A couple days ago Sherry and I heard a BOOM! A tire on another motor home blew out. Later the owner asked if I had a gauge so he could check the rest of his tires? He is a friend from NC, so I went over and lowered the pressure to what the coach called for. The tires were 5 years old.
For information, most tires on motor homes do not wear out, they Blow out. We drivers are supposed to KNOW when a tire gets around 5 years old it is very susceptible to a blow out, mostly because of weather cracking, rather than wear. But the ‘MAN’ in us says hey, there is 1/2” of tread left, why buy new ones. (I AM VERY GUILTY OF LOOKING AT TREAD, NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO AGE!)
SOOOOO before leaving the RV park, I checked our tires. One needed 10 pounds. So I thought, I will add air when we get fuel. Later driving up the road, I thought, ‘I won’t get fuel for 600 miles’. So I pulled into a rest area near Ocala, and added air. This Coach has it’s own compressor, which is nice.
I checked all the other tires and they were good. Back on the road. Driving I have nothing to do but keep it between the ditches and think. So I am thinking, ‘Did I check my tow vehicles connections?’ So I pulled into the next rest area and again went around the coach. One rear tire looked slack.
I checked the air, ZERO pressure! So I wanted to check if it was blown out or the air had just ‘leaked out, nail, etc’. I tried, but since I cannot hear I could not tell if it was ‘taking air’. It is an inside dual tire and I was under the coach with my face against the tire trying to hear.
So I had to get my EARS (Sherry). I explained to her what to look for and I crawled under the coach again an she fed the air. I asked her if she had a reading, ‘yes a 5’. That is 50 lbs pressure. So I said ‘good she is holding air’, we need at least 90 lbs. So, me under Sherry continued to add air.
She tries to tell me something and I could not understand, so I crawled out. And she said, “I hear something like gravel rattling.” Now you have to be in my head to imagine how fast I thought. In a Micro second I was on the Appalachian Trail picking Black berries to snack on, when my sweetheart again says, “Get out of there, I hear something rattling!” So I eased backwards looking intently and spotted the biggest Rattler I had ever seen. It was as big in girth as a soft ball.”
Just as my thoughts finished we were both rattled by a HUGE BOOM/BANG! The tire BLEW! I was peppered with bits of tire and Sherry was sorta moved backward with the explosion, but being out from under the coach saved my life or at the least my eyes and what is left of my ears, plus cuts and bruises from the steel belts as she blew. It was like standing beside a 1/4th stick of dynamite (nearly).
What she had heard was the fabric of the tire tearing as it was giving way.
Since it was an inside dual tire, the front tire protected us. My sweetheart says, “We could have really gotten hurt, couldn’t we?”
“Yes,” I said knowing full well men have been killed when truck tires blow.
“Thank God, for His protection,” the first words out of my Girls mouth, and she is right as always.
I give her credit, she in turn Gives God credit.
But we are okay. Road Service brought a new tire out. While he was coming, I dug out my records, HAS IT BEEN THAT LONG SINCE WE BOUGHT TIRES? Our tires on the rear ARE seven years old. I should have known better. So just as soon as possible the other three will be replaced.
Didn’t meant to be so long,
I am happy after a near miss. I try not to continue to say, “What if?” That can ruin the rest of the day.
1959 Dodge customized