Steel wheels vs. aluminum - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-23-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
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Steel wheels vs. aluminum

There was a recent question about rust and steel wheels.
My steel wheels are almost seven years old and I'd done little more than hose them down when washing the trailer. I made no attempt to clean up this wheel for the picture. Wheel on other side has less rust.

I'm planning on replacing these wheels with aluminum since I need new tires, only because it would be easier to bolt on mounted tires.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
There was a recent question about rust and steel wheels.
My steel wheels are almost seven years old and I'd done little more than hose them down when washing the trailer. I made no attempt to clean up this wheel for the picture. Wheel on other side has less rust.

I'm planning on replacing these wheels with aluminum since I need new tires, only because it would be easier to bolt on mounted tires.
I am thinking of doing the same thing when I get back home. I have a 2008 17' with 14" wheels, can I switch up to 15" alloys and tires or is will there be issues with that?
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:29 AM   #3
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I am thinking of doing the same thing when I get back home. I have a 2008 17' with 14" wheels, can I switch up to 15" alloys and tires or is will there be issues with that?
I don't know. I have high lift axle and 15" wheels from factory. Sure looks like there is enough room for 15" in the wheel wells.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:48 AM   #4
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Where do you place the jack to change a tire on the 17 with foam under coating? Is that a problem? Should I buy a jack for my trailer?
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:12 AM   #5
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Where do you place the jack to change a tire on the 17 with foam under coating? Is that a problem? Should I buy a jack for my trailer?
Can't give you a definitive answer regarding the foam undercoating but I can say that the jack which typically comes with a tow vehicle is generally marginal for any use. I carry a hydraulic bottle jack (@$25 at Wally World, including case) and blocks to provide adequate height for the jack. It as a whole lot easier to lift the tow vehicle or the trailer with the hydraulic jack rather than a crank jack.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:23 AM   #6
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Can't give you a definitive answer regarding the foam undercoating but I can say that the jack which typically comes with a tow vehicle is generally marginal for any use. I carry a hydraulic bottle jack (@$25 at Wally World, including case) and blocks to provide adequate height for the jack. It as a whole lot easier to lift the tow vehicle or the trailer with the hydraulic jack rather than a crank jack.
I agree, I carry one plus a trailer aid for tandem axles and have Good Sam as well as private road service. Hopefully having all of these items will prevent me from having to use any of them.....
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Old 03-24-2015, 05:28 AM   #7
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I carry the bottle jack too. While I have the foam, on my trailer the frame is not covered.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:04 PM   #8
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I am thinking of doing the same thing when I get back home. I have a 2008 17' with 14" wheels, can I switch up to 15" alloys and tires or is will there be issues with that?

I replaced our 14" steel rims with 15" alloys and D rated Carlisle tires on our 17b. I asked Reace first and he indicated that it should fit with no problems. I bought the wheel and tire package from Discount Tire Direct. They were very good to deal with.

We blew out a 14" and the jack for our Tacoma worked just fine. ( I had tested it out when we first got the trailer to make sure it would work). I also lowered our scissors jacks as backups once I had the wheel off the ground - we have the full scissor jack models.
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Old 03-24-2015, 12:59 PM   #9
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Nice looking wheels, Eric
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:38 PM   #10
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Nice looking wheels, Eric
They were actually cheaper mounted on those than most places were selling the premounted tires on the white steel wheels. There was a special on them and it was only supposed to apply to buying 4 of them, but the rep gave me the sale price for 2.
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Old 03-24-2015, 01:56 PM   #11
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Eric,
So you have a 14" spare and 15" running wheels? How's that work if you get a flat? OK for a short run?
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:40 PM   #12
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Eric,
So you have a 14" spare and 15" running wheels? How's that work if you get a flat? OK for a short run?
Glenn, I was going to try that like you say just for long enough to replace the flat, but I, later, found the same D Carlisle tire mounted on one of the standard steel wheels on sale at Fleet Farm. So now all 3 are 15".
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Old 03-24-2015, 08:41 PM   #13
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I have a 2008 17' with 14" wheels, can I switch up to 15" alloys and tires or is will there be issues with that?
There's more to tire sizing than just the wheel diameter... but if you are talking about common trailer tires there isn't much choice, and if you're talking about standard Escape sizes it's pretty specific:
14 inch: ST205/75R14
15 inch: ST205/75R15
... so the overall diameter is simply one inch bigger, with the same tire width.

Is there at least half an inch spare space around the tires, even when the suspension is fully compressed (about three inches further up into the wheel well than when hanging in the air with no weight on it)? If so, this common 15" size will fit.

Alloy or steel wheel should make no difference to fit - assuming both are the same offset which may be zero - but if one wheel happens to be wider it will make the sidewalls of the tire bulge a bit wider... not likely an issue at all.
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