Welcome to the Forums and the world of Vintage Airstream ownership!
Originally Posted by airstreamman
I am new to this forum as I just inherited my first Airstream that needs a little TLC. First and foremost it needs wheels and tires.. The tire part is not an issue as I can go to the local tire store and get them. The problem I am running into is the wheels. If I get exactly whats on there they are crazy expensive so I am wondering if there are any cars or trucks that are compatible with my Airstream so I can save a little money but still be safe.
Your help would be appreciated as I am supposed to leave Tuesday to drive 700 miles to get it.
The basic steel travel trailer wheels that Airstreams utilize shouldn't be all that expensive. The following are the basic specifications for the wheels that Airstreams utilize:
The wheel is a comparatively common trailer applications. My local Good Year tire dealer stocked new rims having the correct specifications as did a horse trailer dealer and an agricultural trailer dealer. New rims from either of the three sources that I tried were less than $15.00 per wheel more for a brand new known quality wheel compared to a salvage yard wheels that could be in less than optimum condition. The center bore diameter can also pose problems as many otherwise compatible salvage yard wheels will have center bores that are too small and prove problematic when trying to mount the wheels/tires. The usual tire size recommended today is an ST or LT 225 75 R 15 in at least load range C or no more than load range D on a Vintage coach.
- zero offset
- 6 lug pattern
- 5.5" spacing
- center bore measuring 4.245 inches
- rated at 2,600 pounds
The usual caution is to avoid salvage yard wheels as it is difficult, if not impossible, to insure that they meet the minimum 2,600 pound load rating and it can prove quite difficult to find rims with the large center bore (and it does compromise the integrity of a wheel to modify the center bore).
If the prices that you are finding are for the alloy or aluminum wheels, the originals on your coach can be restored much as aluminum or alloy wheels found on vintage automobiles.
Good luck with your investigation!