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Old 03-28-2020, 02:14 PM   #1
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No Spare Tire!

I thought I would share a little story about getting a flat tire this week.

I bought a 2018 Vista, 32' and immediately noticed there was no place to carry a spare. I badly assumed a spare would fit right in my pass through basement area like my 1999 Pace Arrow had. But no, the compartment is only 8" tall and the tire is 9" wide.

So I started looking at mounting one behind the gas tank, underneath, where there's actually quite a bit of room. However that required torching off a triangle slice of metal off the bottom of the C channel member in the very rear. Even though it wouldn't impact the structure and strength of the C channel, I didn't like the idea, even though it's viable. The biggest issue was having to replumb the propane line to the space heater, also doable, but a real hassle.

So I've been debating what to do. One solution was to throw the spare in the back of our toad, a 2013 Honda CRV. It will fit fine, but I would need to figure a good way to tie it down, which shouldn't be difficult. Then the misses would also want a wooden cover over it to hide the ugliness, and have a flat surface to haul things on top.

So I have been procrastinating. I had my last rig for 20yrs with a spare in the basement, and never used it. I should have known my time was coming, but this issue kept getting put off due to the $600 cost of buying a rim, tire, mounting and balancing. Sure enough, without the backup of a spare, I put just 7000 miles on the RV and got my first flat, and no spare. Great.

Fortunately I have a TPMS system ($450) which works good. And also fortunate the screw I picked up didn't leak fast. I actually made it to the RV park where we're isolating ourselves, and 3 days later I noticed the tire going flat. Sure enough I turned on the TPMS and the alarms went off and the pressure is down to 70lbs, way below the 80lb trigger point.

It was a front tire. When I called roadside service, both services asked, do you have a spare? I said no. Then they asked is it front or back. I said front. They said they cannot patch a front tire, only rear. So one said they can't help if I don't buy a new tire, which would cost quite a bit, and take some time to match my R670 Goodyear OEM tire. The other service called said they could patch it and put it on the rear for $180, $60 of that was driving the 20 miles to my RV park, which is way outside of town, kinda remote.

The tire is repaired now, put on the back and we're good to go, when isolation is over. So.... do I buy another spare and haul it around for 20yrs like my last rig, or do I roll the dice the continue relying on my TPMS and simply pay the piper when I need mobile service? I'm still debating this in my head. I'm kinda thinking like the opening scene in the movie "World According to Garp". Since I've had my flat, the odds of getting another flat soon are remote. Right? Hmm.
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Old 03-28-2020, 02:58 PM   #2
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My 2014 also has no room for a spare and I have only had one blowout on a pickup camper and way , way back, so for this time, I have evolved a bit from the old days when I would normally jump out and fix many things like when it doesn't start. We have finally arrived at feeling better about an insurance plan that does cover road service af all sorts. Two factors we considered were the few times when we have flats, the fact that I would then have to carry a jack and tools to get lug nuts loose, and that I am almost certainly not going to want to try to change the tire anyway. For the repair calls when it doesn't start, I am fighting through one of those problems right now on our 2014 Focus as it won't start but only intermittently. Vast looking online for solutions and two trips to Ford and I am now certain there is no chance I will ever get a newer car started if it fails! I'm a wrench guy but when I look at a simple start problem and find how many sensors have to all be working and set before even getting to the cranking stage, I know I'm out of the game.
My suggestion is to bite the bullet, look very carefully for a policy that pays for the things you want like the trip and or towing and invest there rather than tire, wheel, and all the storage headaches.
My first challenge might be to have a breaker bar long enough to break the lug nuts loose after they are put on with an air gun! Inside dual? No way!
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:51 PM   #3
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We have a 2014 Sunstar 31KE with the same problem. I looked at a hitch mount spare carrier. But then we bought a hitch mount bike carrier.


(Our Suncruiser came with a spare in a little trunk on the back. I used to carry a 3 ton floor jack and electric impact wrench, just in case. The only times I used the jack were to put chains on, along the side of a slushy highway..)


As we planned for our now-postponed 6,000 mile Grand Tour, I thought about it and decided that it was a lot easier to find a shop or mobile tire truck to mount a tire if needed, than try to find an RV tire in an emergency.


So, I bought a spare tire, no wheel. Like you, I thought it would fit in the pass through, or underneath.



It now rides in the trunk, access through the back door. The inside of the casing can be used to store hoses or extension cords or other stuff. The wheel hole perfectly fits a round 7 gallon galvanized wash tub from Tractor Supply to store more stuff, and be used for campground needs. I put a spare piece of 3 foot square quarter inch MDF on top to act as a shelf for tote carrying.


A Google image search shows me that your 32 footer likely has the same style trunk.



Pix on request.
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Old 03-29-2020, 10:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SLOweather View Post
We have a 2014 Sunstar 31KE with the same problem. I looked at a hitch mount spare carrier. But then we bought a hitch mount bike carrier.


(Our Suncruiser came with a spare in a little trunk on the back. I used to carry a 3 ton floor jack and electric impact wrench, just in case. The only times I used the jack were to put chains on, along the side of a slushy highway..)


As we planned for our now-postponed 6,000 mile Grand Tour, I thought about it and decided that it was a lot easier to find a shop or mobile tire truck to mount a tire if needed, than try to find an RV tire in an emergency.


So, I bought a spare tire, no wheel. Like you, I thought it would fit in the pass through, or underneath.



It now rides in the trunk, access through the back door. The inside of the casing can be used to store hoses or extension cords or other stuff. The wheel hole perfectly fits a round 7 gallon galvanized wash tub from Tractor Supply to store more stuff, and be used for campground needs. I put a spare piece of 3 foot square quarter inch MDF on top to act as a shelf for tote carrying.


A Google image search shows me that your 32 footer likely has the same style trunk.



Pix on request.
Yes, I'd like to see a pix at your convenience. I don't have a "trunk" in the RV unless you're talking about under the master bed storage. However, I never considered hauling just the tire, no rim. My pass through is about 8" high, so I'm wondering if an unmounted tire will fit, but from what you mention it sounds like it barely won't fit. Did I interpret that correct?

Funny, I had an '88 Suncruiser also, 27', with the spare in the back trunk. I used that spare one time in the 11yrs we owned it.

Maybe carrying just the tire in the Honda CRV toad is an alternative plan to mitigate the issue of front wheel flats that can't be patched. That would be much lighter, and I could use the center storage like you. Nice idea, thanks!
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:51 AM   #5
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Carrying a tire only, makes pretty good sense. If you take notice of truckers going down the road, you will most likely see they carry a tire only. That way you aren't at the mercy of the repair services jacked up tire price. And/or not having a tire to fit your rig.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:04 AM   #6
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Carrying a tire only, makes pretty good sense. If you take notice of truckers going down the road, you will most likely see they carry a tire only. That way you aren't at the mercy of the repair services jacked up tire price. And/or not having a tire to fit your rig.
Yes, I know truckers often carry only the tire for reasons of cost and convenience. I'm just wondering if the bare tire will fit in my basement. My basement is only 8" tall, which may be less than the tire width.

I wonder if I could tightly wrap the tire with plastic wrap through the donut hole to squish the tire more flat if needed.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:23 AM   #7
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I wish I'd thought of the unmounted spare idea. When I bought my trailer I replaced all five tires and sold the "Goodrides" it came with. I could have probably sold 4 for just as much as what I got for 5 and had both a mounted spare and an unmounted spare, allowing me to quickly and effectively get a new mounted spare virtually anywhere.
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by John Locke View Post
Yes, I'd like to see a pix at your convenience. I don't have a "trunk" in the RV unless you're talking about under the master bed storage.
Yes, the under bed area of the basement...

Here you go. The tire is on a piece of cardboard to make it easier to slide in and out. There might be a second piece under the top one.

Back door...



Spare tire...


Wash tub...


John, if you did manage to compress the tire to fit the pass through, (and I'm skeptical...) and you got it in place and then the compression wrap loosened or failed, you'd have a hard time getting that thing out.
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Old 03-30-2020, 01:25 PM   #9
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FWIW, I just measured my tire and pass through. The tire is 9.75' wide. The pass through at the end is 9.75" tall. However, farther in, there are metal box beams supporting the floor that measure 1.50", decreasing the height to 8.25". No way would i be able to squash that tire by and inch and a half.
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:04 PM   #10
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Yes, the under bed area of the basement...

Here you go. The tire is on a piece of cardboard to make it easier to slide in and out. There might be a second piece under the top one.

Back door...



Spare tire...


Wash tub...


John, if you did manage to compress the tire to fit the pass through, (and I'm skeptical...) and you got it in place and then the compression wrap loosened or failed, you'd have a hard time getting that thing out.
Thanks for the photos, now I can see how you carry your tire. You have a huge area there to hold the spare. I'm wondering why you didn't put a complete spare with rim in there. It appears you have plenty of room to have a complete spare. Did you do that to mitigate the added weight of the rim?

My rig doesn't have that cubby in the rear. I only have the side basement storage option with a pass through tunnel, but it's only about 8" high, if I remember correctly. I doubt if it would fit. I think the tire only in my toad Honda CRV is a good alternative, minimizing the weight in the toad, and making it much easier to take out of the car, and put in the car, when we get home, between trips.

I think storing the tire under the king bed would work with no rim, but we value that indoor storage too much to give it up for a spare tire. This is something we'll review again later, but I doubt if the bed storage is our preference. I'm shopping for a Goodyear G670RV 245/70 19.5 now. Best I've found is $406 free shipping. Where did you buy yours?
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:41 AM   #11
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Where did you buy yours?

That's a pretty good price. I got mine through our local Big Brand Tire. They had to order it, but, dealing with locals, I was more comfortable getting a recently dated tire and being able to complain if I didn't.


And, I took the Sunstar to them to rearrange the rear wheels and install the valve extensions for my TPMS.
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:48 PM   #12
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I took the Sunstar to them to rearrange the rear wheels and install the valve extensions for my TPMS.
Sorry to alter the thread subject, but regarding the fixed valve extensions you installed.... I considered doing the same thing to my rims. This spare tire swap may be a good time to do all 6 with extensions. I currently use extensions to stock valve stems. They have worked OK, but I'm uneasy about their reliability, leaking, and theft of my TPMS sending units.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you installed valve extensions, doesn't that pretty much dictate the wheels can't be rotated, except from side to side? This issue has made me pause with that idea, but I guess it's not a big deal. The only time I have changed the position of a tire was this week, when the patched tire had to be put on the rear, and the rear tire had to be put on the front. If I have a spare tire to install I guess that won't be an issue. I shouldn't have to change a tire position.

Maybe I just answered my own question. Your thoughts?
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Old 03-31-2020, 04:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by John Locke View Post


Sorry to alter the thread subject...

It's your thread, John, so you of all of us should be able to threadjack it.


Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you installed valve extensions, doesn't that pretty much dictate the wheels can't be rotated, except from side to side?

Maybe I just answered my own question. Your thoughts?
According to my 2013 F53 manual, p. 120, fronts should be rotated side to side, and rears side to side in pairs.





The only thing I'd have to remember is to swap the TPMS sensors to keep the display accurate.


BTW, my TPMS proved itself to be functional. At 70F the pressures are about 82 PSI. At 35F one morning, they were down to 74 PSI, and the alarm was beeping.
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Old 04-01-2020, 11:45 AM   #14
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It's your thread, John, so you of all of us should be able to threadjack it.



According to my 2013 F53 manual, p. 120, fronts should be rotated side to side, and rears side to side in pairs.





The only thing I'd have to remember is to swap the TPMS sensors to keep the display accurate.


BTW, my TPMS proved itself to be functional. At 70F the pressures are about 82 PSI. At 35F one morning, they were down to 74 PSI, and the alarm was beeping.
Thanks for that info, I didn't realize the rotation of RV tires was like that. That resolves my concern.

On our trip in Feb we had night temps in NM down to 23F. This triggered my TPMS alarm one morning with pressure below 80psi, where normally they operate at around 92PSI, and can increase to over 100psi on hot days. Fortunately I had an air compressor to increase that tire's pressure at the RV park before leaving. That tire had been running a little low anyway.
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Old 04-05-2020, 04:17 PM   #15
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I thought I would share a little story about getting a flat tire this week.

I bought a 2018 Vista, 32' and immediately noticed there was no place to carry a spare. I badly assumed a spare would fit right in my pass through basement area like my 1999 Pace Arrow had. But no, the compartment is only 8" tall and the tire is 9" wide.

So I started looking at mounting one behind the gas tank, underneath, where there's actually quite a bit of room. However that required torching off a triangle slice of metal off the bottom of the C channel member in the very rear. Even though it wouldn't impact the structure and strength of the C channel, I didn't like the idea, even though it's viable. The biggest issue was having to replumb the propane line to the space heater, also doable, but a real hassle.

So I've been debating what to do. One solution was to throw the spare in the back of our toad, a 2013 Honda CRV. It will fit fine, but I would need to figure a good way to tie it down, which shouldn't be difficult. Then the misses would also want a wooden cover over it to hide the ugliness, and have a flat surface to haul things on top.

So I have been procrastinating. I had my last rig for 20yrs with a spare in the basement, and never used it. I should have known my time was coming, but this issue kept getting put off due to the $600 cost of buying a rim, tire, mounting and balancing. Sure enough, without the backup of a spare, I put just 7000 miles on the RV and got my first flat, and no spare. Great.

Fortunately I have a TPMS system ($450) which works good. And also fortunate the screw I picked up didn't leak fast. I actually made it to the RV park where we're isolating ourselves, and 3 days later I noticed the tire going flat. Sure enough I turned on the TPMS and the alarms went off and the pressure is down to 70lbs, way below the 80lb trigger point.

It was a front tire. When I called roadside service, both services asked, do you have a spare? I said no. Then they asked is it front or back. I said front. They said they cannot patch a front tire, only rear. So one said they can't help if I don't buy a new tire, which would cost quite a bit, and take some time to match my R670 Goodyear OEM tire. The other service called said they could patch it and put it on the rear for $180, $60 of that was driving the 20 miles to my RV park, which is way outside of town, kinda remote.

The tire is repaired now, put on the back and we're good to go, when isolation is over. So.... do I buy another spare and haul it around for 20yrs like my last rig, or do I roll the dice the continue relying on my TPMS and simply pay the piper when I need mobile service? I'm still debating this in my head. I'm kinda thinking like the opening scene in the movie "World According to Garp". Since I've had my flat, the odds of getting another flat soon are remote. Right? Hmm.
That's so weird. We have a 2012 Vista 26P (27') and it has a place for the spare. Under the bed in the bedroom slide-out. You get to it via a outer cabinet door in the slide-out.
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:23 PM   #16
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I would definitely find a way to carry a tire. I have had two tire blowouts in the last 35 years with three different RV’s. Each time changing to the spare was not a problem, ( I have AAA RV emergency service.) but finding and purchasing a new tire was. Often you need to order, wait for it to be shipped, etc. If you are on a touring road trip with reservations etc., a blown tire could stop you in your tracks.

Two years ago a front tire blew on my View on a two week cross country trip. I but the spare on and then starting trying to problem solve getting a new tire with minor interruption. I ended up ordering a tire from Costco at the location I would be in 5 days, and then had to find another company to install because Costco bays can’t handle the weight/ height of an RV. Yes, I called all over to various tire companies before ordering from Costco. My point is, having that spare saved the trip and gives me piece of mind-priceless!
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Old 04-05-2020, 05:24 PM   #17
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We're lucky

Hello all. We are very lucky. We just bought a 96 Winnebago Adventurer and thank goodness it has a rear under body spare tire mount. Just have to winch it down. After reading this post I can see the problems associated with not having a spare on board.
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Old 04-05-2020, 06:11 PM   #18
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Roadmaster makes a spare tire carrier that goes into your rear hitch. You can still pull a toad with it.

https://roadmasterinc.com/products/spare_tire/index.php
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Old 04-05-2020, 08:37 PM   #19
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Unfortunately when they switched to using 22 inch rims instead of 19.5 inch there is no longer enough space between the frame rails to mount a spare tire between them. I have been spoiled with my 2001 since it has 19.5 inch rims and the spare tire carrier mounted underneath the coach between the frame rails. Having the spare saved me a number of times and on one occasion having it made the difference between leaving the coach behind to escape a forest fire and being able to drive it out.


I would not really want to be without a mounted spare and would not purchase a coach if there was no apparent way to mount one so checking for the ability to have a mounted spare is one of the first things I check for when looking at coaches.
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Old 04-05-2020, 11:40 PM   #20
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Roadmaster makes a spare tire carrier that goes into your rear hitch. You can still pull a toad with it.

https://roadmasterinc.com/products/spare_tire/index.php
Thanks Woody. I have looked at that device, and it appears it would work fine. It's a nice design. However it's $600, and the spare with rim is another $600 mounted and balanced, + rim lock+vinyl cover), so I'm asking myself if $1200 is worth it, versus $400 for the tire only, not to mention saving about 100lbs of added weight (tire rack and rim). Since I don't plan changing the tire myself even if I had tire with rim, I think the extra $800 will pay for a lot of tire swaps to the rim, done on the road, without the eyesore on the back of the RV. I think 90% of the Good Sam roadside tire service guys can swap the tire on a rim in minutes. This assumes I haven't damaged the rim, and that's where my TPMS comes in to mitigate that risk.
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