RV Tire Safety: Can a tire blowout be “contained”?


with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Every few months someone posts a question on one of the numerous RV Forums I monitor asking if it is possible to prevent the damage done to the RV when a tire fails and has a belt separation or comes apart from a sidewall Run Low Flex failure.

I have previously written on the idea of trying to “contain” tire failure on my blog but for those that missed the information here is a summary and links for more details.

In the tire industry, we have test drums surrounded by steel grating which weighs 6# to 10# per square foot, so don’t forget you would need a substantial structure to support a 200# – 500# “shield” over each tire position. This extra weight would also significantly decrease the amount of “stuff” you can pack into your RV.

IMO, having worked around tire test labs, an effective “shield” on an RV is unlikely to work. I feel that prevention is a much better approach.

To better understand the problem I suggest you review the following:

1. Read this post on blowouts.

2. This post shows the kind of forces we are talking about.

3. Check out the safety cage around this tire test machine:

4. Buy, program and test a TPMS.

5. Every 2,000 miles or annually (whichever comes first) do a “Free Spin” inspection of trailer tires.

Prevention is much better and less expensive than trying to protect your wheel wells.


Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net or on RVtravel.com.



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1 year ago

I’d agree heavy steel cages wouldn’t be feasible but there are TOUGH fiber reinforced plastics that would be infinitely better than the tarpaper and cardboard wheelwell that might as well have not even existed when my tire came apart and took much of the wall out. I don’t need to drive 5 miles flogging tread, but lasting 100 yards to stop without doing 10K of damage seems fair.