A blown-out tire can bring your entire RVing adventure to an abrupt stop, but if you handle it correctly, it doesn’t need to ruin your entire trip. Follow these basic instructions to learn how to handle a tire blowout on the road.
Keep Your Cool
The gut-wrenching feeling of having a tire blowout while you're traveling down the highway can understandably cause you to react in the heat of the moment. The key is to react logically. The first step to doing so is keeping your cool behind the wheel. Do your best to maintain control of the vehicle by increasing your speed and firmly holding the wheel straight. When a blowout occurs, your RV will suddenly be pulled sideways in the direction of the blown out tire, so accelerating can actually help you to resist and overcome this pull.
Fight Your Instincts
When a tire blows, you don’t have a lot of time to mentally prepare for your next move, and it can quickly overwhelm you if you’re unsure of what you need to do. Along with keeping your cool, do your best to fight your natural instincts to freak out. Avoid hitting your brakes suddenly or jerking the steering wheel to counteract the pull. If you overcompensate for the pull or decelerate too quickly, you will risk losing control of your rig.
Get Off the Road
Once you have control of your vehicle after the tire blows, you’ll need to get off the road so you can address the issue. To do so, turn on your four-way hazard lights and gradually slow down to around 15 mph without hitting the brakes. Once you’re at a safe speed, ease off to the right side of the road. Keep your emergency flashers activated and if you have reflective safety triangles, get them ready for use.
Replace the Tire
Only exit your RV if you are certain that you are a safe distance from the road and out of harm’s way. Change the blown-out tire with your spare, and take it to a repair shop as soon as possible. Your rig will not make it long on a spare donut tire, so don’t force it to. Your manual may provide instructions on how to change a flat tire, or you can call roadside assistance if you are unsure.
Avoid Future Blowouts
There are a number of factors that can contribute to a tire blowout on the road. Over inflation or under inflation can cause tires to burst suddenly, so periodically check the air pressure in your tires, especially before long road trips. If your RV is over loaded, it puts too much pressure on your tires, which can also cause them to blow. Be aware of your RV’s GAWR and confer with an RV weigh station to ensure that your are not exceeding your load rating. Properly storing your RV in the off-season and routinely replacing your RV’s tires will all help you to avoid another blowout.
Stay safe on all your future travels by knowing how to handle a tire blowout on the road. If you keep your cool and follow the right steps, you should be back on the road before you know it and your scary tire incident will just become another memorable story you tell around the campfire!