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Old 04-08-2010, 05:43 PM   #1
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Driving a long distance with a flat inside dual

Hi. I posted this on the big RV message board but over there, the threads get off topic so fast that I never did really get my question answered and it turned into a TPMS discussion. Somebody privately told me to post it here because you folks are supposedly really helpful. So I may as well embarrass myself again by admitting that I did something so stupid and asking for advice.

This is what I posted:

“I'm embarrassed to admit this but I suspect that I drove over 600 miles on a flat (blown-out) inside dual. Yup, I'm not only a newbie RVer but am learning that I'm going to need a TPMS.

It was raining hard and I did remember hearing a faint "pop" sound but didn't think much of it as it was relatively muffled like the sound of maybe running over a empty liter pop bottle or something. At the next fuel stop, I did do a visual check of the tires and everything "looked" fine to me. Bad rookie mistake, I know.


I get to my destination where I plan to stay for several months and over a month goes by where I thought I'd go check the tire pressures. It's then I discover that the left inside dual has a hole in the sidewall.


Cause? I don't know. I had the coach weighed when I first got it and inflated the tires to the tire manufacturer's recommendation for the weight adding about five pounds for extra measure. I'm thinking I may have loaded more into the coach than when it was weighed so, who knows, the tires may have been under-inflated for the new weight of the coach. I'm assuming that that is the most common cause of a blowout.


The coach is a 35 foot Winnebago Journey with Michelin XRV 255/80R22.5 tires. My question is how much damage could I have done to the drivetrain or the other tires by driving 600+ miles with a flat inside dual? I'm surprised I didn't blow out the outside tire going that distance with that weight. The outside tire looks fine as I've inspected the tread and both side walls and it "appears" normal.


The coach handled normally and I continued to go 60-65 MPH for that entire distance. I consider myself really lucky that the outside tire didn't blowout at some point.


I know I deserve a lecture but I've learned a bunch of things from this incident so I hope you can answer my question without lecturing me. *cowers* ...if I have the tire replaced, can I go along my merry way without worry that I caused major damage to something? As soon as the budget allows, I will get a TPMS.


Thanks!”



My two questions are:

1. Do you think I did any major damage to the drivetrain …bearings, axle, etc.?

2. Did I damage the outside tire driving on it that long with that amount of weight? I have a new tire ordered and was just going to replace the inside dual. However, it was suggested that I replace both outside and inside tires because the outside one was probably weakened by running so long at that weight. My visual inspection shows that the tire “appears” normal. Right now, I’m thinking of just replacing one tire but moving the outside one (the one possibly damaged by running it for so long at that weight) to the inside and putting the new tire on the outside.

This way, if the stressed tire blows, I’ll still be able to limp it off to a safe place …hopefully this time finding a safe place way short of 600 miles! *lol*

Again, this is a 2007 coach with the original XRVs that have approximately 12,000 miles on them. I haven't looked at their date code but I’m assuming that they are less than five years old.

Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #2
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I doubt you did any damage to the drivetrain, bearings, etc. However, the damage to the outside tire may be invisible. After all it was run quite a distance in an overloaded condition. For your (and your family's) safety and safety of other drivers I recommend you replace both tires on the side that had the flat. It's quite possible for the "good" tire to blow out much more violently should you continue to run it. The damage may well exceed the cost of replacing the tire. What's your peace of mind worth??
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:26 PM   #3
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The drive train is fine, should not be a problem. The dual partner tire could have been subject to undo flex and heat, bearing the weight of the axle by itself and it would have run hotter. It also could have rubbed the flat increasing the heat.

External visual inspections don't help much if there was cord damage. You may want to take it and have it taken off the rim and inspected or if you are really concerned, replaced with the other blown tire. If you keep it, you may want to keep it outside where you can see it and make it easier to change if the need arises.

My Dad was a trucker and he used to carry a truckers club (purchase at truck stops), it is a hardwood dowel with a weight on one end and a strap for your hand on the other. I have one and at every stop, I reach around and rap the inside duals, if it's flat, it thuds, if it has air, it bounces. It is not as good as checking with a gauge, but no one uses the gauge every time they stop anyway. It's cheap and easy. They cost about $5. The other use for the club was reaching out and whacking the mirrors on the OTR Buses if they blew by you too fast (old trucker thing)!

TPMS are great, but not foolproof. If I had a nickel for everyone who said they would never leave home without this or without that, I could buy a TPMS. The TPMS does tell you when your tires are low (most of the time) and tell you if you have a flat on the rears (on the front, you know it yourself). They are nice, but not mandatory, my guess is that most do not have them.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skooper View Post
Hi. I posted this on the big RV message board but over there, the threads get off topic so fast that I never did really get my question answered and it turned into a TPMS discussion. Somebody privately told me to post it here because you folks are supposedly really helpful. So I may as well embarrass myself again by admitting that I did something so stupid and asking for advice.

This is what I posted:

“I'm embarrassed to admit this but I suspect that I drove over 600 miles on a flat (blown-out) inside dual. Yup, I'm not only a newbie RVer but am learning that I'm going to need a TPMS.

It was raining hard and I did remember hearing a faint "pop" sound but didn't think much of it as it was relatively muffled like the sound of maybe running over a empty liter pop bottle or something. At the next fuel stop, I did do a visual check of the tires and everything "looked" fine to me. Bad rookie mistake, I know.

I get to my destination where I plan to stay for several months and over a month goes by where I thought I'd go check the tire pressures. It's then I discover that the left inside dual has a hole in the sidewall.

Cause? I don't know. I had the coach weighed when I first got it and inflated the tires to the tire manufacturer's recommendation for the weight adding about five pounds for extra measure. I'm thinking I may have loaded more into the coach than when it was weighed so, who knows, the tires may have been under-inflated for the new weight of the coach. I'm assuming that that is the most common cause of a blowout.

The coach is a 35 foot Winnebago Journey with Michelin XRV 255/80R22.5 tires. My question is how much damage could I have done to the drivetrain or the other tires by driving 600+ miles with a flat inside dual? I'm surprised I didn't blow out the outside tire going that distance with that weight. The outside tire looks fine as I've inspected the tread and both side walls and it "appears" normal.

The coach handled normally and I continued to go 60-65 MPH for that entire distance. I consider myself really lucky that the outside tire didn't blowout at some point.

I know I deserve a lecture but I've learned a bunch of things from this incident so I hope you can answer my question without lecturing me. *cowers* ...if I have the tire replaced, can I go along my merry way without worry that I caused major damage to something? As soon as the budget allows, I will get a TPMS.

Thanks!”


My two questions are:

1. Do you think I did any major damage to the drivetrain …bearings, axle, etc.?

2. Did I damage the outside tire driving on it that long with that amount of weight? I have a new tire ordered and was just going to replace the inside dual. However, it was suggested that I replace both outside and inside tires because the outside one was probably weakened by running so long at that weight. My visual inspection shows that the tire “appears” normal. Right now, I’m thinking of just replacing one tire but moving the outside one (the one possibly damaged by running it for so long at that weight) to the inside and putting the new tire on the outside.

This way, if the stressed tire blows, I’ll still be able to limp it off to a safe place …hopefully this time finding a safe place way short of 600 miles! *lol*

Again, this is a 2007 coach with the original XRVs that have approximately 12,000 miles on them. I haven't looked at their date code but I’m assuming that they are less than five years old.

Thanks!
I doubt if you did damage to anything, it would Have showed up by now. One thing you should never replace one tire of a set of duals and tread on new tire will wear down very quickly. If the surviving tire is ok move it to the spare and put the current unused spare coupled with the exact duplicate tire to replace the blown tire. Tires are expensive but not near as expensive as the trouble they can cause if not kept to safely support the weight. Two years ago I saw in my rear veiw mirror a blow out on an RV the guy was either very good or very lucky, he managed to get to the shoulder but it was something I never want to see again. TIRES AND BRAKES TWO MOST IMPORTANT PARTS OF ANY VEHICLE!!!!
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:07 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the replies!

Now ...you've all got me scared. I'm thinking that I may have ruined all the tires by maybe running them with lower pressure than was required. Darn, I really don't want to buy six new tires right now because these only have 12,000 miles on them and I figured I could get a couple of years more out of them.

I haven't driven the coach since I parked it several months ago so I don't know if everything is currently ok or not.

When I called coachnet for advice, they didn't tell me anything about replacing both tires. They just located one tire and gave me a price and said they'd send road service out to my location. I told them I'd think about it since I'm not planning to move for another month. I wonder why they didn't advise me I should buy two new tires? ...or at least ask me to consider it and explain it like you guys are doing.

But now, I'm going to have to sit here stressed for awhile wondering if I should replace all six! *argh*

I don't think RVing is for me.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:23 PM   #6
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At a minimum I recommend you replace both tires on the dual that failed. When one tire fails on a dual, the other will be stressed, especially if you think you traveled 600 mi with a failed tire. I don't think the other tires were stressed under this scenerio. Buy 2 new tires at a minimum. Maybe next year replace the opposite 2 tires.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:41 PM   #7
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Running the single tire under twice the load probably put you over the limits for that tire. Driving in the rain, probably is what kept you afloat...so to speak. It helped keep the tire cooler.

In any case, the over load on the tire possibly damaged the cords and may lead to a tire failure in the future. I would not take a chance and replace both tires on that side to be sure you had two 100% tires.

There should be no damage to the suspension, brakes, chassis, etc.

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Old 04-08-2010, 07:42 PM   #8
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Hi Scooper, You did not hurt the drivetrain. What saved your hide was the rain cooling your outside tire. I would fee more comfortable replacing the both tires. Although if they were to do an internal inspection and it does not appear to be damaged you could perhaps try just replacing the inner dual. You are also correct that a TPMS would have allerted you to the problem. They work!!

TXiceman, didn't mean to step on your response. We posted one minuite (sp) apart
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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I hate to admit it, but I'm also a FIDD (Flat Inside Dually Driver)...

Mine blew somewhere in MO and I drove all the way to NJ. Was going through a construction site, jackhammers blaring, heard a pop and a hiss but thought it was the construction. Did not notice any change in ride, etc.

Saw the bad tire when my son and I were under the coach doing a grease job.

Took it to a truck tire shop, they checked all the tires and only recommended that I replace the one that blew.

PS - I now have a tire pressure monitor...
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
I reach around and rap the inside duals, if it's flat, it thuds, if it has air, it bounces
I reach in and punch the side of the inside tire with my fist. If the tire is flat it will move.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:18 PM   #11
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Well, even though it was raining when I heard the "pop" (northern California) most of the miles were in dry sunny weather ...although the daytime temperatures were pretty low as it was winter in the southwest.

I guess the reason I don't want to replace more than what I have to right now is that I'd like to replace all the tires in a few years with possibly something other than Michelins. Plus, I hear that the XRV may not be produced any longer and are already difficult to find in my size (according to the Coachnet people).



RVThere, how many miles did you travel with the blown tire?



And somebody on the other board, recommended one of those infrared temperature guns. I looked online and the cheap ones are about $30. That might sound more logical to use compared with a billy-club as there is some form of reference rather than just a subjective "thumping" of the tires. The guy who recommended it said that at every stop, he'd just walk around the coach and take the temperature of each tire (takes about 2-seconds a tire) and if there was one that was measuring much hotter than the others, then that might suggest low pressure where taking a pressure reading might be warranted.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:04 AM   #12
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What I would do is buy two new tires and put them on the front and then pair the two existing front tires and put them where blown and compromised tire are.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:19 AM   #13
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When you have replaced both tires go to a truck scale, have coach weight, than using tire manufacture tire pressure chart for your tires put proper air in for your tires.
In most cases you may have less air and a better riding coach.
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:24 AM   #14
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I am another FIDD. After our maiden voyage of 1,700 miles from TX to VA in July weather, I bought a new tire gauge and found an airless inside dual. The coach was "new" but had been on the RV show circuit for about a year. The TX dealership did a chassis service just before we left there, but I don't know for sure that they checked tire pressures. The rig has factory installed metal extensions, and one was cracked. No idea how long it went airless, but from the feathered wear it had been more than a few miles. Of course, it had no cargo on board to speak of, and at Mfg'er recommended pressures, the tires were definitely overinflated for the relatively light load.

A truck tire service place removed both tires (Michellin XZA2 LRH) and found and replaced the cracked extension. The said not to worry about the feathered wear, that it would even out. That tire went 3 yrs & 25k miles before developing irregular wear on an inner rib. I bought new tires for the front and put the best of the two fronts on the inside dual. Two years later I replaced the other four tires due to age just under 7 years. They all still looked great inside and out, and that outer tire that supported the load alone for what I believe was likely 1,700 plus miles, never gave me a problem...

At the least I would have the outer tire closely inspected, and if it passes inspection continue to run it on the ouside. BUT it also would be a good time to buy two new tires for the fronts, put the current fronts in that dual position, then you only nee to pay for four new tires in a couple of years.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:14 AM   #15
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I would always recommend replacing dual tires together. Either using the method where you replace your front tires with new and use those installed on a dual set (not one on each side) or replacing both of the duals with new. This is the only way you can ensure that you have the same amount of tread on both tires. If you get it wrong, the one tire, usually the one with less tread, will wear out much sooner than the other since they will not have the same diameter at the time of installation.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:03 PM   #16
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Me FIDD 2.

It was only for about 20 miles at low speed. I had it inspected and the tire shop said they were okay. Mine was from a valve stem extension crack.

One thing I noticed as I was waiting for the tire repair service. When the inside dual is flat, there is a noticeable difference in the height of that tire when compared to the outside tire. So, now I look across to see if the heights are the same. I'm waiting for the "round-tuit" to put the TPMS on.
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Old 04-10-2010, 05:41 PM   #17
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I'm with John Hilley & AFChap - replace both fronts, for safety's sake and piece of mind, and move the 2 fronts to the rear.
I've been with a tire company for the last 38 years, and my experience is that it's not worth the risk!
A new tire paired with a old tire on a Dually will wear faster and be hotter than the older one - it's taller and will end up carrying more of the weight.
There is even an argument that you shouldn't replace just one side on a drive axle.....because the newer side will always be rotating less than the old.
You drive in CA and it gets hot, and HEAT is a tires worst enemy!
You can take a chance, and maybe it will be ok, but at @30,000 lbs loaded, cruising along at 60-65 mph, it's just not worth taking the risk IMHO!
BTW - there was an excellent video I saw about how to drive your coach during a blowout...has anybody else seen it? Is it somewhere on IRV2? I think GoodYear made it!
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:51 PM   #18
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Hi skooper,

John Hilley, Paul AFChap, Bill Adams, and ULTFREQCCA offer good advice! No big deal but go ahead and replace two tires this time by installing the new ones on the front then moving the two fronts to the same side as the duels in question.

My guess would be that after a close inspection, the tire from the outside duel would look fine. But why take the chance. Buy two, make the move and feel good about it. Down the road, replace only four tires.

As to replacing tires with anything besides Michelin, doesn’t this incident tell you something about the quality of Michelin tires? That one of a set of duels can carry the total weight by itself at highway speeds for that many miles. Had everyone who has had the inside duel tire go flat for any reason had the tire inspected for causes by the Michelin engineers, I bet that the failure was not as a result of the tire itself but the result of external factors like loss of air from a defective valve stem, or a puncture from a rock or nail. That in and of itself says a great deal about the quality of Michelin tires and the designed in safety factors.

Even if they stop making the XRV tire, they will continue to make the XZE and XZA(2) tires which in my opinion are superior tires for their improved handling, wear, and UV resistance. XRVs are good tires but by design ride softer and steer softer for the RV market.

I also wouldn’t be concerned about any mismatch in size between the left side and right side duels. If the fronts are moved to the inside and outside of one set of duels and there are only 12,000 miles total on all tires, then the difference in diameters of all tires could only be less than ±1/64” and the difference in diameter between the two fronts and the two good duels should be less than ±1/128”. That translates to less than .88 revolutions per mile even at the larger value of ±1/64” difference in wear. Will this cause some problem in the differential? No.
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Old 04-10-2010, 10:32 PM   #19
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I ran on a flat inside dual down a rock access road, didn't know it until I got set up in camp, popped a beer and started looking around and saw the sidewall slice. Jacked it up put on the spare, bought a new tire later, everything worked out fine. I don't take safety issues lightly, but I would buy one new tire and put it on the outside rim. My 2 cents
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Old 04-11-2010, 01:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by ULTFREQCCA View Post
BTW - there was an excellent video I saw about how to drive your coach during a blowout...has anybody else seen it? Is it somewhere on IRV2? I think GoodYear made it!
michelin made the video: RV- THE CRITICAL FACTOR:

Michelin North America RV Videos and Demos Page
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