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Old 03-08-2011, 03:14 PM   #1
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1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
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New wheels for '76 Sovereign

Read that long thread the other night about changing out to 16" and running light truck tires and I got to figuring, that makes perfect sense to do so and thus I started to research.

After much searching I am converting our baby to 16" x6 rims (no offset)rated at 3040 lbs each with 225X75X16 10 ply rating LT tires. These convert out to only 3/8" larger diameter than the 235X75X15s on her now.

Also made a interesting discovery. When I called the Tredit folks in Athens, Ga they wanted to make very sure I was getting the right thing and asked me to pull a wheel and measure the offset and learned the factory wheels have a negative offset of 1". The duals on the right sight were only missing the wheel well 1/2" on the side wall and there is evidence of the wheel rubbing the splash guard. There was 3" free clearance outboard so the 0 offset will have me clearing the wheel well 1 1/2" on inside and about the same on the outside.

The best part was the rims are modular and less than 50 bucks each. I am going to pick them up. They are silver and there is a stainless steel bullet center cover available that allows for easy removal to check hub temp I will look at when I get there. As I understand it they just pop in and out by hand.

Years ago I was taught to always walk back and feel the hubs for heat build up every time I stop and I have never lost a bearing in so doing.

It will be most reassuring to know I have ten ply tires on the 2500 HD and our baby as well and will carry one of the take offs still mounted as a spare.

This is a great forum and folks are constantly coming up with good and useful information like this. Many thanks guys.
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:09 PM   #2
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Hello, Hummer,

You measured the offset by measuring from that flat part of the wheel that contacts the drum to what, the center seam of the wheel?

Just want to make sure I am understanding what you did to find the -1"

Oh, and welcome to the forum, by the way.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:17 PM   #3
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The original wheels on the trailer should have been zero offset. I suspect a PO made the change at sometime.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:14 PM   #4
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I cut a piece of wood so it would just sit across the rim at the highest point and measured to the back of the dish near the center hole. That was 4". I then turned the wheel over and measured the same way to the same surface and it was 3".

You can visually see the dish is closer to the outside than it is the inside.

I have a white spoke week I measured in the same manner and it came up with same reading from both sides. I put it on and there was all kinds of room on the inside and it was running in the middle of the wheel well.

I will carry one or two of the present wheels as spares depending on length of trip but barring road hazards I suspect I will never need one for years.

All four of these are identical. Wouldn't hardly think someone would find all replacement rims and change them out and leave them the same size as factory??? But who knows.

Wish I was going to get them tomorrow but wife had to do a funeral and she wants to ride along.

There is a big salvage yard here and I went in there a couple months back asking about rims and they told me I needed to determine if there was a offset or not and told me how to do it. Went back day before yesterday and we went through hundreds of rims with no luck. Well actually there was a couple off a Toyota I think it was and they wanted 35.00 for a used rusted one and I passed. The new one is only a few bucks more and never been wrecked.

Guy said he had something like 535 of these rims I am getting in stock and they would ship them for about 11.00 each. If it was just them I would have had them shipped but he had the tires at a great deal so I told him I was coming to get both.

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Old 03-08-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
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Based on your numbers the wheels were 7 inches wide making the center at 3 1/2 inches. If you measured 4 on one side and 3 on the other the offset was + 1/2 inch. Make sure whatever wheel you get is rated to carry the weight of a trailer. Many truck wheels have a lower rating. The spare wheel I bought for my trailer has a weight rating of 2600 pounds.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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azflycaster,
Roger that. Rims I am getting are rated at 3040 lbs.They had a aluminum wheel rated at 3200 for twice the price and I could not see the cash outlay difference.

I just measured again and got a more precise reading. As per the drawing I have 2 3/4" from outside of rim and 4" from axle side of the rim measured to the same inner surface the drawing shows and I made a mistake, the rims have a POSITIVE Offset and not a negative as I originally posted. Thusly I should increase clearance by 5/8" and not incur any more wheel well rub.

Load Range E should be good for 3858 lbs so I should have lots of fudge factor.

If the wheel well opening had been longer I could have used any of the 12 take offs I have that just came off 3/4s that have absolutely no cracking issues at all. They came off high annual mileage 3/4 ton trucks and there is plenty of tread left on them for a trailer. Only problem is they are 245X75X16 and the diameter won't clear the wheel well sufficiently and all E rated. Story of my life haha.

By the way, nice pic of the "kids". I have a yellow that is 12 yrs 4 mo. He is totally deaf now but he likes to ride and go for walks. He is my buddy and when he goes it will be bad. Make that very very bad.

Least ways I have four spares now and with the ones I am getting I should have good road rubber for years.
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Old 03-10-2011, 09:12 PM   #7
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Drove over to Athen, Ga today and picked them up. They were sitting there waiting for me on a pallet and I came home and put them on using a flashlight. The silver wheels look to be a perfect match for the Airstream body color.

I now have nice clearance between the tire and the chassis.

I could not be more pleased with the combo and Tredit Tire. Their facility was amazing. I am guessing they must have had 20,000 wheels there as trailer wheels and tires is their main specialty. It is not a tire store but a wheel/tire sales facility to the trailer industry.

I passed on the stainless steel center cover as it would not allow me to feel the hubs on stops but they did look nice indeed. I realize with the bearing grease I am using I will in all probablility never have a bearing failure due to grease failure but still I like the idea of feeling the hubs when I stop.

Will take some pics in daylight and post them.
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:18 PM   #8
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1976 31' Sovereign
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Took her out today and drove down to a flea market to see how it rides and it was a very good ride. AS seems more stable with the 10 ply tires on it. Retorqued the wheels and none had become loose.

Looking forward to the next trip with it.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:51 PM   #9
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OK, we've waited long enough. How about some photos of the new wheels!
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:07 AM   #10
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OK kids, here they are:





I made sun covers for the wheels and now there is room to get my hands behind the tires to get them hooked over the top. I estimate now there is 1.5" between frame and tires and 2" inside the outer body shell.

Outside of replacing the power unit with the Iota unit and installing the battery minder and rebuilding the underside of the kitchen counter doubling the undersink space all the way to the hull wall and making it strong enough to hold lots of weight by the judicial application of columns pocket hole screwed to the deck for support this is the best thing I have done for her yet.

As indicated the towing characteristics have improved greatly.

The tires that were on it were LT235X75X15 Firestone Steeltex Raidals R4S Load Range C and the replacements are LT225X75X16 Load Range E and the new rims are ZERO offset from Tredit in Athens, Georgia. The diameter of these new tires is only 3/8" larger so I have plenty of clearance to put them on and take them off.

Another plus option, it is noted the center hole in the Tredit wheels is larger and having removed the AS wheels with the small hole and putting them all on I find these are easier to align the bolt holes. I just rotated hub till a hole lined up at 3:00 and put it in, then I rotate that one down to 6:00 and I could put one in at 12:00 and kept rotating them around and put in the other four.

Since these were new rims I wanted to make sure all the lug bolts found their natural center so I finger tightened them all as I rotated the wheel to where I could not longer get any movement and then I started tightening them alternating side to side a little at a time and pulled them up nice and even and used a Torqueometer to equalize them.

I am really grateful for the guys that posted on the original long post that gave me the idea of going LT and LARGER rims as it has made a tremendous difference. I thought it had excellent pull characteristics before but now it is OUTSTANDING ! ! ! ! !

The old tires have about 90% tread left and I pulled it 1700 miles last August with no problems at all but I don't know the age of them and there is a little sun cracking on them that was there when I bought it so now I have four spares so to speak. But then again if I sell them I will make another trip back to Athens and get two more for spares and sew up a cover for them so they will never see sunlight unless I am checking air pressure.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:30 PM   #11
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Smile

Took her out on the road in April down to Charleston and the difference in towing is amazing with those LT tires.

Previously every 18 wheeler moved the AS right when they passed. I estimate about 8" right. Now only about every fourth truck moves it and it is estimated at 2". I can just barely feel the shift.

Getting the 10 ply truck tires is best move I have made. I sold my take off wheels and rims last weekend and ordered a duplicate of the other four rims I just put on for a spare from Tredit. They had my previous purchase info on their computer so there was no problem duplicating the rim type.

I will go over in the morning and get a take off 225x75X16 10 ply so it will be a perfect match for the others and that will be most likely the last tire I will ever need to buy for it as those tires will be under cover when not on the road the rest of their lives and will last longer than I am able to drive I suspect being that I am 64 now.

I leave for Ohio in about three weeks and have a camper cover waiting for me up there that will go on the GMC. Hopefully that will improve my gas mileage a tad.

Drove it to Montgomery Alabama last week, topped off the tank, got on I20 and set it on 60 and drove 307 miles and topped it off again. got 17.45MPG. Coming back I backed it off 200 RPM to 56 MPH and got 17.15MPG. So next time I hit the road 60 will be THE speed on Interstates.
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Old 08-09-2011, 07:15 PM   #12
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I don't really trust the 'dealer' I bought my '86 AS from that the tires are new... yes great tread but the dryrot cracks make me wonder. I like the conversion you made very much! you have new LT225X75X16 Load Range E rubber but just what should I look for in rims? Who got you those nice looking rims, I know you posted it but to be sure, what size was the best fit? I have fallen victim to getting numbers wrong from older posts...
Thanks!
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