I’m sorry to say that most fifth wheels do not come with a spare tire. If you have a road service plan, having a spare might not be necessary. Your only concern should be, will road service be able to get your size tire?
The only way to find out if the road service will be able to bring one is to find out if your tire is a standard size. Start by calling the tire dealers wherever you are and ask if they have your size, and be sure to get the right load range and ply rating available. If the response is yes, and that they can get it to you within an hour, then you really don’t need a spare.
However, if your tire size is unusual, and nobody has one in stock, then you might want to consider carrying a spare tire along.
When we purchased our used 2008 Mobile Suite fifth wheel a spare tire was included. We had the dealer remove it from the undercarriage to inspect it.
Luckily we did because the screw broke off that keeps the tire fastened to the fifth wheel. Being that our fifth wheel was used and had been sitting on the lot for quite a while the dealer did a thorough inspection.
They also agreed to let us spend a few nights in the RV prior to purchasing. Which I highly recommend doing if at all possible! The dealership, which was in Florida, also owned a very small RV park directly behind the lot.
They towed the fifth wheel to the RV park, hooked it up and let us get acquainted with our soon to be home on wheels. By living in the fifth wheel we discovered a number of issues, all minor (thank goodness) that probably would have gone unnoticed. One of the issues I want to point out is the light switch by the door would get really hot. Not good!
After the second night, we had made a list of things that needed repair and the dealer promptly had it taken care of. Back to the spare tire, yes they also supplied us with all brand new tires, including the spare!America’s Choice Dealership in Ocala Florida
The Ultimate Tire Guide
Unlike car tires which are typically replaced due to tread wear, fifth wheels are usually driven far fewer miles each year. Most tires have to replaced due to age long before the tread is worn out.
Today, I will share with you some vital information on what brand tires you should get, what psi you should inflate them to, how to check your tire’s age, and how old your tires have to be before you change them.
What to Do When Searching for the Perfect Spare Tire:
Before you go out and buy a tire, first it is important you know the tire’s exact age. This can be done by checking on the sidewalls of the tire for the DOT numbers by starting with the letter DOT inside a small oval.
The last four digits in the oval at the end of the number tells you the tire’s manufacture date. The first two digits represent the week and the last two digits represent the year the tire was made.
How To You Keep Your Tires in Good Condition For them to Last Longer?
- Don’t Overload Them
Refer to the manufacturer’s load and inflation table to determine the maximum weight a tire can support. Loading your tire beyond that weight capacity can cause them to age out fast and this can lead to sudden premature failure.
- Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated:
Over inflation or under inflation will not only age your tires at a fast rate but it will make your ride less comfortable. And also, driving less safe. To avoid this, have your rig weighed and follow your tire’s manufacturer inflation chart for each tire’s position.
If you can’t get your fifth wheel weighed yet, make sure to inflate your tires to carry the maximum axle weight as posted on your RV’s weight rating plate, often located near the driver’s seat. This may make your ride a bit stiffer but it will reduce the risk that your tires are underinflated until you get accurate corner weights by weighing your rig.
- Keep Your Chassis Aligned
Visit a reputable RV shop to get your chassis aligned. If your alignment is off, it can lead to unusual wear patterns and premature tire replacement. Make sure to check your tire’s tread regularly for uneven wear which could indicate an alignment problem.
- Keep Your Tires Clean
Keeping tires clean not only makes them look good but also helps them last longer too. Road oils cause deterioration in the rubber and dirt hold contaminants next to the tire. Wash your tires with a soft brush and a mild soap. Just make sure the soap you use does not contain any petroleum distillates, silicon or alcohol. These are bad for the rubber. 5. Avoid UV Rays
Ozone and UV rays will shorten a tire’s life, hence make an effort to protect your tires from direct sunlight by covering them whenever possible. These are the covers we use. Click Here for current price.
- If not in Use, Lose Them
Tires age faster when not in use hence if you’re staying at a park for a longer period, make sure to take your rig on a ride once in a while. This is not only good for the tires but for the engine, wheel hubs and suspension tube.
However if your rig is stored for an extended period of time when it won’t be moved, be sure to follow proper storage procedures. Like reducing the load on the tires as much as possible. Filling them to the maximum air pressure listed on the wall, and placing tires on a barrier especially when they are parked on asphalt, grass or dirt.
- Follow The Manufacturer’s Instruction
This would enable your tires to last for up to ten years with no tread wear. Most manufacturer’s instructions provide specific details on how long their tires are safe to operate and under what conditions. Also, there are visual guides that will help you better recognize signs of aging rubber.
How to Choose Tires for Your Rig and the Best Brands Out There:
As said earlier, after you’ve figured out what your trailer weighs, here are a few tips to help you choose the perfect tire for your trailer.
When deciding a tire for your trailer, three things to consider are:
For tire type, you have
- P for Passenger
- LT for Light Truck
- ST for Special Trailer
and if there isn’t any letter indication, then you probably are dealing with the metric system.
For fifth wheels, we will like to consider LT for Light Truck and ST for Special Truck.
The ST is specific trailer tires, they are designed for nothing else but trailers, but you would hear a lot of people dissing on those. There are quite a few reasons why trailer tires get such a bad rep and I think one of those reasons are most fifth wheels and trailers are sold with some of the cheapest tires the manufacturers can buy, a lot of these come from countries like China, not manufactured that well.
Another reason is that a lot of people do not read the manufacturer’s guide about these tires, so they do not know what the hieroglyphics of these tires mean. They do not know what their speed rating is, hence they go too fast, they do not know what their load index is so they are overloading their tires, which aren’t designed for that. If you’re towing too much and you’re going too fast, with cheap tires, you’re gonna have an issue.
- Load Index
This tells you how much weight your tire is rated to carry, whether be in the dually format or the single axle format. If you’re not sure about your load index, you could check the load index chart online and you can see what your tire can carry.
- Speed Rating
Most trailers have a speed rating of 65 miles/hour. Many RVers tow at 70mph which is way beyond the speed rating and is a recipe for disaster. I advise you research to find the suitable tire with the suitable speed rating that will allow you tow at the speed you tow.
What Are the Best Brands Out There?
- NEW 16 INCH 235/85-16 BOTO ST215 ALL STEEL TRAILER TIRE(S) 129/125 L ST235/85R16 ST 235 85R R16 14 PLY RATED LOAD RANGE G
- Gladiator 20575R15 ST 205/75R15 STEEL BELTED REINFORCED Trailer Truck Tire 8 Ply 8pr 15 Inch 15 ” ST205 75R R15 Load Range D LRD
- Continental HDR US O/O RD Traction Radial Tire – 225/70R19.5 G 128N
- Goodyear Unisteel G614 RST Radial Tire – 235/85R16 126R
- 5 ROAD WARRIOR STEER RADIAL TIRES (2-TIRES)
- . Bridgestone Duravis M773 II Radial Tire – 245/75R16 120R
- Dunlop Grandtrek AT20 All-Season Tire – 245/75R16 109S
How To Measure Your Tire’s Pressure
First off I know you might have heard a lot of people talk about this, but a tire pressure monitoring system is one of the equipment you need when measuring your tire pressure. It offers information that alerts you before a catastrophic event occurs.
The tire pressure monitoring system doesn’t only help you when you’re on the road traveling but instead of just having to go around and check the pressure of all the four tires with a little tire pressure gauge which you should have, the tire pressure monitoring system just allows you to immediately start up the truck and it tells you what the pressure of your tires are.
It’s easy to use and saves a lot of time from you going to check the pressure of each tire manually.
At What PSI Should You Run Your Tires At?
Some of the manufacturers have charts and graphs that tell you the PSI at which you should run your tires at depending on a load of your trailer. Which you can do if you really want to do that, but the good rule of thumb is to run your tires roughly at the cold max PSI.
Let’s say if the cold max PSI of your tire is 100 max PSI, it means when your tire is just sitting there at room air temperature, it should be at about a 100 PSI. If you run anywhere between 95 and a 100 PSI, you should be good.
If you run on a PSI way lower than the PSI stated, you run the risk of the sidewalls bending too much, and building up the heat and that’s what can cause the tire to blow. And hence this is where the monitor or the tire pressure gauge becomes handy.
Most trailers have a sticker at the entrance at the entrance door that indicates what PSI your tires should run it too.
How Often To Replace Your Tires: There is much debate on how long it should take for you to replace your tires but to be on a safer side, it should be anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Some people say seven and that 3 is a really low age but, 3 to 5 year is a really safe bet for the age of your tires.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Tire?
Besides safety, this should be another reason why you should want to keep your tires in good condition. This is because the pricing of tire replacement is quite sobering. Getting 8 new tires fully installed could cost as much as much as $8,000. It definitely pays to take good care of your tires. *Note – Disclaimer – I am not a mechanic or tire expert, the above is from experience and research. Please refer to your RV manual for detailed information for your specific Make and Model RV.
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