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Old 10-25-2020, 01:08 AM   #1
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Surprise tire problem in very rural Michigan

DW drove our Class C motorhome 200 miles north to a family rustic camping area. Yesterday, I drove my car to join them. When I got there, I checked tire pressures and the left rear outer tire was 20 psi with all others at 72 psi. I added air and now know its losing about 8 psi per hour when at normal pressure.

Great thing to learn late on a Saturday night! I should be happy nothing disastrous happened to the DW on her 200 mile trek with only 3 of 4 rear tires carrying the load (about 8,500 lb on the rear axle).

We are planning on gingerly driving back home, stopping every 30 minutes to pump the tire up to 82 psi and not let it get below 70 psi, using the generator to power an air compressor to allow tire filling.

We do have a spare tire with the RV.

Wed like to coax it at least as far as a few cities 100 miles south of us for better assistance (or might try getting all the way back home).

So are we nuts to try this?
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:30 AM   #2
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I'd be surprised , if there isn't a nail in the tire , and the air is leaking around it .
The problem with driving even for a short distance , is ; the nail my spit out once the tire gets warm and go flat quickly , and by being run flat, be destroyed before you can pull over to change it.

With a slow leak you've got a fairly good chance the tire can be repaired , run flat its junk.
Would you rather change a tire where you are or on the roadside.

NOTE: When changing a tire ; on duals in particular ALWAYS stop and retighten the lug nuts after 50 miles.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budh9534 View Post
DW drove our Class C motorhome 200 miles north to a family rustic camping area. Yesterday, I drove my car to join them. When I got there, I checked tire pressures and the left rear outer tire was 20 psi with all others at 72 psi. I added air and now know its losing about 8 psi per hour when at normal pressure.

Great thing to learn late on a Saturday night! I should be happy nothing disastrous happened to the DW on her 200 mile trek with only 3 of 4 rear tires carrying the load (about 8,500 lb on the rear axle).

We are planning on gingerly driving back home, stopping every 30 minutes to pump the tire up to 82 psi and not let it get below 70 psi, using the generator to power an air compressor to allow tire filling.

We do have a spare tire with the RV.

Wed like to coax it at least as far as a few cities 100 miles south of us for better assistance (or might try getting all the way back home).

So are we nuts to try this?
If you can find the leak and if it's a nail or similar. I would go to Walmart or a car parts place and get a tire plug kit. Then just plug it. Very easy to do.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:19 AM   #4
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Do you have a TPMS? I suspect not and this is exactly why every RV should have one. Because of the extreme safety issue, many/most new cars/trucks have them from the factory. With a TPMS she would have seen the tire low before it was damaged. It's possible the tire on the same axle is damaged from carrying excess load. At any rate since you don't want to change the tire to the spare, and apparently don't have an tire pressure monitoring, stopping every few miles is your only option.
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:23 AM   #5
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Why not change it now?
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Old 10-25-2020, 05:57 AM   #6
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Sorry to break the bad news to you, but that tire is already damaged. Not knowing when the leak started, you will have to assume that it was driven on nearly 200 miles in a virtually flat condition. Is it safe to drive on it once it's re-inflated? Hard to say.

https://www.rvtiresafety.net/2011/11...ato-salad.html

Depending on the tires' rating and the weight carried, the other tire on that side of the RV might have been overloaded the entire time as well and might have sustained damage.

My suggestion is to make use of that road-side assistance you've always wondered about and have someone come out and change the tire now. That's why you carry a spare. If you are in a campground, you might actually be able to find help changing it right there. Amazing the kinds of tools many carry with them, including hydraulic jacks and air tools. I wouldn't risk my family on that tire.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:31 AM   #7
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I agree the tire is damaged. First I would try and get someone out to change it especially since you carry a spare. If you have the knowledge and with some help can change it yourself, so much the better.

Second, get a TPMS, it would have already saved you the cost of a new tire. Your lucky your DW did not experience a disaster that would have easily been averted by a TPMS.



After driving my coach home after purchase I never drove it another mile before installing a TPMS. It probably saved my tow car after alerting me to a slow leak due to a nail we picked up after parking on the side of the road to have lunch.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:28 AM   #8
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Change the tire now. I had a similar situation last summer. I stopped when tpms showed the outer driver rear down in the low 80's psi hot. I started the generator for the compressor and aired the tire back up to upper 80's psi. I did this a few times throughout the day. Made it to Branson. Four days later I left Branson for Albuquerque with all six tires aired up to 80 psi cold and had a blowout 40 miles later. Check your spare tire. I had a cheap mexican branded spare brand new that only lasted 200 miles. It was a royal pain in the ass causing 8 hours of delays and a gold plated $500. tire from roadside assistance. Now I have 7 new Michelin tires.
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Old 10-25-2020, 08:13 AM   #9
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I would find the leak and repair it or change it out. Most likely a plug could take care of the leak. As others have mentioned, the tire is likely to blow out if it was run flat and without having a monitoring system, there is no way to know how long it was run. The BEST plan would be to install the spare, and also repair the leak. Then if you have another tire issue on the way home, you still have the option of limping home with the repaired tire. Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:09 AM   #10
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Ditto on changing it now. It could heat up and blow out causing lots of damage.
Or worse.
This is an inconvenience, blow out could be a disaster.

Been there, done that...
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:13 AM   #11
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I just lost the tire change option.

Stupid me made only a quick pressure check of the spare tire a month ago.

I just removed it completely to make sure no securing bolt was seized and found this was a 2002 tire with visible cracks in the side of the tire I had not previously seen. So much for road side assistance helping change THAT tire!

Time to go carefully check the tire to see if I can find the nail or whatever is causing the leak.....
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:26 AM   #12
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Air it up and drive to a tire shop. If you need to do it a few times so be it.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Sorry to break the bad news to you, but that tire is already damaged. Not knowing when the leak started, you will have to assume that it was driven on nearly 200 miles in a virtually flat condition. Is it safe to drive on it once it's re-inflated? Hard to say.
...
Depending on the tires' rating and the weight carried, the other tire on that side of the RV might have been overloaded the entire time as well and might have sustained damage.
...
I wouldn't risk my family on that tire.
Please re-read those three sentences carefully. A tire is considered flat and susceptible to internal damage when it is 20% below the required pressure for the load it's carrying. For example, if it's supposed to be 80 PSI then flat and susceptible to internal damage is 64 PSI. Yours was way below that.

Each tire in a dual pair carries 50% of the load. When your one tire went flat the other tire was now carrying 100% of the load on that side and no vehicle dual pair has tires that can safely carry anywhere close to double their design load. (Unfortunately motorhomes usually are loaded close to the axle or tire limits. They have duals because they need them.)

Right now you are primed for an explosive blowout at high speeds. Since they are rear tires you may not lose control of the vehicle, which is always possible with a front tire blowout, because only one may fail at first. But blowouts can and have caused considerable structure, wiring, and plumbing collateral damage. Even if you don't wreck and there are no injuries, you're staring at a towing and repair bill in the thousands. And that doesn't include the inconvenience and costs of getting back home if the motorhome is undriveable due to the damage.

My tires are almost $500 each and I would be replacing both of them immediately if at all possible regardless of how they physically look.

Good luck,

Ray
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Old 10-25-2020, 10:01 AM   #14
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I agree plug the leak(this is a temporary fix) wherever it is located.(That tire should be considered ruined anyway-run flat) Assuming a nail is the culprit and not a leaky valve core, the puncture through the steel cords allows moisture to enter the un-coated steel cords, which then quickly corrode and completely fail in the near future.
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