Two Spare Tires?

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Lindenwood

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Getting ready to go with some 37x12.5x17s on my F250, and have largely decided on carrying two spares in the bed. To paraphrase, most folks who carry two say "one spare allows you to get home; two spares allows you to keep going."

Over the next year, my wife and I are slowly downsizing to full-time living in an Airstream travel trailer. Our intent is to spend most weekends exploring the Western half of the country, with at least a few longer trips a year. I want these trips to go as smoothly as possible, so among many preparations, being able to swap one spare and keep going without a worry is nice. Worst case, I have personally experienced two flat tires on a bicycle miles off the road, and have seen it happen with two tires on the same side of a vehicle. So, again, it is a little extra piece of mind.

I do carry and know how to use a plug kit for simple tread holes. However, I am not quite confident in my ability to reliably remove, remount, and reseat a tire. So, I am not really considering any major tire repair or even inner-tube installs as realistic options right now.

My basic plan is to build or buy a cross-bed rack and mount them flat on top (roughly even with the roofline) to leave me more practical horizontal bed space. However, I am considering mounting them vertically. How have you guys carried two spares?
 
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Flipper

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I carry 2 on my boat trailer, on two trips we got flats. One was in the Everglades miles from nowhere. I had to drive several miles on the rim because there was no place to even pull off the road to change it. Worried about another flat that would have stranded us we had to drive the whole way to Naples to get another spare and lost a half day in the process. After that we carry two. The small amount of extra weight was a easy trade for piece of mind.
 
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Renegade

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I carry 2 spares, the factory spare under bed (a little smaller), and a full size identical spare that is part of a 5 tire rotation.
 

Lindenwood

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I carry 2 spares, the factory spare under bed (a little smaller), and a full size identical spare that is part of a 5 tire rotation.
That isnt a bad compromise! You dont sacrifice the additional bed space or roll stability with the high-mounted 2nd spare, while still maintaining some get-home peace-of-mind. In extreme cases, of course, you could be limited on 4WD usage if you used both spares, but that would indeed be quite a situation.

For my planned set of 6 matching wheels, I am trying to decide if I should stack the tires up in the center and potentially block the top taillight (and all rear-window visibility), or sit them side-by side and lose some potential storage to the left and right of the tires.
 

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After 2 years overlanding, the first year with a trailer over 3 continents, over 50k miles we have never had a puncture. On the first part of the trip my trailer had the same running gear as my Land Rover so I carried 2 spares and could if needed use the trailer tyres as spares.

On the 2018 drive to Mongolia we left the trailer behind and only carried one spare plus a tyre repair kit. We never needed either and we covered some very rough terrain in both Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and the Pamir Highway as well as Russia and the Stan countries.

Carrying an extra spare can give you some piece of mind but also remember, correct management of your tyres, pressures, switching and good route choice are just as important. Weight of your vehicle is also a critical consideration on a long trip. Don’t overload it as it will increase wear and tear on all components including your tyres and a spare wheel is not light.

Best advice, weigh up your trip, terrain and confidence and make your choice. In some cases a second spare is a good choice and in others it’s overkill.

Hopefully what I have given you is good food for thought to help you make your choices
 

Lindenwood

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Thank you for the insight! I am indeed toying with the idea of 1x full-sized "keep playing" spare on a bed rack, while still also keeping the factory "limp home" spare under the bed in the stock location.

It does save me a modest amount of weight (even with a 3400lb payload, ~35lbs is not nothing!), allows for a moderately-lower CG, and makes storage a bit easier. Of course, crap happens--I think Ive only ever needed a spare tire just once since I started driving, but then again I have never been out deliberately crawling rocks in the desert!
 
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MOAK

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After 2 years overlanding, the first year with a trailer over 3 continents, over 50k miles we have never had a puncture. On the first part of the trip my trailer had the same running gear as my Land Rover so I carried 2 spares and could if needed use the trailer tyres as spares.

On the 2018 drive to Mongolia we left the trailer behind and only carried one spare plus a tyre repair kit. We never needed either and we covered some very rough terrain in both Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and the Pamir Highway as well as Russia and the Stan countries.

Carrying an extra spare can give you some piece of mind but also remember, correct management of your tyres, pressures, switching and good route choice are just as important. Weight of your vehicle is also a critical consideration on a long trip. Don’t overload it as it will increase wear and tear on all components including your tyres and a spare wheel is not light.

Best advice, weigh up your trip, terrain and confidence and make your choice. In some cases a second spare is a good choice and in others it’s overkill.

Hopefully what I have given you is good food for thought to help you make your choices
I'm going to guess that you are using BF Goodrich tyres?
 

MOAK

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we also used to go out and about with two spare tires.. Then I reduced it to one spare mounted on the spare rim and a spare off the rim. Over 21 years and we've never had a flat. I now carry one spare, a tire repair kit, and a set of valve stems that can be installed without removing the tire from the rim. We also drag a trailer that has matching rims and rubber, so technically, if need be, we could leave the trailer and use one of those tires as a spare if need be, but it has never happened.
A lot of never having had a flat, in my humble opinion has a lot to do with tire quality. I'm told by a lot of people that I'm wasting about $30.00 per tire with my insistence on using BFG "E" rated tires. Having never experienced a flat with BFG why change?
 

Lindenwood

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Thanks for the thoughts, everyone. I have had one flat in my life, now that I think of it. But, I think it comes down to what @Flipper mentioned. I know even if I had a second undersized spare, if I had to swap in my one good spare to keep going, I would have trouble not worrying about it. Having a 2nd complete spare (and the likely ability to repair the first, if it was just a picture) would go far to ease my mind if I had to use one--and even does if I never have to. I carry lots of stuff Ive never had to use on the road (gun, fire extinguisher, quick-clot gauze, etc), so I cobsider a wnd spare in line with those.

I suppose in the end, even if I never use a spare on the road, all I am really losing is 100lbs of payload (for which I have accounted), and about 10% of my bed area.

I found a nice toolbox that will fit against the cab between two vertically-mounted spares, so Im going that route. Will post pics!
 
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mep1811

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Two is one and one is none they say.
That said I only have one at the moment.
I also subscribe to that philosophy. I've always carried two spares and have had flats that could not be fixed. It is nice knowing I could keep going without the first order of business finding a new tire.

Like anything else you carry "just in case" better to have it and not need it that need it and not have it.
 
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Jorrie

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i carry two full size spares. One under the truck bed and one on the roof.

I recently did a trip that cost me 3 tires. All 3 cut to shreds by sharp rocks. Had to get a lift to the nearest town (100 miles).
 

MOAK

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i carry two full size spares. One under the truck bed and one on the roof.

I recently did a trip that cost me 3 tires. All 3 cut to shreds by sharp rocks. Had to get a lift to the nearest town (100 miles).
I’m curious to know more about your dilemma. What tires? What pressure? What Region? Losing 3 is a tough lesson ..
 
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mep1811

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A 37 x12.50 x17 tire weights about 75lbs add the wheel and it is close to 90lbs.

I know with a 33 x 10.50 x 15 tire/rim combo I can only get it on my roof by myself if I get it on the hood and roll it up the windshield and get it on the roof rack. That is not my preferred method but any other way takes two people.

I often wonder other plan to manage their spare tires especially when they are 100lbs or more.
 

Lindenwood

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Yeah I have had that conversation before about getting a spare onto the roof.

The wheel and tire combo I've chosen weighs about 99lbs (72 tire, 27 wheel). I will be mounting them vertically in the bed, strapped down and locked with a cable I think, largely to minimize the amount of heaving I have to do. It will be hard enough just getting them up into bed.
 

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I have two 37" spares in the back of my Cummins. Aside from the "one spare gets you home but two keeps you going" philosophy the extra weight in the back helps the truck ride better.
 

MOAK

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As I read all of these replies I must say that I keep my tire/wheel weight as low as possible.. even as I type I’m shopping for a smaller lighter tire than the 285s I’m running now.. 255/85/16s will be my next tire size.. if your tire/wheel combos are so heavy that they are nearly impossible to manage alone on dry flat terrain, what will you do if you have a shredded tire on uneven, off camber, slick, rocky or otherwise inhospitable conditions? I try to keep it simple and practicle.. practicle in that no matter the conditions I will physically be able to change out a tire in any conditions..
 

Brewbud

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As I read all of these replies I must say that I keep my tire/wheel weight as low as possible.. even as I type I’m shopping for a smaller lighter tire than the 285s I’m running now.. 255/85/16s will be my next tire size.. if your tire/wheel combos are so heavy that they are nearly impossible to manage alone on dry flat terrain, what will you do if you have a shredded tire on uneven, off camber, slick, rocky or otherwise inhospitable conditions? I try to keep it simple and practicle.. practicle in that no matter the conditions I will physically be able to change out a tire in any conditions..
Very good point. I agree that is always a good concern to keep in mind. Fortunately, I can install my 37s without any difficulty. I showed a friend who was having trouble with his tires a simple trick. He would have gotten it on eventually but this technique made it easier. Position and adjust a small flat board or two near the hub you are putting the tire on so that it places the tire close to the height needed. Roll the tire onto the boards. Tilt the top of the tire in so the wheel studs are in the top holes of the wheel. Remove the boards as the bottom of wheel tilts inward and onto the lower studs. It may help to place a lug nut loosely on the top lugs before you remove the boards.
 
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