How To Change a Tire on a Travel Trailer?
Having a tire blowout can either be something that turns your day into a really bad one, or it could just be an inconvenience. Living the RV life is all about your attitude towards life. What matters and makes a difference is how prepared you are to handle something like this.
You hear many horror stories online about tire blowouts, and there is no getting away with it. At one point or the other in your RV life, you will at the one-point end up having to replace or change your tire on that travel trailer.
Staying prepared as much as you can to delay this and help you out once it happens but cannot eliminate its chances forever.
There are some essential things to know about your tires. For instance, what precautions to take and how to replace one in the case of an actual blowout.
So, give it a read!
Find a Secure Place to Pull Over
If, despite trying your very best, you still get a flat tire or a blowout, don’t worry; we have you covered. The first thing you need to do is stay calm and carefully find a secure place to pull over.
This task becomes easier if you don’t drive too fast and are always in the correct lane. The slower you are going, the better it is and easier to pull off on the side of the road.
You first need to get off and analyze what happened if the skirt is okay. For example, is the tire in terrible condition? And is the next pit stop or gas station nearby? If not, do not carry on like this.
Safely park your vehicle on the side of the road. Keep all the safety stuff and indicators on while your vehicle is parked.
Make Sure those Brakes are in Place
First of all, set the parking brake in. Make sure you keep the total vehicle hooked up to the trailer whole you do this. Keeping the brakes set in place and the RV hooked will prevent it from rolling over.
When you next start to jack up the vehicle, its weight and center of gravity will shift – you don’t want to be squished while trying to fix the tire.
Secure Your RV with Tire Chocks
Once the brakes are in place, block the tire opposite the one you need to change with your trusty wheel chocks. These will help you keep the RV secure in one place and reduce the risk of the vehicle rolling over while you are fixing the tire.
Remember, avoid choking the vehicle on a loose surface and never do it on a grade or incline. Next, you have different wheel chocks that you can use. Some folks take a piece of wood and place it on the front or behind the tire.
This is not an effective wheel chock. Then, you have your very essential plastic wheel chock. The problem with the curved plastic wheel chock is that it can slide on the surface because the plastic has no mechanism to grip the road surface.
Some of the wheel chocks have rubber strips underneath them. These give them traction and avoid slipping.
However, regardless of what kind of chock you use, it is equally, if not more, important to check the wheels safely and adequately. This is why it’s best to place a chock in front and behind the tire to ensure it does not move while you are changing the tire.
Remove Lug Nuts and Old Tire
Now, you need to get to those lug nuts. There is almost always going to be a cover here on your wheels. Some of these covers pop off; a few have a little slot where you can pry and pop them off. Some also have screws.
Once you have that figured out, your lug nuts will be in front of you. You should have all the right tools in hand, and a 4-way nut remover is easily available if it does not come with your vehicle safety kit.
You ideally should have it on board. With its help, loosen up those nuts one by one and then use a breaker bar and a socket to remove all of them.
Jack up that Camper
Now it’s time to jack up that camper. There are several ways you can do this. One of the most common ones is to use a bottle jack or an electric trailer jack. Put it up on some wooden boards. You will notice that the bottle jacks have a rigid edge.
If you are scared that they might slip off the road, you can put these on a wooden board too. Next, make sure you don’t put the jack on one of your axles. There is a place in some of them where there is a bracket that you can use.
Next, go ahead and jack this up with the breaker bar, which is convenient to use. Another way to jack up your camper is to use your trusty scissor jacks.
These generally have a sturdy top and fit in perfectly with most of the RV frames. Stick this under the right position, and jack it up.
Replace with Your Spare tire
You should have your spare tire out and ready to be installed in its place by this time. Put it in place securely, line it up to stick it back on. Then, put the lug nuts back on loosely, hit the relief valve on your jack, and bring the vehicle down.
Next, the most critical part – torque those lug nuts until you hear that click. Put the cover back on once you have double-checked all the lug nuts. Voila! Your tire has been replaced.
How do you jack up a travel trailer?
You can jack up your travel trailer using different methods and tools. You have your bottle jack, scissor jack, or truck jack and your trailer aid. With the trailer aid, you need to have your vehicle towed and secured ideally.
Put the trailer aid in place, drive your vehicle over it, and be in an elevated position. With the first two tools, you need to place them correctly on the frame, successfully avoiding the axles.
How do you change a tire on a dual-axle travel trailer?
If you have a dual wheel set up, place the jack on the equalizer between the two axles. Once you have the jack in place in a safe position, raise the trailer so that there is enough room to put the spare tires on.
To keep in mind is to not remove the tires at once. It is always safer to first finish replacing one tire completely then move to the other.
How many years do travel trailer tires last?
The common opinion is that you should replace your tires between three and six years. But this also mainly depends on your mileage and usage. Might be less for some and more for others.
Can I add another axle to my trailer?
You can add another axle to your trailer, doubling the axle capacity. This, however, will not ensure doubling the performance of other parts such as the frame.
Changing tires can be tricky and exhausting. However, the more prepared and well-informed you are, the easier it is to convert your entire day from going bad to thinking of it as just a 20-minute hiccup on the way! Remember, RV-ing is all about your attitude.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures