RV tire valve extenders are a convenience you probably didn’t know you can have. If you have a bad back, legs, or just have to wear gloves outside while attempting to check tire pressure or put air in your tires – you know the difficult feeling of finding short valve stems.
The solution is to add RV tire valve extenders to your tires to make them that much easier to reach. You won’t have to worry about your physical health or taking those gloves off when the tire valve extender is in plain view.
Installing a valve extender can be tricky, only because the original valves might be hard to reach – which is part of the reason why you would need valve extenders. Read below for some more guidance.
Getting things lined up for RV tire valve extenders
One of the most difficult parts of installing the valve extender is to find the original valve. The hubcaps and valves on some tires are not friendly to the human hand – and the valve itself is often dark gray or black.
You should start by getting some help, or the tricky use of a mirror so that the valve stem is in a place where you can get to it. Ideally, you’ll want to drive the vehicle very slowly and have someone else tell you when the stem part of the tire is higher up, which makes it easier for some people to reach.
Installation – Remove the original cover
You won’t need the original valve stem cover anymore after installing the valve extender, though you can certainly keep it around in case you want to use it again later. Keep it in a safe place like the glove compartment.
Valve covers tend to be plastic and are quite easy to remove with just your hands turning it left.
Installation for RV tire valve extender – adding a 90 degree
Most RV valve stem extenders will have a metal 90 degree angle extender tha allows the stem to reach out from inside the tire.
Each valve extender will have an end with a receiver that is screwed on over the existing valve stem and a cap end where the air goes in.
Take the receiver end and tighten it over the valve stem. You should hear a slight hiss, as the valve is often designed to release some air when something is attached. Continue tightening until you don’t hear anything.
Tighten the valve extender further. An adjustable wrench is recommended for this purpose.
You can also wrap everything but the cap on the valve extender with teflon tape to ensure that travel doesn’t vibrate the extender’s screw out of place.
- Be sure your valve extended is installed straight. You could accidentally cross threads and make it difficult to remove.
- Before wrapping, ensure the valve extender is where you want it to face. Removing tape is a bit more difficult than applying it.
Can I get different length valve extenders?
Yes! Some manufacturers recognize that different RVs require different lengths and offer at least a couple different lengths to fully reach out of your tire.
Otherwise, you could measure from the end of your stem with a very small measuring tape (more likely the kind use for sewing) and see how long you need to go around the inside of the tire.
Can valve extenders cause leaks?
If improperly wrapped, or just poor quality, a valve extender can indeed leak. This moreso means that a valve extender is likely to leak when attempting to put air in. A valve extender is unlikely to cause a leak from the tire itself since it’s still attached to the original valve.
Are valve extenders always metal?
A rubber valve extender is available too. These are more flexible and generally cheaper, but are also a bit more likely to leak unless they have a connection inside that keeps them well sealed.
Rubber is a bit popular in warmer areas, as metal valve extenders, when unwrapped, can be a bit toasty to the touch.
Do I need tools to install a valve extender?
You don’t need a wrench, but it will help tighten the valve extender in a way that a hand cannot. A wrench also reduces the need to keep your hand in the hub cap of the tire, which can be unpleasant.
Can I have a tire pressure monitoring system with my valve extender?
Valve extenders can make installation of a TPMS and the actual read-out more complicated since you’ve made the path for air to be read a bit longer, but it can be done.
The challenge here is that many drivers, especially for RVs, could certainly use the utility of the tire pressure monitoring system to keep on the road as safely as possible. Another way to know if your tire pressure is when your vehicle feels or sounds like one side is moving faster than the other – but you’ve already created a potentially negative situation there.
How long will it take to install tire valve extenders?
Including wrapping, you should be able to install all four tire valve extenders (or more for a dually) in a few minutes each. Be careful and slow – getting it right makes it easier than rushing through installation.
Installing tire valve extenders can save your hands, legs, knees, back, and probably other body parts. Rather than reaching your hand past a hot or cold tire rim with your bare hand, the valve stem can extend out and be much easier to reach.
Get a wrench ready and find a partner to help you figure out when the current valve is in just the right spot to make it as easy as possible to install.