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Old 02-07-2011, 09:13 AM   #1
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How do you install new tires?

Hello -

We have a tandem axle 28' International that's gonna be needing new shoes pretty soon.

I don't want to take it to JC or a dealer for tire replacement and I wondered how everyone changes tires themselves.

The process I envision is to jack up one side, remove one wheel and replace with the spare. Then remove the other wheel on the same side. Leave the TT jacked and get two new tires put on the rims and re-install. Then repeat the process on the other side.

Two trips to the tire store are involved.

Anyone do this differently?
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:17 AM   #2
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You can jack & block all four wheels off the ground. Make sure you place jacks and blocks in proper places. Have the new tires put on the rims and while you are at you might want to repack wheel bearings and check brakes. Replace all four tires and you are good to go.

Make sure new tires are balanced.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:42 AM   #3
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I use a Trailer-Aid to change tires - where would I jack and block? I know that the stickers on the underside that say jack here don'e refer to jacking to remove tires - I understand that is where the stabilizing jacks should go.
Can I jack on the axle and block there as well?
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:02 AM   #4
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Done it twice. First time I only was about 1.5 miles from the store. I actually just did one wheel at a time. took them over and had them install and balance the tires. 2nd time was easier. I bought a trailer that had been parked a long time. I found a dealer that sent a truck to do it on site. He used 4 hyd. jacks and took off all 4 wheels and took them back to the tire store for mounting and balancing and then returned and put them on. greased the bearings at the same time. You might check for similar service. It was very inexpensive for the work done. check the stores that service trucks on the road.
I jacked on the frame support or whaterver it is right between the axles. I have a little attachment that fits over the bottle jack and has a saddle for the edge of the frame there. bought it at a Airstream rally. made just for that. be very careful jacking. if the jack slips, it goes right through the floor. you do not want to do this with just the top of a bottle jack. and the main frame is not strong enough to support the trailer, especially at the stabilizer locations. there are jacking points at the back, but difficult to find and I would not trust them anyway.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:24 AM   #5
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There are a number of posts here to show you how to raise the trailer without jacks. And you could take three tires to the tire shop on the first trip. The spare and two from the trailer, one from each side.
Make sure they balance the new tires and put on the right tires for trailer service.
I take the blocks with me when I travel. That way if I have a flat it's easy to change.
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:29 AM   #6
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Easy...

1. get enough blocks to raise trailer about 4-6 inches...
2. place blocks in FRONT of both front tires...
3. with AS hitched to TV, drive forward just enough to raise front tires only up onto blocks...
4. set BRAKES in TV...
5. you can now remove both rear tires and wheels, as they will be off the ground...
6. have tires removed/replaced from two wheels
7. reattach new tires and wheels
8. back up AS to get off blocks
9. place blocks BEHIND rear wheels
10. BACK AS up onto rear wheels...
11. set brakes in TV
12 remove FRONT wheels, etc., etc...

I've done it a couple of times...I made some 'ramps' out of some old 6x6 planks - or you can use some short steel ramps from your auto parts supplier - or a collection of 2x6 boards, stacked to make the 'ramps' - or those plastic square interlocking blocks sold at RV suppliers...

This method is safe if you keep the AS hitched up, set the brakes (so the trailer can't move) , and make sure your blocks/ramps are on a secure surface, etc...
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:56 AM   #7
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My trailer is located on level asphalt parking lot in storage yard. I used two bottle jacks, jacked at axle mounting plate, and supported with stands so all four wheels off the ground. Removed four wheels and put in back of pickup truck.

I had no problem jacking at the axle mounting plate (between the wheels) with a standard bottle jack. My advice is to locate the jack towards the closed end of the C section frame. Do not use the axles as jacking point.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve & Susan View Post
I use a Trailer-Aid to change tires - where would I jack and block? I know that the stickers on the underside that say jack here don'e refer to jacking to remove tires - I understand that is where the stabilizing jacks should go.
Can I jack on the axle and block there as well?
NEVER, EVER jack up the trailer using any part of the axles, or allow anyone else to do that.

To do so, can easily cause an axle to become "mis-aligned".

To change tires, either use a couple of 2 X 6's one one axle, or on one side of the trailer. You can also use a bottle jack placed between the tires, on the axle "mounting plate".

Andy
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:28 PM   #9
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Just to state the obvious why not go to a local tire store? I just replaced 4 tires, used Discount Tires. I ordered 4 Carlisle ST's and brought trailer to them. Showed them where it was safe to jack. 30 min later I had 4 balanced and mounted tires inflated to 50psi...IMHO much easier. Discount Tire even priced matched after I presented my shopping findings.
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Old 02-07-2011, 01:09 PM   #10
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Here's a pic of a set of ramps I made for changing tires and leveling the AS. Drive the front tires onto the ramps, remove the rear and have them replaced. Then back the rear tires on the ramps and remove the front tires. I also repacked the wheel bearings while I was at it.
My old tires were so bad I didn't want to take a chance on pulling the AS to a dealer.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:05 PM   #11
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I agree with "heslinhotel". Discount Tire has a bunch of guys to change the tires, and they've got big floor jacks to do it with. Just make sure you watch where they put the jacks underneath your Airstream, as they don't know much about jacking on the axles, which may alter your wheel alignment. Also, if the trailer falls off a jack and it punches a whole in your floor, they've got insurance to cover that.

I usually tip each guy that works on our Airstream; it's worth it not to waste an entire day working on this in your driveway, when they can finish the job in minutes (after they get to your number).
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:39 PM   #12
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Get a Trailer-Aid. It is one of the best investments an RVer can make.
It makes any number of tire maintenance issues a snap.

We were able to change a tire on a highway ramp in less than 15 minutes in 90+ degree weather because we carry one.

The Long Long Honeymoon has a video where they wait for AAA. What a joke for a couple of 30 somethings. I usually love their Vlog but that one was depressing.
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Old 02-07-2011, 03:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driftless View Post
Here's a pic of a set of ramps I made for changing tires and leveling the AS. Drive the front tires onto the ramps, remove the rear and have them replaced. Then back the rear tires on the ramps and remove the front tires. I also repacked the wheel bearings while I was at it.
My old tires were so bad I didn't want to take a chance on pulling the AS to a dealer.
Yep, that's what I did too. I bought a 2"X10" and set my saw to a 45° angle. One cut makes two edges, so it's quick to do and little waste. Cost ms less than $10 for everything.

I also put ˝" dowel into them to get them to stay lined up properly.

So far, they have acted like insurance: as long as they are in the TV I don't need them.
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Old 02-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #14
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If I remember correctly, some of the older Airstream owners manuals from the 60's, 70's, and 80's discribed a ramp used for changing tires, or maybe they were supplied with the trailer, I'm not sure. It said to use a ramp 8" wide x 36" long x 6" high. An 18" ramp slopes up to a flat top 18" long where the tire sets on top. The first Airstream I owned had one that came with it made of solid wood. I have made one for each of the three Airstream I have owned out of 2x lumber screwed together. If anyone is interested, I will post a photo of the latest one I made, when I get back to my trailer. I'm 700 miles away from it right now.
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