April 19, 2016

Update on the tire situation

The punctured inner dually, before removal from the truck

I had intended to repair the damaged tire, and use it as a spare until I replaced all six tires later in the year. I removed the offending self-drilling screw (see picture) and plugged the hole using a tire repair kit. I wanted to see if the tire was okay after inflating, and if it was, I intended to have a tire shop install an internal patch.

When I inflated the tire, it was immediately apparent that the tire sidewalls were severely damaged. There were several obvious bulges, where the belt structure inside the tire had come apart, as a result of running flat, even though the other tire of the pair was carrying the weight.

I was faced with a decision. These were the options:

1.   Get a new Michelin to match the tires on the truck, which are 75% worn. Cost $240.
2.   Get a cheap Chinese tire from Walmart to use as a spare. Cost $140.
3.   Drive on to Naples FL, and replace all 6 tires, as I planned on doing later in the year.
4.   Drive on to Naples, and replace 2 front tires, using one of the old fronts as a spare.

Options 3 and 4 would involve driving to Naples with no spare tire. In Naples, I can obtain Firestone Transforce tires at a favorable price, because we have time to order from tirerack.com. I have decided on Firestone Transforce tires for the truck, as I have had previous experience with them on my Ford F350, and they are a commercial tire with an excellent track record. 

I decided on option 4. I will replace the front tires in Naples, and replace the remaining 4 rear tires later in the summer, in Ontario. There is a very small risk involved in continuing on with no spare. If the unthinkable happens and another tire goes flat, I can still get off the highway to an area where I can park the rig. Because the truck is a dually, if a rear tire goes, I am still mobile, albeit at a reduced speed, for a short distance. If it is a front tire, I can "borrow" a rear tire to install on the front to get to a safe spot. The chances of another tire going in the next 700 miles are quite remote. I have covered probably 140,000 towing miles since we started fifthwheeling 12 years ago, and this is the first time I have had a problem with a truck tire.

Wish us luck!


  1. We will be fine....your expertise always shines, Dave.

    1. If we get another flat between here and Naples, your confidence in me will be irreversibly shaken!

  2. Hope all goes well...enjoy the Florida weather...cold here in Barrie this morning but plan to prep my 2015 IGO by Evergreen to be set for the May 24 weekend.....safe travels...plan to look you folks up when you hit the KOA in Barrie...cheers!

    1. Thanks for reading, Duncan. It has been another memorable trip. Look forward to seeing you in Cedarwood.