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Nothing can interrupt a road trip quite like a flat tire, especially if it's on your trailer. But how do you change the tire on a dual axle trailer? We've done the research and have the answer you're looking for.
To change a tire on a dual axle trailer, follow these steps:
- Make sure your trailer is secure
- Loosen the lug nuts on the faulty tire
- Set up the jack under a secure location
- Use the jack to raise the trailer enough to remove and replace the tire
- Finish taking off the lug nuts from the faulty tire
- Remove the faulty tire, being sure not to damage the oil bath cap in the process
- Put on the replacement tire and the lug nuts, tightening the lug nuts only by hand
- Slowly let the jack down
- Finish tightening the lug nuts, preferably with a torque wrench set to the appropriate setting
In this article, we'll take a closer look at all of these steps so you can change your tires confidently. We'll also look at a tool that allows you to change a dual-axle tire without a jack and other related topics. Read on to learn all about it!
Now that you know the steps to change a dual-axle tire, let's take a look at each one in more detail.
1. Secure your trailer
Before proceeding, you'll want to make sure your trailer is as secure as possible.
Make sure your trailer is on the most level ground possible. Ideally, your trailer will be connected to your towing vehicle with the parking breaks on.
You can also change the tire on your trailer
2. Loosen the lug nuts
The first thing you'll want to do is loosen the lug nuts while the tire is still on the ground.
The lug nuts should be tight, so you'll want to use a wrench to loosen them. Just get them loose enough that you can finish the job by hand.
But why loosen the lug nuts while the tire is still on the ground?
These lug nuts are on the tire tight, and if you try to loosen them once the tire is off the ground, you may find it hard to keep the tire steady. The tire will likely spin as you try to loosen the lug nuts.
Keep it simple and get them loose before you lift the tire.
3. Set up the jack
Next, you'll need to get the jack ready.
It is important that you place your jack in a secure location. Otherwise, you could cause serious and expensive damage to your trailer or even create a dangerous situation.
These are some safe places to jack your trailer:
- The recommendation of your trailer's owner's manual
- The very end of the axle, near the u-bolts
- The equalizer between the axles
Here are some places you should not jack your trailer:
- The middle of the axle
- The stabilization jack
Be sure to use a jack that is rated for the weight of your trailer.
The hydraulic bottle jack below has a minimum height of 10.44 inches and a maximum height of 20.06 inches. It also has a weight capacity of 20 tons, making it great for trailers.
4. Lift the trailer up with the jack
With the jack in place, slowly lift the trailer. Lift it until you have enough clearance to safely remove and replace the tire, just a few inches.
5. Finish removing the lug nuts
Now you can finish removing the lug nuts. Be sure to keep them somewhere you will be able to easily access them after.
6. Remove the tire
Carefully remove the faulty tire. In particular, be careful not to rest it or drop it on the oil bath in the center of the wheel.
7. Replace the tire and the lug nuts
Now you can put on the new tire and the lug nuts. At this point, just tighten the lug nuts as much as possible by hand. You'll finish tightening the lug nuts after lowering the wheel.
8. Lower the jack
With the new wheel and the lug nuts in place, you can lower and remove the jack.
9. Tighten the lug nuts
Now, finish tightening the lug nuts with a torque wrench set to the setting found in your owner's manual.
The torque wrench below has settings from 25 to 250 ft-lbs. This range should cover the vast majority of trailers.
You can see the full process of changing a tire on a dual axle trailer in the video below:
Can you change a tire on a dual axle trailer without a jack?
A jack isn't the only way to lift up your dual axle trailer when you need to change the tire.
One of these products is Trailer-Aid. This is a small ramp that holds one tire in place while elevating the other tire so you can change it.
To use the Trailer-Aid ramp, you'll follow the same basic steps as before. However, instead of using a jack to lift the wheels, you'll load the good wheel into the Trailer-Aid.
- If the front wheel is flat, place the Trailer-Aid behind the rear wheel and reverse the rear wheel into position.
- If the rear wheel is flat, place the Trailer-Aid in front of the front wheel and pull forward into position.
You can see how the Trailer-Aid works in the video below:
How often should you replace trailer tires?
You don't need to wait until you have a flat to replace your tire. Often, you'll be better off if you replace your tires when they start showing signs of too much wear.
Inspect your tires regularly. If you notice cracks in the sidewalls, that's a good sign that it's about time to replace it.
You should also check the tread of the tires. The tread will naturally wear down over time. The US Department of Transportation requires at least 2/32 of an inch of tread on tires.
You should also replace tires if you've used them for five years or more.
Should you rotate tires on a tandem axle trailer?
Rotating tires refers to switching the location of tires. This practice helps promote more even wear on your tires.
As you drive, your tires will take some wear and this wear is often uneven. By rotating them, you may increase their longevity.
This also applies to trailers, in particular dual or triple axle trailers. That's why it's a good idea to rotate your tires every 5,000 miles or so. In some cases, your owner's manual may give guidance on how often to rotate your tires.
How to rotate tires on a dual axle trailer
There are several ways you can rotate the tires on your trailer. You can switch them from left to right or from front to back. You can even do both, switching them in an X pattern.
It's also possible to use a combination. You can rotate them front to back the first time, then from left to right the next time you rotate them.
Any of these methods are valid, but you may find using a variety of rotating patterns is the most effective.
How much does it cost to replace RV tires?
The price for a replacement tire will vary widely.
If you have a smaller camper, your should be able to find less expensive tires. Tires for small teardrop trailers and pop-up campers tend to run closer to $100 per tire.
However, for RVs with larger tires, you may need to pay a minimum of $200 for a new tire.
Dual axle trailers can often get by with less expensive tires for their weight because they have twice as many tires. Because of this, there is less weight on each individual tire.
A flat tire can put a hiccup in your travel plans, but if you're prepared it won't keep you long.
Now you know the steps to changing a tire on a dual-axle travel trailer. We've also seen how to use a Trailer-Aid to change one of these tires and learned more about rotating your trailer tires.
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