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Old 03-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #1
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Tire Problems - FEAR for kids

Hi Folks:

I finally took the family out in our Xmas gift after months of repairs following my eBay purchase (live and learn). When we got the rig in Houston, my elderly father and I made it only to San Antonio before the tires (the owner claimed were good) blew out because they were the original tires from 2007!

Anyway, I had all 6 replaced. Things went well and I did walk arounds to look at the times over the weekend. But when I pulled into my home last evening, I saw one of the rear tires (outside) was FLAT! Looking deeper, it seems to me the connector/extender that hooks to the valve stem and makes a "U" to get it to a better place on the wheel was barely finger tight - loose and flopping around. This is the second one that came loose and leaked.

I could really use some advice since I am new to RV'ing and I am traveling with twin 3-year olds and my 7 year old. I do not want to take risks for vacation.


2007 Itasca Sunova 35J - Ford Chassis
Tucson, Arizona
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:44 AM   #2
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You're right to be concerned about tire safety but I'm not sure what your question is.

Having original tires on the rig from 2007 means that it is about time to replace them but I'd be really surprised if you had multiple failures due to their age.

One thing you should be concerned with at this point is whether or not you overloaded the tire mated with the rear dual you found to be flat. I assume that once you tightened the valve stem extender you were able to re-inflate the tire but if that tire had been run flat for very long you may well have damaged it's mate by forcing it to carry twice the load. Maybe a tire shop could break it down and have a look.

I know many members won't use extenders for the very reason you've discovered.

Best of luck.


Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:46 AM   #3
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I use these.


You purchase them for the exact tire pressure you run your dually's at. Every time I stop, I can glance down at my gauge and know both tires are inflated. Only one fill to worry about.
06 Hurricane 34FT WH W20 Chassis 8.1L 132K, Steersafe, Koni Shocks, DIY Trac Bar, Tri-Metric 2025RV Battery Monitor, 4-6V Batteries, Scan Gauge 2, Crossfires, 735W Solar Morningstar MPPT-60, WG T4 In-Motion Sat, XM Radio, 07 Chevy Malibu Maxx Toad, Falcon 2, Brake Buddy, Escapee
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:49 AM   #4
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Sounds like someone did a very poor job of mounting the new tires. Since that was done so poorly I would take it to a reputable tire shop and have them check all of them. Then I would purchase a tire pressure monitoring unit pronto. There are many discussions on here about the best one to buy. I have a TST system. That would have told you about the flat tire.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:50 AM   #5
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I also highly recommend you invest in a tire pressure monitoring system. There are several out there. Some advertise on this site.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:34 AM   #6
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Every time you stop for a coffee break - and also about 20 miles into the first day of a trip, try to coast to a stop rather than going heavy on the brakes and get into the habit of stretching your legs while doing a quick walk around putting your hand on the tread and sidewalls and hub of each tyre and wheel. You have to take account of how hot the day is and which side of the MHY the sun is shining, but doing this will usually show up a slightly deflated tyre or bearing or brake dragging problems.

In this case, did you do any maintenance checks on the MH before setting off on the trip? If not, join the vast club of other new (and old) owners who didn't do them either, so treat it as an expensive learning experience and get someone to show you the ropes.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:00 PM   #7
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I carry an IR gun and check the temperatures on the tires every time I stop.

A tire hotter than the others alerts me to a possible low pressure problem.

The walk around checking temps also allows me to check for other problems and inspect the towbar assembly.
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:04 PM   #8
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I downloaded the Itasca brochure for your model. It's mounted on a 20.5K Ford chassis. Is this chassis equipped with 19.5 inch wheels/tires? If yes, have you weighed your MH to determine the correct air pressure for your weight and tire manufacturer? You have a big M/H with two large slides for a 20.5K chassis. Tire pressure may be critical to prevent further tire problems.

Fran, Mary & Zoey (silver Cocker)
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Old 03-24-2014, 12:16 PM   #9
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This is a good example of where ANY TPMS can be of great help.

Tire valve extenders are often a weak point and cause for leaks. I had a similar thing happen with an extender leaking a tire flat. Fortunately it was while parked and on jacks so no damage but a learning lesson. The good news was my TPMS alerted me of this before we took off.

Yes, there are other methods such as "thumping" and IR temp guns but they also have their pros and cons. Thumping is only as good as the ear can hear and experience tells you something is not right. I don't think it is great for absolute judgment that a tire is properly filled. In my case an IR gun would have been useless since this happened sometime after it was parked.

I will be replacing my inner dual valve extender this spring with a one piece valve with supporting grommets to support the weight of the TMPS sensor.
Don, Sandee & GSD Zeus. Guardian GSDs Gunny (7/11/15) & Thor (5/5/15)
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:36 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone, much appreciated. I am planning to order the tire-safeguard system in the coming days. More immediately, I am going to take the rig to GCR tires that specializes on big tires/wheels. There seems to be some balance and alignment issues as well.

As far as checking them out before we left, we had just got it back from a professional RV repair shop where we paid $1000+ for a full safety inspection and they set all the tire pressures for 90 psi. I thought to double check it myself, but I must admit that all my tire gauges (4 of them in my garage with 2x being "pro" grade) only going to 60 psi. I actually went on Amazon and it did not seem there were great tire gauges going to over 100 psi unless digital. I am old school I guess, but buying an electronic gauge seemed risky because of inevitable batter failure. Any suggestions?

The folks here on this forum are just amazing! I am truly appreciative and honestly want to learn as much as possible to be safe first, and enjoy the RV experience second!
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J - Ford Chassis
Tucson, Arizona
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:42 PM   #11
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Guys - I forgot to ask - but it also seems to me that the extenders are a weak link in the system. However, I am not sure what the alternative would be. I did not even mention that during the safety inspection they found that the rear extenders were "pinched" and leaking.

Yes - the tire replacement was poorly done, but what would you experienced folks do if you lose a tire in a remote area? My rig has a spare mounted underneath, but my elderly Dad and I stood no chance of replacing this along the highway (at least that is was my assessment at the time).

So, we drove gently with one rear blown to the first repair shop we could find. I doubt they ever did an RV tire before....

All the repairs are getting me down, I hope soon we can get it safe and sound, then start enjoying....
2007 Itasca Sunova 35J - Ford Chassis
Tucson, Arizona
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Old 03-25-2014, 12:28 AM   #12
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Dually valve kits for Motor-homes, Busses and 6-wheeled chassis solved the problem of accessing the inner dual valve stems and leaking extenders for me.
Wayne & Roberta and Maggie the Miracle Dog
08 Winnebago Destination 39W Gas UFO Workhorse Chassis
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Old 03-25-2014, 05:10 AM   #13
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Right or wrong, I always nip up these extenders with a pair of pliers once finger tight, not to much, approx 1/2 a turn, don't want to damage tgreads or seals, and so always been fine. The guy I use for tires did the same. I've always used the stainless braided type in the belief they are better re kinking and abrasion.
Si, Sarah and Shelby the westie
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:04 AM   #14
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Also think about getting an Emergency Roadside Service, either with Good Sam or Coach Net. That will cover you if you have a flat.
A phone call will get a service truck out to fix your flat and get you on your way. Its inexpensive and will give you some peace of mind.

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