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Old 06-30-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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Check those valve cores!

We just completed a long trip and a couple of days before we got home I learned a valuable lesson. I checked the air in all the tires as I always do in the morning before hitting the road. All was OK, so we fire it up and head out. Almost immediately I began to feel it pulling to the right and started looking for a place to get off the interstate. I had to go about 5 miles before coming to the next exit. I got out and was shocked to see the right front tire almost completely flat! It was so hot I couldn't hold my hand on it, and there was a black streak about 1" wide all the way around the sidewall of the tire, which I guess is where it was hitting the pavement. I knew immediately what had happened. I have had problems before with the valve cores sticking open after using a gauge or air chuck. In fact, after I bought the MH about 4 months ago I replaced all the valve cores. Sure enough, there was air spewing out of the valve stem! I got out the air hose and aired the tire back up using the on-board compressor, then checked with a cup of soapy water to be sure the core was sealing. I checked all the others as well!
This was a small town and I couldn't find a tire service that could work on the 29580R22.5 tires and spin-balance it when done, so I decided to take a chance and go on to my destination which was Vidalia, LA, about 4 hours away. I drove slow and stopped a couple of times to check the tire. I found a tire company there, Southern Tire Mart, that specializes in large truck tires. I had them break down the tire and check the inside for signs of damage. They couldn't see any damage and told me that it would probably be OK, but recommended moving it to the rear. When they broke it down, there was a lot of granular material, like sand, inside the tire. They said someone had put it in there for balancing. This was not the "beads" that some people use today, it was a very fine sand-like material. They said that was the reason the valve cores were sticking, it was the sand getting up into the valve stems! They cleaned out the sand, spin-balanced the wheel, and moved it to the rear. The rear tire had the sand in it too! I had them to dismount the other rear tire on that side and the left front tire and clean the sand out of them too. I didn't take off the two rear tires on the other side since I needed to get on my way! I will wait until they have to be removed for some other reason before cleaning them out.
By the way, they did not recommend using the "beads" to balance tires. I did find out that it is very difficult to find a tire company that has the equipment to spin-balance large truck and RV tires, but I'm sure glad I kept looking! If you ever have any tire problems anywhere near Vidalia, LA, you should give these guys a call. They really know what they are doing, and the price was really reasonable, considering all that they did!
I think they provide roadside service also.
The lesson here is that you should ALWAYS use soapy water to check your valve stems for leakage after checking or adding air.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
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We use a spray bottle with soapy water to check for leaks on tires at work, I keep one next to the air chuck in the rig. Great post!
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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Just curious: did you have metal valve caps screwed on snuggly?
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:33 PM   #4
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Glad you're OK and no damage was done. I've read about problems with that balancing sand getting into valve stems before.

Actually, IMHO, the best type of valve cap to use is one that reports regularly to your TPMS.

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:54 PM   #5
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Glad to hear that you got things squared away and that you did not have a front tire blowout which could have landed you in much worse condition.

Your episode with low air pressure in your tire could have been prevented entirely by using a TPMS. I would highly recommend purchasing one and using it. I will not move my coach, trailer or tow my car without ALL tires having TPMS sensors installed and working. I use the Doran Pressure Pro System.

Also, I have to disagree with the shops view of using Dyna Beads for balancing tires. I have had them in all of my coach tires and all four of my trailer tires for 2 years now and they are the greatest. I would not use anything else.

They compensate for many different tire situations whereas static or spin balancing are only good at the very moment the tire is balanced.

The Dyna Beads will always balance the tire under any condition no matter what may have gotten onto the or may have happened to the tire.

I won't use anything else.

Just my opinions.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:26 PM   #6
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the sand like substance was most likely balancing powder which requires special valve cores....did you find a plastic yellow band on any of your valve stems?

when my tires were installed...the balancing product is named "Equal" ...it is not beads but a powderlike substance. I have no vibration so it works...each bag of "equal" came with a new special valve core and a yellow plastic ring to slip onto the valve stem
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:42 PM   #7
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Joe: The fine powder or sand does sound like the "Equal" balancing powder that sc3283 posted about. Used it in my previous MH and it did work well but they stressed that you needed the special filtered valve cores or the cores would leak. They also put the yellow ring on the valve stems to show Equal was in the tires.
Here's a link to those valve cores. IMI | AirX Filtered Valve Core eliminates dirt, particles, debris
FWIW I never had any air loss with those valve cores installed...
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasA View Post
Just curious: did you have metal valve caps screwed on snuggly?
Nope, I had the Alligator "thing-a-ma-jigs" that replace the valve caps and let you air and check the tire without the time to remove caps.
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooligan View Post
Joe: The fine powder or sand does sound like the "Equal" balancing powder that sc3283 posted about. Used it in my previous MH and it did work well but they stressed that you needed the special filtered valve cores or the cores would leak. They also put the yellow ring on the valve stems to show Equal was in the tires.
Here's a link to those valve cores. IMI | AirX Filtered Valve Core eliminates dirt, particles, debris
FWIW I never had any air loss with those valve cores installed...
The valve cores have a red band so maybe that was the problem, that whoever put the powder in did not replace the cores!
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