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Friday, June 22, 2018

How to prepare for and respond to tire failure

There are numerous posts on RV Motorhome forums on how the driver whould respond to a sudden tire failure (Do not stomp on the brakes but apply the gas for a couple seconds to be sure the driver has full control. THEN slow down and pull over.)
If towing a trailer you are less likely to lose control of the tow vehicle so you just need to slow down as soon as possible and pull over.

BUT the reason for this post is not to address vehicle control but to identify the actions you should take concerning your tires.

1. Before you have a tire failure you should be sure you have the full DOT serial for each tire written down somewhere.
2. With ANY failure, other than puncture or valve failure you should file a complaint with NHTSA. They need the FULL DOT tire serial and full vehicle VIN.
3. Take pictures.  In full sun, close enough so only half the tire fills the frame So more than a couple pictures are needed. Snapping a shot in the shade from ten feet away under the RV just isn't useful. Get tread, sidewall failed area, and non-failed area. Make sure the pictures are in FOCUS and at the highest quality possible for your camera.
4. Let NHTSA know you have pictures when you file your complaint.
5. Contact the tire dealer, RV dealer and RV MFG of the failure and the NHTSA complaint number.
6. KEEP THE FAILED TIRE. Tire company may be willing to compensate you but you must have the failed tire. Carry an HD trash bag if you must. A folded trash bag doesn't take space and is only a few ounces weight.  No tire = no possible compensation.

Note I have posts and video on how trailer owners, Class B and Class C owners can inspect your own tires each year for belt/tread separations. Running a TPMS will give you an advanced warning on Run Low Flex Failure.
Having the actual scale load on each tire as covered in the owner's manual will help substantiate your claim. Always run the tire pressure on the tire sidewall for your CIP if you are pulling a trailer. Motorhome owners need scale weight printout and a copy of tire load tables.

IMO if you don't do all of the above I am not interested in hearing your complaints.

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