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Changing tires on a fifth wheel?


Velos

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When we first went full time we had several blow outs and got into the habit of checking the tires every time we stop to try to catch a tire before it blows. Knock on wood since we started checking we have not had another blow out. Today we pulled into an RV park and noticed one of the fiver tires is bulging in the middle so we are going to change it tomorrow.

 

The question:

We have a 40 foot triple slide fiver; would you pull in all the slides to change the tire or just the slide above the tire to be changed?

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In doing the individual wheel weights, both sides were very close. So rather than create a "side" load on mine, I would pull all the slides in first. Balance,

 

I had a G614 blowout years back and rolled 2 tires on some boards. BigFoot would have been a great help.

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Just jacking up one axle is not going to hardly even move the frame. I had to change tires and springs a yr ago. I pulled one wheel off changed the spring and put my spare on then lowered it down and jacked the next wheel, changed the spring and took the two wheels in and had new tires mounted and installed those where I had changed springs and moved to other side and did the same. All with the three slides out. No fun working under a slide but this was not a five minute project and trying to move in our 5er with slides in is a ( forget it )

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In the middle of the surface that touches the road. Hope that makes sense.

 

Yup. A slipped or busted belt. Good thing you caught it. Those can lead to a catastrophic failure (more often than not) and can do quite a bit damage to your rig when they shred.

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Our Level-Up system on occasion settles us in with one or more wheel off the ground. Once settled I put out the slides. In fact most of last summer we sat in this condition. So my opinion is lifting and lowering smoothly...no jerking...is no problem. Done it many times to work on an axel assembly.

Later,

J

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I yearly remove the fifth wheel tires and grease the bearings with the 3 slides extended since we are full timers and this can be a 2 day project. I found it best to position a bottle jack under the spring hanger close to the tire and place a short 2X4 above the axle between the camper frame. The 2X4 keeps the spring from being compressed and pushing the tire too far up in the wheel well making it hard to remove the tire if you have fender skirts. The camper frames/axles better be able to handle this abuse considering the dynamic loads they see hitting potholes at highway speeds. The slides extended or retracted should not make a difference.

I too check my tires at every stop and have found 6 bulging tires over the last 3 years and was always able to drive to a tire shop or camp ground to change the tire. You can run a 100 miles on a bulge, just slow down and keep checking it to see if it gets worse.

Greg

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I yearly remove the fifth wheel tires and grease the bearings with the 3 slides extended since we are full timers and this can be a 2 day project. I found it best to position a bottle jack under the spring hanger close to the tire and place a short 2X4 above the axle between the camper frame. The 2X4 keeps the spring from being compressed and pushing the tire too far up in the wheel well making it hard to remove the tire if you have fender skirts. The camper frames/axles better be able to handle this abuse considering the dynamic loads they see hitting potholes at highway speeds. The slides extended or retracted should not make a difference.

Exactly!! Same way I've done it.

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Last week a 5'er pulled into the campsite next to us. I was outside when they arrived, and since the drive and pad were covered with leaves I offered to be another set of eyes. The gentleman driving mentioned that he had noticed a bulge on the tread when they stopped to register. The bulge happened to be facing forward and was on the front trailer tire on the driver's side, so it was easy for him to see then. When he wanted to show it to me it happened to be on the bottom of the tire.

 

I helped him change the tire, and we did that before actually setting up the trailer, as he wanted to keep it attached to the truck in case it decided to go off by itself.

 

Lesson: Check the tires every time you get out of the truck. A broken belt (bulge) on the bottom of the tire is hard to see, but chances are that it won't be on the bottom the next time you stop. Better yet, if there are two of you, one should slowly drive the truck ahead or back (5'er properly hooked up) while the other one walks along the side, looking for bulges. Stop, let the spotter move to the other side, and continue.

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