We started on a 280 mile trip to Northern Michigan for a 12-day camping trip. We were 40 miles from our destination when I caught a red light in a small town. Two motorists using the left turn lane got my attention before the light turned green to tell me a trailer tire on the passenger side broke free of the camper about three miles back. It rolled into a fueling station (one of those places set up for commercial use that's not normally manned - like a Pacific Pride if those still exist) and struck a building. One of the two drivers told me it also damaged my TT. I immediately turned onto a side road and found a parking lot to survey the damage. I was probably doing around 55mph at the time and never noticed any change in towability before being alerted.
My tandem axle TT was now sitting on three wheels with the fourth just sporting a brake drum and five sheared lug studs. The only damage beyond the tire was a black plastic trim piece over the tires that was pulled away from the fiberglass wall. I unhooked the TT as quick as possible and went back to the fueling station and located the tire. Someone had already propped it up against a metal fuel pump guard waiting for the owner to show up I guess (it reminded me of when cars used to have hubcaps and people would prop them up for the owner to retrace their travels to find it). I raced back to the trailer and called the nearest RV shop. It was 35 miles away and they could not help. They suggested a second RV shop that was over 60 miles away in the other direction. Neither were on my way north. They also suggested trying a tire shop.
I tried and located a tire shop about a mile away. I removed the brake drum and headed to the tire shop. They replaced all five studs, five lug nuts, the grease cap and greased the inner and outer bearings since I had the brake drum handy there for them to do the work. I returned to the TT and reassembled the drum and bearings and placed the steel rimmed spare on. The aluminum tire I recovered looked OK until a closed look at the five holes the lug nuts seat into were too chewed up.
The time of discovery until I was heading north again was about two hours and about $66. Of course, I'll have to replace the aluminum rim to gain a reliable spare again. Here's a lesson learned.
I had just completed greasing all four bearing sets by removing each of the four tires just a few days earlier. My best guess was the last tire I did (the one that fell off) did not get the second retightening of the lugs once I had it back down on the cement to do so. They were beyond hand tight (initially tightened with a 20v power drill set at 6 (out of 20) to torque it down till I got the tire back down on a firm surface to finish torquing.
I was about 130 miles into my trip when I checked each hub at a rest area. The wheel that eventually fell off felt slightly warmer than the other three but not uncomfortable to the touch, just a bit warm. At 240 miles it sheared off.
I removed the flapping trim piece and attached pictures of how the two sides look at the moment. Use this info for what it's worth. I do from you guys all the time.