Tow Dolly Tires? Bias Ply or Radial?

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by WorthFlorida, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    I just bought a used tow dolly, brand is unknown, however it has a heavy frame and beefy tow arm, about 50% more bulk than master tow. I'll be towing my wife's Murano mostly on I-95, in Florida, for 170 miles one way between our two homes. The dolly has two radial tires a 175/70R-13 and and 175/80R-13. There is plenty of rubber left on both of them and I'm not concerned about the ratio, that but I do need a spare. There are the bias ply (D rated) and radial. Does anyone know if the radial is any better than bias ply for trailer-ing? I might get two new bias ply tires and used the radials as spares, or get one radial (/80R) and use the /70R as the spare.
  2. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    I would do this, but without looking at the tire specs, I do not know which one I would match.

    I do know it would not be wise to continue with the 70/80 combo.
  3. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    Looking at them you can't tell the difference as far as size but a tow dolly has two separate spindles, not an axle, therefore, if one is spinning faster than the other the dolly still runs true and straight. It might be no more than 1/2 inch lower but you can see it. I already towed it one way (170 miles) without a car on it and it runs straight. It doesn't sway or oscillate side to side. Looking on line at tire wheel combo, the 80R is more common with a load range of 1660 lbs. I'll probably go with a radial and use the 75R as the spare.
  4. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    I ordered a 80R tire-wheel to replace the 70R. This past weekend I had them off the dolly and there is quite a difference in size between them. I did find other sites and for the most part the radial will last longer and the trailer will travel straighter. Some good info on trailer tires:

    Attached Files:

  5. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Moved to Towing/Trailer Tech forum.
  6. WorthFlorida

    WorthFlorida Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts


    When I tried to load the wife's Murano the width was just too tight. The Murano wheel base is 68" but at the outside of the front tires it's 72+". The dolly tray is 72" and the center of the tire did not line up with the welded in place ratchets. A welding expert friend came by to see if we can add and changed things. It was possible but I was having a hard time to find the right parts to do the job. Problem solved, I sold it for what I paid for it and bought a new Stelh Tow Dolly 80" wide, 102" at the outside of the wheels. It has 14" bias ply load range C 6 ply tires. Tonight, was the first time I hauled the Murano on it and it worked like a dream. I have the base model without brakes and it does take a little learning curve that you really need to brake well in advance and much harder. Since I plan to only use only between South Florida and Orlando, the only hills you encounter are bridges on I-95. If you plan to drive to the mountains then you will need the model with brake assist at least with a nearly 4000 lb vehicle.

    The truck performed pretty good. I do the Orlando trip at least twice a month and I consistently would get via the DCI 18.5 Average MPG at 70 MPH (sometimes up to 19.5), Tonight I had 16.5 average at 55-60 MPH with the Murano in tow. On the up hill side of approaching bridges, the engine kept pace and you can here the throttle open buy the sound of the exhaust, but barely gain any speed and a few times the trans downshifted to 5th gear. I used tow mode on the local streets to minimize gear hunting or when merging onto I-95, then switched to normal mode for the sixth gear. I kept and eye on the trans temp and with the evening temps in the 60's it was in the 130 degree range.

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