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Towable Tube Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between a commercial and a consumer towable?

Commercial towables are generally used for commercial applications such as at a camp, resort, or beachfront concession business and must endure heavy use. These towables are built using 28 oz, 1000 Denier reinforced PVC material and are consequently much more expensive than consumer towables. Consumers can certainly purchase the commercial grade towables if they are looking for the ultimate in durability and want to pull 3-6 riders at one time. Consumer grade towables are typicllay constructed of 30 gauge non-reinforced vinyl and generally have a nylon covering over the inflatable bladder. They are intended for more recreational use and generally accommodate a smaller number of riders simultaneously (ie. 1-3 riders).

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How do I inflate/deflate a water towable?

There are a number of inflation devices available for inflating consumer towables. They range from large volume, 2-way hand/foot pumps to 110VAC and 12VDC electric pumps. Most of these pumps will allow you to both inflate and deflate your product. You can also use your shop vac (if it has an exhaust port), leaf blower, etc. to inflate the large chambers of the towable. The small chamber has a much smaller valve, and require the use of a hand or electric watersports pump.

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Can I use an air compressor to inflate my towable?

We do not recommend the use of an air compressor for inflating any products unless done so with extreme care and caution as over-inflation can more easily occur, thus potentially damaging the tube beyond repair. A Schraeder valve adaptor is required for use with an air compressor, tire pump, etc.

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How often will I need to add air to my product?

You will likely need to add air periodically or release air to maintain proper air volume within the tube. Due to the expansion and contraction of air as the outside temperature varies, you may find it necessary to add some air or let some air out to maintain proper firmness of the tube. Also, products that have extended use may need to have air applied more often than products that are used less frequently.

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Why is it important that I maintain proper air volume within the tube?

Both over-inflated tubes and under-inflated tubes can cause premature stress on the seams. You can extend the life of your product by ensuring that the proper volume of air is inside the tube. You can tell if your tube is properly inflated when the cover is stretched taught and the bladder is firm to the touch. It should be difficult to insert your hand between the cover and the tube when the bladder is properly inflated. If your tube is bulging significantly in areas not encased by the nylon cover, then you have too much air in the tube and some air should be released. Monitor this air pressure throughout the day as the heat of the sun will change the air volume within the tube.

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How can I troubleshoot a tube that is not holding air?

In most cases, air loss within a tube is caused by either a change in air temperature (i.e. lower temperatures cause the air within the tube to shrink) or a valve that is not seated or closed properly. Always check the valves first. If you know they are seated and closed properly, then try adding more air. If the tube is still not holding air, then remove the bladder from the cover and rub down the entire tube with a sponge using dish soap and water. With this method, you will hear a hissing sound or see soap bubbles forming in the area of the leakage. Repair any small holes using the repair kit supplied with your product.

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How can I ensure that the Boston Valve is seated and closed properly?

Check to make sure the o-ring is in place in the valve body. Also look closely to make sure the valve doesnít have any nicks or sand in the threads that would prevent the body from being screwed down tightly. Check to make sure the valve body is threaded straight into the base. There is a plastic retainer ring that keeps the valve body from falling apart from the base. If this ring gets pulled out of its groove in the base, it can easily be trapped between the o-ring and base when the valve body is screwed into the base. This is by far the most common reason that people find their valve to be leaking. To correct, reinsert the ring into the groove in the base or you can clip off the ring to ensure it canít interfere with the o-ring seating properly on the base.

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How can I ensure that the clear plug valves are seated properly?

Prior to inserting the plug into the valve base, moisten the surface of the plug then quickly insert it into the base. Doing so will allow the plug to slide more freely into the base until it bottoms out. The moisture around the plug also helps seal it. An improperly seated valve is a common reason for air leakage in smaller air chambers of your tube.

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How do I maintain and store my product?

When the product is not being used, we recommend storing it in a cool, dry place out of the sun. Although the bladders and covers are impregnated with UV inhibitors, prolonged exposure to the sun may degrade the look of the product. Remove all sand and other debris from the tube, clean with mild soap and water and let dry completely before storing. Roll the product loosely and store in a dry container that will not allow it to be damaged by rodents or other animals. If you store a product when it is wet, it may foster the growth of mold and mildew. Do not store in an area where the tube will be subject to extreme variations of hot and cold temperatures. Exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures over a prolonged period of time can damage the product.

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