Rettroband Aims to Prevent RV Crashes Caused by Tire Blowouts
The fear of RV crashes due to tire blowouts and failures on a motorhome has kept many an RVer awake at night. Motorhome owners carefully and frequently weigh their motorhomes to determine the correct tire pressure required for all tires, especially those two in front. We rely on tire pressure monitoring systems to keep us apprised of both tire pressure and temperature. We inspect motorhome tires frequently and are instructed to replace them based on age, long before any significant tread wear is shown.
We do all of these things because a steer tire blowout is the scariest event we can imagine and hope to never experience. When a catastrophic blowout on a motorhome’s steer tire occurs, all air evacuates instantly, and up to 10,500 pounds per wheel (the most your aluminum wheel is typically rated) comes crashing down hard on the rim, which in turn shreds the tire and causes the wheel to grip the pavement, jerking the coach violently left or right depending on which tire blew.
Even if you are able to keep your RV on the road or close to it, and right-side up, RV damage due to a shredded tire can be extensive as well as expensive. Rettroband, exclusively distributed by National Indoor RV Centers, aims to prevent and eliminate dangerous RV crashes that are due to a steer tire blowout.
What is Rettroband?
Rettroband wheel enhancement is a stainless steel-reinforced solid rubber tire mounted directly on the center of your RV’s front wheels, inside the airspace your RV tire uses. It is, in effect, a tire inside your tire. Rettrobands are installed on the two front motorhome tires, known as the steer tires, of your Class C or Class A motorhome. Rettroband is essentially a run-flat device designed to eliminate RV crashes caused by a steer tire blowout.
The American TV show Pimp My Ride, popular from 2004–2007, frequently used an expression that is often parodied in various internet memes, which have taken on a life of their own. All 74 episodes featured a similar hook: “We heard you like X, so we added an X to your vehicle.” If we were to apply that logic to the latest iteration of Rettroband, we might sum it up in a similar way: We heard you like driving your RV, so we put a tire inside your tire!
This “inner tire”, or Rettroband, has proven to do the difficult task of not coming apart when the coach suddenly drops due to a tire blowout and instantly hits the Rettroband device with up to 10,500 pounds, moving along at highway speeds. It also needs to keep the rim from hitting the ground and shredding the tire, giving you time to pull over to safety.
How does the Rettroband help prevent RV crashes?
In the event of a total loss of air pressure, instead of your RV riding on the tire-shredding edges of your expensive aluminum wheel, it drops down to the Rettroband device, which protects your rim and also lessens the chances of a shredded tire carving away at your RV’s fiberglass with every revolution. In addition to the potential cosmetic benefits, the Rettroband dramatically increases the ability to safely steer your motorhome.
This reformulated rubber “tire”, reinforced with steel bands, provides a sufficient, smoothly rotating surface that allows you to maintain control while you get safely off the road, virtually eliminating RV crashes caused by steer tire blowouts. The new rubber formula provides less compression than its polyurethane composite predecessor, keeping your rim higher off the pavement while still maintaining a smooth enough ride to get to safety.
The new Rettroband, which carries a lifetime warranty, is also easier for tire technicians to manage, lending itself to broadening the qualified service technician base. This makes it easier to get serviced in more locations.
How strong is Rettroband?
Rettroband has been tested to withstand a weight of 30,000 pounds per wheel. To help put that in perspective, that’s 60,000 pounds on the front end of your motorhome. A motorcoach such as the $1.6 million dollar Newmar King Air 4531 boasts a front axle rating of 20,000 pounds, about 10k per wheel. As you can see, the Rettroband far exceeds those requirements and is a valuable asset in preventing RV crashes.
Rettroband risks it all in testing
When testing the latest Rettroband, the team at Rettroband, along with the brass at National Indoor RV Centers, headed to a specialized and highly secure, multi-vehicle testing facility in the desert where potential RV crashes can be safely simulated. Armed with a total of eight cameras and a drone, the team didn’t snag an old worn-out gasser from Craigslist for this test…no, they outfitted a brand new 2022 Entegra Cornerstone with a set of Rettroband wheel enhancements.
Again, to put this in perspective…they rigged a diesel motorhome worth between $600,000 and $800,000 to live test a steer tire blowout at 70 miles per hour. Not to be outdone, instead of a helmeted test driver, behind the wheel was none other than Brett Davis, CEO of National Indoor RV Center. Partner and long-time military run-flat guru Rob Craig joined him in the passenger seat.
Rettroband testing results
As you can see from the video, the drivers’ side steer tire is blown remotely at 70 mph. As noted, NIRVC CEO Brett Davis is behind the wheel, and notes that the coach is on cruise control, and his feet are moved away from both the accelerator and brake pedals. If you were to turn the volume down on the video, you would not be able to tell from watching Brett’s face that the tire had blown. Yet beneath that calm facade, Brett admits to being a little nervous, as I’m sure any of us that own a big coach would be.
“Yes, I was nervous. When you take a look at the footage, the test track they have us on…there was no shoulder, whatsoever.”Brett Davis – National Indoor RV Centers CEO & Rettroband Test Driver
Brett, talking with Angie Morell, goes on to mention in the video that with the four-foot drop on either side of the test road, if they had pulled to either side as in a typical steer tire blowout, the brand new 2022 Entegra Cornerstone would have “rolled immediately”.
The video tells the story very clearly. Watching the tire blowout footage up close at slow motion speed gives you an idea of how quickly and violently the blowout occurs, yet the rim remains undamaged and the motorhome continues to roll true.
We encourage you to watch the entire video, including the installation segment in the latter half of the video, to learn more about Rettroband. In the last quarter of the video, Angie does an excellent job of showing and breaking down additional characteristics of the Rettroband, as compared to military-based run-flat devices.
The best defense against RV crashes
When it comes to preventing RV crashes caused by steer tire blowouts, there is only so much the average RVer can do. In addition to the methods we mentioned initially, a good dose of common sense and driving awareness can go a long way too.
To fill that last gap, however, and to give yourself the ultimate assurance that you are prepared for a worst-case scenario, installing Rettroband is a must.
Where can I buy Rettroband?
Rettroband wheel enhancement devices were invented and developed in part by National Indoor RV Centers, the exclusive retailer of Rettroband. NIRVC has five established metropolitan locations, a new facility in Manassas, VA, and will be moving to their new state of the art facility in Lebanon, Tennessee on December 1st, 2022.
Rettroband fits most sizes of steer tires wheels on motorhomes. To start enjoying your road trips with the piece of mind that Rettroband brings, visit rettroband.com.