Nitto Terra Grappler G2 Tires and KMC Wheel Upgrade

Last week, I had a complete set of wheels and tires installed on my 2013 Ram 3500. I want my truck to be ready and to look good when I pickup my new Northstar Laredo in Iowa in September. I have to say they look pretty sweet if I do say so myself! I had put this off for over a year to get some use out of the OEM wheels and tires–especially the Firestone highway tires–but the time was right to make a change. The Firestone’s provided me with very little off-road traction and the OEM wheels were ghastly–they almost hurt my eyes to look at them. In addition to the wheels and tires, I also replaced the OEM shocks on my truck. They performed fine unloaded, but performed poorly with my old 3,000 pound truck camper. Anyways, here’s more information about each new item:

1. KMC XD Series XD801 Crank Wheels: I bought these for $186 each from Discount Tire. I saw a set of these on a new Ford F-350 at a local gas station and they really caught my eye, so much so, that I snapped some close up pics for future reference. I really like the look of these Crank’s as they sport a combined matte black and silver milled finish. They are 18×9 inch, 0 offset rims and have a load capacity of 3,640 pounds each. This is the first time I’ve purchased a KMC product and so far I’m very happy with them. We’ll see how they hold up over time.

2. Nitto Terra Grappler AT G2 Tires: I bought a set of size 275/70R18’s at Discount Tire for $240 each, a great price nobody could beat. I originally bought a set of Terra Grappler 295’s, but with the 0-offset-XD-rims I just bought, I found that they rubbed when performing sharp turns so I returned them. This was a bummer to be sure. I liked how large they were, but I didn’t want to muck up my handling not to mention the higher profile a 2 inch leveling kit would’ve provided to give me the necessary wheel clearance. I really like the tread pattern and aggressive look of the Terra Grappler AT’s. They run exceptionally quiet on the highway–a big plus for AT’s–and provide superb traction on wet roads. I expect that these will do great off-road, but we’ll see. Oh, and like the XD rims, these 10 ply, load-range-E tires have a weight capacity of 3,600 pounds each, a 100 pound increase over the OEM tires and rims.

Close up of the Nitto Terra Grappler AT G2 on a KMC XD Series 801 rim.

3. Bilstein 4600 gas shocks: I bought these online on Amazon.com. I’ve found that you can save a lot of money if you buy your shocks online. And if you buy through Amazon.com Prime you can get free shipping. Anyhow, the Bilstein 4600 shock is an old favorite. I’ve had them my last two heavy-duty trucks, a 2003 Ford Excursion and a 2011 Ford F-250 and really liked how they performed. Bilstein’s unique piston design really does offer greater sensitivity and superior control, even when hauling a 3,000 pound truck camper. I should note that the 4600 model is made for stock height trucks and is extremely easy to install–it bolts on directly with no modifications required. If you’re interested in getting a set for your lifted pickup truck, you’ll need a set of Bilstein 5100’s instead.

IMG_7349
Close up of a Bilstein 4600 rear shock.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

About Mello Mike 548 Articles
Mello Mike is an Arizona native, author, and the founder of Truck Camper Adventure. He's been RV'ing since 2002, is a certified RVIA Level 1 RV Technician, and has restored several Airstream travel trailers. He currently rolls in a 2013 Ram 3500 with a 2021 Bundutec Roadrunner truck camper mounted on top. A communications expert, he retired from the U.S. Navy in 2004 as a CWO3 after 24 years, worked in project management, and now runs Truck Camper Adventure full-time. He also does some RV consulting, repairs, and inspections on the side.

4 Comments

  1. Hi Mike,
    I love your setup. One question, Did you put a aftermarket sliding rear window in the truck? My local dealer told me it wasn’t an option on the tradesman package. If so which one did you go with?
    Thanks,
    Tim

    • No, we looked into it but the cost was too prohibitive. Honestly, not having one has been fine. We haven’t missed having one at all.

  2. Cool truck and camper I have a 2012 arctic fox 990 loaded upgraded to all the new energy efficient stuff great off grid camper often camp in Arizona desert. I have a 2014 dodge crew cab diesel with the new transmission that bumps the HP to 400 and toruq to 950 lbs and towing is at 30’000 lbs. I have a son in the navy USS America LHA he is a cwiz FC. Love the navy. I have a stupid question recently visiting my son in Sandybagle Ca. I have found two camp sites that do not allow campers to disconnect. I further have discovered that there is no literature from the Jack co. or the camper co. on the safety or even if it is allowed to use camper off the truck or to leave it 3″ off the ground. I have camped all over with it off the truck it is no problem but these idiots think its going to tip over or blow over. I believe these rules were made back at a time when guys were using portable tripod jack stands and it was just a piece of angle iron sitting under the floor.

    • Hi Mark,
      Yes, you can use the camper dismounted. All of them are made to do this. If you decide to do it, make sure you have your camper in the fully down position. I’ve heard of some campgrounds and RV parks having this rule. It is stupid, but it is what it is. I think you’re right about why they hold this position. They need to get with the times and realize that today’s truck camper is pretty modern and durable.

Comments are closed.