Flat caravan tyre while driving - Travelling K
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April 17, 2018
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May 1, 2018

Flat caravan tyre while driving

This has been something I’ve dreaded happening – getting a flat tyre while driving and needing to pull over to the side of the road.

It happened and I survived.


My 1st flat tyre

It’s the second flat tyre I’ve had with this caravan and was only 4 months ago while driving into a caravan site. Because I was at a holiday park, it meant I had the time to learn how to change the tyre. I also learnt that the spare wheel under the caravan is impossible to get out and I ended up just replacing the flat tyre. I meant to fix the access to the spare wheel… I really did… but time passed.


Back to my new flat tyre

The second flat tyre was along state highway 2.

Just before it happened, I pulled onto a gravel area to let a couple of cars pass and suspect there might have been something sharp on the ground.

I carried on driving but wondered about a strange sound… It sounded like a loud motorcycle but I was sure there was none when I pulled out. Reaching a flat section of road, I started wondering what else it could be since this motorcycle should have passed by now.

That’s when I clicked and though it might be the tyre. I slowed down and pulled onto the grassy shoulder.

A car pulled up next to me saying he’d been flashing his lights for ages! Funnily enough, that day my side mirror extender kept falling off from the wind and passing trucks. After the second time, I left it on my dashboard. I couldn’t see his flashing lights! Although to be honest, even with the extender mirror I’d only see him if he wasn’t too close. I really wish he’d honked his horn.

You’ll be wondering why it took me so long to click. You’d think it was obvious. It was a blustery day with plenty of hills and corners which makes the car work harder. It was only when I was on the flat that the car felt like it was working too hard.


How to fix the flat tyre

After swearing for a while, I knew I’d need help as I still couldn’t access the spare wheel.

I called my insurance company (Covi Insurance) and went through to their roadside assistance team. I don’t pay for roadside assistance, so I got a quote for $150 which I happily paid.

They organised for a local guy to drive out.

After my first flat tyre and my failure to access the spare, other UK caravaners mentioned there was a pin I needed to take out first. I had a look and seriously couldn’t figure out where this pin was. Turns out there is one! But you need strength and pliers to pry it out.

There were 2 bolts holding the spare tyre to the metal cage. The second bolt was stuck on and required him to take it to his work and cut it off. There is no way I would have been able to do this by myself.

Where the spare tyre was kept

Once the spare wheel was released, he speedily changed the shredded wheel and oh, it was shredded!

Spare wheel on. Realised spat was ripped off too!


On the road again

The spare tyre looked a little worn and rusty as I think it hadn’t been touched in 10 years.

The plan was to carry on for another half an hour to Masterton and take the caravan straight to a tyre shop. I’d learnt that these are unusual European tyres that stores don’t normally have in stock – but can be sent for quickly. I planned to come back in two days to have the new tyre put on.

My initial plan had been to drive through Masterton and carry on to Castlepoint beach which was another hour to the coast. But I was cautioned not to risk it since I no longer had a spare tyre.

You might also be wondering why I didn’t get a new tyre before this? I had asked a tyre specialist plus a mechanic and was told it looked ok with enough tread.


Accomodation in Masterton

One of my fun activities is to browse the NZMCA campground app and save any campgrounds that sound appealing. I’d previously saved the Masterton Showgrounds as a possibly. I drove in, spotted two buses and pulled up next to
(what I guessed) was a power box.

Summer is over and it felt freezing with a dusting of snow on the nearby mountains. I decided to splurge and pay for a powered site as it’s just easier when you’re plugged into the power and my heater runs on the perfect low temperature.

This site might now be one of my favourites. It’s cheap, has lots of space, has water and there’s are lots of old toilets and showers. A relaxing spot to recover from the stress of the day.


Damage to the caravan

I did more damage to the caravan than just the tyre.

When the roadside assistant jacked up the caravan I saw water coming out of a pipe. Crawling under the caravan, I saw that a screw was gone from the grey water pipe connector and one of the pipes had popped out of its corner slots. I was able to pop the pipe back in and screw the connector more firmly onto the caravan, but suspect I need someone with more strength to firmly slot it completely in.

The wheel spat (tyre edging / frame) was also ripped off when the tyre was shredded. It’s made the side of the caravan look very ugly and almost looks like it’s been burnt. Looking online, it won’t be cheap getting a replacement. Possible $200 plus shipping from the UK or I’ll keep looking for an option in New Zealand.

Grey water connector


It’s survivable

And what I learnt from this miss-adventure? It’s survivable. If I get a flat tyre again, my spare tyre will be in my car boot for easily access, so in theory I should be able to change it myself. Although now that both caravan tyres are new, I am hoping this will never happen again.

Do you have a story about a flat tyre? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

2 Comments

  1. alan says:

    did you fix your water leak?
    you might want to attach a sheet of aluminium under your van, to cover key areas like water tanks (if any) and pipes, in case a tyre explodes again. It’s often the damage to the caravan that causes worse ongoing problems later. Wish I was there, I could fix that pipe for you. One thing that I did before buying my van was to study in depth how they are built. Then acquire all the necessary tools, to fix almost any problem. In addition placing aluminium sheeting to cover important exposed parts from damage on our rough roads and replace some plastic parts with stronger metal parts throughout the van. I’m actually considering setting up a mobile caravan mechanical repair business. So many people have mechanical issues and don’t have the right training or equipment to repair damage like yours. No matter where I go in NZ, somebody has a problem or other and I have the right equipment and knowledge, to fix things for them. Believe it not, there is no mobile caravan repairer in all of NZ. I can go to the UK and do a course to become certified in electrical repair. Do you think this would be a good idea?
    Stay positive is the important thing, with all the repairs you have done to your van, it will only continue to improve. Also, trust your instinct, like getting both tyres changed together, would have been a good idea. Also, if there are cars behind you, they can wait, you must put your own safety and that of your caravan ahead of other drivers.

  2. alan says:

    Learning more about Patreon

    This morning I’m learning more about Patreon and how to grow. Do you have any ideas on what I should try? What would you like to see on this page?

    Watching a video that says I should change my setting from pay monthly to pay per creation. What do you think is better?

    I’ve also learnt that I should add goals, improve my intro video to be more about Patreon and create a real community here. Always learning!
    Continue reading

    alan prowse
    I’ve made a little bit of a study about Patreon and the successful people on here. The one thing I don’t think you do enough of, is mention Patreon. I have looked at several successful Patreon RVers and they mention Patreon at the end of every youtube video. It’s important to keep this fresh in the minds of your youtube subscribers. In fact lessjunkmorejourney did a special youtube video just about Patreon and why it is SO important to them and how the patronage transfers into better youtube videos, concentrating on the benefits to the viewer, particularly, special skype chats with the Patreon subscribers only and that not all videos are on youtube, in this video, they state some of their most special and in depth videos are on Patreon alone. This is excellent marketing, because it forces people to join Patreon to see more personal and specialized videos. I think if you did a thorough, say at least 5 minute video, on youtube, about Patreon benefits to you and your caravan lifestyle and also for the youtube subscriber, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you doubled your patrons overnight. It can be difficult for NZers to talk about such things, but I’m confident you’ll find a way. Also, don’t be afraid to be a little bit emotional, like you were with the tyre video. I’ve seen all your video’s and I have never seen you so upset and stressed, it’s good, it puts the viewers on your side and more willing to help you. This year alone you have added about 500 subscribers on youtube in 4 months. These people are benefiting from your video, don’t be afraid to ask them for support, in your own way. Take a look at this guy he basically says the same things, I like his idea about linking your vlog to other sites, to get more views, the more often youtube subscribers watch you and hear “Patreon” the more likely they will support you. As he says, the viewers subscribe on youtube, because they feel a personal connection and want a better connection with the vlogger. (for myself, its a bit different, what convinced me was the video about how you make videos and how professional you are, along with the tyre blow out), it should increase your income on Patreon. Sorry, I know it seems impossible for me to write just 1 sentence on anything. haha. Let me know what you think?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fsrwpwop9Bc

    9h

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