Mysterious Blowouts on RV – Possible Answer: Another Installment of ‘I Learned About RVing From That.’

Five flat tires in three years.  Always on the right side of the fifth-wheel I bought just three years ago.  I could count on every long-distance trip featuring at least one blowout.  And when trailer tires let go, they can do some significant damage, as in this picture.

Most recent blowout damage

Most recent blowout damage

I have RV auto club road service, but it’s always going to be two hours from when I call them until I’m back on the road again.  That delay, plus the potential expense of replacing yet another tire and repairing the trailer, makes any flat tire an unpleasant experience.

I’ve wracked my brain over the years trying to figure it out.  I’ve upgraded tire load ranges, checked air pressure every day on a trip, double-checked weights and load distribution, but nothing proved fruitful.  And still the blowouts kept coming.  But only on the right side.

And then, this last trip from North Carolina to Wisconsin and back, a light went on in my head.  I was desperate and it seemed like a viable theory.  You see, every Spring I pull the trailer to Florida for about a month, and then in July I pull it to Wisconsin.  I park in the same spot in both places for two to three weeks.  And I always have to level up the curb side of the trailer.  Always.  The right side only.  Hmmm, I was wondering.

I have always used Tri-Lynx orange plastic leveling blocks.  They’re the kind that look like giant Legos.  Well, they are not flat, but have four large protrusions which help them to interlock with their mates.  Thinking about this enroute last month to Oshkosh, I decided that I’d experiment.  I also have two orange plastic one-foot-square pads I usually put under the front landing gear.  This time, I decided to place them on top of the Tri-Lynx blocks – on the right side of the trailer – so the tires would be sitting on a smooth surface, instead of the uneven surface of the Tri-Lynx.

After about three weeks, it was time to pack up and come home.  All the way back to North Carolina, I made sure to be aware of highway mile markers in case the inevitable happened.  But, it didn’t!  No blowouts, going or – amazingly – coming home.

I did nothing else different.  I checked cold air pressure every morning before hitting the road, and I never had to block up the right side of the trailer while on the road.

So, was it the orange plastic leveling blocks?  I’ll let you decide, but I’m really leaning toward that being the problem.  Nothing against Tri-Lynx, of course.  If you have another solution, feel free to comment and I’ll respond.

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