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Old 08-02-2019, 06:14 PM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Londonderry , New Hampshire
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 251
Valve stems: metal or plastic?

Here is a burning topic for today. I put all the wheels back on my 345
after changing the airbags. I checked the pressure on all of the tires.
Some of the valve stem caps were missing.

You can get a bag of plastic valve stem caps real cheap online.
You can get a bag of chrome plated brass caps online for not much
more. Which is better?

In the past I have had brass caps corrode and not come off.
But the brass must seal the stem better then the plastic ones.

Decisions, decisions, my head hurts!
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Old 08-02-2019, 07:43 PM   #2
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
NW Oregon in a nice spot , Oregon
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 611
Or you can create a new hobby where you stop at every gas station air pump and collect all the caps that have been left behind, try out your collection on your tires and see what appearance you prefer!!! I think for the most part the caps are to keep dirt and grunge out of the valve stems. So after that it is an appearance thing. Not an expert here - just an Airstream Forums opinion.
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Old 08-02-2019, 08:05 PM   #3
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Londonderry , New Hampshire
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by bweybright View Post
Or you can create a new hobby where you stop at every gas station air pump and collect all the caps that have been left behind, try out your collection on your tires and see what appearance you prefer!!!

Yes, become a connoisseur of valve stem caps!
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:11 AM   #4
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 416
Hey,
Get wild, and order a set of dice covers. In red of course. Red equals fast. Fast is good. You'll have the feeling of driving a street rod, with all of the amenities of home. It's a win win. Available thru any hotrod parts site DJ
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Old 08-03-2019, 08:22 AM   #5
4 Rivet Member
 
1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Londonderry , New Hampshire
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 251
Quote:
Originally Posted by davejay View Post
Hey,
Get wild, and order a set of dice covers. In red of course. Red equals fast. Fast is good. You'll have the feeling of driving a street rod, with all of the amenities of home. It's a win win. Available thru any hotrod parts site DJ

Only if they come with a matching set of fuzzy dice to hang from
the mirror.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:59 AM   #6
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1979 30' Argosy
Everton , Arkansas
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 11
I was able to pull over a RV 5th wheel that we were passing on our motorcycle. The front tire was almost to the rim. The valve stem rotted off. I only put new metal stems in and metal caps on.
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Old 08-03-2019, 12:17 PM   #7
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1972 31' Sovereign
Sevierville , Tennessee
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DEDUBE View Post
I was able to pull over a RV 5th wheel that we were passing on our motorcycle. The front tire was almost to the rim. The valve stem rotted off. I only put new metal stems in and metal caps on.
Those metal ones are far more likely to leak than rubber ones. Especially if you have alloy wheels. As long as you put new valve stems in with the new tires the rubber ones will last the life of the tire. Valve stems should be changed whenever the tire comes off the rim.
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Old 08-03-2019, 02:57 PM   #8
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,511
All metal valve stems will leak if not properly installed. The usual mode of failure is a leaking seal from over tightening during installation. That causes the seal to spread out so far it no longer can cover all the surface to be sealed. Also, even at the Airstrem Service Center, they have three different metal stems available installation. In my case I had a new, very accurate, digital air gauge with a close tolerance clip on inflator, so you don't need to hold iit on some of the valve stem while airing up. They were able to find a stem that specifically fit my inflater. What a help to this old man trying to bend down and air up six tires. Fortunately, with ProPressure monitoring and Michelin tires, I don't actually have to air up very often. Usually, only in the spring each year. This last time at JC, I had my tires changed and sure enough during the weekend I had a new one leak down 20 pounds over the next two nites before I departed on Sunday morning. my new stems made reinflating a snap.
guskmg
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Old 08-03-2019, 06:58 PM   #9
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Southaven , Mississippi
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 18
You may not need to worry about that question if you get a tire monitoring system. Mine does not have a valve stem on top which I am not sure if that is good or bad. It is great as long as I never have to adjust the air pressure in the tires.

I can see all tire pressures and temperatures from my dash.
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Old 08-04-2019, 09:10 AM   #10
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1987 34.5' Airstream 345
Menomonee Falls , Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 416
Hey,
Fuzzy dice are cool. What a topic.
My on bought a Honda vaulkrie in Florida. He was going to drive it back to Wisconsin. It had been sitting for 14 years. As an old guy,and his dad, I asked him if he thought that was wise. He assured me everything was fine. Right... I asked him to call me every time he got fuel, to see if he was alright. First stop . I called him. So jake how's it going. Not so good, I got these long cuts on the sides of the tires, that I didn't notice when I bought it. Ah, jake, those are dry rot. Oh. You need new tires right now. Yah, I figured, because I also have a flat tire on the rear. Did you check air pressure before you left? No they looked good. Right. And, the front tire has no valve stem. What? Yah it has no valve stem. I think it broke off. Jake. That means you have no air pressure in the front tire. Yah, I know, but the bike handles just fine at 80 mph.. Jake, please get tires before you go any further. Yah, I think the rear tire is un fixable.
God must have some plan for that boy, because he should be dead. Yah it handles just fine at 80 mph,,,, with no air,,,,, in the front tire.... He does look after small children and fools. Now I know why I'm grey, short tempered, impatient. DJ
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