Sunday, May 24, 2015

Major Screw Up – or Should it be ‘Down’?

Jacked up the Dynamax to remove front tire

Floor Jack, RV Jack, Pneumatic Lug Nut Gun on grass…Yep, a sign that putting on the Tire Pressure Valves did not go as easy as it should have.

Broken Tire Stem

SOMEBODY…OK, it was me…broke the valve stem while putting on an extender in order to attach the passenger side front tire monitor device to the tire.  First mistake, I did not think the front tires needed any extenders, so I did not get any through Amazon.  Second, the first set I got from Autozone were not long enough…but came in a pack of four.  So I put two together just to see if that length (2 1/2 inches) would work, and it did, but I was not going to have two of these together because it was too flimsy, and too much room for fault / failure.  So I went to Napa Auto Parts, and they sent me 13 miles into Sacramento (15 from where the Napa Store was located, 13 from the RV) where I got two solid 2 1/4 inch extenders.  Got back to the RV, and took off the smaller connected extenders, put these on…no pressure.   So I took the Tire Sensor off and pushed the extender…no air pressure.  So I took the extender off and saw a small o-ring from the smaller extenders I previously bought, which was fouling up the system.  Removed it, put on the extender, and there was pressure.  Put on the monitoring sensor, and it worked.  But the small locking screw was up against the wheel’s rim, so I tried screwing the extender on a bit more and BAM, it twisted right out, air rushes out of the tire, I feel STUPID.  We have another FLAT! 

Stem part inside extender

If you look closely, you can see the broken threads of the valve inside the extender.  Arny was able to get that out with a back-out device on his drill, so the extender was saved...the valve to the tire is history.

America's Tire Store (same as Discount Tire)

So after we got the tire lug nuts off, I take the tire down to America’s Tire (same as Discount Tire)…and they are being slammed with Business.  However, since they did not have to pull a vehicle into a bay to take the tire off the car (RV in my case), they were able to get right on it.  But they ran into a snag….they did not have the valve.  So back to Napa, this time in Rockland…and they need to send me, you guessed it, all the way back to the Napa 13 miles from Arny’s house, 20+ miles from America’s Tire, and 19 miles from the Napa in Rockland.  Now I am hitting up against a deadline…we are all going out to dinner at 4:00, and it is just past 3:00 pm.   Also, there is no “for sure thing” that the part I am going after is the correct part, but it looks like it is.

Napa Auto Parts, Northridge Road, Sacramento

So back to Napa, this one shown above from a Google Street View.  I call Arny and let him know what is going on, talk to Marcia and tell her that she will need to ride to the restaurant with someone else, and to bring me a clean shirt to change into.  At 3:45 I call and let her know I am 10 minute from America’s Tire, part in hand. I call at 4:00 to let them know I am in the car headed to the restaurant, tire fixed and in back of the HHR.  America’s Tire fix me right up…did not charge me a dime.  How nice we bought that $22 per tire guarantee! 

Dinner at Claim Jumper

Here is a cell phone picture of us at dinner…Arny’s mom, at the end of the table in a wheel chair, insisted on taking us all out to dinner before we left for Alaska.  Dad is there too, but out of the picture to the right, Marcia can barely be seen to the left.  I took the picture, so I made it too!  In fact, I pulled up next to them as they pulled into the parking lot, and mom and dad pulled in right behind me.  We have a GREAT dinner at Claim Jumpers, which we always seem to have, and David, our server, was real good.

Front Tire with Tire Pressure Monitor attached    Rear Tire with Tire Pressure Monitor attached

Tire on left is the front, you can see the sensor to the bottom right, and that shinny thing it is attached to is the new valve and the extender.   Tire right is the rear tire, with a sensor in the four o’clock and the ten o’clock positions for these dully tires.  Got them all filled up with air to the right pressure, got the non-flow through sensors put on the car, and everything is working and talking to the monitor.  Arny is always, make that ALWAYS, a big big help in these situations.  It is so nice to be able to park in their backyard, just ask Bubba and Skruffy.

So I left the RV at 10 am to get a few errands done, including picking up the first set of extenders…and ten hours later, all is well.  But it was a bit of Hell getting there, that’s all I have to say.  Tomorrow is departure day…Alaska is the destination.  I hope I don't have to fix anything for the next three months...but of course, we all KNOW that is just a dream.



    I'm so sorry for the inconvenience and problems - but maybe we should start a club. It's great that you had help and everything is now fixed and in place.

    I too, like Discount (America) tire. I always buy my tires there, and when I travel always use their "free pressure checks."

    Your "Bon Voyage" dinner at the Claim Jumper was so nice. We don't have any in my neck of the words, but I'll be on the lookout for one as I travel.

    Safe journeys and I'm writing out this RV Prayer I found just for you and Marcia!

    God bless our traveling home,
    and guide us safely where we roam.

    Help us find the roads we seek,
    and please don't let the plumbing leak.

    Save us Lord from engine trouble,
    and mechanics who would charge us double.

    As we journey on our way,
    Bless us fair weather every day.

    While you're watching over all,
    Could you please let gas prices fall?

    Lead us toward nature and friends,
    And when at last our journey ends;

    Grant our rolling home a rest,
    Until the next endurance test!

    1. Thanks Cheryl, that prayer really says it well. Made Marcia's morning.

  2. Nothing's ever easy, but this story takes the cake. Have a wonderful trip and I'll look forward to reading about it.

    1. Yep, this was sure a big "ding" on my ego, that's for sure.


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