What are the Differences between RV Tires & Trailer Tires? – 7 Things

Some people think the RV tires and Trailer Tires same thing but that's not the true. There are many differences between them. At the current time, we're going to discuss about this topic "what are the differences between them point by point. 

Hope- to read our things, you'll agree with us and get some deep knowledge's that wasn't in your mind before-

7 Main Differences between RV tires & Trailer Tires

There are seven main differences between RV tires, typically light truck tires, and trailer tires. They are failure rates, air pressure, allowed speeds, dimensions, their design, their expected run life and labeling.

Let’s look at these differences between trailer tires and RV tires point by point.

01. Air Pressure

The recommended air pressure for RV tires typically 35 PSI. Trailer tire pressure are higher, and the greater the load, the higher the recommended air pressure. For example, boat trailer tires are generally pressurized to between 50 and 65 PSI. 

One more differences

Another related difference between vehicle and trailer tire pressure is the “maximum” level. On trailer tires, the maximum pressure is often the pressure they want you to maintain.

On vehicle pressures, the maximum air pressure is higher than the ideal tire pressure. If your recommended tire pressure is 35 PSI for truck tires, the maximum tire pressure may be 40-45 PSI but you are advised not to let the pressure get that high. 

Check the tire pressure

All of this explains why you should check the tire pressure of trailer tires and add air more often than you do your RV tires.

02. Speed Ratings

Light truck tires used on many RVs are rated for highway speeds. Many of them allow you to safely travel at 80 miles an hour. Conversely, trailer tires sacrifice speed for the ability to handle a heavy load.

Trailer tires tend to have lower acceptable speeds; there are tires that shouldn’t go above 40 or 50 miles per hour are common.

03. Dimensions

LT or light truck tires typically have thicker sidewalls and under the tread. Load range D light trailer tires are 8 ply, while load range E tires are 10 ply. 

In comparison, RV tires, like other passenger vehicle tires, are typically 4 or 6 ply. The thicker sidewall of trailer tires is intended to minimize sway when you hit a bump, but it creates a bumpier ride and hurts fuel efficiency.

04. Design

The cords in light truck tires are generally a larger gauge than those in trailer tires. Light truck tires sometimes but don’t always have a steel belt, as well.

Only light truck tires will have the complex tread to maximize performance on wet pavement or ice. The tread itself on truck tires tends to be deeper to handle the heavy stresses put on the tires by the engine and drive shaft. 

The quality of tread doesn’t make much difference on the highway, but if you’re driving on gravel roads, light truck tires like RV tires will last longer.

The tread in trailer tires is almost an afterthought when the goal is to support a heavy load; this means they’re more prone to overheating as you travel, especially at high speeds.

05. Run Life

Trailer tires are not designed to go the distance, whether in terms of miles or years. The standard recommendation is to replace trailer tires within five years, even if you’ve never taken them out on the road.

Car tires that fall apart after four years have to have been driven 40 to 60,000 miles. In comparison, the expected run life of standard trailer tires ranges from 5,000 to 12,000 miles.

06. Failure Rates

Trailer tires have around a 10% reserve load. If it is rated for 5,000 pounds, it is designed to handle 5,000 pounds when fully inflated. If the internal pressure goes down, so does the weight the tire can carry without failure.

Between the tendency to fully load trailers to the maximum allowed weight and the failure to check tire pressures, this explains why trailer tires are more likely to blow out than your average truck tire.

RV tires, like car tires, have more margin. These passenger vehicle tires usually have 15% to 25% greater “reserve” load.

However, we rarely load up cars to the brim with people and possessions to the point we could overload it.

07. Labeling

Both trailer and the truck tires used as RV tires use the same alphabetical rating system to indicate the load they can handle, where a D tire can carry more weight than a tire rated C. RV truck tires are generally load range C, D or E.

The passenger tires designed to handle an extra-large load will be labeled XL, while reinforced tires will have an extra “RF” after the load range designation. 

One more converse

Conversely, you don’t want to use LL or light load truck tires on your RV. If there is no extra designation, assume it is a standard load or SL tire. 

You can find RV truck tires and trailer tires for 15” rims, too. However, the tires are labeled differently so you don’t make the mistake of putting a vehicle tire on the trailer. The trailer tire will be stamped with ST for special trailer.

RV tires generally have an LT for light truck stamped on the sidewall. Trailer tires may outright say “for trailer use only”.


RV tires and trailer tires differ in a number of ways. It affects everything from how they are used and maintained to the notifications stamped on the outside of the tire.

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John S.

Hello guys! I'm a 37-years-old author, traveler, writer, blogger, and a camper. I enjoy life as much as I can and love to visit beautiful places in my RV. That's why while traveling I have decided to dedicate some time to share my experiences with everyone that might be interested in traveling, camping, and RVs.