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How to install a spare wheel for a van conversion

Updated: Aug 18

A spare wheel is an absolute necessity for a campervan. Many vans will already have a spare wheel installed (likely underslung to the bottom of the van) - but some will not. The previous owner of my van snipped off the spare wheel mount so I decided to do a DIY job and install one on the backdoor (added bonus: it looks badass!). In this guide I will show you the simple approach to installing a spare wheel on your van! I'm Shane, I've been teaching people to convert campervans for many years, I'm the van conversion instructor at Udemy, author of The Van Conversion Newsletter, and the proud owner of a beautiful self-build campervan called Beans. So let's jump in and have a look at how to install a ladder on your van!


Index


These are the supplies you need to install a spare wheel on your van

(Click on any item to purchase it)


How to install a spare wheel on your van


NOTE: Be careful which spare wheel mount you buy - they are not one-size-fits-all. They very from three, four, or five bolt, with different diameters between the bolts. So do a bit of research on what your spare wheel size is.


1. Place the spare wheel mount against the back door and mark the four drill points with a pencil


2. Drill pilot holes into each of the four points

Drill spare wheel mount van

3. Apply metal paint to the exposed metal to prevent rusting

  • Ensure you clean up the metal shavings too!

4. Place the spare wheel mount against the metal sheet (backing flange) and mark the four drill points with a pencil. Then drill those points

  • The metal backing plate is so that the weight of the ladder is more evenly distributed, rather than solely hanging on the door.

  • My spare wheel mount didn't come with a metal backing flange, so I went to my local DIY shop and picked up some sheet metal.

Drill backing flange spare wheel

5. Attach the spare wheel mount to the door of your van

  • You will need some thin foam and a metal backing plate to attach the spare wheel holder to your van

  • The foam is for shock absorption and for preventing any scratching to the metal of the van. It also adds a waterproof seal to the van.

  • If your spare wheel holder didn't come with foam, you should be able to pick some up from your local DIY store.

  • In terms of layers, it should be: spare wheel mount, foam, van door, foam, backing plate

  • So go ahead and put the spare wheel mount up against the door and pop your bolt right through all those layers.


6. Add some sealant around the bolts

  • Before you fully tighten the bolts down, add some sealant to be 100% sure it's waterproof!

  • You can fully tighten the bolts


7. Attach the spare wheel to your van

  • Careful - it weighs an absolute ton! I had to get my Pa to help out.

  • You can easily bolt the spare wheel to the spare wheel mount.

  • I also bought a rain cover for the spare wheel to prevent rusting of the metal on the spare wheel.

Putting spare wheel on spare wheel mount

Conclusion

I hope you found this guide to installing a spare wheel for your van conversion useful! You are well on your way to a beautiful self-build campervan! Don't forget to subscribe to The Van Conversion Newsletter for everything you need to get started with your own van conversion.


If you're converting a van but unsure of how to do it, you could also check out the Van Conversion Course on Udemy. In the course, you'll learn directly from me how to convert a van into your dream home - no prior experience needed!


Until next time,

Shane ✌️