May Day! May Day!
On May 1st we were travelling I-35 in Texas when we saw some RVers driving in the middle lane with their door assist handle jutting out. We were behind them when a semi truck passed them from the right outside lane and it caught our attention. It appeared the truck was just inches from missing it.
We manuevered into the outside left lane to tell them about their door. After getting their attention, they thanked us and we maneuvered back into the far right lane. They then pulled off at the nearby rest area.
Imagine our surprise when an hour later we have some motorists get our attention, saying we blew a tire! Our fifth-wheel is 8 tons and the pickup is a 1-ton with Duramax diesel and it weighs a couple tons… and we never felt a thing!
We got over as quickly as we could only to discover our tire wasn’t blown – it was shredded. In fact, it looked like an industrial-size rubber mop! A quick assessment reveal damage to the trim, undercarriage and back slide (where apparently tire chunks hit). We got the spare on and made our way to the nearest tire center about six miles away.
They had one tire for us and it was at another store. So while we waited we had our undercarriage repaired. When the tire arrived from the other store, we had it put on and all the other tires checked. The techs said they were fine and asked if we wanted help putting the spare back underneath. We decided to leave the spare in the back of the pickup truck bed…
And once we were on the road again… Imagine our surprise again when on I-30 in Arkansas when a tire on the other side went (luckily no damage). We decided to ease up on our Travel Angel and dry camped at a Flying J until we could get our rig to a tire dealership the next day.
Our tires are checked constantly – a lesson we learned while travelling during the summer months in hot regions (we’ve seen road temps close to 140 degrees). And the tires were checked prior to leaving and showed no signs of danger. The tire techs were even stunned! One trucker who was waiting on tires even said he’d never seen any type of tire separation like that.
So May 1st will now be a memorable day for us!