Navigating your RV through urban traffic is never fun, but toss in an RV trailer tire blowout at the same time and things can get life threatening if calm heads don’t prevail. The strength of your RV driving skills is measured by how you handle unpredictable situations like blowouts. Unfortunately the only way to determine where you stand is to actually experience one of these calamities, which is exactly what happened to us while maneuvering in a mess of interstate traffic.
Recently one Saturday morning we headed to an RV park on the fringes of Austin, Texas. Proud of ourselves for timing our arrival perfectly, it was about 10 am and interstate traffic was light and easy. After camping in rural West Texas for several weeks, it was nice to emerge into civilization without rush hour madness. Traffic got tighter as we approached Austin then sadly our casual entrance came to an end. That’s when my husband Jim looked left and saw a passenger in a neighboring car waving her arms at us.
“Uh oh!” he said.
“What?! What?! What?!” I panicked.
I would have panicked and hit the brakes, but Jim knew what to do.
- When a blowout happens, DO NOT hit the brakes. Keep your foot on the gas to overcome forces that want to pull you sideways. Keep driving in a straight line.
As fast and safely as he could without slowing down too much, he steered us out of the middle lane toward an approaching off-ramp. Unfortunately we were moving too fast to exit and missed our opportunity. The narrow freeway shoulder was the only place left to stop.
Despite our meticulous tire care maintenance, stuff happens and now it was time to deal with the problem. In nine years of full-time RVing it was only our second high speed blowout. But things were different this time: now we carry Coach-Net’s Hazard Protect tire and wheel coverage. After taking a minute to catch our breath, I did what most wives will do in the same situation: I told Jim “Call Coach-Net!”
And of course, Jim did what most husbands will do: “I can change it!” he grumbled. You can probably imagine the bickering that transpired as we sat there arguing while every passing car shook our rig.
“No you can’t do that! Not here!” I demanded. “Yes, I CAN!” he insisted. But like all caring and concerned wives, I pointed out that if he went through with it, there was less than than five feet between his body and 75 mile-per-hour traffic.
“We have Coach-Net! That’s what it’s there for!” I pleaded. “You have good life insurance but I really don’t need a dead husband!” I added for extra drama. Maybe that’s what did it, but he relented and with a grumble said “Fine, call them.”
While sitting and waiting for the ordeal to be over, we got acquainted with our coverage. What a relief to learn that because a road hazard caused the blowout, our tire would be replaced – on the spot – with a new one, at no cost. To add to the perks, the repairman arrived with a heavy-duty Goodyear tire that was better than the 6 month old one that failed.
Waiting for it to be over was the hardest part, but we learned much from the experience. For starters, watching the repairman do his job made one thing obvious: he knew exactly how to park diagonally behind us so that if a car hit us all, his truck would take the impact first. Those RVers who try to do it themselves without a buffer of protection on the freeway practically guarantees a tragic outcome.
We arrived in Austin later than we wanted, but my husband, dog and I were safe and that’s what mattered most.
About the Author:
Rene Agredano, a Coach-Net member since 2015, is a self-employed full-time RVer who enjoys writing, jewelry design and animal advocacy. Her adventures with a three-legged dog and husband Jim are chronicled at LiveWorkDream.com
T. sarock said:
I have tire monitors on my coach, pup, @ triailer. In my opinion it is the cheapest insurance for tire problems that money can buy- period.If you have never ruined a tire, you will. Lots of luck.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Totally agree. After our recent blowout we are having a TPMS added. Also did research on the OEM tires. Although new they were at maximum load (I had the RV weighted for each axle). The new tires with larger rims will provide a safety margin of 2,000 pounds for each of the four wheels (8,000 pounds total) and seriously lighten our back account.
Very timely article. Two weeks ago we were traveling on I-70 east of Kansas City, MO at 62 MPH when the rear axle street side tire blew. I heard it then felt the fifth wheel trailer (39 foot Redwood) swaying. I applied light brake pressure while activating the hazard flashers. I aimed for the right shoulder and let the truck coast to a stop. We had over $5,000 damage to the RV however no one was hurt. I had checked the tire pressure two hours before the blowout. Hard braking could have had a much worse outcome for us and the heavy truck traffic that was present.
What a harrowing experience. So glad you are safe!
Robert Morley said:
Thank you. Now that the RV is back home, damage repaired, TPMS installed and much better tires installed we are interested in the tire protection. We did have tire protection with GS (cancelled coverage two weeks ago) however it was denied as we could not prove what caused the blowout. At interstate speeds there is not much left of a tire that supports an 8-ton RV when there is a failure, no matter what the cause. The blown tire had under 2,000 miles and was in excellent condition prior to the failure. There was only pieces left around the highway over several hundred feet of highway. How does Coach-Net treat a tire failure claim similar to ours?
With our Hazard Protect tire and wheel protection, Coach-Net is involved in the entire process so that, in itself, is verification of the situation. We would pay for the cost of the replacement tire (up to two tires per year) lost due to road hazard conditions. Please let us know if you have any additional questions regarding coverage. We would even be happy to provide you with a copy of the Hazard Protect terms and conditions to review and see if it suits your needs. Thank you!
We back he Coach Net how do I get tire protection?
Visit http://www.coachnetprotect.com/products/hazard.aspx and complete the form on the page. A Rep will contact you with a personalized quote based on your needs.
Ronald E. Clarke said:
Very interesting story.
I recently had a right front tire blew out on my class A 40 foot motorhome. I immediately pressed the Accelerator to the floor and did my best to maintain control. We went off the road and out through the desert, finally coming to a stop about 2000 feet later.
Having watched the tire blew out video on YouTube and accelerating, as they recommended, kept us from turning over and to walk away without injuries.
Highly, highly, recommend you advise all to watch the Michelin tire blowout video available on YouTube. It may save a life‼️ (Tire blew so quickly no warning from TPMS. TIRE 5 1/2 yrs old)