Fellow motor homers. On a short trip this past weekend, my wife and I were no more than 15 miles east of Lincoln City Oregon when we heard a terribly loud noise from the rear of our motor home as if someone lit an M-80 firecracker and exploded it inside, and experienced that obvious blown-out tire ride. As I was able to limp to an area to pull off, I was expecting to find the rear half of my 378 laying in pieces behind me. I was very pleased to see the majority of my home in one piece.
That all being said what I did find was Forest River engineered our coach with a large wiring harness that traveled through the wheel well. It had been completely ripped in half by the torn apart tire. Crawling under the rear of my Georgetown I found the inner wires and while attempting to tie them off to the frame, noticed that when a couple of the wires managed to touch, my kitchen slide began to run out. (I didn't know what I was going to do if the slide went to far out to get on a tow truck. Wasn't thinking about cranking it back in by myself in my state of panic)
I did manage to cut all the frayed ends off so no contact would cause further expansion of the slide. My wife convinced me to limp the 15 miles on into Lincoln City and wait till morning for good ole Les Schwab to open. Our insurance company informed me that I had a gracious $150.00 towing feature and trying to drive the remaining distance on one outside tire seemed like the thing to do. We made it.
They replaced all 4 rear tires as they were about 10 years old, but with only 36,000 miles on them they still looked good. I keep the air pressure up on a regular basis, but they said they were old and coming apart. I didn't want another lesson of driving a 6 tired vehicle on 5 tires so I agreed to 4 new tires. The two front tires had been replaced 2 years earlier.
The reason I am writing this post is that even though you may have put on tires a few years ago, they could be several years older, having sat on a warehouse shelf for a few years before being put on your rig. And when they sit around they "rot" according to my wonderful Les Schwab mechanic, Chris. Having to rewire 20+ sets of wires and mount them away from the tires makes a relaxing weekend away, well, less relaxing.
In addition to regularly checking the tire pressure, check your tire's age. There is a code on the tire that lets you know when they were made and this is the true age of your tire, they don't start aging when you put them on. It isn't worth putting you and your copilot's lives in jeopardy even if there is lots of tread left on your tires.
Safe travels all.