Wheels, Wheels, Wheels…

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Join us as we explore the world in our carbon-neutral, 4x4 expedition vehicle called The EcoRoamer. We are happy to share our travel adventures, family memories and homeschooling experiences as we journey down the road less traveled.

Wheels, Wheels, Wheels…

Originally Posted by Northern Explorer View Post
I’ve seen your website. It looks really good.


Thanks for the compliments on the EcoRoamer.com website. I’m really happy with how it is coming together. I remember about only 5-7 years ago when you HAD to spent 1/2 million dollars to get a decent web content management system. The fact that today, you can build a pretty comprehensive site like this, with no special tools or skills using one of the free CMS’s like Drupal or Joomla, blows me away…

Originally Posted by Northern Explorer View Post
Do you have any info on the tires/wheel setup I see pictures of. They look like the new Earthroamer wheels.

Good question…

I suppose this is as good a time as any to bring up “The Wheels Discussion”. It’s one of my most sore points about the whole project, and I’m really stuck, so I’m open to any suggestions any of you have:

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago… I made a horrible mistake and ordered 5 wheels from USA6x6 with a “6 week delivery.” Together with that was supposed to be 5 Michelin XZL 20″ tires. This was back in the days before I Googled every supplier I work with to see if there are lots of Internet postings warning what thieves they are. (like this!)They switched the tires to much lower rated military tires, and then said “oops, well we can’t get the XZL’s anymore anyhow”

So I went out and bought my own Continental MPT81 20″x14.5″ tires (5 of them – which are now sitting gathering dust (NEW!) in Michigan)

6 MONTHS LATER my wheels finally show up. We mounted the Continental tires on them, filled them up with air and within 24hrs all 5 are flat because the welds on the wheels all leaked. We tried to break apart the bolt-togethers and discovered that some idiot in their shop put silicone sealant between the bolt-togethers rather than a rubber o-ring so it took a forklift to break them.

I sent those back and told USA6x6 I wanted my money back rather than having them fix them. Daniel insisted that he had just got a ‘new set in’ and these were much better and he’d do all the shipping both ways for free. I knew I wasn’t going to get my money, and I still needed wheels, so I stupidly said “ok”.

6 weeks later the next set of wheels show up. Except this time there are only 4 wheels (not 5) and 1 of the 4 of them are different from the other 3.

My guys in Michigan told me that these wheels have some strange internal bead locks (i.e. – not usual beadlocks) on them and they couldn’t get my tires mounted on them.

Also, They were hub-centric, not stud-piloted, which means the hole pattern matched, but the stud sizes were different. We toyed with the idea of changing my studs, or putting sleeves on them, or something stupid like that, but then gave up bothering to even pursue these. Especially since I’d still need 2 more for the spares.

Then USA 6×6 went bankrupt, and the whole world is hunting down Daniel, so I gave up on the money I’ve obviously lost with those jokers, and stopped trying to fix the wheels to start looking for others.

I have talked to the guys at Stockton Wheels, but theirs won’t support the load of the EcoRoamer. (about 27,000 pounds over 4 wheels = 6,750 lbs per wheel/tire)

I have tried sourcing bolt-togethers from Hutchinson, (who makes the EarthRoamer wheels) but have had no luck reaching anyone there who knows what I’m talking about.

I found a great set of wheels from Accuride (called the 40082) that they make for OshKosh Military trucks, but they won’t make small volumes of them for me, and OshKosh will sell me some of theirs through their Parts counter at $1,500 a piece, with 4 months delivery time. -sigh-

At this point I’m thinking about giving up on my plan of having 20″ super singles with 2-piece bolt-togethers for field servicing (and all of the benefits that I thought would go along with those) and just selling my Continentals for a set of 22.5″ tires that I can run as duallies on my existing Alcoas.

I gain extra load capacity.
I lose the tracking benefits.
I gain flashy chrome wheels (which I suppose I could always paint/powdercoat)
I lose the ability to change a tire in the field.

hmmm…. no wait, that doesn’t sound too good!

Any suggestions / advice / criticisms / sarcastic “I told you so’s” are grudingly welcome!


Continentals mounted on Leaky USA6x6 wheels:

Truck with the 20″ wheels and tires:

…and the flashy Trucker Alcoas:

PS – Jason, this remains one of my favourite all time scale pics of the truck next to your already impressive Colorado rig:


EcoRoamer on TV TONIGHT!

We’re on Jalopnik!

Smelly oxidation

Internet in Motion

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