2nd Spare ?

Submitted: Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 21:49
ThreadID: 94782 Views:3304 Replies:16 FollowUps:6
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After many years of remote area travel, I have never been close to using the second spare wheel and I am starting wonder if I should ditch the extra weight, particularly when I use good quality tyres and carry tyre levers, spare tube and plugs to suit todays tube-less tyres.

Whilst I do repair any puncture myself, I find it highly unlikely that I would completely destroy 2 carcass on one trip.

I am interested to hear if other travellers have had reason to use their second spare and how many people are confident enough to travel with just the one spare?

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Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 21:56

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 21:56

I here what you are saying and have been thinking the same myself..

I have decided on my current vehicle to go with the single spare on rim, and for more remote travel will take just the tyre.....have changed dozens for others over the years so can do it blind folded.

But I reckon Murphy will rear his head.....if you decide to take one

AnswerID: 482634

Follow Up By: equinox - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 22:09

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 22:09
I'm like you BW, I range from 1 to 3 spare tyres without the rim - the more remote the more spares.

BW is right Jack, Murphy will come around when you least expect and want - be prepared I would advise.


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Reply By: Jack - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 22:47

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 22:47
I am very much prepared, also carry wide selection of patches and even replace the glue every 2 years (in fear of it going off and not adhering properly).

I am just thinking that, with the stuff I carry (including a spare tube), it would be unlikely that I couldn't get myself out trouble if something did happen.
AnswerID: 482638

Follow Up By: splits - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 23:42

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 23:42
I think patches are essential. A second spare takes up a lot of space and adds a lot of weight so I only carry one but I can get the tyres off the rims easily enough and I also carry a selection of two and three ply patches. So far I have never had to use them but I saw an incident one day where a wooden stake tore a large hole in the sidewall of a rear tyre and scraped the sidewall of the front tyre. Had the front been an inch further over it would have been two flats at the same time. A large patch fixed the hole but you would have had no chance with plugs.

Regarding glue: Rema Tip Tip told me a few years ago that it is heat sensitive so keep it in a fridge. A couple of weeks ago a tyre on my daughter's hatch back got a slow leak that turned out to be a tiny pin hole in the middle of the sidewall. I decided to fix it with a tube patch and liner sealer and leave it as a permanent spare for the next couple of years when all five will be replaced. I opened a three year old tube of glue that had always been in the fridge and it was like new. They are supposed to have about a four year life span in ideal conditions. I will be in the Outback again in another month and I intended buying new glue. I still will but I will leave this one in the fridge indefinitely to see how long it lasts.
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 23:40

Monday, Apr 09, 2012 at 23:40
Yes Jack, I have come to the same conclusion.
I carry comprehensive tyre repair materials and tubes, so in future I will only add a spare carcass when I consider a greater risk.


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Reply By: Mick O - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:34

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:34
Depends on the type of travel you're doing. If it's remote tracks you may be OK with the one spare but the comfort in having that second spare, wether as a casing or on a wheel cannot be underestimated.

Off track work, I wouldn't leave home without at least two full spare wheels and 1 or two casings, 3 tubes and an assortment of plugs and patches. I damaged three steel rims on the last big expedition through various mishaps. Thankfully we were able to weld the cracks in two but it just goes to show that even the best prepared can be taken by the unexpected.

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 08:18

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 08:18
Yes Mick, we know, we know. But we were talking about sane people who drive on tracks and do not go cavorting all over the countryside with abandon. LOL


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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:57

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 07:57
Always 2 on the roof rack, usually older tyres from previous trips into the outback, that have and there is a spare on the back door of the 4B, and one for the camper.

Ususally 2 tubes, and if I do not take them out of the plastic, then I can get mt money back, from the tyre bloke. heaps of patches, and plugs.

Only ever had 3 punctures, and all were easy fixes.
2 plugs and a tube.


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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 08:38

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 08:38
I've never carried more than a 2nd spare case as I figured that if you buggered a wheel the impact would do far more damage to the suspension than just the tyre so you would have greater worries than just tyre damage.
That being said twice in nearly 40 years of outback travel we've done two tyres on the one stake or rock and have gone from having two spares to no spares in a split second.
There have also been a few other occasions when we've destroyed one tyre and nearly two on the one stake, one being memorable on the CSR eh Mick ;-)).
With the vast improvement in roads and tracks over the years unless you are going off track it is rare these days to have too much trouble and with a TPMS fitted slow leaks can be detected and repaired before tyre damage occurs.
AnswerID: 482661

Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 15:01

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 15:01
That would be this one Pete ;-)

Tyre troubles on the Canning

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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: anglepole - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 09:01

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 09:01
I did a tyre in, wrecked the whole thing, just outside Marree SA. Fortunately I was on my way home.

The nearest place I could get a replacement tyre was Pt Augusta.

I decided to get a Kaymar 2 wheel carrier. The cost of these things is absolutely ridiculous. You can buy a very fancy ride on mower for less.

Any way I paid up and especially in remote areas I have a deal of protection that is reassuring.

I still carry the repair kits and compressor.

AnswerID: 482663

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:00

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 10:00
Only ever carry 1 spare also Jack - despite going cross country a bit.

As you are doing we carry tube and all bits to do many repairs including 20cm long patches.

Only time I have ever seen need for two was on hume highway when truck dropped a pine beam and a cruiser hit it immediately destroying both tyres and wheels on passenger side - tuff luck that one.

Our approach is to make sure than even on longest trips the car should be under its GVM and this protects everything including giving the car its max suspension travel to help prevent overloading the tyres etc.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:51

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 11:51
Interesting data.

I'm facing the same question: whether to carry two spare wheels on the upcoming trip that will include the Birdsville and Strezlecki tracks and some poking around in the northern Flinders Ranges.

Appreciate that those two tracks are unlikely to generate sidewall staking.

We carry a plug kit and a can of pressurised goo. Also appreciate that neither of those will help with a sidewall gash.

I've been told that punctures are more likely the lower the tread depth gets so will get a new set of rubber for this trip and plan to take two of the current wheels as spares (have a set of spare rims); they're worn about 50%.

Would value informed comment on this thinking.

It's only a Forester but towing a CT. The tyres will all be AT. Current set are light truck construction. It's no longer possible to source LT in our size. We don't do high clearance 4by tracks. We've done the Mereenie Loop, Ood tk, Kempe Rd, Coober Pedy-William Ck tk etc. on the current tyres with pressure dropped and all that went without a hitch. Well, apart from the CT's ;-)
AnswerID: 482672

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:10

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:10
G'day Jack,

I usually take two spares and have used them just once - I was really happy to have had that second spare.

It really is one of those things that I now carry in the hope I never need it catagory. Sure there is a space and weight thing, not forgetting the cost either.

I also carry tubes ,plugs, tyre levers, bead breakers and rubber malet. The car has a compressor as they all should. I am yet to master the bead seating Mick O style but I carry a can of butane just in case,

Spent hours trying to seat a tyre using the in car compressor but there is just not enough volume to do this easily.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 482674

Follow Up By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:35

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 12:35
Seating a tubeless tyre can be a problem with the limited airflow capacity from the average 12v compressor.

One issue can be slight damage to the rubber at the bead edge, possibly caused by tyre levers and barely noticeable yet sufficient to leak enough to prevent pressure buildup. Also the possibility of dirt, grass etc at the bead. Inspect carefully whilst resetting the tyre.

Tyres sometimes do not sit nicely with the bead in contact with the rim such that a seal will not be achieved. It can help to place a 'belt' around the circumference of the tyre and gently tighten to cause the beads to move more closely to the rim. I use a good-sized ratchet strap although a rope with a stick or tyre lever to twist it will serve.

I worry about Mick O's butane trick! But then, I worry about Mick O. LOL


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Reply By: Member - Nolo (Brisbane) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:02

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:02
When I upgraded my tyres from the standard 265/70R16 size, I went to the bigger 265/75R16 still to fit the standard 79 Series RV mag wheel. However the larger tyre will not fit in the under tray spare tyre slot. So whilst having a full size 265/75R16 spare number 1 on the rear of the canopy, I have a second spare of the old 265/70R16 size on a steel rim under tray.

I call it my "spacesaver" spare, there for the unlucky event of two flat tyres beyond my ability to repair with the usual on road means. The size difference is understood and it would only be used for a short distance limp home.
AnswerID: 482681

Reply By: Gadget X10 - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:36

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:36
When" S " happens it comes in three's, Gibb River Road (on a bad year) 3 totally destroyed cases, after fixing at least 3 more punctures.
Prior to that I was thinking along the lines of this post.
I figure it's like insurance, if you got it, you might not need it, but its there when you do.

AnswerID: 482685

Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:40

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 16:40
I always carry two full spares, however touch wood, in 7 + years of remote traveling have only had 1 flat. Run BFG MT's on split rims on the 40 series. Still prefer to carry the extra spare.

Ironically, the last trip with my Father in his 80 series running the same combo, the 80 had 1 flat just west of Betoota, (changed), then a 2nd flat just out of Arrabury, changed the 2nd spare and found it had a slow leak just north of Adventure Way turn off. Worked out that the slow leak didn't leak much while we were moving, only ramped up when we stopped. Managed to get into Thargo on that one - 3 new tubes.

Ironically same day, another travelling companion we left at the BDR turn off (he was going thru Windorah), had a flat on his Cub camper before we left him, another after we left him, and a flat on the camper after we left him, and another flat on his Jackaroo the following day.

Also stopped on the same day to help an elderly couple just past the Cordillo Downs turn off with another flat....

Sometimes Murphy is laughing his head off.......

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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 18:04

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 18:04
1977 was the last time I punctured 3 tyres in a day and destroyed 2. That was on the Birdsville track and there were 3 of us in an overloaded Corolla. Had to drive down to Copley before we could buy another tyre. You learn a lot on your first outback trip!

Had heaps of punctures since, but have got it down now to 3 punctures in the past 12 years.

Difference now is
- with experience you slow down a bit and watch where you put your wheels
- use strong tyres with plenty of tread
- don't overload the rear axle - most punctures happen to rear tyres
- reduce the tyre pressures on gravel
- I gave up using split rims

But I still carry two mounted spares!
- If you're on an outback trip and have one unrepairable tyre and no more spares, then you worry sick about another puncture and stop enjoying the trip.
- I prefer mags for outback trips and the extra weight of a Landcruiser mag is not worth worrying about (11 kgs)
- I've set my truck up with 2 spares and it looks bare with only one!

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Follow Up By: Member - John R (cQld) - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 20:36

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 20:36
Now that brings back some memories, Phil. I had 2 flats in about 50km on not so remote dirt roads with a Datsun back in the early 70s. Only one spare, of course! They must have just been crap tubeless tires, since the solution was to put in tubes.
Fortunately some good Samaritans gave me a lift to the nearest garage (about 50km away) and back again, thereby avoiding a night by the roadside.
Never had that happen again since, but then tyres are much better too.

Cheers, John
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 21:20

Tuesday, Apr 10, 2012 at 21:20
One decent stake can take out every tyre on one side of the vehicle (and trailer).
I have seen this happen in a camping area at 5kph thanks to a single tent peg left in the ground. 4 very expensive new tyres destroyed in 2 seconds flat (sic).

OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 482711

Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:09

Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 at 12:09
If you've benn carruing 2 spares and never needed them, then they have done the job.

spares, first aid kits and insurance are all things you hope to never need and mostly those who carry them never need them.

But its those who don't carry them or think they can do with out them are the ones who end up stuck or on the scrounge.

Its like Karma...two spares is good Karma and will protect you from ever needing them.

AnswerID: 482754

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