Quick way to ruin a tire - Fiberglass RV

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Old 09-04-2007, 09:53 PM   #1
Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Posts: 61
Just the other day I was thinking about how much I enjoy my 5th wheel Scamp. I was thinking how "lucky" I had been with not having a flat tire or any major issues. (Note to self: try not to break your arm patting yourself on the back ) Made a mental note to replace all the tires at the beginning of the camping season 2008 since I had a big trip planned to Wyoming. Figured it would be cheap insurance to prevent tire problems. (Note to self: Try not to gloat about how proactive I am and what a great trip planner I am. )

Anyway, I stopped at my parents on the way back home at the end of the Labor Day decided to pull around the house and exit by the back gate (they live on a farm). That way I could park on the side of of the gravel road and not have to back it down the drive. The paved road that also goes pass the farm was recently paved so I reminded myself to watch the edge since the shoulder wasn't completed and to make sure to swing wide so as to not catch the edge of the pavement. Exited the drive and I felt and noticed the trailer jerk a little bit but everything seemed fine. Parked camper and waitrf for my brother to arrive (I was giving him a ride back to his semi). He arrived, I tossed him the keys to drive, hopped in the passenger seat (after walking pass the Scamp) and we were off for our 50 mile trip. About one mile down the road we were stopped at a light when a boy ran up to the truck and frantically started waving. Since it was a small town I thought how friendly. He kept gesturing wildly and motioning me to roll my window down. I didn't want to be rude but we were in a hurry so I really didn't want to get in a conversation with this young man. Then I heard that little voice that telling me not to be a jerk, so I rolled down the window and the boy announced that not only did we have a flat tire on the Scamp but he told me we were running on the rim. Sure enough I looked and he was correct. Boy was I thankful for this boy and not only how observant he was but how willing he was to make sure we knew it. I would hate to guess how far we could have pulled it and not noticed (we had already pulled it about a mile and had not noticed anything!

I had always wondered how I would handle the first flat tire on the Scamp but with my brother along it was not a problem (being a semi driver he is use to changing flats and doing it quickly). I asked him what I could do to help and after I dug out the jack it he told me to stand back and he would take care of it. Amazing I was not offended but I watched him very carefully so I now know I could do it myself. We were back on the road within 20 minutes. (I was amazed but also realized it would of probably taken me 3 times as long)

From the looks of the tire that jerk I felt was the tire catching the edge of the new cement and basically blowing the tire. Fortunately the rim was not ruined and after putting on a new tire it will become my spare. I am hoping my parents will be able to track down this boy (he disappeared right afterwards and I didn't get a chance to get his name) as I would like to give him something as a thank you. He saved me a lot of time and damage to my Scamp.

Lesson learned:

1) Always do a quick walk around the Scamp before taking off (you never know what you may find!)

2) Swing wider than you think (or just don't go through the back gate until the road is actually finished)

3) Always know where (what compartment) the tire iron, jack, etc is so you don't have to dig in every compartment muttering to yourself that you know if is around here someplace.

4) Try not to worry about what might happen but be prepared because no matter how careful the planning you will have a flat tire sometime and it is not the end of the world.

5) Remember that there are good people out there and they come in all ages.

6) Even though you and your brother don't really see eye to eye, remember he is handy to have around and let him know you do appreciate him (most of the time )

Hopefully someone will learn from my experience.


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Old 09-04-2007, 10:06 PM   #2
Gina D.'s Avatar
Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,016

I wouldn't have gotten to tossing him the keys!

Glad it all turned out OK. One day I will have this experience. Kurt did both on my 17 when I bought it. It wouldn't have budged an inch on the ones it had on it.

Trailers are not any different than cars when it comes to changing tires from what I saw, except for the chocking. I can do that and have many times. I generally need some macho type guy person to cinch down the lugs, but I can get it up, the tire off and the new/spare back on.

It's dirty, but.. so is camping!

Glad it wasn't a blow out! Thats one of my biggest fears. Never had it happen, and I sure hate the thought of it being a learn through experience ordeal. Unfortunately, it is.

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Old 09-05-2007, 04:08 AM   #3
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Name: Pete
Trailer: 17 ft 1986 Burro
Posts: 881
Get yourself a piece of chain link fence post about 2 feet or more long to slide over the end of your lug wrench and you won't need the macho guys anymore.

You will have amazing leverage to loosen/tighten any lug nut.

It's also handier than a baseball bat.......
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:26 PM   #4
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Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 3,072
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This reminds me of when one of the female gummint engineers I worked with in Germany had a flat on her car and had never changed a tire. I said I would teach her how to do it, sat down on the curb and talked her through it. My contractor colleagues were laughing about it, but she thanked me for it.
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