Been cruising the forums in the past several months to learn and observe AS etiquette. Just completed a spare tire mount installation that I think is worthy of sharing. I am a new owner of a 1978 Tradewind International that seems to be fully loaded from the factory including the vacuum 4-wheel factory disc brakes. I removed all the vacuum booster/hoses, master cylinder and fiberglass cover and installed a 12V
brake booster that I bought from Inland RV. This gave me the space needed to install the spare tire. Now I looked over the spare tire option from AS and it was mounted under the AS between the tongue and AS body. Didn't want to cut away the bottom of the AS and try and seal it or install it on the back bumper (due to warnings from others in the AS community) so I opted to make my own spare tire bracket. I figure the weight of the removed factory brake booster assembly and the weight of the spare tire would be a washout on tongue weight. The following are the steps that I took. s Overall this job is definitely not for the lighthearted!!
1. Removed all parts where the fabrication will begin
2. Purchase a 9 X 28 14 gauge metal trailer fender to use as spare tire holder and have some 2x2 tube and 1.5x1.5 stock metal on hand
2. Cut the propane bottle bottom bracket from its current location and re-weld it approximately 2.5 " more toward the front of the AS to give more space for the spare tire mount. There is 90 degree metal gusset under this bracket that I had to fabricate because it was destroyed during cut out. Note: it is good to reassemble all front tongue items (bottles, weight distribution brackets etc) every now and then so that fabrication will go smoothly!!
3. Fabricate and weld 2x2 brace to hold up spare tire holder. I made sure that my weight distribution bracket will completely clear all spare tire hardware. Center the metal fender so that it is between the propane tanks assembly and the AS body
4. Cut metal fender from both sides (to make them even, about 5-6 inches) so that the battery box door can clear. Note: the spare tire has to be removed if you want to remove the battery.
5. Cut and weld angle iron material so that the fender can be supported by more than the center location.
6. Weld metal fender to support brackets and also weld the center of the fender to the 2x2 brace above.
7. Make sure everything fits by reassembling all tongue parts.
8. Prepare the tongue for repainting
9. Strap down spare tire with ratchet strap that would tie down the center of the wheel. I thought about using a web strap used for holding down towed vehicles, but a ratchet strap through the center of the wheel did the trick.
I know I went through this quick, check out the pics and you guys can hit me up with more questions if you want to. Also, I will be at the NorCal AS gathering in Jackson, CA on October 11-12..Sam