How to Change a Tire on a Double Axle Travel Trailer
You will see flat tires less frequently on a double axle travel trailer, but the chance is not zero. So it’ll be good for you if you already learn how to change a tire on a double axle travel trailer.
The good news for you is changing a flat tire on a double axle or tandem axle travel trailer is way easier than single axle vehicles. You'll need one simple dominant tool for that - a tire ramp.
Look, using a bottle jack to change tires on a double axle travel trailer is overkill and a waste of energy. If you need to do other maintenance tasks and you need a good amount of elevation, then you might use a bottle jack.
But just for changing a tire? Nah, a tire ramp - a way simpler tool will do great.
Today I'll show you how to change a flat tire on a double axle travel trailer, using a tire ramp. From now on, you'll not only change the tire safely but also quickly so that you can get back on the road as early as possible.
The tools you need
You'll need one major yet simple tool for this job, the tire ramp designed for dual axle travel trailers if you already didn't know. Most other tools that you require are usually always there in your toolbox so you don't need to worry about them.
Still, here’s a checklist of the other tools that you’ll require -
- Torque Wrench
- Lug wrench
- Breaker bar
- Lubrication (optional)
- Tire pressure gauge (optional)
- Spare tire
How to change a tire on a double axle travel trailer using the Tire Ramp! - The Step by Step Guide
Find a Hard & Even Surface
The first step to carry out the operation is finding a hard, solid & even surface. Without a hard surface, you won't get the stability while working on your trailer. Even surface is required so that the trailer won't be wanting to move in a direction freely, being pulled by gravity.
Yes, the hand brake will work against that, but still having an even surface is preferred to avoid any unwanted scenario and remove the extra pressure from the hand brake.
After you’ve found a good surface to pull out the operation, loosen the lug nuts. Many tires have an extra cover over the nuts which is held by another screw. You will have to remove that screw to remove the cover and get access to the lug nuts.
However, remember that you shouldn’t loosen the lug nuts too much. You want to break the initial too tight phase of the nuts - we’ll remove the nuts completely later on.
Position the Ramp
Put the ramp close to the inflated tire. If the rear tire is flat among the two, you'll have to pull the trailer forward. If the front is flat, you'll have to push the trailer backward. You just need to make sure that the trailer, the tow vehicle, and ramp are nicely aligned.
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Elevate & Secure the Trailer
After you've positioned the ramp, get in the driving seat and slowly drive the trailer backward or forward, depending on where you've positioned the ramp. Make sure the inflated tire gets top of the ramp nicely and sits perfectly on the curve that's meant to hold the trailer.
If it doesn't sit perfectly in the curve, it might tend to go, either way, so make sure the inflated tire is perfectly sitting in the curve. After that, put the trailer in park and also pull the handbrake to further ensure it stays in its position.
Let’s change the tire
Finally, we can get into changing the tire - the platform is set. Remember we loosened the lug nuts previously? Completely remove them this time. Take the flat tire/wheel off.
Now take the spare tire and mount it in the empty slot. Tighten the lug nuts to an extent but not extremely. There’s a process to tighten lug nuts which we’ll do just in a bit.
After tightening the lug nuts, get in the driving seat and drive the vehicle of the ramp, and pull the hand brakes again.
Whenever you're tightening the lug nuts, you need to check the torque of them. Running the lug nuts down with an impact gun or a simple wrench and calling it good is not the right practice.
Refer to your vehicle's owner manual where the torque range for the tires will be clearly mentioned. For example, a 6 lug 15-inch aluminum tire might have three stages of torque, 45-55, 95 and 115.
So first put your torque range on 45 and apply it on the lugs. Similarly, set it on 95 and then 105 and repeat the process. This way the lugs will be perfectly tightened & secured.
Once you’ve done that, put the lug nut cover on and put its screw in place and you’re done this time.
Tips & Warning
If you’re using your spare tire for the first time, you want to check its air pressure with the tire pressure gauge. It’ll be also useful if you lubricated the studs before you put the lug nuts back.
Make sure you do the whole operation in a hard and even surface. If you have a helping hand you can guide you while you try to position the inflated tire in the tire ramp curve perfectly, it’ll be a great help.
Make sure you pull your hand brakes to the full extent so the vehicle won't move by any chance. And finally, tighten your lug nuts according to the guideline so that it won't come off and cause a hazard.
Wrap Up - How to change a tire on a double axle travel trailer
I believe ramps are a great alternative than bottle jacks when you’ve to change a flat tire. They’re less expensive, they’re less bulky, and operating them is easier too. They also cause less damage to the inflated tire too.
Also, changing a flat tire using a tire ramp always felt easier to me than doing that using a bottle jack. Bottle jack might be necessary for a few other maintenance tasks when you have to get under the truck, but changing a tire on a double axle, it’s an overkill.