Okay, Tire Experts: Were You Right?

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September 2, 2008

In a recent RV.net blog post (Okay, Tire Experts: What’s Wrong With Our Tire?) we discussed our mysterious tire wear. One of our tires has been rapidly wearing out on the inside, in a pattern suspiciously reminiscent of crop circles. What was causing this strange phenomenon?

A number of theories were offered, including bad tires, bent rims, warped axles, and space aliens. Well, we’ve hauled our RV across the desert to a group of trailer axle experts, and today we report on what we found.

Well, turns out it wasn’t space aliens. If you guessed that we had an AXLE problem — you get a gold star! The axle was indeed bent out of alignment. Apparently last year’s wheel-meet-curb Texas showdown did more than pop our steel-belted radial like a paper bag. It also put a severe dent in my bank account.

This leads to my expert tip of the day: Whenever possible, avoid steering your RV into curbs.

In today’s blog video (Axle Woes, for all of you rock-and-rollers) you’ll see the humiliating examination to which poor Liv, our travel trailer, was subjected. They backed her up onto a platform, broke out some measuring tape, poked and prodded, and finally rendered the sad diagnosis.

The repair job was somewhat labor intensive (CHA-CHING!) since the guys had to drop our fresh water tank to access the axle. While we had the wheels off the ground, we decided to go ahead and toss on some fresh rubber. So we pulled out of the repair shop with a straight axle, some shiny new shoes, and a significantly lighter wallet.

Lessons learned? Other than the obvious (please see above tip regarding curbs and RVs), this episode demonstrates the incredible depth of expertise and community on RV.net. Take it from me: if you ever have an RV problem, this website is the place to go. A big THANK YOU to everyone who posted comments. And on that note, if you haven’t yet subscribed to the RV.net blog, do so immediately! It only takes a minute, it’s free, and it’s the best way to make sure you see everything. We use the email subscription and love it.

And if you want to see more videos from our recent travels, check out TheLongLongHoneymoon.com. We’re back on the road!

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  2. I have to say I hit curbs all the time and now I’m wondering if my truck is out. I have to tell you on the video you have a shot of the sunset on the RV… that shot is amazing! Also what did you use for you green screen on the blog info? Great quality blog! RV on buddy.

  3. John, that’s the thing about axles and tires… They play such a fundamental role in safe road travel, there’s no use in taking chances. When we were having the axle repaired, we went ahead and got a couple of new tires. While I didn’t like spending the cash, it’s a lot cheaper than replacing a totalled rig.

  4. John Jackman

    The mis aligned axle causes many problems that can lead to more serious consequenses. I once bent an rear axle on a front wheel drive car by sliding on ice about 15 miles per hour into a curb. Did not think anything was wrong until the tires I had wore out at about 10 k miles. Worse than that was that I was driving on a major highway and all of the sudden my car spun 2 1/2 times at about 50 miles per hour. Lucky it was a quiet day and I did not hit anyone or anything.

  5. Hi Darrel, I’m glad you asked! Both video services have their advantages. The upside to VIMEO is visual quality. Since our “Long, Long Honeymoon” videos are shot in HD, it’s nice to be able to display them in HD. VIMEO offers true HD (720P) display of videos. There’s only one small problem… lately, sometimes, VIMEO doesn’t work. Videos have been mysteriously becoming “not available” for no apparent reason. This can be more than a little frustrating.

    Then there’s YouTube, the gold standard of Internet video. YouTube is great because it pretty much always works. Plus, YouTube has tons of traffic. Everyone, sooner or later, will find themselves watching videos on YouTube. The only downside is that YouTube uses an older form of video compression, so sometimes the videos look a little choppy.

    Our approach so far has been to upload videos to both services. When Vimeo appears to be working well, it gets first choice. But with this post, since Vimeo was having problems, YouTube got the nod. 😀

  6. Hi Sean, I’m curious as to why sometimes you use YouTube for your videos and other times you use Vimeo? Thanks.