I was a newbie to RVing. Like many newbies I had zero big-tire experience and mistakenly thought if you took care of your RV tires in a manner similar to your car everything would work out well. WRONG!
The general consensus among numerous online sources would indicate that tire failure from over or under inflation is a leading cause of RV accidents. Such inflation errors may be caused by a lack of understanding of the effects of such things as ambient temperature and vehicle weight on tires or simply by the lack of proper vehicle maintenance (not checking the tire pressure). For various reasons, mainly paranoia, I did some research and decided to install a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) in our rig. I read a number of reviews and retailer sites in order to determine which TPMS would be best for The Whip, our rig. The best review I found is written by Paul and Nina of Wheelingit. Paul is an engineer by profession and Nina is an extraordinary blogger. Paul and Nina have crafted a detailed, well written analysis of various TPMS units. I am a CPA by profession so…read Paul and Nina’s analysis. This post is about my experience with the Tire-SafeGuard TPMS, also reviewed and ultimately selected by Paul and Nina for their personal use.
Red is bad
My experience with cars and my intuition led me to inflate my tires at the max cold pressure allowed for the make and model of the tire. The Whip has 22.5″ tires therefore the max cold rating is 120 psi for each tire. Check (or so I thought). After going through the easy process of installing the Tire Safe-Guard TPMS we left our storage unit for what would be a one week trip. It was late in the evening so we planned to drive only a few hours before stopping for some sleep. What I first noticed about the Tire Safe-Guard was the optimal screen readability. I am far-sighted, but, I could easily see the tire pressure and temperature readings as they were both large enough and the LED screen lights up at night. The screen light can also be turned off if you find it to be annoying. Also, the pressure readings were a little high compared to my hand-held gauge, by about three PSI, and after a couple of hours of driving the normally green “all is well” indicator light had turned red. Red! Well, that can’t be good! Sure enough, one of my inflation readings was at 130 PSI which is approaching the maximum allowed inflation for the tire. We were stopping for the night so I took the time to research a little more on tire inflation. The next morning I adjusted my minimum cold inflation as a temporary fix until I could get my rig weighed. I had dodged a bullet for sure!
Likes about the Tire-SafeGuard TPMS
The easy to read screen is a must-have for me. I have the monitor mounted above my NAV system and can see all of the readings just fine
The indicator light is great! As Paul and Nina noted in their article, if the light is green I know all is well and I drive on
The warning settings can be adjusted for different tire sizes
I opted for the non-flow through screw on sensors and wish I had not. The flow throughs would be much easier to manage when adding air. That said the installation was easy. Simply follow the instructions to match the sensor number to the correct tire location by using the included diagram.
Total set up time was about 10 minutes
Challenges using the Tire-SafeGuard TPMS
Sensor capture is a little slow. I usually turn the unit on as soon as we start loading up to leave or breaking camp. The unit takes 15 to 25 minutes to capture the signal from all six wheels
I would choose the flow through sensors if I had to do this all over again. I may switch anyway
I have had a couple of false high readings which were easily corrected with a quick press of a reset button.
We do not have a tow vehicle so I can’t provide any insight as to sensor capture without a repeater install (at an additional cost). However, I suggest you read Paul and Nina’s review of the Tire-SafeGuard TPMS on the Wheelingit blog. They do pull a Toad and would have more insight on that.
This is a great TPMS and I love it. But, more importantly, whether you use this unit or another, use a TPMS. Also check your tire pressure manually before each trip. Do not rely solely upon the TPMS. Finally, get your rig weighed and inflate your tires to the correct pressure based upon the weight over each wheel not the markings on the tire. We were very lucky. You may not be.
You may purchase this unit by connecting to Amazon using the link above or by using the Amazon store link to the right. This unit is also featured in our Amazon store found on our menu bar. Safe Travels!
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Hi, I'm Gonzo (call sign "Ironman"). I like to think of myself as an ordinary guy making the "next thing" happen now. I live and work in Texas with my wife, call sign "Tempo" and our fur babies AussieOne, Red and Griz (call signs of course). Together we make up a merry band of travelers wandering in search of extraordinary experiences, good wine and the occasional craft beer. Thank you for your interest in our blog! Cheers!
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