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Old 08-18-2016, 02:15 PM   #1
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Valve Stem Extensions for Seneca

Looking for info from fellow Seneca owners on what they did regarding valve stem extensions. I am worried about buying a "generic" set of extensions for all dually setups.

Has anyone purchased the kit directly from Alcoa? They look like the best option. If so, which kit did you buy? I don't keep the MH at my house, so getting to it to take measurements of the wheels could be a hassle.

If anyone has good luck with a non-Alcoa version, I am open to that too. Just worried about making sure they are supported and don't break off. I check my pressures as often as possible, especially towing my big trailer, but it really is a hassle without the extensions. Might be making a 18 hour tow in a few weeks, would like to make sure everything is as prepared as I make it.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:10 PM   #2
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On my 2006 Kodiak based Seneca, I installed a custom setup made up mostly of WheelMasters components. Installed them myself in a couple of hours, which includes drilling a few small diameter holes to mount brackets for the valve stems. I just purchased them with a braided hose for each wheel, and installed and routed them exactly opposite each other to retain the balance in each rear wheel assembly.

It was odd. In my case, they had the outer valve stem oriented toward the inner wheel, with practically no way to get an air hose tire fill adapter onto the end of the stem. No matter. It's well balanced and worth the effort. It's now easy to check and fill whenever I feel the need to do it.
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Old 08-18-2016, 03:42 PM   #3
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I too was very interested in installing extensions on my Seneca. I purchased a set of straight extensions and rubber grommet "supports" to install on the inner tires to move the fill point out for easier access. I screwed it on the inner tire's valve stem, but unfortunately it was not centered in the wheel hole so I could check/add air or even install the rubber support in the wheel hole. I tried to gently bend it up into the center.......Bam - Hiss - Check underwear! It emptied itself of all air in just seconds. It seems the valve stems are quite brittle and will not bend. I learned the hard way for sure!

Fortunately I have a Goodyear Wingfoot truck tire store very close, I limped it to them. They asked if my jacks would lift it off the ground (no problem there) and in just minutes had the tire off, demounted, new stem, tire remounted, reinstalled, and me back on the road. I asked them what I could do for extensions, and they suggested to leave them stock. They said they have seen many extension versions and all have their issues. They strongly felt original short stems were the least problematic. They showed me the extended air chuck they use to check pressures and fill which has a straight "foot" instead of angled like most car/light truck chucks. I bought one for my digital gauge and a second for my air fill chuck. They work great through the holes once the valve caps are off. More on that later.

I run the TireMinder TPMS system, but when I do need to fill I learned how to get the sensors off the still-stock valve stems relatively easily so I can fill. I park the MH so the passenger side outside dual stem (which faces inward) is at the 8:00 position as you look at it. Drivers side is 4:00; the idea is towards the rear of the coach whichever side you are working on. Then I lay down on the cement drive and can easily get my hand between the tires and spin the sensor off. Then I check pressure and add air through the wheel hole with my extended chuck. Reach back in between duals to reinstall sensor.

Now the inner tire's stem faces out, but it is recessed behind the outer wheel. My trick is a 12" piece of 3/4" rubber heater hose. I can put it trough the wheel hole and slip it over the TPMS sensor and unscrew the sensor. The sensor comes off stuck in the end of the heater hose. Fill/check the air as needed, stick the sensor back in the end of the heater hose and reinstall the sensor, being careful it threads on straight. 30 seconds to get them off/on now. Again, my chuck easily reaches the inner tire stem. Now if you don't have TPMS and just have stock valve caps, Goodyear uses a piece of fuel hose to slip over the cap and get it off. That is where I robbed the hose idea for the TPMS sensors! They said there are even purpose-built tools to reach in there, but the hose is cheap and readily available.

Sorry I was long-winded and did not give you a specific extension solution. And maybe in motorhome service extensions would be fine, since our annual accumulated mileage is far less than a semi tractor or trailer such as the Goodyear store sees every day. But I figured out they wouldn't work easily for me. Breaking off one stem was enough!
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:55 PM   #4
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Boy this site is great! I have a TPMS from my old class c and I've not put them on the Seneca because it looks difficult and just haven't had time to sit down and figure out a solution. Robbbyr you the man! What pressures do you set for max on your rig?
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain Cajun View Post
What pressures do you set for max on your rig?
I was running about 90 psi in each tire, have 13K on it now and tire wear is negligible. I am leaving next week for New England and am planning to drop the pressure to 80 psi all around and assess the handling and watch the tire wear carefully.

Our tires have a 110 psi maximum and at that pressure the load capacity is crazy high! My tires came inflated at that from Jayco and the ride home from the dealer (200 miles) with empty coach was harsh. Dropped the pressure (to 90) and loaded it up and it was so much nicer. So now we will see what 80 psi feels like. According to Michelin it is still more than I need for the axle weights I have.

As far as programming my TireMinder TPMS you program the regular cold pressure into the system, it has alarms when the pressure deviates a certain percentage either above or below your cold inflation pressure. You cannot adjust those deviations, and I have never seen any need to. I have used it on my last Ford-based Class C, and now on the Seneca. I upgraded the display last year and I love it!
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:53 PM   #6
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Rob, you should never run your tires lower than 75% of rated max. After weighing on scales and using Michelin charts I found that 85 psi is the right pressure for me.

SuddenRush, I ordered the valve extensions and the hole grommets directly from Alcoa. If you buy the proper size and hole offset it works fine. Look at the wheel model info stamped on the wheel and measure the size of the fist hole. Sorry I can't find the order info to just give you part numbers.
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Old 08-19-2016, 05:56 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the great answers. I don't have any truck service places relatively close to me, but I think I might start with the long straight air chuck solution first. I have been fighting with an angle chuck for a while now (which generally results in me not filling the inner tires unfortunately).

Walt, I didn't realize there was a wheel model stamped on the wheel. Last minute change to weekend plans has me racing this weekend, so I will be with MH tomorrow morning. I will get the number and hole dimensions to have for reference in case I end up going with extensions. Great to hear you have had good luck with the Alcoa ones... thanks for the info

RobbyR, I (and I am sure the rest of the forum members) always appreciate the thorough explanations you provide. Long winded or not, I always end up feeling smarter after I read them. TPMS is on my Christmas list.. maybe I'll end up with one.. who knows.

In the tires I can check easily I always run right at 100psi in the rears and 95 in the fronts. With the tongue weight of the trailer on the rear of the MH, I like to run them a little higher than most. Ride is pretty nice, and it really turns pretty well. So far (only 3,100 miles so far) there is no noticeable issues with wear. I am keeping a close eye on the rears though.. there is a pretty good load on them with the trailer hooked up.

Thanks again everyone for the info... this forum never ceases to amaze me.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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My air chuck looks like the attached picture. Also have one for my digital tire gauge from TireMinder. Works great on both rear duals.
Attached Thumbnails
straight air chuck.jpg  
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:54 AM   #9
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Yup. I had to switch to a straight foot to fit the rear of my Seneca as well.

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