My recent trip from Colorado to California could have been disastrous. About 75 miles north of Las Vegas, NV, I made a routine stop for fuel at a truck stop. After paying for the fuel and as I returned to my truck, one of the on-site tire center mechanics informed me I had a bad tire. Have you ever seen a tire look like a doughnut on a wheel? That’s how mine looked. I made it over to the tire center and they promptly installed my spare.
Fast forward. After calling ahead to Discount Tire in Las Vegas, they had three new tires ready and waiting for me and stayed open after hours to install them. (This was my second experience with Discount Tire and their service and prices are excellent. I strongly recommend them.) Why 3 tires, you may ask? They were Mission tires. Unbeknownst to me I learned the hammer was cocked and ready to drop on another Mission tire. I actually dodged a second bullet. As the tire installer removed the remaining Mission tires, I discovered another with interior rubber separation.
I say all this to encourage you to inspect your tires at every stop during your travel, regardless of brand. Periodic tire inspection is especially important if you don’t have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) installed. You can be sure that is now on top of the list for my next RV accessory purchase. But I would caution the TPMS owners not to become lax in periodic tire inspection.
What now? I’ve learned from Roger Marble (aka: tireman9, on most RV forums), who writes an excellent blog called RV Tire Safety, the importance of reporting tire failures to the NHTSA. Recently I filed two separate complaints for Mission tires. The process is simple and doesn't take too much time. I think the two most important things are writing a good description of the tire failure event and being sure to have the DOT number that is on the sidewall of the tire. You can still file it without the DOT number. If you have any supporting documents and/or pictures, be sure to state that in the description. It's never too late to file a report.
Copyright © 2012, Dave Gray, Reprint by permission only.
That every RV forum has multiple complaints about various models of RV tires? By contrast, there are few complaints about the same tire filed at NHTSA, check any tire complaint listing here.
Complaints may be filed even without recommended details such as the tire DOT number.
Three important recommendations: Take before and after pictures for reference, keep a current tire log in the RV, and leave the emotions out of the details when filing a complaint.