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Author Topic: 19.5 Aluminum wheels lighter than steel  (Read 7011 times)

Art In Mobile

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19.5 Aluminum wheels lighter than steel
« on: February 16, 2009, 09:49:41 PM »
The longer I use our Voyage the more we like it. Would like a little more CCC. I will be replacing the two heavy TVs  with LCD to save weight & be larger. How much weight would I save by going to six 19.5 aluminum wheels over steel? I know that they are expensive but beats getting another RV now that I have all the bugs out of this one. Art
Art in Mobile 2006 Voyage V-10 Ford

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: 19.5 Aluminum wheels lighter than steel
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 07:32:56 AM »
The wheels are part of the unsprung weight, so reducing weight there has more practical effect on ride and handling than on CCC. Technically, though, with lighter wheels you would still be reducing the unladen weight of the coach and thus giving more CCC, on paper anyway.

The question is, are the wheels actually enough lighter to justify changing them? That will depend on what you now have and what you might buy. Aluminum isn't always a lot lighter than an equivalent steel wheel and new high strength steel alloys can be very, very close to aluminum, especially in smaller wheels (15-16" sizes). But odds are your existing 19.5's aren't made of ultra light weight steel alloys either.

The folks hawking aluminum wheels say they can be up to 35 lbs lighter (each) than steel. That's for a 22.5 x 8.25 wheel, just about the largest.

Looking at some sample wheel weights for a Dodge 19.5" rim, I see steel wheels ranging from 45-60 lbs depending on size and style, while aluminum wheels are all right around 30 lbs. That suggests you might save 15-30 lbs each if you swap. A total of 90 to 180 lbs reduction in unladen vehicle weight.

As I said initially, the wheels are unsprung weight, so reducing their weight takes no load off the suspension, nor does it reduce body roll.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: 19.5 Aluminum wheels lighter than steel
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 08:38:22 AM »
Check with WGO.  Upping your GVW may be as simple as upgrading your tires.
Norm & Janet - Retired and roaming the world, by RV and ship.
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Next RV trip: Middlle TN, around Thanksgiving
Next cruise: Seabourn Odyssey - Istanbul to Ft. Lauderdale 10/17 - 11/7

John Canfield

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Re: 19.5 Aluminum wheels lighter than steel
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 08:57:29 AM »
Art - also scrutinize every piece of cargo you are carrying.  When we stopped fulltiming, I moved off about 500 pounds of stuff.  Some of that weight was necessary, but lots of it were tools I thought I had to have, etc.  Those are good ideas about getting rid of the glass TVs.

Gary made some great points about going to lighter wheels - I think that would be at the bottom of my list of things to try.

I like Norm's idea about the tire load rating - I would check your load rating chart to see how close you are to maxing out the tires.  Maybe going to a higher load rating will give you an extra margin of safety if you run right at max GVW, but not officially raising your CCC.
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