RV Mods — Got a spare, there?

13

By Russ and Tiña De Maris

Two square u-bolts hold this non-folding carrier on the 4″ square tube bumper.

Here’s an RV modification for the travel trailer and smaller motorhome set. It’s an “If you ain’t got it, you need it” mod. When we bought our most recent RV, a mid-20-foot range travel trailer, it didn’t take us long to scratch our heads: “Where’s the spare tire?” It was an apt question, because in the few years that we’ve had that rig, due to an originally unbeknownst misaligned axle, we’ve needed more than a couple of whacks with a spare tire.

Do you have a spare tire carrier on your rig? No, we’re not talking about behemoth Class A units where not only do you need a spare tire, you need the likes of Samson to ride along in your basement storage to lift and fit the spare — just a rig that uses a, say, 15- or 16-inch tire. If your rig is equipped with the typical 4-inch square tube rear bumper, then acquiring and installing this important mod is quick, inexpensive and relatively easy.

Generally there’s a couple of different styles of these spare mounts, either of which should run you about $25 or so. There’s a straight-up, “non-folding” carrier that mounts to the bumper and just sits there with a spare tire on it, while its folding cousin does the same job but allows you to “fold down” the spare tire. The latter is your choice if you have a storage compartment in the rear of your rig that would be blocked by the spare tire. Just fold the unit down, access your storage, then lift (with a slight grunt) the tire back up into normal position.

Your new carrier should arrive with “easy instructions,” and they are usually easier to assemble than the “bicycle in a box” purchased for a Christmas present that you spent four hours trying to assemble a few years back. Once assembled, the unit mounts to the square tube of the bumper with square u-bolts. Make sure they’re included in your purchase. Ours weren’t, and we spent some grumpy time touring hardware stores until we found the necessary bolts.

Locating the carrier position on the bumper is largely a matter of taste. Sticking it in the middle of the bumper seemed to us like the symmetrical thing to do, until it dawned on us that we had competition for the space. Dead in the center of the bumper was where we needed to mount a hold-down bracket for our wind turbine tower, so we had to adjust the tire location out to the edge. Just make sure the spare doesn’t block tail lights or license plates. Two nuts hold the spare to the carrier. Be sure to torque them firmly, but don’t overdue it lest you tear up the threads.

Expect to spend a half-hour to an hour completing the installation. Mount the appropriately fitted spare tire on rim to your new mount, toss a tire cover over it and relax. You’re ready to attend the next blowout!

Photos: R&T De Maris
##RVT797 ##RVDT1330

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

13 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

James S.
2 months ago

Wind turbine tower? Wow! Explain that to us uninitiated, please. Very interesting. Do you put it up and down for travel, or just use it when you are at a long-term location?

Tom Beatty
2 months ago

Can someone post the Amazon link for this spare tire rack? I need one, and there are several to choose from on Amazon. I want to get the one that’s appropriate for my small Class C motor home. Thanks.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Beatty

I just sent an email to Russ, Tom, since he wrote that article. I’ll let you know when I hear from him. 😀 —Diane

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
2 months ago
Reply to  Tom Beatty

Hi, Tom. I just heard back from Russ about the spare tire rack. Here’s a link to one which he says is either what he got or very similar: https://amzn.to/3cYMoig Thanks for asking! 😀 —Diane

Tom Beatty
2 months ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Thanks for the quick reply. I’ll check it out. Tom

Cliff Thomson
2 months ago

We are too old to crawl under the fiver to get the spare. So we mounted a fold down spare tire mount on the rear bumper. We mounted it as close to the frame mount attached to the bumper for more strength. One thing is that you have to check the mounting bolts occasionally, as they can come loose.

Thomas
2 months ago

Sounds great and all but the tinny 12 gauge or less bumper may not hold it. Bad or rusty welds May leave the tire lying in the road. I’ve seen it and also the 2×4 steel carrying racks dragging down the road until the driver finally gets aware of the noise or sparks. Before doing this check with a qualified welder to make sure the tin foil bumper is strong enough to put any weight on it.

Donald N Wright
2 months ago

This spare tire carrier looks like the one on my Aliner popup, that I removed. There was so much movement that folks would wave me over because my spare tire was falling off.

Roger Marble
3 years ago

After mounting your spare don’t forget it needs to be covered completely with a white cover so you aren’t baking the life out of the tire. Here is a picture of a spare that failed without ever hitting the road.

New tire explosion

Leigh
3 years ago

Can’t hurt to reinforce the bumper first. Many are “bumpers”, not
“brackets”, and aren’t meant to hold anything. Mounting the bracket
at the point where it attaches to the frame wouldn’t hurt either.

Wolfe
3 years ago

4 bolts to attach and 2 bolts to mount the tire won’t take you nearly 30 mins… Stranded without a spare cost me half a day.

I got my folding mount from Amazon for $20, and it came with all necessary bolts including an extra one to replace the hitch-pin if you don’t want folding ability. I don’t need rear door access, but recommend the folding ability to lower/raise the tire halfway.

Patrick K
2 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Where can you buy the bracket?

Patrick K
2 months ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Thanks found a couple on Amazon close to $20