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Should I Put Mud Tires on My Truck?

How and where you plan to drive off-road will play a large part in deciding whether or not to get mud tires for your truck. Different kinds of driving require different types of tires. Having the right ones will give you better performance and control and limit the risk of damage to the tires and your vehicle.

Today we’ll look closely at mud tires for trucks. Are they a good idea or not? Let’s find out.

What Is the Difference Between Mud Tires and All-Terrain Tires?

Mud and all-terrain tires are created using radial construction, but they can vary significantly in tread pattern, sizing, and performance. The wide tread pattern of mud tires helps prevent mud and gunk from clogging them up or lets them clear mud as they turn. 

They can handle rugged conditions. However, the construction of mud tires often causes them to reduce your fuel economy, and they wear out faster.

Best Mud Tires in 2020 || Top 5

The Benefits of Having Mud Tires for Your Truck

Mud tires for trucks are very aggressive-looking and have deep tread voids and large tread blocks. This makes them ideal for off-roading. They can better handle the rocks and holes of the road. 

Because mud tires are larger, they also give you more surface area and traction, which can help avoid getting stuck in the mud. If you plan to spend a lot of time off-roading, consider getting mud tires for your truck. They’re more resistant to chips and cuts and more safe and reliable for your adventures.

Truck driving in mud with mud tires.
Increase your tires performance and durability by switching to mud tires.

What Are the Disadvantages of Installing Mud Tires?

Despite their increased performance and durability, they’re not perfect tires. Let’s look at several reasons you might not want mud tires for your truck.

They’re Noisy

Because of their bulky design and large gaps in the tread, mud tires can get extremely noisy while driving. This may annoy you, especially if you don’t expect it. The faster you go, the louder your tires can get. Large nobby tires will sound like having four plane propellors under you on the highway.

Less Fuel Efficient

If you don’t like stopping at the fuel pump, you may not like mud tires. By putting off-road tires on your truck, you can reduce your fuel economy by 3%. If you put mud tires on a large truck, you may already get poor MPG.

These tires create more friction and traction. This often results in more fuel consumption and more stops at the gas station. The less rolling resistance you have with your tires, the better. 

Worse On Road Performance

While these tires may be fantastic off road, on road is another story. Because of the extra rubber between the rim and the road the tires tend to wobble or squirm a bit side to side. This can cause a steering wander or a floaty ride feeling. While not a problem at low speeds highway driving can be a bear with mud tires.

Usually, steering components need to be upgraded along with the addition of the larger mud tires. Stronger tighter steering components with stiff steering dampeners can help reduce some of these negative effects.

If you like off-roading, mud tires are great options!

Not Great for Snow and Ice

Mud tires for trucks are sometimes worse in snow and ice conditions than standard tires. Because of their size, they can cause the vehicle to float on top of the snow instead of gripping it. The soft rubber compounds usually dont bite well on ice either and can clog with snow.

A fully packed tire with snow and ice will perform more like a slick racing tire than a mud one. You want a good grip in these conditions. So if you travel in the snow, it might be best to run an all terrain. 

Throw Rocks and Mud Clumps

With the bigger treads its more likley that these tires will pick up larger rocks and clumps of mud and toss them around. More than once we have had large rocks come dislodged at highway speeds and make a terrible clunk.

Because of this it’s important and required to run good mudflaps when operating mud tires.

Which Towing Rock Guards & Mud Flaps are Best for You?

Depends, DOT mud tires are street-legal. However, spending too much time on the roads will accelerate the wear and tear on them. This means you’ll need to replace those costly tires much sooner than you would otherwise. 

Some “Super Swampers” or agricultural mud tires are not street legal and should only be used off-road.

Pro Tip: Ensure you have the highest quality tires on your truck or RV by buying The Best Trailer Tires for Your RV.

Are Mud Tires Good for Overlanding Trucks?

Mud tires work great for overlanding trucks. Overlanding typically means traveling off paved roads to explore dirt and gravel paths, which mud tires love. They’ll absorb the rough terrain and help give you the traction and control to avoid getting stuck.

The more you can keep them off the paved roads, the better. Mud tires can last a long time if they spend the bulk of their life on dirt paths. They’re one of the best tire options for overlanding trucks and other off-road adventures.

Vehicles off roading through mud.
This type of mud would just clog up an all-terrain tire

Can You Tow a Camper with Mud Tires for Trucks?

You can tow a camper with mud tires, but we don’t recommend doing it often. This will increase the wear and tear and reduce their life expectancy. Some RVers share that they experience “tread squirm” when towing heavier trailers with them. This slight movement in the tires while steering can surprise you if you don’t expect it.

If you have mud tires on your truck and you spend most of your driving off-road, you may not want to change them out each time you go camping. So if you go on close, short trips with your camper and avoid overloading your rig, your mud tires will likely do the job. 

How Long Do Mud Tires for Trucks Last?

The life expectancy of mud tires for trucks is typically around 20,000 miles. Several factors contribute to how long you can expect. If you do most of your driving on soft surfaces or off-road, they might last longer.

However, if you primarily drive on paved roads, you may get considerably fewer miles and a shorter life out of them. They really are not great on the road.

Pro Tip: Unsure if your tires are lasting as long as they should? Find out How Long Do RV Tires Last?

Mud Tire Deep Mud
Explore rough terrain with sturdy mud tires.

How Much Do Mud Tires Cost?

Tires aren’t cheap, especially mud ones. These large and rugged tires can cost $300 to $1,000 per tire. 

It’s also important to remember that mud tires typically get two-thirds to one-half of the life expectancy of all-terrain tires. This means you may pay considerably more for a shorter life span. 

Is It Worth Getting Mud Tires for Your Truck?

Mud tires for trucks are a great addition, especially if you regularly take your vehicle on off-roading adventures. You’ll appreciate their increased traction and durability. They make your truck perform better and look good while doing it. 

However, they’re not for everyone. If you rarely take your vehicle off-road, you may grow frustrated with their increased cost and shorter life.

Do you have mud tires for your truck?  Drop a comment below!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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Jason Wyles

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

I. Have a 2017 Ram rebel and run Maxxis mt. I live in Montana see ton of snow and ice. Hunt and pull a camper. 15k on them still look new. Best mud tire I've ever run.