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Tracker, Triton, Triumph, Warrior and Yamaha. Oh, it is also compatible with popular utility and cargo trailer brands, such as Big Tex, Carry-On, E-Z Hauler, FastTrac, Lark United, Miska, Performance Trailers, PJ, Quality Trailers, Remeq, Road Force, Teske, Top Hat, Triple Crown, and Wells Cargo. But let’s be honest, this product is much better suited to recreational or boat trailers.
The tires attached to the wheels are also very good quality. They provide excellent stability on the highway and have very good braking performance. However, they are only Load Range D rated, which means that they are not made for very heavy trailers or uneven terrains. Your casual boat trailer may be fine – every tire can carry 2540 pounds, but owners of big recreational trailers might be out of luck.
Durability, on the other hand, shouldn’t be a concern – owners of these tires are very satisfied with how long the tires last. The tread life is also very good – up there with the best tires. However, the price is a bit higher than other tires of the same quality, but you really pay for the handsome wheels here.
Million Parts E Load Radial Tire
Best set of 4 trailer tires
If you want to buy excellent trailer tires at a lower price point, you can get great deals if you buy them as a set of four tires. Million Parts offers their trailer tires in such packages, with four tires available at a drastically lower price point than if you buy them one by one. The best thing about this offer is that you still get high-quality tires that can offer very good performance across the board.
This tire is rated as 10 Ply or Load E, something that makes it an excellent choice for heavier trailers or a lot of cargo. The 10 Ply rating also means that the tire is tougher than tires with a lower rating, but it is also a bit heavier. That’s why I wouldn’t recommend this tire for owners who have smaller trailers and don’t tow a lot of cargo.
On the road, the Million Parts tire shows very good stability, even at higher speed. The tire is rated as 75 mph speed wise, so you wouldn’t have to worry to press on the gas pedal when on the highway. Braking performance is also very good – certainly up to the best trailer tires out there. I was also surprised by how smooth the Million Parts radial tire is, even though it is primarily designed to be tough.
Even though the price is lower (when bought in a set of 4), this tire is still very durable in the long run. Tread life is also very good due to the top-grade rubber material it is made of, but the tread depth of 6.5 mm plays a role here as well. It is also compatible with most popular trailer models out there and available in many different sizes. That said, it doesn’t come with a wheel attached, so keep in mind that there is the added cost of installation of four tires.
All things combined, you can’t go wrong with this set of tires, especially if you own heavier and bigger trailers.
Grand Ride Premium Trailer Tires Set of 4
Another great set of 4 tires
Sets of four are very popular for trailer tires, which is why I’ve included another one on this list. These are made from Grand Ride, a manufacturer that’s not the most popular within the trailer community, but they are still known for producing high-quality products. The price of these tires is low for what they offer, and they are available in many different sizes and load ranges. I am sure you can find the right one for your trailer, whatever the type you have.
One of the main features of Grand Ride Premium Trailer Tires is the nylon cap ply. Sure, other tires also have nylon cap ply, but only on the shoulders of the tire – this one has them as an overlay cross entire tread area. This makes them very strong, durable, and safe. In other words, they have toughness on the level of a bias-ply tire, even though they are designed as radial tires. Thanks to that, they offer excellent stability on the road, even with very heavy trailers.
The grip and braking performance are not as good as the best trailer tires out there, but I think that they are good enough for most people. I should note here that the significant tread helps in rainy weather a lot. Tread life is also pretty good, especially for the price, but still not on the level of the best trailer tires out there. You will still get a few seasons out of them without any problems whatsoever. These tires are also equipped with a scuff guard that helps in cleaning debris from the tire – great for longer-lasting performance.
Another great feature of the Grand Ride Premium Trailer Tires is the two dots on the sidewalls that help with balancing. And while we’re at it, these tires should be easy to install onto the wheels.
eCustomRim Trailer Tires with Rims
Best budget trailer tires
If you want the absolute cheapest tires available on the market, but still want to trust them that they will bring your trailer safely from point A to point B, then these are a great choice. They come in a pair and with handsome wheels attached, but still cost less than some single tires that without wheels. This wheel and tire combo is an absolute steal and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t have deep pockets or doesn’t want to spend much.
Even though they are cheap, eCustomRim Trailer Tires are still available with the most popular boat trailers, such as Alumacraft, Continental, Crestliner, Karavan, Lund, Mako, Nitro, Ranger, Regency, River Pro, Sea Ray, Smoker Craft, Stratos, Striper, Sun Tracker, Tahoe, Tracker, Triton, Triumph, Warrior and Yamaha. They are also available with most utility and cargo trailer brands, such as Big Tex, Carry-On, E-Z Hauler, FastTrac, Lark United, Miska, Performance Trailers, PJ, Quality Trailers, Remeq, Road Force, Teske, Top Hat, Triple Crown, and Wells Cargo.
That said, given the handsome design of the wheels, I think that they are best-suited to boat trailers and recreational trailers. That is unless they are too heavy – these tires are rated only as load range C and maximum 50 psi, which means that they aren’t suited for heavy lifting. That said, for the majority of trailers, they will be just fine.
On the road, the tires provide the driver with above-average levels of grip and very good stability. Sure, they are not the best trailer tires when it comes to road holding, but considering the price, they are not far away either. Durability is “okay” with these tires. They are not bad by any means, but not as durable as the best. Tread life is also average for the class. Balancing is also not easy – some owners report that they need a lot of weight.
With all that said, these things are expected – eCustomRim Trailer Tires are very, very cheap. For the money, I think that they give above average performance for most people and I am sure that most of you will be happy with them.
What to Look Out for When Buying Trailer Tires?
I am pretty confident that if you choose a tire (or tire and wheel combination) from the list above, you will be very satisfied with the purchase and you will have a lot of safe and carefree miles driven. However, if you want to learn more about trailer tires, in this section you can read everything there is to know about them and in the future make the purchase decision by yourself.
Radial or Bias-ply
In the past decade, radial tires became a much more popular choice over bias-ply tires in the trailer category. In the past, trailers were riding almost exclusively on bias-ply tires, but today it is hard to find that type – most manufacturers don’t even bother producing them.
However, they still have a place in this category. Bias-ply tires are much tougher, which makes them more suitable to uneven terrains, such as off-road terrains, and for very heavy trailers. So, if you drive a tractor with a trailer attached for agricultural use, the chance is you need bias-ply tires. Bias-ply is also much better at keeping its shape when the trailer is stationary, something that happens a lot with these vehicles.
On the other hand, radial tires are becoming stronger every year and there are models on the market that can also be used in those conditions. These tires are also lighter and give your vehicle better fuel economy, and they are also more comfortable and quieter. Radial tires also offer better road holding on smooth surfaces and generally better stability on the highway. However, they can change their shape if stationary for longer periods of time.
Other things to consider
“Trailer” is a category of vehicles that have a lot of different types and models that come in a variety of sizes. That’s why, when choosing a pair of tires for your trailer, you need to also have a look at some information that is provided by the manufacturers.
Load range – as you can see through the list of Top 10 best tires, I often mention load range. This is a piece of very important information for buyers because it shows how much weight a tire can carry and what’s the maximum psi. There are four different load ranges you should care about – B (4 ply), C (6 ply), D (8 ply) and E (10 ply).
For example, load range C tires can carry up to 1820 pounds per tire, which is fine for most trailer owners, but unusable for very heavy trailers. Load range B tire will carry less weight than this, while D and E tires will carry more weight. Always buy tires that have enough load range capacity for your needs or they may get damaged, sometimes during use, which is not something you’ll want;
Tire size – most trailer tire manufacturers offer many different sizes, suitable for most trailers. Always buy tires that are the same dimensions of the OEM ones – this is not a tuners vehicle. That way you will ensure that your vehicle will function properly on the road;
Durability and tread life – as you can see from the list, some tires are more durable than others. However, durability and tread life are different things. The first one applies to the toughness of the tire. In other words, how much a tire can keep its shape when stationary, or driven on uneven roads. Tread life, on the other hand, is about how long will the tread survive when driven a lot of miles. A good tire should be a combination of the two;
Speed rating – this is pretty self-explanatory. While most people don’t tow their trailers like maniacs, it is always recommended to buy tires with better speed rating if you plan on covering a lot of highway miles. This way you will not only ensure that they will function properly, but also that the tread life will be longer;
Taking care of trailer tires
If you think that by buying a high-quality tire for your trailer your job is finished, think again. Like all other tires, the trailer ones should also be maintained. Taking care of these tires is a bit different than taking care of car tires, so let’s have a look at that:
Inflation – due to the fact that trailers are heavy vehicles, the inflation of the tires is very important. Generally, you want to inflate the tires per manufacturer instructions. Always measure the inflation when the tires are cold – the warmer they get, the higher the psi goes. Also, boat trailer tires need to be inflated at higher pressures than tires for tow vehicles for example. Read the instructions on the trailer to find out the best inflation pressure for your model;
Tread inspection – the tread is very important for safety reasons. If there is not enough tread on the tires on your trailer, it may lose grip sooner, especially in wet conditions, or when the road isn’t as clean. You can measure the tread depth with a coin, or even better the Lincoln penny. This is a very popular choice because it is very easy to measure – just turn the coin so that the head of Lincoln is upside-down. If you can see the whole head, then your tires need to be changed;
Valve Stem – inspect the valve stem from time to time for loss of air. You can do this by pressing your finger on one side;
Exposure to sun and moisture – trailer tires spend most of their time stationary and that’s why it is very important where you park your trailer. I recommend against parking in direct sunlight or wet surfaces, because they can degrade the rubber and the tire will lose its properties as a result;
Keep the tires properly inflated when stationary – do this in order to avoid flat spots and degradation;
Sidewall – trailer tires are designed to withstand a lot of weight, but you should still inspect the sidewalls for cracks. By doing this, you will ensure the safety of you, the passengers and other participants in traffic;
Balance the tires – balancing your trailer tires is very important for reduction of vibrations while driving and safety. Rotation, on the other hand, depends on the type of trailer and is usually only needed for trailers with two axles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are trailer tires different from car tires?
Of course. While car tires are made to be driven every day, trailer tires are made to be stationary for long periods of time. Other than that, car tires are also lighter and can carry less weight than trailer tires.
Why are trailer tires bias-ply?
In case you didn’t know, in the past decade radials are the predominant tires for trailers. However, bias-ply tires are still much stronger and can carry more weight on their shoulders. They are also less susceptible to changing the shape while stationary.
Can trailer tires be used on a truck?
Even though they can be attached to a truck, I recommend against using them. They are not intended for everyday use and don’t offer the same traction. Remember, trailer tires are only used on axles without any additional power (free rotation), while truck tires should also be used on axles that provide power and acceleration.
How long do trailer tires last?
Most trailer tires last from 4-6 years, depending on the quality of the product and the miles covered.
Choosing the right tire for your trailer is certainly not an easy task, especially with all the options available on the market right now. However, by reading this whole article I am sure that you know more about trailer tires. At the end of the day, you can always revisit the Top 10 when you’re not sure about your purchasing – I am absolutely confident you will be satisfied whatever tire you choose from the list.