By Russ and Tiña De Maris
An RVer lamented that his brand-new motorhome had no spare tire. Concerned about what kind of outcome he’d face should he have a flat or blowout, he struggled mightily to get a spare and put it on board his rig.
Some colossus motorhome jockeys tell us they rely on their road service provider to bail them out in the event of a blown tire, no spare scenario. Some road service policies may cover you – others won’t – so check the fine print carefully. Even then, here’s a “what if” scenario. What if you’re in the middle of nowhere-land on a Sunday afternoon when one of your rig tires blows. First, can you find a service provider who will come and rescue you and, second, will they be able to find the appropriate tire to bring with them? This isn’t an uncommon problem for the motorhome set: Many manufacturers say that with such large, heavy tires, it just isn’t safe to provide the end user with a spare. Of course, you may also chalk this up to “cost savings” on the part of the industry, but it is a thought.
Facing this issue, there are plenty of motorhome owners who are being cagey in figuring out a “work around” for the problem. Perhaps the most common approach is to carry a spare tire – not a spare tire and wheel, just the tire. Again, check your road service policy to be clear that the service will pay for a “tire change” in the field. Not every rescue carries the tools and equipment needed to make a tire changeover out on the road, and you may wind up waiting a bit while your dispatcher locates one. Just make sure it’s really clear you need more than just a “take off the bad tire, put on the mounted and inflated spare.”
Where can you stash a big “rubber donut” for your motorhome? Thank heavens for ample basement storage, many report. Others slide the tire under their bed. That’ll work, provided you can maneuver one of those bad boys out from under the bed when needed and provided, too, that the smell of a new rubber tire isn’t so pervasive that it won’t let you sleep.
Other motorhome drivers say they wouldn’t go anywhere without a spare mounted tire, one that’s on a rim. That’s OK, provided (a) you have the muscles to move it, and (b) the wheels are “all the same, all around” on your motorhome, meaning that your “steer tire” rims are the same as your “drive tire” rims. If not, you’ll be playing the odds game of which tire blows when the tire is on the “wrong” rim. Add too, the issue of where to put that big mounted spare.
One enterprising RVer with a Class A motorhome stuck his spare on a beefed-up spare tire carrier that mounted to his hitch receiver. Since he didn’t have a toad car, he figured he could use that receiver for this important duty. Again, it’s an idea, but before you assign a big, heavy spare tire there, make sure you can safely carry that kind of weight on the back of your rig – not all motorhomes have the capacity.