Are Aluminum Wheels Worth It?

May 11, 2008 by Lug_Nut · 6 Comments 

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A great majority of “A” class motor homes today come standard with aluminum wheels. This is in contrast to coaches sold in the 90’s when most were purchased with the conventional steel wheels with the optional trim rings and hub dressings. But, for those that are contemplating a new rig purchase, and find the aluminum rims to be an option, are they worth the extra dollars?

Well, to attempt to answer this we should look at the advantages of these over the tried and proved steel rims.

Lighter Weight: – When comparing a 22.5″ X 8.25″ motor coach wheel rim, the aluminum wheel is around 35 pounds lighter than a similar constructed steel one. This weight difference many vary depending on the manufacturer of each, but this is using Accuride Corporation product specifications. This reduced weight contributes to better ride and handling by lightening the un-sprung weight. While you might think that 35 pounds per wheel should not make that much difference, it is reported that each pound taken off the un-sprung weight reacts to four times that, or in this case, 140 pounds. It further would reduce the gross vehicle weight by 140 to 210 lbs. for a single rear axle or a tag axle type respectively. (Based on the majority of motor homes that used a steel wheel on the inner of the duals)

Stronger Construction: – Some aluminum wheel sizes are rated for higher running air pressure and carrying capacities.

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