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June 21, 2014

The Road Less Traveled: RNR Talks All-Terrain Tires

Dear Bree,

I’m thinking I’d like to get off the beaten path this summer and find out what all the hype is about with off-roading.  I’ve got a great vehicle for this, I think, but not the right tires.  So, here’s my question:  Do I need all-terrain tires or off-road tires, and what’s the difference?  Is there really a difference?  Thanks, Bree!

Ready for Anything in Maryland


Dear Ready,

I like your spirit of adventure!  Why sit on the sidelines while everyone else is having a great time, right?  I think you’ll find that off-roading is a lot of fun, but you’re right to start by making sure you have the right tires.

You definitely don’t want to take off for the hills/mud/rocks with your regular all-season tires.  Choosing between all-terrain and off-road tires is really a question of where you want to go.  What do you want to do?  Are you looking for a little mild mud and fun?  If you’re traveling in mild to moderate off-road conditions and you want to drive straight to your trailhead rather than going to the trouble of trailering your vehicle, all-terrain tires are for you.

All-terrain tires are like all-seasons on steroids.  They cover all sorts of situations, from normal, everyday driving to some mud, snow and ice.  They’re a nice compromise between off-road fun and your on-road, everyday-driving life.  They’re versatile and there’s a broad range of them available.  Come in and talk to us and you’ll see what I mean.  They’re built with off-road standards in mind, like their tread design.  They have multi-faceted tread blocks that offer good traction in any direction in dry snow, mud and ice, on gravel roads and dirt trails, as well as on the highway.  All-terrain tires also have the M + S rating which means that they are appropriate for all-season weather, including snow and ice.  When you’re sticking to the pavement, they keep the noise level down and offer great traction all year long.

Another good thing about all-terrain tires?  They have good longevity, they wear well and are reasonably priced.  If you’re thinking about taking a dive into some off-road action, but you don’t necessarily want to scale any boulders (at least for now), I’d recommend you look at a good set of all-terrain tires.  Just like any tires, proper maintenance is key.  Rotate them regularly and keep an eye on the air pressure.  All-terrain tires may have different pressure requirements than you are used to, so make sure you have that information on hand (and don’t forget to check the pressure on your spare periodically).

One last thing: Think about your wheels.  Will you need new wheels to accommodate the sort of off-road driving or tires you’re considering?   We can help you with that, too, if you need it.

The long and short of this is that you need to figure out how far off the road you want to go, friend, and then let us know and we’ll get you outfitted.  Stay tuned to the blog here because next week, I’ll give you all the info you need about off-road or mud terrain tires, the next step in this off-road adventure.:)

Be safe!



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