Are you prepared to embark on an adventure with your RV or travel trailer? It’s crucial to take some time to prepare before hitting the road, especially if your vehicle has been out of commission since last summer. To avoid any unforeseen issues, a trip to Les Schwab and a thorough inspection beforehand can go a long way. However, we know that flat tires can still happen while you’re out on the open road. That’s why it’s important to understand how to change a tire on a travel trailer, just in case. Our experts have shared their advice on what you’ll need and how to go about it.
Equipment Needed for the Job
Before you set off, it’s a good idea to bring your RV or trailer to Les Schwab for a free pre-trip safety check. Our team will inspect the spare tire for any cracks, separating tread, or other issues that could potentially leave you stranded. We’ll also verify other vital components to ensure that you have a safe and enjoyable trip.
Once your trailer has been thoroughly checked out, make sure you have the following items. You can find some of these at your local Les Schwab store.
- Leather Gloves: While any gloves can provide some protection for your hands, leather gloves are more durable when dealing with heavy, hot metal and rubber.
- Bottle Jack: Remember to pack a piece of plywood or any flat and sturdy object, such as wood, concrete, or plastic, along with your bottle jack. This will help stabilize the jack and prevent it from sinking into the ground.
- Long-Handle Lug Wrench: You’ll also need sockets that fit the lugs on every wheel, including the spare. Keep in mind that the lug size may differ for the spare tire.
- Torque Wrench: If you happen to have one, a torque wrench can help ensure that the lug nuts are tightened correctly. Incorrectly tightened lug nuts can create a loss of torque pressure between the wheel and the mounting surface, potentially causing the wheel to loosen. To ensure proper torque, bring your trailer to Les Schwab before your first trip of the season or whenever you change a flat tire.
- Socket Set and Cordless Impact Wrench and/or Gun: Although not necessary, having a socket set and cordless impact wrench or gun can be convenient. However, you’ll still need the lug wrench to loosen and tighten each lug.
- Bolt Cutters: This is an optional item that may not be required in every situation. Bolt cutters come in handy if you need to remove steel cords from a failed tire that has wrapped itself around the axle.
- Reflectors or Flares: In addition to turning on your hazard lights, it’s important to place a reflector close behind your RV or trailer and another one 10-15 feet farther away.
- Mat or Towel: Don’t forget to bring a mat or towel to protect your knees from the hard and unforgiving pavement and rocks as you change the tire.
Changing Your RV Tire: A Step-By-Step Guide
Follow these steps to change a tire on your travel trailer:
- Pull Over: If possible, try to get out of traffic. If you only have the side of the road, find a wide spot.
- Loosen the Lugs: Before jacking up the trailer, loosen the lug nuts on the wheel with the flat tire. Loosen them just enough so that you can turn them by hand once the trailer is off the ground.
- Jack Up the Trailer: Place the jack under the frame of the trailer or at a specified jack point on the side with the flat tire. If necessary, add a flat piece of wood under the jack for extra stability.
Pro Tip from Les Schwab: To avoid damaging your trailer, do not place the jack on the axle. Refer to the image below to see the proper jack point for a double-axle travel trailer.
- Remove the Flat Tire: If the affected wheel spins freely, use the lug wrench to remove the lugs and take off the flat tire.
- Replace the Tire: Install the spare tire in place of the flat one.
Tighten the Lugs: When tightening the lugs, use a star pattern.
Lower the Jack: Once the trailer is back on the ground, give each lug nut on the wheel/tire assembly a final tightening. Then, drive carefully to Les Schwab. We’ll check the torque on those lugs to ensure your safety.
Get Your RV Ready
To minimize the chances of experiencing a flat tire or other issues, there are a few things you can do before every trip in your RV or trailer. Take a look at the “10 Steps to Get Your RV or Trailer Ready for the Road.”
Another way to prepare your RV or trailer is by visiting Les Schwab. Schedule an appointment with us, and we’ll inspect your tires for cracks around the stem and base of your wheels, check for bulging, and top off your tire pressure. Additionally, we’ll assess the remaining life of your RV or trailer tires. If you need new ones, you’ll be in the right place. We’ll also check the brakes and wheel bearings on your trailer or RV, and if necessary, we can provide you with an estimate for repacking the bearings.
Remember, when it comes to taking care of your travel trailer, DHPL Travels is here to assist you every step of the way. Visit us now to learn more about the services we offer. Safe travels!