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New Tires and Valve Stems, Metal vs Rubber
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hardee



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:28 am    Post subject: New Tires and Valve Stems, Metal vs Rubber Reply with quote

I just replaced the tires on my Pacific Tandem trailer. The tread looked good, they were Carlisle's but they were reaching tire social security age. There was some weather checking right at the rim, so it was time.

Well, though there were some Carlisle tires available here in town, I choose to look elsewhere since they were made in China. (And yes Jack, I read of your success with China Carlisles.) Being a rather regional PNW guy, and having lived in Prineville, Oregon for several years, naturally I went into the local Les Schwab Tire Center. Nope, no Carlisles, but the did have their own brand of trailer tire. AND they do have exceptional warrantee and service, SO I stopped looking there. Yup, theirs were made in China too, so maybe they are equal. If nothing else, Les Schwab does have really good service and I have dealt with them for many years now so off come the old Carlisle's and on go a set of TowMax SRT215/75 R14's. These are on size larger, up from the originals, but there is still plenty of clearance, and they are rated for 1750# each with max pressure at 50 psi.

All is good until I realize they are putting them on the trailer and the have shiny new METAL valve stems instead of the usual black rubber ones. So I went in and asked why they would do that on a boat trailer. Answer #1. We always do because they will hold higher PSI pressures. #2. Because they will leak less. #3. Because they last longer.

So I reminded them, this is a boat trailer, launched into salt water on a regular basis, that the metal stems are going up against another (probably dissimilar) metal, and that they were not galvanized, or isolated from the galvanized rims so there would be a galvanic corrosion effect. The metal caps will also become harder to remove over time as the rust and corrosion sets in. "No worries man" was the response. Didn't exactly seem reassuring, but then, it is on their warrantee so I let them go ahead.

My Question to you is: Should I have had them change them to the old rubber stems, or are the new metal ones working out well for those of you that have them? Am I all wet in my thinking? Is there any cause for concern here, or am I being way to picky?

Thanks for your input.

Harvey
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Will-C



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject: New Tires and Valve Stems, Metal vs Rubber Reply with quote

Harvey,
Rubber valve stems work pretty well. I don't know what kind of metal your new valve stems are made of but I would think they would be brass. Rubber does not corrode. I check my trailer tires enough adding air is not a problem as I have a compressor at home and a small one in my truck. Buying store brand tires is fine but if you travel away from their rein of terror that warranty will not be worth much. I noticed that at the RV show this year more manufacturers are filling tires with nitrogen as the molecules are bigger and it is less prone to leaking than regualr old air. I subscribe to keeping things simple I vote for stay with stuff you know that works and save the 40 bucks or so for the nitrogen as the air is free. I would tell them you want the rubber valve stems. I don't know what happens to the metal ones should they get hit.
D.D.

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NewMoon



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

New Moon's Pacific trailer has had metal valve stems since it was new - 14 years with no problem.
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potter water



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The metal stems are the only way to go as I've had many problems with rubber. In my environment, they deteriorate and crack before my tires expire. I'm led to believe that the higher pressure of trailer tires requires the metal valve stems. I'm never in and out of salt water though, so I don't really know what impact that would have. But since your trailer probably has a lot of other risk for corrosion, and would need rinsing after each retrieve and launch, I don't think the metals compatibility or galvanic issues are a concern. EVERY slow leak I've had in decades of trailering have been traced to cracked rubber stems.
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Robert H. Wilkinson



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The stainless steel valves do look nice but in my experience as a auto mechanic I have seen more problems with them leaking then with the rubber valves. They are sealed to the rim with a rubber gasket. Once that gasket deteriates, it leaks and has to be replaced.

As for handling higher pressures I don't buy that either. The shape of a rubber valve inside the rim is such that the more pressure is put into the tire the tighter the valve seals. If you are worried about a rubber valve popping out - you have far too much pressure in the tire and should be more concerned with the tire exploding. As an apprentice I saw and heard the results of another worker trying to force a 16" tire onto a 16.5" rim with over 100psi. NOT a pretty sight.

I know tubes are a thing of the past but I had a horse trailer with tube tires once for over 15 years and never once had to add air. The spare tire on my 1977 Land Cruiser(tube type split rim) is still all original including the air in it!

Regards, Rob

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hardee



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feed back.

For Non PNW-erners, Les Schwab is a PNW legend, noted for exceptional service, fast, friendly and good. They have over 400 tire centers in the western states from the intermountain region (Utah, Colorado, Wyoming) to the coast states, and north, (Idaho, Montana and I believe even Alaska). At this point, and likely for the life of these tires I won't be out of there neighborhood Wink

For a while they had a tag line something to the effect of "You're never far from our front door".

Here is a link: http://www.lesschwab.com/aboutus.html

As to the type of metal in the stems. I will be finding out. Seems that if you have to put a gasket on for the metal ones not to leak, the rubber stem is almost all gasket Wink why not stay with that.

Harvey
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hardee



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stand corrected. there are no Les Schwab centers in Wyoming or Alaska. Yes in Navada.

Harvey
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thataway



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might take a magnet to the valve stems to see if they are steel.

If you want to find out where your tires are made read:
http://www.americanmadetires.com/whereTiresMade.html

I think trailer tires are sort of a crap shoot now days. I have heard good stories with Carlisle tires, and bad stories. I have some on a trailer now--and doing well. I have also recently used the TowMax tires.

Air is 80% nitrogen. If you run a race car or airplane, it is probably worth putting in 100% nitrogen-not so if a boat trailer!

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Will-C



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:44 am    Post subject: New Tires and Valve Stems, Metal vs Rubber Reply with quote

NewMoon Posted: Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:01 am Post subject:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

New Moon's Pacific trailer has had metal valve stems since it was new - 14 years with no problem.

Have you ever had them replaced?
D.D.
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NewMoon



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure - might have done 2-3 years ago when all the tires were replaced at the same time with a new set. About 65,000 miles towing so far on this trailer.
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hardee



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bringing this one back for an update:

WOW, it has been a while since this was new. 2012

First off, I guess I have a serving of Crow to scarf up so here goes.

My boat trailer tires were put on in Oct of 2012. They were the Les Schwab TowMax with the metal valve stems. Enough crow, now to the update.

The stems turned out to be stainless steel, and have served perfectly, no leaks, corrosion or rust. Caps have been easily removable and air gets added twice a year; beginning and end of season.

The TowMax tires, which I asked the tire shop (Les Schwab) to inspect, inside and out were in good shape. There was still 1/4 inch of tread over most of the tire. These were tandems and I have a very sharp 90 degree turn out of or backing into the garage so they do get some scrubbing. Yes they were made in China. No I have not had any flats or other tire issues. Yes, most of my towing is pretty short hauls, but a once a year they get a 400-500 mile trip each way up to the North end of Vancouver Island. Maybe a couple other 500 mile trips a year. I did one trip (2000mi) to San Francisco, so the mileage was pretty low.

So, I am posting this to give the TowMax a fairly high rating and can't say I would not recommend them for someone doing like service. They are about $50.oo less per tire than the Goodyear Enduarance, (which Is what I replaced them with). Interestingly, the GoodYear Endurance have about the same amount of tread new as my TowMax had when I took them off. I changed from the TowMax because I am expecting to do more long distance and out of the PNW towing in the next few years.

Something I did find, is that some of the lugnuts were very hard to get off, with some light rust on the bolt threads. I am wondering if it would be OK to put some lanolin on them (lug nut or bolt threads), before I put them back on. (I used lanolin on the bolts on the riser brackets when I rebuilt/lowered my trailer bunks and they are clean, rust free and mobile.

Harvey
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jkidd



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year I had 4 flats everyone of them was the valve stem and they were all caught by the pressure sensors. This year new tires all the way around and metal valve stems if they start to leak the sensors will catch it. Tighten the nut air up and keep moving. Donít have to find some to replace the valve stem.

Harvey I did replace a half dozen lug nuts that were getting tight.

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NewMoon



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hardee wrote:


I am wondering if it would be OK to put some lanolin on them (lug nut or bolt threads), before I put them back on. (I used lanolin on the bolts on the riser brackets when I rebuilt/lowered my trailer bunks and they are clean, rust free and mobile.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon



Don't know about lanolin. I used Permatex anti-seize paste on New Moon's trailer's lugs. Considerably more effective than just clean with a bit of oil.

That trailer had 6 wheels, six lugs each. I would replace a lug nut whenever it no longer went on easily, usually a few every year.
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thataway



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2020 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wheels should be torqued to a certain spec. (Different for different size rims, types of hub etc.). Unfortunately they are usually put on with an impact driver--and torque goes to.... But if you put any lubrication on the studs, there is a very good chance that they will over tighten, (since it is rare they are properly torqued) and eventually stretch the studs, leading to failure.... The "solution" is to put a anti corrosion coating on the nut/stud after it has been torqued. I use Corrosion X. Also it is a good idea to remove the wheels once a year to check the condition of brakes.

As for using 8 year old tires...You were lucky. I had a flat a couple of years ago--it was at 5 years. Believe me $200 would have been cheap. In my cases it cost me "bilateral acute inguinal hernia repairs"....80+ year olds should not be changing trailer tires, even if there is a 3 hour wait for the road service!!!

I have Goodyear Endurance on my trailers now...
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hardee



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"As for using 8 year old tires...You were lucky."


Don't know about being lucky but for sure, I have good guardian angels. I have always changed my trailer tires out at 5 years. Not sure how these got missed. Closest thing I can think of is that when I put new tires on my truck about then I somehow "missed" the trailer. No excuse.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon

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