Monday, July 20, 2015

Trouble on the Road - Tire Failure

RoadAbode - Trouble on the Road : Tire Failure
It's not something you expect, but it does happen. The last time this happened, it was also on a Guys RoadTrip. On the way home from Gettysburg, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, RoadAbode shook and rumbled a bit, and I heard a loud, almost ripping sound. My buddies looked at me questioningly, and I let out a quiet "damn!" as I put on the hazards and looked for a place to pull over. I already knew what had happened. Tire Trouble. Fortunately it happened right before a wide emergency pull-off area to park RoadAbode into.. I jumped out and inspected the damage.  The tread separated from the inside, curside dually tire.  It was pretty close to the stretch of highway it happened to last time. Conditions were the same. Extra hot day, and I had verified the tire pressures before leaving. Thankfully there was no damage to the Honda Fit we tow, even though it had just run over the remnants of the "road gator" we left behind. To add a little more injury, as the tread left our now bald tire, the road gator must have banged our tailpipe, which exhausts behind the wheel, up into the bottom our side wall, crumpling a small portion of filon.
At least no one got hurt, and it's all fixable, right?
Sitting on the side of the Road
Waiting on Service. Glad we were at a good pull-off on the PA Turnpike
After calming down, I dug out my Good Sam Card and called the number. Not a direct line, I needed to wait for the prompts. It was comforting to hear the young lady first verify we were in a safe location. She then took my member info, and started her search for a company that would change our tire. From her questions, she did not seem knowledgeable about RVs. Also, she needed a street address or town to try to pinpoint where we were. I knew we were headed east on the PA turnpike, and our mile marker, but finding a town to help was not exactly easy, even using Google Maps on my smart phone. She finally reached a tow operator that was currently on another job, but could be to us in two hours. Well - guess we'd have to wait. I though about turning on the Generator and house air-conditioner, but RoadAbode was on a 1/4 tank of gas - fine to get back home but maybe not to run the genset for a few hours too. So we broke out the camp chairs, sat in the shade of a nearby tree, and proceeded to wait.
Not much went on. I decided to grab a trash bag and gloves and clean up our little piece of PA Turnpike paradise. Then I disconnected the Honda Fit so we would be ready to change out the tire. The few tools the service would need I readied - a tool to crank down the tire, and a tool that gets the locking nut off the wheel covers. A dump truck passing by also blew a tire - right across from where RoadAbode sat. The driver just kept going.
RoadAbode - Location on the PA Turnpike
Where we were for 3 & half hours
About forty minutes into our wait I received a call from Good Sam. Seems the service company would need to add another hour to our wait time! "Can you see if there is someone else available?" The woman from Good Sam said she'd call me back. 10 minutes later she said she had another company and they would arrive in 40 minutes. It was Abel Brothers. They fixed RoadAbode last time!
I decided to run the genset and air-conditioner to cool off a bit.
Within 30 minutes two young guys pulled up and began work on RoadAbode.
They were good guys and we talked a little about camping and RVing - one had even been to Gettysburg in the past few weeks. They were curious about my tow setup, and showed them how it worked - and what cars with automatic transmissions could be towed.
It was obvious that one was teaching the other. They went over how to chock the wheels safely, and how to get the tires off without damage. Within thirty minutes - they were done! It was a hot day, so I got each a large Gatorade from RoadAbode's fridge. They were happy for that!

Since the "blowout" we've replaced both duallys on the curbside. I'm also keeping the tires at about 5lbs less pressure than I use to. We've had three trips since, with no issue.


Guys fixing up RoadAbode

RoadAbode Tire Trouble - Damaged Sidewall
Damage from the tread giving way and wacking the tailpipe up and into RoadAbode's sidewall 



2 comments:

Maj said...

Number 1: Glad all were safe! Back in our travel trailer days we had a couple of blown tires, and they are no fun! So far so good with our Four Winds. Still looking forward to meeting up with you somewhere on the road! We do have family in Virginia Beach Va. Maybe next summer?

Road Abode said...

Would love to meet up with the "Roadtirement" crew. :-) This is our youngest's senior year of high school, so she gets to pick our week long June trip destination. Haven't figured out where we are headed in 2016 yet - and a little behind blogging - been busy with some new happenings at work. Hope you both are well!