Toyo Open Country R/T Diesel Wear Review

One of the first camping trips with the new R/Ts where they saw light dirt, rocks, a little mud, and much low psi crawling.

Toyo Open Country R/T Tires

Toyo Tires’ rugged terrain R/T got the nod to be the first traction tread on my 2017 Ram regular cab. The versatility of a 60/40 design is ideal for my many miles both on- and off-highway. The R/T has had my attention since its introduction, but there was extra allure once it was offered in my favorite, niche, 18-inch size, the 285/75R18. Hearsay reports indicated that it was extremely quiet on-road, but I needed to experience this for myself.

Toyo’s Rugged Terrain R/T

Features And Benefits include:

-High Turn-Up, 3-Ply Polyester Sidewall Construction: Contributes to excellent durability, impact resistance, and handling.

-Optimized Pattern Arrangement: Reduces noise for improved driving comfort.

-Aggressive Sidewall Designs With Durable Sidewall Compound: Enhances traction and side impact protection and offers two slightly different sidewall tread designs for owner preference.

-Open, Scalloped Shoulder Blocks: Improves off-road traction; enhances grip in muddy, sandy, or snowy off-road conditions; and ejects mud and snow through the open channels.

-Stone And Mud Ejectors: Forces stones and mud from the grooves.

The R/T offers a choice of sidewall shoulder tread design.

Mount, Balance, and Baseline

Five tires were ordered to ensure I had a spare that was not only the proper size but also offered adequate traction, which can be important when the spare is needed in difficult terrain. The new rubber balanced without drama on OEM aluminum wheels, typical for Toyo’s multi-segment designs.

One would think that the R/T’s outer lugs would lead to more noise compared to the familiar A/T II Xtreme. My initial run on the R/Ts had me thinking they were maybe slightly louder. However, when I put the A/T II Xtremes back on, and drove over the same section of freeway, I could not tell a difference. My back-to-back evaluations corroborated other reports that say the R/T is extremely quiet and sometimes indistinguishable from the A/T II Xtreme. Quite an engineering accomplishment! At most there may be a slightly different pitch to the noise they make and how they sound at lower speeds. To be perfectly clear, the R/T is not a silent tread design—get a highway tire if you want that—but they are impressively quiet for their appearance, void, and target audience.

Toyo A/T II Xtreme on the left, and Toyo R/T on the right. Both are LT285/75R18E and can support 4,080-lbs each at 80 psi.

Because I am a stickler for drivability, I was happy to discover that the Toyo R/T construction and design mated perfectly to my 2017 Pack Mule, which still sports the factory caster and camber settings; only the toe has been adjusted. There were no unusual handling or tracking quirks that required me to seek alignment or suspension adjustments. On level and smooth roadways no steering input correction was necessary. The truck continued straight and remained neutral, even when I played the old game: look mom, no-hands.

Some treads and chassis, even identical sizes from the same manufacturer, mesh differently. It is worth noting that the same size Toyo A/T II Xtreme drift to the right a bit on the ’17 Mule, yet they track perfectly straight on the 2014 Carryall crew cab that sports an SPC offset ball joint.

The guys at the tire shop must hate seeing me drive up.

Static, single-plane spin balancing in my preference.

Nearly 100 lbs of Toyo traction tire and OEM forged aluminum wheel needed a mere 3-ounces.

General Use And Wear Data

Over several months these Rugged Terrain treads saw at least a little of most surfaces. That means much pavement, but also plenty of dirt, gravel, snow, slush, and a little ice. The R/T is not a dedicated winter tire. It does okay, though maybe not quite as good as the familiar Toyo A/T II, which offers much more siping. The R/Ts have spent as little time as possible crossing mud…I don’t care for it, and heavy trucks and campers often flounder in mud.

Modern turbo-diesel pickups (not just Rams) often wear tread quickly compared to their gas-powered cousins. This has much to do with the massive amount of twist that the engines apply to the ground, and in this case the ‘Mule’s constant GVWR load. Manual transmissions are compounding factors, and both my Fourth Generation Ram/Cummins 2500s have the G56 6-speed (which I love). My driving style is generally smooth and efficient; however, there are times when I intentionally smash the accelerator, run the Cummins up-to the redline, and/or drive at higher speeds for hours. Therefore my tire wear data may represent a slightly fast wear scenario.

34.84-inches tall inflated according to Toyo, and about what I measured.

All LT-metric R/T sizes come with 16.4/32” of tread depth. This is 0.6” less than the same size Toyo A/T II, and the starting depth affects how many miles one might get out of tires before needing replacements. I prefer more rubber for both traction and longevity, but the 16.4/32” seems to be just enough. All floatation sizes start with 18.9/32-inches. Over 8,650 miles, rotating four, using a rearward cross pattern, these 285/75R18 Toyo R/T have delivered 1,965 miles per 1/32” of tread. This is similar to other tires that have yielded up to 2,100 miles per thirty-second. Wear often slows down as tread becomes shallower (if tires are rotated), and the measurements become more accurate as well.

Recently I mounted a different set of meats for a new evaluation, but the R/Ts remain in my shop mounted, balanced, and ready for continued use. Tire prices vary throughout North America, but in my part of the West the LT285/75R18E Toyo R/T are $340 each at my local Discount Tire.

16.4/32” of tread depth on all LT-metric Toyo R/Ts.

New tires looking good at the fuel pumps.

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James Langan

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Resource: Toyo Tires




Light switch caused dead batteries?

1) 15 mm deep-socket and thumb wheel worked nicely for the thin toggle nut.

2) Two terminals versus three on new switch was not a problem, but terminal size and design was. Looked, but found essentially the same thing at two additional auto parts stores.

3) My solution was trim the terminals into a narrower shape, and file the screw threads, thinning the spades.

4) VisionX 6.7 Light Cannons are working again.

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James Langan

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iONBoost V10 WaganTech Diesel Jump Start

iONBoost V10 WaganTech real world diesel jump-start. Works!

WaganTech’s iONBoost V10 started my 2014 Ram/Cummins with dead batteries this morning, December 7, 2019. I moved the black/negative clamp to the battery terminal; it did not like using the fender ground. The Cummins 6.7L engine started immediately and easily.

It had been only two days since I last drove the truck. The factory batteries are six years old (not five), but they might be fine. I need to search for parasitic losses from aftermarket wiring, and do some other diagnostic testing.

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James Langan

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Honda 2000 and Harbor Freight TailGator 900 noise

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James Langan

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Harbor Freight TailGator 2-stroke generator first start.

This was the first time I pulled the cord on this new Harbor Freight 2-stroke generator, it started easily on the third pull, which was the first vigorous yank. Heck, it might have started the first or second time the if I would’ve pulled it faster.

This is SKU 63024, supposedly better than the very similar though not identical 63025.

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James Langan

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TailGator 2-stroke Harbor Freight generator, first look.

Here’s my first-look at Harbor Freight’s TailGator 2-stroke Generator. This is SKU 63024, but there is also a 63025, almost identical….

According to a helpful YouTube video I found explaining the subtle differences, there’s a better chance of getting good one and the overall quality might be better, if you can find and buy a 63024. My local store had both. 

I want the generator to fit inside this 18″ x 18″ flatbed toolbox, as you can see the included handle prevents that. I have a remedy in mind. Stay tuned.

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James Langan

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Timbren DR2500D Rear Springs Height Adjust



Back in June I installed these Timbren DR2500D auxiliary rear springs on my Hallmark flatbed camper outfit, and they have been working well for my application in conjunction with TufTruck heavy-duty rear coils.

I’ve tinkered with the ride height, both up and down 1-inch a couple times, including last week when I lowered it an inch again so the truck sits level instead of slightly high in the rear. The last two slides show the before and after ride height difference. Pretty obvious and quite level again now.

Timbren has a similar but different spring kit, the DRTT3500E, that also fits my application, stay tuned, as I’m going to give those a try soon.

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James Langan

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Hallmark Campers