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Old 09-23-2017, 09:11 PM   #1
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17.5 wheels & tires for class C

17.5 wheel and tire upgrade for class C. Just wondering if anyone else has done this install yet. I ordered and paid for the set of wheels and tires from Rickson Truck Wheels on Aug 23 and still waiting for them. I believe that they were supposed to ship Friday but we will see. They must be a pretty small company. Sometimes it's hard to get a hold of them and they really don't seem to like to keep me informed of my order. I suppose it's not much different so far than most other work you have done on an rv.

I am just hoping to get them on soon enough that we can take a weekend trip afterwards to try them out and recheck the lugs before I put it away. We take off on a long trip in the winter and I would like to make sure everything is good beforehand.
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:32 PM   #2
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What kind of wheels and tires?
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Old 09-23-2017, 09:38 PM   #3
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I dont see why changing to 17.5" wheels is an upgrade on a F450.
What size did you start with?
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:04 PM   #4
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I dont see why changing to 17.5" wheels is an upgrade on a F450.
What size did you start with?
Not an F450, but an E450.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:09 PM   #5
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We have the E450 which comes with 16" light truck tires. By going to the 17.5 wheels you can get a commercial tire, like what's on a super C or a class A. It's all about the weight rating. The 16" tires are rated for 2480 lbs a piece. When I had mine weighed I was a hair over that. These class C's that are over 30' are all overloaded from the factory. That is why so many people have blowouts with the wimpy tires.

The wheel is a custom wheels that Rickson makes just for the E van to accept the 17.5 tires. With the 215/75/17.5 tires the overall diameter is less than an inch larger so you don't have clearance problems. It goes from 29.5 in to 30.3 in. So it shouldn't even mess with the speedometer much, I am off by about 2 miles an hour anyway so it may actually correct it.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:13 PM   #6
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I went with Hankook AH11 tires load range G. That gives a weight rating of around 3,500 lbs a tire. It's a 14 ply tire with a full steel sidewall. The 16's are 10 ply with steel belts.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:42 PM   #7
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Are all long class C's "overloaded from the factory"? I've never looked at buying one so really I don't know. My 26 ft Freedom Elite (which isn't very long) has over two thousand pounds of extra capacity even fully loaded. Frankly, I would hesitate to buy a vehicle that was going to be overloaded. I think I'd be looking at Super C's or Class A's instead, if that were the case.
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Old 09-23-2017, 10:55 PM   #8
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Yes, pretty much all brands of 30' plus class C's are within 700-800 lbs of fully loaded when they leave the factory. Once you put fuel, stuff and people in them they are all overloaded. We looked at class A's but I like the dedicated cab. Super C's seemed overpriced for what you were getting, 45k for essentially the same coach part.

I've already added helper springs in the rear and adding the heavier tires I think it will be fine for a long time. Many of the class C's from 15-18 yrs ago were overloaded back then. In a perfect world I would buy a super C on a freightliner chassis. That is the dream, maybe when we sell our business and retire. That's what I tell DW.
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Old 09-27-2017, 02:44 PM   #9
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I got a call yesterday saying that my wheels were shipping so maybe by the end of week.
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:15 PM   #10
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Congratulations!
Please let us know if the ride and handling improve...
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:30 PM   #11
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Happily following this thread. I'm the one that mentioned this over in the other thread, so you know I have had these on my want list for a long while now..... looking forward to seeing how yours work out!

I believe i read that they are a small shop and custom make per order, so that would explain the delay

did you do all 6 wheels, or just your rear 4?

what do you plan on doing with your 16 inch wheels and tires.
Are you shipping them to a local tire shop for install or plan to just DIY? I'm curious about logistics.....
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:21 PM   #12
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I bought 7 wheels and 6 tires. They will come all mounted and balanced. I will put them on myself in my business shop with the help of an employee. We have Freightliner trucks so we have all the heavy lifting equipment. I have been able to do all of my own suspension mods so it saves a lot of money.

The 16" wheels and tires I will just stack in the corner with a sheet on them to put back on if I trade it off in the future.

I will still just carry the 16" spare. I bought the extra wheel just in case I bend one down the road I would have one to replace it with. Since they are custom built you never know if you can get one later. A tire I could always get.

They couldn't seem to get the wheel simulators in time for my order so they sent along just the chrome center caps. I will mask off the tires and paint the wheels tan to match the camper. It will probably be nicer anyway because it will be easier to access the valve stems. With the simulators now it is a pain. A month ago I sliced my finger open on the simulator trying to change the battery in one of the pressure sensors.

I will take before and after pictures when I get them on. DW thinks it will look kinda retro.
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:54 PM   #13
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You definetly got me thinking. My 29h is close to 31 overall. With my Harley,spare and some tools I am 60lbs over the 9600 gross rear axle load recommended by ford. Total load of tires times four is 9880 so I'm not too concerned. Did put sumo springs on rear definitely helped. Of course Thor sez the garage will take 1500lbs. That's bull! The bike is about 920' spare is about 90 and the tool bag maybe 50. Unless new math puts me over 1500.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:06 PM   #14
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You definetly got me thinking. My 29h is close to 31 overall. With my Harley,spare and some tools I am 60lbs over the 9600 gross rear axle load recommended by ford. Total load of tires times four is 9880 so I'm not too concerned. Did put sumo springs on rear definitely helped. Of course Thor sez the garage will take 1500lbs. That's bull! The bike is about 920' spare is about 90 and the tool bag maybe 50. Unless new math puts me over 1500.

You've definitely got me thinking about this also...
My bike is about 300 pounds heavier than yours!
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:33 PM   #15
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yeah, about the simulators....earlier this summer I pulled mine off and sent them to the attic after several years of fighting them, messing with valve extensions etc...
I had to paint them since the wheels were all scratched up form the simulators. Kind of a pain since I didn't want white lug nuts and hubs.... so I just did the whole center portion black. I had considered doing a matching or coordinating color, but I think white wheels look ok as is. Not as nice as the chrome I suppose, but I am only disappointed that I didn't do this years ago!

If I were you I would cancel simulators if you have them on order. Just my opinion....

Actually the hand holes is one question I have with the rickson wheels. They look a bit small in the pictures, wondering if I could even get my hand through at all.... I would be interested if you could provide measurements once you get them....
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:20 PM   #16
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The covers that are coming are just center hub covers, they just cover hub and lugs. They told me the valve stems will be accessible. Here is there picture.




All in with wheels and Hankook tires is only $3,600, and the tires should last twice as long as the stock 16". That's cheaper than two sets of 16" tires over 6-7 years. Plus its just the peace of mind.
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:29 PM   #17
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Did you consider putting dually valve stems on the wheels before the tires were mounted? They seem to make everything about duals much easier. Simulators or not. Starting from scratch like that seems to open up some real possibilities. How about internal TPMS senders like cars have?
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:51 PM   #18
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I went with Hankook AH11 tires load range G. That gives a weight rating of around 3,500 lbs a tire. It's a 14 ply tire with a full steel sidewall. The 16's are 10 ply with steel belts.

These tires are rated at 3,750 pounds each for singles at 100 PSI, hence 7,500 pounds for front axle. The E-450 front axle is rated up to 5,000 pounds, so tire maximum rating exceeds that of axle by quite a bit. Same goes for rear axle that is limited by manufacturer (Dana) to 9,600 pounds.

I'm curious what pressure you plan to run these new tires at. It would seem 100 PSI would lead to a truck-like ride, and lowering pressure significantly will cut into new tires' load carrying capacity. Does Rickson recommend a specific air pressure?
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:43 PM   #19
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Per Hankook's tire chart, at 80 psi the tire is still rated at 3198 lbs each on duels. That is min recommended pressure. I'm not to worried about the axle, I am only 100-200 lbs overweight. I have never heard of someone breaking an axle but lots of talk of blown tires. When you blow a tire on an rv it becomes a dangerous situation. At the very least it causes horrible damage to the fiberglass walls. On most cars the tires are rated several hundred lbs over the cars rating but on these rv's they are right at max. Also an rv is fully loaded all the time unlike a reg auto. Commercial tires are designed to be loaded all the time.

I believe when they mounted the tires at Rickson they were putting on 6" long valve stems so they should be easier to get at. The ones they are on the inside wheels now have a valve extender on them but is very flimsy and doesn't stay put. It is just clipped to the outer wheel and likes to fall off when you try to check air pressure.
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Old 09-27-2017, 10:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Druff View Post
The covers that are coming are just center hub covers, they just cover hub and lugs. They told me the valve stems will be accessible. Here is there picture.




All in with wheels and Hankook tires is only $3,600, and the tires should last twice as long as the stock 16". That's cheaper than two sets of 16" tires over 6-7 years. Plus its just the peace of mind.
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