Why it’s smart to match wheels & tyres in an off-road camper trailer!

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matching wheels and tyres of camper trailer to vehicleHow many tyres have you changed in the last 12 months? If you are just driving around a local urban area, the stats would be zero. But if you are on country roads, then probably 1 or 2. However, if you are on poor bush roads then the number climbs above this. It is hard to say and depends on the roads in a particular year and season.

The best prevention is good eyesight and concentration as you look out for every conceivable stake or piece of wire visible from the drivers seat. Yet at sunrise or sunset, you will miss a lot of the warning signs (let alone if you have to drive at night). The inevitable can then happen.

Which tyre is most vulnerable?

Your vehicles tyres, particularly the “driven” tyres are most vulnerable. Then the rear tyres may have a higher load on them so may be the ones to watch. However, the camper trailer can also be vulnerable if the tracking width of its wheels and tyres are different to the vehicle. So for the majority of Jayco trailers for example, their width is at least 200mm wider than a large 4WD. This increases their vulnerability significantly.

The most valuable scenario when having a trailer of the same tracking width AND matching wheels and tyres is the second back-up spare for your vehicle.

Follow the scenarios below in the table:

Leave Town with:

Vehicle with Camper Trailer behind; different tracking width to vehicle; wheels are not inter-changeable to vehicle

Vehicle with Camper Trailer behind, similar tracking width to vehicle; wheels are not inter-changeable to vehicle

Vehicle with Camper Trailer behind, similar tracking width to vehicle, wheels are inter-changeable to vehicle

Tyre is destroyed on vehicle at first grid out of town

Use vehicle Spare wheel and tyre

Have to divert from route if not carrying second spare.

Have to divert from route if not carrying second spare.

(No need to divert as trailer spare is second spare)

Flat tyre on 3rd day

Hope you diverted

Hope you diverted

Use Trailer spare as second spare

Couldn’t get a new tyre in bush town and had to get a repair done by locals

Difficult roads ahead

You have BOTH the vehicle wheels and the trailer wheels vulnerable

Your vehicle wheels only are most vulnerable, not the trailer

Your vehicle wheels only are most vulnerable, not the trailer

Inevitable happens

You end up with a flat on the vehicle and then later in the day on the trailer coming into camp.

You end up with a flat on the vehicle

You end up with a flat on the vehicle

You have no spares available

You have no vehicle second spare and are vulnerable but trailer spare is OK

You have a second spare

What Action?

You must divert again for a tyre repair

You must divert again for a tyre repair

You can hold off.

On the way to get the new tyre, another tyre slowly leaks

You stop by the side of the road and decide:

Do I leave my partner here with the trailer and hitch a ride to closest town for a new tyre

You stop by the side of the road and decide:

Do I leave my partner here with the trailer and hitch a ride to closest town for a new tyre

You use the second spare and keep driving

You see the sign post to Wolf Creek!

??

??

Camp and have fun!

Watch these points with matching wheels and tyres:

Stud number and Pattern: This is measured by the “Pitch Circle Diameter” of the Studs and the number of studs.

Stud Thread: Either Metric of UNF (Unified National Fine). They are NOT interchangeable if one is on the trailer and a different thread on the vehicle.

Wheel type: If your vehicle has alloy wheels and the trailer steel wheels, there is a high probability that the wheel nuts will be an entirely different shape and the wheels cant be interchanged.

Insert hole in wheel: Off road camper trailers with 2 tonne or larger bearings require a large centre bore hole for the bearing cap to protrude through. (this is the physics of it, not the brand). Some vehicle brands have either small PCD and / or a small bore hole. In these cases, the off road trailer wheel may be fitted on the vehicle but not the reverse.

Tracking Width: The front wheels tracking width on some 4WD’s is wider than the rear. The perfect trailer tracking width can be anywhere in between.

What do you do if your vehicle has 18inch tyres as standard? This is a size that is hard to get in the bush. The solution here is to downsize the wheels to 17inch or 16inch providing this size wheel will fit over the brake calipers. Then use this matching size on the trailer. The tyres have to have a large inflatable volume and 33inch rolling diameter is preferable for soft sand or beach work.




DOWNLOAD a Matching Wheels and Tyres GuideThis is not a product brochure. But discussion on design issues


Matching Wheels and Tyres Guide 20121203 1 resized 600

Or if you have matching wheels and tyres, then the benefits of monitoring their pressures from the vehicle are in this eBook:

Importance of Optimum Tyre Pressure and Temperature 1 resized 600

 

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