Stay Calm if your RV Tire Blows Out
KBAM > Slap Slap Slap > KBAM KBAM! Very scary noises
KBAM Slap Slap Slap KBAM KBAM! Very scary noises when you are driving on the I-5 near Bakersfield in 5 O'clock traffic... or anytime for that matter. It was September 1, 2015 and it was my first day of my Fall Road Trip. I left San Diego, CA just before noon and had made one stop for a late lunch, and had driven about 5 hours, and was happily cruising along at about 60 mph when I heard the first KBAM and I was so startled I began to shake. The following Slap Slap Slap and additional KBAM KBAM were going on as I was beginning to tap my brakes and check my rear and side view mirrors to see what space I had around me. It was surprising to me that my RV was not pulling to one side or the other and I was able to take an upcoming offramp. Very fortunately it had a wide shoulder and as I came to the top part of the off ramp I was able to pull over and was clear of the ramp. After I set my emergency brake and turned on my emergency flashers I sat still for a few minutes and took a couple deep breaths while I waited for the traffic that were also taking the off ramp to clear.
I stepped out of my RV and began to look at the front drivers side tire and it was undamaged. As I moved toward the rear of the RV I could immediately see that my inside rear dually tire on the drivers side wash complete stripped of tread, with only bare rubber showing. I continued to check the tires on the passenger side and they were all in good condition. My knees were still shaking and it was hard for me to figure out what to do next, so I climbed into the drivers seat and took a few more very deep breaths. I noticed there was a gas station about 2 blocks away. I called a good friend who is a long time RV owner and asked if he thought it OK for me to drive those few blocks and I did drive very slowly to the Gas Station. I called my insurance Road Side Service and within two hours he had my spare mounted and I was ready to roll again.
It was the end of a long day so I headed up the road about 15 minutes to the nearest Walmart which did allow overnight parking and called it a day. There was quite a bit of additional damage caused by the tire rubber. It took a chunk out of my gray holding tank, put a small dent in my Gas intake pipe, as well as a few other smaller damaged items. The next morning I went to two RV shops in Bakersfield and they both told me that it takes 2 - 3 weeks at least to order in a replacement gray holding tank. My decision was to continue my Fall trip without repairing my gray tank and to have all of the repairs completed by my local RV Repair Shop when I returned to San Diego two months later. During that trip I became very good at taking sponge baths using my 2 dishwashing tubs!
The two main reason I am sharing this story is to suggest that if you tend to get extremely upset by challenges when you travel you might want to work on changing that about yourself before you decide to take on RV travels. Reason #2... be sure you have really good Road Side Assistance and Insurance on your RV. The total repair bill exceeded $5,000 and I only paid the deductible.
Life on the road does come with upsets, interruptions, and challenges, but the fun and joy is worth it!