Blowouts can be really scary things. No, we’re not talking about the kind that you got back in the 80’s going for that huge-perm-tease look (that’s another kind of scary all its own). The blowout we’re talking about here is the kind that happens when you’re cruisin’ down the road minding your own business, and then out of nowhere hits you doing 70.You feel your tire explode under you and know you’re in for trouble. But it doesn’t have to be a scary experience. Here are some tips to help you deal with what could be a bad, bad day.
There she blows
A tire blowout might not be felt right away. It is sometimes heard first. It might be a loud boom or pop like when you are out shootin’ with your buddies. After this you’ll probably hear something like a rush of air. This is your tire deflating like the kiddie pool after your 250 pound Uncle Lester tried to cannonball last summer. Next comes the flapping sound of rubber as your flat tire slaps against the pavement. You’ll feel your ride slowing down as it coasts along the road and probably a bit of a pull to the left or right depending on which side your tire blew. Front tire blows are usually felt more in the steering and back tire blows are usually felt more in the seats.
Instinctively when a tire blows you will want to do something about it. Brake, turn off, get on the shoulder as quickly as you can. Don’t do it. Resist like you do when you want to buy the whole place after you wander into Scheels to wait for your wife to finish shopping at the mall. You should keep a good grip on the steering wheel, wait for your RV to let Mother Nature slow ‘er down and don’t press on the brake pedal. Once you’ve slowed down enough, pull over onto the shoulder and turn on your flashers. If it’s safe go ahead and change that bad boy out, but if not you should call roadside assistance.
Experiencing a tire blowout can’t always be prevented, but there are a few things you can do to reduce your chances of having one. The easiest way? Just make sure your tires are aired like they’re supposed to be for your RV. You can usually find the magic number inside your door jamb or in the user’s manual that came with your ride. Make sure your vehicle isn’t too heavy by not overloading it and putting extra stress on your tires. Speaking of which, maintaining your tires is a must. You should check to make sure your tires aren’t too worn before hitting the road. An easy way that my daddy taught me? Put a penny in the tread with Old Abe facing you and the top of his head sticking out the top of the tire. If you see his head, your tires are worn and you should consider replacing them.
Blowouts can be scary, but you can make sure they’re not scarier than those ghost stories you tell around the campfire at night. Learning the basics about what to listen and look for, and preparing yourself and your RV can help keep you from having a not-so-pleasant day while you’re out enjoying the open road. After all, you don’t want a little blowout to keep you from enjoying your Good Life.