One day while driving your RV down the highway and humming a happy tune, suddenly there’s a loud “thump” under your rig. That’s when you realize: “I just had an RV tire blowout!” Do you know what to do?
One RV tire blowout can ruin your whole day.
When you have an RV tire blowout, don’t do this:
The two most common reasons for any vehicle tire blowout are overloading the vehicle and over-inflating the tire. But when you suddenly have a RV tire blowout, you won’t care about that, you just want to get control of the rig and pull over. In order to do that, do you:
- A: Slam on the brakes
- B: Speed up and find a safe parking spot
- C: Slow down and keep driving until you see an exit?
Believe it or not, the correct answer is B: put the pedal to the metal! Although hitting the gas seems like a really dangerous thing to do when you have a RV tire blowout, it really is the safest action to take. According to Michelin Tire safety experts, hitting the gas and accelerating quickly and effectively “will help you maintain control of your RV” in this scary situation.
Michelin experts tell what happens when your RV tire suddenly goes flat:
When a vehicle’s front tire has a sudden loss of air, the front corner of the vehicle will drop, creating a side force that wants to pull the vehicle off the road. The strength of the side force depends on tire rolling resistance and vehicle dynamics like load weights.
Keep control and you’ll get back on the road.
Don’t slow down, whatever you do.
The slower you go, the more the horizontal forces will pull your rig to one side. You might even lose control this way! Instead of breaking, put your foot on the gas pedal and gradually speed up enough to stabilize the RV and drive it to a safe spot.
Accelerating will get power to the drive wheels and this is what helps you overcome side forces that want to pull your RV off the road. The same idea applies when you’re driving in strong crosswinds—speed up and keep a firm hand on the steering wheel so you can keep the rig in a steady, straight line.
It doesn’t matter if you have a front or rear RV tire blowout: both situations are handled the exact same way. The biggest difference between losing air in a front or rear tire is when a rear RV tire goes flat, you’ll still have two good front steering tires to help maintain control.
A front RV tire blowout is definitely scarier. Another small difference is that if you have a front RV tire blowout, your hands will feel it on the steering wheel, but if a rear tire goes flat your butt will feel it in the pilot seat.
Sudden tire air loss doesn’t mean losing control – as long as you don’t panic and hit the brakes. These tips apply for every vehicle in every situation, whether you’re driving your RV or a passenger car in any weather on any road.
This video could save your life:
Now that you know what to do in an RV tire blowout situation, be sure to learn about RV tire maintenance so you never have to experience one.
You may also like: RV Maintenance 101
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