In this post, we will take a look at the different types of RV spare tire covers. The RVing world is full of surprises and not all of them are good. One of the worst unexpected events during an RV trip could be a blown tire. Something you don’t want is to find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a bad tire AND a bad or missing spare.
There are so many parts of RV maintenance and preparation that it can be easy to overlook something as simple as a spare tire cover until you need the spare and find it has been stolen, the sun has caused it to crack, or it has begun to dry rot.
A spare tire cover for your RV is exactly what you need for the peace of mind that when you need your spare tire, it will be there and is in the best condition possible.
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Why would you want to spend additional money on something like a cover for an RV spare tire when there are numerous other things to invest in? That is a great question, let us help you see why this would be a purchase you might regret not making in the future.
RV Tire Covers Can Help Prevent Theft
A good spare tire isn’t cheap and the last thing you want to be stuck doing on a trip is buying a new one because the original was stolen. Spare tires, more often than not, have never been used. The rim and tire will likely be in great condition which makes them a savory target for your local thief.
Most of the covers on the market will have some sort of locking mechanism to protect your tire from the sticky fingers of would-be robbers.
You’ll find some theft prevention is more robust than others when it comes to covers, but it is likely if a robber knows it will take more time to cut free the cable locking your spare tire cover onto your RV they will move on toward an easier target.
To be honest, we think this is the best, and most obvious reason to get a spare tire cover for your RV. In the event you will ever need to use your spare tire, you want it to be in good condition.
UV exposure could lead to dry rot and eventually cracking of the sidewall. This kind of damage to your tire is unrepairable. The sun can also degrade, discolor, or bleach the finish of your wheels as it sits unprotected on your RV. A cover can mitigate the tire’s exposure to the elements and keep it ready for use when you need it most.
The cover will also keep the tire cleaner and help stop road gunk from collecting on it and keep birds from making it their next nest location.
This may not be a reason born from the need for safety or reliability but we think it is the most fun reason for investing in a cover! Give your RV a more complementary or finished look by customizing your spare tire cover in a way that highlights your interests, favorite sports team, or your favorite color. Why not take advantage of the opportunity to personalize your RV a little more while also protecting and securing your spare tire?
Now that you know why you need a spare tire cover for your RV, let’s go over the two most often used types available and which may be best for you.
Hard Shell RV Spare Tire Covers
Just as the name suggests, hard-shell RV spare tire covers for your RV are made of durable materials like stainless steel, molded plastic, or a combination of both. They attach in two parts; a faceplate that will go on the outward-facing section of your spare tire and a ring that has a latching system to connect the two and lock them in place.
Advantages of the hardshell cover
- Security. They offer a higher level of protection and should have a metal lock to keep thieves at bay
- Strength. They are long-lasting; the durable material will be able to withstand the wear and tear of traveling better than their vinyl counterparts
Disadvantages of the hardshell cover
- Installation. Some may not be very user-friendly. Some of these covers can be challenging to install so we recommend making sure you have picked the correct hard shell cover for your specific tire.
- Price. As with many products the durability and long-lasting life of this cover can sometimes make it nearly twice the amount of other options.
If you’re looking for a secure, strong, and long-lasting cover and won’t be put off by a little more expense and effort during installation, this is the best option for you.
These covers for your RV’s spare tire are made of soft vinyl or heavy-duty UV resistant fabric and wrap around the tire and fasten in the back with either an elasticized cord or a rope. Another soft vinyl cover option includes a padded felt interior to rest against the tire as an additional safeguard.
Advantages of the soft vinyl covers
- Customization. The soft vinyl covers have more personalized options available. The sky is the limit on ways you can tailor these covers to showcase the different things that make you and your family one of a kind
- Affordability. If you want to protect your spare tire without breaking the bank, this may be the better option for you
Disadvantages of the soft vinyl covers
- Security. They aren’t as secure as the hard shell RV spare tire covers would be. Some soft vinyl covers will come with metal locking rings but even so are less secure than the hard shell covers.
- Durability. The soft vinyl cover will not be able to withstand the elements as long as the hard shell covers will.
If you’re looking for a less expensive cover whose main purpose is to protect your tire from the sun and other elements and offers more customization options than it does security (though it is not completely without) then this is the cover for you.
Final Thoughts on RV Spare Tire Covers
When you’re ready to purchase your RV spare tire cover, there will be plenty of options online. Remember to guarantee you have purchased the exact cover you need, this can be done through the manufacturer of your RV directly; however more decorative covers may not be available this route.
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We know there are countless things to invest in when purchasing and using an RV regularly. Don’t forget to include covering your RV spare tire as part of that investment.
Safety is one of the most critical things to keep in mind when traveling, and getting a spare tire cover for your RV is a way to add another level of protection for you and your family.
Keeping your spare tire covered will help preserve the condition of your tire and keep it ready to go in case of an emergency. Here is more information on how to prevent or minimize an RV tire blowout.