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How to Change the Tires of Your RV: A Step-by-Step Guide

Posted at Thu, Sep 12, 2024 7:00 AM

Changing the tires on your RV is a crucial skill for any RV owner. Whether you're dealing with a flat tire on the road or performing routine maintenance, knowing how to change your RV tires ensures you're prepared for any situation. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you through the process safely and efficiently.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials

Before you begin, make sure you have the necessary tools and materials on hand:

  • Spare tire(s)
  • Hydraulic or scissor jack (rated for your RV’s weight)
  • Lug wrench or torque wrench
  • Wheel chocks
  • Jack stands (optional but recommended for safety)
  • Gloves and safety glasses
  • Reflective triangles or road flares (for roadside safety)
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • WD-40 or penetrating oil (for stubborn lug nuts)

Step 2: Find a Safe Location

Pull Over Safely: If you're on the road, find a flat, stable surface away from traffic. Ideally, pull into a rest area or parking lot.

Engage Parking Brake: Once parked, engage the parking brake to prevent your RV from moving.

Use Wheel Chocks: Place wheel chocks in front of and behind the tires that will remain on the ground to keep the RV stable.

Set Up Safety Markers: If you're on the roadside, set up reflective triangles or road flares to alert oncoming traffic.

Step 3: Loosen the Lug Nuts

Loosen Before Jacking Up: Before you lift the RV, slightly loosen the lug nuts on the tire you need to change. Use a lug wrench to turn them counterclockwise. Do not remove them completely yet; just break the initial tightness.

Penetrating Oil: If the lug nuts are particularly tight or rusted, spray them with WD-40 or penetrating oil and let it sit for a few minutes.

Step 4: Lift the RV

Position the Jack: Place the jack under a solid part of the RV’s frame near the tire you need to change. Consult your RV’s manual for the proper jacking points.

Raise the RV: Slowly pump the jack to lift the RV until the tire is off the ground. If you have jack stands, place them under the frame for added safety.

Step 5: Remove the Tire

Remove Lug Nuts: Fully remove the loosened lug nuts and set them aside in a safe place.

Take Off the Tire: Carefully pull the tire off the wheel studs and set it aside.

Step 6: Install the Spare Tire

Position the Spare: Align the spare tire with the wheel studs and push it into place.

Hand-Tighten Lug Nuts: Screw the lug nuts back onto the wheel studs by hand. Tighten them as much as possible by hand before lowering the RV.

Step 7: Lower the RV

Lower the Jack: Carefully lower the jack until the spare tire is just touching the ground but not fully bearing the weight of the RV.

Tighten Lug Nuts: Using the lug wrench, tighten the lug nuts in a star pattern (tightening one nut, then the nut directly across from it, and so on). This ensures even tightening.

Fully Lower the RV: Once the lug nuts are snug, fully lower the RV to the ground and remove the jack.

Final Tightening: Use a torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts to the manufacturer’s specified torque. Again, use the star pattern to ensure even pressure.

Step 8: Check Tire Pressure and Clean Up

Check Pressure: Use a tire pressure gauge to check the spare tire’s pressure. Inflate it to the recommended PSI if needed.

Clean Up: Gather all tools and the removed tire. If you're on the road, make sure to store everything securely before driving.

Step 9: Get Professional Inspection (Optional but Recommended)

Professional Check: If you changed the tire due to a flat or damage, it's a good idea to have a professional inspect your RV and the replaced tire as soon as possible. They can check for alignment issues and ensure the repair is safe.

A Valuable Skill

Changing the tires on your RV is a valuable skill that can save you time and money while ensuring your safety on the road. By following these steps, you can confidently change your RV tires and get back to enjoying your travels. Remember, safety comes first: always work on a flat surface, use the proper tools, and take your time to ensure each step is done correctly. Happy RVing!

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