How many spare tyres?

Submitted: Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:37
ThreadID: 57427 Views:2970 Replies:9 FollowUps:13
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Hi all

We recently bought a camper. Finding it a whole new world and prompting many questions as to how we set it up for ourselves.

Previously, we have been off-roading with vehicle alone, with 2 spares – 1 on roof and 1 at back. Will be carrying more weight in future given the camper, so want to cut weight down elsewhere where possible (save some fuel too).

Question is, overall, do we take 2 spares now (1 on car and 1 on camper, which has a spare that is matched to the vehicle) or 3.

We expect to be travelling routes such as Oodnadatta track, Anne Beadell, Birdsville track etc. Call me a hypocrite for some of what I’ve said in the past but I am also thinking about routes such as Googs / Simpson with camper – hope to do those sorts of trips in a responsible way though.

Just to clarify, for significant “off-track” routes (as opposed to “off-road”) we would definitely carry 3 spares, so my question is mainly related to off-road travel.

Let me know your thoughts please.

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Reply By: Krakka - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:52

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:52
Just have one spare on camper and one on truck myself. Camper wheels and tyres are matched, so always have two useful spares. Personally wouldn't bother with 3rd spare. Plugs will fix any tread punctures.
Cheers Krakka
AnswerID: 302919

Follow Up By: Member - Roscoe ET (QLD) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 19:25

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 19:25
I thought plugs would fix any tread puncture too Krakka that was until I had a rock penetration there was just no way plugs were going to work. Found out why when I took it to a tyre dealer the puncture was 40mm long. Dealer told me there was no way I would have fixed it with plugs.
FollowupID: 569079

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 19:47

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 19:47
Roscoe, we had that sort of experience a few years ago also. Tried 3 plugs - no good, then mushroom plug, no good, then mushroom plug plus side wall patch (over hole in tread), no good, then added tube!! Got us home. Find those experiences haunt you a bit - probably why I felt need to submit this post. Cheers JD
FollowupID: 569082

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 19:54

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 19:54
Ditto - Last year I also tried to do a plug repair where a small rock had gone through the tread - 4 plugs and still small leak, so it got a big patch on the inside.
FollowupID: 569083

Follow Up By: Kumunara (NT) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 22:10

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 22:10
For those who had rocks go through the tread.

What was you tyre pressure. My experience is if you run tyres at highway pressures on roads like the oodnadatta track you will put a rock through the tread.

I only carry one spare on my vehicle and one on the camper. All wheels are the same size and will fit both patrol and camper. I have done a lot of kms without a problem.

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FollowupID: 569108

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 23:57

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 23:57
Yep, high pressures cause it. And tyres with not much tread.
FollowupID: 569127

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 06:13

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 06:13
Tjilpi, in my case it was those infamous and useless (4 ply?) Jap made Bridgie 693 that come new with the car. I was the fool who thought he'd get away with it for just a weekend trip when they were fairly new......
FollowupID: 569139

Follow Up By: Member - Roscoe ET (QLD) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 08:00

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 08:00

Mine were brand new Coopers ATR's (I think that speaks for itself) and had only done around 600k on gravel. Vehicle was loaded and pulling a Jayco Penguin Off road. Tyres were set at 33 cold which according to Coopers were perfectly set for the gravel road I was on. The puncture was partly in the groove and across the tread, I'd say penetration started in the groove.

Coopers stated the ATR's were the wrong tyre for the gravel road I was on between Mt Augustus and the Ashburton Downs turnoff, I was heading to Paraburdoo.

While I was changing the tyre the owner of a station property happened along and his words to me were "You tourists are crazy airing your tyres down, if I did that I'd be going through tyres all the time" and told me to crank them up to their max cold psi

Newman Tyres at Newman told me I was running tyres too low!!! The locals do not run their tyres at low pressures on gravel they crank them up.

The theory the locals in these areas run with is that by airing down tyres become much more susceptible to sidewall punctures and they say rocks will be held momentarily by the tyre thereby creating higher risk of a puncture. By cranking the tyre up rocks get flicked out of the way rather than held by the tyre.

I've done that balloon test and got the balloon to bust when it didn't have a lot of air in it. I put a fair bit of pressure on it and bounced the balloon on the object trying assimilate what a tyre would be doing on a gravel road and it eventually I think that test is flawed.

Ever since then I have been following what the locals reckon and have not had a puncture, maybe it's luck who knows, but I'm going to continue doing it.

Anyway I guess it's like most things everyone has their opinion.
FollowupID: 569148

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 09:03

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 09:03
G'day Roscoe, I have been advocating high tyre pressures on this forum ever since I discovered the way to stop throwing good tyres away was to put 50 psi in them. Proved on 4WD sprayrig
operating in paddocks at 15 kph. That balloon thing is the greatest load of bollocks I've ever heard. A tyres wall does not decrease in thickness when pressure is increased. A balloon wall may decrease in in thickness by 10 times when more air is added.
Most 4WD are run with high loads when touring, yet some persist in running low pressures, just asking for trouble. I know many will argue the opposite but my experience dictates how I operate,
not hearsay, so the old Jack runs 40 psi on all surfaces at all speeds
without incident. Naturally worn tyres are more likely to incur
through the tread punctures. Welcome to the high pressure club.
FollowupID: 569160

Follow Up By: Member - Roscoe ET (QLD) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:36

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 13:36

I worked in Charleville for a number of years and most of my weekends I went pig shooting, bush bashing through some rough country over sticks etc...never ever had sidewall damage and I can't recall ever having a puncture. So I've gone back doing what I use to do. The only reason I changed was because of the current advocacy of airing down.

Yep I run mine on 40psi and I notice Steve from Top End Tours mentioned in a thread not too long ago that he runs his vehicles tyres at 40psi too. He is obviously a very experienced operator and if he's doing it, it must mean something.

There was also a thread a little while back where a member mentioned the group he was with had 20+, I think it was, sidewall punctures.

There is only one thing that can cause that the sidewalls are running too close to the ground.

Anyway, I'm glad you agree with me. Having to replace virtually new tyres at $300 a pop hurts the hip pocket!! Problem is they cost a fair bit more in the west like $400+
FollowupID: 569186

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:19

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 14:19

You can read Steve's trip report of his South Aust trip 6 months ago . He had to buy new tyres at Marree because of punctures.Link here.

Strikes me that you'll get different opinions from locals in different places. The locals in Oodnadatta drop pressures to high 20's; locals in Pilbara don't. And weight, speed and how old the tyres are all matter too.
FollowupID: 569191

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:52

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:52

Because the wheels from the camper can be interchanged with the vehicle, two spares should be sufficient.

That is what I do, however I have a tyre plug repair kit, the Tyrepliers which includes a tube repair patch kit and two spare tubes which can be used either on the split rims of the camper, or for the tubeless tyres on the Jack, if necessary. Oh, and I also have a good quality 12 volt compressor.

My thoughts are if you carry three spares, you will have four punctures:-)

If you are somewhat "paranoid" you could include a tyre carcase as a third backup, but this would require the Tyrepliers, or the R & R Beadbreaker and the compressor, to swap the tyres onto the wheel rim. This will reduce the weight at least.

Just another point to consider.
What sort of wheels for the vehicle and camper do you have?

On my setup, the Jack has alloy rims, whilst the trailer has steel rims. Yes, they are interchangeable, but require different nuts to exchange them as the wheel nuts have different threads.
So, I have two spare sets of wheel nuts.
One set for the steel rims but with the same thread as the Jack's wheel studs.
One set for the alloy rims but with the same thread as the trailer studs.


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AnswerID: 302920

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 18:04

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 18:04
Bill, very perceptive question of yours. We do in fact have a wheel on camper with different offset but the car wheels (incl. camper spare) just stick out a bit so no great drama. Like what I'm hearing so far. cheers JD
FollowupID: 569059

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:58

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 17:58
Yes one on the car and one on the camper, if you do a day trip without the camper and you get a flat it's a long walk back to get the tyre.

If you do a tyre on the camper you will still have one left on the car.

The funny thing is if you carried 4 spares you will never get a flat and is you carried 2 spares you will need 3.

Buy a good quality tyre repair kit with plugs and a good compressor.

Chose your tyres well and you will have many happy trips, make sure your tyres are light truck rated.

Adjust your tyre pressure and driving to the conditions.

Regards Richard

AnswerID: 302923

Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 18:50

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 18:50
None on the camper and two on the car. It is difficult to get a flat on the camper without having the car nearby, but it is easy to get two flats on the car when the camper is parked up elsewhere!
Tyres have come a long way in the last 20 years. Once it was a common sight, a motorist changng a tyre on the side of the road. Now it is very rare. I have taken additional spares on many "holidays" and they are in the shed patently waiting for the next one.
AnswerID: 302931

Reply By: Skippy In The GU - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 20:51

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 20:51
You could also get one of them tyre pressure sensors, at least you'll know when the tyre is going down and you won't destroy it
AnswerID: 302956

Reply By: macbushy - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 23:54

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 23:54
hey...what ever happened to carrying a tube as well as your spares.
Gee a bit of effort IF get your 3rd flat

You never hear of any one carrying a tube anymore. A couple of tyre levers and a bit of effort. Still beats walking.
AnswerID: 302986

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 06:06

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 06:06
Macbushy, Since incident referred to above, I do. Also carry mushroom plugs as well as standard type. Tyre industry people seem to regard mushroom plugs as a permanent repair. Not sure why they are not used more often. cheers JD
FollowupID: 569138

Reply By: Splits - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 00:55

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 00:55

You mentioned "significent off track" routes. If you intend spending a fair bit of time in those conditions and your tyres are steel belted radials, then even three spares may not be enough.

If you haven't already looked at the Beadell Tours web site, then have a look at their tyre information section on off track travel.

AnswerID: 302990

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:23

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:23
thanks Splits. Probably not too much time off-track anticipated. Yes I've seen Beadell site. I also remember article in 4x4 mag regarding Mick Hutton trip along Connie Sue (??) a few years ago - 2 punctures after 100m LOL (maybe not so funny). cheers JD
FollowupID: 569163

Reply By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:18

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 10:18
thanks all. 2 it is.
AnswerID: 303013

Reply By: putrol - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 20:18

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 20:18
just take a spare tyre case the same size as the others
not so much weight to carry & take a tyrepliers kit so if you bugger a tyre you can take the tyre off the rim & put the new one back on
AnswerID: 303110

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