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Old 08-10-2004, 07:09 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Blow out protection

After reading a couple of horror stories about tire blow outs, my husband, the mechanic, came home with info about these little jewels- I guess we'll be getting a set for the GT- Check this out - www.runflat.com/index2.html
Anyone heard of this before?

Barb
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Old 08-10-2004, 07:50 AM   #2
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Just my thoughts.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbara Peerenboom
Anyone heard of this before?
Barb:

The device seems to be designed to keep a flat tire on the rim to permit a slow speed travel distance to a safe stopping area WHEN and AFTER you discover the flat.

I question the usefulness on a trailer.

From what I have seen from pictures, most of the damage to trailers comes from the tread separating and whipping against the side of the trailer to the rear of the wheel. I just do not see how this device will help with the separation issue. In an automobile, you generally know when a tire goes flat from the "feel" of the ride - where this device would give some advantage - this is not normally the situation with a trailer flat. I have read where Airstreamers have had trailer flats and not known it until they stopped for another reason.

I have not had a flat with an airstream, but while towing my father's small SOB with a larger pickup, in hindsight, I feel certain I towed over 50 miles with a flat tire....ended up throwing the tire in downtown Dallas at rush hour......not a pretty sight.

Anyone else have a flat (not a blow-out) on a trailer and not realized it?
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:27 AM   #3
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I think the proper blow out protection on an airstream or any travel trailer for that matter is air pressure monitoring system.

We had a blow out on our trailer this spring on Interstate 80 in PA. My wife was driving and due to her dilligence in constantly checking the mirrors, she notices blue smoke coming from our trailer on the road side. I told her to pull over immediatley. As she was slowing down and getting off the road, the tire blew. We never felt anything in the tow vehicle. When we stopped, the tire was in pieces and some of them were up to 50 feet behind the trailer. We were going slow enough to not have any damage to the trailer. A small piece of trim that is on the banana wrap was bent about a half an inch.

The tire that blew was the one tire that was always a little low on air. When I took the trailer out of winter storage, three of the tires tested at 61 lbs and that tire tested at 48 lbs. I'm sure the slow leak became aggrivated on its last trip and the tire just over heated lost some more air and the tread separated.

My prevention has been to constantly check the tires for wear, excess heat and pressure. I also have gone to great lengths to make sure the running gear on the trailer is perfectly balanced.

Good luck, & I hope you never have to experience a blow out.

Mark
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Old 08-10-2004, 08:44 AM   #4
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I have to agree with 87MH, except in the case where you have a single axle trailer.

My father owns an independant Goodyear dealership for 30 years so I have grown up with tires. Having said that, please temper my comments with the fact that I am a new A/S owner, I have never had a blowout, and I don't know if your trailer has one axle or two.

This device is intended to provide you with a safe controlled stopping experience when you know you have a flat tire. It will not protect any vehicle in the case of an actual blow out. It will also not protect a vehicle in a situation that you have a flat and don't know that you have one. I would NEVER knowingly drive a tire that is flat.

In those two situations, the side wall either has (blowout), or will end up having (undetected flat), damage that will end up whipping against the trailer or vehicle metal. This is exagerated by the fact that the wheel wells on an A/S are so close to the actual tire.

In the situation where you have an undetected flat the sidewall is compressed as it rotates to the point on the tire on the ground, and then released as it moves back. In short order at high speeds this will cause the sidewall to break down and whip the wheel well. This is where the damage comes in. One could argue that this isn't as big of a deal with a dual axle trailer, but every truck tire out there laying on the road, was a part of either a pair of tires on the same axle or one of a set of tires on multiple axles. Truck tires aren't exactly the same as car/trailer tires, but you get the basic idea.
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Old 08-10-2004, 03:26 PM   #5
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Thank you for your observations, I will have my husband read your comments this evening. Those little suckers aren't cheap. I can think of a couple of hundred places where we could spend the $$$ (and that's just on the trailer)

Barb
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:34 PM   #6
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I experienced a flat towing my 2002 Bambi last weekend and didn't even know it. I was traveling at 65 m.p.h. when someone drove past me gesturing wildly and pointing at my tire. I slowed down but couldn't safely stop for another mile. The tire was dead flat but intact and very, very hot. So hot, as a matter of fact, we needed to wear gloves to remove the wheel.

I have always feared getting a flat with a single axle but was quite surprised at the actual reality of the situation, i.e., not feeling the flat while driving and not having a loss of control.

From reading this thread, I guess I was lucky.
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Old 08-10-2004, 04:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
I experienced a flat towing my 2002 Bambi last weekend and didn't even know it. I was traveling at 65 m.p.h. when someone drove past me gesturing wildly and pointing at my tire. I slowed down but couldn't safely stop for another mile. The tire was dead flat but intact and very, very hot. So hot, as a matter of fact, we needed to wear gloves to remove the wheel.

I have always feared getting a flat with a single axle but was quite surprised at the actual reality of the situation, i.e., not feeling the flat while driving and not having a loss of control.

From reading this thread, I guess I was lucky.
Your story would provide me with enough comfort that I wasn't going to lose control with a single axle flat, and would also suggest that these runflat devices are not critical for a trailer. More important would be some sort of flat detection device.

I am interested in knowing if your tire was completely flat and if so, did you have to replace the rim? Whenever I see someone trying to get another mile out of a flat (often shredded) tire, I see the cha-ching of the cash register as they fork out a bunch of money for a replacement rim.

Completely flat or not might also provide some insight into the control you had on the trailer. When completely flat, I would think that the trailer wouldn't want to pull straight and the cross forces on the tire would try to pull the flat tire off of the rim. I am guessing there was still some air in your tire.

The heat will happen completely flat or not, just at a different rate. Completely flat will speed up the heat generation and ultimate breakdown of the sidewall.

I do look forward to learning more from your experience.
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:10 PM   #8
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We had a tire blow out on our 68 Sears Fold-out...not a great feeling since we were pulling it with a VW Fox at dusk on a Friday night 12 miles from camp on a two lane road with no shoulder & no driveways. Had to limp along the twelve miles at 10 - 15mph to Marble Creek National Forest Campground before I could pull off the road to change it. I'd gladly ruin a rim and a couple hundred bucks than risk my family & own life, or total our AS or the other driver that may hit or try to avoid me to change a tire on the side of the road. Some things are not worth the risk.
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sovereignrwe
I am interested in knowing if your tire was completely flat and if so, did you have to replace the rim?
It seems that the tire was "completely flat". The damage was caused by some road accident debris that wasn't cleaned up on the highway. Another curious thing is that the original owner of the Airstream had filled both tires with that self expanding stop-a-flat foam. I'm wondering why that didn't work unless the hole was too large for the foam to "seal."

To show you how hot the tire was -- after we removed the tire from the trailer, it shrunk up tight into itself and took on the shape of a triangle. It didn't "expand" and return to its normal round shape until well after it had cooled.

Our initial inspection of the rim indicates that it wasn't damaged. We won't know for sure until we remove the tire and inspect more closely.

I have a question -- should we replace the other tire at the same time?
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Old 08-10-2004, 05:18 PM   #10
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A solution -

Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
I have a question -- should we replace the other tire at the same time?
You might consider buying a spare rim, putting two new tires on the ground, and utilize your (existing) good tire for a spare.

Let's assume your existing good tire is 3 years old - that would put it at about 50% of its life considering all tires should be changed out at 3 to 5 years of age. I would suspect you could utilize the existing tire for a spare until your soon to be new tires are ready for replacement, and then put one of those to duty as a "spare".
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Old 08-10-2004, 06:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yukionna
Our initial inspection of the rim indicates that it wasn't damaged. We won't know for sure until we remove the tire and inspect more closely. I have a question -- should we replace the other tire at the same time?
If it was me, I would purchase a replacement rim, put the remaining good tire on the wheel that had the flat, to be used as a spare, and put two new tires on the ground.
Terry
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by argosy20
If it was me, I would purchase a replacement rim, put the remaining good tire on the wheel that had the flat, to be used as a spare, and put two new tires on the ground.
Terry
I second that vote.
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