I've been running 285/75 Duratracs for 40,000 miles with no lift with 0 problems. Melt mod is super easy to do and no rubbing at all after doing it. Didn't align after going to 285s and have had no tire wear problems without aligning. Go with load range E. Not harsh at all and have read that the Cs wear quicker - maybe a different tread compound?.
Have ordered a lift and just waiting for parts to show up, but certainly not required.