Saturday, September 23, 2023


This spare trailer tire got ripped to shreds, but why?

Folks, we don’t know the story about this spare trailer tire ripped to shreds, and neither does reader Dana Eulert, who sent this to us. But the moral of the story? Don’t do this at home… or something like that?

Dana emailed us and wrote, “Saw this at a Nebraska gas station while traveling cross-country. I don’t know the story behind it (the driver wasn’t present). I’m thinking that they didn’t have a TPMS? Maybe they’ll purchase one now.” Um, yeah, we sure hope so…

Our tire expert, Roger Marble, says, “That’s what happens when you drive a few miles on a flat tire. Obviously, that person did not have a functioning TPMS.”

And the real question here: Why is that still on the back of their trailer? You’d think removing it would be a top priority… (Or maybe they just like the attention it’s getting?)

Spare trailer tire totally destroyed


More on tire safety here.



  1. most recent video from Finding our Someday on youtube. they had a blowout and the TPMS didnt let them know till it was pulled over after noticing a sway. i wouldnt trust those things completely

  2. Regarding the shredded spare tire: Maybe I’m too logical, but it seems to me that for whoever experienced the failure it was intuitively obvious the tire was shot. However, it would not be cool to dismount the shredded rubber (if they had the tools to do so if needed) and leave it on the side of the road. So, voila! Save the rim and get a new tire mounted on it. (Unless of course the rim is worn, cracked or otherwise damaged beyond safe reuse.) The shredded tire can be properly disposed of at the tire shop too. And YES, TPMS is great for warning when a tire is going down. Ask me how I know. 😉

  3. TPMS saved me twice (slow leaks) and 2 other times I heard the tire blow before TPMS went off. Top tread had separated then the tire blew.

  4. My TPMS (Tire Minder) saved me 2 times.The first was just after purchasing my current motorhome, I transferred my 4 year old system over to the new one and on my very first trip after pulling into the campsite my daughter said she heard a hissing sound, being new to a diesel with air bags I figured it was them deflating and did not think a lot about it until I went into the MH and the alarm went off indicating an inner tire low pressure. The second time was with our Jeep just after hooking it up the night before. My neighbor installed them on his tag behind, while driving in the cattle shoots he got an alarm of a fast leak, luckily there was an exit a few hundred feet ahead and he was able to get off without any damage. Are they worth it, in my opinion YES but everyone has to decide what their own threshold of risk is acceptable to them. Does it concern me when I see and think about RV’s barreling down the road at excessive speed without any idea what there tires are doing HELL YES

  5. A good 20+ years ago I had a tire cap come off my trailer tire. My brother-in-law was following me and yelled into the CB “Tommy! You lost a wheel!”. Well, it wasn’t the wheel (luckily) but it was the cap. I changed the tire and mounted the ‘capless’ tire on the spare mount. Where else would I put it? When parked in the RV park we were headed to, folks would inquire about the spare and I would tell them it was a new “theft proof” tire. The second day we were there I took the tire to a tire shop and bought a new tire. I’m guessing this picture was of someone who experienced a similar incident.

  6. I have a TPMS and it notified me with an alarm immediatly when I had a blowout. I was traveling at 63 mph on a freeway. I stopped within 30 seconds. My tire looked very close to that one. I put mine on the spare carrier because it was dirty and it smelled. Had it replaced within a mile.

  7. You have a unique spare tire, I too don’t understand how a SPARE TIRE got so bad. Or was it not on the spare tire carrier when it was damaged. I’ve had many spare tires before and none were tore up like this. Or could this be a tire that was on the ground when it was damaged? It wouldn’t have been a spare tire then. Lol

  8. I had a similar situation. My TPMS is about 7 years old. After driving for about 1 1/2 hours, it would start to complain about lost signals from some of the rear sensors. I have 8 wheels on the motor home and 4 on the toad. All tires were properly inflated and I was driving down the Interstate at about 65 MPH. I got flagged over by a passing motorist. He said he saw sparks and was afraid my bike cover (bikes were on the Jeep) was going to catch fire. I walked back and looked. The RR tire of the Jeep looked just like the one in the photo. There was nary a peep from the TPMS. Tire was changed and the remnants were hung on the spare tire carrier.

    The next morning, I hunted down a tire shop on our route and purchased a new tire for the spare. It’s a good thing I did. Later that afternoon, I got an alarm that the other rear tire was reading low (20 psi) pressure. I pulled over, looked but didn’t find anything obviously wrong with the tire and reinflated it. (continued)

    • About 45 minutes later, another motorist flagged me down. I pulled over and the left rear tire was gone, too. I have been RVing for more than 20 years and been full-time for more than 11. I have had exactly two blowouts in all that time. These were the ones. I don’t know what could have caused this problem, but I decided that these 3 year old tires, which had seen quite a few miles, both on and off highway needed to be replaced. The next morning, I replaced the other 4 tires and haven’t had a problem since, although it’s only been about a month.

      I spoke with the folks at Tire Minder and they talked me into replacing my monitor unit with a new one. I also replaced the booster unit with one they said is 3 times stronger. My new monitor shows tire pressure at all wheel positions simultaneously. It also shows when the monitor loses a wheel sensor signal. If you have an older TPMS, make sure it’s doing the job it was made for.

  9. I have not installed my TPMS yet. Metal stems, you say. Why is the tire outside, probably it stinks, and the owner doesn’t want it inside.

  10. I have TPMS! I had 4 brand new tires & was traveling along, TPMS notified me I had 0 pressure right rear tire. I stopped & tire was flat. It blew out entire valve stem & TPMS sensor. Got it fixed, tow guy said it was due to rubber valve stems that were put on with new tires. I was back on the road & a car honked & said I had a flat tire. I stopped & a different blew, entire valve stem & TPMS sensor was gone. NO WARNING this time. The tire shredded & I was 5 miles from campground. Unbeknownst to me, it cracked leaf spring & tore underneath wheel well. I had all 4 tires replaced & METAL valve stems put on. At end of our trip, leaf spring broke & 2 2 new tires were destroyed! That is another story.

    But reason for this is not all TPMS sensor warns you if they blow off with copper insert in stem.

    • When a rubber stem blows out of the wheel all the air will be gone in seconds. If you were driving when the stem left the wheel that means that the TPM sensor was out of range in seconds so while it may have been sending a warning signal I doubt that it had the range (1/4 mile or more) to alert the monitor. Your experience is a perfect example of why I strongly advise that metal bolt-in stems should be used in RV applications. I also suggest you review my blog post on Testing TPMS so you know your system is working as you expect.

    • There was a period of time several years ago when a huge batch of rubber stems came here from China and they were seriously defective. I lost 2 new Firestone top of the line tires to them before going on line and researching the cause. Sure enough the other 2 stems were on their way to failure so I helped them on their way and had a discussion with the Firestone tire dealer! To no avail.

  11. I have had this happen. The tire blew and I put the spare on (although my actual rims do not fit on the spare tire holder). I drove to the next available town and replaced the tire. I do have a TPMS. TPMS only works if there is a slow leak, not a blow out. I have had 2 leaks the TPMS caught. I have had 2 blow outs (the tread seperated and then the inner tube blew), TPMS did not catch these. I heard the blow outs and pulled over quickly.

    • TPMS is designed to “Monitor” the tire pressure. I know of no commercially available system that will warn of a belt separation. That is why I advise a close inspection at least once a year or each 2,000 miles.

  12. The only TPMS (popular brand that I can’t remember now) had me at the side of the road with a flat tire. The tire guy later told me the caps were too heavy for the stem and caused leakage. I bought another brand (this was 12 years ago). Same thing happened even after I had new stems put in. The reliable solution? My Class C doesn’t move without me manually taking the pressure of all six tires with a reliable reader. No exceptions. Never have had a problem since — and I would never buy another TPMS.

      • Not all rims work with metal stems. My local tire shop tried to install metal stems and they didn’t work with the rims. That was 5 years ago so I’m not sure of the cause but it seems like the aluminum rims were too thick for the stems to seat.

        • unless your aluminum rims are 5 – 6″ thick at the valve hole the problem is that your tire store doesn’t know a lot about bolt in stems. My reference book on stems shows dozens of options you can email me if you want help tireman9
          at gmail

  13. I had a tire blow just like that one. All that was left was the bead and shreds. The tire absolutely exploded.

    • It probably a sidewall run low flex failure THIS blog post has many pictures of sidewall failures due to run low. When a tire sidewall lets go it does make a loud sound even if only 10 psi is left in it.

  14. I also thought this rim seemed to nice for a RV. If this was on a RV and it blew, it would sound like a bomb going off. I’m sure they would have known it. I heard one blow as it was in the passing lane in front of me. Not everyone has the money to afford a TPMS system for their RV. If people think it’s to dangerous not to have one. Than they need to pester Dept of Transportation to force RV manufactures to install them at the factory.

    • 4 tire TPMS can be had for about $300. Other than the $2 batteries, they do not wear out so can give you improved safety for many years. Some advance warning could even save a tire not to mention $thousands of damage. What makes you think that the RV company would not include the price of a system in the price of your next RV if DOT required that feature.

  15. Forget TPMS. Before TPMS systems drivers with trailers could feel, hear, see or in some cases smell a disintegrated tire . . . . and you still can. TPMS is great, I plan to own one some day. But if you’re aware and master of your trailer towing domain you will know when you lose a tire. This person was not master of their trailer towing domain and drove on a flat tire for miles.

    And as to why they kept it mounted: why not? You’ve got to put is somewhere! The wheel is probably as valuable as the tire if it will still hold a seal. And with supply chain issues today it may be months to get one the correct size, let alone matched to your other wheels.

    • Wouldn’t it be better to be warned after losing 5 to 10 psi so you could stop in time to save the tire? I don’t think that waiting till tire failure and damage to the RV is a good plan.

  16. What a dumb story. Guy had a flat, changed it, put the rim back on the spare holder until he can get it replaced. End of story. The rest is pure fluff and a waste of space.

  17. Thats definitely flat. Looking at the second picture & there is something sticking out on the ground behind the right tire. Weird, as it looks like it could be a drive shaft, also the end of it looks rusty!

  18. We had a cap blow off one of our trailer tires years ago. What was left looked like this, and we mounted it on the rear of our trailer in place of the spare we took OFF the back. It stayed on the back of the trailer for a couple of days when we got to the RV park where we were staying while I priced new tires. We made a joke of it to passing walkers who asked what happened. I told them it was a new “anti-theft” project we were working on.

  19. I think it’s supposed to be a joke. Where are the trailer plates? Also look at the stickers on the back, and all the hand prints. What’s up with the sticker with numbers about the taillight? The wheel looks new. Maybe the guys owns the service station, and this is way to advertise you to look at your tires while getting gas?? Just some thoughts.

  20. Hasn’t it occurred to anyone this might have happened a few miles down the road and they just haven’t got to a tire store to have it replaced? Where do you suggest they carry it, in side the trailer?

  21. This is a good time to check your spare, you do have one? Bought a used RV, dealer installed 6 new tires. Never did look at spare. Lost the spare tire cover on rough roads. Spare was the original tire from 2011. Had about 9 years “cooking” in the enclosed compartment.

  22. I’ve seen a few comments already about why is it that the carcass is still on the rim, my answer is at least these people aren’t throwing it on the side of the road and waiting till a place where it can be properly disposed of

  23. That’s a pretty fancy rim for what looks like a travel trailer. I wonder if their tow vehicle had the flat and the trailer used the same size tire and rim. Maybe they had a tow vehicle like an SUV without a spare.

    • It’s just a basic aluminum rim. Why can’t it be on a trailer? Some of you folks are pretty judgemental. You don’t know what the rest of the trailer looks like. A couple of aluminum wheels and a steel spare don’t cost that much.

  24. I think it was driven on flat for awhile, like Roger Marble said. They finally changed it but couldn’t get the shredded tire off the wheel, so just mounted it there until they could get a new tire put on the wheel. Sure makes a good “conversation piece” in the meantime. 😀 –Diane

    • I agree about they mounted it till they could get where they were going. The part about driving on it may not be true. Just yesterday we had not one but two blowouts while traveling from TX to TN
      One looked shredded and we stopped as soon as it blew. One had a piece of construction debris and other who knows. We had to drive truck and get two new tires. One for second blow out and one for the spare. Oh and we were 70 miles till home.. Don’t always assume someone drove on flat.

      • Thanks, Lisa. Yeah, it was just a guess on my part. Sorry to hear about your two blowouts! Wow! But I’m glad they didn’t cause you to wreck. Take care. 🙂 –Diane


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.