Changing Trailer Tires & Camper Tires

Travel trailer tires are often a neglected or forgotten item.  Everyone is ready to go camping so you load up and go but did you check the tire pressure or condition of the travel trailer tires before you left?  Most people don’t so, it is really important to know how to change your trailer tires in the event that you have a flat or blowout.

Typically, the tread of most trailer tires will not wear out before the condition of the tire does.  Road wear and weather conditions play a key role in aging your tires.  If you look at most camper tires that are at least a couple of years old, you will see that the tread normally looks great but unless the tires were well cared for, the sidewalls are probably cracked and dry rotted.  The sidewalls of the tires also take more abuse when you turn than is the case for a car or truck tire.

Changing the tires on your trailer is similar to changing your car or truck tires but there are some additional concerns regarding your trailer’s weight and stability.

1. Make sure that your travel trailer is sitting a level area.  Put your tow vehicle in  park and set your parking brakes.  Be sure to leave your tow vehicle hooked up to the trailer if possible,  If not, unhook your trailer from the camper making sure to chock the trailer wheels both front and back on the side opposite the flat tire.  Drop the trailer stand down onto a piece of wood or brick to keep the stand from settling into the ground.

2. Loosen the lug nuts on the tire that needs to be changed by unscrewing them with the tire iron, but do not remove them yet.
3. If you don’t have a drive-up wheel changer, set your jack under the appropriate point of the travel trailer’s under frame, as recommended by the manufacturer. Pump the jack to lift the travel trailer off the ground until the tire has cleared the ground enough that it will spin freely when turned.  You do not want to lift the trailer any higher than you have to as it might become unbalanced.
4. Now you can remove the lug nuts the rest of the way with the tire iron. Pull the rim and tire off the travel trailer wheel.  Set the old tire on the ground away from the area that you are working.

5. Remove your spare tire from the travel trailer.  Lift the tires up and set the holes of the rim over the bolts of the wheel.  Push the new tire and rim back into place on the wheel and put the lug nuts back onto the studs to hold the tire on.  Tighten the lugs as far as you can. You will not be able to get them tighten completely at this point as the wheel will want to spin.

6. After you have tightened them as far as you can, slowly lower the trailer to the ground by tire lug pattern Changing Trailer Tires & Camper Tiresreleasing the jack.  Now that the trailer is on the ground, you will be able to finish tightening the lugs.   It is recommended that you tighten the lugs in a cross pattern instead of doing them all in a row as shown in the picture.

Treat your travel trailer tires with a tire conditioner and keep them covered when possible to protect from the sun, snow and rain.  If you keep your eyes on the condition of your trailer tires, they will last much longer and your chances of having a flat or blowout will be greatly decreased.

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[tags]trailer tires, camper tires, rv tires, camper tire[/tags]

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