Tire Pressure Monitors - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-10-2015, 01:47 AM   #1
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Tire Pressure Monitors

I set up a tire pressure monitoring system this evening in preparation for our trip to Half Moon Bay, CA for some R&R the weekend before the big Pumpkin Festival. This one is Truck System Technologies TM-510RV.

There is a picture of the box and a link to the manufacturer's YouTube video at the bottom of this post, as well as some pricing info and sources.

The system I choose comes with six wheel sensors that measure pressure and temperature and communicate via RF to the monitor/receiver unit located in the cab. This particular manufacturer has models with wheel sensors in two flavors: valve stem buttons the size of small mushrooms that are fairly light and install with a special wrench, and the larger flow-through sensors that have user replaceable batteries and don't need to be removed for inflation. These are rather more expensive, maybe 2x and the two systems, despite being from the same manufacturer, don't interchange with one another.

Since I have an older truck without any tire monitors if its own, I chose the six sensor system, and I went with the less expensive caps. Installation takes about an hour. Installing the monitor caps is fairly quick; just remove the tire valve covers and screw on the button sensor using the special wrench. Of course it's a good idea to top off all your tires to a known cold operating pressure first. There's half an hour.

Once installed, the sensors begin transmitting, but to be discovered by the display monitor, you need to key in the four digit code stamped on each sensor, which is unique to the sensor. You can imagine using just four buttons, + - Mode and Set keys, it takes a little while to enter "AC3F" or whatever you might have, plus you need to tell the monitor which tire is which on a little pictorial. The system supports up to 22 tires! Whether you have a single axle trailer, a dually tow truck, or an eighteen wheeler pulling a Suzuki Samurai, you should be covered if you invest in additional sensors.

The monitor includes a short antenna and a larger dipole antenna if you have a really long rig. My monitor had no trouble picking up the farthest tire without the need for the larger antenna.

After the sensors are programmed you can set the monitor alarm pressures (lo and high) and max temperature. The system will readout in degrees C or F. Tire temperature monitoring does work much better with metal valve stems that will conduct temperature to the sensors more readily.

The recommendation is to set the monitoring pressure alarms at 20% over normal and 10% under and leave the tire temp alarm about 157F

After configuring everything, the system will shift to a polling display that cycles through the assigned sensors and shows temperature and pressure of each tire for five or ten seconds as well as its physical position with a flashing tire in an overhead schematic. Of course you can manually override this and check individual tires at will. If the temperature or pressure goes out of the set range, an audible alert activates that needs to be cleared with a button press.

In setting up my system I found that two of the six sensors would not communicate. I checked the codes and reinstalled, but even using the dipole antenna and moving them to the nearby front wheels of the cab, they still didn't show. I emailed the support line and expect they will send some replacements. For the time being I am leaving the front wheels of the truck unmonitored. I figure I will get some feedback through the steering column if things start to go awry.

Some additional details about the system:

The display has an on-board battery that will run for 30 hours On a charge. And it has a backlight and motion sensor that will shut down when you stop moving.

Battery life is supposed to be around 5 years on the sensors, but the system I bought has a 2-year warranty. It comes with the monitor/display, a 12V cigar lighter adapter, a second 12V connector and cable for hard wiring power if you choose, six tire sensors, two of the special wrenches, some mounting clamps and Velcro pads for the display and the instructions.

My comments so far are that the wheel sensors are probably too large for car tires unless you get the wheels balanced with them installed. I think they're fine on SUV or Truck tires, and of course the trailer doesn't care much.

I'll update you when we return from our trip. It's great peace of mind knowing that I'll get some early warning if the trailer tires start to go flat or heat up, due to delamination of the plies or something. Generally you wouldn't know until the blowout.

Price is something like $250 retail via Cabella's or $300 at Camping World. I believe I paid around $150 from an EBay seller, but That could have been a one-time deal.

I'll post up some pictures if my phone will let me!

Regards,

Matt

http://youtu.be/f3Qs4zUpHas
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:17 AM   #2
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Matt we have a less expensive system by Tyre Dog. Our system, like your's is a valve stem system with replaceable batteries. No special wrench is required unless you want to prevent theft. I believe this is our fourth year using the sensors and only have replaced the batteries once. We feel that's pretty good considering we travel about 7 months a year.

The batteries/sensors are virtually turned off unless the wheels are rotating. If I want to read the sensors when not towing I tap them to fake them in to believing the tires are rotating. That could be your sensor's problem. Though removing the sensors and replacing them will sometimes cause our's to believe the tires are rotating for a short period (minutes).

We originally had sensors on the 2004 Honda CRV's rear tires and the Scamp 16. We never balanced the tires with the sensors in place and had no problems with the tires.

Though the sensors are measuring tire temperature, this also will warn you if a brake begins to drag before it's a disaster. we've gotten in the habit of looking at the temperature occasionally to see what the trend is rather than waiting for an alarm.
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Old 10-10-2015, 08:32 AM   #3
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Sounds like a very nice system Matt.
My concern with many of these systems is the cycle or refresh rate of the display, many are every 30 seconds or longer, which as we all know running a tire flat for 30 seconds can have catastrophic results when the tire disintegrates. Reading the specification on this model it has a Fast Leak Alert which alarms within 12 seconde, very nice feature
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:05 AM   #4
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Ian,

I don't know the scan rate of the Tyre Dog sensors but we had one tire with a screw gradually lose pressure and we could see it on the gauge, the scan rate was a lot faster than every 30 seconds.

Also it seems better than what's required on today's autos because it allows you to see pressure (and temperature) continuously instead of notification on failure or approaching failure.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:26 AM   #5
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Good information Norm
I looked through the Tyre Dog site and documentation and the refresh rate is not identified anywhere, but your first had experience indicates a good response time. I just wanted to identify that not all monitoring systems are created equal, accuracy and refresh rate are top of the list, less expensive systems may compromise in these areas.
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Old 10-10-2015, 09:40 AM   #6
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Ian,

I don't know the actual refresh rate and am now interested. One of these days when we have a little time I'll test it by letting a trailer tire leak down and measure the frequency of read out change.

When I bought Tyre Dog it was the lease expensive four wheel system I could find. We had 2 sensors on the trailer and two on the rear of the CRV's tires.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-TYREDOG-...537ccb&vxp=mtr
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:11 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
...
My concern with many of these systems is the cycle or refresh rate of the display, many are every 30 seconds or longer, which as we all know running a tire flat for 30 seconds can have catastrophic results when the tire disintegrates. ...
1. If your tire goes from full pressure to zero in less than 30 seconds then the monitoring system won't usually be any help anyway, even if it refreshes every microsecond, because you are unlikely to stop in 30 seconds or before some damage is done. Not much you can do once a blowout happens except stop as fast as possible.

2. The vast majority of tire problems come from a more gradual heating due to being under pressure and / or too much speed. This problem is avoided by the use of a tire pressure monitoring system, even with what you might consider a slow refresh rate.

3. Too fast refresh rates would kill batteries faster, and then you would be back to no monitoring until you replace the batteries.

4. I really like these systems but still think they are a little expensive and so far I am sticking with checking the pressure before every trip, sometimes during a trip, and ALWAYS feeling the tire (and bearings) for excessive heat at EVERY stop.

EDIT: But I am real close to pulling the trigger on the Tyredog one.

EDIT # 2: Important exceprt from a reviewer of the Tyredog TMPS

The problem, like others have reported, is that the receiver does not notify you in any way if the sensor is not working. Instead of showing a zero or error message/reading, the receiver shows the last reading it received...

Edit # 3: It looks like this one does tell you if a sensor is not transmitting.. But it needs to be mounted INSIDE the tire (at time of mounting).. there has got to be a simple solution, not too expensive, that warns you when sensors fail. The search goes on.
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:34 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
1. If your tire goes from full pressure to zero in less than 30 seconds then the monitoring system won't usually be any help anyway, even if it refreshes every microsecond, because you are unlikely to stop in 30 seconds or before some damage is done. Not much you can do once a blowout happens except stop as fast as possible.

2. The vast majority of tire problems come from a more gradual heating due to being under pressure and / or too much speed. This problem is avoided by the use of a tire pressure monitoring system, even with what you might consider a slow refresh rate.

3. Too fast refresh rates would kill batteries faster, and then you would be back to no monitoring until you replace the batteries.

4. I really like these systems but still think they are a little expensive and so far I am sticking with checking the pressure before every trip, sometimes during a trip, and ALWAYS feeling the tire (and bearings) for excessive heat at EVERY stop.

EDIT: But I am real close to pulling the trigger on the Tyredog one.

EDIT # 2: Important exceprt from a reviewer of the Tyredog TMPS

The problem, like others have reported, is that the receiver does not notify you in any way if the sensor is not working. Instead of showing a zero or error message/reading, the receiver shows the last reading it received...
I agree Gordon but if alerted by a fast deflation you can start slowing immediately and as long as conditions are safe a trailer combination can be stopped from 60 MPH in usually less than 10 seconds. These are great systems but they are a supplement to regular tire checks, inflation pressures, etc
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Old 10-10-2015, 10:51 AM   #9
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Failures and Warnings

Gordon and Ian,

My Tyre Dog does tell you if a transmitter is not transmitting. Over each sensor reading are 3 eyebrows, curved lines, the presence of these lines indicates transmission of data. When there are no lines the sensor is not transmitting.

My four tire Tyre Dog was about $150. My primary concern was the trailer's tires.

We've had two kinds of failures, a sensor quit working and battery failure. Both noticeable immediately. I usually walk around and tap each sensor with the monitor in my hand before we leave as a check. Sensors come assigned to a specific tire. Replacement sensors are available and have a learning mode that lets you assign them to a specific tire.

I did run the test but nothing too scientific. I unscrewed a sensor so air was leaking out but the sensor still reading. I say in one minute it gave me four readings as pressure feel from 50 to 43.5 psi.

As well if you totally unscrew a reading sensor it gives you a zero/low pressure reading immediately. When you re-install it gives you an immediate reading. Dramatic change is fast. Slow leaks reasonable. I have no in between information.

It does teach you a lot about the effective of mid day driving temperatures and the tires on the sunny side.

My trailer tires are normally set to 50 psi cold. As I proceed south the warmer temperatures result in a tire pressure cold higher than 50. I reduce the cold pressure accordingly.
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Old 10-10-2015, 12:03 PM   #10
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... These are great systems but they are a supplement to regular tire checks, inflation pressures, etc
OH I could not agree more, its only a supplement to proper maintenance.
Here is part of a review from one guy who apparently thought that a similar TPMS excused him from proper maintenance:

I bought this item on Amazon. I assumed everything was working fine (pressure never changed). The after about 6 months with no change, figured something was screwy. Checked pressures and they were about 20PSI low all around (unit was on my camper).


People like that scare me. Who would think that a tires pressure would not change at all in six months?. I wonder if he also thought the device would alert him when his tires got too old
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Old 10-10-2015, 01:05 PM   #11
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Gordon,

I can imagine how the pressure became low and it wasn't reported. If you park your rig and your sensors are not activated by motion, the numbers that appear on the pressure monitor may be from the last reading since no new information has been transmitted.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:03 PM   #12
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I gathered from the entire review that it was not the case that he parked the trailer for six months.

Some of the reviewers do state that the Tyredog unit would not tell them when the sensor was not sending, but it very well could be user error or lack of manual reading, or an older version (1000 vs 1300).

Heck even my fridge temp device has a flashing icon when the sensor is sending.


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Gordon,

I can imagine how the pressure became low and it wasn't reported. If you park your rig and your sensors are not activated by motion, the numbers that appear on the pressure monitor may be from the last reading since no new information has been transmitted.
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Old 10-10-2015, 03:59 PM   #13
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We have the Tyre Dog 1000. If you look at page 12 of the attached manual you'll see the four icons that give the status of each tire sensor.

I can only say we haven't had any weird events with our Tyre Dog. We've owned it for about 4 years, the sensors are always outside, spinning through rain, sand and what ever and seem to work. I believe we've replaced one sensor during that period.

file:///home/chronos/u-165403ddaec36180b6a037e7bd0da184369ee195/Downloads/TD-1000A_Manual_1.6.pdf
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Old 10-10-2015, 04:12 PM   #14
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We have the Tyre Dog 1000. If you look at page 12 of the attached manual you'll see the four icons that give the status of each tire sensor.

Please don't think that I doubted your word for a minute (it was only 6 seconds... )

But seriously, I was only trying to explain why the reviewers said what they did. If that feature is missing on earlier production models then it would be worth making sure one bought the latest version. I still suspect it is from the reviewers NOT reading page 12 however.

The TPMS the OP bought sure looks nice, but I can't find it for less than $200, even on ebay (his source). CampingWorld sells a pair of the sensors for the OP's system for $100. It would be nice if one could buy the system with 2 sensors instead of 4 or 6 and save some money. Somewhere around $100 is the price I would pay at present. After my first blowout at 60 MPH I am sure I will pay more
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