Aluminum Trailer Rims vs. Galvanized Trailer Rims

Posted by Petra on 11/15/2011 to Trailer Wheels FAQ

When it comes to choosing trailer rims, there’s more to consider than style. You’ll need to ensure that your rims can withstand any substance or chemical they may be exposed to. This is especially important if you’re planning to use your trailer for marine purposes. Salt water can wreak havoc on rims, causing them to corrode. Choosing the correct metal for you trailer rims is more than a matter of visual appearance but one of durability. Here are some benefits and advantages to take into consideration when determining whether aluminum or galvanized trailer rims are right for you.

Galvanized metal has undergone a zinc coating process that protects the underlying steel and makes the metal durable. This process also prevents metal from deteriorating due to salt water exposure and other elements such as high humidity and extreme heat. Those who plan to use their trailers in salt water may find that galvanized trailer rims provide the best protection and more resistance against corrosion.

Galvanized metal is not without its disadvantages. The metal is prone to rusting in areas where it has been chipped, nicked or otherwise damaged. Consider galvanized metal as a special coating that has been placed over the steel that requires protection. Though it does a fantastic job keeping the underlying steel safe, it is prone to damage and must be cared for.

Aluminum is lighter than galvanized metal and many feel it is more aesthetically pleasing. Due to its lightness, some find that the trailers have better gas mileage and are more affordable. Additionally, aluminum, when it is exposed to salt water, corrodes by revealing white flakes, giving a better appearance. Another benefit featured in aluminum is that the metal is rust proof. Aluminum doesn’t need to be painted and continually looks shiny giving an appearance of being new.

Some disadvantages associated with aluminum include that it is difficult to repair should it break or crack. A welder can easily mend galvanized metal but there may be greater difficulty when trying to make similar repairs to aluminum. Aluminum is preferable for fresh water as salt water may cause it to corrode at a quick rate.

Some prefer a mixture of both aluminum and galvanized metal as they feel it gives them the advantages of both. Regardless of whether you prefer aluminum or galvanized metal trailer rims, it is important to thoroughly wash them off with fresh water after use in order to prevent corrosion.