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New, Confused, and Overwhelmed


AwesomeSauceDuo

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Hello!

 

My husband and I are attempting to become full timers! We have a 2000 31ft Class C Forest River Sunseeker, a Smart Car, a trailer, and a lot of hope.

 

When you were first starting out into full-timing, was is it overwhelming? Were you terrified? Did you feel like giving up?

 

We have had setback after setback, and are feeling a little overwhelmed.

 

Current Whelm:

I feel like I am pretty handy, and thought I could install a tire pressure monitoring system (or, as you cool kids call it, a TPMS) by myself. I quickly realized I needed tire valved extenders. After buying some from Camping World, I am having a heck of a time getting the buggers on my tires. After reading some other forums, I am now in a panic that the valves will kill us all (ok, not really, but still). They are metal extenders on plastic valves.

I really only need the extenders on a couple of tires, I can reach the other valves (almost) on my own.

Although my fingers are fat, my patience is thin, and I keep dropping things and losing bits (and my mind).

 

Does the Escapees world have any recommendations? Should I try to find a pro to do all this? Did you install your own TPMS? If so, how did you do it?

 

The husband, cats, and I appreciate any and all help, stories, and words of encouragement (hopefully).

 

Thank you in advance.

:D

 

***************UPDATE****************

HUZZAH! HOORAY! IT'S ALIVE!

Well, it works. Mostly.

After getting an email from EEZ TPMSs, I learned that the best way to program the sensors is to put them on the valve while programming, so that the air pushes through the sensor from the tire, thus activating it.

I was able to get 5 out of 6 tires programmed!

AND they were ALL LOW! So we got a little rechargeable inflationer-thingy (another thing we had no idea we needed, but are glad we got for just in case stuff), and are inflating the tires. One at a time. Because the hand held inflationer-thingy gets too hot (I know how it feels).

The final tire valve seems to be blocked, or something, so we are going to investigate that later today.

 

If you are in the market for a great TPMS that, hopefully, is easy to install, I would recommend EEZ Tire. The staff is wonderful, the monitors are great, and it is cheaper than having a big box store install one.

Looking for a tire inflationer-thingy? The one we got from Craftsman has worked well on two tires so far! It comes with handy dandy attachments for balls, bikes, what nots. HOWEVER! Be sure to pick up a battery back and charger, as it does not come with one. All total, with three year warranties, it was $160ish.

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You can do these things just stop and breath. This is part of the journey. If it doesn't go together right off the bat there is always tomorrow.it took us a couple tries to get ours on and to work. Then setting up the parameters. And some days we still have a struggle with those d**m tire sensors.

There will be other days like this down the road. Keep your eye on the prize

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You sound like an ideal candidate for the Boot Camp at Escapade. We did it last year - just as we were beginning the Full Time life. The experience of Boot Camp is priceless. As new full timers too, you will have the opportunity to "soak in" others experiences while being introduced to vendors who can supply and install the things you need(Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems). One night of the Boot Camp was spent discussing nothing but Full Timing. Anyways, it is an ideal opportunity to get your questions answered as well as learn from others experiences.

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...They are metal extenders on plastic valves...

I take this to mean that the valve stems on the tires are plastic/rubber. With external TPMS sensors, you really should be using all metal valve stems on all 6 tires(bolt through ones not the rubber based press in type). Go to a tire shop and get the metal valve stems installed. They should also be able to help you with an extension that will work for the inner rear tires.

 

Hang in there and Good Luck!!!

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Best advice slow down, relaxe, breathe. If you don't get it done today tomorrow will come.

I agree that you could always ask a fellow camper to help.

If you are near Rapid City I would be happy to help.

Just remember one little frustration should not ruine your dream.

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I feel like I am pretty handy, and thought I could install a tire pressure monitoring system (or, as you cool kids call it, a TPMS) by myself. I quickly realized I needed tire valved extenders. After buying some from Camping World, I am having a heck of a time getting the buggers on my tires. After reading some other forums, I am now in a panic that the valves will kill us all (ok, not really, but still). They are metal extenders on plastic valves

 

If by *extenders* you mean something like this,

 

https://www.amazon.com/Pacific-Dualies-18100-Stainless-16-19-5-Inch/dp/B0088CNNHY/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1465391169&sr=8-3&keywords=tire+valve+stem+extenders

 

I would never use those in conjunction with a TPMS. Instead, I would (and we have) changed out our rubber (not plastic) valve stems for specialty long, metal valve stems, like this:

 

http://www.campingworld.com/search/index.cfm?Ntt=tire+extenders&N=0&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=primary&Nty=1&Ntpc=1

 

We bought our dually valve stem kit from the Tireman (http://tire-man.iwvisp.com/products.html) and took them to a local tire shop for installation. It was then an easy matter for us to install a TPM on each tire and get it calibrated.

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Thanks for the advice and help!

I think the Boot Camp sounds INCREDIBLE! We need that in our lives, so we will find one and hopefully learn all the things. Or a lot of the things. If you see two people following you with little note books and confused faces FEAR NOT! It is only the AwesomeSauce Duo trying to soak in your knowledge.

 

I am going to roll up my sleeves and try again today (and call every tire place in the Denver Metro Area). Wish us luck!

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One of my rules is to never do myself what I can pay someone a reasonable price to do for me. :)

 

Linda Sand

I used to do just about everything myself. I can do most things if I set my mind to it.....BUT, I am now mostly following Linda's sage advice. I have found that there is a lack of available time.....I always seem to have something to do. Keeps me from other things :) SO I do pay people, whereas in the past I would just tackle it myself....

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There is a shop on Jason St called McGhee's just south of Mississippi that may be able to help you. They are a supplier to the automotive industries in Denver. I have been in there many times. They may even be able to recommend someone in the area to do the work for you as others have suggested. I steer clear of C-World for anything other than specific RV related parts. I have had pretty good service from my local Discount Tire (County Line and University) but they are all independently owned and operated.

 

You are on the right track by asking lots of questions. The learning curve is steep at first and never really ends (mostly due to the high? quality construction of RV's) but there are always folks who are willing to share their journey preceding you. You are also on the right path with a TPMS. It is worth ten times what you pay for it when you have a tire failure.

 

One other note: valve stems are a weak link in the system, DO NOT be afraid (or too miserly) to replace them at least every other year. I would be happy to tell you how I learned this but then you would discover what an idiot I am. suffice to say my TPMS paid for itself several times over and I am now replacing my valve stems at regular intervals.

 

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There is a shop on Jason St called McGhee's just south of Mississippi that may be able to help you. They are a supplier to the automotive industries in Denver. I have been in there many times. They may even be able to recommend someone in the area to do the work for you as others have suggested. I steer clear of C-World for anything other than specific RV related parts. I have had pretty good service from my local Discount Tire (County Line and University) but they are all independently owned and operated.

 

You are on the right track by asking lots of questions. The learning curve is steep at first and never really ends (mostly due to the high? quality construction of RV's) but there are always folks who are willing to share their journey preceding you. You are also on the right path with a TPMS. It is worth ten times what you pay for it when you have a tire failure.

 

One other note: valve stems are a weak link in the system, DO NOT be afraid (or too miserly) to replace them at least every other year. I would be happy to tell you how I learned this but then you would discover what an idiot I am. suffice to say my TPMS paid for itself several times over and I am now replacing my valve stems at regular intervals.

 

 

Thank you for this!! We ended up going to A and E tire on Mississippi and Jason. Wayne and his crew helped us out SO MUCH! (I think it might be the same place? They sign out front says Harvey's, but they seem to have a few tire identities).

 

Thanks for the advice about replacing stems, too. That is good to know!

 

I am glad that no one seems to mind the barrage of questions so far. Hopefully we aren't TOO obnoxious yet.

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UPDATE!

So we paid a VERY reasonable fee to A and E tire on Mississippi and Jason in Denver. Wayne and his team were AMAZING! They got us in same day, it took about 45 minutes, and they even put the monitors on the extensions for us.

If you are ever in the Colorado, and need tire help, PLEASE look up A and E tire. http://www.aetire.com/

You could say that the AwesomeSauce Duo sent you, but I don't think that will do anything fancy.

 

Next we tried setting up the EEZ TPMS. EEZ. Well, after talking to tech support, more wishing I could smoke a cigarette (I know they are bad for you, I quit over 10 years ago), I emailed Customer Service. I got a very fast and very helpful response. I will attempt to "shake the unit" until it cooperates, and update again if anyone is interested in the trials and tribulations of the TPMS.

 

Thanks again for the advice and help! It really means a lot.

I will personally bake you some cookies or a brownie if/when we meet.

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"Wisdom comes from experience, and experience comes from doing the wrong thing first." Or something like that. We've all made lots of mistakes and there are more mistakes that we'll make. Don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. If you haven't already done so, be sure to join the forum for your brand.

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The instructions are very easy to follow for,programming. Just take your time and go in order. When you have tire work done, make sure you are there to remove and reinstall the sensor to make sure it goes on the proper tire position. Tire guys do not care about this.

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