Aluminum wheels - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-23-2019, 06:12 PM   #1
Member
 
AnnHay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Lacey, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 38
Aluminum wheels

I learned some things about ETI's aluminum alloy wheels recently that other folks might like to know about. When my trailer was less than 4 months old, last September, I noticed very thin rust-red streaks on the aluminum alloy wheels ... around the large holes and around the lug nut holes. I watched the streaks grow over a few subsequent months. A month or two ago, I contacted ETI and asked about the rust-red streaks. Reace replied via email stating he knew about the problem and that it was "not an uncommon issue". He suggested I coat the wheels with carnauba wax. He also said those streaks are "aluminum oxidation" and that the deterioration was "cosmetic".

A few weeks after that, I took the trailer to my local RV repair/maintenance shop in order to ask them about a couple of other things, just for my education. While I was there, I also asked them to look at the wheels and tell me what they thought about the streaks and what I should do about them, if anything. They told me the streaks are rust ... that they are commonly found on HiSpec aluminum alloy wheels because of "inferior coating processes used by HiSpec". They told me aluminum oxidation is white, not red, and these streaks are definitely rust, not aluminum oxidation. They said this is "absolutely not cosmetic" and that the metal is deteriorating and will continue to deteriorate even if I wax them. And they offered to put all of this in writing. Let me point out that this RV repair/maintenance facility does not sell wheels nor would they do the work of replacing the wheels; they recommended that I contact a tire/wheel shop for that work.

I shared this information with Reace and asked him to warranty the wheels and refund the fee I paid for them.

Reace suggested I contact the manufacturer HiSpec, which I did. I was told by HiSpec that they will not warranty the wheels for me because I did not buy the wheels from them. They told me to work with ETI for warranty since I paid ETI for the wheels. They also told me there was no "fix" for the problem. Applying carnauba wax will not replace nor repair the coating that has come off nor will it repair any damage to the structural integrity of the wheels that has already started.

Interestingly, my nine-year-old truck has its original aluminum alloy wheels and they show no signs of deterioration or streaks. I checked with several friends who have vehicles or trailers with aluminum wheels (tho none are HiSpec) ... no rust streaks even on vehicles or trailers much older than my truck.

I continued to discuss the issues via email with Reace. In the end, Reace was most cordial and refunded in full the fee I paid for the aluminum wheels. I will be replacing the ETI-HiSpec aluminum wheels with wheels that have a better track record!

In the end, I was impressed by Reace's communication and response. But I was surprised that this problem has been known to ETI, by Reace's own admission, and yet ETI does not disclose a known "not uncommon" problem prior to selling these HiSpec aluminum alloy wheels to its customers. I wonder if this might be in conflict with USA laws that require a seller to disclose known issues. Hope that doesn't come back to bite ETI in the rear bumper, as it were.

__________________

AnnHay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 06:17 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Oldtimer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: DFW, Texas
Trailer: 2018 21 Sept 7 2018
Posts: 544
Would of thought Reace would have been more forthcoming with a issue like this
__________________

Oldtimer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 06:39 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Gori's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Trailer: 21' Escape in production 12/05/19
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtimer View Post
Would of thought Reace would have been more forthcoming with a issue like this
Anyone with a new new trailer know if they are still using HiSpec?

Gori
Gori is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
dfandrews's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A -- "The Pullman"
Posts: 1,841
FYI:

I just checked our Hi-Spec aluminum wheels on our 2015 17A. I find no corrosion, no red.
Possibilities: (1) I use Aero303 on the trailer, and the wheels. This may lessen or stop corrosion, but I don't think that's likely, because we live near the Pacific Ocean, and we have camped on the beach at the Ocean several times.
(2)Perhaps the 2015 iteration of HiSpec wheels had a better alloy.
__________________
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi / RLTW
dfandrews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 06:48 PM   #5
Member
 
AnnHay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Lacey, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 38
Here's a photo of one of the wheels. It's a bit hard to see the red streaks around just that one lug nut hole, but they are there.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/me...icture3004.jpg
AnnHay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 06:53 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Gori's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Trailer: 21' Escape in production 12/05/19
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaAnn View Post
Here's a photo of one of the wheels. It's a bit hard to see the red streaks around just that one lug nut hole, but they are there.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/me...icture3004.jpg
Unless you've been offroading around Sedona.... that looks like rust to me too!
Gori is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 07:11 PM   #7
Site Team
 
padlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: 5.0 TA #6, 2012 F150 EB
Posts: 5,776
As opposed to mine, which have oxidation, looks like it's under the clear coat. I believe this is, or was, an issue on Airstreams. My 2006 GMC pickup had it even worse.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wheel (1024 x 576).jpg (101.7 KB, 63 views)
__________________
Happy Motoring
Bob
padlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 07:25 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Chotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Naugatuck, Connecticut
Trailer: 2017 50 TA, 2016 F150, 2.7 Ecoboost
Posts: 788
🤔Aluminum does not rust. Not sure where the repair guys come up with that. Where it a wheel failure problem I canít imagine either the manufacturer or ETI backing away from it . I would bet it is a coating failure which cosmetically is a problem but not a safety issue. Of course the main reason one puts alloy wheels on a vehicle is for the cosmetics.
Chotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 07:29 PM   #9
Site Team
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 8,493
I'm just wondering if it's rust from the hub or lugs slinging rust water onto the wheels. Alloy wheels will discolor, but what I've seen is more of a charcoal color, not red.
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward
2014 Escape 5.0TA
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Middlesex County, New Jersey
Trailer: 2019 Trailer 21'
Posts: 78
Hi TacomaAnn,

Thanks for sharing this information. On my 21' trailer I also have HiSpec aluminum wheels and after reading your post I just went out and checked around the large holes and the lugnut holes and saw no red/rusty spot. I hope this issue won't happen to all HiSpec aluminum wheels or maybe my trailer is not old enough yet. I picked up my trailer on 4/16 so not sure it's still too new for it. I will definitely search for info on how to take care of aluminum wheels and see if I need to start doing something. I do have wheel covers and put them on when I park my trailer. It's weird because I had/have a few cars with alloy wheels over the years and never gave a thought about doing anything for their rust prevention. If anyone has tips on aluminum wheels rust prevention please share with us.
viator36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 07:38 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Wellsboro, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 100
Impressed???

Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaAnn View Post
In the end, I was impressed by Reace's communication and response. But I was surprised that this problem has been known to ETI, by Reace's own admission, and yet ETI does not disclose a known "not uncommon" problem prior to selling these HiSpec aluminum alloy wheels to its customers. I wonder if this might be in conflict with USA laws that require a seller to disclose known issues. Hope that doesn't come back to bite ETI in the rear bumper, as it were.

Reace’s final action to refund your purchase price was the correct thing to do. But telling folks to just put some wax on the wheels is plain sleazy. And even worse is to continue installing a product when it is defective.
Starbrightsteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 07:57 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Chotch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Naugatuck, Connecticut
Trailer: 2017 50 TA, 2016 F150, 2.7 Ecoboost
Posts: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbrightsteve View Post
Reace’s final action to refund your purchase price was the correct thing to do. But telling folks to just put some wax on the wheels is plain sleazy. And even worse is to continue installing a product when it is defective.
!
�� hmmm anger issues??
Chotch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 08:04 PM   #13
Member
 
AnnHay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Lacey, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chotch View Post
🤔Aluminum does not rust. Not sure where the repair guys come up with that.


No one said the aluminum is rusting ... they said the red streaks are rust. Here is more information, in my words, from the RV repair shop ... the protective covering is coming off the wheels prematurely and allowing rust/iron/dirt/etc, road debris in other words, to settle into cracks that shouldn't but do already exist in the wheels. The cracks in the wheels now show up because that road dust has iron in it ... it's that iron that is rusting. It's the cracks that are the failure of the wheels, which might not have shown up if the protective covering had not come off prematurely. As well, I'm told the road dust and iron and rust will exacerbate the cracking of the aluminum alloy and speed up the failure of the aluminum alloy. The iron rust did not cause the cracking ... the iron rust is simply making the cracks obvious to us. One might wonder whether these cracks exist on all of these HiSpec wheels, but they just don't show up on some wheels where the protective covering hasn't come off yet. The guys at the local RV shop are not impressed with HiSpec wheels.
AnnHay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 08:09 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Gori's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Trailer: 21' Escape in production 12/05/19
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaAnn View Post
No one said the aluminum is rusting ... they said the red streaks are rust. Here is more information, in my words, from the RV repair shop ... the protective covering is coming off the wheels prematurely and allowing rust/iron/dirt/etc, road debris in other words, to settle into cracks that shouldn't but do already exist in the wheels. The cracks in the wheels now show up because that road dust has iron in it ... it's that iron that is rusting. It's the cracks that are the failure of the wheels, which might not have shown up if the protective covering had not come off prematurely. As well, I'm told the road dust and iron and rust will exacerbate the cracking of the aluminum alloy and speed up the failure of the aluminum alloy. The iron rust did not cause the cracking ... the iron rust is simply making the cracks obvious to us. One might wonder whether these cracks exist on all of these HiSpec wheels, but they just don't show up on some wheels where the protective covering hasn't come off yet. The guys at the local RV shop are not impressed with HiSpec wheels.
Thank you so much for this info, and clarification. Maybe I'll pass on the pretty/fancy wheels and upgrade at a later date?

Gori
Gori is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 08:16 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Bobbito's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Surrey, British Columbia
Trailer: 2015 Escape 21
Posts: 641
Our aluminum wheels on our 2015 Escape 21 still look great. With our previous stick built trailer the painted wheels required a lot of work to keep on top of the rust. I have put a fraction of this effort into my Escape wheels and they look almost like new. It might just be a quality control issue with the wheel manufacturer and some people got poorer quality.

Bob K
Bobbito is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 08:18 PM   #16
Member
 
AnnHay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Lacey, Washington
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21
Posts: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by viator36 View Post
Hi TacomaAnn,

Thanks for sharing this information. On my 21' trailer I also have HiSpec aluminum wheels and after reading your post I just went out and checked around the large holes and the lugnut holes and saw no red/rusty spot. I hope this issue won't happen to all HiSpec aluminum wheels or maybe my trailer is not old enough yet. I picked up my trailer on 4/16 so not sure it's still too new for it. I will definitely search for info on how to take care of aluminum wheels and see if I need to start doing something. I do have wheel covers and put them on when I park my trailer. It's weird because I had/have a few cars with alloy wheels over the years and never gave a thought about doing anything for their rust prevention. If anyone has tips on aluminum wheels rust prevention please share with us.

Ok, one more time. The aluminum is not rusting ... no one said the aluminum is rusting. The wheels have lots of cracks in them that shouldn't be there. The protective covering that should not have come off, did come off. So road dirt/iron/etc has gotten into the cracks ... the iron bits have rusted ... so the cracks are now obvious. The rust did not cause the cracks. The failure of the wheels is the cracks that exist in all of my wheels, that existed when the wheels were less than 4 months old. One wonders if these cracks exist on other HiSpec wheels (not just mine) and that you simply can't see the cracks because your protective coating is, so far, keeping the road dirt/dust/iron out. Reace put in writing that this is a known issue.
AnnHay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 08:26 PM   #17
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Middlesex County, New Jersey
Trailer: 2019 Trailer 21'
Posts: 78
Ok, got it. Thanks for clarifying. Will try to remember to check my wheels around those spots periodically.
viator36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 10:57 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,490
i've had alloy wheels on nearly every vehicle I've owned since 1984, mostly german and swedish, and never had any corrosion problems with the wheels. the german/swedish alloy wheels are painted silver and then clear coated. the wheels on my 2002 f250 are machined alloy, as are the HiSpec wheels on my 2014 Escape, and no corrosion issues. brake dust? sure. utah red mud? heh, LOTS... (recent trip, havent' finished the cleanup).
__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 11:03 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SLO County CA, California
Trailer: 2014 21
Posts: 3,372
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
the wheels on my 2002 f250 are machined alloy, as are the HiSpec wheels on my 2014 Escape, and no corrosion issues...
John- as I recall your trailer is from Texas and you've owned it less than a year? How close are you to the coast? My HiSpec went to crap within a year being fairly close to the Pacific.
__________________
"We gotta get as far away as we can!"
- Russell Casse, Independence Day
Rossue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2019, 11:10 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 1,490
we've had the escape about 1.5 years now, got it christmas 2017, have probably logged 7000 miles in it now... we live 2 miles from the ocean, and up 300 feet, so we're out of the immediate marine layer, but not /that/ far. I used to live in Pacific Grove where everything rusted, nearly as bad as new england.
__________________

__________________
2014 Escape 21 (home away from home)
2002 Ford F250 7.3 Diesel 4x4 (tug)
1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet (daily driver)
2006 Yellow Lab (Maggie... RIP Feb 2019 )
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:13 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×