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Ask Dave: What tire pressure monitoring system do you recommend?

Dear Dave,
Which TPMS do you think is the best and why? I currently have a Tire Minder TPMS and it is very inconsistent. On my last trip all 4m tires on my road did not register at all. Other tires on my motorhome register at times and at other times show no reading. Thanks. —Ian

Dear Ian,
Your question stated, ” … all 4m tires on my road did not register at all.” I assume you mean “all 4 tires on my toad”—which would be the car being towed behind your RV. If that is the case, I would refer you to the section below on frequency/interference and combining automobile TPMS with aftermarket systems. Also, do you have tire minder sensors on your toad. If so, did you get a signal before your last trip, since you stated, “On my last trip….”? 

I recommend TST Systems as I have personally tested these on cars, trailers and motorhomes for the past six years. While conducting seminars at the RVIA California show I was introduced to the TST Systems sales representative who helped answer questions in our Driving Seminar and then provided a few sets of sensors for testing with the RV Repair Club.

According to the RV Safety & Education Foundation (RVSEF), tire failure is generally due to a sudden loss of pressure, not always a blowout. A tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) can help warn the driver of an issue, hopefully before an unsafe driving condition.

Research conducted with TPMS

I put the first set on my granddaughter’s car that was old enough to not have factory original sensors as she NEVER checks tire pressure… or usually anything else.

The next set was installed on a 2003 Winnebago Brave, and after that a 2020 15,000-lb. “hauler” trailer pulled by a Renegade Ikon. The Ikon had a factory set of monitors but not the trailer. And finally, two sets were installed on 8,000-lb. trailers with tandem axles.

The car performed well with one instance of a low pressure tire. The warning allowed her to pull over and get the tire fixed. The car was traded in less than one year, so the test was marginal in my opinion.

Here is the Ikon with hauler at the campground in Death Valley shooting footage for Rubber Foot Buffalo.

The “hauler” trailer took a trip from Iowa to California in the summer and sent a warning one tire was losing air. It got down to 50 psi before the driver pulled into a fuel station and had it fixed. It was the same tire that was low when he bought the trailer and the dealer claimed to have fixed it. Turned out to be an intermittent leaky valve stem saved him about $400 for a new tire. He called and was very pleased. The system has been on that unit for about three years now.

But the test on the trailers is what turned me into a believer. I ran a company from 2011 – 2021 that manufactures a commercial pressure washer that is installed in fast food restaurants. We had three trucks and trailers that ran all over the country putting over 125,000 miles on each trailer every year. Those sensors now have more than 250,000 miles each and are still providing critical pressure and temperature information. And these trailers were driven through some very heavy construction areas as new restaurants were being built.

Other observations regarding a TPMS

When installing the system on the trailer, the sales representative recommended installing a signal repeater due to the length of the trailer plus the 40+ foot Ikon. He indicated the system would work without the signal repeater; however, when driving in city traffic and places with speed or traffic cameras, there could be heavy frequency issues that could cause interference. This may be what is happening with your system.

The frequency is proprietary to aftermarket TPMS and will not “sync” with an existing TPMS of a tow vehicle such as a truck. Instead of having to watch two monitors, we got an extra four sensors to put on the truck so all tires had one monitoring system.

And finally, the tire pressure monitoring system was not 100 percent accurate. Every morning my drivers checked the pressure of all tires according to DOT protocol using a digital pressure gauge that was certified calibrated. They recorded the psi and temperature using an infrared thermometer. The TPMS was typically within 1-2 psi, which is consistent with the specifications in the installation manual that states +/- 1.5 psi. That is why it is important to check tire pressure cold, before hitting the road, with a good digital pressure gauge.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

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22 Comments
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James Jacewicz
3 months ago

I have a furrion back up camera. Has anyone heard of an issue where the tst unit can shut down the camera through interference.

Mike
3 months ago

I would first advise Ian to check with Tire Minder to see if they can assess the issue and provide a resolution. For instance, is Ian taking advantage of the “free” annual battery and oring replacement program? As already mentioned, is he using a repeater? Are there any other anomalies in his setup that could be causing a signal issue?

I have been using a Tire Minder system for years. I get 12 batteries with orings for $5 s&h annually to refresh the 8 sensors on my 43′ DP and 4 for the toad. My model came with a repeater as std equipment. I have yet to have any issues with reception despite a large motorhome with a big engine that could block signals. Pressure readings are very accurate per my digital gauge deviating from the monitor by 0 to 1 psi.

Tire Minder is a top rated system by RV consumers according to the survey Motorhome magazine used to do. Ian either has a freak bad unit or some other issue that may easily be resolved by contacting the manufacturer.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mike
Joseph Weinstein
3 months ago

I have used the TST with a repeater for a few years and it saved me a significant amount of money when I received a signal when my back left tire blew. I was able to pull over immediately and keep the damage contained.

MSF
3 months ago

The TST TPMS is the ONLY system currently robust enough to have passed safety and legal departments of both Forest River and Thor and comes as standard equipment on many many RV lines.

DW/ND
3 months ago

I installed an “EEZRV Products” TPMS system about 3 years ago and it has worked flawlessly on our 34′ class A – without a repeater. The kit has both flow-thru and non flow sensors which use the standard 1632 battery which lasts about 2 years and I change them in the spring. I also bring the monitor and sensors to warm storage for the winter. The monitor is black and white and has a 112v rechargeable battery – and I mounted it to the windshield center post. It is easy to read and compelling to watch – even tho it also has an audible alarm. So far, no problems and it is an easy system to program.

Roger Marble
3 months ago

Best TPM system part 2

Bottom line is that if you properly program your TPMS and if you do my recommended annual test you should get years of monitoring with only an occasional battery replacement.

Chris Mead
3 months ago

GUTA has been really good for me. Comes with a repeater as Dave mentioned and also monitors temperatures. Doesn’t distract from driving, monitors slow and fast leaks. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086V16NHR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Roger Marble
3 months ago

While I value Dave’s opinion and the opinions of others, I doubt that any have done a direct comparison of different TPMS. If anyone else has or has seen one please let me know. I have a number of posts on my RVTireSafety.Net blog on TPMS and since 2018 I have been running what I think is the only direct, simultaneous comparison of two different systems. I had originally selected TireTraker in 2009 and was happy with its performance. But in 2017 after reading a number of posts from individuals about their success or failure with various TPM systems, as a tire design engineer, I decided that the only valid comparison would be to develop actual data.. TST was kind enough to support my effort by providing their TST 507 internal system. I have posted the actual data on both Pressure and Temperature readings on my blog. The testing includes a couple of long crosscountry trips plus operating temperatures from 24F to 97F. The bottom line in next post

Scott R. Ellis
3 months ago

I will NOT stick another screen to the dash. So far (six months), the TireMinder via my phone has worked flawlessly for ten tires.

Jeff Craig
3 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

I have used the same system for three years. It has been, well, less than flawless but definitely worth the cost. While I hadn’t seen the need for a TPMS, the loss of a $600+ Michelin tire due to a nail in the sidewall, and the display in the app made sense. That said, it has ‘forgotten’ that I have a towed each winter while it sat in lay-up. The app needs serious rework, IMHO, as the ‘auto-scroll’ and ‘auto-search’ function should never be next to each other, and the drop down menu was outdated 10 years ago. The fact that the bluetooth box alerts you when it goes into alarm is helpful, since I often shift the app to the background to access the GPS, GasBuddy or Truckers Path apps. Overall, it was worth the cost, but it really could be great with a few tweaks.

Kyle Petree
3 months ago
Reply to  Scott R. Ellis

Same experience here Jeff Craig, Tireminder and I like having the app, knowing the base will alert even if the app fails or is in the background. The app does need a re-work, but is functional. Has notified me of a slow leak once and a FAST leak another time, allowing me to resolve without issues.

Bob p
3 months ago

Since you’re into typographical errors, in your answer you said tire failure is usually due to sudden “lose” of pressure. I’m sure you meant sudden loss of pressure. Lol

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Hi, Bob. Yep, I missed that. Thanks! Have a great day. 🙂 –Diane

Gary
3 months ago

I’ve had my monitors break two rubber valve stems before before changing them all to metal stems.

Tom
3 months ago

I have the tireminder i10 monitor system and as per instructions the booster must be attached at the rear of the frame pointing down. It has worked flawlessly now for two years. Had the owner contacted tireminder they would have trouble shot his issue.

Leonard Rempel
3 months ago

I have the TST 507 with a repeater installed for my tow vehicle and 5th wheel trailer. All 10 sensors work great, however both trailer tires on the passenger side intermittently lose signal when driving. I have replaced the batteries and still it is hit and miss. They work great, when they work. 6/10 for a review on this product.

Anthony Malone
3 months ago

When my wife and I started full time RVing almost three years ago, I researched TPMSs. At that time the Tire Minder system was rated No. 1 via recommendations by other RVers. Unfortunately, we became disappointed as even with the booster, it was not uncommon for at least one of the sensors to not respond or give false pressure leak readings. The sensors took turns not responding, so batteries were not this issue. We had a blowout on our fifth wheel and the sensor never alerted us at any time during or after the incident.

We purchased the TST TPMS last year and have no issues what so ever. It works as expected.

John Goodell
3 months ago

I installed a TST 510 system on my 5th wheel and tow vehicle in 2013. My 2012 Ford F-350 has tire sensors that only sense low pressure so I bought 8 sensors so that all tires are monitored on one system. It had worked well, with the only issue being that the RL tire seemed to sometimes lose contact with the monitor. Troubleshooting did not solve the issue, so I finally bought the TST repeater and have had no problems since. Back in 2013 the repeater was not part of the standard package sold by TST; you had to buy it separately. The 510 system does NOT have replaceable batteries but they last for years. I remove the sensors to save the batteries when the trailer is not being used. Even though I initially used the system for 2 years continuously, and about 3-4 months per year since, many of the original sensors are still functioning.
This

John Goodell
3 months ago
Reply to  John Goodell

Mr Solberg does not mention the repeater, but I bet it would resolve the issues cited by Ian. My repeater is in the front storage bay of my 5th wheel and is permanently wired to the 12 volt circuits.

Dave Solberg
3 months ago
Reply to  John Goodell

In the paragraph just under “Other Observations” I talked about the signal repeater installed on the hauler.

Dr4Film
3 months ago

Pressure Pro TPMS is the Gold Standard in the industry.

Ed K
3 months ago

I concure, I have been using the TST system since it came on the market and have had no issues. When I got my kit, it came with the repeater and I installed it in the engine bay on my rear engine DP. I remove the sensors every fall when the coach goes in the barn for winter storage and have to change the batteries every 2-3 years. i am thinking of upgrading to the new color monitor as there is an issue TST says with the old systems when a new system is in range. I get an occasional high pressure reading of over 500 PSI due to the interference. When in the campground, I just shut the system off and it is just a minor issue. It has not happened when on the road so far.