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Old 12-16-2018, 09:36 PM   #1
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Default Is your spare tire mounted on little tee nuts? Check it out

This message applies to all 139s, I think, and maybe to other models -- if your trailer has the spare on the back, this is important news.

So, my trailer’s spare tire mount is on the back wall of the trailer. I was thinking about mounting a small one-gallon gas can (for my generator) on top of the spare. But before I began the gas can project, I took a good hard look at the spare tire mount.

I removed the spare and realized that all four of the bolts holding the mount onto the back wall were a little loose – yikes! Worse yet, when I tried to tighten them, they did not tighten.

It turns out that the tee nuts inside the back wall of the trailer were rotating as I tried to tighten the bolts – the little prongs anchoring the tee nuts had bent.

Clearly, the tee nuts were not adequate for the load of the spare tire, especially given the vibration and shock caused by the spare tire on rough roads. This is what the tee nuts looked like – tiny and inadequate:


Click For Full-Size Image.

So instead of the original quarter inch steel bolts, I put in 3/8 inch stainless steel bolts. Instead of tee nuts, I added a thick piece of steel bar and used heavy duty lock washers and nuts:


Click For Full-Size Image.

Now the load will be distributed over a wider area of the back wall, reducing the “force per square inch” caused by the weight and vibration of the spare tire. And you can bet that I will check these bolts and nuts every so often, just to make darn sure that everything is secure.

Note that I am not blaming Cruiser for this issue -- the 139 series was not designed for heavy use on rough roads. It was designed as a weekender, mostly for folks going on short trips to RV parks. But that is not how I use mine -- we go for weeks at a time, on rough forest roads, to remote semi-wilderness sites.

So everything on my trailer has to be evaluated for rough usage, and that is why I have upgraded the spare tire mount!!
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Old 12-18-2018, 10:01 PM   #2
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While you are at it, Dan, check the age of the spare. You know all about how tires age even when they have never or seldom been used. To quote you, "Don't ask me how I know this...."
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Old 12-19-2018, 09:34 AM   #3
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Good point! Also, make sure the spare is properly inflated -- I often check my trailer's tires but rarely check the spare, and it does lose air after a long while.
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Old 12-27-2018, 01:16 PM   #4
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That's sad they would mount the spare like that
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Old 12-28-2018, 11:59 AM   #5
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Well, yes, but notice that the whole assembly lasted through six years of very hard usage -- off road, rocks, potholes, etc., lots of vibration -- and it did not fail. So for ordinary usage, I think the tee nuts were probably an adequate piece of engineering.
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:39 PM   #6
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good point, I know you do some serious Boondocking. mine is not loose. Just seems kinda weak.
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Old 12-31-2018, 11:06 AM   #7
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Get a bumper mount for that spare tire. All problems solved. Cheap & easy.
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Old 12-31-2018, 02:00 PM   #8
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mjp, just one problem -- the 139 series did not have a bumper! And there is no structural member in the back that can accept a mount -- the frame encloses the black tank.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:40 PM   #9
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Default Bumper on x139

profdant139, damn, you're right. didn't know that, just assumed all trailers had a bumper.Sorry
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:05 AM   #10
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No need to apologize -- it does seem odd to make a trailer without a bumper. But the 139s were designed to be as small and light as possible, so why not get rid of the bumper? Bumpers routinely fail during light impacts (2 mph), so the heck with it.

But the absence of a bumper means that I don't have a place for a rear bike rack!!
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