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Handling a Tire Blowout_

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Handling a Tire Blowout_ Powered By Docstoc
					Every year thousands of RVs travel the nation enjoying the various amenities that
recreational vehicles has to offer. While most drivers feel comfortable with any
situation the road may present, there is one situation that even the safest drivers dread.
A rumor that even some of the most professional drives believe it can't be handled.
That situation is the rapid loss of air in a tire, a blowout! We know that the most
common cause of a blowout of a motorhome tire is due to overload or under inflation.
It is critical therefore that you know your loaded corner weights and keep your
inflation pressure at the minimum requirement to carry these loads. Air pressure
should be checked prior to each trip and each morning you travel during your trip.
The word blowout shouldn't necessarily even be used in a situation like this. That's
because even though a rapid loss of air in a tire can be noisy, a tire can also go flat and
present control problems for a driver due to a long, slow leak.

Perhaps the most important thing to know is that loosing the air in a tire, even rapidly,
does not automatically mean loosing control. There is no guarantee but there are
certainly simple ways to maintain control over a vehicle by using established physical
principals that have proven effective over the years if used quickly, and properly.
Keep in mind that these principals are the same for every type of vehicle, loaded or
empty. A common misconception is to automatically hit the brake but unfortunately
that is just not the case. In fact panic braking is the worst possible thing you can do.
Taking your foot off the accelerator is the second worst.

The real solution is to step on the accelerator. Getting power to the drive wheels
means maintaining control. Even though in this situation you may not want to go
faster but instead stop, by hitting the brake you may loose control of your rig. Your
RV moves forward on the highway unless it is acted upon a new force in a different
direction. A rapid air loss creates a new side force and so unless the drive compensates
for the new side force, the RV will move in a new direction, which is typically off
road. By stepping on the accelerator the driver will start to compensate. The bottom
line is when a tire goes flat, the RV will want to turn in the direction of the flat. As the
driver steps on the accelerator, the added power applied to the drive wheels allows the
driver more time to make the necessary steering corrections. This doesn't mean to hit
the 'pedal to the metal' and pick up speed rapidly, but instead maintain acceleration to
get the RV stable before you gather up any significant extra speed. The exact opposite
will happen if you step on the brake. You loose the forward force which then makes
your rig suddenly much more vulnerable to the side force giving you much less
control of the vehicle. By following these simple procedures during these split second
emergency situations, you can assure a much safer outcome for you, your passengers,
and your RV.

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posted:1/17/2011
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