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Old 07-17-2003, 07:47 PM   #1
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1994 30' Excella
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2001 Bambi tire blowout

We just got back from a ten state trip and was on our last leg - Jacksonville florida to Daytona Beach when the trailers driver side tire blew. I didn't hear a thing! In fact I just felt a little hesitation from our 3/4 cummins diesel pickup. a Trucker signaled me and I pulled over. All that was left was the two sides worn down to just a ribbon. the Rim still looks good. Little damage occurred. the aluminum trim piece around the tire wheel was bent some.

My concern was that I didn't realize it on the single axle Bambi. I use a distribution weight hitch and a friction sway control. I was wondering if anyone has looked into these tire monitoring systems that use a sensor put inside the tire. I was telling my spouse on the beginning of our trip how I thought this would be useful, seeing the single axle Bambi might have real problems if one tire blows. I now think it would be good to have as much notification as possible seeing it appears that even the single axle Bambi handled so well with the blow out.

Does anyone have any experience with these direct monitoring systems and have had any single axle blowouts that acted differently than ours?
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:31 PM   #2
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I went to Camping World to buy a system and found that they had quit installing them because of problems. That was a year ago, though. I'm still interested if they are reliable.
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Old 07-17-2003, 08:34 PM   #3
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Blowouts

In response to your second question, I have had a total of 3 blowouts on my two former single-axle SOB trailers. I didn't have sway control on either. In every case, I heard the blowout but never felt anything other than vibration. In every case, the trailer tracked straight ahead and there was no steering correction needed.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:17 AM   #4
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New system to be tested shortly

I am currently targetted to be a beta tester on a new tire pressure monitoring systems that is a redesign of an existing system used on over the road rigs (advantagepressurepro.com). The transmitters simply replace the caps on your valve stems and the system is designed to monitor upto 6 axles (12 tires). The new system has been minaturized significantly from the original design and is aimed at passenger cars, RVs and TTs. The cost is anticipated to be below $300.

I have had a concern about blowouts on our '02 Bambi from day one, but after investigating the systems available, I concluded they had issues and the cost seemed a bit high, although it was really the reliability issue that bothered me.

My last contact with Pressure Pro a month or so ago indicated that they anticipated beta testing to begin in August, and production/ general availability in the Fall timeframe. Once I have the okay from Pressure Pro to discuss the units in more detail I will post my observations.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:25 AM   #5
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Re: New system to be tested shortly

Quote:
Originally posted by dtbw
I am currently targetted to be a beta tester on a new tire pressure monitoring systems that is a redesign of an existing system used on over the road rigs (Pressure Pro.com). The transmitters simply replace the caps on your valve stems and the system is designed to monitor upto 6 axles (12 tires). The new system has been minaturized significantly from the original design and is aimed at passenger cars, RVs and TTs. The cost is anticipated to be below $300.

I have had a concern about blowouts on our '02 Bambi from day one, but after investigating the systems available, I concluded they had issues and the cost seemed a bit high, although it was really the reliability issue that bothered me.

My last contact with Pressure Pro a month or so ago indicated that they anticipated beta testing to begin in August, and production/ general availability in the Fall timeframe. Once I have the okay from Pressure Pro to discuss the units in more detail I will post my observations.
That sounds very interesting. Sould easy to change from trailer to trailer as well.

Look foward to hearing more.
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Old 07-18-2003, 08:32 AM   #6
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Correction on Pressure Pro

I just did a quick check on their website and they now indicate that the unit will monitor 22 tires, so they have increased it from the original spec. I will keep the forum updated and hopefully will have something to report in a month or so (provided the beta starts on time).
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Old 07-18-2003, 10:28 AM   #7
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Please

Keep us posted. Having had blowouts on several previous SOB trailers with the attendant damage, I would welcome a reliable system.

My Buick has a low tire warning as a byproduct of the antilock brake system. It measures the speed of each wheel and alarms if there is a long-term difference in one wheel. There is an initialization period that is necessary whenever tires are rotated or the spare put on while the system averages wheel speeds. It makes me feel good that it can tell the difference between two tires of the same type. I had a slow leak a while back and it warned me twice. This is the kind of performance I would like to see on a trailer.
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Old 07-18-2003, 11:12 AM   #8
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Safety in knowledge

John,
My '00 vette has the active system that reports actual tire pressure and alerts on any low condition. This system was a requirement for the run-flat tires that the current generation of vettes utilize. When the vette system detects a low tire, it alerts and indicates which tire and if the tire is significantly low, it limits the top speed to 55MPH (the vette is a throttle by wire, so the speed limiter is just more software). With the run-flats you can go hundreds of miles on a totally flat tire with no damage, but the speed needs to be reduced, so that is why the limiter. The passive system such as on your Buick is slated for virtually the entire GM lineup as it only requires a bit more software in addition to the std antilock brakes. Testing as shown it to be a very reliable method of monitoring for a low tire.

The system that I will be testing is of the active variety, so you will be able to see the actual pressures at any time. They do not plan to report tire temps, which I wish they would, as they feel most people would not know whether a given temp was normal or not. The chipset they are using actually measures and reports temps, but they are not displaying the data. I have pointed out that the situation can arise where a tire is just a bit low causing a bit more flex/heating resulting in a slight rise in pressure masking the fact that the tire was a bit low, but it WOULD be running hotter than the others (ie the reason temp information can be useful). I have seen this exact situation on my vette several times. The only time you see the slightly low tire pressure is when cold as it raises to almost identical pressures after 15 miles or so on a warm day.

I am firm believer in having as much knowledge in advance as possible as it may give you time to avert a bigger problem.
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Old 07-25-2003, 10:20 AM   #9
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Just curious - but did you use your spare & change it yourself , or call in a wrecker & have them do it?
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Old 07-25-2003, 02:42 PM   #10
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changing blowout tire

We had the blowout on I-95 where there is construction and no shoulder on the road. We pulled off and the trailer was at quite an angle so we called to have the tire changed. We have the Thor program, the wrecker was there within 45 minutes. He at first tried to jack up the side with the bad tire but realized that it would slide off due to the angle. He backed his wrecker with the lift bar under the bumper where the frame comes out and gentle lifted the trailer, changed the tire and we were going again.

Bob Caldwell
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Old 07-26-2003, 06:59 AM   #11
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I am not sure lifting the Bambi from the rear was such a good idea. I've read a bunch of stuff about where to lift the coach from as well as several folks that needed the rear ends repaired from simply having a spare tire mounted to the bumper.
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Old 07-27-2003, 06:53 PM   #12
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2001 Bambi tire blowout change

Silvertwinkie,

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Did I want to have the trailer lifted by the frame. No. We did do it very carefully and I looked it over when I got home. I hope Airstream products should be able to take something like this. In addition, we only lifted it just enough to get the old tire off and the new one on.
Any ositive suggestions if this might occur in the future would be appreciated.
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Old 07-28-2003, 01:44 AM   #13
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Smile

Not sure this would have helped in your case, but I bring a small hydrallic jack with me wherever I go (3 ton). Also I have plenty of 2x6 and 2x4s to level out the coach when I park it in case the campsite is not level. I might have jacked up the side that was low, placed a few 2x6 stacked, set that side down and then proceeded to jack the blown tire side. Maybe even pulled the coach with the good side that was low onto a few 2x6s to get it level enough to where I felt it would not roll if I jacked up the other side.

I don't know the area you were in, so it's kind of hard to suggest what to have done. I just recalled several folks freaking out about the rear bumper FWIW.

Of course when your neck deep in a situation, it's easy for anyone not in it to be a great couch captian.
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Old 03-22-2006, 10:04 AM   #14
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Bambi Blowout

This past weekend on my way to a campsite, I had a blowout on the curb side, in moderate traffic moving approx 60 mph. I heard the tire go and felt a slight bobble in the way the trailer was pulling, moved to shoulder and stopped safely. I use weight distribution bars and anti sway bar (which bent) but that was the only damage.
The tire that failed was a Goodyear Marathon manufactured in 2002 and was factory installed on my 2003 Bambi. We had air in the spare and so all we did was change the tire and arrive at our campsite about 45 minutes later than we had planned.
We have about 15-17,000 miles on our trailer and except for the first 2 or 3 trips when I didn't know what tire pressure to maintain, (I used 35-40 PSI then) I have been religious at maintaining the recomended 60-65#.
The tires look practically brand new but since I blew one out I am replacing both this weekend.
My question for the forum relates to why the tire failed.
When I bought the weight distribution hitch the same day that I took delivery
of the trailer the only bars that I could get that day were 1000#, 750# were special order and I was told that they didn't even make 500# bars, which was what I asked for. I took the 1000#'s thinking I could always change them later.
Since the bars equalize the weight between the truck and the trailer and have the effect of making them act as less flexible unit, have I been overloading the tires on the trailer? I know that there are some tire experts on the forum and I sincerely seek your advice. Should I change out the bars for a more correct weight? Or go up one load range on the replacement tires? The Marathon that failed was load range D.
I have modified the Bambi by putting in Corian counter tops and a Pergo floor so I am carrying a little more weight than typical but I am sure that I am not over the axle rating.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
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