tires n rims - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-18-2006, 01:32 PM   #1
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hi all, its me again, my 84 uhaul needs a spare rim and tire, they are 14 inch tires 5 lugs, are they hard too find or pretty standard at most camper or rv business? this is my first travel trailer so i'm clueless. thanks
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Old 04-18-2006, 02:25 PM   #2
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Tom,

I haven't investigated for myself, but from what I understand, UHaul uses their own lug pattern, so you may have a hard time finding one. I suppose it's possible you could ask your local UHaul place, but I imagine they would likely be reluctant to sell a tire & rim.
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Old 04-18-2006, 03:31 PM   #3
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It seems from discussion in forums like this that by far the most common bolt pattern for trailer wheels (for any kind of trailer, but particularly for small travel trailers) is 5-on-4.5".

The size (such as 4.5") in a bolt pattern is the diameter of a circle drawn through the centres of the studs or bolts.

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Tom, you could measure the U-Haul to see if it is this common pattern. Before you get a chance, another U-Haul owner will probably supply the correct answer...

There are other factors which affect the fit of a wheel:
  • width
  • diameter (that's the 14")
  • offset (how far outboard of the wheel centre is the hub mounting face)
  • centre hole size (the wheel must clear or fit the protruding hub)
  • hub-centric versus bolt-centric (is the wheel centred by the hole fitting the hub, or does the hole clear and the bolts centre the wheel?)
Most trailer wheels are nearly zero or small positive offset (mine on the Boler are +0.5") and are bolt-centric, with the hub requiring a relatively large centre hole for clearance. Wheels sold as generic "trailer wheels" seem to fit these specs.

I find it hard to imagine that U-Haul would use a unique bolt pattern, because that would increase their costs. They might use a less common - but still regular production - pattern. Dexter, for instance, currently offers hubs for their 2200-3500 lb axles with 5 bolts (lugs) on diameters of 4.5", 4.75", 5.0", and 5.5".
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Old 04-18-2006, 08:09 PM   #4
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Our Trillium uses standard Ford/Mazda rims IF thats any help loooking for a replacement
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:47 AM   #5
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My understanding is that the UHaul tire and rim are indeed unique to prevent folks from renting the trailer and swapping out the worn tires from their automobile.

I believe I have read that one UHaul owner replaced his hubs with standard RV hubs so that he could find running gear on the road.

Pete
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Old 04-19-2006, 06:37 PM   #6
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Good one Pete, I was also going to add that sometimes its a good thing to have your hubs redrilled (by a competant shop or person) to more readily accept more easily accessable replacements whilst on the highways n byways.
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Old 04-20-2006, 07:37 PM   #7
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I dropped by a local U-Haul dealer, and had a look at their trailers. Between two or three sizes of open cargo trailers and several sizes of enclosed cargo trailers there were at least five different bolt patterns. Of the 5-bolt 14" setups, there were two or three combinations of bolt pattern and offset. One of them looked to be 5-on-4.5", with a conventional offset, but another had a significant positive offset (like a typical front-wheel-drive car) and a bolt circle diameter which might have been 4.75", but might have been between 4.5 and 4.75". Maybe that's the oddball one used for the trailers? The ones I saw had "U-HAUL" stamped right into them, and the tires (ST205/75D14 by Goodyear) had "Property of U-Haul" moulded into the sidewall.

I was measuring with a copy of this template, printed on clear plastic stock:

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With only the domed ends of the wheel nuts to go by, it was hard to be accurate, and I had forgotton to cut out the centre hole so trailers with protruding hubs were even worse.

While I was looking (after the place had closed, leaving their trailers accessible in an open parking lot) an employee came by to ask what I was doing. I told him I was looking a cargo trailers for some stuff I have to move (which is true) and that some people I knew of had U-Haul travel trailers and were wondering about the wheels.

He had heard of the travel trailers (which he described as little white fiberglass trailers, "for a Corvette"), and knew that the wheels were an uncommon pattern. He said they were not unique to U-Haul, and thought they were some metric size.

Well, I don't believe this guy is any kind of expert, but perhaps - given the automotive style offset - that one type is something like 5-on-120mm, to fit some sort of car? I don't even know if that's the same wheel the travel trailers use, but it's an interesting possibility.

A random wheel supplier I checked shows wheels with many bolt patterns, including 5-bolt patterns in the following bolt circle sizes in this general range:
112 (4.409" or 4-13/32")
114 (4.488", maybe just 4.5" rounded to the nearest mm)
114.3mm (4.5")
120 (4.724", listed separately from 120.65mm)
120.65mm (4.75")
127mm (5")
The ones which list a 5x120 mm bolt pattern come in various offsets from 3 to 42 mm, and since at least one brand showed 120 mm and 120.65 as distinct sizes, I Googled for "5x120 wheel", and learned that this is (among other things) a BMW size, in 20 mm or higher offset (e.g. Discounted Wheel Warehouse; BMW - Vehicle Bolt Pattern Reference)

I also ran across a GM pattern listed as 5x115 at Discounted Wheel Warehouse; could be a typo (likely for 5x114.3 a.k.a. 5x4.5"), or it could be another oddball size.

So in the end, I don't have the answer, but maybe some possibilities to check out. If U-Haul really used a unique bolt pattern, or even just one for which wheels exist but trailer hubs usually do not, then I guess that's a testament to the extent to which trailers can be customized! They certainly don't put unique bolt patterns on their trucks.
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Old 04-21-2006, 12:43 AM   #8
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thanks for all the information. the rims that are on my uhaul camper are not the original ones. i've found a place here in tampa that carries all sizes. so next week one of the tires and I will be taking a field trip to purchase a spare.
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Old 04-27-2006, 11:43 PM   #9
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thanks for all the information. the rims that are on my uhaul camper are not the original ones. i've found a place here in tampa that carries all sizes. so next week one of the tires and I will be taking a field trip to purchase a spare.
well the rim and i went off to rednecks here in tampa, and they don't carry a rim that matches my lugs. the rims on my uhaul are weld's. replacement rims on their website are around $300.00 per rim. Kinda pricey in my book for this old uhaul. maybe i should just bite the bullet or check out the salvage yards.
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Old 04-28-2006, 01:14 AM   #10
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be cheaper in the long run to replace the axle and get 3 new rims...
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Old 04-28-2006, 08:10 PM   #11
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We just encountered this same problem. Our '85 U-Haul 13 ft CT was lacking a spare tire so we've been all over town trying to find a 5 bolt 13" rim that matches our lug pattern. The actual lug pattern for our U-Haul is 5 X 4 3/4. Working with our local U-Haul manager we discovered that U-Haul itself is fazing out this unusual size/pattern in favor of a more common one, so although the U-Haul people we talked to tried to help us, they couldn't order the rim. We ended up purchasing a larger 14 inch rim with the 5 X 4 3/4 pattern at a local tire store. With a relatively small tire on it, the radius of our wheel will be increased by 1/2", which our wheel well can accommodate. The cost will run about $60. The difference in wheel sizes should be OK for a short tow in an emergency. Not ideal, but should do in a pinch (and much cheaper than replacement of the entire wheel assemblies).

In the event that we have any major problems in the future with our primary 13 in trailer tires, we plan to replace them with 14 in rims / tires, again with the 5 X 4 3/4 pattern.

Best wishes,
Jeanne and Steve
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:20 PM   #12
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can you tell me who made those rims and what size tire you put on them. that would be a great help. i've just about pulled all my haie out over this
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Old 04-29-2006, 07:37 AM   #13
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Tom, General Motors vehicles from the 60's and 70's (back in my hot rodding days) used 5 lug on 4.75 bolt patterns with various offsets. Most any junk yard or, if you want to get fancy, auto parts store should be able to fix you up with a wheel having those specs. Hopefully, Jeanne & Steve will get back with you on the tire size.

Al
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Old 04-29-2006, 08:55 AM   #14
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Yes, GM models such as Malibu and El Camino use the 5x4.75 (or 5x120.65mm, same thing) pattern. More current offerings would include S-10 pickups. The 2wd and 4wd pickup bolt patterns are identical but the offset is different, so be aware of that.

I'm not aware of any 5-bolt, 13" wheels off the top of my head.

It would be easy to figure out the optimum size of 14" tire to match the OD of your curent 13" tire using the tire size calculator here:

http://www.miata.net/garage/tirecalc.html
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