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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Catastrophic tire failure -- you may be able to recover from it -- if you do the RIGHT thing

You may have seen the video shot by a trucker's dash cam in Louisiana earlier this year. In it, a motorhome passing the big truck suffers a catastrophic tire failure, runs off onto the median, and rolls over. Happily, neither the driver or passenger in the motorhome were seriously injured, and the median cable system – while not stopping the motorhome entirely, evidently slowed the rig enough to prevent what might have been a worse scenario. We're including the dash cam footage at the end of this story.

In a "double header" blog, we'd like to focus on a nine+ minute video produced by tire manufacturer Michelin that graphically demonstrates how to deal with a tire loss. While it would be great if all RVers could go to a hands-on class where they're put behind the wheel of a rig, and then a tire is deliberately blown out for teaching purposes, obviously that's not possible. Still, this video can teach you what you need to know in dealing with a "blown" tire scenario. What is that?

It's all counter-intuitive, but it really is simple: STAY OFF THE BRAKE, AND HIT THE ACCELERATOR INSTEAD. Counter-intuitive, yes. Like you, when I hear something that sounds like a gunshot, I want to duck and take cover. But doing that when a tire blows – by hitting the brakes, is most assuredly one of the best ways to really make a bad situation terrible. Hitting the brakes will cause you to lose control; slowing down immediately will likewise about guarantee that your rig will be pulled in the direction of the bad tire, while steeping on the gas and steering back into control will overcome the forces developed by the loss of air pressure. Please, WATCH THIS VIDEO, it could save your life and those of others, too.

Here's the "other" video. Interestingly, if you watch it closely you'll see that the motorhome driver here doesn't appear to hit his brakes. The only light to the rear of his rig that's visible is a momentary flash of his right turn signal – possibly he hit it while trying to fight for control. Did he just "get off the gas" and lose it? Did he accelerate? We don't know. In any tire loss scenario though, accelerating offers you the best chance of recovery.

photo: Louisiana Highway Patrol

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

World record breaking teardrop trailer -- built from Legos

Bill Ward, a genius with a box of Legos, constantly amazes with what he can construct out of the venerable plastic building toys. We've published pictures of the extravagant RVs he's built. But it looks like Bill has some real competition – enough that the "other guys" just hit the Guinness World's record books by building the largest teardrop trailer – human-sized, with Legos.

The feat was carried off by a team of 12 "professional builders," who constructed the nearly 12-foot long trailer in 1,000 hours. Inside the rig you'll find running water in the sink, electric lights, and a full-sized dinette cum bed – although it doesn't look to be too cushy. Constructed for and displayed at the U.K.'s Motorhome and Caravan Show 2015, it took its place alongside "real" RVs.

Check out the time-lapse video of the amazing Lego construct.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

How to check for a leak in an RV propane tank

One thing’s for sure — you do not want to spring a leak in your propane tank system. In this short video, RV technician Dave Solberg provides a few tips to help you determine where the leak is. He also discusses two tools that can simplify the process of finding a leak.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Motorhome yields to stunt driver -- let's hear it for "two wheel" driving

We don't need to provide a lot of commentary on this one, aside from the usual, "Never try this at home." Well, OK, one more thought: This guy didn't need ramps to get into the gut-wrenching position.