|While this may sound elementary for anyone who has
ever changed a flat on their car, some things are a little different
while many are the same. Read and understand your owners
manual. Some have very specific directions for jacking your
make/model trailer, so pay particular attention to those
The very first thing you want to do about a flat tire is done
before you ever leave home. Make sure you have the following
items and carry them with you all the time when towing:
- A spare tire (have you checked the air pressure lately?)
- A tire iron (does it fit both the lug nuts on the rim and the
nut that holds on the spare?)
- A jack (don't assume the tow vehicle jack will work, test it).
While testing, make sure that the jack will fit under your
selected lifting point with a flat tire. Remember the
lifting point may be a few inches lower.
- Any boards you may need under the jack raise a filled tire off
the ground a sufficient distance to seat it on the hub
- Emergency flares or traffic triangles
OK, now you have a flat tire, the first step is to make
sure you are in a safe area, sufficiently clear of any and
all passing traffic. While you may destroy the rim towing to a
different location on a flat, that is much better than placing your
family in danger. Once off the roadway remember to use flares
or triangles to alert oncoming traffic of your presence.
If you can't get to a safe location, use your cellular phone to
call the police for assistance!
Now its time to get down to the nuts & bolts (no pun
- Assuming you are connected to the tow vehicle, make sure the
tow vehicle is in "Park" and set the parking brake
(OK, some of you call it the emergency brake).
- Chock the good camper wheel.
The object of these two steps is to secure the pop up and make
sure it does not shift while you are working on it.
- Set the jack under the main frame rail, close to where the
springs (OK, suspension on some PUs) attach to the main frame
rail. Do not jack under the axle or cross rails as they
are not designed to carry the full weight of the trailer on a
two square inch area and can easily be damaged this way. Use any
wood necessary to raise the jack. Additionally, jacking
under the axle may push the flat tire up into the wheel well,
causing difficulty in removing the flat tire.
- Start to raise the jack until it exerts pressure under the
frame, but do not fraise the tire off the ground at this point.
- Now its time to loosen all the lug nuts on the tire to be
changed. If you raise the tire first, the tire will just
spin when you attempt to do this.
- Now jack the flat tire off the ground. Remember, you
will need more clearance when you attempt to put the inflated
spare on, so you will need to jack higher than just to remove
- Remove flat tire/replace with inflated spare tire.
- Install lug nuts, hand tighten
- Lower jack
- Tighten lug nuts using the lug wrench. Remember, most of
them are meant to be tightened to over 100 Ft Lbs.
Store everything away and continue on your way. Just
remember, you should re-check the lug nuts shortly after changing a
tire. Check your owners manual for the distance, but 50 miles
then again at 100 miles works for me.
Remember Safety First!