This article is about how to handle an RV tire blowout.
Of course, tire blowouts are no fun regardless of what vehicle you’re in. But they’re especially serious in RVs. That’s because of all the weight that they carry.
And you also need to especially give attention to blowouts that happen on a motorhome front axle. Because it’s the the steering axle.
And because of that, a blowout can throw off your front end and cause loss of steering control.
So what can you do in the case of an RV tire blowout? Well first and foremost, prevention is key!
And before we go further, let’s talk about a few things that you need to be doing to try to prevent tire blowouts.
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An RV Tire Blowout – Prevention Is Key!
Number one is to know what tire pressure you should be running in your RV tires. Then check your tires often, and keep them at the appropriate pressure.
View my recommended RV tire pressure gauge here
Number two is to maintain the proper weight in your RV. Don’t overload it! This is a common problem. Because a lot of people overload their RV’s without even thinking about it.
So what happens is they’re putting undue pressure on the tires. And they’re actually causing them to be susceptible to a tire blowout.
The third thing has to do with when you’re not traveling down the highway. When you’re sitting still. And that is you need to keep those tires covered! So put tire covers on them.
View my recommended tire covers for RVs here
How would that help with tire blowouts, you might ask? Well the number one thing that can weaken tires, believe it or not, is UV rays from the sun.
It just bakes the sidewalls of those tires and saps the oils out of them. Then they begin to crack. And when they do, the side walls weaken in most cases.
Tire blowouts most often take place, not in the tread, but in the side wall. So make sure that you protect those side walls from being weakened by the sun.
An RV Tire Blowout – Replace Aging Tires
Also make sure that you replace your tires when they have aged out.
So check those manufacture dates on the sides of your tires. And replace them when they need it.
Now some people replace them every five years. And many manufacturers will say every six years. Whatever interval you choose, just make sure you replace them within five to six years.
And that way, you don’t leave yourself susceptible to weak old tires. Tires that could be a a blowout ready to happen.
Monitor Your Tires On The Highway
Finally be sure that you monitor your tires as you’re going down the road. And this is best accomplished with a tire pressure monitoring system.
These are great for RVers. Because they’re going to tell you what’s going on with your tires.
They will tell you not just the tire pressure, but in many cases, they’ll usually tell you also about tire temperature.
You know, tires very often telegraph that there’s a problem coming. And very often you will be able to know that because the temperature goes up in those tires.
If you know that’s happening, you can very often get off the road and get it fixed right away. Without experiencing a tire blowout.
So be sure to have a tire pressure monitoring system for your RV. And also for the tow vehicle, or the towed vehicle, if it’s a motorhome.
View my recommended tire pressure monitoring system here
Now let’s talk about what happens if you have a blowout, even though you’ve done all these things to prevent it. Because sometimes life just throws you a curve. Well, what should you do?
An RV Tire Blowout – What To Do
The experts say, number one, have both hands on the wheel and get a firm grip. But number two is not very intuitive for many people. And that is that you should keep your foot on the gas. And even accelerate some.
Now I know how we all think. When something happens in your vehicle that you’re not sure about, you usually immediately put the brakes on, right?
But in a tire blowout, it’s actually the worst thing that you can do. Why?
Well, because when you have a tire blow out the released pressure goes sideways. And it works against the direction the RV is traveling. So as a result, the front of the RV can start to be turned sideways.
Then if you put the brakes on hard at the same time, the RV rear end can start coming around. And next thing you know, you lose control. Or maybe even flip the RV.
So it’s important to keep the gas on. And that way the rear wheels are still moving you forward, trying to straighten the RV out.
Then if you’ve got both hands on the wheel, you can usually keep the RV going nice and straight.
Once the tire blowout is over and you’re still going straight, then you can start to ease your foot onto the brake slowly. And then gradually move off to the side of the road and get to a safe area.
That’s the way you really want to handle a tire blow out. At least, that’s what the tire pros tell us.
Watch a Michelin video on handling a tire blowout here
Steering Support During An RV Tire Blowout
But now there’s another product that’s made to even help further with this problem. And it’s called the Safe-T-Plus Bar.
The purpose of the Safe-T-Plus Bar is to keep your front steering axle working to keep you in a straight line no matter what happens.
View a Safe-T-Plus bar for motorhomes here
I had it installed on my rig and I really noticed a steering difference when I did. The bar really does try to keep your coach going straight. No matter what side forces are applied to it. And that’s a good thing.
So it works great in tire blowouts. But it also works good in side winds too. You know, when you’re traveling down the highway in heavy winds.
These heavy winds blowing against the side of the coach may move you around on the highway. But with the Safe-T-Plus bar, I definitely can testify that it helps you be able to go straighter, easier.
Also, it helps when you’re being passed by big trucks. It keeps you from being moved around on the highway then as well.
So there’s a lot of good things that the Safe-T-Plus bar does for you. But especially in a tire blowout.
That’s when you want every bit of the odds on your side to keep that RV going straight and not turning on you.
Now I had mine installed at the Safe-T-Plus factory in Georgia. They did a great job and I highly recommend them.
But the truth is that you can install it yourself. In fact, they provide information to help you know how to install it yourself. Or you can get someone who’s mechanically inclined to do it for you.
So all of the suggestions I’ve given you today are about how you can handle a tire blowout in your RV.
And it’s true that motorhome and RV tire blowouts can be stressful. They’re not something you look forward to at all.
But if you are prepared. If you’ve done the work to prevent them as much as possible. Then you may never have to deal with one.
But if you do, and you know the right things to do, then you can handle an RV tire blowout. In a safe and successful manner.
Have safe and happy travels!