Are tire pressure monitoring systems really of much value?

RV Tire Safety
with RV tire expert Roger Marble

Some people still question the need or value of using a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Some claim that checking tire temperature with an IR gun or touching with the back of their hand every two to three hours is sufficient. They seem to forget that it is possible to destroy a tire in as little as 10 minutes.

Others still think they know what an underinflated tire “looks” like, but I have repeatedly demonstrated with hundreds of participants at my RV Tire Knowledge Seminars that no one is able to identify the difference between 35 and 14 psi in a P-type tire, or the difference between 46 and 66 psi in an LT tire. Some folks just don’t feel the cost justifies the value of an advanced warning of an impending tire failure.

Well, I ran across the following post on an RV forum thread on tire failure on an RV (used with permission of the author):

FYI….Be maniacal about checking tire pressure and invest in a TPMS system if you have not already. This past week, two incidents proved that a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) investment is worth every penny.

Coming back from a long trip on Memorial Day, my caravan friends, who did not have a TPMS on their 5th wheel toy hauler, lost pressure in a rear tire which became overheated and eventually blew on the interstate. The damage the blown tire caused to their meticulously maintained RV added up to $3000 in body work. I hear this is typical…and often at the low end of cost for damage when a tire blows. My buddy has talked about investing in TPMS…but chose not to spend the $. The insurance deductible alone for the damage was $500. Lesson learned.

A few days later, I was back on the interstate headed for a camping trip to the lake with my 5th wheel toy hauler. I have invested in a TPMS….and am so glad I did. At 65mph….all of a sudden the display on my TPM system flashed red and displayed that my right rear tire on the trailer was “leaking”. I was impressed that it alerted me when the tire pressure was down by only 2 pounds…and I could see on the display the rate at which it was deflating. This gave me sufficient time to exit the highway, park in a safe place…and not suffer any damage to my RV….let alone save the tire which picked up a screw.

This device is worth its weight in gold….and I highly recommend it to anyone pulling a trailer of any kind. You will never know you a have a problem until it is too late without it. 

There you have it – a direct comparison of the value of a TPMS versus no TPMS.

Read more from Roger Marble on his blog at RVtiresafety.net.

 ##RVT853

 

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5 Thoughts to “Are tire pressure monitoring systems really of much value?”

  1. RockyMtnMarty

    I use a Tireminder A1A unit. I always turn it on while I am hooking up…and I reset the unit to zero (press and hold center and right buttons together for a few seconds). The unit will then re-establish communications with the tire sensors for realtime accuracy. The manual for my system recommends this action before traveling. This communication reset usually takes 10 to 15 minutes…about the time it takes to hook up. Your system may require the same…

  2. Chuck

    I bought a TMPS 4 years ago. Disappointed in the performance. It doesn’t give you a tire pressure until you are driving down the road a few miles. I want a pressure before I start out. It gives readings on my toad, when I don’t even have it with me. Bottom line it is the worst money I’ve spent on my motorhome. On my last trip I finally just turned it off. And yes it is one I’ve seen advertised on this site.

  3. Don Hay

    I have had a TPMS System for 12 years on both our motor home and our towed vehicle. During that interval, we have been “saved” no fewer than eight (yes eight) times , all leaks on our dingy. Once, in New Mexico, I had checked pressures just before leaving RV Park. 20 minutes later alarm went off, and sure enough had picked up a nail. It’s worth every penny.

  4. Mark Hallewell

    These things are great value for money and strongly recommended. My TPMS notified me the moment I lost air pressure enabled me to pull off the road and call a tire repair company before I had a high speed tire blowout. I also recommend that people who install a TPMS also replace their traditional rubber tire valves with metal tire valves.

  5. Jeff

    SPEND the Money and BUY a TPMS! They are worth their weight in GOLD. Be sure to buy a TPMS with Sensors you can change the Batteries in. Sealed Sensors will cost you! But the sensors that you can change the batteries in are the best.

    Also, be sure to buy a TPMS System that will cover all your tires on your RV and Tow Vehicle, if towing a 5th Wheel or Travel Trailer. Don’t skimp and just buy sensors for the Trailer, buy enough for all tires!

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