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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Steveio’s Project – a spare tire rack on the front of the motorhome!

Our purpose of carrying along a spare tire is one subject that is sometimes given a bit of debate on the RV lists.  Many folks just pay an Emergency Roadside Service fee to come and change a tire.  That is well and good.  But consider the difficult process of locating a spare when yours is shredded to ribbons on the highway… well, that is another story~! 

Trying to get a tire delivered to you roadside on a weekend can be a daunting task. Especially on the side of an interstate.  The sooner you get it changed and moved off the road, the better.  At this time in our lives, with Steve still in the work-a-day world yet, our only time to get away IS the weekends. So that greatly increases the probability of having a tire emergency on a weekend.  Tires for our rig run in the $500-600 range. We hear tales of gouging where people are being upcharged another $200-300 just to get the tire, not even counting the hefty roadside fee they charge to the policy or roadside assistance company. 

And then… there is the ever-so-predictable increased price gouging that occurs where you will end up paying ANY price just to get a tire of any quality on a Sunday evening.

Many RVer’s do not have the tools, strength or knowledge to change a 22.5 semi truck sized tire anyhow, so they take their chances and call an Emergency Road Service.  Steveio is able to change these tires himself, and he carries an on board air compressor, air tools, a Nut Buddy device, and a big breaker bar.  

We do have Emergency Roadside Assistance on our insurance. We also decided we are going to carry a spare tire on a rack on the front of the motorhome.  This will free up a lot of room in the basement storage area.  With an added bit of ingenuity, Steveio figured out a good way to lift or lower the tire from the rack... you have to read down to the end to see! 

Plus the added weight to the front of the rig helps with handling, as Safari’s are notorious for being back heavy.  Unless we are riding with tanks full of propane, full fuel and full fresh water (all which are located in the front) we do feel a difference in handling. The weight of this spare tire can help offset the weight. The 22.5 tires weigh over 150 pounds.

He measured carefully and made up this rack bracket himself.

 It bolts right to the frame inside of the fiberglass cap.


Then he cut the hole through the fiberglass.. drilling pilot holes first and using a sawsall to cut the lines.  I held my breath the entire time!  

Now he slid in the support bar for the tire. It is securely bolted into the receiver portion, just like a hitch. He put the rim on to see how it would look.

(he said these are locking nuts that won’t rattle loose from vibrations)

In this next pic, Steve got the tire mounted on the rim
and lifted up into place. 

Wanna see his cool invention
to lift or lower the tire
from the rack? 


The winch doesn't stay there all the time,
it stows away and he will only take it out if we 
need to get the tire off the rack. 

Now our spare tire is mounted on the rim
and securely put into place. 

I bought some really heavy silver vinyl naugahyde that is exterior boat cushion grade to make a fitted spare tire cover.  The silver color goes nicely with the stainless steel side doors and trim.

~~ I added the cover a few days later ~~

We will also have to relocate the front license plate bracket.  In Wisconsin, we do have to display a front license plate. We will put the license plate bracket to one side. 


  1. Very nice work. However, what is the reason for mounting it on the front bumper and not the rear?

    I have a 93 24ft Isuzu Trek.

  2. Hi Carl...

    I could send this reply to you if you had posted with your Blogger ID instead of anonymous. So I will reply here.

    There are three reasons for the tire up on the front instead of the back.

    1. back of motorhome would block the air flow for the rear radiator on the diesel engine.

    2. we carry a scooter on a back hitch rack that takes up that space, but doesn't block the air flow as much as a spare tire would.

    3. with the scooter on the back rack, we needed more weight up on the front --- as Safari's are known for *porpoising* when not enough weight up front.

    We try to keep the LP, diesel and fresh water tanks full when driving, as that helps with the weight distribution up front too.

    As of this week though, we are taking the scooter rack off the back and going to try towing a cute little Geo Tracker as a toad.

    Check out my newest blog posts about that, perhaps will have it all set up with the tow bar by next week for vacation. wheeeee!!!

  3. Instead of a chrome continental kit, how about matching paint and an air brushed grill? Head on it would give the illusion that nothing is in front.


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