Do we really need a spare?

1stDeuce

Explorer
Wow, 9 pages on whether or not "we" really need a spare tire...

This question is akin to whether or not you should wear your seatbelt, or have airbags in your vehicle, or if you should wear underwear under your kilt IMO... :)

FWIW, I have full size spares on all our vehicles. I also have plug kits in all of them too. I have on board air in our "expedition" vehicles, and if we go on longer trips with the others, I toss in a little 12v compressor. I'd rather plug and air up than change to a spare any day...

Some of the tire repairs shown here are magnificent, and great inspiration for when you are really screwed... :) I once cut down two tires on the same piece of angle iron along a trail. I now stop immediately when I hear the telltale sounds of a puncture as I'm tooling along the trail. Lesson learned to keep from driving the rear tire over whatever just took out the front...

I'll toss this out for further thought: I think having Tire pressure Monitoring is key to saving tires in general. Having a flat on the highway often results in a destroyed tire, as you typically don't notice until it's coming apart, whereas when we've had issues with tires on TPMS equiped vehicles, I've always been able to plug and air back up.

Thanks for the entertainment fellas!!!
 

LocoCoyote

World Citizen
I always carry one, but the last time I needed one was 1984, and I'm not kidding. Maybe I'm lucky or tire technology is just that good these days. I likely won't get rid of mine but the weight and real-estate savings has me thinking.
No one needs a spare…until they do. It’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
 

Metcalf

Expedition Leader
At some point you realize that you can't carry everything you could possibly need for every situation. If you do try to carry that much stuff, you will find that it has a detrimental effect on the vehicle which may very well be causing more issues than not carrying anything. You have to find a balance that works for you. I commend anyone that is actually willing to try something different and push the envelope in either direction.
 

Oscar Mike Gulf Yankee

Well-known member
I always carry one, but the last time I needed one was 1984, and I'm not kidding. Maybe I'm lucky or tire technology is just that good these days. I likely won't get rid of mine but the weight and real-estate savings has me thinking.
The original spare tire on my 99 F-150 is still under the bed, it has never seen direct sun light, now on my 3rd set of tires at 115,xxx miles.
 

RandyP

Adventurer
The original spare tire on my 99 F-150 is still under the bed, it has never seen direct sun light, now on my 3rd set of tires at 115,xxx miles.
You should check the tire pressure, it's probably flat. The lower it down and inspect the tire. Any tire more than 5-years old should be replaced due to calendar aging.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
You should check the tire pressure, it's probably flat. The lower it down and inspect the tire. Any tire more than 5-years old should be replaced due to calendar aging.
I'm thinking replacing tires at 5 years old is a bit extreme...unless of course it has been abused or out in the sun constantly.

ALWAYS check ALL tires, including the spare, for air pressure and condition before any trip. My spares (10 ply) are kept aired up to 80 psi although the tires on the ground might be running only 35-40 psi. I use the spare as an air tank in case I need to add air to one of the tires on the ground. Works really fast and really well.
 

deserteagle56

Adventurer
Here is a word from the final authority on the subject....from a brochure on traveling remote canyon country. At least one, and preferably TWO full-size spare tires.
spare tire r.jpg
 

bustedcrawler

New member
Here is a word from the final authority on the subject....from a brochure on traveling remote canyon country. At least one, and preferably TWO full-size spare tires.

No citation... So have to ask where is that from, since it is the "final authority" on the subject? Spent plenty of time in canyon country in my younger and dumber years where food, fuel, and beer were the only concerns, all while in a 40+ year old rig with only a couple paper maps.

World isn't black and white and really depends on the person, the vehicle, and location.
 

RandyP

Adventurer
Here is a word from the final authority on the subject....from a brochure on traveling remote canyon country. At least one, and preferably TWO full-size spare tires.
View attachment 745141
?
Do not rely on GPS devices and mapware ?
BS
Carry paper maps for emergencies if needed. Use Navigation apps and GPS to pinpont your location on The maps you have uploaded to the Navigation apps. Hopefully you are knowlegable of USC&GS 7.5 minute maps. The ones you upload are the sameones you might carry hard copies of. Looking thru the Navigation app at them is just a good quick way to monitor them as you travel. Same data as if you were looking at the hard copies. And your GPS position track from the Navigation app is priceless.
Your 'Final Authority' is in question here !
Carry a SPot device, or other brand GPS trackingdevice with uplod to Satellites to keep you family and Friends cognizant of your location.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Well-known member
You should check the tire pressure, it's probably flat. The lower it down and inspect the tire. Any tire more than 5-years old should be replaced due to calendar aging.
For a infrequently used spare... I don't worry about the age so much.

I got my spare tire from the junkyard lol.
 
Last edited:

RandyP

Adventurer
I usually buy two tires at a time. The rear tires seem to wear the tread faster than the fronts. I use my vehicle off road on questionable routes. I use the lugs on the tread for traction. They usually suffer loss of leading edges (rounded off square edge of lug) noticeably. In Short time, they do not provide the traction a new tire tread dose. I repace them when I consider it time to do so. It's not a highway mileage thing, its a tread wear thing. I replace them as a pair, on one of the axles. Keeping the tire diameters on one axle as close as possible helps with highway performance, steering, ect.
Of the two tires I replace, usually one is in great shape other than the tread lug wear. SO that tire becomes my spare that I carry on the Jeep everywhere I go. If I destroy a tire with a cut thru the ply or puncture, I also replace its axle twin, giving me a great tire for a spare. I plug the tires if possible where cut or punctured to get back to the highway and sometimes home, without dismount and mount of a very heavy tire/wheel combo. I have installed spare wheels and tires on the Jeep on the trail, but its a very physically demanding adventure.
Seldom do my tires last for more than 5 years.
I replace my car hauler gooseneck trailer tires once every 5 years, unless they fail before that time. I'm using heavy 17.5" wheels and tires on the trailer now (120 psi pressure spec), hoping that they can withstand the use and abuse they get, without failing before their tread is gone.
YMMV
 
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SheepnJeep

Active member
In general I keep a “doughnut” spare in the stock location in my Jeep Cherokee. It doesn’t seem like much but it takes up a lot less space when it comes to day to day use of an already pretty small SUV. When we are going camping or far off the beaten path I put the full sized spare back in place. It only takes a couple of minutes. I have very poor luck with flat tires so I bring one. Unfortunately it’s not always in your hands. Last flat I had was the result of running something over in the rain. Can’t always see every speck of metal on the road.
 
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