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Old 11-29-2010, 08:41 PM   #1
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Changing a flat tire


If I have a flat tire on my Rockwood 2304S with the AL KO axels is it ok to pull the good tire up on a ramp to remove and replace the flat tire? This seems like an easy way to get the job done and not have to worry about where to place the jack.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:02 PM   #2
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I did yesterday on my 2011 rockwood 2702ss no problems..... other then having to replace a brand new tire due to a screw to close to the side wall.
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Old 11-30-2010, 05:09 AM   #3
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I suggest using one of these, it is lite weight and it is all you have to carry the cost is about $50.00 buck and i believe it is one of the safest ways to change a tire on a TT.
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:40 AM   #4
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My biggest issue with those is that it is a two person job; driver and spotter.

Not only that but you need quite a bit of power to get the camper "up" and then you have to stop dead at exactly the right instant to have the wheel high enough to put the inflated tire on while guaging the height with the flat (or destroyed) one.

If you go too far you are going to drop the entire camper on that dohickey. Something is going to break for sure if you do. Remember that one wheel is carrying double its max rated load (on a tandem).

I have used a bottle jack with success changing a tire on the Washignton DC beltway. As luck would have it (if you can say that) I found a wide shoulder to pull into and the guard rail side was the flat.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:31 AM   #5
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When I'm in the process of leveling my trailer on a camp site I usually stack planks on the low side.
At times the first tire raises up enough to lift the 2nd tire off the
ground momentarily. If I had a flat I'd definitely use planks
under the good tire to get enough lift to change the flat.
Yes I have a jack but planks are safer IMO and easier. This is not
for long term.

If you've ever watched someone pulling in/out of a gas
station or campsite with a curb or big dip you will often see
one tire suspended in air at some point. Why not use that
to make changing a flat as easy as possible. Don't forget
to loosen lug nuts while the flat is on the ground and TIGHTEN them when done the same way.
My 2˘
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
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I make a ramp out of lego blocks. The ramp slopes up and down in case I overshoot. It's not to difficult to do this alone, I have done it to see if I could. So far I have not had to do this for real. With the ramp the TT weight is being supported by 3 tires. If I use a jack the TT is being supported by 2 tires since I have to jack under the frame. My owners manual says not to jack under the axels. There are many ways to do this just be safe.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:42 AM   #7
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Planks are also a good idea and I have a milk crate full of 1 foot long 2x10 PT wood pieces for leveling. The problem I have with the planks is the same with the widget. If you don't drive up far enough the new wheel won't clear. Too far and you drive off the end and crash.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:05 AM   #8
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Crash is a bit harsh..... I can lift a wheel with just 2 planks under
a tire. If I go off the other side it's not a big deal.
We've discovered that my wife gives lousy directions but follows
backing, parking directions perfectly.
I normally drive to our destination and get close to parking,
we swap and she drives while I stand beside
the rig and give specific directions.
It works great for us.
This includes backing or pulling onto or off of leveling planks.
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Old 11-30-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hipshot View Post
I make a ramp out of Lego blocks. The ramp slopes up and down in case I overshoot. It's not to difficult to do this alone, I have done it to see if I could. So far I have not had to do this for real. With the ramp the TT weight is being supported by 3 tires. If I use a jack the TT is being supported by 2 tires since I have to jack under the frame. My owners manual says not to jack under the axles. There are many ways to do this just be safe.
I am not sure the ramp idea with Lego blocks would actually work to change the tire on my rig. The wheels are very close together. Getting the flat up would not be the problem. Getting the inflated new one on might require taking the ramp apart. Easy to do with wood sections; almost impossible to do with Lego blocks.

I also see your point about using a jack on the axle. The fear here is bending the axle by putting 1/2 the weight of the camper on a single spot on the axle.

Placement as close as possible to directly under the frame attachments should allow clearance to switch out the tire while avoiding axle damage. Carrying a short piece of steel square channel placed between the bottle jack and the axle should also spread the load out over a wider area. Of course you should always have a plate under the jack to keep it from sinking into the macadam during the change out.

These are all emergency procedures. If you have the option for AAA then by all means call them and have a coffee while you wait!

While it is true that with 3 tires in contact the ground 1/3 of the camper weight is on each tire (vice 1/4 with all 4 in contact); with a jack under the frame, the jack is carrying 1/2 of the camper load and the opposite tires are carrying their normal 1/4 load.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #10
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Question, when replacing a flat in my car or truck, I loosen the lugs nuts prior to lifting. Same for a TT with a flat? I guess yes, but just asking.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:06 PM   #11
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If jacking the trailer up, yes. If rolling the good tire up on a ramp, I don't think I would loosen the lug nuts.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
If jacking the trailer up, yes. If rolling the good tire up on a ramp, I don't think I would loosen the lug nuts.
If I understand this correctly, in a dual axle TT the idea is that once the good tire is up on the ramp/planks/blocks etc, the flat one will be suspended up in the air. Would it not make sense to loosen the lug nuts before in both cases, jack or ramp?
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankm View Post
If I understand this correctly, in a dual axle TT the idea is that once the good tire is up on the ramp/planks/blocks etc, the flat one will be suspended up in the air. Would it not make sense to loosen the lug nuts before in both cases, jack or ramp?
I would just be a little concerned about rolling that bad tire with loose lug nuts. But I tend to err on the safe side.
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Old 11-30-2010, 12:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
I would just be a little concerned about rolling that bad tire with loose lug nuts. But I tend to err on the safe side.
mtnguy, I definitely see your point. So maybe once the flat is up in the air I can either put the wheel chocks on or have the DW apply the electric brakes to loosen the lug nuts. Thankfully (and luckily) I haven't had a flat on my TT but I'm sure it is a matter of time. Knowing what to do will/should get me back on the road sooner. Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:34 PM   #15
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I had all 4 tires changed at a garage. They used 3 floor jacks and had all 4 tires off the ground. I was in and out in less then 20 min.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:34 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by frankm View Post
mtnguy, I definitely see your point. So maybe once the flat is up in the air I can either put the wheel chocks on or have the DW apply the electric brakes to loosen the lug nuts. Thankfully (and luckily) I haven't had a flat on my TT but I'm sure it is a matter of time. Knowing what to do will/should get me back on the road sooner. Thanks!
Or if someone was by themselves, they could pull the emergency brake cable to lock up the wheel.
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Old 11-30-2010, 06:49 PM   #17
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Thanks to every one for all of their input on the tire changing subject.
after reading all of this I have decided to make a ‘jack’ out of 3 pieces of 2x6 lumber stacked on top of each other. The bottom one would be about 26 inches long and the next about 18 inches and the top one about 8 inches. The ends of the boards would be cut at an angle of about 30 degreesor so. Stack the boards up and drill a hole down the center and use a bolt to keep them together when you need to jack up the TT. When the jack is not needed take the bolt out and the individual pieces can be used to level the TT or put under the stabilizer jacks. Since it is a bit cool here in MN I will not be able to test the ‘jack’ until spring comes.
I hope it works!
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Old 11-30-2010, 07:29 PM   #18
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Only way to tell is to try it. It is certainly a cheap way to do it and has a use besides the rare blowout. You can always shorten the boards if you find they get in the way of the other tire.
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Old 11-30-2010, 08:00 PM   #19
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My biggest issue with those is that it is a two person job; driver and spotter.

Not only that but you need quite a bit of power to get the camper "up" and then you have to stop dead at exactly the right instant to have the wheel high enough to put the inflated tire on while guaging the height with the flat (or destroyed) one.

If you go too far you are going to drop the entire camper on that dohickey. Something is going to break for sure if you do. Remember that one wheel is carrying double its max rated load (on a tandem).

I have used a bottle jack with success changing a tire on the Washignton DC beltway. As luck would have it (if you can say that) I found a wide shoulder to pull into and the guard rail side was the flat.
I understand your view with the E-Z Jack, as far as a two person job but anytime when some one is backing up on the E-Z Jack, a pile of boards such as a home made ramp or lego block it should always be a two person job, there should always be a spotter.

As far as power, if your tow vehicle can not handle a 6" incline at a short distance, then i would concider a differant vehicle it does not take much to roll the camper up and on to an E-Z Jack, and i do understand that if you go too far you will roll off of it.

You mention that with a flate tire on one side all of the weight is now being carried by one wheel/tire, look at the max weight rating on one tires then add all four together for a max weight.....then take the trailers max weight capacity or full load and divide it by 4, is each tire now rated to carry 1/4 of the max trailer rated load according to your tires max rating, now i do realize that some of the trailer weight is being carried by the hitch (tongue) and if you know that then subtract it.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:33 PM   #20
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Rock, I was going to let this pass, but I think you might have misunderstood my post.

1) My concern with the backing/pulling forward process requires split second coordination between the spotter and the driver to avoid overshooting the optimum lift point. This risk is eliminated with a jack.

2) I have a Diesel TV and power is never a problem. It is the application of said power that I was referring to. I have a 6 spd Allison automatic transmission and, while a manual transmission might be easier to manage with the clutch (though you might need three feet to do it), a two foot technique is required with the brake and throttle. I don't know about you but I have never been much good doing that since it is not something I practice.

3) Most of our tires are running pressures pretty close to their maximum just to carry the rated weight split up among the four tires.

Example: My 5th wheel is rated at 9300 pound max gross weight. I have 2 axles each rated at 4000 pounds for a total of 8000 pounds. That leaves 1300 pounds that has to be carried by the king pin.

The tires that came with the camper are C rated tires rated to carry 2150 pounds each at 50 PSI (the maximum air pressure).

With one flat tire, the 8000 pounds carried by the tires must now be split between the three tires in contact with the ground. (You might think that some of the weight would be added to the king pin, but the moment arm of the load will not change with a flat and the king pin weight will remain unchanged). As such 8000 pounds now split 3 ways means that each inflated tire must carry 2,666 pounds. While overloaded by 516 pounds each; since you are stopping and then stopped, the tires should not fail outright. If you tried to drive any distance you would find the other tires starting to delaminate and fail as well.

Using a bottle jack to lift the frame, the jack will carry the entire load that was supported by the two tandem tires on the side that had the failure.

In this way, the two remaining inflated tires on the other side will only have to support the original 2000 pounds per tire (4000 pounds on that side).

Make sense?
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