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Old 09-05-2015, 05:53 PM   #1
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Default Why Do I Need To Carry A Spare Tire

Seems like an idiot question. So I just want to think out loud to all you experienced members. These thoughts first came about when I was trying to figure out how to lighten my load. Don't know how much a tire weighs
I have 4 new tires on my Ford-E-250. The spare is under the Van. If I were to have a flat/blowout I would not be changing it. I'd call for help. Would not accept help from any Good Samaritan that happened to stop. So, if I had a spare and got a flat and help arrived, they would change it roadside. If I had a spare and had a blowout. Same thing. NOW, if I didn't have a spare, the person answering the call would probably be saying to himself "IDIOT ". Maybe rightly so. But then my van would have to be towed to the nearest facility for repair/replacement. Admit that would be a hassle. SO, I'm usually not a gambler, but in all my years of driving I have never made a call for tire roadside assistance. So, I've been asking myself should I worry about Murphy's law?
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:59 PM   #2
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Often discussed, never resolved, as everyone has a different risk tolerance. We are pretty risk aversive, so we carry a spare, and we would be able to change a wheel ourselves, at least for now.
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Old 09-05-2015, 06:44 PM   #3
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you do not. however even if you are not going to change it yourself-you have to depend on the tire changer to have both a rim and a tire-or the ability to put a tire on a rim. not always available with road service
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:29 PM   #4
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Depending on how common the tire size and the day of the week you might wait a long time for a tire if you don't have a spare - like days. I've had several flats over my driving career where the spare turned out to be very useful. I've had a flat on my Sprinter, inside dual, that I noticed at a rest stop and it still took several hours to get roadside assistance off the Interstate in Arkansas. I had a spare and could have changed it myself, why bother if you have roadside insurance. If you take a trip to a remote area like the back roads of Alaska then you need to carry a spare and be prepared to change it yourself since you might not have cell phone coverage.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:32 PM   #5
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My last rig had nowhere to put a spare, so I drove for 4 years without it... never needed it. My previous rig had a spare on the rear... never used it. For over 50 years, I've driven tens of thousands of miles with a spare in the trunk of my car... never used it. So... I'm not carrying one in this rig. Roadside assistance will be informed thereof if I have a flat... and I will wait while they do whatever needs to be done. I almost never have a schedule and I can wait with my kitchen and toilet facilities on board and read a book until they do so.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:41 PM   #6
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I have a spare (GWV gave it to me for free) but there is no place to store it under the van, so it normally sits in our garage. If I were going to Alaska or something like that, I would probably choose to throw it in the back, where there is plenty of storage under the clear-span sofa/bed. Short of that, I don't worry about it.
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:11 PM   #7
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Got a spare and ability to swap, then you are covered.

No spare, then you are at the mercy of circumstance.
a flat tire could cost you hundreds and a day or 2.

a spare for my van costs $170 at costco and I could swap in 30 or 40 minutes, roadside.
that knowledge allows us to leave the interstate and go to more remote areas where assistance may not be easy
( one of the roadside packages I looked at does not cover on "private roads" ( like a campground?) or on "gravel, dirt, unpaved roads"


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Old 09-05-2015, 08:27 PM   #8
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My current car came with run flat tires and no spare. It has taken me a few years to adjust even though it is claimed one can go 50 miles with zero air pressure in run flats. I do carry a spare on my Interstate but might give it up if they every offer run flat tires rated for the weight of my Interstate on a 2500 Sprinter chassis. No matter what though we will carry a spare when we go to Alaska.
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:44 PM   #9
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In my limited experience, run-flats are a nightmare. Expensive, poorly-performing, hard to find, and short-lived. Our Toyota Sienna came with them. First set were replaced at something like 8K miles (free under a "special program"). Future sets did somewhat better. The one time we needed to depend on them (a flat on I40 outside Amarillo), they didn't even get us 35 miles before shredding to pieces, leading to a tow. Next, we discovered that no replacement was available anywhere in Texas. Rather than waiting days, we put on a conventional tire to get us home. When we got home, we put 3 more conventional tires on and never looked back.

In this day and age, carrying a spare tire makes no more (nor less) sense than carrying spares of a dozen other easy-to-swap parts (alternator, fuel filter...). I'm pretty much over it.
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Old 09-06-2015, 01:20 AM   #10
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I think that the only problem with having NO spare tire is when your on-wheel tire ruptures, blowout, or is not possible to re inflate. Normally, a tire can be re inflated by you or the AAA/CAA if it has lost pressure and has a leak which isn't too much to drive the car to a garage. I have a pressurized canister to inflat my tire in my BMW if it loses too much pressure but, that isn't always a cure. I personally like a spare which even if the pressure is low can be pumped up by AAA/CAA. Which is what I have in my PW Plateau TS.
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