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Old 11-11-2019, 09:35 PM   #1
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Cracked wheels

Within 10 days I have had both my standard white wheels on my 2018 17b crack and cause my tires to deflate. I was lucky each time as I check my tire pressure each morning before travel and discovered the air loss. The tires are fine but had to buy a new wheel. I have not hit any curbs or other objects—just the terrible interstate conditions, especially I 10 in Texas.

Has anyone else encountered this problem with the standard wheels? I know that with the aluminum wheels there was mention of a problem but I couldn’t find anything on the standard wheels.. The cracks were both in the same place on each wheel-where the embossed lettering is.

Also, is there a particular brand of wheel that you would recommend? i don’t care if it is a shiny, beautiful wheel, just a safe one. I will need to buy the second wheel before leaving Houston.

Thanks,
Calicia
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:20 PM   #2
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First I've ever heard of this happening. To have it happen twice seems improbable. What tires are you running and at what pressure?
The rims have a label on them saying what the maximum pressure of the tire should be.
Can you post photos?
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:52 PM   #3
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They are the tires that came with the Escape. I run them at 50psi which I discussed with Tammy when I picked up the trailer because I saw that the tires say 65 psi max and Tammy assured me that I should run them at 50. My trailer is not overloaded and I keep to 55-60 mph. It’s dark now so I can’t give you the tire manufacturer but these are the original tires and they are in good shape.
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:03 PM   #4
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Photos of the damage would be great. Like I said, never heard of this before.
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Old 11-12-2019, 02:11 AM   #5
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I agree, a photo would be good. 2 wheels, on a 2 wheel trailer, both cracked within 10 days of each other. What would be the odds?

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Old 11-12-2019, 04:47 AM   #6
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I work in manufacturing as a Millwright and Machinist. My thought is could have been a old batch of steel used . Believe it or not, I had a metallurgy teacher who was also a consultant talk about a fire extinguisher company that had a hard time drawing fire extinguisher tanks. The tanks kept cracking or splitting in the drawing process. He suggested purge all the steel sheet with a particular heat number and when they got the new steel in there was no problem. My teacher did note it was age and not alloy. I do recall another instance of steel tearing in stamping dies because of age. Depending on the location, it could also be the welding.

I would really like to see pictures of the cracks.

On our recent Build sheet for our 2020 19', I specified the white steel wheels as they are readily available at any trailer shop, RV or cargo, or any of the larger farm or hardware stores.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:43 AM   #7
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I went out this morning to take photos but unfortunately it is such a hairline crack that the only way you know it’s there is by the soap bubbles.

I have a call into Dexstar because I read that there is a two year warranty. I have found other complaints online about Dexstar steel wheels but these were from around two years ago. I mistakenly didn’t keep the first of my wheels to crack but will keep the second one.

I just need to get three new wheels as now I don’t trust the spare wheel. I don’t see any markings as to brand name on the first one replaced in South Carolina so I’m not sure it’s a trailer wheel. I may just keep that as the spare. Any brand suggestions for the other two?
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:19 AM   #8
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I'd have to guess at an unusual problem with the the wheel/steel. I towed a 2011 17 loaded at 3100 pounds almost 100,000 miles through 3 sets to tires without wheel problems.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calicia View Post
I have a call into Dexstar because I read that there is a two year warranty. I have found other complaints online about Dexstar steel wheels but these were from around two years ago.
The Dexstar website includes their warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calicia View Post
I have found other complaints online about Dexstar steel wheels but these were from around two years ago.
Dexstar wheels are very common, so even if all but one in a million are perfect there will be some failures and online complaints.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calicia View Post
I don’t see any markings as to brand name on the first one replaced in South Carolina so I’m not sure it’s a trailer wheel.
It doesn't matter if it is a "trailer wheel", as long as it fits the pattern of the studs, has approximately zero offset, and has sufficient pressure and load capacity. It would be difficult to find a wheel which fits (the pattern and offset) and isn't intended for trailers, as no car or truck uses this size and style any more, so it's almost certainly intended for trailers. It would be difficult to find a trailer wheel of this size which is not rated for at least 50 PSI and at least the capacity suited to the Escape's axles, so it's almost certainly adequate.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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Any brand suggestions for the other two?
There are many acceptable trailer wheels out there. We recently went with the Hi-Spec Series 03 aluminum which is what Escape offers as an upgrade. https://recstuff.com/ has good prices. This is the stock Escape wheel for use in comparing specs with other wheels:
https://recstuff.com/trailer-tires-w...ailer-wheel-1/

This is what Escape has been offering as their optional aluminum wheel:
https://recstuff.com/trailer-wheels/...trailer-wheel/

Personally I like the aluminum look on the trailer and the spare is a steel rim under the tire cover.

Note to anyone with older trailers: Confirm your wheel size. Escape originally used a 14x5.5 wheel. Same 5 on 4.5" bolt pattern and zero offset as the 15" wheels now offered.
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:26 PM   #11
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I would not recommend the Hi-Spec that ETI uses for their aluminum as you live in MA like us. Mine have developed filiform corrosion under the clearcoat, all 5 of them (1's a replacement). No idea why, but if one is buying a set you might as well try something else.
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Old 11-12-2019, 07:32 PM   #12
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I would not recommend the Hi-Spec that ETI uses for their aluminum as you live in MA like us. Mine have developed filiform corrosion under the clearcoat, all 5 of them (1's a replacement). No idea why, but if one is buying a set you might as well try something else.
Bob: Do you have an aluminum wheel for a spare under a tire cover? If so, does that one have any corrosion? I wonder if it is road salt causing the issue.
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Old 11-12-2019, 08:45 PM   #13
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Bob: Do you have an aluminum wheel for a spare under a tire cover? If so, does that one have any corrosion? I wonder if it is road salt causing the issue.
I'm wondering the same thing, getting ready to submit our build sheet and I'm back and forth on the aluminum wheel. No road salt in California!

Looks like escape marks them up a bit, and I'm unsure if you only get 4, or if the spare is upgraded also? Someone mentioned above it's not, but I have heard otherwise from recent buyers.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:11 PM   #14
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I am a mile away and can see the ocean here near Morro Bay, CA. My Hi-Spec went to crap in less than two years despite regular washing. Six months ago I finally got rid of them after spending way too much time researching and trying to rehabilitate them. Bought some painted alloys from Discount Tire and so far so good.

Most newer cars with alloys are painted too as they are a more durable finish. Get the stock wheels then shop around .
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:21 PM   #15
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Bob: Do you have an aluminum wheel for a spare under a tire cover? If so, does that one have any corrosion? I wonder if it is road salt causing the issue.
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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
I am a mile away and can see the ocean here near Morro Bay, CA. My Hi-Spec went to crap in less than two years despite regular washing. Six months ago I finally got rid of them after spending way too much time researching and trying to rehabilitate them. Bought some painted alloys from Discount Tire and so far so good.

Most newer cars with alloys are painted too as they are a more durable finish. Get the stock wheels then shop around .
I'm a mile from the coast here also. Put some alloys on my Casita a few years ago that I bought from E-Trailer and they have held up well and I keep the covered when not in use. Might wait until I need new tires. I like the bling, but the ones that Escape offers are nothing special. If you have a pic of what you got, I'd love to see.
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:18 PM   #16
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Bob: Do you have an aluminum wheel for a spare under a tire cover? If so, does that one have any corrosion? I wonder if it is road salt causing the issue.
The spare is steel. I did have a flat that ate a rim a few years ago and got a replacement Hi-Spec, it has already started corroding too. Could be salt but I don't drive it in much, one trip down I-81 heading south in Jan and again in March/April coming back. I have had it to the shore a number of times, maybe 1/2 mile from the ocean.

My 04 GMC aluminum rims did the same thing, the ones on the 12 F150 are fine. No idea why some do and some don't.
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Old 11-13-2019, 08:15 AM   #17
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Looks like escape marks them up a bit, and I'm unsure if you only get 4, or if the spare is upgraded also? Someone mentioned above it's not, but I have heard otherwise from recent buyers.
I believe that originally you only got 4 aluminum and the spare was steel, but that has changed. A 2019 21 that I worked on for another forum member this past spring had 5 aluminum wheels.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:03 AM   #18
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I had a cracked Dexstar rim on our Casita a couple of years ago. Same scenario. I ordered new Dexstar rims from E-Trailer and haven't had any more problems. I'm thinking it's as Doug said. A bad run of rims a few years ago, and you just happened to get a pair when your trailer was built.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:55 AM   #19
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I had a cracked Dexstar rim on our Casita a couple of years ago. Same scenario. I ordered new Dexstar rims from E-Trailer and haven't had any more problems. I'm thinking it's as Doug said. A bad run of rims a few years ago, and you just happened to get a pair when your trailer was built.
Yes, that is what I am assuming also and you just confirmed my assumption since both of my tires are fine. I haven’t heard back from Dexstar so I will just have to buy them myself and forget the warranty.

Thanks to everyone who replied to my call for help.
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Old 11-13-2019, 01:22 PM   #20
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No road salt in California!
CalTrans does use a salt solution (not NaCl) on the state highways and many counties/cities do too. It is not as universally used as in the upper tier of the USA or east coast.

https://theaggie.org/2018/01/29/still-salting-roads/
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