What you should know about buying tire rimsMaddy Scheinost
What You Should Know: How to Get the Best Tire Rims for Your Trailer
Usually, you can count on tire rims to outlast several sets of tires. But, if your current trailer wheels are rusty or bent, it’s time to replace them. You might also want to change out your trailer rims if you want a different look. Our tire experts here at Treadworld have put together a few considerations to help you get the best rims for you.
Starting your search for the best wheel rims
Though not an overly complex process, choosing the best rims starts with a few basic decisions. You can go for steel wheels, which have the edge in strength and durability and won’t rust thanks to a paint layer (or in the case of SteelMaster Rims, an electrostatically-applied powder coat finish). Or you can select alloy wheels which tend to be a little lighter and available in a wider range of styles, but which don’t hold up as well, and are generally more expensive. To get the look you want in steel, you can choose modular wheels with their distinctive ten round holes design, spoke wheels with their conventional eight triangle-shaped holes design, or stamped wheels with their basic holes design.
Getting the right size trailer rims: diameter, width, bolt pattern and offset
The wheel size, consisting of the diameter, width, bolt pattern and offset, needs to match your tires for safety. That’s the number one priority. The diameter of your wheel rim is the measurement in inches across the wheel face, from top to bottom. That means, for example, if your trailer tire size is 4.80×12, you need a wheel rim with a wheel diameter of 12 inches. The width is the measurement across the barrel of the wheel, and determines the contact patch, the part of the tire that comes in direct contact with the road. It is measured from bead width to bead width and is not the actual width of the wheel itself. As you would expect, narrower wheels have a smaller contact patch. The bolt pattern is identified by two numbers, the first representing the number of lug holes in the wheel, and the second representing the diameter of the circle created by the bolt holes, in inches. The bolt pattern must be the same as the hub, which connects the wheel to the axle). Offset is the distance from the backside of the mounting point to the true centerline of the wheel, and needs to be matched up in order to avoid rubbing issues. A zero offset, for example, is mounted directly in the center.
Other considerations: load capacity, backspacing and the center (pilot) hole diameter
For safety’s sake, you want the load capacity of your wheel rims, and your tires, to be compatible with the load rating of your trailer. If your two-wheel trailer is rated for 900 lbs., the minimum load capacity for each wheel needs to be 450 lbs. You never want to exceed the load ratings of the wheels, which are determined by dividing the trailer’s gross axle weight rating (GAWR) by 2. Backspacing is similar in concept to offset, and is also important to keeping the wheel from rubbing against the brakes or suspension. It is the distance between the backside of the mounting point to the inside lip of the wheel. The center (pilot) hole measurement is the diameter of the wheel’s center hole. Wheels call for either hub-centric or lug-centric attachment. Most trailers are lug-centric, which means the center hole diameter needs to be equal to or greater than the diameter of the hub.
Can I put larger rims on my trailer?
Larger wheel rims and larger tires can give you improvements in bearing wear and gas mileage, while putting extra height on your trailer. You’ll want to keep in mind that the new tires need to match the old wheels for all the factors listed above, plus you need to be certain you have clearance room for the larger size, from the top of the tire to the fender, and from the inside wall of the tire to the frame of the trailer. Generally, larger wheels and tires have a higher weight capacity, but that may not matter as the weight capacity of the axle determines your maximum load.
SteelMaster Rims in the sizes you need, with guaranteed quality and fast shipping.
Here at Treadworld, it’s a simple matter to find the best wheel rims for your trailer. Our SteelMaster Rims are made from strong steel that won’t crack and are virtually impossible to bend. They feature a durable, semi-gloss electrostatically-applied white powder coat finish that resists fading and corrosion to add toughness, durability and good looks. They’re available in a wide variety of sizes to meet your needs, plus they’re covered by our Ultimate Advantage Warranty for quality and long-life. Don’t hesitate to contact our tire and wheel experts via live chat or email with any questions you may have, and to get the ideal SteelMaster Wheel Rims for you. Rims and tires assemblies are also available.