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Old 08-26-2011, 12:20 AM   #1
Bus Nut
sportyrick's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 501
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84

Well the very thing that I tried my darndest to prevent happened to Joan and I a couple of weeks ago. Heading for Sturgis SD and the bike rally we had 3 motorcycles, a couple of coolers and a 7 day reservation for a campground in Nemo Canyon just outside of Sturgis SD and were looking forward to the time off in one of the most beautiful places in the USA. It was 105 degrees when we left Columbia Mo on Tuesday afternoon the second of August. We drove all night tuesday night and at 5:30 AM 8 miles north of Broken Bow SD. we heard that familiar POP and rumble of a blow out (drivers side steer tire). Carefully I pulled over on the shoulder and got out to look at the tire and to my surprise it still was up, imagine that. Closer inspection revealed that it split right down the middle and spit out a belt. Now I was expecting those top of the line Goodyear tires to last till I was dead and gone being that they only get about 4000 miles a year and only had maybe 15,000 on them so far. You could hide a quarter in them so how could they do that to me? Must have been the heat! Carefully turning around so as to not put any unnecessary pressure on the split tire we limped back into Broken Bow to find a tire shop. A farmer was leaving a local restaurant (yes he had already eaten breakfast and the sun was just peaking out when I talked to him at 6:15) and directed me a few blocks away to a tire establishment that does big truck tires. As we were pretty early we did try to get a little rest but couldn't wondering how the "fickle finger of fate" was going to treat us the next hour or two. The shop opens at 7:30 but the help starts getting in around 7 so being that we were taking up a bunch of parking places on the street we were getting the "what the hell is this" look. Getting up and out of the bus I started sticking my hand out and greeting the help and telling them of my problem. I just love little midwest towns because the locals are just great to strangers; you want to talk to Dan was the reply with a smile. Now I have 20" tires and wheels and wasn't going to replace just one tire but a matching pair of course but the "fickle finger of fate" made sure they didn't have any good steer 20's in stock. I said I wasn't going to put on a used tire so now I wanted to replace the 20's with 22.5 tubeless and would he see what he had available. Well he didn't have any stud pilot 22.5 wheels in stock, called everyone he knew in town and no one else did either.... hummm..... drat more bad luck. After another 20 minutes he came back and showed me a brand new pair of Alcoa 24.5 stud pilot wheels that had been sitting under a workbench for a couple of years and asked me, what about these for $300 each. Well I guess but what about tires, you know 24.5's are really tall. Not a problem he said, I have a couple of lowpro Yokohama's that are the same size as a 10:00-20 and are the latest and greatest design the tire company makes. SOLD! So 5 hours later and $1600 I now am the proud owner of a beautiful pair of new Yokohama tires and Alcoa wheels. The moral of the story: every long trip has sour grapes so be sure your credit card has a good limit to save your bacon. The "glass is half full" or "God Blessed Us" in that: the tire didn't go flat so we didn't need a tow; it didn't tear up the bus at all; it was a normal morning of the week and everyone was opening up instead of closing down; he did have something that would fit; Joan wasn't driving so I can't rib her the rest of her life like I have for blowing up the engine a few years back. The rest of the trip went great once the "fickle finger of fate" got fed. sportyrick

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Old 08-27-2011, 11:47 AM   #2
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: blowout

We plan on Coachnet because there is no way we could get a tire off our bus and put one back on without it killing us in the process. I'm not exaggerating. David would have a heart attack and the tire would fall over on me pinning me under it until I died... watching David die from a heart attack. And you know it's going to be raining at the time. Plans are $110/yr and $130/yr. Not sure which we will get as I've not studied them and they have emergency medical assistance... not sure what that is. I do know they will bring you a can if diesel and help get your diesel engine primed back up if you run it empty. I have yet to really hear any thing really bad about Coachnet and they seem to be the best one out there. They recently underwent a change in operations or something so it was rocky during the change over but I haven't heard any bad stuff in the past 6 months or so. And they send some one to tow your bus (if needed) that knows how to tow a big bus. Not folks accustomed to towing compact cars.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 08-28-2011, 02:07 AM   #3
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 469
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: blowout

Glad to hear everything worked out well for you Sportyrick. Deep down inside you always wanted a set of shiny Alcoa's, right?!?

John brings up a good point about spare tires. I know I have gone back and forth many times. Still have not decided 100%

Lorna you mention a good option also. Road side assistance membership sounds like a pretty decent insurance policy to me.
Bluebird All American RE: Great White Buffalo (gone but not forgotten)
Our build thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10065
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:49 PM   #4
Bus Nut
sportyrick's Avatar
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 501
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Re: blowout

hauling 250# around is going to cost you space and fuel so I just carry a credit card. I wouldn't want my spare to come loose and jam a 10:00-20 under my bus while moving down the highway, it could tear up a lot of stuff and/or kill you and everyone on board. On top might work but how you gonna get it down? Just pay the man and get on with life, you can't second guess everything. My chinese tires on the rear didn't give me any problems, just the American made Goodyears, go figure. sportyrick
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:46 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: blowout

I agree with sportyrick. Every usable square foot of my underbelly is spoken for with holding tanks, generator, etc. And there is no way I would sacrifice that much interior storage space. Those tires are friggin' huge man! The only way I could see doing it is if I was going to be mainly boondocking in remote areas where getting roadside assistance would be very expensive.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:13 AM   #6
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: near flint michigan
Posts: 2,657
Re: blowout

I primarily only carry a spare when I'm going on a cross country adventure. I take pride in having the means and ability to be self reliant if necessary. I have paid for good Sam club, and if conditions were right I would not be opposed to letting a service change a tire for me along side the highway. I don't however want to wait for hours, or be stranded in a place without cell phone service and unable to get back on the road.

With six tires you already have two "spares." it is a pain, but in many cases if you have a flat steer tire you can swap it out for a rear tire just to get u to a suitable tire shop.

Changing bus tires is strenuous and not everybody is physically able to do it. There are many tricks that make the process easier. If your bus has air brakes, a pneumatic impact wrench with enough foot pounds to break giant lug nuts loose would be handy. Alternatively a jack stand and a six or eight foot cheater bar works well.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:24 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 1,485
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 25
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Re: blowout

great story! glad you got some nice new rims/tires and made it to sturgis!

now my bus i have the tire holder etc, but tis way under the bus and there is no spare in there and it does not look like there has been one there in YEARS!
1990 E-350 Goshen Coach - 7.3L Diesel --->

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Old 09-03-2011, 09:01 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Re: blowout

I carry a mounted spare tire (11R22.5) and the tools to change it. I would not even dream of NOT carrying it. I will pass on waiting three hours for the tire guy to show up (if he does), ready to cross-thread lugs and hammer nuts on with a 1" impact (we don't need no stinkin' torque specs!). I will also pass on paying the guy from Ben Dover's Tire Service $700 for a $50 tire (a bald Chinese trailer tire with a couple of nice sidewall gashes), plus another $300 if you actually want it installed. Cash only, of course!

When I reach the point that I cannot change a tire, I have reached the point where I will no longer travel in an RV.
Optimism is a mental disorder.
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