I'm looking to upgrade the Goodyear Wrangler RT/S on my Chevy Avalanche in the near future before I start towing a ~7000 pound trailer. All of my driving to date has been on paved roads, so I figure I'll go with a highway tire for a replacement. I have been looking at the highly rated Michelin Defender LTX M/S, but the price was a bit of a turnoff (this is my first truck, and first truck tire change so it's still a shock to me coming from passenger car tires!). The Sumimoto Encounter HT, although it doesn't have quite as many reviews on Tirerack as the Michelin, edges it out performance wise almost completely across the board for a substantially lower price, and their warranty seems as good or better. Now here is the conundrum - there are two versions of the tire in my size. An 'E' load rated, non-UTQG rated version at $136.20 with 16/32" tread depth(!!!) that weighs 54 pounds and has a max load of 3195 pounds or the 'normal' tire with 600 UTQG, costs $117.04, has a 'typical' 12/32" tread depth, weighs 42 pounds, and has a max load of 2679 pounds. I assume the tread compound is the same, so I'd be gaining 50% more tread depth/service life, at only 16% more cost, BUT I am adding 50 pounds of unsprung weight to my truck which will affect my gas mileage and handling to some extent. I feel like the max weight shouldn't be an issue as even the normal tires exceed my rear axle limit, however, maybe because they are heavier tires, they'll 'feel' better or actually perform better under heavy load? Or perhaps offer better puncture/blowout protection? I'm guessing the extra material goes in the sidewall so it would help prevent unrepairable sidewall tears/blowouts? Another factor to consider is my annual mileage. In the roughly 10 months that I've owned the truck, I've only put 7000 miles on it. So perhaps the tires will dry out from ozone and UV damage before I wear them out anyways? Anyone have some opinions or strong arguments about which route to go? Thanks!