If you're always concerned about safety in your RV, and I'm a bit obsessed with it, you probably pay a lot of attention to your tires. It's important to check your tire pressures, have a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS), keep an eye on the age of your tires, and maybe even take steps to cover them when you're parked for a while to protect them from the sun.
Right after buying our coach in the fall of 2015, we met another camper who suggested that we take a look at Tyron Bands (See the article titled Upcoming plans: a new rim, a tow bar, the Tampa Show, and a bit of Fort Wilderness). He told us that the military used them in some of their tires and that they helped prevent tire shredding in the event of a blowout. They also provide something of a "run flat" capability when your tire blows.
I was intrigued by the concept because of the stories I had read on Facebook and some videos on YouTube about front tire blowouts on motorhomes. When a tire blows, the rims shred the tire. This results in increased loss of control and can potentially cause sparking which can start a fire. These things have happened quite a few times. When I'm driving my very heavy coach around turns on an Interstate while going 63 miles per hour, I'm always aware that a blowout can happen unexpectedly. It's important to know what to do if that happens. Here's a great video from Michelin about handling the RV if you have a blowout.
It seemed to me that instead of riding a shredded tire in a blowout incident, I'd rather have more control and possibly be able to drive slowly to the next exit and pull off. So we had our dealer install Tyron Bands on our front tires. It wasn't cheap: about $1100 per tire. But I just had to treat it as another kind of insurance policy, and this one would give me a lot of peace of mind while driving.
This video is from Tyron's web site about front tire blowouts and their product:
A lot of tire installers are either not familiar with the bands or are not experienced in installing them. Getting the bands on when you need to change rims can be a bit of a challenge (or so we've been told) for the uninitiated. Tyron also has a tool kit (with instructions) that you can carry with you so that installers will have what they need to make changes. We made sure that we got one of those, too.
Since we've had them on our front tires for two years, we're thankful that we've never had to experience their benefits. But I've kept my eyes on social media for discussions about them. When the subject comes up, many simply don't think they'd make much difference. Others don't want to spend the money. I can understand the reluctance, but I want every edge I can get.
On Facebook, I found that people that bought them generally did so for the same reasons I did. And there were also a few testimonials from people (none listed here are affiliated in any way with Tyron) who had heard firsthand the experiences of others or unfortunately had to put them to the test:
- "I have a set on mine! Last summer while traveling through Knoxville Tn in the middle lane of traffic, I had a front right blow out. Because of the bands, I was able to negotiate across 2 lanes of traffic to the shoulder safely. No damage to my rim or rig. Considering a replacement rim can easily go for $1000 I think it's money well spent." -- Bob Hemphill
- "We have them on our front tires. Had our first blowout, after RVing for 30 years, and feel that our Tyron saved us from losing control, and only damage was to our generator tailpipe.
- "Today at 12:45 on I 75 sixty miles north of Atlanta. Blow out on our front right tire. Sounded like a bomb. My hubbie handled the wheel well. Thank God for the Tyron band. All is well. Good Sam took care of roadside assistance."
- "Had them put on my steer tires. I've talk with several people who have had blowouts with them on. All have been able to maintain control. I figured it was good insurance to get them. Hopefully I never need them" -- JoAnn Smith
- "I have them on our Monaco Dynasty. I have talked to people who have had front blowouts and it can get hairy real quick. Tyron bands keep the tire on the rim, allowing you to maintain steering control. The likelihood of rolling is minimized if you have a front blowout."
- "We bought our Class C from Lazy Days in Tampa back in August 2016 and purchased these bands. At the end of last month we headed out on a trip to Pittsburgh and ended up having a blow out on both front tires within 24 hours of each other. The tires did not shred and stayed on and we were able to drive safely to the side of the road. They worked great and did what they were designed to do. With that being said, Good luck finding someone who knows how to use the tool and replace the tire. When I did find someone the toolkit they provided didn't work with my rim. They had to take the tire/rim back to the tire shop to replace." -- Jennie Walker