Do You Need a Spare?
No RVer wants a flat tire or blowout.
Having a spare affects how fast you get
back on the road.
Do You Need a Spare?
Almost all Class C motorhomes, gas-powered Class A motorhomes with 16” wheel rims, travel trailers, and fifth-
wheel trailers come with a spare tire and storage or mounting space.

All RVers should consider carrying a spare tires (mounted on rims) and inflated to the correct air pressure for the
RV, car dolly (if using one), and toad.

Advantages of having a spare tire include minimizing the amount of time lost to get back on the road, limiting the
amount of time the RV is in a potentially risky area (busy interstate or highway, narrow road, poor light, etc.), being
able to change the flat yourself if emergency road service is unavailable, and avoiding the need to tow the RV if you
change the tire yourself.

The tread peeled off the above inside rear tire with less than 30,000 miles of wear. The picture above is the hole in
the floor of the RV caused by the tire tread (total damage to the RV was approximately $900).

RVers should carry wireless mobile phones to call for assistance in the event of emergencies, breakdowns, or tire
failures. RVers should also carry an air pressure gauge and air compressor, reflective safety triangles or cones,
flashlights, lug wrench, and jack whether or not you have emergency road service coverage. The jack, lug wrench
and air compressor can be used if emergency road service is unavailable and you change the tire yourself. Also the
jack may be required if the emergency road service does not bring a large enough jack to lift your RV.

We recommend that all RVers travel with adequate maps and a GPS navigation unit to be able to provide an exact
location to enable  emergency road service personnel to reach you quickly. You can keep track of your location with
a GPS unit that works with your notebook computer routing and trip planning software such as such as
Street Atlas and Earthmate LT-40 GPS device to track and determine your actual location, portable GPS and
navigation units that can be moved between your RV and personal vehicles, or installed navigation systems.

Note: Do not attempt to remove a tire if the RV was raised by using the leveling system without placing a jack at
the location specified in the RV chassis manual. This is extremely dangerous and can result in grievous
personal injury and extensive RV damage.

Unfortunately, many of the larger gas-powered and diesel motorhomes using 19.5” or 22” wheel rims, do not come
with a spare tire and wheel assembly nor adequate storage space to carry one.

Your RV may not come with a spare tire because of the large size and weight of the tires, most RVers call for road
or tire service in the event of RV tire failures, lack of available space at the rear end of the chassis for tire storage, to
reduce RV weight and cost (and increase profit), and the use of available storage space and bays for other
equipment and storage needs.

Most RVers understand that emergency road service covers towing service, lockouts, running out of gas, and
changing tires (using your spare tire and wheel), and minor roadside repairs. If you will not be carrying a spare,
RVers should select an emergency road service with coverage that includes repairing flats on the road or bringing
out replacement tires or rims.

We remind our readers that proper tire service, inflation pressure, balancing, and attention to weight distribution
reduce the odds of having a flat tire or blowout.

Considerations for RVers without a Spare Tire - If you elect not carry a "ready-to-roll" spare tire to save weight and
storage space or because the RV has no spare tire storage space, you have some additional factors to consider:
•        Carrying appropriate emergency road service insurance (in the event of need for towing)
•        Be prepared to pay for road tire service calls to repair a flat or bring out a replacement tire if your emergency
road service provider does not cover repairing flats on the road or bring out tires, rims, etc.
•        Your emergency road service provider can tow you to an appropriate tire service facility if they don’t cover
repairing flats on the road or bringing out tires, rims, etc.
•        Carrying a wireless phone to call for assistance
•        You will require tow service to move the RV (other than a very short distance) if you lose a front RV tire. If you
have to move the RV and have the necessary equipment but no road service is available, then one possible option
is to remove one of the rear tires and mount it on the front and follow the suggestion in the next bullet.
•        You may be able to drive the RV slowly, carefully and with emergency flashers on if you lose a rear tire
mounted on a dual axle and there is no other damage caused as a result of the flat tire or blowout.
•        The road tire service will have to bring out a tire, dismount the wheel with the flat tire, break it down, mount the
new tire on the existing rim and remount the wheel assembly.
•        If the rim is damaged, the road tire service will have to locate and bring out a replacement rim.
•        Paying higher prices than necessary prices for tires or rims because there is no opportunity to comparison
•        Specific brand or unique tire requirements, such as low profile, or need for replacement rims can result in
delays of up to several days.
•        Increase in "lost time" and expenses to get your rig back on the road compared to a straight service call to
remove the wheel with the flat or blow-out and mount your own spare.
All original content Copyright © 2009 by Alan and Barbara Lidstone. All Rights Reserved.
All other trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.
Good Sam RV Emergency Road Service
Camping World
In closing, carrying a spare tire is a personal RVer
decision. It’s a bit like wearing a belt and suspenders,
but if you’re concerned about being stranded with tire
failure problems in the middle of nowhere or on the
shoulder of a heavily-traveled Interstate, the extra weight
and space required will seem very small.

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