The freedom that comes with owning a travel trailer or RV is something that millions of people around the world appreciate and enjoy. The open road, spending time in nature under the open skies, and cherishing every moment spent on adventures are just some of the perks that come with this lifestyle.
At the same time, spending so much time on the road, taking shortcuts, and dirt roads can put a heavy toll on your travel trailer, especially the tires. A flat tire in the middle of nowhere is never fun and something that many dread.
In this guide, we will try to explain why changing a tire on a travel trailer is easy and something that everyone can do. You may ask how long does it take to install new tires? It depends but on average 15-20 minutes that is pretty normal since you are not the NASCAR team who changes tires so fast.
The Short Answer
Changing a tire on a travel trailer is easy and safe, as long as you have all the necessary tools to do it and closely follow the instructions and precautions. We understand that some people might feel nervous about doing this alone, but with proper preparation and necessary tools, any driver should be able to do this.
The fact that changing a tire on a travel trailer is in your skillset will make you a more confident driver on the road and let you enjoy your road adventures more freely.
Why Is It Important to Know How to Change a Flat on Your Own?
If you are a true adventurer and RV enthusiast, you respect and appreciate the ability to take care of yourself on the road and depend on your skills to solve problems that you might encounter. This spirit and attitude are common among RV and travel trailer owners, and learning how to do minor repairs, such as changing a tire, is something that should always be a part of your skillset.
Before we go into more practical reasons why you should know how to change a tire, we believe it is essential to mention that asking for help and securing quality road assistance coverage is a rational thing to do. Regardless, whether you can change a tire alone, roadside assistance is crucial for all RVs and travel trailers that spend a lot of time on the road.
The most practical reasons why changing a tire on your own might be a good idea include:
- You do not have roadside assistance. We already mentioned that roadside assistance is a great thing to have, but if for any reason you decide to go without and get a flat, you will be happy to be able to change it on your own.
- Road assistance is not available in the area where you are. Sometimes, the road takes you to remote places that roadside assistance does not cover (or maybe you are on a road that is not publicly maintained).
- You are very close to your destination or a service station, and you do not want to wait for hours for roadside assistance.
- The area where you are has no cell service, and you cannot contact roadside assistance.
Tools You Need to Change a Tire on a Travel Trailer
Before even thinking of hitting the open road with your travel trailer, you should make sure that you have all the necessary tools and equipment you might need in case of an emergency. This also includes a complete set of tools for changing a flat tire on a travel trailer.
There are various kits and sets available, which might include additional tools, but to cover the basics, you should always carry the following tools:
- A spare trailer tire. Make sure that it is the proper size for your travel trailer. Regularly check that the tire is inflated and the air pressure is adequate.
- Lug wrench. It should fit the lug nuts on your travel trailer. Breaker bars are a sound alternative to lug wrenches.
- The socket is a must if you are using a breaker bar. It should fit the nut bolts and your breaker bar.
- Pressure gauge for checking tire pressure.
- An air compressor.
- Wheel chocks for keeping the tires of your travel trailer fixed while changing a flat.
- A ramp. Some people might use bottle jacks for lifting the trailer off the ground, but we prefer ramps due to their stability and safety. They are a bit larger to carry around, though.
- Lubrication. A light oil like WD-40 should do the trick.
Changing a Flat Tire, Step by Step
You notice that something is wrong on the road and spot a flat tire on your travel trailer. Armed with your tools and strong will, you are ready to change your first flat trailer tire or RV tire. What should you do?
- Pull over to the side of the road where you have enough space. Make sure that you are safe from traffic and that you are on flat ground.
- Get your tools and check that you have all the items from the above list.
- Take the lug wrench and break loose the lug nuts on the wheel of the flat tire. About half a turn should be enough. Always do this while the flat is fixed on the ground and cannot spin freely.
- Get into the tow vehicle and drive the good tire on the side where your flat is onto the ramp. At this point, the wheel where the flat tire is should be able to spin freely. If not, increase the height of the ramp or dig out the soil underneath the flat tire.
- Take the chocks and block of the wheels at the other side of the trailer and engage the parking brake on the tow vehicle.
- Grab your lug wrench once again and use it to remove the lug nuts on the flat tire.
- Remove the flat tire from the wheel hub.
- Place a spare tire onto the wheel hub.
- Spray the studs with WD-40 or similar lubricant. This helps with tightening the lug nuts back on.
- Use the lug wrench to tighten the lug nuts on a new tire. Use a “star pattern” for tightening, working around the hub until all the lug nuts are secure and tight.
- Place the flat tire into the storage compartment where you kept the spare.
- Remove the chocks from the other wheels. Get into the tow vehicle, disengage the parking brake and slowly drive off the ramp.
- Take the lug wrench and once again check that all lug nuts are tight.
- Use the pressure gauge to check the air pressure on the spare, as well as the other tires.
- If everything is OK, collect all of your tools and put them in storage.
- Bon voyage!!!
P.S. Here is our guide about changing tires but if you are still unsure or think you have no time, please, feel free to check the next blog – How Much Does It Cost To Change Tires.
Did you find this piece interesting? Then consider checking other guides:
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How To Change A VW Jetta Tire
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How To Take A Tire Off A Car
How To Tell If Your Tires Need Replacing
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How To Get A Stripped Lug Nut Off A Tire