Tumbleweed trailers are equipped with special trailer radial tires, which are rated to carry the weight load of a Tiny House RV. Of course, like any tires, they are not impervious to sharp objects! What happens when you have a flat tire on the road? How can you lift your heavy Tiny House RV?It’s important to think ahead and have a plan for such situations.
Below we’ve listed a few options for changing a flat tire on your Tiny House RV
OPTION ONE: Patch & Tow to Repair Shop
If your tire is patchable, you can patch the tire and tow your Tiny House RV slowly to the nearest repair shop. Be sure to call ahead to make sure they can accommodate you. Bring in your spare tire, or ask the shop if they have the correct tire in stock. It is vital to use tires that are rated to hold the weight of your Tiny House RV. Otherwise, they can blow!
Tiny House flat tire being fixed at a repair shop
OPTION TWO: Change the Flat Tire Youself, Using a Trailer Jack
You can also change the tire yourself using a trailer jack. Do NOT use the scissor jacks on your trailer to lift your Tiny House RV. Scissors jack are not rated to support the weight of your Tiny House RV without the tires. They are meant for stability and support.
There are many trailer jacks available for purchase. We recommend the Anderson Rapid Jack because it is extremely portable and affordable (about $50). Plus, we’ve actually seen it in action on Tumbleweed trailers. The Anderson Rapid Jack can lift your wheel about 7 inches.
Steps for using the Anderson Rapid Jack:
Place the Rapid Jack under the good wheel on the same side of the wheel that needs to be changed.
Slowly drive onto the Rapid Jack, which will lift one side of your trailer.
Adjust your scissor jacks and tongue jack for stability as you drive onto the Rapid Jack
Keep driving onto the Rapid Jack until the flat wheel is suspended.
Place a wheel chock under the Rapid Jack to secure it in place.
Watch the video below to see how to use the Rapid Jack. The video is a little cheesy, but it is also informative!
If you have a Tumbleweed trailer, the Anderson Rapid Jack will fit between your fender and tire, but you will need to place is perfectly. This is especially important when coming off the Rapid Jack. If the Rapid Jack is about to touch the fender, use a mallet to wiggle the Rapid Jack out from under the wheel.
Although it’s difficult to see, the wheel on the right is suspended in the above photo
If you need to lift your wheel more than 7 inches, you can try driving up onto a few blocks of wood before using the Rapid Jack (as pictured above and below). If you are parked on soft turf, such as mud or sand, it will be very difficult to lift your trailer. In these special situations, you might need to call a mechanic.
Steps for changing a trailer tire yourself:
Changing a trailer tire is very similar to changing a car tire.
Loosen the lug nuts while the wheel is still on the ground.
Lift the Tiny House RV using a trailer jack (see instructions above for Anderson Rapid Jack) just enough so that the flat wheel is hovering just over the ground.
Remove the flat wheel and replace it with the good spare.
Tighten the lug nuts as much as you can by hand, wiggling the new wheel in place. Tighten bolts or nuts in the sequence shown:
Lower the trailer back to the ground and tighten the lug nuts once more to the appropriate torque.
Drive a few dozen miles and re-torque the lug nuts to the right specification. Once that’s done, you are good to go!
OPTION THREE: Call a Roadside Mechanic
If you cannot patch your tire or change the tire yourself, then you will need to call a roadside mechanic. Make sure to tell the mechanic the weight of your trailer. Be as descriptive as possible. Try calling local RV repair shopsand asking for roadside mechanic recommendations.
Author Jenna Spesard has changed three tires on her Tumbleweed Cypress after driving 23,000 miles.
Jenna Spesard built a Tumbleweed in 2014 and traveled with it for one year. She clocked over 25,000 miles, and now parks in a Tiny House Village. She writes about the Tiny House Movement on her blog Tiny House Giant Journey.