All 2001-2003 Eurovans sold in the USA were fitted with a 225/60-16 tire, with a 102 load rating, and a load capacity of around 1800lbs. For many years the only two choices of tire in that size and load rating were the Michelin MXV4-Plus tire and the Dunlop Sport 2000. By far the better of the two was the Michelin with a tread wear rating of 400. However, that tire was discontinued by Michelin in 2007. The Dunlops were then the only choice, and we immediately bought up every one we could get our hands on. But with a tread wear rating of only 200, folks were getting as little as 20k miles out of them. At a cost of almost $200 each, it was a hard pill to swallow. Continental Tire came on the scene in 2008 with a 225/60-16 tire in a 102 load rating. However, its tread wear rating of 280 is only marginally better than the Dunlop, and the price is not much less. Along came the Michelin HydroEdge, which was arguably the best all around mud and snow rated street tire on the market. It featured an awesome, industry-leading wear rating of 800, which means one could typically get 60-80K miles out of a set. Now the HydroEdge has gone the way of the dinosaur, and it has been superceded by the Michelin Defender. Neither the HydroEdge nor the Defender are available with a 102 load rating. So, what about load rating...?
You probably have heard a lot about how these tires do not have the same load rating as the tires originally fitted by VW—and that is true. But the fact is that the tires we offer have enough load capacity.has a load rating of 100 instead of 102. But, since it is a larger tire it has a high enough load capacity. In fact, at 1764 lbs, it is high enough and then some. So, what's the catch?
Well, here is the catch. The larger size tire will clear the fender easily, but only on lifted and leveled Eurovans. But in reality, that is something you should have done regardless, so it is not really that big of a "catch" at all.
What if you want to do a little bit of off-road driving with your Eurovan? An excellent choice for the occasional fire road or graded dirt road is the , a superior tire that combines off-road capability with highway aptitude. We have installed this tire on both the Weekender and full camper models in the 235/60-16 size. But, here again, lifting is required so the tires don't rub the front fenders or rear bumper cover. The upside to this choice is a much more rugged design with superior off-road traction and handling. The downsides are A) they don't handle quite as well on the street, and B) they won't last quite as long because the rubber is a softer compound.
You will notice we have only been discussing 16" wheels and tires. What about 2000 and older Eurovans fitted with a 15" wheel? If you have a pre-2001 Eurovan (camper or not), get rid of the wheels AND tires! We recommend replacing the 15" wheels with 16" wheels when you are due for tires. GoWesty does not recommend 15" wheels and tires on any Eurovan. There is simply no 15" tire option that can compare in terms of wear, handling, load capacity, commonness, and cost. VW finally figured that out for themselves, albeit only three years before the end of production. You may think it is too expensive to make the switch. But, by the time you wear out one set of Defender tires, you will have gone through at least two sets of anything you can get in a 15" that has a high enough load capacity. So, in the long run, it is actually cheaper to make the switch to 16" wheels and tires.
Interested in purchasing a set for your van? Check out our Eurovan tire offerings below!