Firstly, heres a photo just showing where the carrier is positioned on my 2004 Swift Challenger…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

And heres the carrier close up…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

First off I removed the circular securing pin, then undid and removed the black plastic spindle…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

This allowed me to pull the carrier towards me and away from the chassis. It wont fall off as it remains fastened to the opposite chassis rail…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

I then pulled the carrier out and towards me to give access to the spare wheel…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

The wheel was secured by both a clamp and a wheel nut. I first removed the clamp by unthreading it…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

…and then the same with the nut (using a 19mm socket) to free the wheel from the carrier….caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

I pulled the carrier as far out towards me as possible thinking this would allow me to remove the spare wheel. But no! this didn’t allow enough clearance between the wheel and the caravans chassis to lift it free! 🙁 Even lowering the jockey wheel as far as it would go didn’t help. Finally after much swearing I pushed the carrier back under the van, this then allowed me to lift off the spare wheel.caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

More about the condition of my spare wheel later. Whilst the wheel was off I decided to grease the carrier bars where they slide in and out of each other…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

And grease the threads that the wheel clamp and nut were threaded onto…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

Then with the carrier re-attached back into position (simply reverse the above procedure) I greased the spindle thread…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

And the circular clip….caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

On inspecting the spare wheel it still had its original unused spare tyre complete with sticker. Sadly this meant the tyre was out of date, being 8 yrs old 🙁 so need replacing. On further inspection I noticed where the carrier had caused indentations to the tyre itself, in 4 places…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

The manufacturing date wasn’t visible on the outside face of the tyre, but it was stamped on the inside face of the tyre.

Outside face…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

Inside face…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

The date stamp showing ‘0404’ which means made in 4th week of 2004…caravan-advice-diy-spare-wheel

Conclusions

It took me about 30mins to remove my spare wheel, but next time I could do it in perhaps 10 mins. When working on your own driveway the alko carrier is fine, if a little frustrating. If doing this on the roadside with the caravans nearside up agains a kerb it would be a complete pain in the backside to do!

Jacking the nearside wheel up would help, and perhaps you would be jacking it up anyway if changing that wheel, but if its the offside wheel on the roadside then forget it. And due to the marks left in the tyre wall I think I will now be keeping the spare either in the van, or in the back of my Land Rover when towing.

But a big thumbs up for my Hankook RA08 175/14 tyres, at 8 yrs old they look like new, but Ive already booked e-tyres to visit and replace them all.

‘Thingy’s’ original post is here.

Thanks for reading.