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Old 06-01-2018, 01:44 PM   #1
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to spare or not to spare?

Hi all. This is my first post on this site and, of course, I'm asking for something. I'd like to ask for advise on whether or not I should get a spare tire and rim. We just bought a new 2018 class A, Vista 27PE, and I new it did not come with a spare, like a bunch of other new coaches, but now I'm not sure I did the right thing. I started RVing with a tent trailer, then move to a 5th wheel, and then a smaller class C... they all had spare tires. Thing is, I never had a flat on any of them. Now, not having one is messing with me. I know I won't be able to replace a busted tire myself, but my concern revolves around having to wait longer for a repairman since they will need to find a wheel and tire before heading out to help me. Is a good emergency tire inflation kit something I should look into? Any thoughts would be welcomed. Thanks, DaveS
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:01 PM   #2
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Hi Dave, and welcome. This question comes up from time to time, and I suppose it's an individual choice. We have had our class A gasser for 6 years with no spare, but we do carry roadside assistance (Coach-Net) on the Coach. You will need to consider the storage space and weight of the spare, as it will take up a chunk of your OCCC. (If you have plenty to "spare", then why not? Some people carry a coach spare in their tow vehicle.

I don't know anything about tire inflation kits but we carry a small air compressor and we have a TPMS system on our tires.
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Sarah. I think I have the space for one and I do have roadside assistance and an air compressor. Sooo, I'll just do a little more research and see what happens. Happy RVing
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Old 06-01-2018, 03:58 PM   #4
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I've RVed for just under 30 years now, with 3 different RVs (2 class Cs, currently a class A). I've had about 3 blowouts during that time, mostly early on. Haven't had one now in at least 15 years (knock on wood). But personally, I would never hit the road without a spare and the tools to change it. Yes, they take up room/weight. Yes, they are heavy and difficult to change. Yes, there is such a thing called "Roadside Assistance". Oh, and they won't need to find a rim for you; they'll bring a tire and mount it on your rim onsite. And a tire inflation kit will do nothing for a blowout.

However; What if you cannot get cellular service? What if you are off the beaten path, boondocking on a dirt road (many tow trucks will not go off pavement at all). What if you CAN get ahold of your roadside assistance, but the only tire that the tow company has that will fit your RV is $500+? What if you have to wait 4-6 hours for them to even show up (Yup, been there-done that, as have many others). Especially if you are on the shoulder of a busy highway?

Sorry, but I'm not going to be held hostage to any of that. While I prefer to let someone else change a tire on the RV, I WILL have the ability to do so myself if needed.
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:51 PM   #5
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How about a relatively new, used tire and rim in good condition? I just bought new tires for my Itasca Sunrise 35U which were too old and rather than keep "the best" for a spare, I purchased a 2016 used tire for $75 to have mounted on my existing spare rim. Fortunately my spare stores underneath, forward of the trailer hitch so I'm not giving up any storage space, just some weight.

I like the peace of mind of having it and, if I ever use it, I'm not going to be driving on it very far so why buy new?

Check your local commercial truck tire shops, they're probably going to give you the best deal.

I have a small, pancake air compressor that I bought at either Lowes or Home Depot for under $100 that I put in one of my storage compartments. It also is capable of running my nail gun at home. It runs on 120v but I have a genset.

If you go the small 12v compressor route, make sure it has enough capacity for your tires. Good ones can be expensive. This may help:

https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/...r-compressors/
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Old 06-02-2018, 06:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobC View Post
How about a relatively new, used tire and rim in good condition? I just bought new tires for my Itasca Sunrise 35U which were too old and rather than keep "the best" for a spare, I purchased a 2016 used tire for $75 to have mounted on my existing spare rim. Fortunately my spare stores underneath, forward of the trailer hitch so I'm not giving up any storage space, just some weight.

I like the peace of mind of having it and, if I ever use it, I'm not going to be driving on it very far so why buy new?

Check your local commercial truck tire shops, they're probably going to give you the best deal.

I have a small, pancake air compressor that I bought at either Lowes or Home Depot for under $100 that I put in one of my storage compartments. It also is capable of running my nail gun at home. It runs on 120v but I have a genset.

If you go the small 12v compressor route, make sure it has enough capacity for your tires. Good ones can be expensive. This may help:

https://www.truckcampermagazine.com/...r-compressors/
Do not think of these as items that you may never use. Think of them as your salvation when you desperately need them. If you travel a lot, you will. There have been at least 3 times when I have been able to jack up the vehicle, find a puncture and plug it without removing the tire. Other times, we have at least been able to add air and get to a safe place off the highway to change the tire. We've had two complete tire failures.

We always carry a full size, functional spare of the same type as the ones on the ground. We carry a 20 ton jack, a compressor, repair kit, and a length of pipe to gain leverage on the lug wrench. We also carry flares and reflective markers.

If you have a TT or a class C, don't forget that you can often use leveling blocks to get the vehicle high enough to remove a tire. You can then get the last inch or so with the jack and not have to worry about a long fall.
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Old 06-02-2018, 10:17 AM   #7
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We always carry a full size, functional spare of the same type as the ones on the ground. We carry a 20 ton jack, a compressor, repair kit, and a length of pipe to gain leverage on the lug wrench. We also carry flares and reflective markers.
Good suggestions, I need to get a repair kit. I carried a set of reflective markers around for years without using them but they really came in handy a few weeks ago when we broke down just before dark.

Is there a downside to using your RV's leveling jacks?
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Old 06-02-2018, 11:30 AM   #8
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It really gets down to your own personal physical health and ability. We all know regular car and truck tires are easy. If the wheels were 22.5" I would say no way since the spares are too heavy and the lug nuts are torqued close to 450 ft/lbs. Only special tools work. In your case, the 19.5's are only about 150 pounds depending on tire and wheel options. The lug torque can be done with a long bar if you can handle it. Many people just carry the tire by itself. This way they can call road side assistance and change it where you are and you will have the tire you want. Not what is available on the service truck. Can you lift a tire? By itself a 19.5 tire is about 75 pounds. Suggest just buy a matching tire and have them put it in a storage bay for that piece of mind.
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Old 06-02-2018, 12:57 PM   #9
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Good suggestions, I need to get a repair kit. I carried a set of reflective markers around for years without using them but they really came in handy a few weeks ago when we broke down just before dark.

Is there a downside to using your RV's leveling jacks?
We have a 25 foot Class C, so there are no leveling jacks. Do class A leveling jacks always get the wheels off the ground? I would guess they at least get you most of the way there and stable so that a bottle jack under the axle would get you the rest of the way.

The tire size issue was one reason why we wanted a C, although far from the only reason. All of the A gas coaches we looked at had spare tires mounted on the back. But 30 feet was our upper size limit.
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:19 PM   #10
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Thanks you all for your feedback. I've read yours and some other threads from 2009 and 2008 re spares and seems that most suggest having at least a spare tire. So, I'm going to look for a good 19.5" spare (but if needed I'll get a new tire), and no rim. Maybe some commercial tire plugs and a better air compressor than I have now. We have our little scooter, so if we're out of cell phone range, we should be able to get to a town or someplace with cell coverage. Thanks again and any additional suggestions are welcome. DaveS
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