You’re prepping for an epic road trip and want to be ready for anything, including a flat tire. If this sounds like you, bravo for thinking ahead! You never know when or where you’ll have a blowout. You could be in the middle of the desert, hundreds of miles away from the nearest service center. It’s crucial to know how to mount and carry your RV’s spare tire and how to keep it in good shape. Let’s begin.
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Do You Need a Spare Tire for Your RV?
While you may think the obvious answer is yes, there’s a debate around this fundamental question. For fifth wheels and travel trailers, the consensus is: yes. You most definitely should have at least one spare tire. But what about motorhomes?
Because motorhome tires are so big and heavy, many RV owners and experts will tell you that it’s not worth it to carry a spare tire. It might not even be possible! If you could bring one with you, would you have the skills and tools to change your tire on the side of the road? Maybe not.
However, we don’t think it’s necessarily a bad idea to carry a spare tire for your motorhome. Even if you can’t change it yourself, at least you’ll be prepared for roadside assistance.
In short: if you tow your home on wheels, you should have at least one spare tire. Two is even better. If you drive your home on wheels, having a spare tire is a good idea, but it might not always be feasible.
Do RVs Come With Spare Tires?
Unfortunately, most RVs don’t come with a spare tire. This is why it’s so important to ask about any spares and how to store them before you buy. Sometimes, you’ll get lucky and find an RV that comes with a spare tire under the RV, on the hitch, or the bumper.
Otherwise, you’ll have to supply the spare tire yourself and decide how to mount it. Let’s take a look at your options for RV spare tire mounts.
Types of RV Spare Tire Mounts
Below are some of the most common ways RV owners carry their spare tires. The best option will depend on the type of rig you have and how much space you’re using in your RV.
Hitch mounts are a great option if you’re not already using your RV’s hitch. For example, if you have a motorhome and plan on towing a car, a hitch mount may not be the best choice.
However, If you have a travel trailer or van, a hitch mount may be perfect for you. They slide and bolt onto your hitch, plus there are hitch mounts that do double duty and can carry a bicycle rack or another mounted accessory as well.
An under-frame spare tire mount not only holds your spare tire but can increase your storage. It bolts to the underbelly of your chassis and has a built-in winch to help you access your tire. And depending on the type you have, under-frame mounts may come with extra storage bins.
These mounts are a fantastic option for RVs that don’t have available space on the front or back. Be careful, however, as they may reduce your ground clearance.
Pro Tip: Avoid a tire disaster with this RV Tire Blowout Product That Could Save Your Life.
Spare tire ladder mounts bolt onto your RV’s rear ladder. It would be best if you only used them under certain circumstances. Heavy tires can put wear and tear on your ladder and even risk cracking the fiberglass. Smaller travel trailer tires can do some damage after a while, as well.
A ladder mount is only a good option for a rig with a robust ladder system—perhaps a 4X4 van or a heavy-duty vehicle designed for off-roading. Be sure to consider the amount of weight your ladder can handle.
Does your RV have a rear, box-style bumper? Is there space to mount something on it? If so, a bumper mount might be your best option. Similar to a hitch mount, bumper mounts are relatively inexpensive, and they’re easy to install. They clamp on!
Need access to the back of your RV? The bumper mount has a pull pin that allows your tire to swing down flat. These are especially helpful for travel trailers and fifth wheels.
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Other Ways to Carry Your RV Spare Tire
Will none of these options work for you? There are many other ways you can carry your spare tire.
For example, if you have a motorhome, consider using one of your storage bays. Does your tow vehicle have a roof rack? If so, you could always install it on the roof. What about the bed of your truck?
There are countless ways to store your spare tire if you get creative. If you have your own unique placement idea, most local welders can help you attach your spare tire mount to a solid point on your RV.
Keeping Your RV Spare Tire in Good Shape
Once you’ve found a perfect spot for your spare tire, you should take certain precautions to reduce its wear and tear. After all, tires exposed to the elements are subject to cracking, peeling, and overall breakdown.
This is why it’s crucial to protect your tire with a good RV spare tire cover. Not only will it shield the tire from snow and rain, but it will also prevent damaging UV rays from aging your tire prematurely.
You should also regularly inspect your spare to make sure it will be up to the task if you do need it. There’s nothing worse than getting a flat and realizing that your spare tire is useless. Keep in mind the tire’s age, as well, especially if it’s for your motorhome. As a rule of thumb, these tires reach their limit around the five-year mark.
Pro Tip: Keep your spare tire protected with one of these 5 Best RV Spare Tire Covers.
Should You Carry a Spare Tire for Your RV?
While not every RV comes with a spare tire, we recommend carrying one with you, especially if you have a fifth wheel or travel trailer. It’s not uncommon for campers to experience flats or RV tire blowouts, and you’ll want to be prepared if and when that happens.
Even if you have a motorhome, we still recommend that you carry a spare as well. If you don’t feel confident changing your tire on the side of the road, you’ll still be equipped with the right size tire when help arrives. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Do you have a spare tire mount for your RV? Let us know in the comments below!
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