Why Every RV’r Needs a TPMS
A Tire Pressure Monitoring System is a MUST!
A Tire Pressure Monitoring System. TPMS. When you start researching RVs, everyone says you need one of these. But then you price them. Yes, for four tires, they’re not that expensive. Amazon even has some [amazon link=”B01LA9LJFY” title=”solar-powered, wireless systems for four tires for under $75″ /]. Seems like a no-brainer.
But if you own an RV, you need to cover more tires. We have a Dodge Ram 3500 dually. That’s six tires, plus four on our RV…for a total of 10 tires. How much does a TPMS for us cost? [amazon link=”B009BFPT8I” title=”$450″ /]. That high cost is enough to give you pause. Or maybe even indigestion. It gave me both. But is it really worth it?
Do You Really Need a TPMS?
The answer is a resounding YES!
Our moment of awareness came as we visited the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. These picturesque mountains are remote and full of serenity. (This, by the way, could be said for just about anything in Wyoming.) I had purchased the [amazon link=”B009BFPT8I” title=”EEZTire TPMS” /] and had it running on our truck. As we approached Lake Jenny at the base of the Tetons, my TPMS pinged—indicating to me that our passenger side rear tire had lost 10% of its air. I checked it out and didn’t notice anything out of place. A half hour later…it had lost another couple pounds of air.
While this adventure ended positively, imagine where we would have been without a system that was constantly checking all our tires. We would have never realized our tire was going flat. We would have definitely driven the 100 miles back to our RV park with a flat tire…or been stranded on the way. That day, the TPMS paid for itself.
What is a TPMS?
A Tire Pressure Monitoring System is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a system for monitoring the pressure in all your tires. Many late model cars come with these already installed. But if you have an older model vehicle like us, or you’re buying an RV, you’ll want one that monitors any tires you don’t already have covered.
A TPMS comes in two types that are the most popular: “Regular” sensors and “Flow-through” sensors. Both sensors screw on the top of your current valve stems, but only the “flow through” allow you to fill your tire with air without taking off the sensor. On the trusted brand I bought, from EEZTire, both versions weigh the same; the flow-throughs just stick out a little more. I was ok with that, so I went with the flow-throughs without looking back. I have yet to meet an RV family with flow-throughs that regret that decision. Some do, however, regret having just the regular ones (but only from a convenience standpoint).
Monitors are different across the board. Some are in color. Some are just show boxes. Some are solar. I made the choice for EEZTire’s version because it actually shows a diagram of your vehicle and RV on the screen, with each tire in its actual place so it’s easy to track. It displays each tire’s pressure as well as temperature and warns you when anything is higher or lower than it should be, based on your settings.
How Much Pressure Should Be in Each Tire?
Discussions about this across the Internet vary wildly from going as low as you can to as high as your tires will allow. In the end, I opted to go with the manufacturer’s vehicle recommendations—NOT the tire maximums found on the sidewall of the tires. Though each of my tires can easily handle 80psi, the sticker inside my Dodge Ram 3500’s door recommends keeping the tires at 65 psi. My Windjammer 3001WK’s sticker says the same. So for me, that’s all I needed to hear. I know these vehicles go through rigorous tests from the manufacturers, so I’d just rather stick with what they recommend.
How Much TPMS Do I Need?
Having now used a TPMS, I’ll never have another vehicle, RV or not, without one. You can buy one with just [amazon link=”B009BE069Q” title=”four” /] or [amazon link=”B009BFMUHQ” title=”six” /] sensors and add as many monitors to it as you want. Each [amazon link=”B01CAL25BI” title=”additional monitor” /] is about $40.
You can also buy a [amazon link=”B00MCVVEKA” title=”repeater” /] if you’re concerned you have too long of a vehicle for the sensor’s signal to reach the box on your dashboard. I got one for free with my purchase (use code “newmar special free repeater” when ordering from EEZTire), but left it in the box. The signal is plenty strong enough without it for our Dodge Ram 3500 and 34’7″Windjammer trailer.
If you’re thinking about getting an RV, or just want to be safer in your car, grab yourself a TMPS. Some of the best companies are EEZTire, TireMinder, and TST. But after watching a selection of YouTube video reviews, reading Amazon reviews, and scouring forums, EEZTire was the only way to go for me.