With over 20,000 miles driven on this trip, it should come as no surprise to us that we would encounter a second road hazard. Like our first tire blow out in Florida, we had another tire blow out on the opposite side of our motorhome on our drive through New Mexico on our way to Arizona.
Now that we consider ourselves “seasoned” RVers, the terrifyingly loud “BANG!!!” we heard from the left rear of our motor home as we drove 75 MPH down the interstate did not put us into the state of panic the way it did the first time it happened to us. The instant I heard the noise I knew what had happened. We pulled over, I got out, and I confirmed my suspicion. After saying a quick prayer as a family, we began driving on the shoulder for 17 miles to the nearest town. In that time, Mel called around and found a tire repair company that had the replacement tire we needed in stock. It was as if we were running a routine drill. The hazard was not going to get us down.
When we got to the tire shop, we realized that we were definitely out in the middle of no where.
This tire shop was by far the least refined of all the repair shops we have been to on the trip. When stuck in the middle of nowhere, one can not be choosy about the appearance of his surroundings. Though “unrefined” the service was excellent and the owner was very personable and I even got chatting with him a bit in his office as we were completing the paperwork.
As I further evaluated the damage, I realized that as the tire blew open while we were driving, some collateral damage was inflicted. The force of the outer treads of the tire ripped under the RV, smashing it’s underside and bending two chambers below. One area that was damaged was a storage compartment for the main plumbing/black-gray dump. A flexible hose and dump piece were both destroyed, but both parts were easily replaceable.
Another minor thing that happened was the outside tire shield around the tire fell off somewhere on the freeway. I simple part to replace.
The other damage was to the underside of the kitchen cabinet. The sheet metal frame was ripped open and a hole the size of a small dog was created. I worked at bending the metal back into place, but the access to the space was not good and I was only able to re-bend the metal slightly. In the end the hole was about rat sized. I plan on using some spray foam to fill in the void so that we will not have animals of any size squeezing through the hole.
All in all, just another adventure on our trip of a lifetime. With little worry or stress, we were back on the road. Arizona here we come!