Flat tires happen. From your first bicycle to your last car, flat tires happen. Tire repair breaks down in to four sub-categories. Fix-a-flat, tire patching/plugging, tire jacks/lifts and air compressors. In the event you are towing a travel trailer behind a pickup or SUV, these are items you might keep with you anyway. You might want to supersize them for the extra tires and demands.

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One item that is available in every auto parts store, most convenience stores and even any large grocery store with a hardware section are tire gauges. I generally buy them by the 3-4-5 at a time. Not sure how I loose them, but I do. So I buy extras. I still loose them at the same rate, I just have to buy them less often. Every thing with wheels has a tire gauge. Cars, trucks, travel trailers, boat trailers. Well, maybe not the lawn mover but there is one in the garage with the main air compressor. And yes, I have managed to loose it also.

Tire Jacks
A lot of vehicles come with a small car jack. These jacks very from unsafe and dangerous to extremely unsafe and dangerous. Take the time and effort and invest in a better general use jack. A scissor jack can be a good all around option. But take a look at your travel trailer and SUV or motor home and decide what is best for you. Pay attention to load capacity. Do not buy a light weight jack because it is cheaper. Buy more then you need so it will work when you want it to and you will be safe using it. I also like to carry a couple jack stands as extra safety.

When it comes to tandem axle travel trailers, one option is a tire wedge or tire changing ramp. You place it so the travel trailer’s good tire can be pulled or pushed to it and that will raise the other one to be changed. They only work on dual wheels and the are of no value on your tow vehicle. Some leveling wedge kits can also be used this way. I personally prefer a 10 ton bottle jack with a telescoping jack stand.

Tire Repair

Fix-a-flats are an okay temporary but unless done right and not always then, they can be next to useless. But they do NOT require removing the tire to use. A plug kit is simple and does not require the tire off the rim but generally does require the tire off the trailer/truck/RV.

Both have their place in your tool kit.

Air Compressors

Ok, air compressors can serve many purposes. First and foremost is the ever required emergency tire pump up. But there are also beach toys, sleeping bag air mattresses or the occasional need to use pressurized air to clean something off.

Now for a major warning. Many trailer tires are inflated to near or over 100 PSI (pounds square inch). Many of $10, $15, $20 air compressors you can pick up at a department store or auto parts store can not handle these pressures or if they can, they will be struggling to get the last of the tire pressure that high. Buy a compressor that is rated well about your trailer or RV size. Spending $50, $60, $70 now may save a lot of time and effort on a dark road or back country trail trying to get enough air in a tire to get you down the mountain.

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Courtesy S. Ward – Road signs for wildlife traffic control