hankook vantra trailer tires: one year later

Look, we know that there’s likely no topic less sexy that trailer tires. Nevertheless, it’s something that is worth discussing. We’ve all been there before, waiting at the trailhead for that one friend who’s on the side of the road changing yet another trailer tire after a blowout. The general idea that if a tire has good tread it’s good to use may hold true for truck tires, but it leaves many weary trailer owners in this very same side-of-the-road predicament. While a quality automotive tire usually has a lifespan of about 5 or 6 years before being out in the sun and elements takes a toll on the rubber, trailer tires typically see far less use and need to be replaced sooner, regardless of tread depth.

In our continual attempt to not risk life and limb changing a trailer tire in traffic, we pay close attention to our trailer tires and replace them frequently with high-quality rubber. There’s a definite hierarchy of trailer tires that includes a high-end, a serviceable midrange, and a slew of ultra-cheap tires. We try to stick with the best-quality trailer tires—ones that come from reputable manufacturers (and aren’t made in China)—that we can afford.

Last year, in 2021, Hankook released a new line of tires made specifically for trailer service. The new Vantra Trailer tire was released in nine of the most popular sizes, fitting wheels from 13 to 16 inches. In addition to the standard Vantra Trailer, Hankook has also released the Vantra Trailer TH31 trailer tire. The Vantra TH31 is designed for higher loads, such as commercial applications, and is available in three sizes for now.

Hankook’s new Vantra Trailer radial tires are equipped with trailer-specific features such as a wide steel belt layer, high-strength bead wire, folded belt edge tape, a three-ply carcass with an equilibrium polyester carcass line (fancy words for enhanced sidewall stiffness and durability), along with a long-treadwear rubber compound and a high-stiffness tread pattern. This extensive feature list, in addition to ready availability from TireRack.com, made our choice easy when it came time to replace a set of older tires on our new-to-us travel trailer.

Now, one year and 6,000 miles later, we can say with full authority that we’ve been nothing but pleased with the new Hankook Vantra Trailer tires. We’ve towed with these tires over smooth pavement, cracked and broken asphalt, roads with massive potholes, in driving rain and heavy wind, and down rough and rutted desert trails. We’ve also towed with a large ¾-ton diesel truck, a smaller ½-ton gasoline truck, and a full-size SUV. All that to say, we could definitely notice a marked difference in trailer performance once the Hankook Vantra Trailer tires were installed. With no other changes, the trailer tracks straighter in wind and rain and has less of a tendency to wander with roadway grooves. During a month-long trip through the Western United States, we made it a point to check tire pressure at the start of each drive day and can happily report that the Hankook tires never lost pressure. Additionally, we have not gotten a single flat due to road debris (or at all, for that matter).

As you’re getting ready for the next camping or wheeling season, be sure to give your trailer tires a quick glance. If they are more than a couple years old, show signs of wear, or look to have any kind of flat spotting or sun rot it’s time to change them. Don’t be “that guy”—and don’t forget about the spare!

Hankook’s Vantra Trailer tire line is available in 12 total sizes, including three sizes of Vantra TH31 high-capacity tires. As of this writing, these tires are in stock at TireRack.com and ready for delivery.

For our trailer, we needed tires sized 225/75R15. This works out to about 28 inches tall and 9 inches wide. It’s incredibly important to pay attention to tire width and wheel backspacing when replacing any set of trailer tires.

The “E” load rating means that each of the Hankook Vantra trailer tires is rated at a maximum of 2,830 pounds of carrying capacity. When buying trailer tires, you ideally want the tires to have a higher load rating than the wheel, and the wheels to have a higher load rating than the axle. Always load to the manufacturer’s stated gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), not the combined tire rating.

Intended for trailer service only, these Hankook Vantra tires have a maximum cold air pressure rating of 80 psi and come with an “E” load rating. The tires are 10-ply rated, with steel, polyester, and nylon tread plies and two polyester sidewall plies.

The tread pattern of the Hankook Vantra Trailer tire has been specially designed with the needs of travel trailers in mind. The tread block pattern ratio was optimized for high-load conditions and is cast in a long-wear rubber compound. We’ve absolutely loved how this tread pattern has performed in both wet and dry pavement conditions.

Sources

  • Hankook Tire, www.hankooktire.com
  • TireRack.com, www.tirerack.com

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