What to do in the event of tire failure on the highway?


Van, PA - Near The PA Wilds
Jul 31, 2004
Van, Pennsylvania
A couple of words about 4 way lug wrenches and Fix-A-Flat, too. If you have a 4 way wrench in your TV, before you ever go out on the highway with your PUP, be certain that one of the four sockets fits the PUP. There should not be an issue, but it's best not to assume, either. Also, while still in the driveway, make sure which of the 4 sockets fits the lugs on the PUP properly and color code it with tape or spray paint. In the heat of the moment, you could get 7/8 mixed up with 3/4 and round off your lugs. Then.... you have problems.

Fix-A-Flat, as a general rule, will not seal a puncture. It is good for leaks around the bead, but will seal only tiny punctures. And... whoever said about sealant creating a mess for the next guy who tears down the tire was right. I've been to tires shops that, when they break down the tire and see sealant in it, quit and refuse to work on it. You're far better off just to replace the flat tire with a spare to continue your travels.

$129 per year for roadside assistance. Dude.... that's four nights of camping !! [:D] [:D]


Aug 9, 2011
The most important thing to remember: it is much better to damage/scrap you tire and trailer driving to a safe spot than stopping where it is not safe and getting yourself killed. Trailers can be fixed, being dead or paralyzed can not. Same thing goes for waiting in you car and waiting for a tow truck. Even if the tow costs $500, it's worth it over risking harm.

That being said, my advice is to practice a tire change at home (including letting the air out of the tire to check for jack clearance). You'll learn everything you need to have and what to do instead of learning it on the side of the road, in the rain, the dark and the kids crying.

Another thing to do is to always put a small amount of anti seize grease on your studs before putting the nuts back and between the rim and the hub. You'll thank me later on the road when you can actually get the lug nuts and tire off. BTW, only grease the threads if you are torquing them with a torque wrench. A properly torqued nut will not come loose no matter how much you grease it. In fact the torque rating probably assumes lubricated threads.


Super Active Member
Jun 26, 2011
Steve A said:
Practice at home.

I had a tread separation occur on a LONG trip. I managed to limp into my destination and call for assistance. I'm glad I did. There was no way I would have been able to get those lugs off on my own. A, and I use these terms in jest, "reputable shop" had torqued them WAY over spec.

I could happen to you. Be prepared.

Like UT said, this whole thread just reinforces the Boy Scout Motto "BE PREPARED". as for the 'reputable' shop torquing the lugs too tightly, remember that a shop puts tires on with an air impact wrench, and most of them aren't gonna pay attention much less realize that they over torqued them. DD had new tires put on her Jeep last fall, and when it came time to take it back to get them rotated, they couldn't even get the lugs off themselves! with the same air wrench they put them on with.....talk about a couple of, as Bugs Bunny would say "what a MAROON". they accused HER of taking the tires off and putting them back on too tight?!? luckily, i have a compressor and some pretty heavy duty air tools myself.

i have one of the SLIME DC compressors in my TV, but now i'm looking at that one UT has, man that 16' coiled air hose would be SWEET


Mar 11, 2006
Kelseyville, CA
I just experienced my first full on blowout at speed yesterday while coming up for a week of camping. The rest of my flats have either been while on the on ramp to the freeway, pulling into a camp gound or found it in a parking lot. This time I was going 60 MPH in the right lane of a 4 lane highway. The tire that blew was the curb side trailer tire.

The thing I learned was be prepared by removing the tires at home and make sure you carry everything you will need to remove it on the road. I carry a 4-way lug wrench in the trailer and used the bottle jack from my Explorer. The biggest hassle I ran into was finding a way to place the jack that would lift the trailer high enough to get the spare on. The first thing I realized is the trailer sits very low with a flat tire. The axle was only about 4" off the ground (much to high to fit the jack under). After several attempts at various locations with the jack, I settled on putting the jack on 4 stackable Camping World blocks right under the frame by the tire. I'm sure my 4" lift had something to do with it. 1 1/2 hours later we were back on our way.

I like the idea of getting tires locally from a large chain. My tires are less than 3 years old but I bought them from an on-line tire dealer and had them mounted locally. Now I'm stuck with the decision to either buy a tire now and pursue a possible warranty replacement on the tire when I get home or risk driving 3 hours home without a spare.

Again, as others have said - be prepared before before it happens.


Super Active Member
Mar 4, 2003
Shallotte, North Carolina
ExplorerRob said:
The tire that blew was the curb side trailer tire.

All things being equal it will be the curb side tire/hub that will get more of the wear due to the slope of the roadway in that direction - as the trailer travels down the road with it's up and down motions a little more of the weight will pitch over that that way. I always noted when giving a check over at a rest stop the hub and tire will be a tad warmer on that side.

Right on about it being low with a flat, too! I used one of those 2-ton hydraulic bottle jacks (which was 4" high) and it would fit under the main trailer frame rail just behind the wheel.

Always checked the cold tire pressure just before leaving home or the C/G and had one of those 12V air inflaters in the truck for topping the air pressure off to the correct pressure listed on the side of the tire.