Spare Tyres for the Gibb River Road

We are heading to the Kimberley in May, exploring Gibb River Road etc. and have a question about spare tyres. We intend to have All Terrain tyres and carry two spares. But do we need two spare wheels or just a second spare tyre?

We would need help to get the second spare onto the wheel rim if we needed it. How easy is it to get this help? We thought we would carry a second wheel, but the rims on our vehicle are around $700 each, so we are thinking about just carrying the second spare tyre without the rim.

We are careful drivers and will let the pressure down etc.

We have found your "Destination Kimberly" fantastic!! Thanks

Related Reader Question:
Towing Jayco Outback to Gibb River Road 

Comments for Spare Tyres for the Gibb River Road

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Feb 12, 2009
Spare wheels, tyres, tubes...
by: Birgit

Thanks for your kind words.

Theoretically you can get by with one wheel and a tube or repair kit. But changing a tyre off a rim or repairing a tyre in the heat of the day at the side of the road is a pain to start with. And you need to be able to do it yourself.

It's not that it's hard to get the help that you asked about. The Gibb River Road is busy, you won't get stuck forever.

But think this through. What you are suggesting there means rather than taking responsibility for your own safety you rely on others to take time out of their holiday to sort out your problems. That's not right.

I think once you consider that aspect you'll probably want to make sure you can help yourself.

You have two options.

One is to get a tyre lever and learn how to change the tyre. Taking it off is not too difficult. But let me tell you, if you have tubeless tyres, you probably won't get it to seal again after changing it. That takes a very powerful compressor... Therefore I would take a tube as well.

You could also get some of that goo that comes in a can that you empty into the tyre and it inflates and seals (and ruins) it. It gets you out of trouble. Or you learn how to repair a tyre.

The other option is to get a second hand rim. Why do you want to get a brand new one? I have three spare wheels for my car. They are all crappy old second hand rims. (Truth be told, all seven are, but that's not the point :-).)

Look for second hand wheels at the tyre places or wreckers or in the classifieds, and if needed have a reasonable tyre put on. Makes life so much easier...

Nov 26, 2010
Tyres on The Gibb
by: Mike Normington

Just back from the Gibb and Kimberly. We carried 4 spare tyres. (Not one flat.) The tyres, both the spares and those on the Nissan and Downunder Camper were all in as new condition (Heavy Duty). Checked daily for cuts, tears and pressure. The travelling speeds on the Gibb and other tracks ranged 40-90 kph. We did speak to lots of people who had tyre problems, mostly due to worn or second hand tyres. The other factor was speed. People flying by doing 120 kph... You found a lot of them changing tyres in 40 deg heat... Not much fun. FIT THE BEST TYRES YOU CAN AFFORD. BUT travel safely and enjoy the scenery and stops. IT'S FANTASTIC

Mar 12, 2011
Changing tyres and Inflating them
by: graeme

Hi ,

I just read your tyre Delmer. The cure is to buy a kit for tyre removal and repair (tyre pliers) are great and can be purchased form an ARB store.

Also a 25mm wide ratchet strap and a tube.

Join a 4wd club and ask some of the members to show you. I think ARB will also be very helpful in the ways around tyre inflation. That is what the tube and ratchet are for. Feel free to ask questions, if any.


Jun 13, 2017
Tyres For the Kimberley and Beyond

Hmmm, neither of the comments is really helpful.

A/T tyres come in all sorts of configurations, many are not really A/T. Some are just plain ordinary tyres. I recently helped a guy in a Landcruiser who had "A/T" tyres on his third flat.Yep, he had 2 spares. The tyres were highway pattern, not A/T even though they said that on the tyre wall.

Fit Light Truck or at least decent aggressive tread (not muddies) with a minimum of 6 ply.

Set your tyre pressures at least 10 PSI lower than highway. I run 28-30 PSI in my Cruiser. Most of your flats will be on the back tyres, 80% on the passenger side. This is because the rocks flick up from the front and puncture the rear, and you look after your side of the car more than the other side.

Carry 2 full spares (on rims) and a tyre gauge, compressor and plug kit. Most people don't recognise a flat until it is too late and the tyre is shredded. This can also damage your rim. If towing a trailer/campervan/caravan, add an extra tyre for each axle.

Oh,and make sure your vehicle's jack can lift your fully laden vehicle with a shredded tyre. You will be surprised how many 4x4 vehicles cannot get the jack under the vehicle or lift it!!!!

Aug 29, 2018
Nissan tire and suspension
by: Sergio

Just preparing my Nissan Navara DX 2.5l Diesel 4cl single cab with metal canopy camper to do Kimberley in 2019 and looking on what I may need to upgrade. My intention is to go to Mitchell Falls, Charnley River, Mornington and the rest. The vehicle won't be overloaded but very full.
Has anyone done this area with this kind of vehicle?
Thinking on getting OME 400kg suspension, what tyres would you recommend?
Apart from not being a Toyota (he, he, he) do you think that the Navara 4cl would make it if driven carefully?

Mar 02, 2019
Gibb River Road Tyres
by: Hans Broers

We purchased "Destination Kimberly" at the beginning of 2018 and did the Gibb River Road in June. This book is excellent. It dispels many 4WD myths and the common sense approach is to be applauded.

We spent 14 days on the Gibb Rd and Cape Leveque Rd and went to as many of the attractions along the way as time permitted. We stored our small van in Derby and then camped all the way in a good quality touring tent, gas stove, and good quality esky, etc.

Now for the "tyres" and easy part.
We did this trip from Canberra across the Nullabor, up the west coast of WA, through the Kimberly, across the Top End, through central QLD, then down the east coast to home.

We did this in a 2014 Triton Dual cab diesel ute.
No bull bar, or altered suspension, no extra gimmicks fitted. All our tyres were standard "Highway Terrain". We only carried the one spare. However we do have a tyre repair kit, a very good quality compressor, tyre levers and mallet. (I do know how to get a tyre off a rim and replace it.)

The compressor was invaluable when having to re-inflate tyres at the end of the Gibb and back onto the bitumen.

A total distance of 17580 kilometers and not one single tyre mishap or puncture.

We treated the Gibb River Road with respect and common sense. Along the way we did come across people who had punctured their tyres.

So at the end of the day we just had a basic Mitsubishi Dual cab, with Highway tyres and stuck to the common sense approach as outlined in the "Destination Kimberley" book.

Thank you to the author of this publication, and we are going to do this trip again along the Tanami Road as a short cut in June, July, of this year.

Thank you, Elizabeth McKeowen & Hans Broers

Thank you, Hans and Elizabeth, for the kind words about my guide! Always good to hear that the advice allowed people to thoroughly enjoy a hassle free trip. B.

Mar 10, 2019
Second spare
by: Old wanderer

I have twice needed to have two spare tyres (and was carrying them). The second spare can be on an old rim (from wrecker) and a used tyre.
If your car has alloy wheels and you get a second hand steel rim for your second spare (cheap) you will need to check if your current wheel nuts will be suitable - some alloy wheel nuts are not. You can buy a set of wheel nuts cheaply from the wrecker also, but when you get them try them out (use the mount of your spare tyre) to make sure that they fit your car. The first six I got from the wrecker did not fit my studs, but fortunately I checked them and got a suitable set.
I suggest a tyre repair kit is also useful and cheap, too.

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