Choosing the best tires for your trailer, 5th wheel, or recreational vehicle should be carefully done. You have to carefully make your choice and study all your options, so your ultimate choice will be one, which is perfectly suitable not only for your rig but also for the normal conditions and situations that it is constantly exposed to.

In this case, two of your options are the trailer tire and the light truck tires. Find out which of the two can handle your needs the most by having a comparison of trailer tires vs. light truck tires. By comparing the two, you will get a clearer idea about which one can provide you with the highest level of satisfaction.

Trailer Tires Definition​​

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If you are thinking of getting a trailer tire then note that it actually refers to that, which is designed in such a way that it can handle trailer-position axles only. It is not designed for use on steering or drive axles. In most cases, you can see these tires being developed with bigger polyester cords than the others.

It also features stiffer sidewalls as a means of boosting its strength while improving its ability to handle the stress often linked to high-load capacities. In comparison to the standard passenger tires often utilized in tow vehicles that are mainly created to offer more traction, the trailer tire is created with durability in mind.

This is a major help in allowing it to handle the wear and tear often associated with extended towing. Also, take note that the trailer tire often features strengthened sidewalls that are used in preventing the tire from rolling beneath the rims in case of turns and during the time when it is cornering.

Furthermore, all trailer tires often boast of a max 65 mph speed rating. They also make use of materials that can handle the high demands and load requirements that can often be expected from a towing trailer.

Light Truck Tires Definition​​


A light truck tire, on the other hand, is designed in such a way that it is stronger when compared to passenger car tires. However, when you compare it to its trailer tire counterparts, you will instantly notice that it is less durable and more flexible, making it prone to blowouts and swaying.

It should be noted that one common definition of a light truck tire is any size or line of a tire, which is typically applicable to a light truck – ex. van, SUV, and pickup. However, you can also see it being used in recreational vehicles sometimes. It is not generally used on utility trailers, though.

It is mainly because as a kind of passenger tire, it does not have a thicker sidewall just like what is provided in a trailer tire. It should be noted that a thick sidewall is often essential in ensuring that the tire will be able to handle a higher amount of vertical load. Still, many consider light truck tires beneficial.

One major benefit that people enjoy about this tire is that it comes with a high-speed restriction. In fact, it can go over 65 mph, which is higher than what the trailer tire can usually offer.

For you to distinguish the two, though, consider checking out the letters preceding the number set found on their sidewall. You will know that a tire is a special trailer tire if it starts with the letters ST. Light trucks tires, on the other hand, start with the letters LT.

Speed Ratings

More often than not, the trailer tire has a max speed rating of 65 mph. Note that traveling at a speed, which is higher than what’s rated will cause the tire to fail. It causes the buildup of heat, which will eventually lead to tire failure and fatigue. That’s why if you use a trailer tire then ensure that you do not go beyond its max speed rating.

However, you can also do something to make it handle more than that rating. If you intend to use it at around 66 to 75 mph speed then you can do that but you still have to make sure that you raise its cold inflation pressure by around 10 psi over the pressure recommended for the max load rating.

By increasing such pressure, it will not supply additional load carrying capacity. Ensure, though, that the added pressure does not go beyond 10 psi over the specified inflation for the max tire load.

As for the light truck tire, note that it can give users with a max speed rating of more than 65 mph. With that, it is no longer surprising to see it being used in recreational vehicles and some trailers from time to time.

Other Notable Differences

A lot of trailer owners make the decision of switching their trailer tires to light truck tires. They decide to use the latter on their 5th wheel or travel trailer or recreational vehicle provided it still meets their requirements.

If you plan to use the light truck tire, too, then you have to be absolutely certain that it suits the required application criteria of your 5th wheel or travel trailer. Also, remember that light truck tires usually differ in size and load capacity as that of trailer tires. That’s something you should take note of before making your choice.

Also, when planning to use light truck tires for your trailer or RV, you have to make sure that the tire’s size and inflation pressure matches your trailer’s load capacity. In case the tire’s size is increased as a means of compensating the required load capacity, then ensure that there is adequate clearance for the large tires.

Another difference that you have to remember is that trailer tires are often designed in such a way that they only have limited rolling resistance while the construction of the light truck tire addresses the traction attributes of the tire that can raise its rolling resistance.

Also, take note that you are actually allowed to use light truck tires for your trailer provided it perfectly matches the application while also having proper inflation and maintenance. Ensure that it is not overloaded, too.


When choosing between trailer tires and light truck tires, your goal is to figure out which one is really right for the job. Avoid getting tempted because of certain marketing propaganda. It would still be best to check the tire application facts as well as its overall engineering so you won’t end up buying the wrong tire.

Last update on 2024-07-22 at 12:37 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API