The why and what

If you follow along on our Truck Camper journey you know Steve’s building his own customer camper. If you missed the posts/videos jump on in:

The Why

Or perhaps I should start with the why now? Since Camper2 will require a tire upgrade, this snowball series of events just expedited the change. It all started with this:

June 15, 2020 Flat tire saga begins
Three generations of our F350 tires

There were 3 tire sagas in a short amount of time.

  • INITIAL REPAIR: The initial flat was a sidewall puncture. After 3 attempts a plug held but not overnight with the temperature changes. The local repair shop was unable to fix and could not find an easy replacement for 1 tire.
    • The wheels on the truck were our upgraded 20″ wheels with a street tire. We had no desire to purchase replacement tires unless they met our custom camper requirements. Knowing the cost of what we wanted would be much higher in a small town, Steve came up with an alternative plan.
    • The 3rd morning we were camping in Hogback Creek, Steve drove the truck 3.5 hours home and put back on our original 16″ wheels and tires. He had offloaded the camper so I could stay put. He returned that same night and we reloaded the camper.
  • SECOND REPAIR: The next morning we headed out, but one of the 16″ Yokohamas looked flat. Lucky us, our second set of tires also had a leak. They were fine during the return drive to camp however, a forgotten plug decided not to hold once the camper was loaded. We had a 2 hour drive to our next stop outside of Mammoth Lakes, CA and we knew we could travel into town and pick up a tire fix it spray. We made the journey, stopping periodically to add air. That afternoon, we found the tire repair spray and applied it; the repair sat overnight.
    • The next morning, the saga continued as the repair pass #1 didn’t hold. A second pass was made and we kept moving.
    • Still not holding but again it was only a 2 hour drive day up into Carson Valley, NV. We stuck it out, periodically stopping to add air.
    • In Carson Valley a tire repair shop was able to repair it for free and we were able to stick to our plans and visit Lake Tahoe that afternoon.
  • THIRD REPAIR: After Cason Valley, we were good for a few weeks. Our travels took us through Oregon, Washington, Southern Idaho and up to Montana. We were making our way into Red Lodge, MT and had a stopped overnight in Bozeman, MT. The stop was needed to repair our broken tow hitch. Since it was a Sunday, we spent the afternoon dorking around. As we found our Walmart parking lot spot, Steve noticed one of the tires was coming off of the wheel. Both the inside and outside around the rim; it was very bad. We had no idea when it started but it was scary to think of what could’ve happened if we didn’t get this taken care of.
    • After the first place was unable to locate an acceptable replacement, some phone calls were made to additional stores.
    • By the afternoon, he was able to head out to get a new (used) tire to put on the wheel.

This all occurred in less than a month and there were many alternate scenarios that could’ve ruined the first month of this trip. Now we could still continue with our planned through July and August on the Tucker’s original 16″ wheels and Yokohama tires.

What

Now for the new tire details. We knew the current 20″ tires which did improve the carrying capacity were problematic in many situations. Yes! Tucker got the stuck at least a couple of times. The 20″ tires made it more challenging to get the right level of traction we needed.

Not a situation we’d like to repeat!

The custom camper build already required new tires with additional carrying capacity and better tread. Finding a tire that would not increase the noise in the cab was also a consideration. Finding a highly rated tire meeting the requirements was an ongoing process but Steve finally settled on the AMP All Terrain 295/65R20s. Below are the specs of all 3 generations of tires on Tucker (our F350 frankentruck):

Specs / OurTiresOriginal F350 16″Tires w/new 20″ wheelsTires for Camper2 w/20″ wheels
BrandYokohamaMichelinAMP
TypeAll TerrainRoadAll Terrain Pro A/T
WheelsOriginal 2004 16″Optional 2019 Ford 20″<— same
Size265/65R16275/65R20295/65R20
Diameter31.4″34.1″35.1″
Load Index123126129
Carrying capacity per tire3416 lbs3748 lbs4079 lbs
LRE (80 psi)E (80 psi)E (80 psi)
WarrantyN/AN/A60,000 miles

New tires going on & wheel well trimming needed

Planned future truck mods

Now with the larger tires completed, which required some trimming, the additional truck mods that are planned to support the new camper are:

  • Front airbags
  • Body lift
  • Springs

Follow along on the camper build


If you enjoy personal travel stories and especially camping, follow this blog by entering your email below. You can also follow us on Instagram @WorkingOnExploring or @Maximus.4×4.camper, and subscribe to our WorkingOnExploring YouTube Channel on for our build and trip clips. Good luck on your own exploring and we’ll see you from the road somewhere soon!