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Mounting a Spare Wheel


Uncle Bulgaria

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Unfortunately, my Hobby Van does not come with a spare wheel. Further, because it is the low bed model, the access door to the storage under the transverse rear bed is not wide or high enough to accept a spare wheel. I've tried to mitigate against the occurance of a blow out or puncture by a combination of Tyron Bands and pre-puncture sealant within the tyres. As we get more adventurous in our travels, even these measures may still leave us stranded. The logical place for a spare wheel - under the rear of the body - is precluded because the waste water tank necessarily occupies part of the space.

 

The solution I am considering is to mount a spare wheel on the rear wall of the van, and I would welcome comments on the factors I need to take into account before committing to this. I believe a steel spare wheel weighs in at around 30Kg. At the moment, fully loaded, my rear axle load is 1800 Kg with a maximum allowed axle load of 2250 Kg. The MAM is 3500 Kg and my fully laden weight 3200 Kg. So the addition of the spare wheel, and a mounting arrangement, should not push the rear axle load and the all-up-weight too near to the maximum.

 

My main area of concern is the strength of the rear wall. Cycle racks are available, which, together with cycles, will exceed the weight of a spare wheel. But a cycle rack uses a distributed four point attachment and a spare wheel mount would concentrate the load on a small central part of the rear wall. I've discussed this with the supplying dealer of the motorhome, who is a Hobby dealer, and the workshop manager does not see a problem. He cites Autotrail as an example of a rear mounted spare wheel. He thinks a special mount will need to be made to fit the Ford wheel.

 

I need advice, and I hope that members of this forum will be able to point me in the right direction. Many thanks.

 

Richard Thomas

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I can't see a problem either, perhaps using something like this with spreader plates on the inside of the garage wall rather than just attaching the wheel solely through the centre to the wall, this would give it 2 attachment points, rather than one.

 

http://www.landyspareparts.com/spare-wheel-mounting-kit-798-p.asp

 

PS: If you need a 'new' wheel and tyre let me know as I have one for sale!!!! :-D

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If you've got ample storage under the bed..but just can't get the wheel into it..what about looking at modifying the bed frame/base and making a portion of it lift up/out?...so that the wheel could be accessed from the inside?

Personally,I'd be exploring that route,before I started bolting all manner of brackets and plates on the rear wall of the van......

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pepe63 - 2012-10-22 11:32 AM

 

If you've got ample storage under the bed..but just can't get the wheel into it..what about looking at modifying the bed frame/base and making a portion of it lift up/out?...so that the wheel could be accessed from the inside?

Personally, I'd be exploring that route,before I started bolting all manner of brackets and plates on the rear wall of the van......

 

Thanks Pepe63, interesting thought. The bed arrangement does not allow any access to the underbed storage area at the moment and it would be a major job, but you have got me thinking. So thanks for that. In case it does not prove feasible, I hope others will let me have their thoughts on my original proposal. Thanks once more.

 

Richard.

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Although I dare say it'd be perfectly feasible to mount it on the back wall,personally,as it's not something that is all that common for MHs(accept for Autotrails),it could be met with a, "..what the 'ell have they done there..?" response.. (lol)

Not good for resale value,later on down the line.....

 

..whereas a subtle bit of reworking of the underbed framework/panelling, would go unnoticed..;-)

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Guest pelmetman
pepe63 - 2012-10-22 5:17 PM

 

Although I dare say it'd be perfectly feasible to mount it on the back wall,personally,as it's not something that is all that common for MHs(accept for Autotrails),it could be met with a, "..what the 'ell have they done there..?" response.. (lol)

Not good for resale value,later on down the line.....

 

..whereas a subtle bit of reworking of the underbed framework/panelling, would go unnoticed..;-)

 

You must be a mere sprog in motorhome terms then Pepe ;-).............Our first RV :D............A Fiat Amigo had its spare on the front, and many Vauxhaul CF's had them there as well, even with our Travelhome I have seen them mounted on the back as they didn't fancy the grubby job of crawling under the camper to retrieve it *-).....................................As far as I'm concerned that's what I pay a recovery service for ;-)

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Hi Richard

IMHO the link Mel gave would be a last resort solution as the weight will be spread over a very small area of the rear wall & it may be difficult to locate more than a single cross spar..

 

Ask your Dealer what solution he envisages using.

If the load is spread similar to a Bike Rack, mounting the spare wheel should be feasible weight wise as most of the common bike racks quote a 60kg capacity.

Possible solution, fit a bike rack & mount the spare wheel on that. It maybe possible to remove the cycle channels & fit a wheelwell in their place. Benefit is that it wouldn't impact on resale value.

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Yes but the OP's van is a relatively new(ish) Hobby Van....and not a crusty old RV,Fiat Amigo or Beford CF........ (lol)

..and I doubt that bolting a chunk of ironwork on the back/front panel of one of the above vehicles(..ironwork that'd more at home on the back door of a Landie),would have that much affect on their resale value.... (lol)

 

Edit:Sorry flicka,our posts crossed... :$

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Guest pelmetman
pepe63 - 2012-10-22 8:05 PM

 

Yes but the OP's van is a relatively new(ish) Hobby Van....and not a crusty old RV,Fiat Amigo or Beford CF........ (lol)

/QUOTE]

 

You may sneer Pepe ;-)..........................but if van's in the 80's were built well enough to stand the weight of a wheel on the front or back.......then it don't say much for new vans 8-)

 

Although I'll admit I did have to re in force my back end after fitting a bike rack :$............and carrying bikes for thousands of miles without turning a wheel *-)............

 

I have since heard that one should ride a bike.............. :-S

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Uncle Bulgaria - 2012-10-22 3:18 PM

 

pepe63 - 2012-10-22 11:32 AM

 

If you've got ample storage under the bed..but just can't get the wheel into it..what about looking at modifying the bed frame/base and making a portion of it lift up/out?...so that the wheel could be accessed from the inside?

Personally, I'd be exploring that route,before I started bolting all manner of brackets and plates on the rear wall of the van......

 

Thanks Pepe63, interesting thought. The bed arrangement does not allow any access to the underbed storage area at the moment and it would be a major job, but you have got me thinking. So thanks for that. In case it does not prove feasible, I hope others will let me have their thoughts on my original proposal. Thanks once more.

 

Richard.

 

Funnily enough, I wondered about that too but couldn't find a picture of the 'rear' of your van to see the exact layout - is yours like the one below?

1550336660_hobbybed.jpg.72273de99647b084a60117d66be8abbf.jpg

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This may be daft, but why not put it on the roof? With a bit of re-inforcement if needed? Out of the way, not taking up space etc etc

 

Hopefully most of us will never have to use a spare wheel, so if & when we do, getting it off the roof would be minor problem compared with having a puncture.... or?

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pelmetman - 2012-10-22 8:26 PM

 

You may sneer Pepe ;-)..........................but if van's in the 80's were built well enough to stand the weight of a wheel on the front or back.......then it don't say much for new vans 8-)

#

 

Dave..I didn't "sneer",I was just pointing out the obvious..The OP is not running a '80s vehicle,on which it was normal practice to bolt the spare on the bonnet...if he was then I'd say go for it.... ;-)

 

..and there's nothing to say that,fitted properly,his Hobby Van isn't "..built well enough to stand the weight of a wheel.." either,it's just that as it's not such common practice "nowadays",it would probably look a bit "odd"....

 

Off Topic: Dave...what was the outcome with your trailer project?..is it all up and running now?(..it's probably been discussed before but I missed it...)

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Richard,

 

Thinking 'outside the box' how about mounting the spare wheel off a towbar?

 

A quick Google search came up with this... Link so whilst not a cheap alternative would certainly save drilling the rear panel and could very easily be removed later.

 

Worth a look?

 

Keith.

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Guest pelmetman
pepe63 - 2012-10-23 9:12 AM

 

Off Topic: Dave...what was the outcome with your trailer project?..is it all up and running now?(..it's probably been discussed before but I missed it...)

 

I've fitted it out for long terming, but have hung fire with the solar panel idea as we thought we'd see how we spend our time camping, if we find we're spending more time on site with hookup then solar would be a waste ;-)...............as I reckon I'm looking at about a 1k for 2 panels, additional batteries, inverter etc 8-)

 

But we now have stacks of storage and even more payload available, and the top turns into a large table for entertaining on site B-)

P1000269web.jpg.bb3521fe0dd5e9c6e572db4c75a8f8f5.jpg

P1000268web.jpg.ce8998ad4f041156831293260581a321.jpg

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Uncle Bulgaria - 2012-10-18 11:17 AM...........................The solution I am considering is to mount a spare wheel on the rear wall of the van, and I would welcome comments on the factors I need to take into account before committing to this. I believe a steel spare wheel weighs in at around 30Kg. At the moment, fully loaded, my rear axle load is 1800 Kg with a maximum allowed axle load of 2250 Kg. The MAM is 3500 Kg and my fully laden weight 3200 Kg. So the addition of the spare wheel, and a mounting arrangement, should not push the rear axle load and the all-up-weight too near to the maximum............................Richard Thomas

Be very careful!! If yours is built anything like ours, the rear internal wall is thin ply, about 3mm at a guess, doubtless framed, then there is a void that carries insulation of the multi-layer reflective type, and then the outer GRP panel. So far as I can tell, there is no connection between the internal rear wall and the outer. That is to say both appear to be independent, self supporting, structures. You would need through bolts to take the weight of a spare wheel and tyre plus its supporting carrier, and I personally doubt that such could be fitted. If they can be fitted, I'd think the connection between the two walls would be more decorative than functional! When we bought ours I enquired about a rear ladder, and was told one could not be fitted as the rear GRP wall had not been designed to take the load or the fixings. AFAIK, bike racks have to be specified when ordering, and are a factory fit item only. I'm not saying that you won't see aftermarket bike racks on Hobby Vans, but my impression at the time was that only factory fit racks, that had Hobby specific support rails, could be used. Those with aftermarket racks may, or may not, have them properly secured and supported. It wouldn't be the first time someone has fitted a bike rack where they shouldn't, or has fitted one with unsuitable fixings (including No 8 woodscrews, but that one fell off! :-)).

 

I'd suggest you have a look instead at the spare wheel carriers fitted to Hymer Vans. These carry the wheel roughly amidships underslung, and are apparently a standard item, though I haven't investigated whether a Ford part or a Hymer part. It has the advantage of placing the load low, and between the axles.

 

Whatever you don't try stowing it on the roof!! 60 lbs of spare wheel wouldn't do the handling any good, getting it up there would be highly risky, as would getting it down again, and the although the roof will take (from memory) 75kg or so of man, it probably wouldn't take the weight of man carrying spare wheel! Added to that you'd have to secure it in place, and making fixing holes in roofs is not, IMO, sound practice!

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Also as Brain says you can't fit a rear ladder, how the h**l you going to get a spare up on the roof or down again, when you need it.

 

JAT - will the spare fit between the rear chassis members ?

If so, would it be possible to cut the rear skirt & put a cradle under the Motorhome, then fit hinges to the cut section of skirt to form a locker face.

IIRC Autotrail used this method on one or two older models, before they started mounting on the rear.

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flicka - 2012-10-23 9:46 PM

JAT - will the spare fit between the rear chassis members ?

If so, would it be possible to cut the rear skirt & put a cradle under the Motorhome, then fit hinges to the cut section of skirt to form a locker face.

IIRC Autotrail used this method on one or two older models, before they started mounting on the rear.

 

Flicka, Our AT Cheyenne is like this but the weight of the spare wheel is carried by a substantial steel frame mounted off the chassis extensions. Although not impossible it would be quite a feat to retrofit.

 

I still think my towbar mounted carrier is the best option as there would be no mods to the body of the MH and all the weight would be on the towbar which is already designed to carry loads in excess of the weight of a spare wheel. And as I said earlier it could very easily be removed if the MH was sold.

 

Keith.

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flicka - 2012-10-23 9:46 PM

 

Also as Brain says you can't fit a rear ladder, how the h**l you going to get a spare up on the roof or down again, when you need it.

 

JAT - will the spare fit between the rear chassis members ?

If so, would it be possible to cut the rear skirt & put a cradle under the Motorhome, then fit hinges to the cut section of skirt to form a locker face.

IIRC Autotrail used this method on one or two older models, before they started mounting on the rear.

Simple answer, no. The base is a platform cab, so there is no chassis as such, it is a van floorpan without the bodywork. There is a substantial, galvanised, bolt on, rear extension that supports the "garage", but this is low mounted, and the depth between the longerons is not equal to the depth of a spare plus a carrier. I haven't measured the width between the longerons, but suspect it would be inadequate. However, this extension (or at least, the transverse member that spans between the longerons just below the rear wall) is already the lowest element of the "chassis", and a bit prone to ground, so a spare that projects below it would give even less ground clearance at that point, and I think grounding would become a serious issue. I would also have reservations about being able to remove a spare in this position if it were a rear tyre that had punctured, because I think the resulting clearance would be insufficient.

 

I have looked and looked for a solution to this with our "Van" and come to the conclusion that the Hymer solution is the best that can be achieved. At present our spare lies on the floor of the garage, where it is clean, warm, and dry, but it puts an unwelcome 60lbs behind the rear axle, adding to rear axle load, reducing front axle load, and increasing the inherent rear bias of the overall vehicle load. So, low and between the axles, albeit with an exposed spare beneath the chassis so getting wet, rusty, and dirty, seems the best option if it can be achieved. Problem is, I have been unable to date to find out how Hymer have achieved this.

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Mel B - 2012-10-22 9:41 PM

 

Uncle Bulgaria - 2012-10-22 3:18 PM

 

pepe63 - 2012-10-22 11:32 AM

 

If you've got ample storage under the bed..but just can't get the wheel into it..what about looking at modifying the bed frame/base and making a portion of it lift up/out?...so that the wheel could be accessed from the inside?

Personally, I'd be exploring that route,before I started bolting all manner of brackets and plates on the rear wall of the van......

 

Thanks Pepe63, interesting thought. The bed arrangement does not allow any access to the underbed storage area at the moment and it would be a major job, but you have got me thinking. So thanks for that. In case it does not prove feasible, I hope others will let me have their thoughts on my original proposal. Thanks once more.

 

Richard.

 

Funnily enough, I wondered about that too but couldn't find a picture of the 'rear' of your van to see the exact layout - is yours like the one below?

 

Mel,

 

Your 'photo is of my model van. The arrangement is essentially a fixed single bed full width across the rear of the van. Under this fixed bed is the primary storage locker, which is fully enclosed, again transverse across the rear of the van but only accessible from the outside via a hatch 52 cms x 52 cms. A second set of bed slats pulls out from under the fixed part of the bed to give the extended base for the full double with the second mattress placed thereon. Under the bed extension is the Truma heater on the near side and a deep storage bin on the off side, with a gap between them where you can see one of the hot air outlets in the photo. Other heating pipes also pass behind this bulkhead. So the work in making some form of access would be substantial.

 

Richard.

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Mornin' Richard..

 

..So getting to it from inside would definately be out then..? (..I hadn't realisd that your bed was that "complex" :$ )

Is there any scope for fitting a larger locker door?...or maybe an additional one the other side of the van?(..or is there "stuff" in the way..pipes/ducting etc..?)

Failing that is there any suitable location under the "chassis" ..? (..even if it would mean getting a cradle made up or and existing one altered).Having said that,I'd assume that getting to anything that is under the van, would be a problem anyway...especially with a flat tyre.. :-S

 

It would be interesting to know what Hobby's thoughts on the matter are......and that's "Hobby HQ" and not some "dealer",who'd probably say "..yes,of cause we can.." ,just to make a sale.. ;-)

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My thanks to all those who have responded to my original post. It has given me things to think about and I especially welcome the notes of caution expressed.

 

Apologies for the complicated description of the operation of the bed. Essentially, it's like one half of a parallel sofas arrangement where the sofa base extends to form the base for the bed. The bed can be left down permanently as a transverse double, but stowing it away gives extra floor space and easier access to the twin wardrobe which sits over the foot of the bed and the lockers on the rear wall.

 

My van differs slightly from Brian's in that it is on a chassis cab, not a platform cab. A spare wheel would fit between the rear chassis extensions (just) but the waste tank occupies part of the space so the remaining axial space is not long enough to accommodate a spare. I have looked at the possibility of moving the waste water tank forward but this is precluded by the rear axle. I've even considered fitting a smaller waste tank, but the volume would need to be halved to create sufficient space. Brian's comment on the width of the wheel being greater than the depth of the chassis extension is relevant, but I think from my measurements that there would be sufficient clearance to remove a spare wheel stored under the rear floor. Grounding might be a problem, but grounding a spare wheel and carrier might be less damaging than grounding the transverse chassis member right at the rear end of the chassis extensions. But this is all academic as there is insufficient axial length to accommodate the spare.

 

The idea of mounting a spare wheel carrier off a tow bar is an option, and has the advantage of not affecting the rear wall, so that is still in play.

 

I have an inquiry in to Hobby via the UK importer, but I am still waiting for a response. If anybody has a hotline into Hobby's technical department in Germany it could give me another route in.

 

I recall a comment made by Brian that Hymer fit a spare wheel centrally under their Transit based Van, but I made no progress in getting to the bottom of this when I tried contacting Hymer previously.

 

So thanks to everyone. I'll now wait to see what the dealer comes up with, but it will have to be fully explained and convincing and have no detrimental impact on the structural integrity of any part of the van's habitation body or chassis.

 

All your advice is much appreciated.

 

Richard.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Can I jump in here belatedly with a note of caution, even stronger than the excellent points made by BK? Please, please, please do not consider mounting 30kg of wheel to the rear panel without going back to the manufacturer's design engineers. It's not just the weight (static load) but the dynamic load placed on the body by the wheel as you drive over humps and holes in the road can do serious damage. You can easily momentarily reach 2g driving over a pothole, that's like hitting the back panel with a 60kg lump. You can imagine what would happen, given Brian's description of the construction. It was on this forum a year or so ago that someone described a cycle and rack, fitted by a well known dealer, that fell off a van along with a chunk of the bodywork, for just this reason.

 

Most people, and that seems to include some coachbuilt manufacturers, do not take dynamic loads sufficiently into account. A few years ago, when we were having our Vista modified to put the spare wheel on the back, dear Gordon Bentley refused to do it unless the entire cavity was filled with structural timber, and the carrier through-bolted to that. So it was, and we never had a problem even on unpaved roads, but when the fridge in my current van burst free of its mounts recently, you can clearly see why. Four 25mm screws may be enough to hold it in place when stationary, but not when it's bouncing around directly above the rear wheel where the dynamic load is greatest.

 

No, underneath is the place, if you can find the space. If it neeeds a bit of engineering, then one of these two companies may be able to help:

 

http://www.pwsacc.co.uk/

http://www.autovan.co.uk/conversions.html

 

Best of luck

 

 

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Grumpy Grandad - 2012-11-20 4:28 PM

 

Hi.

We have a Hymer with the spare wheel slung under the chassis. The carrier is a Fiat part. My only resevations are that the wheel is only about 6 inches off the ground, but it certainly keeps the weight in the right place.

Assuming your Hymer is a Hymer Van (Ford Transit based), that is exactly the information I've been looking for! Can you say what the Fiat part is, please?

 

I haven't seen a spare wheel carried in this position on any Transit PVs, and have no idea what modifications Hymer introduced to support it.

 

Would it be possible for you to photograph the spare wheel and carrier from below, to help identify the part, its mounting point, and how/to what, it is fixed?

 

I'm assuming Hymer use the platform-cab, and not chassis-cab, variant of the Transit chassis? The platform cab retains the Transit van's steel floor right to the end of the Ford chassis (which is overlaid with the slightly wider motorhome ply floor during conversion), whereas the chassis cab does not.

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