Everyone wants their motorhome to boast
gleaming aluminum wheels, but few enjoy the elbow grease that goes
into maintaining such gloss. If you would like to spiff up those
rims without the need for a lot of wax and polish, take a look at
adding the low-maintenance protective coating surface of Accu-Shield.
“Low Maintenance” doesn’t mean “Maintenance
Free,” and there are still some tasks to be performed when it comes
to the upkeep of Accu-Shield coated aluminum wheels. The good news
is that the labor is minimal. In fact, it’s pretty much limited to
nothing more than wash and dry.
Because the motorhome tires travel so near
to the road surface, and all the gravel, mud, and salt that implies,
it won’t take a fortuneteller to predict that regardless of where
you travel, cleaning is going to be a regular part of future upkeep.
Familiarity with exterior care is particularly important when it
comes to the aluminum rims to prevent dirt and debris from gaining a
foothold that will break down clear coat protection over time. The
easiest way to prevent that from happening is by washing the rims
whenever you notice a build up of grease or grime, or as soon as
possible after the wheels have come in contact with corrosive
materials such as sand or salt.
Being in and out of assorted RV parks and
campgrounds will usually expose the motorhome to a variety of water
sources, some containing minerals that are detrimental to a clear
coat surface. Check the local water supply. If the water smells bad,
contains particles of dirt or rust, or leaves a murky film, do not
wash the coated aluminum wheels using that source.
There are some cleaning methods to avoid
when it comes to removing grime and grease from the coated aluminum
wheels. Truck stops and large vehicle wash bays are not a reliable
method. Many of these commercial establishments use a harsh and
abrasive soap solution designed to hasten the removal of dirt and
grime that works so efficiently it also breaks down clear coat
Another cleaning technique to steer clear
of is wiping away dust and dirt without using water. What usually
happens when you try this is that scratches appear in the clear coat
protection from grit and dirt that was trapped in the cloth.
When you are ready to clean the aluminum
wheels, first position the wheels away from direct sunlight. Start
cleaning by rinsing off the surface to remove loose dirt and rocks.
Don’t be shy about applying water pressure to completely remove all
the particles so that nothing is left to scratch the surface during
the wash procedure. Once all the fragments are removed, use a soft
cloth and mild soap solution to gently wash the aluminum wheel. When
all the grease and grime is detached, wash away the residue with
To prevent water spots, dry the Accu-Shield
aluminum wheel with a soft, 100% cotton cloth. If spotting occurs,
don’t try to remove the stains with stiff brushes or harsh abrasives
that can scratch the clear coat. Your best bet to eliminate water
spots is with a clean, dry buffing pad, or for lug nuts, a specially
designed buffing wheel. Stubborn stains, such as tar, can usually be
eliminated with bug and tar remover designated safe for the
protective coating on the wheel surface. Test the product in a small
area to insure its suitability before administering the full
Once the aluminum wheels are clean you
should take a moment to examine the surface for signs of wear and
tear. Any deep scratches or gouges, dents and cracks should be
promptly inspected and repaired by a qualified technician to insure
continued integrity of the wheel.
Aluminum wheels are not installed on the
inside duals so you won’t have to worry about crawling around under
the chassis to wash and dry the wheel surface. If the tires are
going to be rotated, and the wheels switched, caution the service
technician to use care and caution when handling the wheels. The
coating on the aluminum surface should be protected against damage
when the wheels are being handled. Tools specifically designed for
aluminum wheels can be employed to help further protect the
Accu-Shield aluminum wheels against scratches and dents. Detailed
information on repairs to the aluminum finish, along with
replacement parts and repair kits are available through
Inc., at (888) 396-2272.
When the RV is in storage, cover the wheels
to protect the aluminum rims against outdoor elements and exposure
to stray animals. During long-term storage, regularly inspect under
the cover to make sure the wheels are free of condensation. Before
taking the motorhome back out on the road, thoroughly clean the
aluminum wheels and remove any debris that may have become trapped
in the wheel wells.
To check if you already have the Accu-Shield
aluminum wheels look for the sticker that is attached to both sides
of the wheel at the time of installation. This
low-maintenance/high-appearance feature can be added as an
aftermarket item on select RV models.
wheels won’t make your motorhome drive faster or better, but with
minimal time devoted to spit and polish, Accu-Shield wheels will add
some ‘bling’ that makes your RV the envy of the crowd.