A Tale of Two Tires - Maintaining and Replacing Your Camper Tires!

Changing the flat tire on Peggy Sue was just the start to our day!
I firmly believe that tires can be the most overlooked item by beginning campers.  If the tires look okay, then that is good enough.  And, that is really what we did.  Sure we took the tire pressure and inflated the tires to the proper PSI, but that is really all we did.
Last week, we were going to take our camper in to have a new AC/Heat Pump installed.  What should have been a quick hook up and a trip to the dealership took all day!  Why?  Bad tires!  And I'm so glad that this happened at home.

First, we had a flat tire on one side.  We tried to air it up.  After 10 minutes connected to an electric pump, nothing.  Flat.

This tire is a goner!
Next, we went to put on the spare.  Also flat.  We tried to air it up, and the valve was bad.  It wouldn't hold air at all.

We tried to air up the spare, but the valve was shot!
We decided to try and buy new tires at Walmart.  In our small town, we are limited on choices of trailer tires.  They could only order them, but the store didn't have tires for purchase on the spot.  We called 3 other places.  No stores had them in stock.  We were out of luck.

Finally, we took our spare to the shop.  We had it repaired for about $9.  Once it was on our trailer, we took our camper into the dealership for what we originally started.  This was also hours later!

Spare tire finally fixed thanks to a local tire shop for about $9 and done quickly too.  I'm glad they were able to help us get on our way!
What should have been a quick trip to the dealership and back took all day.  And what a day it was.  The silver lining to this experience is that it happened at home and NOT on the road.

The first mistake that we made here is that we never checked our spare tire on our camper.  I mean seriously.  How dumb can two grown-ups be?  I'm embarrassed to even state this fact.  If you want to know more about our Rookie Mistakes, you can read about them from a previous post this year.  Hey!  We are definitely learning as we go.  And that is okay.  No one has been hurt yet!

The next mistake that we made was not taking the spare and the original tire with us on our trip to get new tires.  The spare had to be fixed no matter what.  I guess we were just tired at that point.  Tired people don't always make good decisions.

I did order a new set of tires.  I needed 4 lug tires and accidentally ordered 5 lug tires.  That was really a slip of the finger when ordering online from my phone while we were waiting on the spare.  I feel like at this point this is just a comedy of errors.  I can only laugh at the situation now.

These are the five lug tires that have to be returned, but the quality and service is excellent.  A four lug set is being sent in return of these.  
I ordered our set of tired from Walmart.  They are sold by a company called ecustom hitch through Walmart.  I cannot say enough good things about their customer service staff.  The customer service staff is amazing.  A gentleman emailed me back and forth as I sorted through the process and getting Fed Ex to pick up the tires I was returning.

2-Pack Trailer Tires On White Rims 530-12 5.30-12 5.30 x 12 Load C 4 Lug - Walmart.com

The tires I ordered arrived ahead of schedule and in perfect shape.  The set of tires, or pair rather, was less than $94 and had free shipping.  Great price.  I feel like we scored on this item.

We are now back in business with a working spare and two new tires.  Everything worked out in the end.  We were at home and not on a camping trip.  This was the best part of our story.

If you are looking at buying a new camper, check your tires.  This includes the spare.  Don't skip this step no matter what.  We should have done this a long time ago.  And, this was a $100 expense to fix the spare and put new tires on.  This would have been much worse and more costly on the road.  Emergency expenses can really pack a punch.  Having this to happen at home allowed us to get the best price without having to take what we could get.

Get a tire gauge that you can take with you on the road and keep in the glove box.  Check your tires each time before you get on the road.  And, keep a little air pump in your car or tow vehicle for emergencies.  We have a Slime All-Purpose Dual InflatorIt works well for little jobs.  This inflator has a PSI gauge and little light to help if you need to use this in the dark.  We just keep it stowed away in our spare tire storage container in the back of our vehicle.

It really is the little details that add up big to camping success.  I know that I get easily sidetracked from the glamping side of life.  But, the practical should always come first.  Your glamper will be a lot more fun to travel with if you have your gear in working order.  Lesson learned.  We didn't learn the hard way, but it certainly made for a long day.

The day still ended up pretty good!  We were able to look at some campers after dropping ours off for service!
If you have made rookie mistakes, I'd love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment and share or drop me a line with a funny story from one the road.  Now we are ready for our camping trip next month with friends.  And we can rest easy knowing we will be riding on new tires!

This tale had a happy ending and no one got hurt or even angry at each other on this day.  It was long, but I really do feel like we dodged a bullet by being at home!

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  1. I just found your blog, hubby and I have been popup camping for almost 35 years and I grew up popup camping, so it has been almost 50 years for me. we moved to a Hybrid TT last year. the one thing we learned about camper/TT tires is that they age out before wearing out. You can go online to find out how to tell the age of your tires. They need to be replaced every 5-6 years and should be protected from sunlight and not be parked on soil/asphalt for long term storage.

    1. Great advice! You can plug in the DOT Code to find the age of the tires. Here is a website that can be used for that.


      I agree about covering tires to protect them from the elements.


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