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2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've picked up a 2nd spare tire and wheel.

I had pondered mounting it directly onto the driver's side rear door but was worried about the mass of the tire and wheel combo stressing the door and/or its mounts.

I'm currently resigned to just laying it flat on the floor and securing it down in my "garage area", i.e. the area under my bed just ahead of the rear doors. It takes up space but that should be ok. Being flat, I would make some kind of plywood "cover" over the tire and thus can still put things on top of it.

But today, I saw a pic of a Hymer Aktiv and its spare tire mount. It seems to mount on the rear towing hitch. It seems to be able to fold down to allow the rear door to open. I thought this was quite clever.

I am not good at nor keen to fabricate metal things. For those of you who are good at metalwork, what do you think of such a design and where it could be attached to our PMs?

I should note that I currently do not have a towing hitch.

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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You can buy a fold down spare tire hitch that would mount in the standard center receiver or maybe one of these is available.
76365
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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have thought about a spare mounted on reinforced back door and positioned so that most of tire weight is on the bumper. some vertical adjustment probably needed as spare tires will vary a bit in diameter.

have not actually tried it yet though.

the hitch mount seems good, but a lot of expense if not needed for other things.



gary
 

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Master Overland Custom Vans Tampa
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We sell the best rear door tire carrier and have been installing 4-5 of these tire carriers per month. They work well. Let me know if you want one. $495.
By the way, apparently the Aktiv owners dislike that tire carrier design because we have installed a few of them on Aktivs that have had that contraption removed.
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Van #2 2021 EXT
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have thought about a spare mounted on reinforced back door and positioned so that most of tire weight is on the bumper. some vertical adjustment probably needed as spare tires will vary a bit in diameter.

have not actually tried it yet though.

the hitch mount seems good, but a lot of expense if not needed for other things.



gary

It is a tough decision for me. I believe the Ram rear doors are a weak link in the overall design. I have had the rear passenger lock/opening mechanism replaced once already under warranty as sometimes it becomes hard to pull the handle (outside & inside) open. Even new well fitting doors on a logging road will let fine dust in. I like the very large rear doors & full access openings “cargo van - loading pallets”, but IMO Ram has asked a lot of the hinges and closing/opening hardware & closing points. I am use to my vehicles’ doors operate smoothly & without mechanical interference (BMW being exceptional).

I highly doubt I am the only unfortunate PM Owner who has ever had issues with the rear doors.

For this reason, I would not “load” these doors with items as heavy as a spare tire.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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We sell the best rear door tire carrier and have been installing 4-5 of these tire carriers per month. They work well. Let me know if you want one. $495.
By the way, apparently the Aktiv owners dislike that tire carrier design because we have installed a few of them on Aktivs that have had that contraption removed.
Thanks @jostalli
Have you had anyone report problems with the weight affecting the door operation, or problems with rough roads?

Gary
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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It is a tough decision for me. I believe the Ram rear doors are a weak link in the overall design. I have had the rear passenger lock/opening mechanism replaced once already under warranty as sometimes it becomes hard to pull the handle (outside & inside) open. Even new well fitting doors on a logging road will let fine dust in. I like the very large rear doors & full access openings “cargo van - loading pallets”, but IMO Ram has asked a lot of the hinges and closing/opening hardware & closing points. I am use to my vehicles’ doors operate smoothly & without mechanical interference (BMW being exceptional).

I highly doubt I am the only unfortunate PM Owner who has ever had issues with the rear doors.

For this reason, I would not “load” these doors with items as heavy as a spare tire.
Good points.

I think I might just give it a try and watch it carefully and try to catch any problems before they get out of hand.

Looks like we are going to do the Dempster again and I'd really like to have two spares.

Gary
 

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On my 2017 PM I carried a spare mounted to the right rear door for over 2 years with no problems at all. Hwy and dirt roads. As far as dust leaking in, that problem is easily solved Adjusting and Sealing ProMaster Rear Doors I plan to put an overland hitch on as soon as I can. BTW, I carried a door mounted spare on a Sprinter for 8 years with no problems either. Maybe it depends on how much you use the door?
 
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2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good points.

I think I might just give it a try and watch it carefully and try to catch any problems before they get out of hand.

Looks like we are going to do the Dempster again and I'd really like to have two spares.

Gary
Slight tangent: do you feel the Dempster is rough enough to need 2 spares? By the way, rough roads are precisely why I am going to carry 2 spares.

And PS: The Dempster is on my radar in the next month or 2! (It'll be realistically only Northern Canada as Alaska, as far as yesterday's US gov announcement goes, is now not permissible until at least late Aug)
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Slight tangent: do you feel the Dempster is rough enough to need 2 spares? By the way, rough roads are precisely why I am going to carry 2 spares.

And PS: The Dempster is on my radar in the next month or 2! (It'll be realistically only Northern Canada as Alaska, as far as yesterday's US gov announcement goes, is now not permissible until at least late Aug)
Hi,
The Dempster is great - highly recommend it.
You go through three separate mountain ranges, and now you can get all the way up to the Arctic ocean, now that the new road to Tuktoyaktuk has been completed.

Dawson City is also lots of fun. Highly recommend the tour of Dredge 4 outside of Dawson City.

The Dempster does have a reputation for being hard on tires, and our experience over several trips would support this to some degree.

The last time we went up the Dempster, we had a total failure of one tire.
We only had the one spare, so were OK to make it (slowly) to the tire shop at Eagle Plains.
But, having only one spare changes your options if you get one tire failure. You pretty much have to prioritize getting that tire repaired above anything else - this can be inconvenient and can change your plans. If you have a 2nd spare, you can pretty much go on as planned and get the bad tire fixed when its convenient.
The tire shop/restaurant/motel at Eagle Plains, which is half way up the Demster, has a very good tire shop, but we still had to wait overnight for them to ship in a tire from Inuvik. Other than Eagle Plains there is no support along the Dempster.
Trip report including tire failure details: The Big Yukon Trip – Build A Green RV

It is also possible to have two tire failures at the same time or in short order. This just happened to us with our rental car in Iceland. Driving one of their F roads (rough interior roads), we had a single rock or pothole get both tires on the driver side. Luckily we were with our kids who were driving an identical RAV4, so we could use one spare from each to fix our RAV4. I was probably going a little to fast, but the gravel road was in good shape at that point, and I was looking hard for rocks and potholes. I drive on gravel a lot, and sometimes things happen even if you are careful.

One sort of side thing we like about the Dempster is that there are "gravel pits" along the highway. These are usually not pits at all, but just places they mined gravel for the road. You can camp at any of these that are not actively being used, and some of them are in spectacular places.

On the travel restrictions coming back to the US from Canada. The Canada border opens on Aug 9, and it looks like the US border opens later in August. I'm wondering if its possible (or prudent) to go up into CA mid August and assume that the US border will be opened back up by the time you want to get back in? Any thoughts on this?
There might be an advantage to doing this, as there probably won't be a ton of traffic until the border is open both ways.

Gary
 

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Ex-Amazon 2019 PM 2500 159" high roof in KS
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It is a tough decision for me. I believe the Ram rear doors are a weak link in the overall design. I have had the rear passenger lock/opening mechanism replaced once already under warranty as sometimes it becomes hard to pull the handle (outside & inside) open. Even new well fitting doors on a logging road will let fine dust in. I like the very large rear doors & full access openings “cargo van - loading pallets”, but IMO Ram has asked a lot of the hinges and closing/opening hardware & closing points. I am use to my vehicles’ doors operate smoothly & without mechanical interference (BMW being exceptional).

I highly doubt I am the only unfortunate PM Owner who has ever had issues with the rear doors.

For this reason, I would not “load” these doors with items as heavy as a spare tire.
I'm having the same problem with my rear passenger door on my 2019 with 35k being very hard to open, @RV8R. What was the issue? Did they replace the latch, handle, or both?
 

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I'm having the same problem with my rear passenger door on my 2019 with 35k being very hard to open, @RV8R. What was the issue? Did they replace the latch, handle, or both?
they replaced the locking mechanisms IIRC. But the issue is intermittent, & I’m not sure they diagnosed it correctly. I think it happens with road movement & could be more of a latching issue caused by road movement.
 

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2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi,
The Dempster is great - highly recommend it.
You go through three separate mountain ranges, and now you can get all the way up to the Arctic ocean, now that the new road to Tuktoyaktuk has been completed.

Dawson City is also lots of fun. Highly recommend the tour of Dredge 4 outside of Dawson City.

The Dempster does have a reputation for being hard on tires, and our experience over several trips would support this to some degree.

The last time we went up the Dempster, we had a total failure of one tire.
We only had the one spare, so were OK to make it (slowly) to the tire shop at Eagle Plains.
But, having only one spare changes your options if you get one tire failure. You pretty much have to prioritize getting that tire repaired above anything else - this can be inconvenient and can change your plans. If you have a 2nd spare, you can pretty much go on as planned and get the bad tire fixed when its convenient.
The tire shop/restaurant/motel at Eagle Plains, which is half way up the Demster, has a very good tire shop, but we still had to wait overnight for them to ship in a tire from Inuvik. Other than Eagle Plains there is no support along the Dempster.
Trip report including tire failure details: The Big Yukon Trip – Build A Green RV

It is also possible to have two tire failures at the same time or in short order. This just happened to us with our rental car in Iceland. Driving one of their F roads (rough interior roads), we had a single rock or pothole get both tires on the driver side. Luckily we were with our kids who were driving an identical RAV4, so we could use one spare from each to fix our RAV4. I was probably going a little to fast, but the gravel road was in good shape at that point, and I was looking hard for rocks and potholes. I drive on gravel a lot, and sometimes things happen even if you are careful.

One sort of side thing we like about the Dempster is that there are "gravel pits" along the highway. These are usually not pits at all, but just places they mined gravel for the road. You can camp at any of these that are not actively being used, and some of them are in spectacular places.

On the travel restrictions coming back to the US from Canada. The Canada border opens on Aug 9, and it looks like the US border opens later in August. I'm wondering if its possible (or prudent) to go up into CA mid August and assume that the US border will be opened back up by the time you want to get back in? Any thoughts on this?
There might be an advantage to doing this, as there probably won't be a ton of traffic until the border is open both ways.

Gary
Thanks for the great trip report, Gary. I recall reading it before and have now read it again as I'm actually planning to make it up to at least Inuvik. Very inspirational and great pics.

Regarding the tire that ruptured, it looks really destroyed. Were you going fast at the time? Do you know what caused it? Was it a pointy rock? Could it have been avoided by slowing down? I don't plan to speed but I could go slower on the gravel roads if it helps with keeping the tires in one piece.

Re: travel restrictions, I'm a Canadian from BC and so travel within BC and Yukon are no problem. It's just that I would have wanted to venture into Alaska since I'm going to be "right there". Sadly, the US gov't says "no" right now, even for fully vaccinated people like me.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Thanks for the great trip report, Gary. I recall reading it before and have now read it again as I'm actually planning to make it up to at least Inuvik. Very inspirational and great pics.

Regarding the tire that ruptured, it looks really destroyed. Were you going fast at the time? Do you know what caused it? Was it a pointy rock? Could it have been avoided by slowing down? I don't plan to speed but I could go slower on the gravel roads if it helps with keeping the tires in one piece.

Re: travel restrictions, I'm a Canadian from BC and so travel within BC and Yukon are no problem. It's just that I would have wanted to venture into Alaska since I'm going to be "right there". Sadly, the US gov't says "no" right now, even for fully vaccinated people like me.
Hi,
As far as I can remember, I was going slow at the time, and there was no big event that I could tie to a particular rock or pothole. I asked the tire guy about it, and his guess was that the tire lost some air and it was running underinflated that make it more vulnerable to rocks etc. But, I never got a warning from the TPMS.
My philosophy on driving gravel is that its best to go slow - any time you save going fast is going to be more than lost if you have a flat.
We have actually done the Dempster four times (hard to believe), and have had two tire problems. The first tire problem years ago did not actually show up until we were off the Dempster on pavement, but the damage was done on the Dempster.

Another option on the tires is to go with a heavier built tire (10 ply?) - not sure what the downsides of this are.

Gary
 

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2020 promasrer 136 HR
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We too are planning a Yukon/Alaska/BC trip this September, including part of the Dempster. We might forego bringing our bikes to make room for one of the winter tires on rims to use as an emergency second spare. Our 2020 2500 has Nexen Rodian 10 ply nearly new tires, and we would only go up ~150 - 200 km on the Dempster. Is the road any better on the more southerly sections of the Dempster?
Also looking anxiously at border reopening as we would like to do the Dawson City / Chicken / Haines loop to see Kluane. Right now looks like we would have to get tested before crossing, perhaps available in Dawson City. We have our shots, and hope the border opens before Labor Day.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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We too are planning a Yukon/Alaska/BC trip this September, including part of the Dempster. We might forego bringing our bikes to make room for one of the winter tires on rims to use as an emergency second spare. Our 2020 2500 has Nexen Rodian 10 ply nearly new tires, and we would only go up ~150 - 200 km on the Dempster. Is the road any better on the more southerly sections of the Dempster?
Also looking anxiously at border reopening as we would like to do the Dawson City / Chicken / Haines loop to see Kluane. Right now looks like we would have to get tested before crossing, perhaps available in Dawson City. We have our shots, and hope the border opens before Labor Day.
Hi,
The Dempster is divided into five(?) maintenance areas, each maintained by different teams on different schedules. So, you can go from great condition (40 MPH) if that team has just finished their maintenance cycle, to awful if the next maintenance district is at the end of the cycle. Last time we went up, the first part of the highway was pretty bad, but I think it just depends on when you hit it. "pretty bad" just means going slow and a bumpier ride - not that its anywhere near impassable.

On the times we have not gone all the way up to Inuvik, we stopped not to far after after Eagle Plains -- this lets you see the Richardson Mountains and also lets you get "the picture" at the arctic circle :) The scenery is nice, but less spectacular after this. If you do decide in the end to go further than this, check the status of the two ferries near the north end of the road - their operation is a bit iffy.

How are you liking the 10 ply tires? Do they ride harsher? Did they cost a lot more than regular tires? Notice any MPG difference?

Getting tested before reentering the US would not be so bad if that's all that is required. But, as you say, have to find a place to have it done. I wonder if the place that does the testing has to provide any special documentation, or put the result online for reading at the border?

Gary
 

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Good points.

I think I might just give it a try and watch it carefully and try to catch any problems before they get out of hand.

Looks like we are going to do the Dempster again and I'd really like to have two spares.

Gary

I like your idea of "loading" the rear bumper with the majority of the tire weight. 👍

If you can design an adjustable wedge attachment rear bumper loading system or similar that might relieve the strain/weight from the door (not sure if there is any flex in relation to the door/rear bumper, but if so that might be bad for the hinges/door). Also I am assuming the drivers side & as close to the bottom hinge as practical (lever arm), since the passenger door is the 1st to open you would still have access to the back on the passenger rear door.

I have a 2009 Jeep Rubicon with a heavy tire mounted on the back gate door "stock". it is ok and Jeep designed the rear gate for this application, but again "they are asking a lot" out of the gate/hinges/hardware & the gate does not close the same as new. Had I unloaded the rear gate tire weight when new in 2009 I suspect the gate would be in better shape than it is now - just my opinion. The top and bottom hinges are way closer together than the PM van & the tire sits in the middle of the gate, so the moment arm is also greater than the PM Van. However my point is this Jeep gate is purpose built & even though the gate is heavy built and very structural the hinges/hardware are still punished on this factory system. I am sure these rear gates get Jeep past the warranty period at least 😁.
 

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2019 159 EXT HR (3500) in WA
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Imagine a strong replacement bumper or hitch that incorporates two downward folding deck sections. When these are folded down you would have a deck behind the van. The deck would be split in the middle so each section would weigh half of the entire deck.

On the underside of each of these deck sections would be a tire carrier. When they fold up they would cover the lower half of the door and each would hold one spare tire.

The weight of each of these deck/tire carrier things would be transferred directly to the new bumper or the new customized hitch. That way the fragile Promaster door and hinge system wouldn’t be stressed by the extra weight of the wheel.

The deck sections could be lowered, then the doors could be opened, and now you have a deck that is partially enclosed by the doors.

If the deck sections were made longer with the spare mounted in a slightly higher position to allow additional rotation, they could fold down below horizontal and become ramps.

Just in case you wanted a project.
 

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Hi,
The Dempster is divided into five(?) maintenance areas, each maintained by different teams on different schedules. So, you can go from great condition (40 MPH) if that team has just finished their maintenance cycle, to awful if the next maintenance district is at the end of the cycle. Last time we went up, the first part of the highway was pretty bad, but I think it just depends on when you hit it. "pretty bad" just means going slow and a bumpier ride - not that its anywhere near impassable.

On the times we have not gone all the way up to Inuvik, we stopped not to far after after Eagle Plains -- this lets you see the Richardson Mountains and also lets you get "the picture" at the arctic circle :) The scenery is nice, but less spectacular after this. If you do decide in the end to go further than this, check the status of the two ferries near the north end of the road - their operation is a bit iffy.

How are you liking the 10 ply tires? Do they ride harsher? Did they cost a lot more than regular tires? Notice any MPG difference?

Getting tested before reentering the US would not be so bad if that's all that is required. But, as you say, have to find a place to have it done. I wonder if the place that does the testing has to provide any special documentation, or put the result online for reading at the border?

Gary
The Nexen's came with the van, so no costs to compare. We went on our first trip this spring, Lac St-Jean, Saguenay, Charlevoix, about 2,500 km but still had the winter tires on - Bridgestone Blizzak's. Unfortunately had not had the chance to put the Nexen's back on. Very little mileage yet on the Nexen's, though, so can't really answer to them. The Bridgestones rode OK, maybe a little too soft feeling at 70 psi. We showed 13.6 Litres per hundred Km overall.
On the vaccinations, another complication is that I had one Pfizer, one Moderna, and the US is not yet accepting mixed shots, tho lots of data indicates it improves efficacy. My wife went with two Moderna.
 
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