As part of our planned maintenance of our new pre-loved Tribby I wanted to check tyre pressures and condition. This, of course includes the spare. I had read lots of horror stories about the carrier being rusted solid or the tools missing or broken and approached this task with a degree of trepidation (these wheels are heavy).
First thing was naturally enough to consult the manual. I read it carefully then looked at my back end (so to speak). The description didn’t match reality! Then I checked the electronic versions (two) that I keep on my iPad. Both were different and neither matched what I saw.
Finally I pushed and prodded at a likely spot and uncovered two bolts that looked like they might have something to contribute. This is the setup I had to work with:
A – shows the two bolts uncovered
B – shows the covers removed
C – is a double-ended hex tube spanner, the big end fits the bolts and the small end fits the ratchet
D – is the ratchet, double sided so it work to screw and unscrew
E – is the jack (the arrow is pointing at the nubbin/bump which locates in the jack point)
The process was surprisingly simple but I’ve added a couple of steps for those of us without massive upper body strength. It starts with using the ratchet and tube spanner to release the bolts. Note that these bolts are holding the hanger hooks which keep the carrier in place (see the arrowed part below).
It’s worthwhile noting the odd shaped tube welded to the carrier on the nearside (see arrowed part below). The crank handle for the wheel brace (spanner) can fit into this and provide a handle to raise or lower the carrier. This, however means that you need two people on the job, one to release the hanger hooks and the other to raise or lower the carrier. It can be done by one person but this can be awkward.
Another note to the wise here. If your camper has a towbar then this may prevent the spare wheel from sliding out of the back. In my case I had to jack up a rear wheel to give me enough height to get the spare past the towball. Doing all this gave me a chance to check that the carrier wasn’t rusted and to check the state of the spare. I cleaned it and pumped some more air in. I always set it at the pressure needed for the rear wheels as this is higher than the pressure for the front and it’s easier to let some air out than to put some more in.
Refitting is a direct reversal of the steps above. A little grease on the bolt threads and the carrier hinges and all is tidied away.