The best time to get a flat is? NEVER!!!
We got our first flat ON OUR WAY to take our RV in for a tire rotation. Muphy’s Law got us! We hit a massive spike in the road “three minutes” into our trip and started losing pressure.
Luckily our TPMS saved the day as we were warned of the pressure loss right away. After a few deep breaths, we pulled over and got into a large parking lot. After that, it was a tire change, as anyone would expect.
Lessons learned in our first tire change:
Don’t let the events distract you from being safe.
The spare on our RV was “under” the rig and required our hand crank to access. Make sure your hand crank or whatever you need to access your spare is easily available. Also, be prepared to tap into your athleticism to get it out from under your rig!
Set the parking brake on your tow vehicle or chock your RV tires. You don’t want anything to shift once you start getting wheels off the ground.
We own a Rapid Jack and thought that would be all we needed to change tires. Do NOT rely solely on the “rapid jack” to be the only source of lift to change a tire on all trailers. While it did make it very easy to get the tire up, I still needed a jack to lift the tire fully off the ground.
I did not have a jack (I know), so the owner of CHUCK’S AUTO & AC REPAIR in Merritt Island, FL let me borrow his floor jack for the extra lift. I hauled that 100 lbs. jack across all four lanes of Route 3. We were back on the road in under an hour. Thank you, Mr. Chuck!
Lastly, You can use the axile tube to get some lift if needed. I still wouldn’t recommend using the tube as the single point of the lift for your entire rig, but using a combination of the Rapid Jack and a floor jack appeared safe enough to change the tire.
We finally made it to the tire shop, but instead of a rotation, we just got a new tire and decided to replace the other three tires a few months later. I now have access to two five-ton bottle jacks and the Rapid Jack to get the lift I need wherever we are.
In all, I can’t say it was too bad, and I feel pretty lucky how this first flat tire experience played out. I’ve heard and read horror stories about blowouts or when tires damage RV’s, and I’m glad we did not have to deal with that. I truly believe our TPMS saved us, and we don’t go anywhere without it.