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Old 12-29-2004, 05:12 PM   #1
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1973 Argosy 20
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Are inner tubes needed?

I just had my tires removed from the stock wheels and they both had inner tubes. I was going to replace the tires due to dry rotting sidewalls and 1 had a slow leak. I'm assuming the wheels would leak without inner tubes so is it okay to use tubes again or is it a good indicator that I should replace the wheels? They have a fair amount of rust but not widespread deep pitting.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:25 PM   #2
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Are inner tubes needed?

Greetings Steve!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfixx
I just had my tires removed from the stock wheels and they both had inner tubes. I was going to replace the tires due to dry rotting sidewalls and 1 had a slow leak. I'm assuming the wheels would leak without inner tubes so is it okay to use tubes again or is it a good indicator that I should replace the wheels? They have a fair amount of rust but not widespread deep pitting.

Thanks,

Steve
The only Airstream products that I have run across that require tubes in their tires are the Vintage coaches that still run the split-rims. According to my notes, by the time our Argosy coaches began rolling down the assembly line the OEM wheels all supported tubeless tires. At least in my area, finding tubes where tubeless would be the norm was usually an indicator that someone was trying to get "a few extra miles" out of dry-rotted tires that no longer held pressure well or in some cases had punctures that could not be repaired - - in either case something that courts potential disaster (IMHO). I can't imagine that wheels on your Argosy 20 would be so worn that they would no longer hold air when equipped with tubeless tires - - the 45 year old rims on my '60 Studebaker still hold air with their tubeless tires after something more than 200,000 miles.

While replacing the wheels would insure that they are of the correct weight and use rating, a knoweldgeable tire technician should be able to examine the wheels and advise you of their suitability for continued use. For my own peace of mind, I always have my Good Year dealer fully inspect my wheels including checking for run-out and out-of-round prior to mounting new tires.

Good luck with your investigation!

Kevin
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Old 12-29-2004, 05:55 PM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfixx
I just had my tires removed from the stock wheels and they both had inner tubes. I was going to replace the tires due to dry rotting sidewalls and 1 had a slow leak. I'm assuming the wheels would leak without inner tubes so is it okay to use tubes again or is it a good indicator that I should replace the wheels? They have a fair amount of rust but not widespread deep pitting.

Thanks,

Steve
Steve, when I bought my coach, it still had the original, 1972 tire on it(!). One had a tube in it, I assumed it was because of the dry rotted sidewalls of the 32 year old tires, but after installing new tires, I found out that the tire had a tube because the wheel had a crack in it.
That wheel is now a spare, with a tube, it will work as a spare, but will never be used "on the road" again. 2500 pound wheels are available from several sources for pretty reasonable money.
Terry
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Old 12-30-2004, 07:23 AM   #4
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It is my understanding that an inner tube will make a tire run hotter than it would without an inner tube.

My Overlander sat in one place for 23 years before I got it. One tire had gone flat & had popped the bead. Thinking that the sealing surface may have rusted too much to seal well, I warned the tire shop that an inner tube may be necessary. The spare already had an inner tube.

To my surprise, they were able to get both tires to seal by wire brushing, and applying magic goop to the sealing surface.

Also, I hear that Redneck Trailer Supply carries wheels of the correct load rating if you go that route.

Tom
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:08 AM   #5
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It is my guess that Overlander 64 has hit the nail on the head. I without seeing the rims, I would also guess that these tires had tubes due to the split rims.

Being a Goodyear Dealer's child, I would recommend that you consider new rims, and certainly new tires. Replace the tires even if they have not had a single mile put on them, the rubber breaks down over time. Mine sat for 14 years, covered and with no weight on them, and the first thing I did was get new tires.

Here is a link that provides some good information and emphasizes some of the danger:

http://www.vintagepowerwagons.com/pr...rim-safety.htm

Note of emphasis: The article states that many current tire stores do not have the experience and equipment required to change split rims. This will be true for stores that do not also do commercial work - Semi's etc. Most metro chains will not do this work, they will be focused on passenger cars only. These rims have long been out of the passenger market, so there is little chance they will have the experience and equipment. Best thing to do is ask.

My note has focused on the safety of the dealer, but as the article also states there is also some risk to you. This may be slight, but certainly is avoidable.
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Old 12-30-2004, 09:56 AM   #6
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split rims

I'm certain that they are not split rims, so someone was just trying to get a few more miles out of the tires. I'm going to have them professionally media blasted ($14ea) and then I'll have a good look at them. At worst I'll get new wheels and use one of these for a spare. What do I do about my rusty hubcaps? Thanks for all the help...

Steve
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Old 12-30-2004, 12:20 PM   #7
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If the wheels clean up and the bead will seals I would run them tubeless for a couple reasons. Upon a puncture tubeless tires normally develope slow leaks instead of rapid deflation that occures when a object creates a rip in a tube. Second and most dangerous thing that can happen is when using a tube in a wheel and tire designed to run tubless it is possable to get a flat inside a flat. A small puncture can alow air to escape a tube and become trapped inside the tire . The results are a tube that becomes wadded up inside of a tire creating a severe out of balance condition and when the tubes' valve stem finally is pulled from the rim --sudden deflation--blowout etc. ------- Pieman
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Old 12-30-2004, 01:13 PM   #8
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Question Tube Type Rims

Well, I'll throw this into the mix here. My 67 GT had a pair of factory alloys on it with an original? "mobile home" tire (the manufacturer escapes me at the moment) on a steel, one piece, tube type rim as a spare. The mounting hole for the valve stem is too small to accomidate the standard tubeless valve. Also, if I remember correctly, the small lips on the inside of the rim to hold/seat the bead were smaller and possibly nonexistant.
When I replaced the tires on the alloys, I had to put a tube rated for use in tubeless tires when I mounted the better of the two as a new spare.
Hope that makes it as clear as mud.
Tom.
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Old 12-30-2004, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfixx
What do I do about my rusty hubcaps? Thanks for all the help...

Steve
A Brillo, or SOS pad, wet, until the worst of the rust is gone. If all the chrome is gone, you will have to either go re-chrome, or maybe full size hubcaps. If the chrome is still mostly there, after brillo-ing and drying, you can apply some automotive wax to them to slow down a reappearance of the rust.
Terry
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