How tires are designed? First off, let’s be clear on the word “design.” For this post I am not talking about the exterior “look” of the tread or sidewall but about the complete structure and how the tire performs. Passenger, LT, and ST type tires would be considered “consumer ” tires. The 19.5 and 22.5 size tires used on Class A RVs are really “commercial” tires designed for the truck market. Some may be marketed to the RV owner but in general they are intended for commercial (truck) applications. When a tire is being designed for a specific vehicle manufacturer such as Ford, Chevy, Toyota or BMW, there will be a number of tires submitted by competing tire companies. They will all be trying to deliver the best overall compromise in performance characteristics. Please note that all original equipment vehicle manufacturers have slightly different requirements but all make similar requests for performance improvements in many areas. In the future I will use the term “OE” (original equipment) to include these car and pickup manufacturers. Why is there always a compromise? Now is a good time to talk about some of the various trade-offs the tire design engineer is faced with when trying to meet conflicting goals and customer wants. I am sure we would all like an RV that has all the interior space and amenities of a 40-foot diesel pusher but gets 25 mpg and can be driven down crowded city streets without knocking off our mirrors. Oh […]