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.
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?
IT'S A BOAT WINCH!
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.
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.