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Road miles add up quickly. Here are 5 important safety tips for tires and traveling.
The bottom line is: As a road traveler, it isn’t a matter of IF, it is a matter of WHEN will you have a flat tire?
Whether your tires are brand new or have a few thousand miles on them, anything can happen at any time. You can run over a nail, smudge a curb or just have a slow leak. What are you going to do? Are you prepared?
For 20 years, Robb and I, have been driving up, down, and throughout the country. Sometimes we have trailers and sometimes we just have Tugg, our Chevy Equinox. We have had more than our share of tire mishaps. On one particular trip, we blew 4 trailer tires on our cargo trailer!!!
As prepared road warriors, we know that we can be in some difficult situations. Road conditions are not always smooth driving. Changing weather conditions, uneven lanes and debris in the road are all dangerous to our tires. Even cautious drivers will experience tire blowouts and it can be freaking scary when it happens.
A blowout sounds like a bomb!
What’s even more frightening is that you could swerve into the next lane or into the ditch.
While we can’t tell you how to prevent a blowout we can share some important preventative measures that may help you feel safer on the road.
The Mothership is equipped with a TPMS and thank goodness for it. Just this past week, coming in through Interstate 70, the alarm beeped. Robb pulled over immediately and found that our sensor had jiggled loose and the air was quickly escaping.
Can you imagine what would have happened if we went flat? Our Renegade is not equipped with a spare tire. You might think this is irresponsible on our part, however, even if we had a spare, we wouldn’t be able to change it. Our tires weigh about 150 lbs. For us, we have to wait for roadside assistance.
Conversely, our trailer usually contains two spare tires. Robb and I have our tire change routine down to a science. Most times it only takes us about 17 minutes to swap out a blown tire for the spare.
The Trailer-Aid Tire ramp has come to the rescue so many times we lost count. Changing a tire on a trailer is not so easy using a jack. With this block, you either pull up or back up onto it, raising the flat tire off the ground. Swap the tires out, and go on down the road.
Here are 5 important safety tips for your tires and travel.
- Check your tire pressure frequently. Road miles and heat will cause your tires to expand. Your tire pressure will increase. Know how much pressure you should have in your tires. Stop and get air if you need more, likewise, release some air if the pressure is too high. This Digital Tire Pressure Guage is a great tool to have in every vehicle you own, plus it makes a nice stocking stuffer!
- Invest in a TPMS. Tire Pressure Monitoring System., especially if you are towing a trailer of any sort. The TPMS has saved us hundreds of dollars in blown tires. Because the system alerts you to overheated tires and air pressure, you have time to pull to a safe space and investigate the situation. Let me tell you, it is far better to get off the interstate than to change a tire on the driver’s side of the trailer while traffic is racing by you.
- Put an eyeball on the tire. Are the cords showing through? Are there any visible nails in your tire? How soon do you need to replace your tires?
- Check your tools! Do you have a spare tire, jack, and wrench to fix the tire? Even if you are physically unable to change the tire yourself, having the necessary tools to do the job is important. Imagine somebody coming to your aid and not being able to help because there is no spare. Check this now!
- Do you have roadside service? Do you know your policy # and telephone number? It is a good idea to keep this information handy. In fact, have it in several places. Your phone, in the glove compartment, and maybe even in your wallet. Roadside assistance is especially important if you are physically unable to fix a roadside problem.
Keep in mind, safety first! A little preventative measure can save you a lot of headaches, stress, and anxiety.
Where do you want to travel next? This article is sure to give you a few ideas!
Be mindful, travel safe, and adventure often!