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Old 10-18-2009, 03:09 PM   #1
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Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
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Leaving the HIghway at 75mph

Hello Everyone,

Its been awhile sine we posted any information or questions, so I guess we're overdue. First, let me say that the Peak chassis is as good as they say it is. We were 4 mile west of Ozona, Texas when the left front tire blew, causing an immediate left turn into the median. While struggeling to gain control of our new four (six wheel) off roading adventure, the right front tire blew. About a quarter of a mile later (after several attempts in steering away from the oncoming lane) we were able to stop the coach. Our paniced pets were trying despirately to get into someone's lap (two dogs, 55lbs each), in which one of them accidently broke off the ignition key, leaving no way to turn off the engine.

After the dust settled, we were able to survey the damage to the coach. Two blown tires (25,000 miles), one bent rim (aluminum), one missing side panel (driver's side, over the wheel), one severely bent panel separating the driver's wheel from the LP tank, one bent lower front slide support, one detached generator exhaust pipe (broken at above manifold flange), one missing driving light, various scratches along the left front slide out and along the left side storage doors, one broken key still in the ignition, and most importantly, one wife upset about her sad looking Alpine.

Several hours later, new tires, onenew rim, duct tape, a couple of turns of bailing wire, several perfectly placed screws, and some tweezers to remove a few West Texas thorns, and we were able to point the remnants towards home. Six hours of careful driving later we arrived, as intact as we could be under the circumstances, but back home. Oh, I almost forgot, the toad did not incur any damage as it was atached by a BlueOx tow bar system.

Now for the fun part, does anyone know where to find some of the body parts and interior panels for the left front area of a 2003 Alpine. I'm taking it into my local RV center tomorrow and I know what they are going to ask.

Anyways, good to be back. Hell, after this experience, it's just good to be here.

David & Kacy Alexander
Corrales, NM
2003 Alpine 40' FDTS
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:27 PM   #2
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Glad to hear things turned out as well as they did. Easily could have been worse!

For information purposes, how old were the tires? Since you have an '03, were they original tires??

Sorry I can't help with the body parts, but somebody here will.

Jim A
'04 Alpine Coach 36' MDDS
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:27 PM   #3
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Wasn't there another Texan famous for riding a twister? Sounds like a heckuva adventure. Glad you're here to brag about the ride.

The fiberglass & metal body panels may be available out of Yakima or near there. Here is a previous thread link that talks about both.

The ignition is a lawn tractor or similar ignition switch. You should be able to operate it w/a screwdriver end for the time being (don't let the dogs break the screwdriver, or you'll be, well, er, screwed?). When you take it out & show it at a local tractor vendor they should be able to match it. Might even find one at a NAPA or equal.

Can't help you w/the wife. You're on your own there buddy. But if you can handle a wild ride like you had...
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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Old 10-18-2009, 03:49 PM   #4
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We have lost a tire on that stretch of road west of Ozona. Sure lonely out there. Glad there was no more damage than there was. Oh, we run a max or 65 mph with the rig.

Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:13 PM   #5
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Glad to hear you made it safely.. On RV.NET where many of us come from there are some stickeys "Watching these videos may save your life" is, as I recall, the header/subject (or part of it)

You have just expierenced the "When" of "it may save your life"

I have been driving cars and small trucks for, what over 40 years, have blown just about every possible tire at one time or another (Save on the Class A) including front, rear and never once lost control.

Well, I recently watched those videos.. AND LEARNED FROM THEM

(As you can see, I clearly had something left to learn)
Home is where I park it!
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Old 10-18-2009, 05:16 PM   #6
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Glad you both survived with no personal injuries. I would have to be looking for new underwear under similar circumstances.

I had a Blue OX Tru-Center installed after reading some of the stories of front blowouts on this and other sites. I hope I never have to see if it works as advertised!
2005 Safari Cheetah 38PDQ - 2009 Ford Flex
Me (Gatogonow), The Boss (DW), Honey Bunny, Maggie May and Mollie Kay (The Gatos)!
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Old 10-18-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
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Here is a link for 2003 alpine being parted out. Glad everyone is ok.

2003 ALPINE WESTERN - 2003 WESTERN - 00687743E02
Matt, Sara janssen Kids:Bella, Lucy WWW.happyjanssens.com
2000 FDS 40' Alpine Coach (Current)
2005 Ford Sport Trac (Toad)
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Old 10-18-2009, 09:58 PM   #8
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I believe the ignition switch is a GM part, as my keys are for a General Motors blank when copies were made. A good locksmith can take the key out, without breaking the switch and make you new ones for less than the new switch assembly might cost you. Since there is nothing wrong with it, seems a waste to replace it. I would remove the switch assembly and take the whole assembly to a locksmith and let them work their magic.

Now the important part is that you all came away from this in perfect health (sans-needing new clothes), even the dogs. Take a couple days rest, not worrying about the coach, and drink a toast to life.

There are several videos on You Tube showing how a motorhome tire blows and the geometries of bringing it to a stop. I cannot get the link to it to work here, and I'm not sure why as they have in the past. Do a search on You Tube for Motorhome Tire blowout and it's by Michelin Tire Company. I believe I got the link from RV Travel web site.

I watch this before each trip we take, to remind myself what to do. I hope I never have to find out.
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 10-18-2009, 11:18 PM   #9
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Here is the link.

Michelin North America RV Videos and Demos Page

Click on the "Critical Factor"

Glad you all are safe. That's the critical factor!
Tom, Patty, Hannah "The Big Dog" and Abby Kat, Indianapolis, Indiana 2000 36' FDS 72232 Our Photos
We live out in our old van. Travel all across this land. Drive until the city lights dissolve into a country sky, me and you - hand in hand.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:16 AM   #10
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Our first coach was a 5 year old 1996 Beaver Patriot with only 14,000 miles which had spent most of it's life sitting unused in the hot south Texas sun. 5 years unused and sun are not good for the tires. Anyway, we had a left front tire blow in a construction zone complete with concrete barriers. Sue did a great job of getting us under control and off the side of the road. The wheel well was gutted, damage to the air bag, and there was lots of fiberglass damage. The tow truck damaged the front cap and a jack plus knocking the generator exhaust pipe off.

We used Cooper's Collision Center on north Padre Island Drive with excellent results. I wonder who made the your damaged front slide support. HWH?
Basil & Sue Shannon
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Was Traveling Circus (2 clowns/Sage the Wonder Dog) Tent rotted. Circus folded.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:01 PM   #11
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I'm glad all of you made it ok, but 75mph? I never travel above 65.
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:21 PM   #12
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After so many states with 55mph speed limits for trucks and/or trailers/RVs, I have gotten used to that speed. It certainly pays off in fuel efficiency.

We bought new tires a few months ago. I am hoping our brake dragging problems or the brake fluid leak on our front left wheel haven't compromised the new tires in any way. I'm sticking to the slower speeds.

36ft 2006 Alpine Coach FDDS
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Old 10-19-2009, 03:30 PM   #13
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I recently installed a Tire Pressure Monitor System. There are too many horror stories of blow-outs. There is a method that will not prevent blow-outs but does offer blow-out tire protection. It's not cheap either... No surprise. $750.00/wheel (Usually only front wheels are equipped)

Tyron Automotive (Camping World sells this product) Not sure about others

I think there is something terribly wrong when sooooo many are experiencing tire blow-outs. A man parked next to me has suffered through 3. Both fronts and one inner dually.

What's the answer? 20 ply tires? Solid rubber? Run Flat?

Blow-outs are primarily due to underinflation or overloading. The load margins are toooo small. A typical RV'er can easily put 1,500 lbs of load in the RV without trying. Do we weigh everyday? Air every pre-trip, during trip, post trip? That's why I bought the TPMS.

Please!!! We are getting to the point of constant worry of a pending tire blow-out while going down the road.

This topic goes on and on......... There must be a way to get the tire industry to respond. They must be aware or need to be made aware of the terrible events happening. This man and woman should have never had to go through this. A celebrity was killed not long ago in the same manner.

Is there something iRV2 can do to get some attention on this issue?

Can we get someone from Goodyear or Michelin to speak on this matter?
Fleetwood Providence 2008 40e
Ford F-350 4x4 Diesel 6.0L 2006
Honda CR-V 2006
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Old 10-19-2009, 04:36 PM   #14
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Check the age of your tires. There is a 3 or 4 number DOT code on the sidewall (Week and Year)... Tires are typically only good for 5-7 years.. Older? Dump'em.. They are Not safe. Even if they look okay on the outside, they degrade on the inside. The tire carcass deteriorates and separates over time with age. And then you put thousands of pounds on them.

3207 -> 32'nd week of 2007

All tires manufactured in the United States have a DOT number. The DOT number on my tires was on the inside sidewalls. The last three or four digits in the DOT number identify how old the tire is. Older tires used three digits. The first two identify the week of the year that the tire was built and the third identifies the year. Newer tires use four digits. Again the first two digits are the week of the year and the last two identify the year i.e. 3202 is the 32nd week of the year and 02 is the year 2002.

Just because you recently bought the RV or the tires... They may still be old

I recently met a man who had a Newal and a driver's side blow-out. OLD TIRES were the culprit.

Fleetwood Providence 2008 40e
Ford F-350 4x4 Diesel 6.0L 2006
Honda CR-V 2006
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