Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Ask Dave: What’s the deal with tire pressure monitor’s radio frequencies?

Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the RV Handbook and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave discusses tire pressure monitoring systems.

Dear Dave,
I have been using a TPMS (tire pressure monitoring system) that operates on a frequency of 434.1 MHz FM, with tire sensors that screw on to the valve stems of the tires. Now I have a new truck that has a built-in TPMS that operates on a frequency of 433 MHz. Is there a company that sells TPMS sensors that screw on to the valve stems of the tires that operate on 433 MHz? Thanks in advance for your reply. —Wally

Dear Wally,
RV aftermarket Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) such as TST Technologies operate at 433.92 MHz typically. The automobile industry has adapted the 433 MHz band and typically only have in-valve monitors that will detect the four wheels (or six with duals) and a spare tire. You can purchase replacement in-valve monitors in the 433 MHz range from a dealer or aftermarket and install them on your trailer rims. However, the LED in the truck will generally only read the 4/6 tires and the spare and does not have the ability to add more. My source at TST Technologies did say that one of the truck manufacturers was looking into adding more. However, it has not been introduced and would be very expensive versus purchasing a system like TST Technologies.

In my opinion it’s cheaper and easier to install a TST Technologies system which can be purchased for under $350 and displays not only the tire pressure, but temperature as well. They are easy to install with the sensor screwing onto the valve stem and an Allen screw can be tightened to deter theft. It also comes with a repeater that will boost the signal if your trailer is longer. The temperature indicator is important not only for low tire pressure, but also issues with bearings, brakes, or other axle components which would not be indicated by automotive TPMS.

It’s inexpensive to add additional sensors, so many RVers buy 4 more and use them on the tow vehicle so all tires can be monitored from one LED location which has PSI and temperature.

Read more from Dave here

Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave 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.

Related:

TST Technologies TPMS from TecnoRV

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wolfe
1 month ago

I suspect the OP was hoping to inter-operate the two, which is very unlikely… beyond frequency, there’s no guarantee that the data exchanged would be the same binary format.

I’ve had great luck with my $17 TPMS on my trailer (three times detected issues that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise), but I just this week upgraded to a new $50 one… we’ll see if it does any better. The $350 pricetag of a super-duper-namebrand system WOULD pay for itself in the first alert, but I’m frugal if it still works at 1/7-1/20th the price…

Vance
1 month ago

My 2017 F350 has a trailer tire pressure monitoring system as well as a trailer mounted camera that displays on the 8″ ford display. Very easy to monitor and I don’t have to have a separate display. Now if the truck manufacturers could include a programmable navigation system so I could input the trailer dimensions for routing!!!

Ralph
1 month ago

My 2020 RAM 2500 has the trailer tire pressure monitoring option and it’s great to have it incorporated into the existing display. I’d post a picture of it if I could.

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