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kamzcab86 Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:30 pm

Vanagon Tire Information

[Updated: August 16, 2019]


* * *March 2017: This post is now a truncated version of the original, with just the most basic, pertinent info supplied. For complete tire information and details, and in a more organized, readable format, please download and read the PDF version of this post.* * *

Gross vehicle weight (GVWR) at each corner of a van when fully loaded:
1433 lbs. (2WD Vanagon)
1521 lbs. (4WD Vanagon)

The above is the minimum weight rating you should use when shopping for new tires. The lowest weight-rated tire originally installed on Vanagons by Volkswagen was 1580 lbs. (load index 97, reinforced sidewalls); derated by 9% as required (see Tire Types section), the tire's actual load was 1438 lbs., just over the 1433 full-load van weight above. The 1580-lbs. rating is the preferred minimum weight rating to use when shopping for new tires, especially for campers, so that your van has a safety margin. Furthermore, except for that one 1580-lbs. rated tire, all tires installed on Vanagons at the factory were light truck tires. Use the original equipment list below as a guide while you shop.

Original Equipment (Vanagon 2WD):
185R14C 6PR
Load Index: 99
Load Range: C (6 ply)
Max Load: 1710 lbs.
Max Inflation: 55 psi
VW-recommended Inflation: 39-43 (front); 48-53 (rear)
Revs/mile: 820
Tire: Continental Transport RS771; Continental RT 735 M&S; Michelin XZXT-LRC; Michelin XC; Michelin X

205/70R14 97R
Load Index: 97
Load Range: XL/RF
Max Load: 1580 lbs.
Max Inflation: 40 psi
VW-recommended inflation: 30 (front); 40 (rear)
Revs/mile: 798
Tire: Michelin MXL
Notes: Reinforced passenger car tire

205/65R15
Standard size on South African-built T3's

Original Equipment (Vanagon 4WD):
185R14C 6PR
Load Index: 99
Load Range: C (6 ply)
Max Load: 1710 lbs.
Max Inflation: 55 psi
VW-recommended Inflation: 40-43 (front); 48 (rear)
Revs/mile: 820
Tire: Continental Transport RS771; Continental RT 735 M&S; Michelin XZXT-LRC; Michelin XC; Michelin X

205R14C 6PR/8PR
Load Index: 109
Load Range: D (8 ply)
Max Load: 2270 lbs.
Max Inflation: 65 psi
VW-recommended inflation: 36 (front); 43-43.5(rear)
Revs/mile: 798
Tire: Michelin XC A75; Continental Contrans

205/70R14 97R
Load Index: 97
Load Range: XL/RF
Max Load: 1580 lbs.
Max Inflation: 40 psi
VW-recommended inflation: 36 (front); 40 (rear)
Revs/mile: 798
Tire: Michelin MXL
Notes: Reinforced passenger car tire

Load Index Rating Conversions
93 = 1433 lbs.
94 = 1477 lbs.
95 = 1521 lbs.
96 = 1565 lbs.
97 = 1609 lbs.
98 = 1653 lbs.
99 = 1709 lbs.
100 = 1764 lbs.
101 = 1819 lbs.
102 = 1874 lbs.

Load Range Conversions with Corresponding Standard Max psi Ratings
B = 4 ply (35 psi)
C = 6 ply (50 psi)
D = 8 ply (65 psi)
E = 10 ply (80 psi)
F = 12 ply (95 psi)
SL (35-36 psi)*
XL (41-42 psi)*

* These ratings are for P-metric tires; SL and XL load ranges are often 40 psi and above for Euro-metric and truck/SUV-branded tires.

Replacement Tire Types
Passenger car/minivan tires:
Passenger car tires come in P-metric and Euro-metric sizes. Volkswagen did install a passenger car tire on Vanagons; however, they had reinforced sidewalls and met their load requirement(s). Modern reinforced passenger car tires will have an XL (extra load) or RF (reinforced) rating, as opposed to SL (standard load, which are 2- or 4-ply tires). These tires must meet or exceed the original equipment (see above), which means few options available today. Furthermore, the load range of all P-metric passenger car tires must be reduced by 9%, even when XL or RF. Be vigilant when shopping for P-metric tires for your van.

Euro-metric passenger car tires:
If the tire has no letter designation it is a Euro-metric tire. Euro-metric tires, like their P-metric counterparts, including XL/RF tires, are to be derated by 9% when rated below the C/D/E/F load range. A Euro-metric tire load rated at 99, has a max load rating of 1709 lbs., has a max psi rating of 50, and is an extra load (XL). If we reduce the max load by 9% we get 1555, which is just below the recommended 1580 lbs., but is above the minimum 1433 lbs. This tire can be used.

To recap: Any tire that is not designated as LT (light truck), or does not have a C or higher load range, must undergo the 9% reduction in max load weight. However, it is unclear at this point whether a P- or Euro-metric SUV-branded tire (such as the Yokohama Geolandars) with an SL or XL rating must also undergo the 9% reduction.

For the math-challenged, the equation for reducing a tire's load rating: max load x 0.91 = reduced load rating. From the example above: 1709 x 0.91 = 1555.

Commercial Tires:
Speaking of C, don't confuse C with C. What? When a tire is designated as 205/65R15C, that C is not a load range indicator; it is a tire designation meaning it is a commercial-grade tire.

Trailer Tires:
While trailer tires can meet van specs, they are specifically for trailer applications and, according to experts and manufacturers, are not to be used on drive axles. Trailer-specific tires will be designated with "ST" (such as ST205/60/15).

It should be noted that some tires are actually multi-purpose, but are labeled as trailer-only tires by tire stores, despite the tires not being designated ST. These types of tires are often described by their manufacturers as trailer tires, but are "also suitable on light trucks and vans"; not all tire stores will provide this information so be sure to visit the tire manufacturer's web site. Two tires falling into this category are Hankook RA08 and Kumho Radial 857.

Light Truck (LT) tires:
These are the tires that are preferred on vans, with a load range of C or D (or higher), and a load index of 97 or higher (if going by Volkswagen's specifications). Light truck series tires will be designated LT (such as LT205/65R16).


Currently Available & Recommended Tires

Notes:
1) A tire that can easily fit a 4WD may not fit a 2WD, and vice versa.
2) Before you recommend your particular tire in this topic, please ensure that it is, in fact, still produced by the manufacturer.
3) This will be an ever-evolving post as tires come and go from the marketplace. If you are certain a tire on the list is no longer manufactured, please PM me to have it removed.
4) Again, please download the PDF version of this post for complete tire details including sizes, load ratings, diameters, types, etc.


14" Tires
Cooper Weather Master S/T2
General Tire Grabber AT2
GT Radial Champiro VP1
Hankook Vantra LT (RA18)
Kenda Klever A/T
Kumho Road Venture MT KL71
Maxxis Bravo MA-751
Maxxis Bravo UE-168
Nexen SV820
Nokian cLine Van
Omni United/Radar RLT 71
Yokohama Y356

14" discussion: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=499636

15" Tires
Achilles Radial Multivan
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Continental Vanco 4 Season
Falken Espia EPZ II
Falken Sincera SN250 A/S
Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S
Firestone Destination A/T
General Grabber AT2
Kumho Road Venture AT 51
Michelin Agilis CrossClimate
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Michelin X-Ice XI3
Nokian eNTYRE 2.0
Nokian cLine Cargo
Nokian cLine Van
Nokian WR C3
Pirelli Scorpion ATR
Sumitomo HTR A/S P02
Thunderer Ranger R402
Vredestein Comtrac
Vredestein Comtrac 2 All-season
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015
Yokohama Geolandar H/T-S G051

15" discussion: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=488282

16" Tires
Achilles Radial Multivan
BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2
Bridgestone Dueler 422 Ecopia
Continental ContiProContact
Continental Extreme WinterContact
Continental Vanco 4 Season
Continental 4x4 Contact
Falken Espia EPZ II
Falken Ziex ZE950 A/S
General Grabber AT2
Goodyear Assurance Tripletread All-season
Hankook Dynapro ATM RF10
Hankook i*Pike RW11
Hankook Ventus V2 H457
Kumho Crugen HT51
Michelin Defender LTX M/S
Nankang Cross-Sport All-Season SP-9
Nitto CrossTek 2
Nokian eNTYRE 2.0
Nokian cLine Cargo
Nokian cLine Van
Nokian WR C3
Sumitomo HTR A/S P02
Toyo Versado Noir
Vredestein Comtrac
Vredestein Comtrac 2 All-season
Yokohama Geolandar A/T G015

17" Tires
Nokian eNTYRE 2.0

Discontinued Tires
BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO
Continental Vanco 2
Continental Vanco 8
Cooper Discoverer M+S (14")
Firestone Destination AT (14")
Firestone TransForce HT (15")
Hankook RA08
Hankook i*Pike RS
Hercules Power CV
Goodyear Assurance Tripletred All-season
Kumho Radial 857
Kumho Road Venture AT KL78
Michelin Agilis
Nexen CP321
Nexen CP521
Nokian eNTYRE (16")
Nokian Hakkapeliitta C Van
Nokian WR G3 (15", 16")
Vredestein Comtrac All-season (14")
Yokohama Geolandar H/T-S G051


Additional tire information:
http://www.roadhaus.com/tires/guideline.html
http://www.busdepot.com/details/tires/
http://www.ratwell.com/technical/Tires.html
http://www.moderntiredealer.com/article/story/2008...age/2.aspx
http://www.tirereview.com/tire-types-and-load-capacity/#
Tire topics: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/search.php?search...=titleonly

If anyone has a tire to recommend (ensure it is still available!), tire questions to ask, or general information to add/correct, feel free to post. Consider this the new official van tire FAQ topic.

Note: I'm no tire expert. This post (and PDF) is simply a culmination of the thousand tire topics in the Vanagon Forum. :wink:

DAV!D Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:24 pm

Looks good you should add the Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 for 16 inch. 225/70/16 and I can confirm they will fit a syncro as I have them mounted on mine. Higher weight rating than the General Grabbers as well.

http://www.discounttire.com/dtcs/tires/hankook/pro...ruck%2FSUV

There is also a 215/85/16 but can't say how they fit.

ThankYouJerry Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:04 pm

Excellent! Thanks Kamz. I know that took a ton of work/hours. Please add to the FAQs.

vwhammer Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:24 pm

I also have the 225/70R16 Hankook Dynapro ATM that I am attempting to squeeze under an 85 tin top.

I am excited to see what I need to do.

Anyway this is a good list.

childofthewind Sat Feb 08, 2014 9:26 pm

This is very helpful. Thanks, Kamz!

jimeg Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:57 pm

Great to see the facts laid out, and the 14" tire options - which there are many

Interesting. The 14" 195 was not a factory size tire?

Here is one I've been curious about. Anyone using these?

Radar RPX 878 LT195R14C D/8PR

Radar RPX 878
LT195R14C D/8PR
Type of TireCommercial

$76.10

http://www.tires-easy.com/cgi-bin/rshop.pl?dsco=13...p=R-197244

luVWagn Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:34 am

I nominate for sticky!!!

1621 Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:46 am

Kam, excellent post. Another great tire to add is the Nokian WRC Cargo. It's got a higher ply-rating than similarly constructed WRC Van, with a unidirectional tread, lots of siping, and is still listed as all-weather. Very stout tire with a high load rating. I run the tall/narrow 205/75-16, Load Rated E, and they also offer other comparable sizes in 16", plus one wider 15" model. They are carried by Tires By Web, among others.

http://www.nokiantyres.com/tyre?id=10360798&group=3.01&name=Nokian


regis101 Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:11 am

PM me your land address. I'll buy ya lunch.

Tobias Duncan Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:02 am

For a super cheap alternative in 14 inch you might look at these.
I have been running a set on my 90 2nd westy since mid summer.
Excellent on windy mountain highways but not much traction off road.
http://m.discounttire.com/dtcs/tires/gt_radial/product/submitProductSize.do?r=AZPINT&pc=12415

Jake de Villiers Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:38 pm

Nice work, Kam! ;)

The Continental ContiPro Contact and Extreme Winter Contact in 225/55-16 XL have a 99H rating. 1709 lbs. at 51 PSI

I have a set of each for my van. They are really good tires and are exactly the same diameter as stock.

insyncro Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:41 pm

Thank you for taking the time Kam 8) ...awesome work :!:

dobryan Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:34 pm

\:D/ \:D/ =D>

Maybe call this "What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire post" And place it as Sticky so it complements the "what wheels fit..." one.

geo_tonz Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:13 pm

Very nice compilation!! Can't imagine what motivated you on this one!!! :roll: Make sure to sticky yourself!!

syncroid Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:59 pm

DAV!D wrote: Looks good you should add the Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 for 16 inch. 225/70/16 and I can confirm they will fit a syncro as I have them mounted on mine. Higher weight rating than the General Grabbers as well.


I've got the 225/70/16 dynapro atm rf10s on my syncro. Very tough but quite loud. Noise is partly due to my worn out shocks making them wear in a way that's made the blocks have a sloped instead of flat surface on the front pair.

Would love to compare noise levels, but not an easy figure to quote.

Good post.

kamzcab86 Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:05 pm

Tires and more info added. 8)

dobryan wrote: Maybe call this "What TIRES fit? The ultimate tire post" And place it as Sticky so it complements the "what wheels fit..." one.

Done (although, at least one sticky has to go... it's getting a bit out of hand; think I'll merge a few together eventually).

ThankYouJerry Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:56 pm

Again, thank you so much Kamz.

Now, what I'd appreciate from the rest of the forum members would be real life reviews of these tire options (handling wet/dry, longevity, road noise, etc). For example: I have a new set of Nokian WRG3s and will be happy to report back after I've logged enough miles to have a credible opinion.

Ever get the feeling that Tire Rack's "surveys" are total BS :lol: ? I'd trust the collective wisdom of The Samba over Tire Rack ANY DAY!!!

DAV!D Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:14 pm

syncroid wrote: DAV!D wrote: Looks good you should add the Hankook DynaPro ATM RF10 for 16 inch. 225/70/16 and I can confirm they will fit a syncro as I have them mounted on mine. Higher weight rating than the General Grabbers as well.


I've got the 225/70/16 dynapro atm rf10s on my syncro. Very tough but quite loud. Noise is partly due to my worn out shocks making them wear in a way that's made the blocks have a sloped instead of flat surface on the front pair.

Would love to compare noise levels, but not an easy figure to quote.

Good post.

Sadly I didn't get to drive mine much with the new tires as I tore it apart for a engine swap. I never really had it out on a highway or really over 45mph but I didn't notice any excessive road noise from mine.

I was toying with seeing if I could squeeze them on my 2wd westy just for kicks while the syncro is tore apart. If I do, I'll report back on road noise.

Wildthings Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:37 pm

kamzcab86 wrote:
The above is the minimum weight rating you should use when shopping for new tires. However, the lowest weight-rated tire originally installed on Vanagons by Volkswagen was 1580 lbs. (load index 97, reinforced sidewalls), which gives you a safety margin when your van is driven fully loaded.



As you pointed out elsewhere extra load passenger tires must be derated, which mean the stock 205/75r14's would have been rated at just over 1433 pounds for use on a MPV.

big toe Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:46 am

Helpful info, thanks. Any way to list it in a spreadsheet? It might be easier to digest and cross compare that way.

I can't find the Kumho KL78 for sale anywhere, not even on the Kumho site. Anyone have a link?

Kumho Road Venture AT KL78
27x8.5R14 LT
Load range: D
Load index: 101Q
Max load: 1820 lbs.
Max psi: 65



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