BORGY’s TYRE GUIDE Equip­ping your rig for the of­froad

Get more from your rub­ber than ever be­fore with our ex­clu­sive tyre Guide.

Camper Trailer Australia - - CONTENTS - WORDS MICHAEL BORG PICS MATT FEHLBERG

Did you know that just a few inches of your ve­hi­cle’s tyres ac­tu­ally touch the ground at any given time? That’s pretty crazy when you con­sider what can hap­pen if you break trac­tion at the wrong time. Your tyres are, per­haps, the most im­por­tant part of your setup, so it pays to have a good un­der­stand­ing of not only which tyre suits you the best, but how you can get the most out of them. The prob­lem is that us 4WDers are spoilt for choice th­ese days. I mean, there are just so many op­tions to choose from. If you get it right, you could be look­ing at the sin­gle most ef­fec­tive up­grade to your setup in terms of pure per­for­mance. So to help you see clearly through the murk­i­ness, here’s our spe­cial guide to get­ting true value from your 4WD or camper trailer’s next set of shoes!

MUD-TER­RAIN vs. ALL-TER­RAIN TYREs

When it comes to pur­chas­ing your next set of tyres, the key is be re­al­is­tic about how your ve­hi­cle is pre­dom­i­nately used, and make an ed­u­cated and prac­ti­cal com­pro­mise be­tween on-road and of­froad per­for­mance. I mean, sure, the look of an ag­gres­sive mud-ter­rain tyre is enough to make any­one grin like grandma on bingo night, but do you re­ally need it? Here are a few things to con­sider: tra­di­tion­ally, mud tyres were a real night­mare on sealed roads. In fact, they weren’t much good for any ter­rain other than, well, mud! Be­lieve it or not, their ten­dency to dig them­selves down into the sand ren­dered them use­less on the beach, too. How­ever, with mod­ern tech­nol­ogy be­ing im­ple­mented into their de­sign th­ese days they’ve def­i­nitely picked up their act, with mud-ter­rain op­tions that of­fer good all round per­for­mance in­clud­ing much bet­ter on-road man­ners.

A good all-ter­rain tyre will still gen­er­ally be much qui­eter on the black­top and of­fer bet­ter han­dling, per­for­mance and tread life, but you can’t deny the ex­tra trac­tion a mud tyre pro­duces in muddy ter­rain or on rocks. The other big­gie is that mud-ter­rain tyres typ­i­cally of­fer more side wall strength/punc­ture re­sis­tance.

So, not only are they more re­li­able of­froad but the side­walls will han­dle run­ning in

lower pres­sures reg­u­larly much bet­ter, too.

So if you’re de­cid­ing be­tween the two types of tyres, ask your­self: how of­ten do you head of­froad and what type of ter­rain do you tackle? If you only lock the hubs in ev­ery sec­ond month or you only tackle dirt roads or the oc­ca­sion run up the beach, then an all-ter­rain tyre is your best bet. If you hit the tracks on a reg­u­lar ba­sis and tackle your fair share of ad­ven­tur­ous out­ings, then the in­creased trac­tion and re­silience of a mud-ter­rain tyre is more than likely worth sac­ri­fic­ing a bit of tread life and in­crease road noise.

DOES SIZE MAT­TER?

When it comes to choos­ing the right size tyre for your 4WD, there’s plenty to con­sider. Larger tyres can re­ally im­prove your ve­hi­cle’s of­froad ca­pa­bil­ity. It’s the only real way to in­crease your ve­hi­cle’s diff and body clear­ance, and im­proves the ap­proach and de­par­ture an­gles, too.

In say­ing that, there’s a swag of pit­falls to ne­go­ti­ate when choos­ing this op­tion. First up, if you’re go­ing a few sizes up, there is a

clock­wise from top left: The wide groves on a mud-ter­rain tyre will cause it to hum on tar­mac as the tread wears; Mudter­rains self-clean as they spin; All-ter­rains are great on sand, ca­pa­ble of­froad but are sus­cep­ti­ble to clog­ging up in the wet; Lower tyre pres­sures al­low tyres to mould an ob­sta­cle for in­creased trac­tion; Opt for sim­i­lar height tyres, as larger tyres af­fect sta­bil­ity, brakes and en­gine per­for­mance.

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