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There are some boats (like the Aire E series) that you don't really have an option, but most rafts are the same shape on each end. I always thought that the valves should be in the back of the boat. Though on our last day out rafting, a friend of mine said he runs his with the valves up front. He said when carrying gear, having the valves up front make them more accessible if you need them.

So I am just wondering what other boaters are doing.
 

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Yeah I run valve up front and purge valve in the back. Assuming you don't have gear piled in the bow you won't have to unrig to top off the floor in the morning. The purge valve will last longer when your not stepping on it and driving sand and grit into the valve.
 

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Valve in front

valves up front. He said when carrying gear, having the valves up front make them more accessible if you need them.

So I am just wondering what other boaters are doing.
That is my reasoning. I have a 143R that could be run either way, but when it is loaded up with the River Bag and all the usual crap I bring along it would be a major pain in the ass to simply top off the floor if it was in the back. The downside is the valve tends to get more sand and grit in it which can cause it to leak slowly and probably wear out quicker. It is pretty easy to clean and not much more difficult to replace the moving parts. My boat is 10 years old with lots of miles and I've only cleaned so far, not replace. One advantage of the AIRE boats is that the pressure release valve is inside the floor pocket and doesn't seem to take the abuse that PRVs do when they are exposed.
 

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My Maravia does not have a pressure relief valve. I usually run with the fill valve in the back, but my boat is rigged so that the fill valve is easy to reach and I rarely need to top off my floor. I don't think it really matters.
 

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I run mine up front right now, though on my old boat I had it in the back. I really don't think it matters much and my only issue with it and the PRV being up front is standing on it and getting fly line caught occasionally. Thus far I've only had to top of my floor after I trailer it (PRV releases air) so once it's on the water and inflated it could be under my gear pile or hard floor and it wouldn't matter. I have asymmetric wear guards so if I want to change it I'd have to re-lace the floor. Something I'm doubtful to do as the pro's to having it in the back for me are barely outweighed by the con's - i.e. it really doesn't matter.
 

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I didn't really want people stomping on the valve and PRV in the front so they stay in the stern. As far as accessibility, my cargo usually gets completely unloaded each night so as long as I remember to check and top off the floor if it needs it in the morning before the cargo comes back it's a non issue.
 

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I didn't really want people stomping on the valve and PRV in the front so they stay in the stern. As far as accessibility, my cargo usually gets completely unloaded each night so as long as I remember to check and top off the floor if it needs it in the morning before the cargo comes back it's a non issue.
That's my reasoning. I also use a gear sling so the valve is fairly accessible unless the stern is fully loaded
 

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What is this term "topping off"? Do you mean people have to keep filling their name brand boats with air every day???? Glad I bought a poverty boat (vanguard) 8 years ago. It holds air for a week on deso as well as all winter when I put it away. Heck according to the name brand boaters it was supposed to fall apart in a year, then it was 5 years, now it'll be 10 years.....all kidding aside, I run mine in the stern for the aforementioned reasons.
happy floating!
 

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Touche

What is this term "topping off"? Do you mean people have to keep filling their name brand boats with air every day???? Glad I bought a poverty boat (vanguard) 8 years ago. It holds air for a week on deso as well as all winter when I put it away. Heck according to the name brand boaters it was supposed to fall apart in a year, then it was 5 years, now it'll be 10 years.....all kidding aside, I run mine in the stern for the aforementioned reasons.
happy floating!
Actually it's a self-fulfilling prophecy; my floor loses air slowly because there is sand in the valve, and there is sand in the valve because it is in an exposed location so I can easily top it off. That makes a ton of sense!

You "backwards" boaters are probably right....
 

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Up front. I use a board in the back so it wouldn't be accessible. My prv leaked for a few years until I got tired of it and replaced it. It also make a good little footgrab for the dogs.

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Tough question to answer since I row kind of backwards (gear pile in front of me, not behind me). So it's behind me as I row, but in the empty bay that I enter & exit the boat from. Wow, that was confusing. Thanks for the reminder about the PRV cap Randaddy. Gotta get one of those (or two) in my repair kit. More than one friend has had to duct tape their PRV on trips.
 

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What is this term "topping off"? Do you mean people have to keep filling their name brand boats with air every day???? Glad I bought a poverty boat (vanguard) 8 years ago. It holds air for a week on deso as well as all winter when I put it away. Heck according to the name brand boaters it was supposed to fall apart in a year, then it was 5 years, now it'll be 10 years.....all kidding aside, I run mine in the stern for the aforementioned reasons.
happy floating!
As the floor heats up from being in the sun through the day the relief valve maintains the proper pressure, when the floor cools overnight it gets soft. Pump it the next morning and the cycle continues. Has nothing to do with name brand versus, poverty boat. Although if your boat does not have a relief valve you may want to bleed the floor on warm days when the water is warm.
 

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i used to hear people say that it could potentially create a pinch-point when you're on rocky, shallow rivers.
as in pinch the under-side of the floor between the valve and whatever rock you're slamming into....
although i've never actually heard of it happening to someone, its still something to think about
 

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Tough question to answer since I row kind of backwards (gear pile in front of me, not behind me). So it's behind me as I row, but in the empty bay that I enter & exit the boat from. Wow, that was confusing.
I am more than just confused on this... I am pretty sure that it's not just me that feels that way...
 

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As the floor heats up from being in the sun through the day the relief valve maintains the proper pressure, when the floor cools overnight it gets soft..
If your floor is pumped up so tight that the relief valve is letting out air during the day while you are on the water you are running your floor to tight.

That is a big reason the relief valve fails.
 

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I am more than just confused on this... I am pretty sure that it's not just me that feels that way...
Sorry for the confusion. I run solo in my raft most of the time, so I put my gear pile in front of me instead of behind me for better balance. This also makes it easy for me to hop out of the raft onto shore when I land. Like the majority of the folks who've posted, my raft's floor inflation & PR valves are in the empty bow/stern? area, not in the gear area. I can definitely see the sand in the PRV issue, but I'd still like those two valves accessible.

Clear as mud now right?
 

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As the floor heats up from being in the sun through the day the relief valve maintains the proper pressure, when the floor cools overnight it gets soft. Pump it the next morning and the cycle continues. Has nothing to do with name brand versus, poverty boat. Although if your boat does not have a relief valve you may want to bleed the floor on warm days when the water is warm.
and the part of my comment "all kidding aside" was lost on you....
 

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If your floor is pumped up so tight that the relief valve is letting out air during the day while you are on the water you are running your floor to tight.

That is a big reason the relief valve fails.
NRS Inflatable Boat Use and Care Instructions at NRS.com of course not relevant to all boats and materials:
"Then top off until firm (about 2 - 2.5 psi). If the raft floor is self-bailing, inflate the floor until the pressure relief valve exhausts a small amount of air. A maximum of 2.5 psi is the recommended inflation pressure for NRS floors."

Leafield A6 Pressure Relief Valve at nrs.com "Holds pressure up to 2.4 PSI"

So inflating the floor until the valve blows is within NRS specs.

And of course totally understand "all kidding aside" when slamming boat quality, but figured it was worth explaining why it is not unusual to pump your floor each morning as it is relevant tot he conversation.
 
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