The spare tyre lives under the bed area, with access via an external door of course. I know the usual position for a spare tyre on these sorts of vehicles is on the rear wall, but I'd already taken up that space with a window at the head of the bed, and a door for the generator and in the long term I'd like to attach a couple of push-bikes to the back. Also, I didn't want a big external winching gantry on the back.
We tried to fit it underneath the chassis, right at the back of the truck, but that was going to be a disaster for the departure angle with the tyre being 425mm wide.
So I have designed a sliding cradle with a hand winch on the end of it to lift the wheel into the storage space for it. Weight is the main issue here, with the spare wheel coming in at around 125Kg, made up of 72Kg for the tyre and over 50Kg for the rim.
This is how the overall system works:
- The winch obviously does the lifting. It is a boat winch with 400Kg capacity, and uses seatbelt webbing instead of wire rope. I was going to get an electric winch for this, but then I though 'How often am I going to change a flat tyre' and decided it would be simpler and cheaper with a hand winch. About 1 minute to fix it onto the slider with 2 bolts (hand tight only needed). It doesn't take much effort at all to wind it up.
- There is a slider which rolls in and out with the tyre attached to get it into and out of the storage space.
- Underneath the tyre is a sheet of HDPE to make it slippery so it is easier to slide in and out
- A couple of custom brackets to wedge the tyre firmly, and attach tie down straps.
All this turns it into a one person operation. This is what it looks like:
At the rear there is a simple tongue that clips the tyre in and prevents any upward movement.
Custom brackets either side are a firm fit and act as anchor points for the tie down straps.
Once fixed in place it is extremely solid so am hoping it will cope easily with the corrugations.
Another job done!
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