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First front tire blow out....

RLS7201
Explorer
Explorer
12 miles north of Pratt, KS., on 61 Hwy, I heard a BOOM from the left front. Tightened my grip on the steering wheel and tapped the brake to turn off the cruise. I managed to hold the steering wheel and turned a little to the right but the coach still drifted about 3 feet into the on-coming lane. Then, as the coach slowed, it jumped to the right and I was back in my own lane. The death wobble was intense until I was almost stopped. Drifted off the Hwy until the left tires were just on the asphalt. Proceeded about a quarter of a mile until I found an intersection to stop at. I have a spare and the necessary tools to change a tire BUT the tire ripped my left front jack hose off the control valve. I couldn't lift the coach to get my hydraulic jack under the axle. Called road service and they had a service truck, from Pratt, there within the hour. The damaged tire and wheel was covered with oil, so I asked the service man to take it to his shop and dismount the tire and wipe down the wheel. Didn't want that oily mess in the storage bay.
Not only did I blow a tire, the shaking caused some electrical issue. We decided to turn around and head back home (Gladstone, MO), instead of proceeding on to Quartzsite. That was about a 600 mile turn around. I will go to the hydraulic shop tomorrow and have a new hose made for the LF jack. New tires are here and all I need to do is dismount the tires & wheels and go use my friends tire machine and balancer.
Now before we go to talking about a Steer Safe, I did not lose control of the steering wheel. So a Steer Safe would have been of no help.

Richard
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Ranger_Smith
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This is getting OLD
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larry_cad
Explorer II
Explorer II
The OP stated he tapped the brake to release the cruise control and allow the MH to begin slowing down from resistance. I keep asking myself what would any of you rather have him do, allow the cruise control to continue to cause the MH to roll down the road, or should he let go of the wheel long enough to disable the cruise control?

Personally, I congratulate the OP for his quick thinking regarding the cruise control and plan to use that strategy myself if I ever encounter a front blowout and would suggest it to all others here.
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Executive45
Explorer III
Explorer III
I'm not sure which is more humorous, those bashing the OP for how he handled the blowout or the OP coming back justifying his actions. Bottom line: The OP safely stopped his rig and everyone is ok. WINNING!....Dennis
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Cloud_Dancer
Explorer II
Explorer II
In the example of the topic that is described in the beginning of this post, there is only ONE principal vector,...and it is of a much greater force than all the resistive forces put together. AND, the fact is that a front steer tire suddenly failing does not significantly increase the total resistive forces. I've concluded that what happens is that the rolling resistance of the blowout tire becomes significantly GREATER than the inflated tire. BUT, as long as the inflated tire remains on the pavement, it will maintain, or increase, its traction, while the failed tire will NOT. The blowout tire does NOT cause the MH to yaw. The other thing is that a resistive force is resistive to only the forward motion of the MH. In fact, a resistive force only exists due to the forward motion of the MH. And, a direction of a resistive force is opposite the direction of the travel of the motorhome. What is needed is simply the correct explanation of exactly what causes a change in the direction of travel of the motorhome.
I like things to make sense. Therefore, I suggest that a much better and useful approach to this subject(steer tire blowout) is to analyze why some drivers lose control and most do not.
The main problem that I see is that the readers of these forums seem to prefer videos instead of text. It takes a lot text to explain what needs to be explained. I'll do the video if someone will come up with a sponsor. One problem is that I'm not selling any products.
Willie & Betty Sue
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Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
Cloud Dancer wrote:
There is NO "sideways force of the blowout"!!!!! If you're referring to the energy that's released by the compressed air escaping,...THAT force is NOT organized,...it is NOT a vector. ITS direction is scattered all over the place.


Agreed, and in rereading my post, perhaps I should have rephrased that. When I stated "sideways force of the blowout" I was implying the resulting force on the motorhome due to the blowout! Of course there isn't a direct sideways force due to the escaping air. But after it blows there IS an added drag force which becomes part of the velocity vector of the motorhome. THAT'S what causes the motorhome to move in the direction of the blowout.

And the fact that we all seem to agree that "stepping on the brake" immediately afterward makes matters worse, bolsters the sideways force theory. Stepping on the brake reduces the forward velocity component effectively making the sideways drag forces appear greater, causing the motorhome to continue to move even further out of its lane. In panic, the operator (usually) tries to over-correct at this point.

In fact, if you think about it, if there was NOT a sideways force created by the blown tire (NOT the air leaving the tire, the extra drag caused by the deflated tire), there would be NO NEED to try to correct the steering. The motorhome would continue travelling in a straight line (Newton's First Law of Motion). After the blowout, there IS a force pushing the motorhome in the direction of the blowout. There has to be.

But I didn't mean to imply that the escaping air out of the tire was the direct cause of the force pushing the motorhome. I assumed that point was understood in our discussion, but I can see how it could be misinterpreted. Thanks for the correction. 🙂

~Rick

ON EDIT: One last thing I'd like to add which might also be part of the explanation as to how "severe" the handling situation becomes after the blowout, is the size of the rig. Many of you have DP's which probably weigh 15-20,000 lbs. more than my lowly gasser, and most of that weight is on the rear wheels, and you might even have a tag axle to boot. I believe all of that would go to add A LOT of stability to the vehicle under such conditions. Just the added weight of your rigs nearly doubles the forward energy of momentum of what my lowly rig would have. 🙂 I'm just thinking that the very size of your rigs may help minimize the adverse effects on handling of such a blowout, and may be why some of you didn't experience as drastic an event as those of us in the smaller rigs will probably get to experience. 😞 LOL
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
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Cloud_Dancer
Explorer II
Explorer II
Rick Jay wrote:
JRscooby wrote:
I have never drove a MH, let alone blown a tire in 1. Do they have enough power on tap at cruising speed to instantly create a forward force?


Oh sure. I can stomp on the go pedal on my gasser and instantly go from 60mph to 60.1 mph! LOL

Did you ever watch the video? Not sure if anyone posted it on this topic yet. I'll go look for it and try to link it to here. ON EDIT: Here it is, it was sponsored by Michelin: How to Handle a Tire Blowout in your RV.

I know what you're saying, but according to the video, it DOES make a difference. I think stepping on the gas is a plus on two counts. IF one steps on the brake, they're cutting back on the forward force, thereby the sideways force of the blowout begins to dominate the direction of the motorhome. Hence it "jumps over", as it's typically described. I think that's the MAIN reason not to step on the brake. Stepping on the gas WILL increase that forward force somewhat, but I think it's mostly there to help compensate for the increased rolling resistance which is tending to slow the rig down as well. And if one is on the gas, they're NOT on the brake.

I've never had a blow-out and hope I never do. If I do AND I remember to stomp on the gas, I'll let you know how it worked! 😉
~Rick

****
There is NO "sideways force of the blowout"!!!!! If you're referring to the energy that's released by the compressed air escaping,...THAT force is NOT organized,...it is NOT a vector. ITS direction is scattered all over the place. The fact is that it takes a steering action in order to result in the motorhome changing direction. Yes, I can explain the whole thing. HOWEVER,....it might cause someone to start arguing about it. And, most of these forums do NOT allow arguing. And, I agree that it's a good rule.
Willie & Betty Sue
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JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Quick test; Pick up a couple of eggs. Put 1 in the palm of your hand, use the tip of your fingers, smash that egg. Now, grip egg between thumb and length of fingers, and smash. A lot more people can do the 2nd.
Driving on a race track, where everybody is going the same direction is not same as road. With power steering, any impact that will spin the steering wheel hard enough to harm the thumb will spin thru your hand.
As for the 10-2 vs 9-3, I can't say much. I wonder what the folks that write the report drive most. Bet it's the desk. Millions of miles of driving, mostly I hold at 11 solid, and 5 when I expect a bump. This lets me see gauges, hand close to shifter. When I need to spin the wheel for tight turn, straighten thumb and fingers, increase pressure on palm.
No, I can't say my way is right. But in millions of miles I have never lost control of a vehicle because the wheel slipped in my hand

4x4van
Explorer
Explorer
Blaster Man wrote:
We had a right front blowout several years ago in our previous coach, a 41' DP, on a very busy interstate south of Chicago.  We were cruising at 60, with the cruise control on, well within the tire's weight limit, it was properly inflated and had not aged out.  We had just crossed a small bridge, and the emergency services driver thought we had run over something that caused the catastrophic failure.  When the tire failed there was a loud boom and the steering wheel started vibrating rapidly back and forth with a slight pull to the right.  I immediately tapped off the cruise control, did not brake, and, as we slowed, gradually moved to the shoulder.  The biggest problem we had was that the shoulder was very narrow, with a 45 degree angle drop off.  My Velvac mirrors had three lenses, the bottom was oriented on each respective front wheel, so I could see exactly how far I needed to get off the hard stand before I started down the embankment.  Even getting as far as I could into the grass left us dangerously close the highway.  Every 18 wheeler that went by, shook the entire coach.  The emergency services driver managed to get the remnants of the old tire off, and the new tire on, without removing the rim.

As I look back on this experience, several people have mentioned the Michelin video, where they preach immediately adding full throttle/thrust.  The last thing I wanted (or needed) was more speed or thrust, it would have caused more damage and exacerbated the problem.  At no time was I in danger of loosing control of the coach or was the vibration or pull to the right severe.  Attempting to accelerate or increase thrust never entered my mind.  The only thoughts going through my mind were drive/control the bus, slow down and get off the road.....as I inched my way off the interstate.  And that's what I did.

Here are some extra comments regarding the Michelin video.  It sounds good and looks good, however, all the scenarios are scripted with safety the primary consideration.  It's like a lot of "school solutions," every aspect of the demonstration is planned.  However, based on my experience, regardless of the physics, when doing it for real, I doubt it's merit, it just doesn't make sense.

I agree. The Michelin video is scripted and produced using a driver that knows a blowout is coming. None of us are in that scenario; no one.

I have had at least 3-4 blowouts since I started RVing 35 years ago. One was even a right front tire while starting down a downhill offramp, still traveling at 60-65 mph. Never stomped on the throttle nor the brakes. Yes, it pulled to the right, but never to the point of losing control. The key was to maintain steering while "gently" slowing the rig. Stomping on the gas simply delays the entire process of getting your rig stopped.

Sorry; I've watched the video multiple times. I've actually experienced RV blowouts. And I've argued the points on this and other forums several times over the years since that video was posted. Didn't agree with it then, don't agree with it now. But hey, it's on the internet, so it must be true, right?:R Do what you want, but IMO, the only valuable takeaway from the video is to NOT stomp on the brakes.
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Blaster_Man
Explorer
Explorer
Rick Jay wrote:
JRscooby wrote:
I have never drove a MH, let alone blown a tire in 1. Do they have enough power on tap at cruising speed to instantly create a forward force?


Oh sure. I can stomp on the go pedal on my gasser and instantly go from 60mph to 60.1 mph! LOL

Did you ever watch the video? Not sure if anyone posted it on this topic yet. I'll go look for it and try to link it to here. ON EDIT: Here it is, it was sponsored by Michelin: How to Handle a Tire Blowout in your RV.

I know what you're saying, but according to the video, it DOES make a difference. I think stepping on the gas is a plus on two counts. IF one steps on the brake, they're cutting back on the forward force, thereby the sideways force of the blowout begins to dominate the direction of the motorhome. Hence it "jumps over", as it's typically described. I think that's the MAIN reason not to step on the brake. Stepping on the gas WILL increase that forward force somewhat, but I think it's mostly there to help compensate for the increased rolling resistance which is tending to slow the rig down as well. And if one is on the gas, they're NOT on the brake.

I've never had a blow-out and hope I never do. If I do AND I remember to stomp on the gas, I'll let you know how it worked! 😉

~Rick


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Dutch_12078
Explorer
Explorer
I do agree that what the OP did was ok, but getting back to the hand positions on the steering wheel, here's an interesting article that discusses the NHTSA's change from the previous "10 & 2" recommendation to a "9 & 3" recommendation. They also keeping our thumbs on top of the wheel instead of wrapping them around the wheel. That's something professional race drivers have known for many years to avoid dislocating or breaking their thumbs in wrecks when the wheel can spin forcefully.

How To Hold Your Steering Wheel Properly
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JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
1 thing that defeats most of the value of the video is the driver knows a blowout is coming. My last blowout, MT truck, setting still, with steering axle weight less than 14,000 and the tire rating of 11,800. That bang still scared the ducks out of me.
If you are running 60, speed up to 60.1 it is just that much more time and distance to get to your desired speed. Sooner or later you have to get off go pedal. And there is a real good chance that you will need to use the whoa pedal
Very few people drive any distance with the grip on the wheel you need to control with the wheel on 1 side changing diameter and traction faster than it spins. That grip is first thing to change, and as soon as the vehicle is pointed down center of lane center the wheel and keep it there, until speed drops. Over correcting will cause problems.

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
JRscooby wrote:
I have never drove a MH, let alone blown a tire in 1. Do they have enough power on tap at cruising speed to instantly create a forward force?


Oh sure. I can stomp on the go pedal on my gasser and instantly go from 60mph to 60.1 mph! LOL

Did you ever watch the video? Not sure if anyone posted it on this topic yet. I'll go look for it and try to link it to here. ON EDIT: Here it is, it was sponsored by Michelin: How to Handle a Tire Blowout in your RV.

I know what you're saying, but according to the video, it DOES make a difference. I think stepping on the gas is a plus on two counts. IF one steps on the brake, they're cutting back on the forward force, thereby the sideways force of the blowout begins to dominate the direction of the motorhome. Hence it "jumps over", as it's typically described. I think that's the MAIN reason not to step on the brake. Stepping on the gas WILL increase that forward force somewhat, but I think it's mostly there to help compensate for the increased rolling resistance which is tending to slow the rig down as well. And if one is on the gas, they're NOT on the brake.

I've never had a blow-out and hope I never do. If I do AND I remember to stomp on the gas, I'll let you know how it worked! 😉

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.

JRscooby
Explorer II
Explorer II
Rick Jay wrote:
OP...glad to hear that you're safe and I hope you get everything working again soon.

Just thinking here...but aren't we being a bit too concerned about shutting the cruise control off? My understanding of the physics of the situation is that you want to stomp on the gas ASAP. If the cruise control is engaged when you do that, so what? You want to create that extra forward force immediately to help offset the side pull of the blow-out. Once you've regained the control of the RV, you begin to back off the gas. THAT would be the time you can start worrying about the cruise control. Either a tap of the brake pedal (just enough to turn on the brake-lights, you don't have to engage the brakes) or the switch on the steering wheel.

While I'm sure a blow-out is a nerve-racking experience, and the natural tendency for an operator is to step on the brakes when something happens to our vehicle. I HOPE I've impressed upon my brain the need to jump on the gas instead, should I ever have a front tire blow out, but who knows? I also HOPE I'll never have to find out.

I am thinking about adding in a steering stabilizer one of these days. I think about it more every time I read a blow out post. Then I forget!
:S

~Rick


I have never drove a MH, let alone blown a tire in 1. Do they have enough power on tap at cruising speed to instantly create a forward force? I have blown 4 steering tires on trucks, I know the sideways force is the first indication that a front tire blew. Of the 4, the only 1 I lost control of truck, I got stopped on shoulder, got out, walked around the truck, decided as fat as I was I would rather ruin the wheel than pay the fine if HP came by, called in the scale. Decided to easy down to the gravel road, turn right, then CB for help. That old Diamond Rio did not have power steering. Buy the time I got off the highway I was too beat to keep it between ditches at walking speed.

Rick_Jay
Explorer II
Explorer II
OP...glad to hear that you're safe and I hope you get everything working again soon.

Just thinking here...but aren't we being a bit too concerned about shutting the cruise control off? My understanding of the physics of the situation is that you want to stomp on the gas ASAP. If the cruise control is engaged when you do that, so what? You want to create that extra forward force immediately to help offset the side pull of the blow-out. Once you've regained the control of the RV, you begin to back off the gas. THAT would be the time you can start worrying about the cruise control. Either a tap of the brake pedal (just enough to turn on the brake-lights, you don't have to engage the brakes) or the switch on the steering wheel.

While I'm sure a blow-out is a nerve-racking experience, and the natural tendency for an operator is to step on the brakes when something happens to our vehicle. I HOPE I've impressed upon my brain the need to jump on the gas instead, should I ever have a front tire blow out, but who knows? I also HOPE I'll never have to find out.

I am thinking about adding in a steering stabilizer one of these days. I think about it more every time I read a blow out post. Then I forget!
:S

~Rick
2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (27-Angel since 2008), 1 girl (22), 2 boys (23 & 20).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.