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002Today we’d only planned a short trip: about 70 miles from Palm Springs to Wilderness.

I went around the motorhome and checked the pressure in the tires.The rear tire that we had fixed in Gila Bend about 10 days ago was holding fine, but the pressure was sitting at just a few pounds lower than I preferred. Since the RV park in Palms Springs has a nice accessible RV-sized air filler hose, I thought I’d take the opportunity to top up the tire before we left.

I swung the rig around to the maintenance building and added a few pounds to the rear tire. Margaret coiled up the air hose and hung it on the holder. I was just about to climb inside – and noticed that the right front tire was flat. Right down. Less than 20 pounds. How could it do that in the space of a few minutes?

I uncoiled the air hose and pumped it up. It seemed to be holding. No hissing. No signs of damage. Nothing sinister or suspicious sticking out of the tread. I let it stand for a few minutes – still holding.

020We decided to set off and see what happens. I took the side road that parallels the freeway across town – still holding. Onto the freeway. Out the exit, down the hill, through Hemet and on to Wilderness. No problems.

Once we had settled into our campsite, I pulled out the pressure gauge – still holding fine. I walked around to the other side of the motorhome – now the left front tire was flat!

Aarghh…!

Thanks to a friendly neighbour (again) I soon had a compressor. I put a little air into the tire, then unscrewed the extender from the valve stem. Hisssss-s-s-s….. Another shot of air directly into the valve, and the hissing stopped.

Well, it’s been almost a week since I refilled that tire, and it’s holding air just fine. So are the other ones I had problems with.

007It’s a bit of a mystery. I’ve heard many people say that tire valve extenders, which make checking and filling tires so much more convenient, can be a continuing source of problems. Aside from the last fix a couple of weeks ago, the ones on this motorhome have not caused any problems at all.

My speculation is that when I checked the tires just before we left Palm Springs, I introduced a little dust into the valves – enough to keep them from seating properly. (We had just had one of those Palm Springs windstorms that blows extremely fine sand into everything.) Refilling the tires was enough to blow the dust out of the valves. Sounds plausible to me.

I’m keeping a close watch for the next while.

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A month and almost 2000 miles later…

We’ve arrived home in Canada. No further issues with the tires – never had to touch them.

But just as we arrived, I noticed some radiator fluid dripping onto the ground. Oh well, we’re settled for awhile and I suppose I need a new project.

 

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