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Old 05-15-2011, 10:03 AM   #1
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Blow out while towing for the first time

I just had a Blue Ox towbar and an SMI braking system professionally installed on my 2010 Chevy Equinox and was towing it behind a 2007 Newmar Baystar built on a 2006 Ford F53 Frame. There were correctable problems with the installation and I was testing the rig by driving it on the highway for the first time. As I reached 60 MPH a right rear tire blew on the motor home. I am confident the hook up was correct and the chevy was in neutral with the proper fuse pulled , the switch turned on, and the car was towing true and straight when the tire blew. Thankfully I was able to safely get the tandum vehicles to the side of the highway without incident. It was the first time I had the pair up to that speed as I was trying to excelerate into traffic. The MH is stored in South Florida. The tires are Goodyears and are original equipment. I figure that makes them 5 years old. My Question is simple. Did I do something wrong? Do I need just one tire or should I replace all six? I am planning on a long trip to Yellowstone in 3 weeks. I have the vehicle sitting with only one good tire on the right side. Can I risk driving to the tire store (10 miles) or should I have someone respond and remove the tire in place. I do not have access to air wrenches.
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:30 AM   #2
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Hi D in Davie,
I also live in south Florida. Was it the outside or inside tire that lost air? If the tires have been inflated properly, covered when not in use and have no visible cracks, etc. you did nothing wrong.

I have my original Michelin's on my coach (70K miles) and will take them to the north west USA this summer. If the rest of your tires are in good shape visually and have been cared for per the above mentioned items, the front, and left rear tires should be okay. Consider replacing both RR tires. The tire remaining has been overloaded and may have suffered internal damage. For me, I'd be okay to drive the coach to the tire dealer.

Consider taking the front tires and installing them on the right rear. Put new tires on the front.

If the tires have not been covered when not in use, consider replacing all 6 tires. The south Florida sun can eat up tires very quickly
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Old 05-15-2011, 10:51 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D in Davie View Post
I have the vehicle sitting with only one good tire on the right side. Can I risk driving to the tire store (10 miles) or should I have someone respond and remove the tire in place. I do not have access to air wrenches.
D in Davie, I would invest in a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) if I were you. The TST System is one of the better products that we speak about here frequently because at a glance you can see what your tire pressures and tire temperatures are.

It is essential to have as much information as possible about these critical things because by the time you perceive a problem, catastrophe could quickly follow. A TPMS will warn you way before you have trouble as applies to tire inflation.

Your condition I expect might have been averted if perhaps you had real time data about your tire pressures and temperature. Tires very rarely blow with absolutely no warning however it does happen due to a defect.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:19 AM   #4
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I would drive to the tire dealer but go slow and make sure the other tire is aired up properly. Also if it is a goodyear dealer check on warranty, I don't know what blew but most casings are warrantyed for 5 years. Check it out it can't hurt.
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Old 05-15-2011, 11:29 AM   #5
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A 2006 chassis will have will have tires at least 5 years old or older. Check the date codes on the tires. 5 to 7 years is all you can expect out of an RV tire, so i would plan to replace them. Also install a tire pressure monitor system to avoid future problems.

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Old 05-16-2011, 07:11 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone for your advice. I am going to have the tire replaced and have them all inspected before I make a decision about replacing them all. I want to be hitting the road in 2 weeks and don't want any problems.
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Old 05-16-2011, 07:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi D in Davie,
I also live in south Florida. Was it the outside or inside tire that lost air? If the tires have been inflated properly, covered when not in use and have no visible cracks, etc. you did nothing wrong.

I have my original Michelin's on my coach (70K miles) and will take them to the north west USA this summer. If the rest of your tires are in good shape visually and have been cared for per the above mentioned items, the front, and left rear tires should be okay. Consider replacing both RR tires. The tire remaining has been overloaded and may have suffered internal damage. For me, I'd be okay to drive the coach to the tire dealer.

Consider taking the front tires and installing them on the right rear. Put new tires on the front.

If the tires have not been covered when not in use, consider replacing all 6 tires. The south Florida sun can eat up tires very quickly
Gary's recommendation is exactly what I would do. Assuming the current tires look OK, put 2 new tires on the front and the current front tires on the back. Add the TSP and you might think about keeping the tire you take off as a spare.
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Old 05-16-2011, 08:54 AM   #8
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To answer your question: The likely answer is yes. But not what you think.

First: regarding your tow hook up.. Had you done something wrong there you may well have blown a tire on the towed, but NOT the one on the motor home. So there is no chance there at all.

However at five years the odds of the Motor home tire blowin are still lower.. This is, however, the point at which they start to climb.. EPICALLY IF THE COACH HAS SAT AROUND A LOT.. The worst thing for a tire is PARK.. they are designed to be driven upon... Ok, perhaps not the very worst thing... The very worst thing is improper inflation and that is what you most likely did wrong.. AND what's mroe it is NOT your fault.

What you have is a bad case of "White coat" This is where we trust the man in teh whilte coat (Doctors wear white coats you see) And that gets extended to the people who wrote a number on a sticker somewhere in your coach (Tire Pressure) Trust me when I tell you that number is WRONG.. It extends to the people who made the mould the tire was cast in, and etched a pressure into it, That pressure is correct, however,, it is only correct if you read the entire sentence (MAXIMUM LOAD XXXXX Pounds at maximum pressure of yyy psi) If you are not at maximum load, then you should not be at maximum pressure.

So, what is the right pressure: Fact: I do not know.. but I know who does, or rather who can figure it out. They hang their electioons on the left side of this page http://www.rvsafety.org

On the left side is "Weight your rig" or something to that effect.

These people bring portable scales (Like the diesel smokies have in their trunks) and will interview you by phone. When they show up you should have the rig loaded for travel, They weigh your rig, all 4 corners, they tell you what the proper tire pressure is for the tires you have. they will check your tire guage against their lab-calibrated guage, they read the age of the tires for you and make assorted recommendations based on the age and condition of the tires.

That is the most likely cause of your blow out.. And if it was the OUTER wheel thta blew, it may be age and effects of the sun as well, Epically since you are in "Sunny Flordia"

But it was nothign you did with the tow gear, That I'm sure of.. Less you ran over some of it of course and poked a hole in the tire.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:27 AM   #9
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We had a 5 year old GoodYear blow a small quarter sized hole in the sidewall after 5 years and Good Year replaced it for free. Also had a similar blowout two years later and again GoodYear replaced it for free. First was n the US and the second in Canada.
Each tire blew a small hole only in the sidewall, the first on the outside dually at 60 mph and just heard a small bang, and the second when we had just pulled into a campground and were registering and a loud bang as it blew.
After that we changed to all new Good Years on the MH.
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:55 AM   #10
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Correct tire pressure is very simple with this neat trick . . . . . . . . . . . Optimizing Tire Pressure
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Old 05-16-2011, 09:59 AM   #11
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buy Michelins! Your coach is five years old but your tires may be older than that - check the last #'s on the tires for build date .... Goodyears from that time period were just truck tires with a different name on them ... buy Michelins!
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:09 PM   #12
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Correct tire pressure is very simple with this neat trick . . . . . . . . . . . Optimizing Tire Pressure

Interesting "Trick" and yes,, Looks like it should work.. Have to try it some day.
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Old 05-17-2011, 08:42 PM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your advice. You should know that I had the tire replaced today and found a blowout on the inside right where the tread portion meets the side wall. It was a violent rupture and not a leak. It was the outside tire that blew because it was determined that the inner tire on that same hub was under inflated. Due to limitations with my left hand I have relied on mechanics to top off the air at every oil change while I waited in the lobby. That will not happen anymore. I am now doing my research on tire pressure monitoring systems and that also sounds like a reasonable precaution. The rest of the tires looked fine. The other piece of equipment that many here suggested and my mechanic also strongly suggested were tire covers. I was informed that Goodyear did make a tire that had a Z in the name that was dubbed by tire mechanics as the "zipper" for its ability to rip apart on its side wall. That was not this tire however. I am working feverishly on this MH to get it ready for my trip to the Tetons and Yellowstone. My first reservation is on June 9 in Colter Bay RV and from there I have reservations in Yellowstone at Fishing Bridge on June 14. I will leave Davie on May 31 and I don't think I have any time built in for any more mechanical failures.
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Old 05-17-2011, 09:09 PM   #14
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Another item you might want to invest in is dually valve stems. They make it a lot easier to check the air pressure in the inside dual tires. These are not extensions that are prone to leaks.

Dually Valve - Main Frameset

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