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Old 01-15-2011, 11:01 AM   #1
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Valve stem air pressure gage & tire clubs

All the talk about keeping the proper air pressure in the tires I have been thinking about adding the valve stem pressure gage , that replaces the valve stem cap, think I could easily review the air pressure every stop without taking out the tire gauge, has anyone used them and if so do they work correctly?
I also bought a tire club and need to learn how to use it I was told by a trucker you need to just get used to the sound of a properly inflated tire, seems harder than it sounds, but if you do it 24/7 I guess it becomes much easier any feedback on this matter also?
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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Hey Kartvines; looks like you have basicly the same motor home I just bought; so we kinda need to stick together to get our questions answered. I ut those caps on the valve stems of a car I had, and they worked finne; like you, I am wondering how they would work on my motor home .
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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Your method is ok, but what happens if you pick-up a nail and your tire starts a slow leak while you are driving? If the tire looses enough air and overheats, you have a blowout.

I would suggest one of the fulltime tire pressure monitoring systems instead. Yes it's more expensive, however your tires are constantly monitored.

Do a search of TPMS and you will get lots of information.

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Old 01-15-2011, 03:31 PM   #4
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I think there are a number of products similar to what you mention and have heard that... at least those properly sized for their application... they work fine. Seems to me when I was looking at them "Catseye" was one of the best.

I used the tire club for a while and frankly still do sometimes at a fuel stop. I got my tire gauge at Flying J. You're sure not going to tell if your tires are 5lbs low by thumping them but once you get used to the thump and the bounce from a properly inflated tire, you'll know when you hit a low one.

For the past three years I've used a TPMS on all 10 tires but they are a step function up in cost.

Good luck...

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Old 01-15-2011, 04:45 PM   #5
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Cost??? Why are you even worrying about cost of a TMPS???? The cost is a minor compared to the cost of repairing your motor home and replacing a tire if it blows. The cost is NOTHING compared to the life of your love ones if you blow a tire and take out a guard rail or a tree, and heaven help you if you take out the car in the lane beside you.

I speak from experence, I bought a TMPS system (12 tire sensors and a booster) costed me about $900.00 I think. Dumb me, put them in the coach and said "I'll put these babies on when I get time." Well 6 months later I still hadn't found the time to install the system, and low and behold, a driver from a repair center in Elkhart (had come to Virginia to pick up my coach for some repairs) called me from Ohio and said that a tag axle tire had blown. A value stem had cracked and slow leaked...Bottem line over $7,000.00 in repairs. I learned my lesson and luckly no one was hurt, but I had the repair center install the TMPS and I watch the pressures very closely now...
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Old 01-15-2011, 05:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cb5300 View Post
Cost??? Why are you even worrying about cost of a TMPS???? The cost is a minor compared to the cost of repairing your motor home and replacing a tire if it blows. The cost is NOTHING compared to the life of your love ones if you blow a tire and take out a guard rail or a tree, and heaven help you if you take out the car in the lane beside you.

...
Because the OP didn't ask about a TPMS. He asked about valve stem gauges.

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Old 01-17-2011, 03:23 PM   #7
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I did a test

A couple of years ago I did a controlled test and discovered that the inexpensive plastic red/green cap caused the tire to loose air.

To work these screw on units open the valve and you are now depending on the cap and it's internal moving parts to hold the air in.

Now my unit was a 32 psi one and I have not seen similar rated up near 80 or 100 psi.

I now run TPMS on my Class-C and my car.
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:30 PM   #8
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Consumer Report tested those tire caps a while ago and reached the conclusion that they are very inaccurate!
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Old 01-17-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
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I bought a set of Crossfires for the back duals. It has a gauge on each one. The gauge monitors both duals, and equalizes the pressure in both tires. If one loses pressure suddenly, a valve prevents the other one from de pressureizing. I check the pressure at a glance every time I stop.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:27 PM   #10
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I just bought my first "thumper" a few weeks back. Haven't used it yet but thought for $13 its a good start. The other benefit of my new "thumper", it provies a 2nd level of security completely unrelated to my tires! With that said I will be looking at the full time monitors as well.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:13 AM   #11
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I have seen tests conducted with over the road truckers who claimed to use "thumpers" all the time.
When asked to compare some tires about the best they could do is +/- 20 psi vs the tire's real inflation.
That is from years of "experience"

-20 psi is low enough in some cases to result in a tire failure.

Keep the tool for it's alternate purpose and get a good TPMS as there is no way to ensure you don't get a nail as you pull out of a campground.
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