There is only one situation more annoying and frustrating than realizing you have a flat tire on your travel trailer, and that is realizing you have a flat tire on your travel trailer and not knowing how to change it. Travel trailers, which are commonly towed along on long road trips around the country, are highly susceptible to picking up loose nails, screws, and other debris along the roadway.
Therefore, if you are the owner of a travel trailer you should make sure you are familiar with the process necessary to change one of your vehicle’s tires. Below this process is explored and discussed in detail. Along the way, the equipment needed to change a flat tire on a travel trailer and the differences between changing out a flat tire on a single axle and dual axle travel trailer are explored and discussed as well.
How to jack up a travel trailer to change a tire?
To jack up a travel trailer to change a tire, you will need a bottle jack, ramp if dual axle, or other automotive jack. Start by chocking the wheel on the opposite side, sliding the jack under the frame near the tire to be changed, and jack it up. This will allow you to remove the tire to replace.
Whether you just bought your travel trailer and are looking to get familiar with the process of performing routine maintenance on it, or you are looking to brush up on your roadside maintenance skills to prepare yourself for the dreaded chance you get a flat tire of your own, you should continue reading below!
Equipment Needed to Jack up a Travel Trailer or 5th wheel
The various pieces of equipment necessary to change a tire on a travel trailer may seem obvious. And, in a lot of ways they are. However, to make sure every travel trailer owner is on the same page it is pertinent we discuss those pieces of equipment before moving forward.
When you go to change a flat tire on your travel trailer you will need the following items:
- a spare tire and wheel assembly,
- a tire iron/ lug wrench,
- wheel chocks
- jack and jack stand or trailer ramp.
The latter two pieces of equipment are interchangeable depending upon which type of travel trailer you are attempting to change a flat tire on. If you are looking to change out a flat tire on a single axle travel trailer then the standard jack and jack stand will work just fine.
However, if you own a dual or tandem axle travel trailer you will want to purchase a trailer ramp or trailer aid to assist you during the tire replacement. This trailer ramp or aid will not only make the process of changing a tire on a dual-axle travel trailer simpler, but it will also keep you safer in the process.
Always test out changing a tire at home prior to having one on the side of the road. Take all of the tools needed and place in your tool kit. This will keep you from being stranded.
Changing a Flat Tire on a Single Axle Travel Trailer
The first thing you will want to do if you are attempting to change a flat tire on your single axle trailer, especially if you are pulled off on the side of the road, is move your travel trailer to a safe place. Since travel trailers are normally larger than a standard car or truck, safely changing a flat tire on one often requires more space.
The surface you decide to park your travel trailer on when changing the flat tire should be as flat as possible. Large shoulders on the side of the road or empty parking lots typically work great. Next, you will want to pull out your vehicle jack, jack stand, wheel blocks, tire iron, and spare tire and wheel assembly.
After you have these materials laid out in front of you, you will want to take your wheel blocks and place them behind every wheel on your towing vehicle and travel trailer (except for the flat tire). At this point, you should also make sure your towing vehicle is in park and the parking brake is engaged.
After safely securing your vehicle with wheel chocks, you will want to use your lug wrench to loosen but not remove the lug nuts on the wheel of the flat tire. Next, after each lug nut is loosened, you will want to place your vehicle jack under the travel trailer frame. The proper place to position your jack relative to your travel trailer should be listed in the trailer’s operation manual. Placing the jack in the wrong position could lead to damage to the trailer or harm to yourself. Never jack up your travel trailer’s axle tube as you can cause permanent damage.
Make sure to watch your brake lines as to not place the jack under to crunch any working parts of your unit. Once the jack is in the proper position you can raise your travel trailer until the flat tire is off of the ground.
Once your flat tire is off the ground, you will need to fully remove it and replace it with the spare tire and then align the spare tire upon the wheel studs. Put the lug nuts on the tire and tighten with your lug nut wrench. Do not fully tighten the lug nuts on the spare tire yet. Next, lower your travel trailer using the vehicle jack. Once your travel trailer is back on the ground, you can tighten the spare tire. It is helpful to have a torque wrench and tighten to factory specs.
At this point, all you need to do is remove the wheel blocks from around your vehicle and proceed on your route.
STEPS TO CHANGE A FLAT TIRE ON A SINGLE AXLE TRAVEL TRAILER
- Move trailer to safe location
- Gather spare tire and other equipment needed
- Place wheel blocks on all tires (except for flat tire)
- Loosen lug nuts on flat tire
- Position jack under trailer and lift trailer
- Interchange flat tire with spare tire
- Lower trailer using jack
- Tighten and torque lug nuts on the spare tire
How to Change a Flat Tire on a Tandem Axle Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel
The process for changing a flat tire on a double axle travel trailer is very similar to the process for changing a tire on a single axle trailer. However, instead of using a jack and jack stand, you will want to use a trailer ramp or trailer aid. When using a trailer ramp or trailer aid to replace a flat tire on the rear of your trailer, you will want to place the ramp in front of the good tire that is on the rear of your trailer. If the flat tire is on the front of your trailer, you will want to place the trailer aid in the rear of your good tire. Once the trailer aid is in position, loosen but not remove your lug nuts and you can pull or back your travel trailer onto the ramp. This will lift the flat tire off of the ground.
Once the flat tire is off of the ground, you should place wheel blocks under all of the tires that remain on the ground. Next, you can begin to remove the flat tire by removing the tire’s lug nuts. After loosening the lug nuts, you can remove the flat tire and replace it with the spare tire.
Once the spare tire is mounted on your trailer you should hand-tighten the lug nuts. After tightening the lug nuts, you can remove the wheel blocks from under the tires, and back or pull your trailer off of the trailer aid. Once your trailer is off of the trailer aid, you can then finish tightening the spare tire to the manufacturer’s torque specs with a torque wrench.
This process will be the same whether you have leaf springs or a torsion axle.
STEPS TO CHANGE A FLAT TIRE ON A DOUBLE AXLE TRAVEL TRAILER
- Move trailer to a safe location and loosen lug nuts
- Position trailer aid and pull or back trailer on-ramp
- Place wheel blocks under tires
- Remove lug nuts on flat tire
- Interchange flat tire with spare tire
- Hand-tighten lug nuts on spare tire
- Remove wheel blocks and remove trailer from ramp
- Finish tightening lug nuts on the spare tire
Things To Keep in Mind while Changing a Trailer Tire:
Never jack up your trailer with your trailer jacks or leveling jack. This can cause permanent damage to your frame.
Always make sure a wheel chock is in place blocking your trailer from moving.
Never lift from the rv bumper as they are not meant to hold any weight
Can you jack up a travel trailer?
You can jack up a travel trailer to perform maintenance or change a tire. A jack will need to be placed under your frame. Always use jack stands for extra security while working under your travel trailer.
Do you place the jack before or after slides on a travel trailer?
Always place your jack where your travel trailer manual says to place it. This will be near the tires in the middle of the frame. This could be before or after the slide depending on your model.
Where to place the jack on my travel trailer?
Place the jack in your manufacturer’s recommend area, this will typically be on the frame of your travel trailer. If you have a dual axle trailer, place the jack closest to your flat tire either in front or behind.
Safety First! While Changing an RV Tire
Changing out a spare tire on your travel trailer can be frustrating and stressful. However, if you are prepared and familiar with the process you should be able to easily change out a flat tire for a spare. Remember, you should always move your travel trailer to a safe location before beginning to perform any type of maintenance on the vehicle. If you are working with a dual or tandem axle travel trailer make sure you also take the proper safety precautions and utilize a trailer aid.
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