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Old 12-20-2018, 09:57 AM   #1
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Steel vs Aluminum wheel weights

On a View, how much lighter are the aluminum wheels than the steel?? This is a pricey upgrade for an aesthetic only appeal. If there is a significant weight savings I could see it. I could not find this info anywhere, hoping someone here knows it.
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Old 12-20-2018, 10:07 AM   #2
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Our 2014 View came equipped with them and they are probably 25% lighter.
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Old 12-20-2018, 12:49 PM   #3
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25% is a significant portion of anything, however, if I don't know the weight of one or the other this info is not very useful ...yet. I appreciate your feedback!
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Old 12-21-2018, 08:59 AM   #4
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Aluminum wheels are mainly purchased aesthetic reasons - they just look better. Weight savings will be minimal since you have to use a fair amount of aluminum to get the same level of strength as steel.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:30 PM   #5
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I've been told that aluminum offers four or five advantages:

Weight savings-rspecially on the View or Sprinter chassis-is significant because any weight saved adds to the load you can use.

Lighter rims smoother ride.

Aluminum doesn't warp as easy as steel.

Better heat disapation during hard braking.

And looks better.
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Old 12-26-2018, 07:07 PM   #6
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Aluminium wheels are better , in all matters
Better ventilation for brake cooling , better heat transfer, lighter for suspension,

On a small car quite a fuel consumption difference between heavy steelies vs aluminium wheels ...it wont show that much on a RV because of the weight
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Old 12-26-2018, 08:51 PM   #7
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Aluminum wheels on an RV are decoration only. All of the tire and wheel weight is below the suspension so it will not help what you carry. Commercial guys that get paid by the pound carried can gain a fee pounds per load but since our loads are fairly constant there is not advantage. There is an issue called unsprung weight but unless you are an off road racer the recovery time on the shocks is very minimal on an RV.
For looks, get polished SS. Aluminum oxidizes and turn gray unless polished. Plain wheels do the job with less cost and maintenance.
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Old 12-27-2018, 10:17 AM   #8
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Aluminum Advantage

From my experiences driving Trucks and Motorhomes, I think Aluminum Wheels have a distinct advantage.
Aluminum wheels are cut in a lathe and the result is that they will have very little or no wobble. Wobble causes vibration while driving at highway speeds.
Steel wheels are "stamped" and welded. They tend to have much more wobble, causing a shaky ride.
My concern is that they put a steel wheel on the inside of the dual rear wheels, with the aluminum on the outside.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:48 PM   #9
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The GCWR on a Sprinter is 11,030. The curb weight is around 9800 lbs, plus or minus depending on floorplan and options. That leaves around 1200 lbs for OCCC (occupant and cargo carrying capacity). That's not much when you consider that has to include fresh water, driver and passenger weight, groceries, fuel, propane, possibly a receiver storage container, so on and so on.....

So every pound saved including wheels is a pound of cargo capacity. One reference quoted 16" steel wheels weigh 35 lbs while 16' aluminum weigh 20 lb. Even with the two inner wheels of steel thats 60 lbs saved. Doesn't sound like much until you think of boondocking and that could be 2 or 3 extra cases of water.

Aluminum will oxidize but not if you maintain them properly. Especially the ones with protective coatings. Steel oxidizes too, I think it's called "rust".
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyking View Post
My concern is that they put a steel wheel on the inside of the dual rear wheels, with the aluminum on the outside.

I would be quite concerned about that too, particularly when its time to rotate the tires.
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Old 12-30-2018, 07:02 AM   #11
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I found this quote from a manufacturer of wheel separaters.

"Wheel Guards are nylon separator plates that are approximately .03
thick. They are placed between the hub or drum and the wheel, and
between two wheels on a dual wheel application. The Wheel Guard is
highly recommended for all applications and all combinations of
aluminum and steel wheels."
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