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Old 12-13-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
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IDENTIFY Crashed Class A -Tire failure

This is not intended to be a discussion about tire types or causes of tire failure- We'll accept that they happen-- Also accept that the driver has to react properly
BUT what if the RV is truly uncontrollable?

I have followed the Bluebird problem with overweight 450LXi's . There have been 2 with the 450Lxi (58 made) Both had complete loss of control and ran far off the road. One was fatal and the other sustained significant damage.

Tire failure has many causes, tire design etc ,age,and overloading of the size due to lack of air etc. Control by driver after the failure also has a great effect. (This thread is NOT about these things so please don't go there.)

I have done significant research on front solid axles vs IFS and have it appears that some of the IFS types may be the cause of control loss- not driver .
Simply, compared to a solid axle, an IFS, can have significantly more positive scrub steer due to the suspension collapse, Also because an IFS will tip more, there is a decrease in scrub steer on the opposite side. There is also more torque steer added by the increased rolling resistance of the failed tire .If the power steering reserve is low the vehicle will be uncontrollable and will turn toward the failure side, hence - crash
(Greyhound, years ago did a study and discussed larger steering wheels)
I have several pictures of Class A's off the road with the wheels turned illogically toward the side of the failure.
It would be useful and educational to know the year and brand of class A's that have had a failure and gone out of control.
Note that the IFS in the Prevost is a different type and doesn't seem to have the problem.
When a crash is reported, the brand is never mentioned.
It could be educational to learn the brand and year (which will yield suspension type) of Class A's crashed in the news.
Included here are a few links- some with pictures that could possibly be identified.
If you have other pictures or links and can identify the RV , please post.

If it is shown that certain IFS have issues then NHTSA should be notified. NHTSA is aware of the concerns. NHTSA is not going to research this.



RV wreck Archive Sentinel-Echo.com
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no picture:
Blown tire caused overturned RV on Thursday | StAugustine.com
State Patrol investigating fatal RV, truck crash | 9news.com

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Old 12-13-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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The worst type of tire failure is the dreaded zipper flat where the tire blows without any warning or previous loss of air pressure and goes completly flat fast. The zipper flat is caused by damage to the tire and can happen a long time ago so you actually do not remember it happening. One of the important indicators that a zipper flat is going to happen is a bubble or swelling on the side of the tire. I have attached a pdf file on zipper flats. Zipper flats are only caused by tire damage and not due to a defective tire. The other problem with a zipper flat is knowing how to control the vehicle when it happens. Hitting the brakes is going to cause the steering wheel to pull out of your hands and will then cause the MH to go sideways and roll. Attached is a youtube Michelin video on how to control your MH in the case of a flat.

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Zipper Flat Tire Inspection.pdf (717.1 KB, 56 views)

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Old 12-13-2011, 03:40 PM   #3
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One says in is an American Eagle. Two of the links are the same accident.
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:23 PM   #4
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The first one appears to be a Monaco product based on the paint scheme. The second one shows a Monaco emblem on the front cap. Neither of those would be an IFS, since Monaco doesn't use an IFS on their Roadmaster chassis.
The 3rd says it's an American Eagle and that would have an IFS, probably a Spartan chassis.

No guess for #4, and #5 appears to be the same accident as #3. #6 doesn't show an RV at all.
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Old 12-13-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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As I recall, the golfer's bus was a Prevost.

If this is incorrect, someone with a better recollection can chime in.

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Old 12-13-2011, 08:42 PM   #6
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The golfer one is not a Prevost. The tag axle wheels are mounted the other way around on a Prevost similiar to the way a front wheel is mounted.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:32 PM   #7
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Comprising all this info is going to accomplish ????

Every situation is different, every driver is different, every road condition is most likely different, road surroundings are different.

We all know the risks of driving. We all know the risks of tire failures. We all know if catastrophic failure would occur, we may not live to discuss it...It is part of life.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:40 AM   #8
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End result ?
As explained,I believe that some IFS designs are the cause of loss of control after a tire failure (reason for, or type of failure not being considered nor is the reaction of the driver.) There is complete loss of control where the steering wheel cannot prevent the turn of the front wheels.

If a review of perhaps 20 of these "Lack of control" crashes shows that the majority are IFS ,then there is a problem that NHTSA must investigate as a safety issue.
So far , out of only 7 crashes, one is shown to be a solid axle.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:25 AM   #9
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You haven't shown that with the accident links because most of what was shown were not motorhomes with IFS front suspension. Most accidents that occur when you have a tire blowout are caused by the driver slamming on the brakes in a panic which results in the steering wheel being yanked out of the drivers hands and the MH going into a side skid and rolling. See the video I provided.

I am not sure what is the motive behind this post and what is the scientific evidence that it is based on. How can you distinguish between the driver doing a wrong action versus your IFS control theory. Where is the evidence that in 20 Lack of Control accidents that the majority are IFS suspensions. Are you an accident investigator that has access to the investigations of these 20 accidents?

Forgive me but it is remarkable that you join this forum and this subject is your first post.

Do you own a motorhome because none is listed in your profile or your signature?

Have you or anyone you know had a blow out related accident in a motorhome that has an IFS suspension?

Are you or anyone you know involved in a law suit as a result of a blowout related accident in a motorhome with an IFS suspension?
Mike Canter
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:09 AM   #10
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With the links I gave, one is shown to be solid axle. Not most.
I question whether MOST accidents are caused by the driver "Slamming on the brakes"
I agree that one cannot distinguish between driver error and uncontrollability but if significantly more IFS go off the road, there is perhaps a problem.

I am not an investigator and own a Bluebird 450 LXi. There has been a recall (and lawsuits ) due to Bluebird knowingly (Fraudulently) building these units overweight.

In the NHTSA recall Bluebird was to supply a higher capacity axle but decided to go with the less expensive route and try to lighten the front end and restrict CCC.

My research into front suspensions and the Bluebird crashes has led to some serious questions as to the control of some IFS after tire failure.(read the original post)
A survey of 20 or so "off the road crashes" MAY show the validity of the question. Is there a better way?
This would lead to more investigation by perhaps NHTSA.
The survey may also prove my theory wrong.
So be it -
2006 Bluebird 450LXi

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:29 AM   #11
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The video from Mike provides valuable info and should be watched by all RV owners (I would have been tempted to brake, lucky I never experienced a blow out.) The people that orchestrated the video would probably be able to provide a more scientific test result to Ross' theory on IFS vs fixed. Otherwise statistics, in this case, is worthless, IMO.
You may as well say:
IFS is more expensive
Therefore richer folks buy IFS
Therefore richer folks more likely to die in a tire blowout...
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:06 AM   #12
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Personally I think the biggest cause of "Disaster" when a tire blows (as oppoosed to disaster, much smaller, which every flat tire is) is going to be thinking.

I say this for two reasons.. ONE: if you think critical time is lost. You need to make the proper reaction instinctive.. This is done by training.

Now that said, After over 40 years behind the weel of cars, and a few trucks of assorted size, and (on cars) haveing at one time or another flattened each of the 4 tires plus trailer tiers.. When I watched the Mitchlin videos.. I LEARNED SOMETHING.

And never once have I lost control of more than a hubcap.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:29 PM   #13
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After driving a log truck for 35 years I have had many blowouts including 6 steer tires that I can remember. I had one happen one day at 60 mph, and my reaction was to floor it and pull on some trailer brake (which you can't do on a MH) and I pulled over to the side of the road with no incident. The same truck different day on a different road same speed it happened again. I reacted the same way and it pulled me over to the wrong side of the road. My point is there are alot of factors involved and you never know how it will react. The road can be banked on a turn , have bad ruts and other things that can change mile by mile. The best thing to do is be prepared and react as seen in the video Mike posted.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:37 PM   #14
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If it were me....I wouldn't waste my time compiling info if this situation is such a headache and hazard...I'd avoid the hazard and sell that RV...that way you know your safe

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