Do RV Spare Tire Covers Really Work? An Underrated Safety Device 

By Ryan Wilson

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spare tire covers

Spare tire covers are an essential accessory for anyone who owns an RV or camper with an exposed spare tire. It protects this crucial backup accessory from the elements and even theft.

Last summer when we were driving back from a week-long camping trip, my camper’s tire blew out. I was glad that I had a spare tire cover on the my spare, so I knew it would be good working order when I really needed it.

Besides preserving the quality and lifespan of your spare tire, a spare tire cover can also add a stylish touch to your vehicle’s exterior and show other campers your personality.

In this article I’ll present the key reasons why you need a spare tire cover, their benefits, and different types you might want to consider to meet your RV’s unique needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Spare tire covers protect your spare tire from the elements and can add style to your vehicle
  • It’s important to consider factors like vehicle make, model, and tire size when choosing a cover
  • Locking mechanisms and camera slots are additional features worth considering

What are the Benefits of Spare Tire Covers?

damaged tires

A spare tire cover is more than just an accessory. It serves as a safeguard for your spare tire from various damaging factors. Most importantly, spare tire covers help ensure your spare tire is in good condition so you can fix a flat and get back to your adventures.

Protect from UV Radiation

An uncovered spare tire is directly exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays. This harsh radiation is known to damage your tire, leading to dry rot and cracking. By using a spare tire cover, you can provide a layer of protection against UV radiation and extend the tire’s lifespan.

Protect from Weather

In addition to UV radiation, tires are also susceptible to damage from weather conditions such as snow, rain, and extreme temperatures. A spare tire cover acts as a barrier against these elements, helping to preserve the tire’s integrity and prevent deterioration.

Reliable Spare – Don’t Worry About a Blowout

An adequately protected spare tire ensures that when the moment comes to use it, you can rely on it without any doubts. A spare tire cover can keep your tire dependable and ready to use by preventing damage, including dry rot and cracking. The last thing you want is a blowout when you’re counting on your spare.

Do Spare Tire Covers Really Work to Prevent Dry Rot?

One of the primary factors contributing to dry rot in tires is prolonged exposure to sunlight and the elements. A spare tire cover can shield your spare tire from these factors, making it less likely to develop dry rot.

Considerations When Choosing Spare Tire Covers for an RV

When you are looking for spare tire covers for an RV, there are some factors that you need to consider.

Size and Shape

It’s important to measure the diameter and width of your spare tire and ensure the cover you choose fits snugly and securely. A tape measure or ruler will get this job done, or you can refer to the size chart provided by the manufacturer or seller of the spare tire cover. Alternatively, check the sidewall of your tire for size information, which can help guide your decision.

Material and Quality

You want spare tire covers that are durable, waterproof, UV-resistant, and easy to clean. Some common materials include vinyl, leather, polyester, and canvas.

When looking at spare tire covers for a camper, pay attention to features such as elastic hem, drawstring, zipper, velcro closure, vented bottom, reinforced stitching, and anti-theft lock. These features can ensure your spare tire stays protected in all types of weather.

Design and Style

Choose spare tire covers that match the color and theme of your vehicle, or opt for one that displays a logo, image, text, or pattern that reflects your interests or hobbies.

If you’re feeling creative, some suppliers offer custom-made covers which allow you to upload your own photos or designs for a personalized touch.

Also keep in mind any special features your spare tire or spare tire mount have. For example, is your back-up camera associated with your spare tire mount? You’ll need a spare tire cover with camera hole.

Types of Spare Tire Covers to Consider

When looking for a spare tire cover for your Jeep, SUV, truck, or trailer, there are several categories to consider. Each type of cover has its own unique features and benefits that cater to different needs and preferences.

Spare Tire Covers for an RV

boomerang cover

These covers are specifically designed for RVs and motorhomes with large spare tires mounted on the rear bumper or under the chassis. The Boomerang Rigid spare tire cover is a great overall choice for an RV spare tire cover.

Buy on Amazon

Spare Tire Covers for a Camper

camper spare tire cover

Designed for camper trailers with small or medium-sized spare tires, camper spare tire covers often lack backup camera holes or license plate holders. However, they still protect your spare tire from weather conditions, dust, and animals, and can add to the cozy atmosphere of your camper.

Buy on Amazon

Custom Spare Tire Covers

custom covers

If you want to personalize your cover, a custom spare tire cover allows you to upload your own photo, logo, text, or graphic. This gives you full control over the appearance of the cover and helps your vehicle stand out.

Buy on Amazon

Spare Tire Cover with Camera Hole

cover with campera hole

Spare tire covers with a camera hole feature a pre-cut hole that accommodates backup cameras mounted on the spare tire. They protect your spare tire and camera from dirt and damage, while maintaining the functionality of the camera.

Buy on Amazon

Spare Tire Cover with Storage

spare tire organizer

For those who value practicality, spare tire covers with storage have extra pockets or compartments for storing items or accessories. They can help keep your tools and equipment organized and save space in your vehicle. The one downside is that you don’t often find one that offers full coverage of your spare tire.

Buy on Amazon

Funny Spare Tire Covers

funny covers

If you want to show off your sense of humor, consider funny spare tire covers. These covers can bring smiles to you and others while expressing your personality.

Buy on Amazon

Cheap Spare Tire Covers

cheap cover

The best kind of spare tire cover is any type that you actually use to cover your tire. If you don’t have the budget for an expensive cover, or just don’t feel like spending a lot of money, there are a lot of options for cheap spare tire covers. You might need to replace them more often, but they’ll still protect your spare tire!

Buy on Temu

How to Put on a Spare Tire Cover

Putting on a spare tire cover is easy, but it may require some patience.

First, you’ll want to clean your spare tire and make sure it is dry. This will ensure that your tire cover stays in good condition and adheres properly to your spare tire.

Next, align any backup camera hole or license plate holder on your cover with the corresponding parts on your spare tire, if applicable. This will make sure your cover fits correctly and doesn’t obstruct any important features.

Now, start from the top of your spare tire and pull the cover over it. Work your way around the sides of the spare tire, stretching the cover as you go. Be patient and take your time to ensure that the entire tread is covered.

Once the cover is in place, you’ll want to adjust its closure system, whether it has an elastic band, drawstring, zipper, or Velcro. Make sure it is snug and secure to keep your cover in place during all types of weather conditions.

Finally, check for any wrinkles or gaps in the cover and smooth them out. This will help your spare tire cover look great while also providing optimal protection for your spare tires.

Here is a nice tutorial if you need some extra help:

How to Measure RV Spare Tire Cover

To measure your RV spare tire cover, first locate the size information on the sidewall of your spare tire. The size information typically looks like this: P225/75R15. Notice that the last two digits – in this example, “15” – indicate the diameter of your spare tire in inches.

Now that you have the diameter, simply add two inches to the measurement. For instance, if your spare tire’s diameter is 15 inches, the correct spare tire cover size would be 17 inches. This additional size ensures a snug fit for your cover.

If you can’t find the size information on your spare tire, don’t worry. You can still measure the diameter directly by using a tape measure or ruler. Just make sure to measure the tire from one edge to the other, passing through the center.

Once you have the accurate measurement for your spare tire, it’s always a good idea to refer to the size chart provided by the manufacturer or seller of your chosen RV spare tire cover. That way, you can make sure that the cover you’re considering will properly fit your spare tire.


Spare tire covers are a practical addition to your RV or camper, offering protection and a touch of style. One of the primary benefits of using a spare tire cover is safeguarding your tire from damage caused by sun exposure and harsh weather conditions.

By shielding the tire from UV rays and moisture, a weatherproof tire cover prevents dry rot and helps extend its lifespan.

Ultimately, choosing the right tire cover for your needs involves considering factors like size, shape, materials, and design. By taking the time to evaluate your options and select the best fit, you will protect your spare tire and boost your vehicle’s aesthetics.

Interested in learning more about other ways to keep your camper safe? Check out our pages on why you need a trailer breakaway cable and a trailer coupler lock.

Photo of author


Ryan is an avid outdoorsman who loves camping, hiking, and backpacking. He was initially reluctant to join the camper world, but after his first camping trip in one, he became a convert. He especially loves how camper ownership extends the camping season and makes it easier to be more adventurous with young kids. When not enjoying his free time, he works as a professional wildlife biologist studying the ecology and conservation of large mammals in Alaska.