You’re going down the road and all of a sudden you realize you have a flat tire. Great, here comes the stress level to 10 especially on a busy highway.
It’s not that big of a deal if you have the right tools and know-how.
Below is a guide that will teach all you need to know to change that travel trailer tire in a safe manner and be the hero to your family.
You will need a jack that is capable of lifting the weight of your travel trailer. The two most common jacks for this application will be the bottle jack and the scissor jack.
You can even get a scissor jack that is electric and can be hooked up to the tow vehicle for convenience.
But I would have to recommend the bottle jack since they can handle much heavier weight than a scissor jack which is important for larger travel trailers.
Now that being said, if you’re at your house, you can use a floor jack that will make quick work of it but will not be great to travel with.
If you have a trailer that has hubcaps, they make a tool that is designed to remove hubcaps without scratching them up. These hubcap tools also are equipped with a rubber piece that is designed to safely tap them back on without damaging them.
Although the tool can be helpful getting them off, I would recommend using your hand to tap them back on using a circular motion around the outside until they are nice and snug. The tool can sometimes damage the hubcaps if used aggressively.
A nice lug wrench will be needed to take off the tire. You can use the wrench that you have in your tow vehicle but it is always nice to have a designated lug wrench for the travel trailer. They can wear out over time and you don’t want to strip the lug nuts causing them to become round and making it almost impossible to get off…
So take your time and ensure you have a good fit on the nuts before you crank on them.
Check and see what kind of spare tire you have with your travel trailer or if you don’t have one, purchase one that is the same size as your current one. If you do have one, inspect it from time to time and ensure it isn’t cracked or compromised in any way.
Also, check the tire pressure and keep it at the recommended PSI for the tire. The last thing you need during the stressful time of changing your tire, is having it low in air.
Pieces Of Wood
Since travel trailer frames sit high off the ground, you are going to want some wood scraps to make sure your jack will reach the trailer and have enough height to get it off the ground.
I would recommend a 4×4 block of wood and some 2×4’s and even some ½” pieces of plywood just to give you enough material to get your needed height.
These are something you really should have on hand not only for changing a flat tire but also for when you’re actually camping.
You want to make sure you secure your trailer with wheel chocks before you even think about jacking up the trailer.
Stabilize Your Trailer Trailer
Whether you’re on the side of the highway or at a campsite, you want to make sure your trailer is on level ground and is stabilized so it won’t move or shift on you.
This is where your wheel chocks are needed.
You want to use them on the opposite side of the trailer and make sure they are nice and secure and you should be nice and stable.
Also, make sure your tow vehicle is on level ground with the parking brake on.
Loosen Up Your Lug nuts
Loosen up your lug nuts before you start jacking up the trailer.
Do not take them all the way off yet, you just want to make sure they are all loose before you lift the trailer.
After the trailer tire is off the ground, you may take them all the way off and place them in a place where they won’t roll away.
Jack Up Your Trailer
When you jack up the trailer make sure you are on the frame of the trailer and NOT on the suspension.
If you place the jack on the trailer suspension system you may cause damage to the trailer which we don’t want to happen.
Installing Your Spare Tire
When you have your tire on, hand tighten the lug nuts and lower the trailer down off the jack.
At this point, you can use your lug wrench to tighten up to the proper torque specifications for the tire.
You can use an actual torque wrench if you have on hand, or you can do the old “gootentight” method until you get to a place that you can make sure they are a proper torque.
- If you do get a flat while you’re on the road and not parked someplace, make sure you’re far enough off the road so cars are not zipping past too closely.
It’s not so bad if there’s a tire on the passenger side of the road but if the flat is on the driver’s side this is especially important.
- If you are using a lot of wood pieces for the jack, you don’t want to stack them with small pieces on top with smaller pieces on the bottom. This will create instability and the potential for the jack to slip.
Instead, use the larger, taller ones on the bottom and the thinner ones on the top. Don’t overdo it here on overall height either.
Just check and make sure it is not wobbly or slanting any way.
If you find yourself in a situation where you have a blowout, don’t rush it. Take your time and make sure you have all the tools you need to get the job done correctly and safely.
This isn’t a Nascar race and rushing this is not going to help matters.
Be safe and as always…
Good luck and happy camping.