Trailers can get flat tires, just like cars can. If you’re driving with a trailer and experience a flat, there is no need to panic. Swapping a flat tire for a spare tire is fairly simple, as long as you have the right tools accessible. Follow the guide below to learn how to change a flat tire on a trailer.
Step 1 – Locate the Jack and the Spare Tire
Not all trailers come with spare tires, but many do. If you are renting a trailer, you should contact the trailer rental company to see where the spare is stored or what they’d like you to do to resolve the flat tire.
In most cases, the spare tire will be tucked away underneath the trailer somewhere to keep it out of the sun. The jack may be near the spare tire, or it may be in a separate tool chest somewhere on the trailer.
Step 2 – Jack the Trailer near the Flat Tire
Many vehicles and trailers will come with a scissor jack, which turns into a diamond shape as it lifts up. To use this, simply line up the notch at the top of the jack with a sturdy piece of metal on the body of the trailer or vehicle. Then you can crank the rod to move the jack up.
Adjust the jack as it raises so that it perfectly sits under part of the frame. Then keep moving it upward until the tire lifts slightly above the ground. If the tire is still on the ground, it may be hard or even impossible to get the old wheel off and put the new one on.
Step 3 – Use the Lug Wrench to Remove the Lug Nuts
The lug nuts are the nuts on the wheel that mount the tire to the trailer. Use a lug wrench of a compatible size to remove each of these individually. If you have a four-way lug wrench, you may need to test different ends until you find the right size.
Step 4 – Remove the Old Wheel and Put the Spare on
With all of the nuts off, you can remove the old wheel and put the spare tire in its place. The spare may be smaller than the other tires on the trailer. It’s simply designed to temporarily help the vehicle move. It’s not made for long trips.
Step 5 – Secure with the Lug Nuts and Lower the Jack
Using the lug nuts you removed earlier, secure the spare wheel onto the trailer. Tighten the lug nuts, but don’t tighten them so much that you strip them. After that, you can gently lower the jack and put it back in storage.
Step 6 – Drive Carefully to Your Destination
With your spare tire in place, you can then drive slowly to a mechanic shop or wherever you need the trailer to go. Most spares are only designed for a max speed of 50 mph, so proceed with caution. Replace the tire at the earliest possible time to minimize the wear on the spare. If you have a rental trailer, the company you’re renting from may have instructions on where to take the trailer to get a new tire.
Can I Drive a Trailer with a Flat Tire?
You shouldn’t drive with a flat tire if at all possible. If you have to drive without a spare in a worst-case scenario, the other tires will have to compensate for the missing one. This will cause improper weight distribution though and will likely ruin the other three or more tires. Do not drive with a flat tire unless it’s an absolute emergency as you will likely cause extensive, costly damage.