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Old 12-14-2012, 06:56 PM   #29
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Without spare AAA won't bother helping..

We had trailer tire disintegrate on freeway at speed, and called our Emergency Road Service at AAA.. When they discovered we had no spare, they told us they couldn't help and to call back the next morning when tire stores were open.. We now carry a trailer spare (best of the remaining trailer tires after we replaced all 4..).. Doesn;t have to be great tire, but needs to be worthy of reasonable trip to tire store...

While Emergency Road Services (no matter who..) can change spare on a car, or a trailer, or possibly tow a car with a flat on a flatbed, there is generally not much they can or will do for a trailer if you don't have a spare.. Best alternative may mean leaving it on highway and driving off to find replacement tire, and hoping all will be weel upon your return.. It is also bad plan to assume any flat is going to be a nice pluggable hole.. The last three I have had (two vehicles, one in trailer) were all "total's" for the tire, and not repairable or pluggable.. Easy call for us to keep spare for Tow Vehicle and for Trailer in the back of Excursion...
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:12 PM   #30
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Why carry a spare?

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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
Given the overall reliability of tires (leaving aside the problems specific to trailer tires) I'm trying to decide whether to update the spare in my tow vehicle. I carry an air compressor and tire plugs and would only use the spare in the event of a blowout.

I can only remember one occasion in 30 years on the road where I installed a spare. I was driving a friend's Ford Taurus on the tollway in West Virginia and blew the left front tire, which I changed in record time, motivated by the safety problems posed by the heavy traffic.

In my personal experience, for the cost and weight and space involved, carrying a spare alternator would be a better move, odds wise, from a standpoint of being able to continue the journey after mechanical failures.

So, convince me that a spare tire is a good idea!
We used the spare this Thanksgiving when my pre-travel checks picked up a screw embedded in the sidewall. Right front tire pressure: 65 psi. Check! Right rear tire pressure: 20 psi. Wha . . .??

Changing the tire at 6:30am on a balmy twenty-five degree morning was less than wonderful but we had hot coffee in the trailer. It wasn't like sitting on a deer stand right at sunrise on a crisp November morning. The Trailer Aid made the job relatively easy and safe.

Since you carry plugs you probably know that the sidewall is a bad place to have a fault in the tire. Would a plug in the sidewall last until it could be replaced? Dunno. I'm not expert in that. The spare took us three-hundred miles home with no worries.

Given your thirty years of uneventful towing perhaps this was our last. Or maybe not.
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Old 12-14-2012, 08:45 PM   #31
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POI.....a properly adjusted WD will decrease rear TV tire loads, and increase trailer axle load.

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(which improves trailer tire traction and braking to the vehicle combination).

.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:35 PM   #32
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Hi, I wouldn't travel without a spare for each vehicle. I haven't used a spare for any of the vehicles that I own now. If you get a rear flat, have limited slip, and your spare doesn't match, you can put it on the front and put the front on the rear. Extra work, but will save your differential clutches. My brother's brand new car doesn't come with a spare tire; It came with run-flats and he's got about fifty miles to find and buy a new tire. I don't believe that he would get a ticket for not having a spare, but he would get one if he left his car on the side of the freeway. [I think this is the whole point of requiring a spare]
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Old 12-15-2012, 08:47 AM   #33
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While a "donut" spare meets the legal definition of a spare tire, the reality is that it can not be used on the rear of a TV with attached trailer as it has very limited load carrying capability.

Thus in my prior post when I had a flat, musical chairs (tires) were involved to get a load carrying tire on the rear of the TV.
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:38 AM   #34
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With luck and proper tire pressure I never had to change a tire on my 250 Suburban TV. But with bad luck and proper tire pressure I had to use the spare for the curbside rear tire- -twice.
First time was a slow leak on my new A/S. I found a screw in the tire that looked exactly like an official OEM Airstream screw that they used on the underside of the trailer.

I called the factory and they told me to call Goodyear etc. A year later I visited the factory and showed them the screw, they were not interested and I got no satisfaction.

After 5+ years and thousands of miles, I replaced all four tires, but kept the spare. And although I always maintain 65 PSI, this fall I picked up a second screw in the same curbside rear tire and used my old spare again. I read here on the Forum that getting screws off the factory floor are not uncommon, and is it also not uncommon to get screws or nails in your curbside rear tire.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:24 PM   #35
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When I toured the Airstream factory I noticed thousands of rivet stubs and screws at exit door where all finished trailers pass. I mentioned this to the tour guide, Don, and he said not to be concerned because the aluminum rivet pieces can't puncture the tires. No mention of the screws.
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Old 12-19-2012, 09:42 AM   #36
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I was thinking about this thread last night as I crawled on the cold concrete driveway in the dark to check the air pressure in the truck and camper's spare tires in preparation for a trip.

Then I checked the tires on both cars, and the spare in our new car, and found it was 15 PSI low...sigh.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:19 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsmithii View Post
Since you carry plugs you probably know that the sidewall is a bad place to have a fault in the tire. Would a plug in the sidewall last until it could be replaced? Dunno. I'm not expert in that. The spare took us three-hundred miles home with no worries.
When I was much, much younger, I worked in a service station for three years, and fixed a lot of flats. Doesn't matter if you plug it or patch it, a hole in a sidewall eventually means a dead tire. Sidewalls flex too much, and any repair will work itself loose in time.

I have plug kits in both of my vehicles, obtained from Autosport.com. The plugs are a mushroom shape that, when you push it through the hole and then pull on it, the mushroom spreads out to provide more sealing surface. It seals tighter with more air pressure on it. They're the same type of plug kit I used in the service station. As long as the plug is the right size for the hole, I've never had one fail. Unlike the more common "string" plugs that invariably leak and work loose.

Condoluminum is right, though, not all holes are pluggable. Like the time I picked up a loose railroad spike in one of my tires at a rail crossing…
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:08 PM   #38
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Full size spare in our car/TV. Had to use it yesterday. In the morning discovered the flat tire with a screw stuck in the tread. Car was sitting in the driveway.

Drove to Costco to get repaired/adjusted whatever. Although it fell under their road hazzard warrantee they gave us so many feeble excuses why they couldn't solve the issue without replacing all 4 tires on the car which were in great shape (80% tread left).

We left never to return to buy tires there again.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #39
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At airport about two years ago. Came in from out of town to find the right rear rim sitting on the ground, totally flat. Was a great time rolling around on the ground trying to get spare tire down off hanger and then swap it out with a car so close next to me. I ended up buying a hydraulic jack to carry with me after that one. Also carry a half inch drive socket and long breakover bar for the job. By the way, the spare was almost flat! I carry a compressor when I tow.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:22 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler View Post
Full size spare in our car/TV. Had to use it yesterday. In the morning discovered the flat tire with a screw stuck in the tread. Car was sitting in the driveway.

Drove to Costco to get repaired/adjusted whatever. Although it fell under their road hazzard warrantee they gave us so many feeble excuses why they couldn't solve the issue without replacing all 4 tires on the car which were in great shape (80% tread left).

We left never to return to buy tires there again.
I've had a couple of disapointing experiences also with Costco tire service. Won't go back. Here the service from Discount Tire is excellent, and they have good prices.
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:08 PM   #41
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I have full size spare tires for my truck and Airstream. In fact I have 2 for the trailer but only carry one. Wouldn't leave home without them. I also carry and use a plug kit as needed. I really don't think a plug would work on a sidewall injury but in a pinch I would do it if necessary to get off the road. But that's about it. Kiss that tire good-by. I've never had a plug fail and I've used them for many years. You do need to take care and be sure it is installed correctly though. I do feel that a patch from the inside is a better repair when possible.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:37 PM   #42
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I have had to use the spare once a year for the last to years. Not while towing anything though. In both cases is it was on roads marked high clearance by the us forestry service.
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