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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2014, 1:21 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
My 1999 Chinook came with a pair of floppy, braided extenders on the inner rear wheels and nothing special on the outer rear wheels or front wheels. This made it a real pain/challenge to check or add air to the tires. Since I like to check the tires before I set out each time, and also inflate the tires according to the inflation charts provided by tire manufacturers*, I knew I had to make an improvement to this set up.

I chose to have Chuck "Tireman" extended valve stems put on. (I believe Borg also makes the same basic type.) These are a rigid product that basically IS the valve stem, but is longer and custom bent to fit the rig perfectly, has no extra "joints" to leak, and makes it easy to check or add air to tires on DRW rigs. I chose to go to "Tireman's" shop in Ridgecrest, California, and have them put on by Chuck himself, but you can also order the kit from his website and have a tire shop put them on (there are instructions available on the website). Here is a link to the kit I put on my rig - there are other kits available on the site as well:

http://www.ridgecrest.ca.us/~tire-man/kit2.html

If you do go to Tireman's shop, he's put a lot of these on E-Series cutaways like ours, and even has shady parking available if staying over in the rig fits the schedule best.

The kit also includes "air through" caps. These are like the protective caps you normally put on the end of the valve stem (and then remove to add air whereupon they roll under the rig just out of reach :roll: ) except you can add air right *through* them, so you don't need to remove them. Here are a few photos of my wheels with the Tireman stems installed. I've had them for a few months now, and no complaints. Now I look forward to checking the tires, instead of putting it off or being aggravated while doing it.

Here is an overview, showing the rear with the Tireman stems. One minor detail/tip from Chuck that I like: He always mounts the tires with the DOT date code right by the valve stem. Easy to keep an eye on without having to hunt for them as one usually does.

Attachment:
overview.jpg
overview.jpg [ 200.41 KiB | Viewed 1310 times ]


********************************** (explanation of inflation chart here) (rest of post in replies, below)
*These recommendations go by tire size, and by actual loaded weight on each tire, not by "door sticker" or the max inflation per tire. Basically, you weigh your rig (which is good to know in any case) by axle, and then divide that figure by the number of tires on each axle (to get weight per tire). Note that you want to inflate all tires on a given axle to the same psi, so don't "individualize" them but rather just divide axle weight by number of tires on that axle (if your weights are really off side to side, then it's better to adjust the load in the rig to even them out). Then you look at the appropriate chart and inflate accordingly. This matches the air in the tire to the load (which is the whole idea behind inflation numbers). Here, for example is a generic chart for the size tires I have on my Concourse:
Attachment:
Tire inflation chart.jpg
Tire inflation chart.jpg [ 87.43 KiB | Viewed 1310 times ]

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Last edited by Blue~Go on August 3rd, 2014, 8:51 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2014, 1:23 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Here are some closer images:
Rear inner wheel stem:
Attachment:
rear inner stem.jpg
rear inner stem.jpg [ 126.24 KiB | Viewed 1309 times ]


Rear outer wheel stem:
Attachment:
rear outer stem.jpg
rear outer stem.jpg [ 99.73 KiB | Viewed 1309 times ]


Front wheel stem:
Attachment:
front stem.jpg
front stem.jpg [ 146.09 KiB | Viewed 1309 times ]

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2014, 1:35 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
A couple more things that make tire checking relatively painless:

1) A "talking" tire gauge a friend gave me. This displays the tire pressure in digits, and also "says" it out loud. Very handy as I can just put it on and off quickly, and then be on my way to the next tire while the tire gauge "tells" me the pressure in the tire I just checked. Mine looks something like this one (an Accutire MS 4441GB, which is now just under $12):
Attachment:
Accutire MS-4441GB.jpg
Accutire MS-4441GB.jpg [ 27.09 KiB | Viewed 1309 times ]



2) An IR thermometer. This is handy for so many things - I consider it a must-have (and they are relatively inexpensive now - I think mine was around $25). I shoot the tires, etc. with it from time-to-time when underway, because some issues will show up as heat. They generally have a red laser pointer, so you just aim that where you want to check and press the button. Here is just one example, a Top G TG8380 (now under $20). Really great tool for much more than tires.
Attachment:
TopG TG8380.jpg
TopG TG8380.jpg [ 24.05 KiB | Viewed 1309 times ]

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2014, 1:36 pm 
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Joined: August 11th, 2014, 9:54 am
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Location: New Hampshire
I got the Tireman valvestems too. So many good reviews and recommendations regardless of the RV make/model. Didn't experience a problem from a previous owner's braided two-piece extenders but knew they were prone to failures that would cost soooo much more money to fix than the ~$150 correct solution. So far so good with the Tireman stems. Chuck stressed that the installation instructions needed to be followed to a T especially the use of LocTite.

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2014, 8:27 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Sweet! Glad to hear you got them and like them. I still can't get over how much better they are than the original braided extensions (which weren't even on the outer wheel but only the inner). For the couple of months that I had those I just dreaded trying to check the tires, much less put air in them.

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PostPosted: August 28th, 2014, 11:40 am 
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Location: New Hampshire
The old braided extenders on mine weren't bad to check or air in the back but the stock rubber stems on the front wheels required taking the wheel simulators off to check pressures. Not a fan of taking the similators off because of the concern of weakening the clips and losing the simulators.

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PostPosted: August 28th, 2014, 12:23 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
I've also read that the braided extenders can slightly "ooze" air, thus needing to top off more often. I didn't keep mine long enough to find out though.

I had momentary second thoughts when I paid the bill after having the Tireman stems installed -- but those went right out the window the first time I actually used them. Like butter!

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