Suffering a sudden tire blowout at highway speeds can be a harrowing experience for any RV owner, but unfortunately, your troubles may not be over once you get your stricken RV safely off the road. The tire itself isn't the only part of your RV that can be damaged by a blowout, and collateral damage to your RV's bodywork and internal components can cause serious problems.
What causes collateral damage during an RV tire blowout?
Unlike a tire puncture, which is caused by a small hole or tear in a tire's outer shell and causes the tire to deflate slowly, tire blowouts occur when a tire suddenly explodes, losing all of its internal air pressure almost instantly. Blowouts are usually caused by impact damage or excessive vehicle weight, but they can also be caused by small, unnoticed punctures that cause the tire wall to gradually weaken until it bursts.
At highway speeds, an RV tire that suffers a blowout explodes with incredible force, creating a powerful shockwave and sending large chunks of tire rubber flying in all directions. Strips of tire rubber and steel radial belts from inside the tire may stay attached to the wheel, causing them to flail around inside the wheel well until the wheel loses its rotational momentum. As you can imagine, this combination of events can cause extreme damage to any RV that suffers a tire blowout.
What parts of an RV can be damaged by a tire blowout?
In any tire blowout situation, the wheel, axle, and wheel well are closest to the epicenter of the blowout and are therefore most vulnerable to damage. The force of the exploding tire can severely damage your RV's wheel and knock the axle out of alignment, while the flailing steel belts and strips of rubber can tear apart the inside of the RV's wheel well.
However, a serious blowout can cause much more extensive damage. The exterior bodywork surrounding the affected wheel well can be badly damaged as debris flies away from the exploding tire. Nearby windows and windshields can also suffer serious damage, which can be very dangerous if a front tire suffers a blowout and damages the driver's side windshield.
Interior components of your RV are also at risk of being damaged by the radial belts, which can gouge deep into your RV's interior as they flail around inside the wheel well. Any wiring, batteries, or plumbing systems near the affected tire can be damaged or even completely torn out of the RV by damaged radial belts. In extreme situations, blowouts can even cause damage to the floors, appliances, and furniture inside your RV's living quarters.
What should you do if your RV suffers collateral damage after a tire blowout?
If your RV has recently suffered a tire blowout and has suffered a significant amount of collateral damage, you can attempt to fix it yourself. However, while exterior bodywork damage is relatively easy to repair, damage to mechanical components and your RV's interior trim can be much more difficult to deal with. It can also be very difficult to accurately assess the scale of the damage, and vital components may go unrepaired.
Consequently, you should always take your RV to a professional RV repair service after suffering a blowout on the road. Professional RV repair specialists have the tools and technical knowledge needed to accurately assess the scale of the damage and can do repairs quickly and efficiently. Unlike regular mechanics, RV repair specialists can also handle damage caused to your RV's living quarters and interior trim.
To learn more, contact an RV repair company.