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Old 08-08-2011, 08:45 PM   #1
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Double Blowout

Group,
I know there is a blowout thread... With great information I'm considering..

BUT I feel this is a real problem for everyone who have the stainless steel wheel covers and valve extensions !

I had the same double blowout as " ilmor " but the thread turned to a great repair which I read three days before my blowout
and I think everyone should fix ( actually this is a warranty item as it came from FR wrong ) their unit ASAP

ISSUE:
You don't put valve extensions on the factory rubber valves !
WHAT HAPPENS:
At speed, in my case: 63 mph on interstate 5 just outside of Sacramento I heard the Woosh mentioned in ilmor''s thread then the banging then hissing air...

The centrifugal force of the weight of the valve stem extension pulls out the inner valve completely ( I have mine and can show pictures ) then the weight of RV is on the outside tire, the wheel flexes and the wheel cover comes off pulling the outer valve apart. ( all split second )
I was lucky and the outer tire though going down allowed me a 1/3 of a mile to get to a good spot and AAA RV / motorcycle ins. Got me back on the road in 2.5 hours. I had to pay $ 320 but I'm told this will be reimbursed now that I'm back.

I feel this is a real problem and a dangerous one. We've had two, mine was on a rather bumpy stretch of I 5 but the speed limit is 70 mph !
At that speed it would have be catastrophic.


So Cal Solera
John
btw average 13.4 mpg on the two trips to No Cal. and Wash .
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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Maybe you should file a report at the US DOT as this sounds like a chronic
safety issue.
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:24 AM   #3
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scared

Now you have me scared. Plan to look at mine when I get home this weekend. I have a 2011. I know it has the mesh line extensions.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:01 AM   #4
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This is scary, it begs the question tho, what does your average dually truck have, or semi's have, surely FR only need to duplicate what the industry have to produce something safe. How difficult can that be?
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:08 AM   #5
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SoCal, was it also your right rear tires like mine?

Wow, this is interesting to see and it appears to confirm what I thought happened w/ mine. I had no actual evidence as all of my parts apparently flew off into the woods, except that my inner wheel stem was gone.

What I question is that centrifugal force would cause the stem to pull out. The force would not be in the direction that would pull on the stem, rather, it would be towards the outside running surface of the tire.

I'm wondering if the stems themselves could be defective. There was a recall on Sprinter valve stems at one time, although an earlier model and not on the 3500 model.

Help! Valve Stem Problems?? - Sprinter-Forum

I'm also learning that its possible that the valve stems we have from the factory are rated only for 65 psi?? I have replaced mine w/ combination brass / rubber which are rated at 100 psi. I was also unable to locate a full-metal stem that would fit the Sprinter wheels. Read through this thread...

help!.... 65 psi valve stems? - Sprinter-Forum

After installing my new high pressure stems, I also installed new s/s valve extenders and the TireTraker TPMS sensors. Now I'm second guessing....and this is really annoying since I only have 1 weekend between now and my next trip!!
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:22 AM   #6
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Ilmor,
It was the right rear and the stem came out completely first ( woosh ) then bang bang as the
Extension for the outside tire tried to hold on then hissing as the extension finally sheared in half
and the outside tire began losing air. The repair guy was from a truck repair place and couldn't believe
they put extension tubes on a rubber valve.
You can see the damage at :
Http://gallery.me.com/johnlrhodes/100273

John
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Old 08-15-2011, 05:51 AM   #7
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Thanks SoCal. Just a note about the rubber valves, its not uncommon that extension tubes be installed with them. Metal stems are "recommended", but I've had extension tubes on rubber valves for years and I suspect many others have as well.

In addition to changing out to high-pressures stems, another thing I've done now is wire-tie my extension tubes so that there's no chance they'll move around and cause extra stress on the stems. You can also see my new TireTraker sensors in these photos.



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Old 08-20-2011, 03:29 PM   #8
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Hello People coping with the "Double Blowout" problem:

I just had the same problem two days ago (18 Aug 2011) with my 2010 Solera (a 2008 Dodge Sprinter). I was driving down some busy highway in Northern VA (Rt 1) and "bam!" out goes the hubcap and a bunch of hissing sounds ensued. But I was able to pull over on side of highway within a few meters. Both right rear tires deflated. It was sort of "scarey" what with all the traffic. But eventually (2-3 hours) the "tire guy", responding to my call came and put a temp. fix on my situation by re-inflating the two tires, after putting two new stems in them (the extended stems having been pulled out of the tires when the hubcap went out -- the hubcap looks just like the image in the below thread)

But that was just a "temporary" fix. Now i have to figure out how to make a permanent fix. My thinking is I just need a new hubcap with those extension things. Called local Dodge dealer and was told that the problem was not "theirs" to fix, rather for me to call some local RV dealer that might fix it, i.e. get a new hubcap with those extension things. Have yet to get to an RV dealer, what with it being weekend and all. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

We really like the Solera, but from reading the below string of postings i tend to agree with KyDan: i.e. maybe this is some sort of chronic problem, a safety issue that we should notify NHTSA (DOT) about (just how one does that, i have no idea).

All the best to you "Double Blowout" people. Regards -- j.c.
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:38 PM   #9
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SOLERA OWNERS,
Forest River IS aware of the issue, and are discussing it as we type. I get the feeling they are taking it seriously... If I find out anything I'll post ASAP.
My Solera is in for warranty repair of the running lights ( fixed btw thanks Mc Mahon RV ) and I pick it up Monday. Which is good as I'm leaving Tuesday for a 2 week 4 state trip through Nevada to Idaho then Oregon and back doing " Starparties " with amateur astronomers in ID & OR...

John
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Old 08-20-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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The Dodge dealer was correct; this is a Forest River or RV dealer issue.

My solution is described above.

You van do either that or have your RV dealer do the repairs for you.

I'm actually on a new trip as I write this, having done the repairs. So far so good...
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