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Old 07-17-2014, 03:07 PM   #1
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It all started on Monday when we unhitched and drove from our boondock at the top of a mountain (down a gravel Forest Service Road) to the visitor center at Glacier National Park. Once at the visitor center, we heard a hissing coming from our back passenger side tire. A huge screw had imbedded itself and our tire was quickly letting the air out. My husband plugged the tire, so the air was leaking more slowly, and we limped to the nearest town. The tire was unrepairable and required that we buy four new tires (the joys of AWD). With the spare tire on, we limped back to camp as there were no tires our size to be had in the town or surrounding area. With our tires a week away, unable to leave our campsite and with limited water and food, I keep hearing about wildfires not too far away in Idaho and Washington and looking around at the kindling pile we are sitting on. My question is this: if there is a fire on or near our mountain, would it be crazy to attempt to tow our Airstream out on the doughnut? I mean, this would be last-ditch attempt to save our home. Has anybody ever tried it and what was the outcome?
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:24 PM   #2
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Hi from AZ. . . .Put the Doughnut on the front, like today, & do what you have to do if it comes to it ! ! good luck & be careful out there, Craig
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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You might try going back to town and renting a PU truck or even going back to the tire place and offering to pay one of the employees there to tow your trailer out - I bet you could find a taker.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:51 PM   #4
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Another vote for donut on front and limp out...only if absolutely necessary.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:10 PM   #5
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If I understand your post correctly, you have an AWD vehicle and it did not come with a full size spare. As soon as possible you need to purchase a new wheel, steel will do, and a full size spare tire of the same size as the other four.

As far as I am concerned any vehicle used to tow a trailer should have a full size spare compatible in size to the other four tires.

Don't know why you need to purchase four tires, unless the existing tires are worn down to near replacement.

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It all started on Monday when we unhitched and drove from our boondock at the top of a mountain (down a gravel Forest Service Road) to the visitor center at Glacier National Park. Once at the visitor center, we heard a hissing coming from our back passenger side tire. A huge screw had imbedded itself and our tire was quickly letting the air out. My husband plugged the tire, so the air was leaking more slowly, and we limped to the nearest town. The tire was unrepairable and required that we buy four new tires (the joys of AWD). With the spare tire on, we limped back to camp as there were no tires our size to be had in the town or surrounding area. With our tires a week away, unable to leave our campsite and with limited water and food, I keep hearing about wildfires not too far away in Idaho and Washington and looking around at the kindling pile we are sitting on. My question is this: if there is a fire on or near our mountain, would it be crazy to attempt to tow our Airstream out on the doughnut? I mean, this would be last-ditch attempt to save our home. Has anybody ever tried it and what was the outcome?
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:14 PM   #6
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The donut tire, if original equipment, should not hurt your tow vehicle at all for a short (50 mile) drive. Certainly not the best thing to tow with, but it can also do that duty.

We have a lot of fires here in the west. The chances of any you have been hearing about moving to where you are is exceptionally remote. I have smoke now where I live but the nearest fires are 50 or 60 miles away, and some smoke from over 100 miles is common.

Believe me, living virtually in the middle of the National Forest as I do causes me to be vigilant and aware of fire (rated "extreme danger" right now) but not hyper.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:33 PM   #7
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It appears that there is little to be concerned about in the Glacier NP area right now. The Inciweb (InciWeb the Incident Information System: Current Incidents) shows no active fires in Montana. If you're seeing smoke, it's most likely from the fires in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Map here: Public Information Map

Current fire danger in the Kalispel district is Moderate, with only 10% of the normal fire activity (http://gacc.nifc.gov/nrcc/predictive...FuelStatus.pdf )

Of coarse everything could change if a dry lightning storm comes through, but it appears that the fuels are wet enough to keep anything from moving rapidly.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:10 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. It is hard not to be scared so far from anything and seeing heavy smoke haze all around. I didn't know it would travel so far!
wkerfoot - you are correct about needing new tires all around. They were worn past the point of being able to replace just one, and they were going to need to be replaced eventually anyway. The spare tire that came with the car was deflated and packed tightly in a compartment made just for it. I doubt a full size wheel and tire would fit but now that we are stranded, I will start looking into having a whole wheel ready to go.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:17 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your advice and encouragement. It is hard not to be scared so far from anything and seeing heavy smoke haze all around. I didn't know it would travel so far!
A couple of weeks ago we were all socked in with smoke here in northern Wyoming. When we checked the maps, it turned out it was coming from the Northwest Territories in Canada. We were surprised that it would travel that far too.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:30 PM   #10
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Here's a cool map that shows smoke plumes.
http://www.firedetect.noaa.gov/viewer.htm
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:42 PM   #11
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You've gotten lots of good advice here.

The moral of this story......never set out on a long trip with worn tires. Replace them before you leave home.

Things go bad when you least expect it, and in the darndest places.

Good luck,


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Old 07-17-2014, 06:52 PM   #12
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Thanks Thalweg! Handy map!

Actually, it is a good thing we didn't get new tires before our trip because then the screw would have ruined a new tire instead of one on the way out already. I guess they weren't all that terrible to begin with, though. We had them checked out twice, once before we left and then halfway here and both times the tire guys said they didn't need to be replaced yet.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:56 PM   #13
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Well, then, you did all you could do.


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Old 07-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluminitus View Post
It all started on Monday when we unhitched and drove from our boondock at the top of a mountain (down a gravel Forest Service Road) to the visitor center at Glacier National Park. Once at the visitor center, we heard a hissing coming from our back passenger side tire. A huge screw had imbedded itself and our tire was quickly letting the air out. My husband plugged the tire, so the air was leaking more slowly, and we limped to the nearest town. The tire was unrepairable and required that we buy four new tires (the joys of AWD). With the spare tire on, we limped back to camp as there were no tires our size to be had in the town or surrounding area. With our tires a week away, unable to leave our campsite and with limited water and food, I keep hearing about wildfires not too far away in Idaho and Washington and looking around at the kindling pile we are sitting on. My question is this: if there is a fire on or near our mountain, would it be crazy to attempt to tow our Airstream out on the doughnut? I mean, this would be last-ditch attempt to save our home. Has anybody ever tried it and what was the outcome?
If the tire was non repairable you could have them put an inner tube in it or they could put on a used tire for you.
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