Do motorhomes have spare tires? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t a simple yes or no. Some do, some don’t and some that do you aren’t going to want to deal with yourself.
When planning a road trip, the last thing you want to consider is getting a flat tire. But as any seasoned RVer knows, it’s always best to be prepared for any situation on the open road.
In this article, we explore why some motorhomes come with spares and others don’t, what to do if your RV doesn’t have a spare, and why every RV owner must have a plan for dealing with a flat tire.
So buckle up as we embark on this journey to uncover everything you need to know about motorhome spare tires.
Do All Motorhomes Have Spare Tires?
You might think all motorhomes would come with a spare tire. However, that’s not always the case. Whether buying a shiny new RV off the lot or picking up a pre-loved model, checking to see if a spare tire is part of the deal is essential.
If you’re going for a brand-new motorhome, remember dealers often consider the spare tire an ‘extra.’ A spare tire could add to your bill, like paying more for an expensive sound system or premium upholstery.
The reason for this is that tires for motorhomes are typically bigger and more costly than those for regular cars. The situation gets trickier if you’re in the market for a used RV. Used RVs might come without a spare, or the spare they have could be in terrible shape.
Spare tires can wear out over time, especially if exposed to harsh weather or not stored properly. If the RV you’re eyeing doesn’t have a spare or is not in good condition, you’ll need to budget for a replacement.
The bottom line is, don’t assume all motorhomes come with a spare tire. It’s something you need to confirm when you’re shopping around.
Do I Need A Spare Tire For My Motorhome?
Imagine you’re cruising down the highway, loving the freedom of the open road, and then you get a flat tire. If you’ve got a spare, it’s an annoying hiccup. But without one? It could turn into a major headache.
And let’s not forget about the inconvenience of waiting for roadside service. It’s not exactly the fun vacation activity anyone plans for. Plus, it could really cut into your vacation budget.
While it might seem like an extra hassle to lug around, having a spare tire for your motorhome could save a lot of stress. Think of it like carrying an umbrella. You might not always need it, but you’ll be glad to have it when it rains.
Not having a spare tire can feel like you’re taking an unnecessary risk. However, in some cases such as with large class A motorhomes, it may not be realistic. Class A spare tires are so large and difficult to handle and replace that they generally aren’t even an option.
Where Are Motorhome Spare Tires Located?
Motorhome spare tire locations can vary significantly based on the design and size of the vehicle. A typical location is the bumper mount, which is easily accessible and doesn’t take up interior storage space. It does, however, add some length to your RV and it’s exposed to the sun.
Another location for the spare tire is underneath the rig, similar to many passenger vehicles. Keeping the tire hidden avoids adding to the vehicle’s size and sun exposure. It can, however, be harder to access in unfavorable weather.
Some motorhomes even have designated compartments for the spare tire, such as under the bed or in a rear bin. It is common to encounter this in larger Class A or Class C motorhomes, as plenty of storage space is usually available.
Ultimately, it’s up to the motorhome owner to know where their spare tire is located. That way, you can get to it quickly and easily in the event of a flat.
Should You Have More Than One Motorhome Spare Tire?
Whether to carry more than one spare tire for a motorhome can generate various responses.
For example, some Forest River Forums members recommend carrying two spares for motorhomes in case both tires on one side get damaged. However, carrying more than one spare tire is rare due to space constraints in the motorhome.
The decision to carry more than one spare tire should be based on several factors. The condition of the tires, the terrain and conditions you plan to travel in, and the availability of roadside assistance or tire repair services in the areas you’ll be visiting.
Can You Change A Motorhome Tire Yourself?
Changing spare tires on motorhomes can be hard work and potentially dangerous. For Class A motorhomes, it’s not recommended to attempt changing a tire yourself. These vehicles are large and heavy, and trying to jack one up can be dangerous if not done correctly.
The tires used on Class B and C motorhomes are similar to the ones used on the truck or van chassis they are constructed on. Therefore, in theory, the owner can replace them. If you’re willing to get your hands dirty, doing a tire swap is definetly doable.
It’s still important to remember these vehicles are heavier than your average car or truck, so you should take extra caution. Regardless of the class of your motorhome, always refer to your owner’s manual for specific jacking instructions and procedures.
Safety should always be your top priority for vehicle maintenance and repair. If you’re not comfortable changing the tire yourself, or if your vehicle is a Class A motorhome, it’s best to call for professional roadside assistance.
Do You Need A Spare Tire Cover?
Having a spare tire cover is a good idea, especially if you mount the spare on the motorhome’s exterior, like on a bumper mount. The tire’s rubber can deteriorate over time because of exposure to the elements, such as the sun’s UV rays, leading to a shorter lifespan.
A spare tire cover provides a layer of protection against these elements, helping to prolong the tire’s life. Motorhome tires are not cheap so investing in a cheap tire cover is a smart move.
Many motorhome owners enjoy personalizing their spare tire covers, making them a fun and functional accessory. They might choose a cover featuring the logo of their favorite sports team, their logo, or even a catchy phrase or design.
Why Do Dealers Not Include Spare Tires On Motorhomes?
Dealers rarely include spare tires in motorhomes for several reasons. One significant factor is safety. Jacking up a motorhome, particularly a large Class A model, can be dangerous if not done correctly. Dealers prefer owners use trained technicians for tire replacements to avoid potential accidents.
Another reason is cost-related. Including a spare tire increases the manufacturing cost of the motorhome, which would then increase the retail price. Manufacturers may exclude the spare tire to keep the price tag more attractive to buyers.
Buying and mounting a spare tire yourself may be cheaper than the dealer option, however, driving off the lot ready to go is a nice feeling.
If you frequently travel in remote areas where roadside assistance might take a long time, having your own spare is a worthwhile option. If you mostly stick to well-traveled routes and are comfortable relying on professional roadside assistance when needed, you might choose to forgo the spare tire option to save on cost and space.
Ultimately, it’s about weighing the potential convenience and peace of mind against the cost and practicality based on your travel habits and comfort level.
How Often Should Motorhome Tires Be Replaced?
Maintaining your motorhome tires in good condition is crucial for safe and smooth travel. A critical aspect of this maintenance is knowing when to replace your tires.
Experts suggest changing tires every 5 to 8 years due to damage from weather, regardless of usage. Checking your tires frequently for signs of damage or aging, such as cracks or bulges, is crucial, regardless of how often you use your motorhome.
Ensuring your tires are in good condition can help prevent tire issues while on the road, reducing the likelihood of ever needing to use your spare.
What To Do If You Don’t Have A Spare Tire
If your motorhome doesn’t have a spare tire, don’t worry. Plenty of options remain available to ensure you’re not left stranded in case of a flat. In a worst-case scenario where you’re caught without a spare, you have a few choices to get you back on the road.
5 Options If You Have A Flat Tire On Your RV And No Spare
- Roadside Assistance: Roadside help is perhaps your best bet if you have a flat tire and no spare. New vehicles usually come with complimentary roadside assistance, and many third-party services, such as RV Wholesale Warranties, offer comprehensive coverage for motorhomes. Call the hotline, and they will send a professional to help with your tire issue.
- Sealant Kit: Some motorhomes come equipped with a sealant kit. You can use this for a temporary fix on small punctures in your tire tread. However, this is a temporary solution, and you should visit a tire repair shop as soon as possible.
- Tire Inflator Kit: Similar to a sealant kit, a tire inflator kit can also help in a pinch. These kits often include a can of sealant and a DC-powered air compressor to reinflate the tire after applying the sealant. Again, this is just a band-aid to get you to a tire shop.
- Run-flat tires: Run-flat tires resist deflation and let you drive to a repair shop at a reduced speed. These are more likely an option on a smaller Class C or B and are what you will find in most cars as opposed to a full-size spare.
- Repair Service: If you’re at home when you discover a flat tire, you could call a repair service. They may fix the tire on the spot or take it to their shop for repair.
While having a spare tire is undoubtedly convenient, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have one. You can still easily handle a flat tire situation with the options above. The most convenient and safest option is roadside assistance.
What Is RV Wholesale Warranties?
RV Wholesale Warranties is a leading provider of extended warranties for recreational vehicles. They offer comprehensive coverage for motorhomes and towable RVs, including service contracts known as RV extended warranties.
Beyond the standard warranty coverage, they provide additional services such as 24/7/365 RV roadside assistance and unlimited RV towing. If you experience a flat tire during your trip, RV Wholesale Warranties has a team of professionals who can assist you.
Another unique feature of Wholesale Warranties is their internal Claims Support staff, dedicated to assisting customers through the claims process and addressing any concerns or issues that may arise.
RV Wholesale Warranties has been in business since 2006 and has gained substantial customer ratings across the internet.
Whether you have a spare tire or not, having a service like the roadside assistance offered by RV Wholesale Warranties will provide peace of mind during your travels.
Final Words: Do Motorhomes Have Spare Tires?
Spare tires in motorhomes are multifaceted and dependent on the type of motorhome you own. While carrying a spare tire is a good idea for emergencies, changing a tire on a large Class A motorhome can be quite challenging.
Due to the size and weight of Class A motorhomes and their tires, calling professional roadside help is often safer and more practical in such cases.
Owners of Class B and C motorhomes might find it workable to change their tires, as these vehicles are built on a truck or van chassis. However, it is still vital to follow the jacking instructions specified in the owner’s manual and to exercise caution.
If space allows and you frequently travel in remote areas, carrying an extra spare tire could provide added peace of mind. However, due to space constraints, most owners opt for just one spare tire, if any.
Maintaining your tires in good condition is vital to preventing issues on the road. Regular inspection and timely replacement of your motorhome tires can help ensure a safe and smooth journey, reducing the likelihood of needing to use your spare.
Finally, roadside assistance is your best friend. Changing a tire on the side of a busy highway is not something most of us want to experience.
About the Author:
Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer and outdoorsman. He travels with his wife Susan in their Class A 2021 Thor Challenger and their Class C 2008 Gulf Stream Conquest. Mike is also the owner of RVBlogger.com, TravelTrailerPro.com, and RV Camping Magazine.