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Old 07-29-2002, 09:24 PM   #1
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Mags Or New Rims??

For some reason my trailer has two different tire rims.I just noticed this the other day as I tried to attach some hubcaps and found that one would not attach at all.

I recently replaced the tires with Goodyear Marathons and am now leaning towards getting mags installed.

I am pretty ignorant about wheels,rims etc.but I do like the look of a cool,retro mag.Is there any disadvantage to having mags installed on a vintage Airstream(besides the fact that they are not the Baby Moon originals)?Would the axle and brakes work just as well(probably a dumb question....but like I said,I am pretty ignorant on this subject!)??Or should I should I just get matching rims installed and then purchase a couple of cool looking hubcaps?


Advice please!
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Old 07-29-2002, 11:25 PM   #2
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Wheels/tires

You do need to get the different wheel size corrected, it could cause uneven tire wear or some other abnormal riding conditions. Putting the aluminum wheels on a vintage trailer is a matter of personal taste, if it looks good to you and you like it go for it, it may give some purists heartburn but its not their trailer. If you plan on entering in some judging contests you just wont be in the stock category. Make sure the wheels you get are trailer wheels and not auto, truck or light truck/LT wheels, it makes a difference. Should be no problem for the axle either. If you get used wheels buyer beware.

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Old 07-30-2002, 06:11 AM   #3
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Quote:
Or should I should I just get matching rims installed and then purchase a couple of cool looking hubcaps?
Use steel wheels rated for 2600+ made for trailers. To repeat 83Excella, do not use automotive wheels. Its just not SAFE. As far as the hubcaps, this is what $16.00US got me at Wal-Mart. 4 to a set. I just could not help it. I am not a BabyMoon fan.

Also take a look at Carlisle Tires. They make a fine ST D rated trailer tire also.

-BobbyWright
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Old 07-31-2002, 07:55 AM   #4
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these are american racing truck rims,i would like too know if they would work? they list the sizes on there website
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Old 07-31-2002, 10:37 AM   #5
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Truck Rims

I read repeatedly on this forum that truck wheels/rims are dangerous for airstream trailers. This raises my curiosity tremendously.
I see huge 30+ foot trailers of other manufacture using cheap little steel wheels, usually with 5 spokes or holes, and I often see giant dual axle boat trailers with truck mags. Are they using unsafe wheels on brand new trailers? Haulmark offers AR mags much like the ones in the picture on dual axle cargo trailers that are rated GVWR 8000+ pounds. My 1ton van has 8lug wheels that are rated 2000lbs each ( and approved by the mfg.), with a GVWR of 8900lbs.
I am not trying to argue the safety point, but I would like to find out why a 5000 lb dual axle Airstream apparently needs stronger wheels than a 9000lb Haulmark, or a 12000lb off shore boat trailer?
I inspected the old original steel wheels on my trailer very closely, and I do not see any differences in the material strenght, welding seams, or lug plate thickness from a 5-lug Ford steel wheel off a E150van. Unless it's the actual metallic composition.
Does anyone have a better explanation, other than "it's not safe"?
I know that in a blowout, one wheel will have to support half the trailer, but that's not much different from any other trailer.
I am trying to find some nice and clean wheels for my 71 Tradewind, I believe the old wheels on there are unsafe now, due to rust and decay around the tire bead and valve stem hole. I have slow leaks in three tires, I found out, and the old soap and water trick showed tiny bubbles all over the place.
So far I have not been able to find wheels that are rated over 2000lbs each, other than on nady's inlandrv site. Champion traielr has wheels for trailers in the right size, but no ratings. US Wheel rates their wheels at 2000lbs each.
By the way, a load range E tire is rated at 3000lbs. The wheel it's on is rated at 2000lbs.
Confusing....
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Old 07-31-2002, 11:06 AM   #6
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We had a late model 31 footer for a couple of years that came to us with aluminum American wheels. I guess they were truck wheels? Never had a problem of any kind. I really liked the way they looked. The trailer we have now has factory aluminum Alcoa wheels.

Regards, Lee
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Old 07-31-2002, 11:12 AM   #7
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There are other factors that must be considered when using a wheel besides it's weight rating. One is it's side wall strength. Trucks don't impose side wall loads to a wheel like your Airstream always does in a tight turn. Secondly, when wheels are compared by looks, they may appear to be the same. Weigh them and you will see a great difference.
We find it rather fruitless to argue with the Airstream factory's specs for many things, including wheels. They have done they research and have the old test of time on their side. Why argue with something that has proved itself.
The old saying comes to mind, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
However, if somone wants to live on the edge, or lean way over the edge, that is certainly their choice.
However, it is also someone's choice to make someone very liable for their actions, when personal or property injury comes into play.
Better to be safe, than sorry, as there is no known substitute for "safety."


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Old 07-31-2002, 11:25 AM   #8
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Hey Andy,

I am not arguing the point, as I outlined in my post, merely posting questions.
The Ford wheel weighs about the same as the one off the airstream, and it's about the same size in width. No plans to use the Ford wheels, just comparing.
Still looking for answers.
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Old 07-31-2002, 09:04 PM   #9
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Just my opinion....

I would not use an aluminum mag wheel because they can break. Not just bend a little, which they also will do, but break into pieces. I know this from personal experience. I have had 2 aluminum mag wheels break off into pieces. The aluminum alloy used in Mags is machined and is brittle compared to stamped steel. When they came apart they completly destroyed the tires and the piece of aluminum destroyed the wheel wells on the vehicle. I was doing about 65mph and ran over a piece of steel that had fallen off a junk truck in front of me. In a vehicle, I was able to control it. I do not believe I would be able to control a fishtailing trailer at all if the same kind of break to a wheel would occur.

The new tire and steel wheel I posted in the picture above cost $115 U.S. mounted. I feel it is a safe choice that will reduce my liability if I have an accident as it meets factory specifications.

Just my $0.02 (adjusted for inflation)

-BobbyWright


Not my picture, just one I found on the net.
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Old 08-01-2002, 05:59 PM   #10
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There are cast aluminum as well as the forged aluminum rims. Forged aluminum rims have been used on 4X4 vehicles in tough situations for years and bend rather than break like some of the cast rims. I have used both on 4X4 vehicles with no problems but we are talking different side loads when talking trailers. Anyone know which method was used on the mag wheels found on our Airstreams?
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Old 08-01-2002, 06:09 PM   #11
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The older Airstream Alloy wheels look like they are sand cast,and then machined. The newer ones look like standard fare cast alloys.
We have used forged alloys on off roaders for years as well. Talk about side loads when a 3000lb Mercedes G-wagen basically sits on the side of a front wheel going down to Rubicon Springs.... No problems there. The wheel in the picture is a cast alloy wheel, judging by the damages. It looks like off a big BMW. We used to replace those wheels often, they bend easily when going over obstacles too fast.
Anyways, I am researching this wheel issue further.Any help or comments are appreciated.
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