Nebraska and Catastrophic Trailer Tire Failure (Day 10)
September 17, 2016
I woke up at 7:30 and went inside the rest area to use their WiFi, charge my phone/laptop, and update the blog. At around 8:30, I started calling around to all the tire places I could find in Omaha to try and find a couple of new tires for the tiny house, as were are down to one good spare. The third shop I called had them, and we had our first destination for the day!
We got to Omaha around 11, and found the tire shop, Lyle's Tire and Wheels, which was conveniently right off I-80. I gave them two of the bad spares to mount the new tires on. They asked if I wanted them mounted on the trailer, which was a surprise, but if they wanted to save me the trouble, of course they could mount them. I told them to put the tires on the rear axle, and then Shenee and I were off in the car to run some errands. They said that the tires wouldn't be in from the warehouse until 1 or 2, so we had some time to kill.
The Lyle's called at 12:45 to say everything was set. Early! Wow! So we headed back to the tire store, paid, and we were on my way. Shenee had a few more things to do, so she stayed behind with the intention of catching up later. I made it just under 40 miles before I heard a loud BANG and felt the trailer snap to the right. You've got to be kidding me! I can't seem to catch a break! I pulled over as fast as I could and got out to survey the damage. To my surprise, the tire that blew was one of the new ones! How in the world can 15 year old, dry rotted tires make it almost 1,500 miles, but a brand new one can't make it 40? I was ticked off to say the least, but I was not pulled over in a great spot, and quickly got to work putting a new tire on. While I was taking the tire off, I noticed a couple of things. First was that the tire appeared to have failed at the bead, or the part of the tire that contacts the metal wheel/rim, which is odd. There didn't appear to be any other damage. Second the valve stem was missing. I found a part of it sitting in the tire, and it was rubber. I checked the other tire, and sure enough, the tire shop had used a rubber valve stem that is typically used for passenger cars and is only rated for 65psi. These tires were rated for 100psi, and a quick check of the other new tire showed 110psi. I hate paying "professionals" to do something, and do it right, only to have them screw it up.
It took me about 10 minutes to get the new tire on, and then I moved two miles to the next exit and called the Lyle's. They told me to bring the tire back if I could. While I waited for Shenee to catch up, I took off the other new tire. When she arrived, we disconnected the motorcycle trailer from the Subaru, I threw the new tires in the car, and drove 40 miles back to the tire shop. When I got there, the manager immediately came out and apologized, and told me he had already gotten another tire in to replace the blown one. I told him about the metal valve stem, and he agreed that it probably should have been metal and took the tire that hadn't blown to replace the valve stem. They got right to work, and the new tire was mounted and valve stems replaced within 15 minutes. The manager again came over to apologize, and handed me some cash for gas money. I must say, these guys had no reason to treat me as well as they did, knowing that I was just passing through and won't likely be a repeat customer. So, the least I can do is give them a shout out. If you are ever in Omaha, Nebraska and need tires stop by Lyle's Tire and Wheels on 84th St, exit 448 off I-80.
With that taken care of, I drove back to the tiny house, put on the new tires, and we were on our way to Kearney, Nebraska, our planned stop for the night. We passed under the Gateway Arch in Kearney, which anyone who has driven I-80 through Nebraska will recognize, got off at the next exit, and circled back to the arch, where we parked for the night.
Tomorrow, pending no major issues, we should be entering Colorado!