Polishing Aluminum Wheels On Your RV

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2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Last year I polished the aluminum wheels on my RV. Compared to what they DID look like the results were amazing although still not quite as good as I wanted them to look. They didn't look new again that's for sure. Well, here we are a year later and my wheels are dull and lifeless again. What I did last year was a LOT of work!! I really don't want to go through that again if the shine isn't going to last very long.

Have any of you polished your own wheels and were happy with the results? What products did you use? How did you keep them shiny?

I used a cordless drill and a Meguires Power Ball. The rubbing compound I used was https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075T36GHW/?tag=rvf01-20. After the compounding was done I used 3M Polishing Compound for the shine.
 

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Portage, MI
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Have you tried polish wadding? Quite amazing stuff. Several makers, here's one example.
Polishes well, but protecting and saving the shine? Have you used wax? Ceramic coating? Aluminum oxidizes rapidly and requires some sort of protection from the environment.
 
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I have Alcoa Durabright wheels which are coated and you just rinse them off. Just found the 2 outside drive wheels bad and did a little research, warranty for these wheels are 10 years from manufacture date if installed on RV’s. Reached out to both Newmar and Spartan as I wasn’t totally sure who would be responsible. Newmar said to contact Glenn’s Tire in Wakarusa, thanks Newmar for your assistance. Spartan asked for date of manufacture, contacted vendor for warranty consideration. Spartan called me that vendor would replace under warranty and where would I like them shipped? I have an appointment at Spartan Sep 9th anyway so they will be replaced then.

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Joined
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Location
Ringgold, GA.
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Ambassador
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40'
TOW/TOAD
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Have you tried polish wadding? Quite amazing stuff. Several makers, here's one example.
Polishes well, but protecting and saving the shine? Have you used wax? Ceramic coating? Aluminum oxidizes rapidly and requires some sort of protection from the environment.
I had some wadding. I forget the brand. It did a decent job but couldn't cut through the extreme oxidation that I had. And it took a lot of it. And you have to do it by hand. My fingers were killing me. So, I went with the power ball on the cordless drill.
 
Joined
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Location
Ringgold, GA.
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2006
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Holiday Rambler
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TOW/TOAD
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
I have Alcoa Durabright wheels which are coated and you just rinse them off. Just found the 2 outside drive wheels bad and did a little research, warranty for these wheels are 10 years from manufacture date if installed on RV’s. Reached out to both Newmar and Spartan as I wasn’t totally sure who would be responsible. Newmar said to contact Glenn’s Tire in Wakarusa, thanks Newmar for your assistance. Spartan asked for date of manufacture, contacted vendor for warranty consideration. Spartan called me that vendor would replace under warranty and where would I like them shipped? I have an appointment at Spartan Sep 9th anyway so they will be replaced then.

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Yeah, Alcoa has been making their "coated" wheels for a while now. They use them on Tractor Trailers too. (I used to sell them) I've never seen one delaminate like that though. :oops:
 
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When it comes to flash. I soon remember why I don't like it. My truck has alu wheels but they are the silver painted ones. Clear coat is degraded with sun. No real answer I know of that does not require work to upkeep.
I am kind of like the government. I like to build but don't like to upkeep. I would try the ceramic polish, seems to last a long time and makes dirt not stick.
 
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So, nobody has polished their wheels? No experience in this group with product recommendations? I figured everybody had this problem...... :rolleyes:
 
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I haven't polished mine just washed. I need to check but I though there was a sticker on the aluminum wheels on a Newmar coach that stated do not polish. I've heard it from several Newmar owners and it should be stated somewhere. Also at the HOOTS rallies that I have attended the folks that detail coaches will not touch the wheels on a Newmar coach.
 
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I have the wheels polished when I wash the coach, about every 6 months. I also have Alcoas and they don’t seem to ever need much more than a rinse, wipe, dry and light buff with a microfiber towel
 
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I haven't polished mine just washed. I need to check but I though there was a sticker on the aluminum wheels on a Newmar coach that stated do not polish. I've heard it from several Newmar owners and it should be stated somewhere. Also at the HOOTS rallies that I have attended the folks that detail coaches will not touch the wheels on a Newmar coach.
Sounds like you have the clear coated Alcoa aluminum wheels. All you can do is wash and wax them.
 
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Only thing I ever heard about Alcoa wheels when it came to polishing was that it needed to be done by hand - which translated to I ain’t doing that.
 
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I used mothers polish which worked well and the ball on a drill.


I find if you have an adjustable seat, it helps.
 
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Try Flitz, it's phenomenal but it needs you to apply and buff with it ;-) I cleaned up a rim that I had ordered wrong (needed hub when I needed stud) and it looked better than I received it, when I sent it back.
 
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Sounds like you have the clear coated Alcoa aluminum wheels. All you can do is wash and wax them.
I do the sticker on the wheel states Accuride ACCU-SHIELD Use non abrasive materials to clean surface. Nothing but washing and raise with DI water. Something I use a blower to dry and remove excess water.
 
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Ringgold, GA.
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TOW/TOAD
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
I used mothers polish which worked well and the ball on a drill.


I find if you have an adjustable seat, it helps.
Mothers and several other brands of polish wouldn't even begin to remove the oxidation on my wheels. So, I wound up going with https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075T36GHW/?tag=rvf01-20. to remove the oxidation first. It started the shine going but was too coarse to bring the chrome like shine I was looking for. I went back over the wheels the second time with Mothers, Meguires, Flitz, 3M, and several more polish products but none of them really impressed me. I'm sure they would all do just fine if the wheels were polished yearly and kept up. But mine were left alone for 15 years before being done. The original owners were from Texas. I'm sure the heat and sun had a lot to do with it.
 
Joined
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Messages
809
Location
Ringgold, GA.
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Holiday Rambler
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Ambassador
RV Length
40'
TOW/TOAD
2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
Only thing I ever heard about Alcoa wheels when it came to polishing was that it needed to be done by hand - which translated to I ain’t doing that.
Depends on which Alcoa wheels you have. The polished aluminum wheels like mine you can use whatever you want on them. The clear coated aluminum wheels require you use NOTHING with any kind of grit whatsoever. So soap, water and wax is all you can do. The good news is, it's usually all you need.
 
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