Spare Tire moved to Tongue - detail and pics

dsfdogsdsfdogs Posts: 325Member
edited October 2018 in Modifications & Upgrades
Yesterday was a big day, I finally got my spare tire moved to the tongue! (Doing this sort of thing is brand new to me). Thanks to this forum and the [email protected] Camping Facebook group, I knew what I needed and how to safely remove the tire off the bottom of the trailer. I like detail and pictures, so I'm sharing for anyone else that needs/wants this info, and lessons learned.

@ericnliz, this paragraph from one of your posts was extremely helpful and I followed your advice-THANK YOU! 
 The one I ordered is: MAXXHAUL 70214 Powder Coat Black Trailer Spare Tire Carrier $16.99
To mount to the jack tube, you'll need: two "U" bolts, with washers, and I would recommend NYLOCK nuts to secure the "U" bolts. Word of advise, take the mount with you, so you make sure you get the right size "U" bolts. I also bought a rubber "pad" spacer for use between the "U" bolts and the jack tube to avoid damage, and so it wouldn't have tendency to slide around at all. Another suggestion: Mount the spare tire to the tire carrier first, then put it up on the trailer frame for support. makes it a WHOLE lot easier to adjust the "U" bolts on the jack tube.
Tire carrier: same as above from Amazon
"U" bolts: I finally found mine at Fastenal (Ace & Home Depot had something different). These are thicker metal and about 3" across and 3 1/2" long (sorry I didn't take a pic before using) and per above, I took the carrier with me to ensure the ends would fit through the holes (after one return to Home Depot).
Rubber pad: found at Ace 6"x6"x3mm thick**
Nylocks and washers: from Fastenal, see pic below for info.
* Whichever U bolts you buy, ensure they are long enough to fit around 2" jack tube, + rubber mat, + carrier, + washer and still have enough threads for the nut.
**Some have reported the rubber pads not weathering well so are trying a clear or rubber tube to use around the U Bolt.

I stacked up two columns of Lynx leveling pads under the spare tire to help ensure it wouldn't fall on me. Someone suggested loosening up both nuts until almost off, then pressing one side of tire up towards trailer with one hand, remove first nut and lower that side of tire. Then do the same with the other nut. With the tire sitting on the two stacks of leveling pads, I pulled it out from under trailer.

But I digress...while one nut came off as expected, the other nut was cross-threaded (thank you to the RV Dealer that installed the tire). Thank goodness I had bought the breaker bar/sockets recommended by @Verna. because it was put to use. My strong neighbor actually had to use his foot and leg strength to push the breaker bar 1/2 turns at a time, over and over, until the screw finally broke off. Shame on the person at the dealer; thankfully we were in my garage and not on the side of the road. Lesson learned: even if you don't move the spare, check the tire pressure (Eric's lesson) AND try taking the nuts off.

I attached the tire to the carrier first and set it on the trailer. Lesson learned: The bolts holding the tire to the carrier are long enough that I needed to go buy an extra deep 3/4" socket so I could fully tighten the nuts. (The 3/4" socket that came with the breaker bar were not quite deep enough).

To avoid the metal of the carrier against the metal of the jack tube I ended up cutting 1" off the rubber pad and Gorilla gluing it to the carrier. (A bigger piece of rubber pad that would have encircled the whole jack tube would have worked as well). 

Then using my left knee, left shoulder and both hands, scooted the tire over and adjusted the rubber pad/bolts to line up with the holes, put on the washers and get nuts started. Make sure the flat plate on carrier is flat against jack tube.

This baby isn't going anywhere!

If I decide to put on a tire cover then I'll get to practice taking off the spare.

I removed the tire carrier from under the trailer--here it is, with broken screw inside the bolt.

Please, if anyone sees something wrong, let me know!
Debbie in Oregon
2018 [email protected] 320 S/2019 Toyota 4Runner SR5


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