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Old 12-20-2017, 09:26 PM   #1
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Changing flat tire on Rpod 178

Has anyone had to change a flat while on the road? What did you use to jack up the trailer to change the tire?

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Old 12-20-2017, 09:54 PM   #2
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Six ton bottle jack. I cut a small piece of wood to fit under the end of the axle near the tire that fits between the jack head and the axle/wheel bracket. I also use a block of wood under the bottle jack to save time jacking up the trailer.

Hope this helps.

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Old 12-20-2017, 10:36 PM   #3
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Also make sure you've got the appropriate lug nut tools.
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Old 12-21-2017, 12:36 AM   #4
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be warned about the lug nuts

many of us have discovered our lugs nuts have a problem, yours might as well, ... some have a metal shell pressed over the nut which can split/crack/loosen, ... once that happens, the shell can spin and its almost impossible to get that nut off, ... a real problem if you discover that out on the road with a flat tire, instead of at home where you might have adequate tools to get the nut off, ... once I was made aware of this(by the info posted in the link below), I replace all my lug nuts with solid nuts that I found on Amazon, ... I'm sure there are some folks here who will say, they have those nuts and have never had a problem, that's find if so, BUT they certainly CAN split/loosen, I had one which was beginning to loosen, and the photos in the link will also prove it can happen, ... just trying to give you a heads up about that, ... "an ounce of prevention is worth MORE than a pound of cure", .......... happy trailering with solid lug nuts, ....

Is my lug nut split?

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Old 12-21-2017, 01:31 PM   #5
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Practice tire changing

If your not familiar with changing a tire, I suggest you have a roadside assistance program available. And also practice changing a tire in your driveway or your campsite where you can take your time. Changing a tire by the side of the highway with 18 wheelers going past and rocking your camper, is quite a thrill and a bit dangerous. On Christmas day for example you cannot get Roadside help.
A half a dozen assorted pieces of wood are very helpful. If you're on soft ground your check will disappear into the ground.
Of course checking your tire pressure before you leave home is very good insurance. Also, replace your tires before they start giving you trouble. Original equipment or not very reliable. Good year makes a new one called, Endurance.
Good luck
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:52 PM   #6
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Depending on your tow vehicle and the trailer's weight, the TV factory jack may be adequate for an emergency.
My RAM 1500 is a heavy enough tow vehicle to be equipped with a jack adequate to lift one side of my PUP (about 4000# all up) for a tire change. Depending on your trailer weight, your TV jack may be able to handle that weight for an emergency tire change.

About 400# of my trailer weight is on the tongue. And the GVWR is closer to 3800#. So one end of the axle will weigh in around 1700#. That's not much more than a corner of my truck--especially if there's a load in the bed. In a pinch, I could dump my fresh tank and pull some cargo out of the trailer.

Bear in mind that a conventional scissors jack's lifting capacity increases as the jack extends, because the mechanical advantage increases.

You may find that it's better to jack the trailer frame rather than try to jack under the axle, and many recommend that you NOT jack under the axle. But jacking from the frame requires a long lift to overcome the suspension drop. Your stabilizer jack and tongue jack pads/blocks will be handy for this purpose. The only time I changed a tire was in my driveway using a floor jack under the torsion axle tube. I saw no damage to the tube.

Unlike jacking under a TV axle where your jack head has good purchase up against other "hard" parts, your trailer frame may become increasingly unlevel as you lift. This raises the possibility of the jack head slipping as you lift. Be very cautious to avoid this possibility.
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Old 12-21-2017, 01:59 PM   #7
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Buy one of these

Way safer than a bottle jack. Very light and can lift your Rpod easily.
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Old 12-21-2017, 05:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rockfordroo View Post
Also make sure you've got the appropriate lug nut tools.
After a bad blowout, there were two tools that became indispensable, neither of which I had.

1: A break bar. This is a long handle for a socket. Wheel nuts on trailers and vans are notoriously over-tight. My supplied wrench had no hope of breaking the tension.

2: An angle grinder, with a cutting wheel. The only way the tire could be unraveled from the rim and mess of wires that it tangled was to cut it into pieces. This of course is something few of us would consider having in our travelling tool box.

As the pics show, this was a nasty one. I saw the actual moment the tire blew because I just happen to glance at my rear-view mirror when a great puff of smoke exploded from the wheel. The incident happened on a curving, cambered, narrow section of highway, with vehicles travelling at 110km/hr. Cars and trucks of all sizes were screaming past me just inches from my head as I lay on the ground trying to undo the nuts and free up the tangle of wires the rubber had ripped out.

We had put highway breakdown warning markers down the road but they were being ignored. I was fearful for my life, so I had the wife go further down the road with a light-grey fold-up table to see if that would be more visible. The wind from the traffic practically blew her off the road and over the Arnco steel safety barrier.

Our saving grace was a construction ute heading in the other direction. The guy stopped, came over and inspected the mess, drove down the road until he could find a suitable place to turn around, (he took so long I thought he had just kept going), then dropped off warning signs along the road as he came back.

He fired up the generator/compressor combo, whipped out the air tools, got the nuts loose and then used the angle grinder to cut away the rubber. He accepted nothing but our thanks and drove off into the sunset, as it nearly was. We had planned to head west to Longreach but because of the extent of the damage had to go east Rockhampton to see if we could get some repairs done, which we did. New rims, up from 15" to 16" and new light truck tires all round, inc spare, but that part is another story.
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