Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout
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 > DRW vs SRW safety, tire blowout

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JimK-NY

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Posted: 04/08/22 05:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

How often do we worry about blowouts when driving our cars? That should also be the case for RVs. Tires should be properly inflated and the load should be well within the rating tire capacity. Cars tend to run up higher mileage and tires are going to wear out and be replaced. Many RVs are not used that much and some owners do not want to replace old tires that still have a lot of tread.

I don't need a DRW car and should not need a DRW truck for the loads I carry. If you worry about a blowout, consider that a blowout on a front tire is likely to be much worse than for a rear tire. Again, use good tires, properly maintained and inflated and replaced roughly every 5-7 years.

BigfootBill

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Posted: 04/08/22 06:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KD4UPL wrote:


I daily drive my dually. It goes thru bank and restaurant drive thrus a couple times each week. It fits in parking spaces just fine.


This may be regional. I have personally had to back out of bank drive throughs and dont even bother trying to make it through fast food drive throughs with my dually.


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JimK-NY

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Posted: 04/08/22 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BigfootBill wrote:

KD4UPL wrote:


I daily drive my dually. It goes thru bank and restaurant drive thrus a couple times each week. It fits in parking spaces just fine.


This may be regional. I have personally had to back out of bank drive throughs and dont even bother trying to make it through fast food drive throughs with my dually.


I agree. I have plenty of issues with my SRW camper rig or even with the crew cab/8 ft bed truck by itself. I cannot get in or out of the parking spaces for most stores. Sometimes I can park in the back of the lot but for crowded lots I cannot park at all. The width can be cramped but the space between rows is a bigger issue.

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Posted: 04/08/22 07:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wouldn't a front tire failure be more likely to cause you to lose control than the rear? I don't see many front axles with dual wheels on each side.

I have had never had a tow vehicle tire blow out but have had 3 trailer tires fail and come apart. The most excitement I had with a vehicle flat was losing a valve stem on the autobahn while going 100 mph. It was a rear wheel and I thought a tie rod or ball joint had failed with the amount of shaking the car did before I was able to pull off the road.


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markowwes

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Posted: 04/08/22 08:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is “Peace of Mind” worth to you? The last thing I want to be thinking about when on vacation and driving down the road loaded to the max, is whether or not my tires are going to “Blow out”.
First …get yourself a good tire monitoring system, that way you don’t have to go around checking pressure every stop. They will tell you if you have one going low and even if they are heating up, (Usually from bearing issues). My system even has sensors on my trailer (6 wheels) plus the duals on the truck.
Next … make a deal with a trucking company that will take you’re lightly used tires (for a good price) they will use them on trailers, I won’t let my tire tread wear get past 50 to 60%. Don’t carry a spare and knock on wood, never had tire issues.
If you know you are going to be loaded most of the time or for long distances, get more side wall plies or a higher load rating.
Never “Cheap out” on tires, it will bite you on the a$$ in the end.

JRscooby

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Posted: 04/08/22 08:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Studies have shown that with most vehicles using power steering, that limits feedback, a blowout on rear is most likely to cause loss of control. (Over correct for the little side to side force from rear)
Now, do we assume people that haul campers are more likely to check tires than the average driver? No bet. Under inflated or overloaded for the inflation is most likely to cause blowout. Now even if you do glance at the tire, will you notice 1 dual is low?
I have seen 1 of a dual run soft until it blows. That tire is replaced, pressure is set. But the problems are not over. The old tire might of been damaged from heat before blowout, or by the overload after, so short life. Then there is the issue of tread wear. If there is even a couple/32 difference in tread depth, the smaller will wear at a ever increasing rate, only last a few thousand miles.

JoeChiOhki

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Posted: 04/08/22 10:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Lwiddis wrote:

Any advantage of DRW trucks regarding blowouts can’t be discussed in a vacuum IMO. The extra cost, lower MPG, width inconvenience etc. need to be factored into the discussion. But if you need the weight carrying availability, discussion over.


As one who has converted a SRW Truck to a DRW through running gear/axle changes, here's my own personal experiences and thoughts regarding this:

1.) Extra Cost
Additional Options when purchasing new always cost more, same goes for Diesel vs Gas engines, Regular Cab vs Extended Cab and so on, so on that front its more of a moot point since its simply an option cost, a DRW axle is generally a stronger piece of equipment in terms of Bearings, load bearing capability braking capacity, etc.... than a SRW, so it costing more as an option is entirely logical.

In terms of Maintenance costs, that comes down to having two more tires to replace at serving time. Other consumable parts, like brake pads/shoes brake drums are generally not immensely different in terms of after market replacement parts, usually a little more, but not drastically more.

2.) MPG

Fuel economy is somewhat negligible, as the actual larger MPG differences are more likely visible from different axle gear ratios (usually 4.10s, 4.11s, 4.56s are more common on DRW trucks vs SRW trucks off the lot) vs the rolling resistance of the extra two tires.

From my own real life experience where the same truck with an axle swap done, but the gear ratios remained the same and having gone from SRW to DRW, the total change in normal MPGs was around 0.2-0.4 mpg from the extra mass spinning.

This is with a pre-Multi-port modern Fuel injection system and on an older style TBI gasoline engine. If the truck had the diesel engine, the recordable difference between the two would likely be even smaller as the diesel power plant from the same era was vastly more fuel efficient than its small block V8 counter part.

3.) Width inconvenience
This one is highly subjective, and comes down more to the personal driving skills of the operator and less down to the extra tire width.

I've actually found length to be more of a challenge with my own truck, as its a Extended Cab truck, and the 4x4 package of the era made the turning radius very wide.

The only thing I had to relearn was to accomodate slightly for the rear wheels in very tight driveways and that was simply altering my turning rate slightly, but you can have the same issue going between different sized vehicles in general, even without the extra rear tires of a DRW truck.

In terms of parking, the DRWs are usually not the limiting factor but length of the space and width of the driveway between spots. Alot of businesses that are new have very narrow pathed parking lots, meant for small cars, and even when my truck was still SRW, the same problem was present due to the parking lot design.


4.) Blowouts
The original subject of the thread [emoticon], if one has a blow out on the front tire, the experience SRW or DRW will likely be the same.

On a rear tire, with a blowout, the experience will be different, as a SRW will pull much harder to one side in this scenario than the DRW will, as the DRW still has a tire on the failed side bearing the load and keeping even contact with the road way. That is not to say that the vehicle will not still potentially pull to that side some due to the additional resistance of the blown tire, but the immediate impact will be less.

As another poster note before me, on medium duty/heavy duty gear its easy to miss a duals blow out and why they normally check for low tires by "pinging" them with a hammer or other object to listen for the telltale sounds of a low inflation or flat tire.

I adopted the same practice when hauling my camper, especially on longer trips to use the "hickory stick" I keep in the truck to thunk the inner and outer duals and listen for pitch changes to discover if one is losing air.


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deserteagle56

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Posted: 04/08/22 10:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jimh406 wrote:


The DRW gets horrible fuel mileage compared to my old SRW, but otherwise, is a much. better platform for a TC.


Wonder what changed? My camper used to be on a 2004 Dodge/Cummins SRW but the instability, the sway, the leaning when in off-camber situations scared me so I traded for a 2004 Dodge/Cummins dually. MUCH more stable platform for the camper, especially off pavement. BUT - unloaded mileage on both trucks was 18-19 mpg and 13-14 loaded with the camper and towing a Jeep on a trailer. No difference between SRW and DRW.

Those who never worry about flat tires must never take their rigs off pavement.


1996 Bigfoot 2500 9.5 on a 2004 Dodge/Cummins dually


WarrenS65

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Posted: 04/08/22 11:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I was running my Lance 961 on a 97 Chevy 2500, I had 2 left rear blowouts. First one was with the camper going about 70, second one was with the camper and a 7000# trailer going about 65.
Both times, I felt the truck shudder and start "sloshing" around.
I put on the hazards, eased off the gas, and pulled over to the right.
Changed the tire and back on the road with no loss of control.

I also had a right front blowout on an Isuzu pickup going 80 and had no loss of control. I didn't have a cabover camper, but I did have camper shell loaded with camping gear.

I was never worried about loss of control on a rear blowout, but I'm still concerned about a front blowout with a top heavy camper, in a turn.

I switched to a DRW, not because I was afraid I'd lose control, but because I found my tires were running right at the limit and I wanted a better margin.
I also feel like the DRW was more stable than the SRW, but that could be the springs. Also possible going to 19" wheels on the SRW would have helped.


AH_AK wrote:

The front tire blowout is scary. I would be really interested in how a SRW w/ a truck camper would handle a rear blowout. Maybe not as big of a deal in terms of loss of control as one might think.

I hadn't thought of run flats. Not sure how much they would help with maintaining control at highway speed. To some extent, it seems like the only way you die is if you hit the sh*tty lottery and have an unlikely blowout at an inconvenient time (e.g. around a curve into traffic or of a drop).

JIMNLIN wrote:

Back in the late '60s up to the early '80s I had truck campers (8'- 9.5'-10.5') on my 3/4 and one ton drw work trucks.
So all my trucks had tires that weren't overloaded by any means.

Of the 9 different trucks I had in service the only one I wrecked from a blowout was on a one ton drw Ford.

Twisty winding roads in southern AR my right front tire blew out with the usual sudden lose of air pressures making a left hand 50 mph curve and a loaded 18k gvwr GN flatbed pushing me.
Off the road the rig went to the right and across the old style concrete culvert with a 10" tall concrete upright taking out the Fords front suspension....shoved the engine up into the firewall and dash. Tranny bell housing broke and jammed the tranny tail shaft up through truck floor right behind the front seat...and of course the rear axle was torn loose one side.

In that type of work and the miles we drove a blowout on those old bias ply 16-16.5" tires/wheels was a fact of life.
Soooo... we had plenty of run flats and actual blowouts on road service LDTs rear that simply was no problem getting the rig shut down....unlike a front tire blowout.
I've noticed some rv folks have some wild/funny theories about subjects like over loading....tire blowouts.....weights/etc.

BTDT with srw and drw blowouts. I'm in the moot point camp.



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WarrenS65

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Posted: 04/08/22 11:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

3 1/2 years ago I leased a Smart electric car to use as a daily driver. The total cost of the lease down payment, monthly payments, insurance, maintenance, and charging was the same as the gas for my 8.1l Chevy DRW. On top of that, Calif. gave me a $2500 rebate. It was also really nice to drive around town.
At the end of the lease, I let it go because I only had a year and a half left before I retire and won't need a commuter car.

So from 2005 to 2018 and since last November, my Chevy long bed, crew cab, 4x4, DRW has been my daily driver.
Is it more challenging in crowded parking lots? Yes. I rarely park in the front of the lot.
Does it have the turning circle of a warship? Yes. A few more three point turns.
Does it cost a fortune to fill up the tank (especially in Calif.)? Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!

But I've taken it through many-a drive through and only had to back out once (it was a bank). I've even taken my 20' trailer through with me a time or two. Opening the doors in a tight space is no different than an SRW. If you tilt your mirrors down, you can see exactly where your tires are in relation to the parking space lines.

There are other downsides to a DRW as well. Can't take it through a drive through car wash, rear tires are a pain to fill/check, tire replacement is 50% higher, etc.

Know your vehicle, be willing to walk a little farther, and your DRW will be good to you.

A DRW may be less convenient for some things, but IMNSHO, if you "need it" for your camper/trailer/etc., it's worth the tradeoff.


JimK-NY wrote:

BigfootBill wrote:

KD4UPL wrote:


I daily drive my dually. It goes thru bank and restaurant drive thrus a couple times each week. It fits in parking spaces just fine.


This may be regional. I have personally had to back out of bank drive throughs and dont even bother trying to make it through fast food drive throughs with my dually.


I agree. I have plenty of issues with my SRW camper rig or even with the crew cab/8 ft bed truck by itself. I cannot get in or out of the parking spaces for most stores. Sometimes I can park in the back of the lot but for crowded lots I cannot park at all. The width can be cramped but the space between rows is a bigger issue.


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