Motorhome 2018 – Who Knew a Blow Tire Could Do This! (Not Edited yet, quick brain dump)

So after the repairs in Orlando, we were all set, everything appeared to be working.  Left Orlando and on our way to Orange Beach, AL for a weeks vacation at an RV Resort.

About 5 hours into the trip with about 3 hours left, BOOM, tire explodes.  I look in the passenger side mirror and see debris coming from the rear of the motorhome.  Assuming it it tire pieces I start to coast to pull over on the side of the road.  Then, the motor dies, nothing, dash completely dark, no gauges, no anything.  So I coast to a stop and get out to find that the rear of the motorhome is worse shape than expected.  The outside tire had blow, ripping off most of the fender, the back storage compartment is bent all to heck, and the door to the storage compartment is completely missing.  There are wires hanging out of the motorhome right above the blown tire and you can see up into the motorhome.  It completely tore the flooring out, hitting up into the dresser drawers, causing major damage.  Not good.

I proceed to call Family Motor Coach Association as I have towing available through them. They put me in contact with a towing company and I end up having to wait several hours for them to show up. I then called Progressive Insurance and explain my situation and started filing a claim. They recommend American RV Service Center to have the RV towed to so I wait for the tow truck to arrive.  While waiting on the tow truck, Daryl from American RV Service Center calls me and says they are waiting on me to get there and will do their best to get me up and running that night so I can finish my vacation as planned.  Once the tow truck arrives the driver asked me where I want to take the RV.  I expressed to them that Progressive recommended I take it to American RV Service Center in Fountain City.  He starts laughing saying there is no shop there. He tells me he’s from that area and if there is anyone working on RVs there he will be dropping it off in their front yard. Again he repeats there is no shop there. So now I’m confused, I don’t know what to do. Daryl sounded like a great guy and was so helpful, yet I have a guy who says he is a local in that town and he recommends another shop that he’s friends with and he can take me there. As he looks at the motorhome he says that he cannot tow me with the tire flat as it is a safety precaution. However the tire crew is several hours out and won’t be there until 9 o’clock. Keep in mind, I am sitting on the side of I-10 with 18 wheeler’s roaring by and shaking the motorhome.  Finally, he is ready to leave and waiting for the tire crew to get there is not an option.  He decides it is safer to tow me about 3 miles and get me off the side of the road and then wait for the tire crew to get there and change the tire, and then tow me the rest of the way to their shop so they can fix it.  Meanwhile the first repair shop, American RV Service Center calls me and says where are you? I told them and they are about 10 minutes away. They were out looking for us to make sure we were safe and off the interstate. Tom and Daryl are the owners of American RV Service Center. They find us and start looking at the mess and express that they can start working on it right there on the side of the road. I told them with the driver told me about their shop and how he has contacted his friend shop to do the work. They kind of laughed and said yes he is correct, we have a shop on our property. Not exactly the front yard, as they own 16 acres and have a major workshop in the back. They both used to work at commercial repair shops such as Campingworld and went out on their own because they were tired of the way the big shops treated their customers. They said you can do what you want, but let us take a look at it just to see what’s going on.  If nothing else, that way when the other people get here I have some point of reference.  After about 20 minutes of looking at it he tells me to start the motor. It fires right up. I’m starting to gain trust in these two as I noticed they are both digging in deep and not hesitating to try things and fix it. Basically for the engine, when the tire exploded fragments hit the modular control box and knocked loose four modules and blue two fuses. They just put the modules back in replace the fuses in the motor was good to go. Now the wiring was a completely different story. The wiring that was dangling from the motorhome have nothing to do with the motor but had everything to do with my bathroom instruments. Including the lighting, fan, water pump, etc. The express they could get the wiring up and running good enough for me to finish my vacation and then afterwords if I was interested I can bring the motorhome back to them and they could do all the work including the fender and the door including repairing the dresser. I said go for it is they had gained my trust and I wanted them to get the work. About an hour later the Tow truck driver showed up to repair the tires. I expressed to him that these guys were doing the electrical work and I just need them to do the tires and he was excited to hear that. He was way behind that night and just wanted to replace the tires and move on so we were in good shape. They replaced the two tires on the passenger side in a matter of an hour and a half and off they went. at approximately 1:30 AM Tom and Daryl finished working on the lighting and the water pump wiring and said the rest could wait till after vacation. We were good to go for now and thanked them and was on our way. I had to charge the tires and the work they performed on the wiring on the motorhome for approximately $3000, but we were on our way to enjoy the vacation as planned. I drove about 20 to 30 minutes and found a rest stop and we lay down for the night. Got up the next morning made it to our RV resort and started our vacation as planned. Had a wonderful time enjoying the lazy river and beautiful accommodations until late Thursday night with a storm popped up. Out of nowhere, wind, lightning, and rain started to fall. Heather was out walking the dogs and comes in and says we need to put the awning in quickly it is getting nasty out here. I go to hit the button to bring the awning in and nothing, it appears no power, no movement, no anything from the awning. After multiple tries and even climbing on the Tahoe in place of a latter to try and figure out what’s wrong, I have to quit because the lighting is starting to scare me. I go inside the motorhome and connect to the computer and start searching forum boards for what could be the issue. In a desperate attempt I just asked on the forum board if anyone had run into this with my make and model of motorhome. Within about 20 minutes, someone posted a link to another form board with my exact issue. Nothing I can do about it that night, but the next morning I was able to get up and fix it by swapping the hubs on the end of the awning.  We avoided that mess. Enjoyed our Friday and then expected to pull out Saturday morning heading home.

We get up early the next morning and pack up everything, move the slides in, disconnect power, water, and sewer.  Start up the motorhome and proceed to pull out.  I hear the airbags filling up and as usual, I pull out enough to straiten up to attach the Tahoe to tow home.  I get pulled out and straightened up.  I notice that the bags are still filling up.  Usually doesn’t take this long.  Long story short, the air bags in the rear will not fill up.  There is a problem!  Nooooooooooo!!!  After troubleshooting the best I can, I call Tom at American RV Service Center.  He tries to help on the phone, but we can’t figure it out.  He tells me after the trip I have had, to just leave the keys in it, jump in the Tahoe and go home.  He will come get it tomorrow and take care of it.  What a life saver this guy is.  Long story short, he and Daryl come the next day and 13 hours later have it patched enough to get it back to his shop.  About 7 hours of driving and another 5 to rig it enough to get it back to his shop.  @#$%^&*

Items Damaged:

  • Blow Tire (replaced 4 tires)
  • Blew off Fender
  • Blew off Door
  • Blew off Fender
  • Blew off Door
  • Knocked off Modules to motor
  • Blew a couple of fuses
  • Tore the wiring out of the floor
  • Ripped hole in floor
  • Destroyed dresser drawer
  • Stairs
  • Rear Differential Gears