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Old 09-06-2015, 04:30 PM   #1
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Nearly Lost His Life over $300

I got some sad news today. My brother, who drives a very expensive Class A Diesel Pusher nearly lost his life yesterday.

He and his wife were driving their motorhome in sweltering heat in New Mexico. His wife, my sister-in-law, was chatting on the phone with my sister. They stopped into a gas station and then hit the road again. My sister called back ten minutes after they talked, got my sister-in-law who was in a panic.

She said that they had a blowout on the right front tire and the motorhome had gone down an embankment into a treeline. My brother could not recover to the road, but had been able to keep it upright going down the embankment.

The motorhome is badly damaged. My sister-in-law was terrified. Their dog was terrified. My brother has a broken back.

I had talked with him about using my Tire Pressure Monitoring System and told him that it monitored and alarmed on both tire pressure and excess heat. He said "I can tell if a tire is going wrong. I don't need one of those."

My brother is a great driver. But what an expensive lesson. A nearly totaled motorhome and a broken back, and possibly paralyzed (we'll know tomorrow), over a $300 TPMS.

Mine has already saved me once. I wish he had not been so confident in his own skills and had let a little technology do what it does best.
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Old 09-06-2015, 04:35 PM   #2
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Sigh. Hope he will be ok. That's a hard lesson.


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Old 09-06-2015, 04:38 PM   #3
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That's a story that gives me pause to think.

Although most of us have never had this experience, and hopefully never will, it's a sobering reminder that while driving a big vehicle may be somewhat similar to a car, managing it in the midst of a major mechanical failure is something else entirely.

Glad to hear that everyone at least survived. Best wishes to all.
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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What brand of TPMS do you use? Any problem getting a signal inside TV?
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Old 09-06-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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Nothing but good wishes for you and yours.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:08 PM   #6
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I happened to watch a blurb recently somewhere that discussed big rig or motorhome front blowouts. The PSM stated to fully accelerate until straightline control is maintained, then slowly reduce acceleration and coast to stop.....DO NOT TOUCH THE BRAKES AT ALL. The PSM was pretty adamant, "touch the brakes and you die".

I'm not 100% sure TPMS would help in 100% of these situations occurring, as they may have struck a road hazard, especially in Mexico, but having TPMS, a thermal gun and a daily ritual of tire pressure and condition would help.

I wish your brother and sister in law all the best for a speedy recovery and to the OP, please go easy on the "I told you so", even if you're right.

Cheers
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:09 PM   #7
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How awful for everyone!

I hope your brother will be okay, and wish you all strength to get thru this.


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Old 09-06-2015, 06:23 PM   #8
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Mankind survived for a hundred years prior to TPMS.Good tire maintenance, and dilligent observation is the key! Ive not had good luck with TMPS on many different vehicles. Its just a way to alert me that I just suffered a catastrophic failure and something bad/expensive happened!
Sorry about the unpleasant episode, glad nobody got hurt!
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Mankind survived for a hundred years prior to TPMS.Good tire maintenance, and dilligent observation is the key! Ive not had good luck with TMPS on many different vehicles. Its just a way to alert me that I just suffered a catastrophic failure and something bad/expensive happened!
Sorry about the unpleasant episode, glad nobody got hurt!
Well said. There is not enough info given to determine if tpms would have helped or if low tire pressure was even the cause.
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Old 09-06-2015, 07:00 PM   #10
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There is no making light of the results of the accident.
I have a TPMS as standard on my truck and it could not have warned me of the one blowout I have had.
Scared the heck out of me it was so sudden.
As with the previous poster, I believe in good tire maintenance
I've got enough to do while driving without having one more monitor to watch


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Old 09-06-2015, 08:07 PM   #11
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There is not enough info given to determine if tpms would have helped or if low tire pressure was even the cause.
What I was thinking.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:20 PM   #12
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That is horrible. I have been in a car that went down an embankment, off a small cliff and turned over in a 3 ft deep creek- awful. I hope he is ok. It's hard to say about the TPMS in this case though mine warned me twice about a tire overheating 5 degrees. I do not discount them for they tell low pressure, quick loss and heat. Pretty helpful.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:15 PM   #13
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I understand your brother's reasoning and his point is valid. TPMS is not a guarantee of blowout protection, although it may help in some conditions.

We have it on the truck, not the Airstream.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:21 PM   #14
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Nothing to say - just wishing the very best for your brother, sister in law and their pet. Very scary - and very sorry to hear this....be well.
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Old 09-06-2015, 09:36 PM   #15
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Glad they are ok. Inspecting tires at every stop is the best way to prevent problems. I am always finding screws and nails in tires before they go flat. Just paying attention to that nail head in a tire tread or seeing one tire sitting low compared to the others. I see tires running down the road all the time that are about to blow. Feel the tires, you can tell if one is running hot compared to the others. A blind man can tell you which tire is low on pressure. Maybe we need to carry a blind man with us to tell us which tire is low.

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Old 09-06-2015, 10:04 PM   #16
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Praying for your family.
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:04 PM   #17
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Prayers up!
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Old 09-06-2015, 10:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Mankind survived for a hundred years prior to TPMS.Good tire maintenance, and dilligent observation is the key! Ive not had good luck with TMPS on many different vehicles. Its just a way to alert me that I just suffered a catastrophic failure and something bad/expensive happened!
Sorry about the unpleasant episode, glad nobody got hurt!
Tools, monitors and the like, that provide information of "any" kind promoting safety information, is always a 100 percent winner.

Motor vehicles today, are increasingly including such equipment, that airplanes have used for decades.

Unfortunately, a few folks consider those things as a waste.

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Old 09-07-2015, 10:03 AM   #19
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Hope all goes well for this guy. For the rest of us we should remember that heat kills rubber. As tires roll down the road they get hot from the friction of flexing. In the south part of the country the road is hot enough to cook on and the air is not much cooler by mid day. We cruise along in air conditioned comfort without a thought as to what is going on outside. My parents used to get up at the crack of stupid and be on the road by 4:00 AM. It was cooler then and we kids would sleep in the back seat. We had no air conditioning. By 2:00 PM they were done and would find a place with a pool to relax and stay cool. Driving during the cool of the early morning made sense for them. It still does.
Slowing down also reduces stress on tires and gives more time to deal with things that go wrong.
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Old 09-07-2015, 10:16 AM   #20
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What brand of TPMS do you use? Any problem getting a signal inside TV?
The TPMS I use is the Tire Minder. I run it on all 10 tires. It has helped me several times. Once on the TV and twice on the trailer. Two of those was low tire pressure (a screw in the front streetside trailer tire, and a nail in the front curbside TV tire), and once with high tire temperature on a rear curbside trailer tire that was beginning to lose its tread.

We have a 34' triple axle Avion, and we have no problems receiving the signal from the rear tires. The receiver is on the windshield next to the rearview mirror.

The accident happened in New Mexico, not Mexico. I can't say for sure that the TPMS would have saved him. The story will be in the shredded tire.

I certainly don't mean to be saying "Na Na, I told you so." And I understand the arguments that people have survived for decades without TPMS. But a walk-around would not have told me about the three TPMS warnings I got. I know that because I don't rely on the TPMS alarms to replace a walk-around. I do check tire pressure and temperature and thump every tire each time before I start, and there were no indications. I use the TPMS to check tire pressure and temp and they were all in proper range before the warnings, and there were no dull returns on the tire thumps.

But I follow the old rule "When you die, you're dead a long time." A TPMS seems awfully prudent, I think. I think it's possible that my brother would not have a broken back now if he had had one.

He's a wonderful guy and I love him dearly.
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