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Discussion Starter #1
JKU

Option 1:
17" Rim with the LT255/75R17 Blizzak LT

Option 2:
17" Rim with the 255/70R17 Blizzak DM-V2

Option 3:
18" Rim with the P255/70R18 Blizzak DM-V2

Considerations:
The LT is a new tire and I suspect it will underperform the DM-V2 given the use-case.
I have found a good set of 17" rims used. 18" will be more expensive.

I don't want to go any wider than 255 because it's a very tight fit with chains and sometimes I need to use chains (by law.)

I'm thinking of going with option 2 but it is 1" shorter than what I am currently running in the summer and that's a bit of a bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Another option is to buy the 17" rims and let them sit in the garage for the winter. Take the 18" half-worn Duratrac tires off the current rims and sell them used. Mount the 18" DM-V2 tires for the winter and then buy a new set of 255/75R17 Duratrac tires in the spring.
 

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Duratracs are mountain snowflake rated. What is your reasoning for Blizzaks over the Duratracs? Of course, new tires will perform better in snow and ice than half worn tires, whatever you choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Duratracs are mountain snowflake rated. What is your reasoning for Blizzaks over the Duratracs? Of course, new tires will perform better in snow and ice than half worn tires, whatever you choose.
My original plan was to use the Duratracs all year round. After two winters, I am unimpressed with the Duratracs in the winter. On my previous vehicle, I had the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 tires which were amazing. The difference between a purpose-built winter tire and a general off-road tire that just barely meets the standard to be called a winter tire is quite obvious to me. That said, I have yet to do a side by side comparison on this specific vehicle.
 

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You could check out sizes LT245/75R17 and LT235/80R17, unless you're set on getting the DMV2 (as I was - I ended up going 265/70R17, but I know that's too wide for you).
Also, sometimes the price of the tire can offset the cost of slightly more expensive wheels if you decide to go 16" or 18".
Plus, many of these manufacturers run rebates througout the year. I got $70 during the Bridgestone fall rebate two years ago.

When I checked a couple years ago, I considered the following sizes/tires:

LT235/85R16 (if you want to look for 16" wheels)
Cooper Discoverer M+S
Firestone Winterforce LT
Michelin LTX Winter
Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT 2
Toyo Open Country WLT1
Bridgestone Blizzak LT

LT245/75R17
Firestone Winterforce LT
General Grabber Arctic LT
Cooper Discoverer M+S
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT
Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT 2

LT235/80R17
Cooper Discoverer M+S
Firestone Winterforce LT
Hankook i*Pike RW11
Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT 2
Toyo Open Country WLT1
Bridgestone Blizzak LT

255/75R17
Firestone Winterforce LT

255/70R18
Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2
Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT SUV
Toyo Observe GS-i5
Yokohama iceGUARD iG51v

The reason I went with the DM-V2:
-Newest studless winter tire available
-17" Sport take-off wheels were the cheapest available around here at the time
-Tested very well, even against studded winter tires
-LT tires cannot achieve the same rubber pliability as passenger tires because of their HD construction
-Nearly all of the LT tire options were getting long in the tooth and were in need of updating, and most of them acheived their high ratings because they were studable

After two serious MN winters, I'm very pleased with the DM-V2's performance. I don't have any experience with any other dedicated winter tire, but when I put my MT's back on too early in the spring and have to drive on frozen April roads...yikes.

Your other option of selling your Duratracs and using the 18's for the DM-V2 sounds reasonable if you think you could get a fair price for the Duratracs.
 

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Good info. I want to stay with stock size and that is limiting on choices. The Duratracs look like a good compromise, but they are not LT in that size, and reports on this forum indicate that the sidewalls may not hold up well in rocks. Some other possibilities cost $50 each more at Discount Tire, and it seems like a crap shoot picking a better winter tire than the stock KM's while retaining good off road performance and durability. Most reports indicate that Duratracs are good in winter conditions, but the best rubber compound in very cold conditions is not so good in warmer weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good info. I want to stay with stock size and that is limiting on choices. The Duratracs look like a good compromise, but they are not LT in that size, and reports on this forum indicate that the sidewalls may not hold up well in rocks. Some other possibilities cost $50 each more at Discount Tire, and it seems like a crap shoot picking a better winter tire than the stock KM's while retaining good off road performance and durability. Most reports indicate that Duratracs are good in winter conditions, but the best rubber compound in very cold conditions is not so good in warmer weather.
Everything in engineering is a compromise. Good snow/ice performance requires a ton of siping a soft rubber compound and neither of those are useful for offroading.

This review is pretty good at showing the difference between a number of tires although they test the KO instead of the KM.
Winter Tire Test: Some Treads Are Better Than Others - PickupTrucks.com News

I used the Duratrac in snow/ice for two winters. It got me where I needed to go but was not very good compared to the tires I had on my last vehicle (Michelin X-ice series tires.) That's why I will try a dedicated winter tire this year.

After finding out Costco can do the swaps for cheap, I think I will just keep my rims and swap the Blizzak winter tires onto these rims. Will keep using Duratrac (or maybe KM2 next time) in the summer and shoulder seasons.
 
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