When we bought our bus back in December 2017 we knew we would be changing a tire sooner rather than later. 11 months later and halfway through this conversion we are at that point. We found out that changing a tire on the bus is quite the experience, and can be quite expensive.
I called around getting quotes and was finding prices around $500 for a lower quality tire. Since we didn’t want to shell out that much money we searched for a better deal online. I found a Hankook tire on SimplyTire.com for a bit under $300 and free shipping, or you can get it on Amazon by clicking here. It is a higher quality tire and a tread pattern that we liked for on road and off road applications.
In order to get the tire changed I needed to get it off the bus. It really wouldn’t have been safe to drive it to get it replaced, even though we had been driving on a pretty bad tire up until now, we felt it was better to get it off ourselves.
I tried using various 1/2 inch wrenches, but they all broke. I was left searching for how to get this done without spending a fortune having the tire tech come out to us.
To the internet!
I found a few videos from semi truck drivers that showed them using a torque multiplier tool. I had never heard of such a thing, so I watched a few more videos of them in action and even found a few to compare reviews. I called all of the local shops I thought would have them and even a few auto parts stores to see if they had one I could borrow; to no avail.
Buying tools is all about getting what you pay for, but sometimes a budget must be kept in mind. I purchased the tool set on Amazon. (Here is a link if you are in need of one yourself). It is a cheaper (monetary) tool set but it did its job flawlessly, quality wise it has worked to do this job and seems quality made . Absolutely astounding tool. I was able to break the lug nuts free with one hand and this tool.
My next issue was having a jack that could lift and hold that axle up until the new tire was installed the next day. I found a 8 ton bottle jack at Harbor Freight tools. It worked like a charm and at $25 it was a good deal. I plan to buy another one to keep on the bus in case we need it or we could use it to help someone else one day.
I had the tire mounted to the wheel at a local tire shop and was able to put the tire and wheel back on myself. I can say that it was quite an experience. We did save a bit of money and I learned a great deal on changing the tires on a bus.
Let’s do the math…
The original quote from a local shop was $490 for a Falken Tire. Add in tax, shop fees, and all that and we would be somewhere close to $600 for 1 tire.
I bought the tire from SimplyTire.com for around $290 (shipping was free and only took 2 days), the cost of the jack was $25 and the torque multiplier cost another $65 brings us to about $400.
So that’s the story of installing a new tire on the bus, the tools I needed and where to get them. The process is simple and it comes with some very valuable lessons.
Next on the list is to get the propane lines run for heat, hot water, and most importantly the stove. Don’t miss what’s coming. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, link up with us on Instagram , and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog for breakdowns, reviews and exclusive content from Sloth High Five.
Thanks so much for joining us for this fantastic journey.