Towing a trailer for long distances presents a lot of potential hazards. As a driver of the tow vehicle, you have to be extremely attentive with your surroundings and diligent about the maintenance of the rig. Everything from the trailer hitch to the running lights have to work flawlessly for the rig and the occupants to be safe while traveling.

After putting a few thousand miles on our trailer, I have developed a bit of a pre-travel checklist to make sure I am not forgetting anything.

Pre-flight checklist:

  1. Check hitch bolts on tow vehicle
  2. Check weight distribution system for proper balance
  3. Check all cotter pins for security
  4. Lubricate all moving joints
  5. Check running lights and electrical connection
  6. Check brake controller for proper functioning
  7. Check wear and air pressure on all tires

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The last item on that checklist is the motivation for this post after seeing this video below I found on the Web. It was produced by Michelin North America for the RV Industry Association. Don’t let the 1980’s production and grainy VHS tape dub distract you. It will actually teach you an important lesson on what you might not know to do if one of more of your RV tires failed while you are on the road.

If you don’t have the 10 minutes to watch the video, here is the gist of what you are suppose to do in an event of a blow out.

Do not slam on the brakes.

I know it is counter intuitive but it might just be the thing that saves your family’s lives if you were ever caught in this predicament. The video also states that instead of instinctively wanting to step on the brakes to immediately slow the rig down, you should actually step on the accelerator to keep yourself from drifting into the next lane or the shoulder first. Makes sense if you think about it, but it’s not what my reflexes will do when something blows up near my Airstream.

I hope none of us will ever have to experience a high speed blowout but at least if it were to happen to you, now you’ll know what you are suppose to do. Exactly NOT what your instincts are telling you.

over and out,
dan


4 Comments

Leah Bird · February 11, 2009 at 9:31 am

Dan and Malene,
I checked out your blog, and I think it’s wonderful!! In fact you’ve inspired us to name our airstream. We’re looking for sugestions. and I was wondering, How much work did you do to the interior? and do you just take weekend trips?

Well, have a great day!!

Leah

marlene · February 11, 2009 at 9:43 am

Hi again. We did zero work to the interior. It’s called the Ocean Breeze model and came fully decorated with bamboo and palm trees. The palm trees are a bit much but they are slowly growing on me. We are currently doing weekend trips but will hopefully be able to hit the road full-time for a bit. Trying to figure out our timing at this exact moment.

iowabrewer · February 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Blowing a tire on the trailer can be scary too…
http://bread4adventure.com/labor-day-weekend-at-the-lake/

Good stuff Dan! Thanks for sharing!

Michael Sauers · March 1, 2009 at 8:58 am

I think that’s one of the best pieces of advice I have received in a long time. Sheesh, We don’t even want to think of a blowout. I have the same type of pre flight checklist as well. We have everything named on our trip, from our truck and trailer to our gps. It’s easier to blame the gps when it takes us on an obscure road, if it has a name. God bless you on your trip.

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