Tire Size & Load Range Rating

Hello everybody,
I just recently bought a 2003 Chevy 2500HD extended cab with the Duramax diesel in it. So far I love the Duramax but it might be a little overkill
for what I do.
Anyway, my question is about tires. Currently there are Firestone Steeltex AT 245/75 R16's on there now and they look a bit small so I would like to replace them. They are E load rated tires and I am not sure whether I can get away with D load range tires. I want to put on 285/75 R16 BFGoodrich A/T KO's but they are only D range rated.
As for my hauling, the heaviest thing that I will tow is a 27' fifth wheel with about a 1200# pin weight. I may put a snow plow on it at some point but that will be in the future.
Has anybody put D load range rated tires on a truck like this?
Thanks.
Curtis
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I have 265 AT KO's load range D on my '88 K2500. their actual load rating is the same (3042lbs per tire) as the 245's load range E they replaced. as long as the actual rating in lbs is equal or higher than the 245 E's you're fine.
HTH, Bret

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I went from 265's to 285's on my '93 K1500 pickup w/5.7 liter gas engine and it DESTROYED my gas mileage. It noticeably dropped the acceleration speed due to the lost leverage in turning larger diameter tires and it has to work harder to simply pass someone now. I used to get about 320 miles per 20-gallon tank on the highway and that dropped to about 275 miles per tank. The 285's definitely look GREAT, but the jury is still out on whether the cosmetic gain is worth the functional loss...
-Derek

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You can go to www.tirerack.com and check out the specifications of various tires of various sizes and load ratings, including load bearing capacity at maximum recommended pressure.
An upsize to 265/75 creates no major issues, but going larger could result in minor rubbing on the front end, lower fuel economy, and possible warranty issues.
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