Which Fiat Ducato motorhome wheels?

by Which Tyres on 19th March 2012

It is very common for motor home owners to fit alloy wheels to their vehicles, but which ones to go for? are they safe? how do I know that they will fit? I aim to answer these questions and more within this blog post.

Campers which are based on a Ducato chassis will be one to two variations; either a standard Ducato or a Ducato Maxi. Just to complicate things if the vehicle is a maxi it may not say this on the van – not very helpful I know! If you are looking to buy alloys for your van then you will need to determine which type you have. The easiest way to do this is to check your current tyre size, this will read something like 215/70R15. The 15 in this size refers to your wheel size so in this example the van would be running on 15″ wheels. If you vehicle is on 15″ wheels then it will be a standard Ducato, if it’s on 16″ (and was hasn’t been changed onto this size) then it will be a Maxi. If your van has 6 wheels then this is also an indication that the vehicle is a Maxi.

The distinction is important as Fiat have different spacing’s between the stud holes on the 2 types. This spacing can be referred to as stud pattern or PCD, if you start looking into wheel specs then you may see these terms. Just for the record the stud pattern for a standard Ducato has a pcd of 5×118, whereas the Maxi is 5×130. Also the width of the hub where the wheel sits varies (Ducato 71.1mm, Maxi 78.1mm) therefore wheels are definitely not interchangeable between variants.

I’ll start with talking about the standard Ducato (I’ll look at Maxi wheels in a different post), many motorhome wheels are sold for these as vans do not always come with alloys as standard and original Fiat wheels are rather expensive. Owners therefore start looking at after-market wheel choices, but which to go for?

With a heavy vehicle such as a camper I feel that you should really focus on quality, strength and safety! You need something that is commercially rated to carry the weight, most stockists should be able to provide the wheels load rating, if you multiply this value by 4 then you need the figure to be more than your vehicles fully loaded weight.

How do you know what the quality is like when buying online? Check where the wheels are produced, there are various products shipped in from China and the Far East which are of dubious quality. There are a handful of European manufacturers which are a much safer bet. Most of mainland Europe uses a system of TUV approval, which is like a testing centre for aftermarket automotive parts. If a wheel is TUV approved then it has been tested to ensure that it is suitable for the vehicle stated, they carry out a bunch of tests to verify the load rating also. Unfortunately we do not have such an approval system in place in the UK but many insurance companies are familiar with TUV certification. Therefore if you choose to inform your insurance company that you have fitted alloys then the fact that your chosen wheel is TUV approved should mean that they have no issues with such a modification.

Finally look for guarantee length, as standard wheel manufacturers only offer a 1-year guarantee on the paint finish of their wheels. Some European companies offer a longer length warranty which is certainly an indication of the paint quality.

Our partner Tyremen imports a motorhome wheel from German manufacturer, Alutec. They produce an alloy wheel called the Energy-T which is TUV approved for use on Ducato, it comes with a 5 year guarantee which is the longest offered by any wheel company. There are a few other companies that make good quality motorhome wheels such as AEZ (another German manufacturer) or Team Dynamics (UK made, not TUV approved but still great quality).

Most vehicle owners opt to stick to a 15″ wheels which is very sensible. It means that the original tyres can be swapped onto them if they are in good condition and is the most cost effective solution. The only real advantage of going for something bigger is that you get a slightly more impressive appearance, but the ride will be firmed up as you need to use a lower profile tyre to compensate for the increase in wheel size. If you didn’t compensate in this way then the vehicle speedo will become inaccurate and you may get issues with the tyre catching on the bodywork.

You should be able to buy motorhome wheels without worrying about technical info but if you need to know then this is what you should be looking for:

  • As already mentioned the pcd, or stud pattern should be 5×118
  • The back of the wheel need to have a centre bore of 71.1mm (ideally directly drilled without the need for spiggot/centralising rings)
  • Offset (refers to wheel positioning/how close to bodywork it sits) – this needs to have a value of around 50. You may find this figure stamped on your current wheel, don’t worry if it doesn’t match exactly as the vehicle has a certain amount of tolerance.
  • Width – wants to between 6″ and 7″

In terms of getting these fitted, most aftermarket motorhome wheels will be supplied with new bolts (you may need to buy a new wheel brace as the bolt head size may have to be reduced). When being fitted to a camper then you should be using high pressure valves, either add these onto your purchase of make sure your fitter has them available. Locking wheel bolts are also a consideration and are supplied by all good wheel suppliers.

Finally, there seems to be a belief that swapping onto alloy wheels will offer a dramatic weight saving, freeing up some load capacity for a few more cases of French plonk! Unfortunately this is not really the case (not another wine reference), campervan alloys are of a similar weight to a steel wheel, due to the amount of aluminium required to get to such a load capacity.

I think that covers it? Happy shopping & happy camping!

2013 Update….

Tyremen now import and stock steel wheels that are suitable for Fiat Ducato based motorhomes. They import these from mainland Europe where they are produced to original equipment standards. These can be sold as sets which is a common request from drivers looking to fit winter tyres to their vans. They also solve an issue where a motorhome is supplied without a spare wheel. The steel wheels have a load rating of 1000kg and are a fraction of main dealer prices!!

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom September 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I have a fiat Ducato II. 03 plate.

Do you know ifi can go up to 17″ without any rubbing and having to change anything.

Also would the tyres then be low profiles?

Cheers

Reply

Which Tyres September 20, 2012 at 10:41 am

That depends as to if the vehicle is a van or motorhome?

For vans then yes a 17″ goes on no problem at all, you use a lower profile tyre (225/55R17) to compensate for the increase in wheel size.

For motorhomes it depends on the bodywork that the conversion company has added, you would need to take a look and see if there is enough room for a wider wheel.

Regards,

Phill.

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Gordon March 19, 2013 at 4:35 am

Am considering a new Autotrail Apache 634. These have 15″ wheels as opposed to 16″ on the larger chassis Apache 700. I have been told the 16″ wheel chassis has heavier components and to steer away from the 15″ wheel chassis due to lack of strength. Your comments would be useful.

Regards Gordon

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Which Tyres March 19, 2013 at 9:29 am

I can only really comment on the wheel strength, if you need details on the different chassis types then would be best to contact Autotrail. In terms of the wheels the 15″ is stronger than the 16″ version, the load rating in 15″ is 1075kg per wheel and is 160kg in 16″ – not a lot in it of course!

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Tom August 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

Thanks for you’re reply to the above post.
1 year on and now about to make a purchase. Before I do just had a couple questions.

It’s a van and will be sent driving half the time along country lanes. Is it wiser to have a 16″ alloy and tyre instead of 17″ for when driving along uneven roads and pot holes?

Are there any disadvantages for going bigger

Thanks

Reply

Which Tyres August 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Hi Tom,

Yes it would probably be wise to go for 16″, 17″ would fit ok but you have to use a slightly lower profile tyre which will firm up the ride and be more prone to damage from pesky potholes. If you stick to 16″ then you will use a proper van tyre which would be much more resilient to the poor road conditions you describe.

Phill

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Tom August 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Thanks for the helpful info and for the page in general

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Rob Raven October 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

What Alloys of other vehicles will fit my Campervan, Fiat Ducato Maxi. 4 wheel..?

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Which Tyres October 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm

The wheels would be interchangeable on Peugeot Maxi, Fiat Ducato Maxi & Citroen Relay/Jumper Maxi.

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James October 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Hi. I’m about to fit some 20″ wheels to my 08 Ducato X250 Campervan. I’m intending to shod them in 255/45r20 Continental Cross Contacts, the same as Adria fit to the insane Twin GT. My speedo reads 75 at 70 at the moment so it will bring it closer to normal (if a little below). I’m having to get the wheels custom made as I can’t get 20′s off the peg with the correct spec unless I have a Maxi. The wheel spec they are producing is 20″ x 8J – 5×118 with a 50 offset. I’ll let you know how I get on. I’ve got a four week wait for the wheels which will give me time to source the tyres at a good price. James in Newquay

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Richard Sweet December 1, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I have been running a Fiat Ducato 07 plate camper van rated at 3500Kg, with 15″ wheels. I want to fit larger wheels/tyres to increase the tyre footprint to improve traction and reduce tyre pressures. These are currently set at the recommended 5/5.5 Bar. These pressures are too high for off-road traction on many sites. I thought a Vanco Camper tyre 235/65/16″ would be a good choice, but then I would need a larger wheel, say 16″x6.5″. Alternatively I could fit 15″x7″ and a larger section tyre. (I need a load rating index of at least 109 and for a lower contact pressure I am looking at at least a 235 section.) I have measured the existing steel wheel offset at 60mm and the pcd is 5×118 mm. The engine has been remapped so that torque is up 10-15% so I am happy with longer gearing of 5% or so. My question is: what would be the most suitable wheel and tyre combination that is available??

Reply

Which Tyres December 2, 2013 at 11:49 am

Hi there, we could certainly offer a 16″ wheel for your vehicle, they would be 6.5″ wide and options as follows: http://www.tyremen.co.uk/product/91492/16-cv3–fiat—ducato-2007
http://www.tyremen.co.uk/product/71780/ullax–fiat—ducato-2007
Both of these are load rated and would be fine for your vehicle. In terms of tyres I’d be reluctant to make any suggestions as you will be going outside what the manufacturers would recommend. However it sounds like you know what you want to achieve and realise how you need to do this. Cheers Phill.

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Richard Sweet December 3, 2013 at 7:10 pm

These wheels sound ideal. I am mulling over the reduction in offset from 58m to 50mm. The larger rolling radius of half an inch might mitigate a few millimetres of this, leaving say 5mm to worry about. Maybe this is OK or perhaps there is enough meat on the wheels to turn the centres down a bit. . .

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Which Tyres December 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

The offset shouldn’t be an issue with offset as these wheels are designed for such a vehicle, they will just sit 8mm further out towards the outer wheel arch.

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colin langridge December 19, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Hi, I’ve just purcased a 1986 Fiat Ducato Elddis Autostratus and it is on 14″ rims!!!….do you know if Fiats built vans on 14″ rims then or has someone in the past possibly down sized them for cheaper tyres ?… as I hav’nt seen any reference of 14″ rims anywhere.
Regards Colin.

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Which Tyres December 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Hi Colin,

The older models did use 14″ so it will be standard fitted stuff. If you needed to replace rims then this would be really tricky as to my knowledge this size is not produced any more. Regards, Phill.

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colin langridge December 20, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Thanks for that Phill, would 15″ rims fit straight on do you know?

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Which Tyres December 23, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I’m not 100% sure to be honest, in theory they should, all the other spec looks the same. You would need to see if there is enough room within the bodywork for something wider.

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colin langridge December 27, 2013 at 10:20 pm

thank’s again, I’ll look into getting bigger wheels in the new year

richard hanney February 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

I have a fiat ducato motorhome,1992 which would be the best tyes for my motorhome,and how much would they cost,thank you.

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Which Tyres February 17, 2014 at 11:38 am

Hi Richard, do you know what size you need?

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richard hanney February 17, 2014 at 12:06 pm

HI,the tyes that are on at the moment are doublestar 185R14C DS617,I hope that
is helpfil,thank you.

Reply

Which Tyres February 17, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Doublestar are a budget tyre, if you can afford a bit of a step up then the latest Hankook is a great van tyre at £60: http://www.tyremen.co.uk/product/87751/185/80r14-(102q)-vantra-(ra18)

Cheers,

Phill

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davlins March 1, 2014 at 1:02 am

Thank you for a very useful info base. I have a 2005 Swift Kontiki 610 based on a Fiat Ducato 15 vehicle chassis (x244). The owners handbook indicates the wheels as being 6J X15″ -H2.

I have sourced a new set of wheels onto which I want to fit winter tyres. These wheels are from a 2013 Fiat Ducato based motorhome. These wheel spec is 6J x 15″ ET68 – PCD 5 x 118mm – centering hole 71.1 mm – bolt M14 x 1.5. Would these be suitable for my 2005 motorhome above?

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Which Tyres March 3, 2014 at 9:33 am

Hi there,

I believe that they would, although I would test fit just to double check. Certainly the steel wheels we supply are designed for the new vehicles but work on the old ones. I would imagine that would be the same with the alloys too but it would depend on the wheel you have purchased. As I say best to double check. Cheers, Phill.

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Peter Webster March 10, 2014 at 12:48 pm

Just discovered that the rear axle on my Ducato camper weighs in at 2200 but the existing tyres are rated 215 70 15 109R (1030 kg) We have rear air assist suspension so I wonder if this will help with the overloading.
I am looking to get 225 70 15 112r tyres to improve the load capacity (and I believe I can then get it replated) and wonder if they will fit and what you would suggest.

Thanks

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Which Tyres March 11, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Switching to 225/70R15 would certainly give you the load capacity that you need. You would just need to check that there is enough room between the tyre and bodywork to allow for a wider tyre. You would need to go for the Michelin Agilis Camping: http://www.tyremen.co.uk/product/88252/225/70r15-(112q)-agilis-camping

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Tony Idle October 5, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I have a Hymer B584 2005 on a Ducato Maxi 2.8JTD fitted with 15″ wheels from new.
The speedo reads 7mph fast at 65mph. I note that you say Maxi’s all have 16″ wheels? Mine doesn’t.

Regards

Tony

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Jason Stevens-Read October 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

Hi Tony, we would need a little more info for this one. If you can, give us a call on 08456 807808 and make sure you have your tyre size please. It could be wrong size.

Thanks

Jason

Which Tyres?

Reply

george brown October 14, 2014 at 6:50 pm

hi

I have just taken delivery of a new carthago motor home built on an alco light 3.5 t chassis with 15 inch wheels. The road clearance in around 3 inches. My question is can I easily change to 16 inch wheels in order to raise the vehicle a bit. Also the speedo reads around 10% fast (would the additional circumference help rectify this and improve fuel ecconemy?) The vehicle is chipped so longer gearing should present no problems. I would greatly appreciate your comments.

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