Skip to Content

RV Valve Stem Extenders Make It Easy to Check Pressures

RV Valve Stem Extenders Make It Easy to Check Pressures

There’s nothing more critical to our safety as RVers than rolling on tires with proper tire inflation pressure. Unfortunately, checking tire pressure can be challenging on some RVs due to the length, position, or angle of their tire valve stems. RV valve stem extenders exist for exactly these types of situations.

Today we’re taking a look at RV valve stem extenders (also called tire stem extenders or just valve extenders). As the name implies, they extend the length of your tire valve stems, making them easier to reach valve cores to check tire pressures.

There is a bit of controversy on the issue of RV tire valve stem extenders. We’ll tell you what that’s all about and how to make sure you’re choosing the right valve stems for your tires.

What Is an RV Valve Stem Extender?

An RV valve stem extender (or a tire valve extender on any vehicle, for that matter) lengthens/extends the valve stem so that it can be reached to check tire pressures and inflate tires as needed.

Short valve stems can be difficult to access and/or may face the wrong way, making them inaccessible. RV tire valve extenders can be super helpful in those situations.

In some cases, valve extensions can be an absolute necessity. If the position or angle of the stem makes it difficult or impossible to reach, you might not be able to check or adjust tire pressures at all. That’s most often a problem on RVs and trucks with dual tires. With duallies, normal-length valve stems on the inner tires may not be reachable from the outside.

A valve stem extender lengthens the tire valve stem so that it’s easily accessible for checking pressures and for proper inflation. In some applications, they can be combined with rigid, angled valve stems to make accessibility a breeze.

How Does a Valve Extender Work?

Most valve stem extenders simply screw onto the valve just as a valve stem cap does. You remove the cap, screw the extender onto the original valve stem, and then screw the valve cap onto the extender.

The extension may have its own valve/core, which depresses the one inside the original stem. Others have a rod inside that, in effect, simply “extends” the core up the new valve opening. This makes inflating the tires work the same way it did before the extenders were installed.

Some valve stem extenders require the removal of the Schrader valve on the original valve stem, which is then installed onto the extender and joined to the original stem.

Note: For the purposes of this post, we’ll deal primarily with the type of tire valve extenders with simple screw-on installation with no removal of the Schrader valve being necessary.

Valve stems may be straight, or rigid styles can come pre-bent in a range of angles to suit a variety of situations.

Extenders are available in a variety of lengths and styles. The length of the extenders for any given RV is chosen based on how they will best improve the accessibility of the valve on a particular rig. Easy accessibility means we’re more likely to check and adjust our tire pressures more often, which keeps us safer.

Here’s a video showing how to install RV valve stem extenders on an RV with dual rear tires:

Are There Different Types of Valve Stem Extenders?

As we noted above, there are valve extenders that require the removal of the Schrader valve and those that don’t. In addition to these design differences, valve extenders come in both flexible and rigid designs.


Some valve stem extenders are made of rubber. The problem with these is that they’re less durable and potentially more prone to leaks or failure. For obvious reasons, they’re less durable than most solid/rigid/metal options.

This photo shows what typical rubber extenders look like. But we’re not including a link here because we don’t recommend rubber valve stem extenders.

Rubber valve stem extenders

These are rubber valve stem extenders. We don’t recommend them as they’re more likely to crack or leak and just don’t hold up as well as other options through heat, cold, time, and travel.

Rigid Metal

Like rubber extenders, rigid metal valve stem extenders come in a variety of lengths. But because they’re rigid, they can be attached to rigid metal valve stems… even angled ones. As long as you have rigid metal valve stems, these are the best type of RV valve stem extenders. We have these on our own RV; they’ve never caused us a single problem in 18 years.

But putting metal valve stem extenders onto rubber valve stems is ill-advised. That’s because the heavier metal extension can cause the tire’s rubber valve stem to flex, weakening them over time. Only use rigid metal extenders on rigid metal valve stems. An angled valve stem may be needed, too, depending on your setup.

4Inch Dually Valve Stem Extenders,Set of 2Pcs,Heavey Duty,100mm Straight Metal Dual Wheel Valve Stem Extensions for Truck Tires, RV Tires, Motorhome, Coach, Pickup, Motorcycle, Bike, Trailer
  • 【PERFECT SOLUTION】Check your inner dual wheel tire pressure difficult ?Start. Right Now!Just Install this schrader valve stem extension.Fast and...
  • 【DESIGNED FOR HEAVY LOADS VEHICLES 】High temperature 100% leak-tested nickel-plated copper valve cores and rated up to 150 PSI.Perfect fit for...
CKAuto 6 Pack 45 Degree 90 Degree 135 Degree Metal Valve Stem Extenders, Universal Valve Stem Extensions, Silver
  • 3 Kinds Of Degrees : The valve extenders have 3 kind of angles, 45 degree, 90 degree and 135 degree, and they are all equipped with rubber seals, to...
  • Superior Quality : The tyre valve extension adaptor is made of brass, chrome plated on the surface, comes with metal dust cap, strong and long lasting...


Braided valve stem extenders are more flexible than rigid metal ones for use with installations that require a flexible extender. They’re also safer and more durable than rubber extenders, but can still be more prone to leaks than rigid models. And since leaks can lead to tire failure, solid metal extenders are best wherever possible.

We had these on our first RV — a 2002 Fleetwood Bounder Diesel — and they worked fine. If you need a flexible extender, it’s best to choose braided stainless steel over rubber.

4Pcs 7"/180mm Flexible Valve Stem Extenders Stainless Steel Tyre Tire Valve Stem Extension Adaptors Car Truck Trailer RV Trailer Vehicle (4Pcs 7"/180mm)
  • 【PERFECT SOLUTION】Check your inner dual wheel tire pressure difficult ?Start. Right Now!Just Install this schrader valve stem extension.Fast and...
  • 【EASY INSTALL&SAFETY】Simple to install, no tools required, The built-in core allows inflation and deflation. Just screw on, the stem fitting...


Braided valve stem extenders can be pressurized or non-pressurized. Pressurized braided extenders are usually attached to the rim, and instantly open airflow from the valve stem when they’re installed.

With a pressurized braided extender, you should hear air escaping as soon as the valve extender is screwed on, and the airflow should stop once the extender is properly tightened.


A non-pressurized braided steel valve extender will have a pin and an actuator rod that runs from the outer end of the extender down to the original tire valve. They do not depress the original stem’s valve core when installed, so you shouldn’t hear any air escaping when you first install them.

Once installed, when you press a tire gauge or air compressor onto the extender, the rod is pushed down through the tube to open the valve on the original stem.

Non-pressurized extenders are often referred to as airless valve stem extenders, as they aren’t under pressure. The original stem’s valve does the work of keeping pressure in the tire. These can provide an additional layer of safety, as they won’t allow air to escape from the tire if they become loose.

Do You Leave Valve Extenders On?

If valve extenders are required to reach the stems, they’re normally left in place at all times. They’re designed to stay in place once installed. Plus, removing and re-installing them regularly wouldn’t be practical.

As a matter of fact, repeatedly installing and removing tire valve extenders can make it more likely that they might leak. Install them correctly, check them periodically, and leave them in place.

Speaking of leaks, a primary way you might be tipped off to a poor seal around a valve extender would be a slow leak. If you find a particular tire slowly losing air over time, the valve extenders should be checked for leakage, and re-tightened or replaced as needed.

Are Valve Stem Extensions Safe?

Valve stem extensions can be safe as long as they’re properly installed and of good quality. Again, metal extenders are a good choice because they tend to leak the least and cause fewer issues overall.

Leaking is what makes valve stem extenders unsafe because leaking leads to low tire pressure, which is the most common cause of tire blowouts. We’ve had valve extenders on both of our rigs over 20+ years on the road, and we’ve never had a problem with any of them.

Do Valve Extenders Leak?

Valve extenders can leak if they’re not properly installed or if they’re damaged. Flexible extenders are more prone to cracking and other damage, with rubber extenders being the most likely to sustain damage that leads to leaking. Again, we suggest not using rubber valve extenders.

Metal extenders, while best overall, can also loosen. So you need to be mindful of checking them periodically no matter which model you choose. Like other safety-related inspections, vigilance is your best asset.

Can I Use Valve Stem Extenders With a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System)?

We’ve used TPMS sensors on our tire valve extenders for years with no problem. That said, we have rigid metal valve stems and rigid metal extenders.

The single biggest issue is caused by installing TPMS sensors on extenders that aren’t rigidly held in place. The weight of the sensor can flex and wear a non-rigid extension, mostly due to centrifugal force while driving. That makes solid steel valves and extensions the best choice for TPMS.

As a result, flexible braided extensions can only be used with TPMS sensors if they’re properly secured in place. That means the area near the end of the extension, where the TPMS sensor is screwed on, needs to be securely fastened to the rim.

Some TPMS manufacturers may recommend against using their products with valve extensions. It’s best to check directly with the manufacturer of your particular model to be sure.

If you’re unfamiliar with tire pressure monitoring systems, check out our post on RV TPMS. We never drive without ours!

Tire Pressures Are Critical to RV Safety

Remember that your safety and that of your family, your RV, and the people driving around you, depend on tires being in good condition. Proper tire pressures are absolutely critical to your safety as you travel in any vehicle.

We feel so strongly about the importance of maintaining proper RV tire pressure that we’ve not only written several posts dedicated to tire safety, but we’ve also written a detailed eBook about it. We’re happy to provide our book for FREE to all of our subscribers. To get the ebook, check out our post on RV tire pressure.

Free RVing Tips, Tricks, Reviews, Giveaways & More

Subscribe to our daily newsletter! We’ve been full-time RVers for 20 years (!) and share everything we’ve learned about RVing in our daily blog posts. Join our online community to receive a wealth of great RVing knowledge delivered right to your inbox.

Whether this is your first time on the road or you’re a seasoned full-timer, you’ll love the wide range of RVing topics we cover. Don’t miss a single article or any of our famous RV gear GiveawaysSubscribe today!

We'd Love It If You Shared This!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Wednesday 20th of September 2023

What about tire balance some of them look pretty heavy?


Monday 25th of September 2023

They SHOULDN'T pose much, if any, issue with balance, Allen. Unless the tire(s) was/were already a bit off and this added all it's weight in the same spot. On a motorized RV, you'd know pretty quickly and could have them re-balanced. With a towable... you'd likely never notice any imbalance, and it would be corrected next time the tires were changed and re-balanced (if you even did it).


Saturday 19th of August 2023

I have had two low pressure warning with flat tires on my 40 foot bus. Both were caused by failures of the metal extenders on the rear tires. I finally pulled the U-Turn tube off and just directed the remaining unit with the TPM cap toward the hub.


Friday 18th of August 2023

Recommend caveat with CK Extender. Website warns not to leave them on moving tires. For inflation only.

Dennis Clevenger

Tuesday 15th of August 2023

When shopping online for solid extenders, like the CKAuto ones mentioned in your article, many of them state "Not for use on running wheels". What exactly does that mean? If it means what I think it does, why would anybody only use them when parked?


Monday 14th of August 2023

Replacing my four rear dualies on my Sprinter 170 EXT. The Mercedes dealer service advisors indicate that Mercedes won't let them install metal valves because "of the high failure rate". I have been running end cap screw-on TPMS devices for several years but have worried about the rubber valve stems on both interior and exterior dualies flopping around from the TMPS devices and the extenders. Any thoughts on the metal versus rubber issue?

I will look for the rubber grommet to isolate the extenders from movement.

Thanks for your thoughts.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

PLEASE NOTE: We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We participate in affiliate programs from many companies (including the Amazon affiliate program), which provides a means for us to earn a small commission by linking to products there. But our opinions are our own and we only link to products we can recommend to friends with complete confidence. And using our links won't cost you an extra penny!