The spare tire controversy has been widely discussed on forums all over the web and we read many of them to help with our decision to eliminate hauling one around. Many of the newer models do not include one. With road side assistance of some type available in most areas, along with our new tires we felt confident we could travel safely without the extra 143.6 pounds of dead unnecessary weight. Not to mention the fact the spare tire was 16 years old.
We were impressed with the gaping hole left behind after the tire removal and our brains went into hyper mode trying to come up with ways to build a compartment inside the cavity. We always brainstorm these projects together and debate ideas to the best possible conclusion. In this case a trip to the local big box store for some large plastic bins was looking pretty good.
Installation was planned to keep everything original should we ever sell to an owner who wished to convert the bay back for the spare again. The long bolt for holding the tire in place was cut off to make things even on the new bay tubs which could be put back in place should one want to reverse the update. We needed to allow for some airflow required by the propane tank. We weren’t too concerned about making it air tight but wanted to make sure no water could find its way in from the front in the event of rainy travel. Dust is yet another possibility, however, anything of value we put in there will be cased and we don’t plan on high speed dirt roads too often. Somewhere we read there is a RVIA regulation governing accessibility to LP storage valving which states the shutoff valve must be accessible at all times. It is also the position of the National Fire Association and USDOT so we did not add a key lock to this bay. We will be installing Fortress Security alarms on the door and could use the bike cable style locks to things we carry in there should we need them. For the most part we will only fill this bay with low value items anyway. In case anyone wonders about the yellow wire, it is the brake light warning feed from our tow car to the RV dash Rudolf bulb to warn us about tow car brakes being applied. Thanks to Blue OX for this option.
A few hours labor, about 60 bucks in expense, a little welding, and we are pleased. It should be obvious to one skilled in the art, however, no welding in this bay area is recommended because of the propane tank. Also directly behind this bay is the gas tank so our welding was all done far away from those 2 items. Oh and no more standard duct tape for us, wow, Gorilla Tape is the only way to go!
Optimizing space in the RV world is critical to us as we needed to make room for all the music gear we like to use in our performances. This newly claimed storage space gives us just the right amount of “if we only had more room” in our dreamtour.