One of the issues you will probably eventually face if you use your RV frequently is a flat tire. When one happens, you might feel compelled to contact roadside assistance for help. However, there may be circumstances where you will want to change the tire yourself and get moving fast — for example, if inclement weather is approaching, you are behind schedule or you are in a remote location where roadside assistance cannot or will not come to you. In these cases, it’s important to know how to change your own RV flat tire.
There are two methods you can use to change a flat tire on an RV: jacks or a ramp.
Changing Your Flat Tire With Jacks
If you’ve ever changed a flat tire on a car, you will find similarities when changing a tire on an RV with jacks. The main difference is that because of the size of the RV, you will need multiple jacks to do the job.
First, make sure the spare tire is unpunctured and fully inflated, so you don’t waste time putting a useless tire on the vehicle. Then deploy the jacks. Put one under the frame of the RV behind the back wheel on the side with the flat tire and one jack under the frame in front of the front wheel on the same side. Remove the hubcap off the bad tire and loosen the lug nuts with your lug wrench. Start by jacking up the rear jack until it connects with the RV frame. Then do the same with the front jack. Then pump each three or four more times to make sure the RV is high enough off the ground to change the tire.
Now use the lug wrench to remove the lug nuts. Pull off the bad tire, mount the spare and put the lug nuts back on. Tighten them with the lug wrench. Now gently lower the jacks in turn. Once the RV is completely back on the ground, tighten the lug nuts, remove the jacks and you’re ready to go on your way.
Changing Your Flat Tire With a Ramp
To change your flat tire with a ramp, start as before, with verifying the integrity of the spare, removing the hubcap and loosening but not removing the lug nuts on the wheel of the flat tire. Then drive your good tire on the same side as the flat onto the ramp. If the flat is one of the front tires, you will have to back onto the ramp.
Now make sure the flat tire wheel can spin freely. If it cannot, add blocks to raise the ramp and try again, or if possible, dig out a groove underneath the wheel. Set the parking brake on the RV and put blocks under the wheels on the side you aren’t working on so the RV cannot roll. Now remove lug nuts using the lug wrench, take off the flat tire, put on the spare, put the lug nuts back on and tighten. Remove the blocks and gently drive off the ramp. Once the RV is back on the ground, further tighten the lug nuts. Pack up the ramp and you’re ready to go.
Why Choose a Ramp Over Jacks?
There are a number of reasons why a ramp is preferable when changing an RV tire. A standard jack has to rise fairly high to reach an RV frame, resulting in a lift that is not very stable, especially compared to using a ramp. In addition, you only need one ramp, a ramp won’t sink into soft ground and you can use ramps for other purposes. However, if you only have jacks, they will certainly do the job.
RV Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
While in some situations, a flat tire is inevitable, you can greatly improve your chances of avoiding one with a tire pressure monitoring system for your RV. RV tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) can let you know with easy-to-see and understandable alerts when your tires are dangerously underinflated. This will allow you to inflate tires to the proper pressure, not only reducing the chance of a blowout, but also improving your fuel economy and reducing admissions, as your RV has to work much harder when it is running on under-inflated tires.
For a high-quality, state-of-the-art tire pressure monitoring system for your RV, TVforMyRV offers the TST 507 High Performance PMS system. This system features customizable alerts, extended range and Flow Thru sensors that let you put air in the tires without taking out the sensors. This system can also monitor pressure for as many as 22 wheels and 205 PSI with 99 percent accuracy. For your money- and time-saving TPMS or other top-of-the-line electronics and accessories for your RV, contact TVforMyRV online or call 717-438-3665 now.