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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Motorhome Upgrades

I can't control myself.  I have to tinker.  I have to improve on everything I touch...except Marti.  She's perfect for me! :c)

One thing I don't understand is why motorhomes that have 22.5 inch tires don't come with a spare tire.
My previous motorhome with 19.5 inch tires came with a mounted spare tucked nicely underneath.

I've heard the justifications for the lack of the tire, too heavy, need large tools to change the tire, let the road service do it, yada, yada, yada.

I've also read some of the horror stories.  Stuck on the side of the road while the road service drove 200 miles to pick up the tire.  Only had a used tire.  Only had a tire in the wrongs size, close but no cigar.
Held up with highway robbery by the road service who demanded an obscene price for the tire they brought out.

My Journey did not come with a spare.  My tire size is also not too common, it is somewhat smaller than the more common sizes of tires on highway trucks.

So I decided I'd order a spare tire.  Checked around for the same brand and size tire that came with my motorhome and had to order it, nobody had it in stock.  It came in SEVEN business days later!  A mere $411.00.  I was very glad to have done this in advance rather than having to sit on the side of the road that long.

I decided to carry just the tire, and would, if the need every arises,  let the road service change the tire on the rim.  Unfortunately, my basement storage compartments are not deep enough to carry the spare.  Plus I didn't want to give up precious space for my tire.  So I had to come up with a better solution.

I went to Lowe's and bought two pieces of steel flat stock, two 1/2 threaded rods, flat washers and lock nuts to fit on the threaded rod.  I also purchased some heavy plastic wrap and Gorilla tape.

I painted the flat stock and drilled holes in both ends.  I painted them on a handy fire ring in the campground, didn't want anyone to think that was my spare tire. ;c)

I wrapped the tire in heavy plastic to preserve it and to prevent dirt and water from getting inside the casing.  I wrapped the ends of the plastic with the tape and put some around both the outside and inside to be sure.

I then placed one piece of flat stock on, top of the frame, the other piece under the tire and used the lock nuts to pull the tire up and sandwich it tight against the frame in a nice spot just in front of the rear axle.

I had some second thoughts and decided to use some plastic coated chain to be a backup in case of a failure of the threaded rods or a loose nut or something.  I looped the chains around the tire and the frame, clipping the ends together with a link, one on each side of the tire.  You can see the yellow chains in the picture.  I know I don't need the chains, but it's just my German DNA, I have to overbuild things. ;c)

The tire is tucked up nicely and you cannot even see it unless you get down on your knees and look up.
I'm pretty happy the way it turned out, have driven several thousand miles without it moving and have the piece of mind that I won't be stranded on the side of the road.

As always, thanks for reading.  Comments welcome!


  1. Yup.. we agree to the same reasons to carry a spare!

    Here are two blog posts I made about Steveio's rack he made for our spare tire.

    This one is where he got started and planned it out:

    and this is how he finished:

    (Now I just have to sew the vinyl cover yet)

    Karen and Steve

  2. Karen,

    That's a sweet tire carrier. I thought about doing that but because I don't have a rim, decided to stick it underneath.

    Steveio is a handy guy!

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