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Old 30 October 2007, 23:32   #1
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Significant Temperature Change & Trailering

A friends brother-in-law is going to tow my 19' Apex from Michigan to Florida (approx 1200 miles) for me next week.

The potential problem is...

The tubes were fairly firm at 75 degrees Fahrenheit a couple of weeks ago. Now the temperature has dropped to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit and they are really soft. In fact they sag quite a bit and even bounce around when the trailer is on a rough road.

If I fill the tubes up now at the colder temperature, do I risk over-pressure and a rupture when he gets to the warmer climates in the south?

If I leave the tubes soft, can the wind and/or bouncing around on the highway do any damage to them?

I just bought this boat recently and have absolutely NO experience whatsoever with RIBs. Additionally, there is hardly anyone around our area that knows anything about them either. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :-)

Amanda
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Old 31 October 2007, 00:07   #2
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Hi and welcome to RIBNET.

Although I'm not familiar with the area your going to be travelling I think the solution is going to be quite simple. Take an air pump with you and make sure the tubes are reasonably firm prior to setting off. Then take a stop every hundred miles or so and let a little air out at each stop. If you let too much air out at any point you'll always have the pump with you to top up to a reasonable level.

Hope this is of some help.
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Old 31 October 2007, 02:29   #3
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Providing the tubes aren't nearly deflated and that they roughly retain their shape, then the answer is, it will be OK to travel with softer tubes.

If you want to entrust your brother to checking the tube pressure on the journey down South, then I would pump untill firm at the beginning of the trip and deflate the tubes as you move South to warmer parts.

Wish I was going to Florida!
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Old 31 October 2007, 08:21   #4
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Dose the Apex have pressure relief valves fitted?
If so just pump it up & they will do the job for you!!
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Old 31 October 2007, 10:14   #5
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If I were pulling the boat, I would definitely pump them up and make adjustments as I travel. The problem is, I don't know if I can trust him to pay attention or not since I don't really know him very well.

As far as the "pressure relief valves", I don't know and I haven't been able to find anyone near me that has experience with RIBs. Is there any way for me to identify them? Can someone post pictures of both types for comparison? Is there anyone on the board from the Metro Detroit area that knows of a local shop with RIB experience?

P.S. If it turns out that I don't have "pressure relief valves", can it be refitted with them?

Thanks for the help!

Amanda
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Old 31 October 2007, 10:41   #6
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You can get pressure relief valves fitted, not sure if you can get retro fit ones a that replace the existing valve mechanism, but definatly can have them fitted as a whole unit.

As for the tubes Amanda, leave them soft and entrust in the power of Hyperlon or PVC.

If you're that worried, deflate them completly and tape or strap the excess to the hull so it doesn't flap around. Should make the Gas milage better too.
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Old 31 October 2007, 10:48   #7
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Not sure if the shop is still around, but there used to be a place around Detroit, maybe Ann Arbor, that was called "Hurricane Inflatable Boat Center" or something like that. I think the fellow's name who ran it was Bruce Wagner. I met him a few times years ago when he used to live in Toronto.

Most Apex tubes I have seen are either white or light grey hypalon so the increase in tube air pressure will be a little less pronounced as the boat travels south. I would suggest inflating the tubes in Michigan until they are "almost firm" so that they don't flex too much on the highway at cool temperatures. By the time the boat reaches Florida the tubes will have become pressurized, but not too the point of blowing a seam IMO.

I don't think Apex tubes are supplied with pressure relief valves as standard items. They can be added. Maybe Bruce can help you out if he is still around.
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Old 31 October 2007, 11:51   #8
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My Polaris seems to be pretty sensitive to temp changes. So much so that I routinely soften them when pulling the boat from the water (going from 50 F water to direct sunlight.) I find that even worse is elevation changes (or worse yet, elevation changes in hot weather.) Trailering from the Bay Area to Lake Tahoe is a never ending cycle of pulling over, adding or removing air, and getting back on the road.

I doubt being somewhat underinflated will hurt anything; my tubes have been bouncing while trailering for 2 years, and no apparent problems are showing up. I actually use the bounce to gauge how tight the tubes are getting when going from coastal (cool temps) to inland valley (higher temps.) When they stop bouncing, I relieve pressure a bit more.

I sourced some Leafield A6 (I think it was) pressure relief valves from a place called Man of Rubber (a shop whose name would fit in quite nicely in San Francisco); I had originally planned on doing the installation, but it appears I'll have to have them patched in, so it will probably be done professionally when I get a break in the diving.

jky
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Old 31 October 2007, 11:55   #9
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When you think about the pounding the tubes get whilst in the water, a little bit of bouncing on a trailer isn't going to hurt them at all.
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Old 31 October 2007, 12:16   #10
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Hi Amanda,have a look at your tubes & see if there are two round plastic caps on each tube compartment,if there are two then one of them should the pressure relief valve,if you have any doubts then get yourself an electric inflator which can be reversed to suck the air out of the tubes,you will be suprised at just how hard this will suck in the tubes to the lip that they are mounted on,I am in Florida until Dec 11th,if you need any help then give me a call on 407 704 0199.Best of luck & welcome to ribnet.Gordon.
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