Carrying spare tyres and wheels

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:13
ThreadID: 14890 Views:3650 Replies:13 FollowUps:2
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Hi All,

I am trying to come up with the best policy for carrying spare tyres and wheel rims.

I did a search of the 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 tyre treads in the archives just to keep Truckster happy but they all seem to be about which tyre is better/ lasts longer/ grips in mud/ looks cool etc etc

My question is about how many spares one should carry, and in what state (inflated on rim or just a carcass).

I now have roof racks on the Prado and am thinking that the best solution when travelling any sort of distance away from civilisation (anything north of about Maree I reckon!) is to have 1 fully made up tyre on rim and 1 spare tyre only. This is in addition to the permanant spare on the back door.

I would also like to know from peoples experiance just how common puntures and sidewall disintegrations are on moderately difficult outback journeys.

There are a couple of factors to consider

1) The Prado takes 17" tyres which may be hard to obtain in places like Birdsville, Central Qld NT etc. This should improve over time though
2) I am running Cooper A/Ts at present that should be m,uch better than road tyres but may still be a bit more vulnerable on the sharper stuff.
3) I want to keep the weight down (don't we all???)

Would I be realistically likely to go thru more that 2 tyres on say a trip like Googs track or a run to Birdsville from Adelaide. The thinking is that I would have two ready spares and could then use the carcass to repair a completely destroyed tyre at the next fitters and the second one may only be a puncture which is repairable as well.

Am I being a bit OTT or is this just good planning

Love to hear the opinions of a few with experiences to tell.

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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:31

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:31
G'day Muddy,
My suggestion would be (assuming you can't put a dual swing away on the back like mine) to either:
(a) carry one extra complete wheel and tyre on your rack OR
(b) carry an extra tyre only and get a R&R Bead Breaker so you can change it yourself if need be.
In my experience (& I guess I've just been extremely lucky), I've never had a tyre destroy itself nor have I had a flat tyre in the "Outback".
I put this down to the following reasons, in no particular order.......
1. Luck
2. Using the right tyre pressures
3. Driving to the conditions of the road
cya mate
AnswerID: 68888

Reply By: Moz - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:34

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:34
G'day Muddy,
My father-in-law regularly does fishing trips up to Lakefield NP from Cairns.
He has a 75 Troopy and stows are complete second spare under
a false floor in the back, obviously he has got a space advantage.
But on longer trips he will throw a carcass and tube on his roof-racks as well.
He's got the standard old split rims on his truck and this set-up has served him well.

AnswerID: 68889

Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:49

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 20:49
I'm with Roachie,drive to the conditions and keep your tyre pressures right and your 3/4s there.We done 17000km last year on a three month trip (two vehicles 17000km each) , over some pretty rough tracks and neither vehicle suffered a puncture.We spoke to people on the side of the road who had suffered 2 or 3 punctures in a day but didnt know what you ment when asked about their tyre pressures.
AnswerID: 68895

Reply By: Member - Trevor - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:32

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:32
Hello Muddy - I have funny size tyres as well so I carry a spare casing in which I have fitted a base and lid. It doubles as a spare container for stuff you will never use. When we did the Simpson I put the tinned food in it and couldn't lift the bloody thing. Have had two punctures in all our trips one with stones and the other with wire. I run 40 psi on the tar and go down to 30 off the tar and lower again for sandy stuff. Did Goog's with no troubles although it was dry and was the hardest sand driving I have done. Regards, Trev
AnswerID: 68907

Follow Up By: Gajm (VIC) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 15:44

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 15:44
I like that idea. I have a gas bottle mounted on a bracket i made on the roof, and usualy put the tyre casing around that, but I think I might try doing what you said with the base and lid, great for a bit more storage plus it would help keep crap out of the tyre
FollowupID: 329446

Reply By: Eric Experience. - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:43

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:43
To keep the weight down I suggest you take only the factory spare and one tyre case and 2 tubes plus the tools to fit them. The chances of getting 2 punctures between service oportunities is low if you pressures are not to high and you drive with some care. Most of the frequently used tracks are very low risk, driving over vurgin ground is the highest risk, the no of side wall plies is difference between good and bad puncture resistance,army tyres use 3 ply side walls. If you are driving along and you start to see lots of dead tyres on the side of the track slow down. Eric.
AnswerID: 68912

Follow Up By: Member - Rick (S.A.) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:09

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:09

I agree with Roachie & with Eric....that is, slow down, correct pressures & if you drive in virgin country be prepared to stake tyres through the wall ( a.k.a. buggered tyres). Also, use 8 or 10 ply tyres and this will toughen the situation up.

I used to " do " about two tyres per year until I took my above instructions to heart. Record since then = 1 x slow leak only, in the last 12 months.

I carry tyre pliers- practiced at home on same- full repair kit of patches, glue, string tampon quick repairs, valves, etc, PLUS a tube. These goods never leave the bus as they are in a rear drawer. If I go serious driving in virgin or tough country, i take a second casing & tube (not rim) on the roof rack. I hide/stow the tubes etc in hollows under rear seats, immediately aft of cargo barrier in the "V" space, or similar spot.

BUT I can tell you I have been thinking of mounting a rim & tyre on the left hand rear panel. I would have to fabricate some sort of mounting bracket & internal reinforcing. I am interested in practicality, not so much the asthetics (e.g. Willie's Rosie) as this bus will do me for years yet.

Hope this helps.
FollowupID: 329386

Reply By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:57

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 21:57

Noting that you are on decent (new) tyres, you are off to a good start..

Not sure how much weight you are carrying, but I would be looking to keep that down. That is, to only carry your normal spare on a wheel.

Take a carcass as well on top (or I strapped mine to the rear mounted spare - 90 series Prado over the Simpson last week)

Don't go past a couple of spare tubes - good and easy fix. A set of tyre pliers, or some other method of breaking the bead (there are a couple around, including some that hook into your tow shaft.

A sheet on the ground so that you keep your working area clean - don't want the bead full of dirt and crap..

Then you are in good shape to whack a tube in, or otherwise put your carcass on one of your wheels if you've gone through a spare tyre already) - Most of the time, the tyre won't be stuffed.

A couple of tyre levers and rubber mallet to get the tyre back on, and a compressor to blow it up. (I picked up a reasonable one from Ebay for under $100 ($250 in the shop)

If you're keen, have a praccy run taking a tyre off and putting it back on a wheel in your driveway.

We used to use tyre levers and mallets to change tyres on the old Mark V International trucks, and Unimogs in my army days - there's a bit of a knack, but it's certainly achievable on the side of the road..


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AnswerID: 68917

Reply By: Member - Cookster(VIC) - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:05

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:05
Hi Muddy,
When we did our trip around Australia we carried two spare wheels and two tubes. Nothing happened until we drove along the Hamersley Iron train line. It was just freshly graded and we had two punctures within 2 hours ( the only one on the whole trip). With all the iron up there, the broken stones are sharp as knives. The total trip was around 23,000 k's and approx half of it tracks, dirt road etc., but like the others, whenever we were off the bitumen we allowed enough time for safe driving.
We would not go without a second spare plus one or two tubes and the tyre pliers set into any remote area. It is cheap insurance to keep you out of trouble.
AnswerID: 68920

Reply By: rolande- Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:06

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:06
Don't forget the puncture repair kit, not all flats will be sidewall destruction, will keep a tyre going until more permanent repair, more insurance. have fun
AnswerID: 68921

Reply By: Crackles - Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:26

Wednesday, Jul 21, 2004 at 22:26
As you have 17" wheels one additional bare tyre up on the roof rack should do if they are of all terrain construction. Fitting that 2nd tyre to a rim is unnecesary as you will have the tyre repair gear anyway so it's only extra weight. Only if you are driving cross country would fitting the second spare to a rim be usefull as there's a high chance of multiple punctures.
If your tyres are road pattern or under 40% tread left, a total of 3 spares may be appropiate.
It is unlikly that you will ever demolish 2 tyres beyond repair on a single trip and in 20 years I have only wrecked one. In fact I now only carry the standard spare, a couple of tubes & a few big sidewall patches on top of the usual repair kit. As I run a size commonly available in the outback (235/85 x 16 or 7.50 x 16) I can always do a temp repair to get a few hundred KM to the next town.
The only exception to this suggestion is for Ford Exploder drivers with Firestone tyres. In that case I'd carry a complete spare set of 5. Cheers Craig..............

AnswerID: 68927

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 07:51

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 07:51

Bearing in mind the number of Defender fans we have in here I was surprised that no one suggested the bonnet was the best spot. I know your innovative nature too.

Remember I said the other day Bonz and I could be good with the arc........... LOL
AnswerID: 68960

Reply By: Member - Bob - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 09:06

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 09:06
I carry an extra wheel and tyre (fitted). The weight of the extra alloy wheel is less than the gear you need to change the tyre, and is probably less expensive.
Plugging kit and compressor.
Finally, Smartire system to let you know a tyre is distressed before it is wrecked. This system is cost effective, and gives enormous peace of mind.
AnswerID: 68973

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 09:50

Thursday, Jul 22, 2004 at 09:50

It's the old story , carry anything as a spare and you won't need it but if you don't you will. As you know I do a lot of miles on the stony stuff and have only destroyed one tyre (passenger rated A/T) on a previous vehicle and only one puncture.
I think the best policy is to slow right down on gibber rodes and look for the sidewall "biters" as you are driving. I ran mine at 26psi fully loaded up to Birdsville and down the Oodnadatta track the other week but only went at about 80KPH.

I have also noticed as people have mentioned that a lot of stakings occur on virgin ground or from pulling off the road edge for a photo or to let someone through so be especially carefull when doing this.

I have been looking around a bit a notice a lot of tyre damage is caused by overloading so keep this to a minimum.

If you haven't been to an area before then I would probably take two spares. If I did Googs again I probably wouldn't bother as the roads generally were good and the track sandy.

Even the Birdsville & oodnadatta tracks at the moment are almost like driving on bitumen so I probably wouldn't bother there either but road conditions can change quickly.

I carry a second spare on a rim and rotate all six tyres so that If I ever destroy one the others will have the same wear. The extra weight of the wheel is negligable because of course on the 120 Prado it it is alloy and about equivalent in cost to another tyre. It is probably more of a convenience thing really.

Rather than buy another tyre you could always use your EO card for discount and borrow my extra wheel for your trip! but then you would have a BFG sitting on top!! but then if you a stuck you probabvly wouldn't mind.

You know how to contact me if you want

Catcha Later

AnswerID: 68987

Reply By: pjd - Friday, Jul 23, 2004 at 20:02

Friday, Jul 23, 2004 at 20:02
you only need 1 spare but take an extra tyre case & some tyrepliers why put an extra 50 od kgs on your roof it will up your fuel bill & spare wheel cariers arent cheap either
AnswerID: 69334

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