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Old 01-02-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Changing a Flat Tire on the Rig

This question may sound odd but I like to be prepared.

We're going to Alaska this summer. Our daughter is getting married and the decision is made so no need for comments in that regard.

We have a toad.

I have a plug kit and plenty of access to air.

My question is for something more severe for a rig tire. It seems impractical to carry a spare. If I can't plug it I need a plan. Obviously I can call for road side assistance... if it's available, or if I even have phone service. We can always drive the toad.

If I had a rig tire problem, is it possible to remove the tire and put it in the toad to get it repaired. Truck tires are a far cry from car tires. There seem to be two primary issues: 1) Jacking 2) Removing the Lug Nuts.

On Jacking, can I use the chassis leveling jacks? Remember, we're talking a roadside breakdown situation, not as a routine procedure, so it's more about if it's possible and would it harm anything. If not, would I need something like a 10T or 20T bottle jack? I'm truly hoping to never need it, so this is about emergency planning.

After I've jacked the rig and have the wheel off the ground, can I get the lug nuts off with a star wrench (or some such) or would I need a pneumatic air hammer? I do have one although I'm not sure it's robust enough for truck lug nuts. I'm also assuming I could man-handle a mounted tire into the toad. I've carried one of the tires before, unmounted, and they're heavy.

I've been fixing cars (as a hobby) for most of my life. This is about feasibility and practicality. If the answer is to just leave it to the professionals with industrial grade tools I'm OK with that. On the other hand, if I can anticipate and have a backup plan, in a pinch, I'd feel much better.

Thank you for any help and advice.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:21 AM   #2
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impractical to carry spare ? plenty of youtube videos on changing tire ….. Alaska and no spare?
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:38 AM   #3
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I wouldn't even attempt to change a tire on my class A without the proper tools. I think the lug nut torque is around 400 ft/lbs.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:52 AM   #4
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Good question, and it's always nice to plan ahead if possible, and that seems to be just what you're doing.

My first thought, would be to plan my route, and investigate possible shops to call in the event of a flat tire, or other type of break-down. If you don't have roadside assistance, maybe it's time to check into Coach-Net, AAA, or FMCA (maybe others) to see if you're covered in Alaska and if they can help in a situation (or recommend shops along the way before you leave). You could even call some of the shops in Alaska to determine the level of service they can provide before leaving for your trip. This may give you the piece of mind needed to enjoy your trip and not worry about carrying a spare, or changing a tire on the side of the road.

We have yet to drive through Alaska (on our bucket list), so I have no practical experience to guide you. I'm sure there will be others that have done the trip that can give great advice.

Following

Cheers!
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:02 PM   #5
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I looked into self tire change operations and gave up. First of all the lug torque is 450 ft/lbs. Then each tire weighs about 100lbs. Then you have to have a good, sturdy jack. For the cost of all the equipment you can pay for a tire guy.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:08 PM   #6
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I would suggest changing a tire in your driveway to determine if you can do it and what tools would be required. It would be great practice and better than learning on the side of a road. If it were me, I would at least carry a unmounted tire.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:10 PM   #7
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A mounted tire was impractical for me but an unmounted one fit nicely in a pass through compartment ( I had a different MH than you ) . I had a flat that couldn’t be repaired and the service truck mounted my spare. Bear in mind if ( a huge if ) you can get a spare it may take days and the cost will most likely be above retail.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:27 PM   #8
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We went to Alaska last summer, like Cliff said I put a spare unmounted tire in my pass through. I read that roadside assistance can be found but the proper tire size could be a problem. I had 2 roadside assistance plans and thankfully did not need them. I also had 6 new tires.

Enjoy Alaska!!!!
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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I have a 20,000# Air over hydraulic bottle jack

1” extended shaft pneumatic wrench for removing lugs.

4ft long 100-600 ft-lb torque wrench.

And...Coachnet.

The tools I use at home...the Coachnet I use while traveling.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:13 PM   #10
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Even though the jacks will lift the coach , I would want to use a 20 ton jack under the axle just to be safe when the tire is removed. Use a breaker bar and pipe to loosen the lug nuts and don't forget to chock the wheels. I would find someplace to carry a mounted spare. Try a tire change at home first just to make sure you can do it.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:23 PM   #11
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https://tweetys.com/roadmaster-19522...SABEgJ24_D_BwE

RoadMaster makes a carrier...but I’m not sure if it’s worth $600.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:40 PM   #12
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i used to think it was a big deal to change a tire on a big rig , then i got a job with a car and truck shop .
i went on my first road side tire swap with one other guy .
he said we were going to take two tires off "like off the rims and reinstall one of them "because the tire to be used as the replacement was on a rim that was wrong, i was like no fricken way i saw a video of some one getting hurt doing that .after we were done i was like that was not bad at all.
i have a spare and i would change it my self ...
the torq on the lug nuts is about 450 to 500 lb
it can be done with hand tools like a torq wrench from amazon with a breaker bar
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:44 PM   #13
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A torque multiplier is what I'd have.....check them out on google..With a 3' or 4' bar, one can lever the tire and wheel into place....and HF has 1' air guns cheap....the key to using one of these tho, is the size of the air hose....they like volume...
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:00 PM   #14
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I would get on the phone and call CoachNet and talk to them about what service they offer and under what conditions/restrictions in Alaska. There is no way that I would try taking a tire, on the rim or off, with me on the trip.

A properly equipped road truck with all the pneumatic equipment and people that know how to change a tire and jack a 45,000 pound coach make short work of it... but an owner trying to do that him/herself is just crazy in my opinion.

Further, if it is one of the drives that has the problem, then you really need to do much more work as you are never supposed to pair a brand new tire with an old one with much mileage on it, as they are different circumferences and one slight smaller or larger than the other. If one drive tire needs to be replaced, then the good tire needs to be moved somewhere else and you are supposed to have two identical new tires on the wheel position. So, now you are changing at least two tires.

And my experience is that groups like GoodSams will not repair a truck/motorhome tire. They will also not mount and air up a motorhome tire... what they will do is install an already mounted and aired-up tire and wheel or replace the tire with a brand new at market price tire from the company that does your road service. I had to agree to buy a ~ $800 tire that I did not need as they would not repair the tire that I had, which we discovered has a bad stem and the tire was completely fine.

My advice.... find a good roadside assistance company and let them deal with the problem. Save yourself at least one tire, a 20-30 ton hydraulic/pneumatic jack, a tire bead hammer, a specialty crow bar for taking off tire from the wheel.... Really?
No way I'd carry all of that stuff with me!

Gary
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