VW Transporter Swamper Set Up

Pros & Cons of VW Swamper All Terrain

Over the last three years, the All Terrain setup has been our most popular setup at Elite Wheels and, personally, a great option to consider.

Here, in this post, we will go through all the pros and cons, which will help answer any questions you may have.

VW Swamper before and after an all-terrain set up.

Pros of the All Terrain Set Up

  • If you are using the van as a camper the al terrains will give better traction over the grassy fields of the campsites
  • If traveling in to Europe is your thing again another positive is the fact the All Terrains are stamped with the 3 Peak Snow Mountain Symbol, which means you can travel across Europe in the Winter months without changing over to Winter Tyres.
  • The All Terrains have a lot more tread than a conventional tyres, you should get a bit more mileage out of an All Terrain Tyre compared to a normal tyre.
  • The All Terrains will also have a lot more durability, more pot hole friendly!
  • The biggest pro is your van will be adventure ready! 

 Cons Of The All Terrain Set Up

  • Some All Terrains can be noisy.
  • Some All Terrains can reduce the MPG of the van.

We are now going to give you a little description of the tyre brands and sizes we recommend.


Tyre Brands

We work closely with the major All Terrain tyre brands, these include:


The BFGs are by far the most popular option.

They look the most aggressive and also have the out side white lettering which adds a great enhancement to any wheel package. (Outside White Lettering Is Only Available In The 245/65/17)

However with the nature of the tread blocks driving experience can be compromised.

The tread blocks are not interlocked which can cause vibrations between the blocks which can contribute to noise and reduced MPG.

However depending on how well insulated the cabin of the van is the noise may not be an issue.

The BFG will provide great off road capabilities on campsites and in snowy conditions if you wish to use the van across Europe in the winter.

If you are looking for the full swamper set up the BFGs would be the option to go for!


The General AT3 is a great option.

Very capable off road and in snowy conditions.

Unlike the BFG the Generals do not have the option of the out side white lettering.

However unlike the BFG the tread blocks on the General AT3 are all interlocked and joined together.

With the advantage of having the tread blocks interlocked and joined together this will give a better driving experience.

By having the tread blocks interlocked the vibrations between them are reduced, this will provide less noise and only a slight hit on MPG.


The Falken Wildpeak offers great value for money.

Again, not as aggressive as the BFG and no out side white lettering options.

The Falken is a good looking tyre, it has nice detail on the sidewall which adds a nice enhancement to any wheel.

The tread blocks are interlocked in the same way as the Generals, which again helps provide a nice driving experience, reduce road noise and better for the MPG.


Tyre Sizes
275/40/20 - The biggest All Terrain you could fit to any van on standard suspension.

255/55/18 - The biggest size you can go in the 18" option.

These will work on standard height vans with no mods or lifts required.

235/55/18 - Still an oversized tyre and looks great.

will work on vans lowered to 40mm

245/65/17 - This is the biggest tyre size you can fit and will give the maximum swamper effect.

The BFG is the only tyre in this size which offers the out side white lettering.

No mods or lifts required.

This will also fit on vans which are lowered to 40mm

235/65/17 - This is a popular size for people you don't want to go to the maximum swamper style

No tyres in this size will offer the outside white lettering

We have fit this size to van lowered up to 50mm

225/65/17 - This is a good size if you looking to keep the rolling radius as close to the original size as possible.

They would also work on vans with a 50mm drop.



Are All Terrains Noisy?

9/10 most peoples feedback is that they haven't noticed any more road noise from going from there standard tyres to all terrains, that includes BFGs.

If you are worried about noise we would recommend the General AT3 or the Falken Wildpeak.

Will Fitting An Oversized Tyre Effect My Speedo?

From factory the speedos tend to be out by 5%.

By fitting the bigger tyres can actually improve the speedo reading.

We advise to run a sat nav next to the speedo to see how far the speedo is out.


We think everything seems to be covered here!

Again with any enquiries we are happy to listen to your requirements and offer you the best advice as possible!


Elite Wheels

Find Your Perfect Package!


  • Hi im lowering my transporter t6.1 on lowering 40mm H&R springs. Will a 18" wheel with a BFG tyre 245 65 fit ?
    many thanks

  • Hi
    Great informative article.
    What size and offset rim would you go for these tyre sizes?
    These sizes say ‘no mods,’ does that mean no wheels spacers either?

    I’m basically trying to find the biggest tyres/wheels I can fit to my Transporter T6 with no mods.

  • Hi just wondering which tyre and wheel combination is heaviest for in spring weight acting on the suspension
    20” alloys with 275/40/20
    Or 17” alloys with the 245/65/17 tyres

    John Mallard

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