Friday, June 15, 2018

Tire Blow-Out and Good Sam's Road Service

Location: Whispering Woods RV Park; Wyandotte, Oklahoma (elev. 920 ft)

This will be a brief post since I'll be hitching up in an hour or so to head farther north. This RV park is part of the Indigo Sky Casino which is one of about 100 Indian casinos in Oklahoma. I don't have a picture of it since I forgot to take one yesterday but it is generally a big parking lot with water/electric hookups. When I registered, they gave me a players card with $7.00 for joining and $20.00 for be a veteran. I was kind of tired from the events of the day so instead of spending an hour or two on the quarter slots, I went big and tried the $1.00 slots. Of course they trick you into using some of your own money to get access to the credits they give you. I had to use one of my own dollars to get the ball rolling. Oh well, after about 10 minutes, I used up the $27.00 credits and went back to Liberty.  

The tow was suppose to be a boring 240 mile trip up the Indian Nation Turnpike, but we all need a little excitement now and then. I was cruising along about 65 mph and the TPMS (tire monitor) was saying everything is OK. Then there was a bump and as I looked in my right side mirror I saw a "tire pelt" fly off to the shoulder. I thought that was strange because I surely would have avoided something that big. At that time, the TPMS alarm went off and I realized, Heck, that was my pelt that went flying. I had a blow out. At no time were Freedom and Liberty out of control and I eased them over to the shoulder. (Note: this is one of the reasons I always prefer towing on roads with shoulders). The shoulder was wide enough for the right side tires to stay on the paved shoulder while still getting us out of the travel lane. Ok, first real blow out. First, I look at the tire and see the entire tread gone. This explained the slight delay between me seeing the tire pelt fly to the shoulder and the TPMS alarm going off. Apparently, the tread left but the tire still retained air for a while. The tread leaving the scene quickly also prevented a lot of damage to Liberty. I've seen pictures of blow outs with the tread hanging on and beating the heck out of the RV. I think I was lucky that it was the front tire that blew out since once the tread separated, the back tire ran over it and pulled it off quickly and threw it away, like ripping a band aid off.

Now I'm stranded on the should of the Indian Nation Turnpike. I have two options. I can call one of my road service providers which may take who know how long for someone to arrive or I can change it myself. I decided to change it myself. I knew from the TPMS that the spare tire was a little low on air, so I decided to remove it and let it be airing up while I removed the blow out. This would also allow time for the tire to cool down before handling it. Well, that plan didn't work. The two lug nuts and the lug itself holding the spare tire to the bracket would just spin and not come off. Ut oh, this was going to be a two person job just to remove the spare tire, one to hold the lug while the other removing the lug nut. Being an open minded sort of man and after one blister on my palm, I decided to re-evaluate the situation and call the road service provider and hope for the best. I called Good Sam's Roadside Assistance which I pay about $80.00 per year to be at my "beck and call". I called the number and was put on hold while "waiting for the next available operator". Uhmmm. After a few minutes, LaToya answered and in a very perky voice asked what she could do to assist me. I explained the situation and she dutifully collected the information. Since I had been tracking my trip, I knew I was exactly 31 miles north of the beginning of the turnpike at Hugo. She said she would find someone and either text me the information or call me back. I waited and waited for a very long time  about 5 minutes before calling Good Sam's back to find out why after such a long time nothing had happened. The new operator said LaToya was in the process of calling me. So I took LaToya's call and she said someone was headed my way and would be there in about 30 minutes. I was OK with that amount of time so I wandered over to the shade of the trees along the right-of-way to wait. While there, I started thinking about where I was going to get a new tire. So, I pulled out my phone and did a quick search for Goodyear dealers near me. I found one about 30 miles north of me in the town of McAlister and it was right along the route I planned to take. I called them and talked to Jay. I gave him the tire size and sure enough, he had one. I asked how big their place was since I was towing a fifth-wheel trailer. He said no problem, they handle 18 wheelers all the time. Alright, I told him I would be there as soon as I could after the road service changed my tire and to please set a tire aside for me. He said, no problem, he had five of that size. We hung up and I continued my wait. Ummmmm,,,, he has 5 tires. The tire that blew out had about 30,000 miles on it and was 3 years old. That meant the other three were in the same condition. I called ole Jay back and asked if he had sold those tires in the last 3 minutes since we talked last. He laughed a little, I said I was serious, he said, "no sir". So I double checked the tire size with him as well as the load rating. I said I needed at least a D rating, he said the ones he had were E rating which is a step above what I had on Liberty. He gave me a price of $125.00 each plus balance and mounting cost. I immediately told him to put four aside for me and I would be there soon. He said OK. About 10 minutes later, the road service crew showed up. It was two older men in a tow truck that was at least 30 years old. But they had been doing this type of work for a while and was quick and efficient. They removed the spare tire and I put my compressor to work airing it up while they started on the blown out tire. I had already set up the Trailer Aid ramp to aid in removing the tire. It worked like a champ and within about 15 minutes, they had everything taken care of and the blown tire placed in the bed of Freedom. I offered them $10.00 a piece, but they refused. I tried twice but they said Good Sam's paid for their service. I asked if it was enough, and they said it sure was so I put the money back in my pocket. We shook hands and I left. 

I stayed under 55 mph on the trip to the Goodyear dealer. Once I got there, Jay was at lunch, but his boss took care of me and within 10 minutes, I was driving Freedom and Liberty into the bay to have four new tires put on. They said it would take about an hour. I walked across the street to a restaurant and got some pretty good sausage and biscuits while waiting. Well, within one hour, I had four new, reasonably priced, higher rated, tires on Liberty and we were rolling on down the road again. 

All in all, from the time of the blow out to the time I was back on the road, with four new tires, was about 3 hours. I'm very satisfied with that. Good Sam's proved they were worth being my primary road service provider and Goodyear did their part at getting new shoes on Liberty in a quick manner. I'm also lucky the blow out didn't do any major damage to Liberty, and that there was a nice place to pull over safely. Yeah, someone is still looking out for me.

Ok, time to get a shower, hitch up and head north to Kansas City. There will be a stop along the way at a Flying J to get gas and a weigh at a Cat scale. There is also a Blue Beacon Truck/RV Wash next door that I'll try since I didn't go to the one in Shreveport on my way out of town.  

Emptying tanks on the way out of the campground. 

Long road ahead on the Indian Nation Turnpike

Not a good view, but the front tire is the blow out.

My view from the shade, while waiting for the road service people to arrive. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. That was a very lucky blowout to not damage the trailer. Are you running ST or LT tires?
    Most ST tires are rated for max of 65 mph and 12000-15000 miles. Goodyear came out about 2 years ago with a new model ST rated for 85 mph. Those are my next tire purchase for the Castle. Safe travels my friend.

    1. I've always ran ST's. I was told long ago that ST's are like LT except with stronger sidewalls to help against curb scuffing. My old tires were Goodyear Marathons load rated D. These new ones are Goodyear Endurance load rated E. Have fun, be safe.

    2. Looks like you did everything as right as possible. I have 2 marathons that will age out in the next year. I am looking forward to putting Endurance tires on the Castle. On the other hand I have never had any trouble out of a Marathon on the Castle or other trailers I have had.

  2. Did you check to see how old the new tires are?

    1. Yes sir Gene, I always do that. These tires were made in the 15th week of 2018 which makes them about 2 months old. I specifically asked about it and the dealer said it was their policy to not have anything older than six months in their stock. But that is not the policy for lots of tire dealers.

  3. Happy to hear the blowout did no damage. We have had to use our Good Sam Roadside Assistance a couple times and have had good experiences. It is comforting to know there is help out there. May your travels be trouble free from now on.