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Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems

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I am interested in hearing from members who have experience with tire pressure monitoring systems.  I know there are many brands and hoped to benefit from experience of those in the forum.  Thanks

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I am also following this topic, thank you. I was almost ready to buy a TPMS until I looked at reviews on the system I was interested in and read about the sensors weakening the valve stems and even some breaking the valve stems! I still want one and hope to learn from those who post here.

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I can count on one hand the flats I have had in my life. I would not waste money in such a system. I know this is not popular on this site. I have never had a tire to blow out. Just leaked down slowly due to a nail. TPS won't prevent this.

Edited by GlennWest
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2 hours ago, whj469 said:

I was interested in and read about the sensors weakening the valve stems and even some breaking the valve stems!

You need to replace the press in valve stems with solid metal bolt in valve stems.

15 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

I have never had a tire to blow out. Just leaked down slowly due to a nail. TPS won't prevent this.

No, but it will let you know that the pressure is dropping and give you a chance to prevent the tire from going flat and ruining the tire and possibly the rim. In the case of dual wheels, it may prevent the certain damage to second tire of the pair caused by the severe overload of that tire.  My TPS has alerted me to three nails/screws in tires and all three were able to be patched and ran the rest of their normal life with no further issues.

Edited by trailertraveler

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But I have never had but 1 tire, rear on a dually, due to a valve extender, to go flat while driving. So I can not promote something to add to a valve stem. To each their own. Its your money. Just not me.

Edited by GlennWest

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Our TST 507 and the previous TST 510 TPMS have alerted us to a toad tire losing pressure after picking up a screw while under way, an inside coach dual leaking after hitting a piece of road debris, a failing toad front wheel bearing, and sticking brake calipers, once on our toad and once on our coach. In the 10 years we've been using TPMS', they have more than paid for themselves.

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It is additional information......the sensors also give temperature.  I find the information for the 6 tires I am monitoring on the trailer useful.  TPS systems come on many vehicles these days, & just not high performance.  It's useful information.  I have never driven an engine low on oil, but it still has a oil pressure gauge.  The temperature reading is helpful I feel, as temperature rise can be a precursor to bearing issues, or the fact the the bearings are running cool.  I use the TST system, & like the fact the batteries can be replaced myself.  The little sensors probably do best on steel valve stems.  But, you are correct, with a catastrophic tire failure, the system may not help much.   It also saves time in running around the vehicle checking all tires, as I know what the pressure is. Anyway, that's been my experience.

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53 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

But I have never had but 1 tire, rear on a dually, due to a valve extender, to go flat while driving. So I can not promote something to add to a valve stem. To each their own. Its your money. Just not me.

Our TST sensors weigh less than half an ounce, and were never a problem with the stubby rubber valve stems on our previous toad. Our current coach and toad have metal stems.

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All I did was put a valve extender on mine to  simplify adding air. Should have put metal stems in first. But really any weight on the end of a valve stem can cause a failure. I have read many comments on here about problems with TPS add on. Rather not have that.

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Accumack: Those are the ones that I was ready to buy until a number of the reviews mentioned valve stem issues. I need then for four tires on my fifth wheel trailer. My F350 has a TPMS. I run 110 psi in the trailer tires. Thank You

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36 minutes ago, GlennWest said:

All I did was put a valve extender on mine to  simplify adding air. Should have put metal stems in first. But really any weight on the end of a valve stem can cause a failure. I have read many comments on here about problems with TPS add on. Rather not have that.

There are many fancy valve caps that weigh as much or more than our TST sensors. I used to use extenders, but after one too many leaks I installed Duallyvalve one piece stems. The long inner dual stems are supported at the hand hole end, so there's no stress from the lightweight TPMS sensors. I don't know what kind of failures you've been reading about, but I've never had a sensor or sensor related failure in 10 years beyond a dead sensor battery. And with our current TST 507 system, replacing a sensor battery is a simple ~5 minute process that's done about once a year. Long valves and extenders make adding air easier, but a TPMS lets you know when you need to add air. If nothing else, I consider a TPMS  a safety tool just like a fire extinguisher. If I never needed one, it would still be worth the cost for the piece of mind.

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Thanks for all the input.  Sounds like only problem is stem failure, which can be minimized by metal stems.  Thanks for all the replies.

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If you research here on this forum, you will see many problems with them. I don't need that. Now if you double towing I can see it. You would be blind to the second unit.

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I HATE checking tire pressures on my duals.  With my TST system, I no longer have to on any tire.  When I initially installed them, I was VERY careful to inflate to the correct pressure as shown on a KNOWN good gauge.  Once I installed the TPMS sensors, I wrote down the reading.  Regardless of what that showed, I KNEW it was a good baseline reading.  Now when I get in my truck, I only have to mess with tire air pressure if the reading is below my comfort level...which isn't very often.  Only negative is the sensors seem to restrict airflow so I remove them to add the air.  Minor issue, but still a PITA.

And, I had one blowout and 2 flats on previous 5ers BEFORE I added TPMS.  The blowout would not have been detected.  The 2 flats would have and I could have found a safe place to change the tires instead of along the side of I-75 for one and a back road for the other.

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44 minutes ago, remoandiris said:

The blowout would not have been detected.

Maybe, maybe not. This is from a popular tire site

Quote

While one might assume that all blowouts are caused by too much internal pressure bursting a weak spot in the tire, the main reason for them is just the opposite. Most blowouts are caused by too little air pressure allowing the tire to flex beyond its elastic limits until it overheats to the point where the rubber loses its bond to the internal fabric and steel cord reinforcement.

A TPMS may well detect a decrease in tire pressure or increase in temperature before a blowout. Even if you can see all the tires from behind the wheel, which I can not and doubt that most can, how often do you check all the tires. I also doubt that most drivers could detect a 5psi decrease in tire pressure viewing through a mirror while going down the road. Most TPMS have audible and visual alerts. TPMS systems are just one of many safety accessories. New cars and light trucks have them. Whether you add them to your towed vehicles is up to you.

Edited by trailertraveler

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Have had the TST system on two Suites and 3 trucks--ten sensors.  Never a valve stem problem with the stems/sensors.  I have had numerous extension leaks/failures in trying to find extensions that  would allow access with the Ford duals. Finally got 6" stems on inner tires and turned the outers to where they can be accessed without it being pointed into the wheel hole.  No problems lately, rely a lot on trends in temp/psi on all wheels--one not reading close to the others, time to check them.  Won't travel without this type of warning system--it has warned me of 2 nail pickups/slow leaks in time to not ruin a tire.

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On 1/19/2019 at 2:24 PM, whj469 said:

I am also following this topic, thank you. I was almost ready to buy a TPMS until I looked at reviews on the system I was interested in and read about the sensors weakening the valve stems and even some breaking the valve stems! I still want one and hope to learn from those who post here.

Reliable long-term use of a TPMS requires metal valve stems, rubber stems flex.

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Since we started long timing  and high mileage travel we have used both Pressure pro and TST on both our 5th wheels and trucks since 2006 with no problems with either brand. We have seen the damage a tire failure can cause so we choose to have the systems. 

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If I were looking at purchasing my first TPMS there would be a couple things I would have to have.  First off, I would want sensors that allowed me to change my own batteries.  I would also want a stand alone monitor that I could charge and use instead of one that had to be plugged in to use.

I started back in 2011 with a TST system for our Montana fiver.  If worked great monitoring 4 tires.  I moved it to three different RVs until last year when we got our current one.  I needed to expand my system to 12 sensors so I did a bunch of research and IMHO TST was still the best option out there so I expanded my system with them.  

Anyone who says they don't need one either manually checks all their tires each and every day prior to traveling, rarely travels at all, or is traveling unsafely IMHO.  There could be grave safety concerns with a flat tire or blow out no matter what type or size of RV you are traveling in.

Example:  a fiver has a leak in the front tire (2 axle configuration).  Tire ends up going flat but the driver has no idea unit it starts coming apart.  When it comes apart the belts not only cause $3,000 in damage to his rig but they cause a blow out on the tire directly behind the flat.  Now the unit almost causes the driver to run off the road.  What if all of this took place as you entered the tunnel coming into Mobile on I-10?   A TPMS would have alerted you when the initial tire started dropping psi.  You could have pulled off the interstate and taken care of it.

Example:  a RV with duals (HDT/Class A, Whatever) develops a flat dual.  Driver has no TPMS so has no idea it has went flat.  Tire decides to start coming apart because it is Arizona and 110 degrees.   About the time a couple motorcycles pull in behind him/her.  Huge piece of the tire comes flying out and causes one of the motorcycles to crash at 70mph.

I will never travel without a working TPMS.  Just like any piece of safety equipment, you never need it until you do. 

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Wait, who doesn't check their tires every day and at every stop?  I also touch the hub to feel temp, and check the hitch/related items.

 

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1 hour ago, Carlos said:

Wait, who doesn't check their tires every day and at every stop?  I also touch the hub to feel temp, and check the hitch/related items.

 

Well, from my observations, I would say that most people don't.  However, even doing that doesn't prevent a tire from starting to lose air while in motion.  That's probably why TPMS is required on all passenger vehicles under a certain weight. 

I've had three tires do that on my fifth wheel and in all three cases the TPMS alerted me to the loss of air in time for me to drive to a tire repair location and get it repaired before I had a flat.

The one blowout I had on an RV was before I started using TPMS.  I had checked the tires just a few miles earlier at a rest area.  The blowout did considerable damage, not to mention having to deal with it in the middle of New Mexico on a July day.

To each his own.

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I wasn't saying I'm against TPMS, I've been shopping.  I added it to my motorcycle, and my vehicles both have it built in.  But I guess I'm surprised that someone would say "unless you check every day."  I don't stop for gas without a walk-around and check.

 

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