RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble
I was reading another RV forum thread on spare tires. The questions about cost and difficulty in actually doing the change came up. One person said a spare for his Ford Transit van (Class B?) would cost $400. I offered the following.
A little shopping around and you should save a lot. New steel Ford transit wheels are available for $70 on eBay. Probably $25 at a local junkyard. Remember Class B and C RVs are basically just large pickup chassis and there are thousands of those in junkyards.
Also, a steel wheel is fine for a spare. Used tires usually go for $25 to $50. A spare only needs to be good for 50 to a couple hundred miles. A few phone calls to local tire dealers and you should be able to find an acceptable spare, especially for Class B or Class C. Class A owners will need to check with an HD truck repair shop.
You need to be a bit creative and not simply go to your RV dealer and ask for a new tire and wheel. Very few RV dealers are in the business of selling tires and wheels and if they are, they probably only have new tires.
What I am suggesting is that if you have to buy a tire from the service truck, on the side of the road, the price will probably be 125% to 200% of a sale price. If you have a Class B or Class C, most people should be able to do the change themselves with a little planning and preparation.
Planning and maybe even practice on a nice sunny afternoon would be good to confirm you have all the tools and supplies (like a solid platform to place under the bottle jack if you are on dirt) needed to change the tire.
Class A can save time (hours or days), maybe hundreds of dollars, and space by being able to provide just a tire that fits their RV. HD service trucks are equipped to change and inflate a tire on the side of the road.
If you have different size front and rear tires I suggest you have a spare for the rear as they suffer a higher percentage of punctures than the front.
Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.