For "Traversable Thursday":
May 6-8. RV Conference
The 2011 RV LIFESTYLE, EDUCATION & SAFETY CONFERENCE slated for May 6 to 8, 2011 covering all phases of RVing takes place at Carroll Knicely Conference Center - Bowling Green, Ky. Instructors from RV manufacturers, dealers, and industry leaders will teach topics highlighting safety, lifestyle and technical subjects. Limited dry camping space is available. For contact call 321.453.7673 http://www.rvsafety.com. To Register http://www.rvsafety.com/pdfs/Clinicpricesheet.pdf
Tire Loads & Inflations – A Heavy Topic –
"OK so maybe the title is a bit too cute but it was suggested I try and balance my focus on highly technical stuff with a little bit of lighter stuff. Well air is light, isn’t it?
Today’s key points: Know the minimum tire inflation based on manufacturer estimates. Check your inflation with a good gauge at least monthly and every morning before travel.
Tire inflation seems to be a topic that confuses some and has others believing in misleading or just plain incorrect information. Tire inflation is one item that directly affects the safety of your RV, truck or car as you travel down the highway. Many of my previous posts have been background information that you really don’t have to know or fully understand. The intent of these topics is to give you a better foundation of understanding more about tires but, if you only pay attention to one series of posts this is it.
Tires do not carry the load. They are just a container of air. It is the inflation air that does the work. Think for a moment of an impact wrench. It can’t do the work of loosening or tightening nuts on your wheels without the air, and a tire can’t do the work of carrying the load or provide the traction needed to turn, start or stop if it doesn’t have air. The load a tire can carry is based on the air volume of the tire and pressure of that air inside the tire.
If you want to get a feel for how little load your tire can carry without air in it, you can test this yourself. Simply take an unmounted tire and stand on the beads of the tire. I think you will find that the tire can support less than 5% of the rated load before it deflects more than an inch or two. Some people believe that tires with higher load range can carry more load at the same inflation. This is just not correct. You would be hard pressed to measure the uninflated load capability difference between a load range D and E tire or between a G or H load range tire.
If you are not sure, the "Load Range" is marked on the sidewall of your tires. If you don't see the words "load range" look for "LR" followed by a letter usually between C and G. "Load Range" may not be in large letters but you should be able to find them on your tires.
The simple answer to how much air you need is on your data sheet. Depending on the year your RV was made, this information is on a sticker on the side of your trailer or near the driver’s seat in your Class-A or glued to the wall inside a cabinet or on the inside of your entry door. Where ever it is, you should also have the information in the stack of owners manuals you received when you bought the new RV. Find this data sheet and write down the information for loads, minimum inflation, tire size and load range and place this info where you can easily find it. This inflation is the minimum based on what the RV manufacturer thought you would load into your vehicle. They may have guessed correctly or you may have gone way over that estimate depending on how much “stuff” you carry. "
Tire Valves - Not just those little rubber things
"90+% of RVs should have bolt-in metal valves and it won't hurt if we used them even on a Tear-Drop trailer. Rubber valves on your car should be replaced whenever you get a new set of tires. The rubber gasket part of metal bolt-in valves should be replaced whenever you get new tires. If the valve core is leaking, replace it.
Recently Nick Russell, the editor of Gypsy Journal had a tire failure.
This was an inner dual and you can see right through the tire sidewall where a big chunk is missing. While some would blame the tire and say it was defective and that he had a "Blow-Out".
Nick is a bit smarter than that. He knew he had been having problems with air leaking out but there was no puncture. The "Root Cause" of this failure was traced to the use of a rubber valve on his Class-A size tire. The valve stem did not seal properly and he had a slow leak. The end result of someone trying to save a couple of bucks cost Nick over $700 for the service call and new tire.
Standard rubber valves like the T-414 series are rated for a MAX of 65 psi and for use on the relatively thin passenger rims. There are rubber valves such as the 600HP rated for a MAX of 100 psi but neither of these "snap-in" rubber valves belong on an RV with the possible exception of some very samll trailers and some Class-B units that use standard passenger tires.
Class-A, Class C and most trailers have inflation pressures that exceed 65psi with many above 100psi so a bolt-in metal valve is the only one to use. It is important that the tech doing the installation of these bolt-in valves apply the proper torque.
Small bolt in valves such as TR-430 use 25- 45 inch-pounds of torque.
The majority of the TR-500 series use 80-125 inch-pounds.
If you discover the valve core is leaking don't just crank it tighter like you would a leaky water faucet. All the core needs is finger tight. 1.5 to 5.0 inch pounds MAX. If you over-tighten the core, you may split the core gasket (black in the graphic) and it will just leak more. If you look at the graphic from Schrader you will see the part that that lets the air in and out can't be tightened. Your tire dealer should be willing to give you a new valve core for free. You should ALWAYS use some type of cap with metal the best. The primary purpose of the cap is to keep dirt out but a good metal cap with internal gasket can keep most of the air in too.
A final bit of warning. On your car you may have a Tire Pressure Monitor System. Most of these are Aluminum not Brass so they need special stainless steel valve core and they may be bolt in and have low torque requirements. If you need to service the OE TPMS valve you need to go to a car or tire dealer as they have the correct tools. I will be covering TPMS as a separate topic in the future."
SPRAY PLASTIC STORAGE DISHES with nonstick cooking spray before adding tomato based sauces – there won't be any stains.
WRAP CELERY IN ALUMINUM FOIL when storing in the Fridge – it will keep for weeks.
WHEN BOILING CORN ON THE COB, add a pinch of sugar to enhance natural sweetness.
Another trip to Conroe to Petsmart for canned kitten food as they are eating so well. The grocery stores don't have anything that I would feed my animals. All they sell is cheaper made foods containing corn meal and by-products, and charge too much for that junk food to uninformed pet owners. Corn meal and by-products are really toxic to animals.
Saturday, I had bought them a very good brand of dry kitten food, and even soaked it in milk replacement, but they wouldn't touch it. I thought I would feed it to my Bobcat, and Prime, the foster cat. I substituted it for their two bedtime treats so they would think it was something really yummy. They wouldn't touch it either. That's one thing about Petsmart and Petco, if your pet won't eat it, they exchange or refund it. A fish that Jay had bought for his aquarium had died, and so we both went for refunds. While I was there, I stocked up with canned kitten food, it has more protein for their growing bodies than adult cat food.
A couple more stops and then back home, I fed the two kittens their lunch dish, and got a bottle ready for Pebbles. I knew she must be so hungry as she hadn't been fed since 7.30 this morning. Surprisingly, she didn't take all her bottle, maybe she got so hungry that she decided to eat out of the dish like the other kittens. I hope this is a turning point, and she is finally growing up.
Ray primed and painted some more in the cargo trailer while I was gone today