The short answer to the question is, maybe. Everyone travels differently in vans and motorhomes. Tyres make a huge impact on your daily driving, but also safety and performance whilst out on the road (or off the road as the case might be). We've been running BFG KO2 tyres on our Peugeot Boxer van conversion (225/75/16) for over 2 years (25k+ miles) now. The content on this page is based on our own experiences and preferences. Hopefully, if you're considering all terrain/ mud or snow tyres for your camper you'll find the information useful.
We decided to run our van on BFG KO2 tyres for a few reasons. The first was that the KO2 tyres are rated as an all season tyre, are mud and snow rated, and also include the 3PMSF symbol which highlights winter excellence. The 3PMSF (Three peak mountain snow flake) means that the tyres have been certified to retain their performance in temperatures below zero. Having this rating mean't we wouldn't have to consider running different tyres in winter or summer which makes spontaneous travel less complicated. We had our first experience of driving in heavy snow in the Dolomites, Italy during the winter of 2022. Considering our van is both heavy and a front wheel drive we were really impressed with the performance on snow. We found the grip to be surprisingly good on dry snow, even on roads which had not been ploughed yet. Ironically our time in the Dolomites was also one of the only times we've ever been pulled over living in the van. The local police were doing random vehicle pulls at the bottom of the mountains and specifically checking that we had suitable and legal tyres for the conditions.
“Roads? Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads” - Back to the Future
Some of our favourite park ups over the years have been away from smooth roads and any form of infrastructure. Increased tyre strength and durability are huge benefits to running the van on AT tyres. The KO2s are a 6ply tyre (most are 4ply) and have particularly aggressive tread and thick side walls. Punctures and blowouts from rocks and other objects from the side are fairly common and we wanted to be as protected from these situations as possible. We can safely say after 25k + miles across Europe, into Turkiye and back through Europe as far south as the Canary Islands we have not had a puncture to date! The deep tread and amount of rubber on the tyres also dramatically improve the ride when on bumpy dirt tracks, rocky terrain and in some cases, fields of lava.
For the most part, if you are travelling in the UK the most common uses for all terrain tyres will be wet traction, specifically on grass fields or campsites as it's very limited in where you can park or drive off road. All terrain tyres will dramatically decrease your chances of getting stuck but you also need to drive sensibly and apply common sense. Like any tyre, if you try to accelerate too quickly without traction you'll find yourself wheel spinning into a hole pretty quickly! We've been in situations in the past where we managed to drive out of areas in which we'd have likely been stuck on traditional road tyres. We also carry a shovel and tow rope at all times in the van, it can also be worth considering traction mats depending on where you plan to travel.
All terrain tyres FAQs
Are all terrain tyres noisy?
Yes, when compared to a slick, or high performance road tyre, on normal road conditions the all terrain tyres generate more road noise. This is due to air passing between the larger spaces in the tread. Do we notice it from inside a 3.5T campervan? Not one bit.
Do all terrain tyres affect MPG/Fuel efficiency?
Yes, due to the increased rolling resistance, the AT tyres will have a negative impact on your MPG. We found ours dropped around 2 MPG when swapping to alloy wheels and AT tyres.
Would you buy AT tyres again?
Personally for us, AT tyres are a no brainer. The mix in driving conditions, landscapes, countries and terrain we live and drive in make them one of the 'must haves' for our van conversion.