Spare wheel or spare tyre? (1 Viewer)

Oct 19, 2015
152
235
Burgess Hill, UK
Funster No
39,635
MH
Hymer MLT 580
Exp
Since 2016
We are 2.5 years into our Motorhome life and loving it so decided to buy a new van.

I had a spare wheel fitted under the chassis of my existing van and are wondering what to do going forward.

There are various options of course but I was wondering about carrying a spare tyre instead. It still needs to be stored in the garage but I guess you can’t rely on breakdown vehicles having the facilities to change a tyre so you will get recovered to a local garage.

Carrying a spare wheel is the most convenient option if help is needed but I would like to avoid the extra weight ideally.

I rang my breakdown insurer but didn’t think they helped clarify the matter.

Anyone had the experience of a breakdown which might help?

Thanks.
 

Northernraider

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Jul 30, 2017
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The benefit of a spare wheel is you can change it yourself if need be

Sometimes depending where you are you may be miles away from anywhere or have no phone signal etc.

Just having a tyre in that situation won't help much
 

scotjimland

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 25, 2007
2,535
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We are 2.5 years into our Motorhome life and loving it so decided to buy a new van.

I had a spare wheel fitted under the chassis of my existing van and are wondering what to do going forward.

are you sure the new van has a spare, many come without.. but in any case..

Given the choice, it would be spare wheel and tyre for me every time.. however,.. if I didn't have payload, a spare tyre is a good second option as finding a spare tyre abroad of the same size and make can be difficult.. and perhaps expensive. People travelling overland will carry several spare tyres.. and have the tools and knowledge to change them. If properly protected they can be carried on the roof.

You could also carry a tyre repair kit and inflator which can be used for nail holes or minor leaks.. shouldn't be used or considered permanent fix, but only as a means of getting you on your way to the nearest tyre depot for a proper vulcanised repair.. or new tyre ..

I had the misfortune to break a brass valve stem on my RV while checking the pressures.. fortunately I had the tools and a spare valve stem to change myself. This involved breaking the tyre bead to reach inside the tyre to unbolt the valve.. this was on a 22 inch coach wheel and I had quite an audience as it was done on an a busy aire in France..

Hope for the best.. prepare for the worst.. (y)
 
Last edited:
Oct 29, 2016
4,535
53,797
Surrey
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45,842
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Carthago C Tourer
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Motor Homing 5 years, caravan previously
This subject has been raised so many times, but to try and help you in your choice here are some observations that Funsters came up with.
1.Carrying a spare tyre only is better than not having one, as you can maybe get a tyre place to fit it when they dont carry your size in stock.
2. The additional weight of a spare wheel whether steel or alloy is insignificant as the tyre already weighs quite a bit.
3. not many vans especially German ones come with a spare wheel, but ask your dealer they will tell you.
4. if you have a garage or room inside the van thats ideal as it keeps the wheel clean & dry and is easier to check air pressure, if not then underslung is the only other option.
5 Carrying the standard can of gunk and compressor will only fix small leaks, not large cuts of gashes.
6. The consensus of opinions on here was that most of us would not consider travelling without a spare wheel, not even in our cars, so many potholes about doing damage to wheels and tyres these days.
Its all down to individual choice in the end and your risk profile.
Just like Clint Eastwood sayin.... So do you feel lucky punk?, well do ya? (sorry couldn't resist that one, please forgive me)
Les
 

Brian and Jo

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Sep 24, 2007
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368
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Been motorhoming for 15yrs.had an American RV for 7yrs,Now got a Niesmann Bischoff Arto 88F
Personally i wouldnt travel anywhere without a spare wheel in the motorhome we spec,ed ours as an option , not cheap and i hope we never need to use it , but for us its peace of mind.
Brian & Jo

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Jul 24, 2009
4,347
106,541
South Yorkshire
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7,631
MH
Coachbuilt
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Since 1999
Also if you're just carrying a tyre and the wheel gets damaged during the deflation, what do you do then?
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,420
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Hymer A Class
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My breakdown cover small print specifies that I must carry a spare tyre.
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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in the past three years with the Hymer, over 20,000 miles.. I have never used the spare.. in fact I can't recall the last time I had a puncture ,on my car or motorhome.. Sold my last car after 9 years and the spare had never been used, neither had the Hymer spare been used by the previous owner..

.. Lucky ? perhaps.. but if I had to choose between a Spare Wheel or Bbq + chairs .. no contest.. you can't use a spare wheel to cook on and they make damn uncomfortable chairs.. I'd take my chances with the break-down guys attending.. that's whet they are for

as Les said..
Its all down to individual choice in the end and your risk profile.
 
Last edited:

Puddleduck

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Jan 15, 2014
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We carry a tyre not a spare wheel. Our breakdown service has said that if we inform them we have a tyre to fit onto the existing wheel they will ensure a van with a tyre fitting machine attends. Luckily we have not had to test out the veracity of this promise.

It won't help if the wheel rim is damaged but is a compromise between a proper spare wheel and an aerosol of gunk. Neither of us would physically be able to change a wheel on the motorhome so the ability to change yourself isn't a consideration for us.
 
Oct 29, 2016
4,535
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Carthago C Tourer
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Motor Homing 5 years, caravan previously
I feel I have to mention at this point, so as to level the scales of judgement, that when we picked up our new car last month, I enquired about a spare wheel, is there, or isnt there one in it?
The answer I received from the sales guy was....how long you been driving sir? I answered 42 years, he then said.....and how many punctures have you had?.... 3 was my answer.......there you go he said, you dont need one then:D

I would like to quote the phrase "Simples",at this point, but it isnt, and I will always carry a spare wheel and a jack & tools, so if the worst happens I can change it myself,(if safe to do so) the car sales guy would probably then say something like....you mean while you can, and you can still manage it like sir:mad:
But thats just me, I would still service our van myself if the van was out of warranty, and if like the old days it had plugs and points, and had no ECU:D
Les
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Which company is that? Tyre or wheel?

Flux Rescue (included with insurance through broker Adrian Flux).

9. You must carry a roadworthy spare tyre with your vehicle (except Motorbikes) at all times and when outside the United Kingdom you must also carry a spare set of vehicle keys.

I can ill afford the payload, nor adding weight to the rear axle.

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Puddleduck

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My breakdown cover small print specifies that I must carry a spare tyre.

Mine says that and goes on to say "unless the original specification of the vehicle did not include a spare tyre" which I take to mean the can of junk rather than a wheel. Ours came with the gunk so as we carry the spare tyre (no not the one round my middle, the black rubber one in the garage) we exceed the breakdown company's requirement.

Had a few punctures in the car, especially after the farm hedges have been trimmed we get thorns in the tyres which causes punctures.
 

Stealaway

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Jan 8, 2013
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How many trucks/commercial vehicles carry a spare. I would guess very few and they are doing star ship mileage every year. If they're not bothered then neither am I.
 

Northernraider

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I feel I have to mention at this point, so as to level the scales of judgement, that when we picked up our new car last month, I enquired about a spare wheel, is there, or isnt there one in it?
The answer I received from the sales guy was....how long you been driving sir? I answered 42 years, he then said.....and how many punctures have you had?.... 3 was my answer.......there you go he said, you dont need one then:D

I would like to quote the phrase "Simples",at this point, but it isnt, and I will always carry a spare wheel and a jack & tools, so if the worst happens I can change it myself,(if safe to do so) the car sales guy would probably then say something like....you mean while you can, and you can still manage it like sir:mad:
But thats just me, I would still service our van myself if the van was out of warranty, and if like the old days it had plugs and points, and had no ECU:D
Les
That's just clever salesman speak to justify the factory skimping on weight and cost which is the only reasons they no longer supply them.

I don't care if I never use a spare in my life I will always carry one


Because i have had to use one several times and I don't rely on a breakdown service for anything other than a lift home


If the van don't have the payload and ability to carry a spare I wouldn't buy the van

But that's just me
 
Aug 5, 2018
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No point having just a spare tyre if you have nothing to blow it up with. Even if you did have the ability to fit it manually with some tyre irons.
Keep the spare wheel and stop trying to take half your belongings and the kitchen sink away with you on holiday.
 
Aug 5, 2018
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Even me, as a machanic, with an onboard compressor, inflator hose etc I would not entertain just having a tyre with no rim on board, because YOU KNOW, when you get a flat it will be the coldest, wetest, darkest, busiest bit of road imaginable. I'd rather get in back, put the kettle on, open a book and wait for green flag / RAC to arrive.
 
OP
OP
S
Oct 19, 2015
152
235
Burgess Hill, UK
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39,635
MH
Hymer MLT 580
Exp
Since 2016
Even me, as a machanic, with an onboard compressor, inflator hose etc I would not entertain just having a tyre with no rim on board, because YOU KNOW, when you get a flat it will be the coldest, wetest, darkest, busiest bit of road imaginable. I'd rather get in back, put the kettle on, open a book and wait for green flag / RAC to arrive.

That sounds very convincing!
 
Jul 5, 2013
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Tunbridge Wells, Tunbridge Wells, UK
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Recovery starts getting difficult when you get a longish motorhome especially if you have a long rear overhang. We have a 7.5m A class. When I was recovered a year or so ago it took them over an hour to get it onto the back of the truck and about the same time getting it off! There is a real danger that the rear will be ripped off on the road.
 
Aug 18, 2014
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Less likely but at least if I had one spare I'd only have to source one other :)
I've a lump hammer & chisels to straighten the better one out.:LOL: Done that before.
I'd rather get in back, put the kettle on, open a book and wait for green flag / RAC to arrive.
I passed a bloke who was doing that here. They were just changing it when I passed him on the way back 5 hours later:giggle:

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Aug 27, 2014
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2. The additional weight of a spare wheel whether steel or alloy is insignificant as the tyre already weighs quite a bit.

Have to disagree on that one - I changed the tyre on my spare last year, just due to age - whilst the old tyre was off I took the opportunity to clean up & paint the rather rusty spare wheel. It's heavy! - even without the tyre - and that is a standard Fiat 16" steel wheel, from the Maxi chassis.

Having said that I'd rather have, and in fact do have, a spare complete wheel rather than just a tyre. But if payload is a concern it is unquestionably an option.
 

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