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TPMS & IR gun needed for checking tires?


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I have seen people comment on TPMS and using IR guns for checking tires.
 
IMO as an actual Tire Design Engineer, Checking air pressure only tells you you have air when you are doing the check. A Single air leak (nail, cut valve leak etc) can do $thousands of dollars) when the tire runs flat. Even running low will increase operating temperature and increased temperature will accelerate tire aging rate with the aging doubling every increase of 18°F.
 
Have even seen air loss due to valve core leak because a plastic valve cap was used because metal cap was too expensive.
 
TPMS is an investment as they can be moved to any other RV or even sold. This makes them better than Insurance as the one time purchase only requires replacement batteries (50 ¢ to $1 each at Amazon)  once a year or so.
 
Don't worry about IR for checking tires. Rubber is an insulator so IR does not give you the information you need regarding tire temperature.
IR is fine for checking metal components (hubs & brakes)
 
Of course you need to run the proper inflation (based on measured load plus a small Reserve Load) and you need to set your TPMS warning levels for your personal situation.
 
Travel safe.

Check out my Blog www.RVTireSafety.NET

 

I serve on Tech Advisory board of FMCA as their Tire Expert.

Give three different seminars on tires at RV events and I also give three seminars on Genealogy too.

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I would just add that the better TPMS' also measure tire temperatures along with the pressures. The temps read though, are somewhat relative to the actual internal temps when the sensor is on the valve stem. That's not all bad, since significant differences in temps between tires on the same axle can still tell us when a problem exists. Even a failing wheel bearing or a sticking brake caliper can often be sensed in time to avoid serious damage. Relatively small temperature variations between inner and outer duals are normal though, since the inner tires typically aren't cooled as well by the air stream. The key is learn what the normal ranges are for your tires so you'll know when differences may be meaningful and not just the sun shining on that side of the RV, etc.

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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TPMS is something I've never owned but sure am considering it. I do maintain proper tire pressure (Never Never run low which builds up heat)  and check it often and do shoot the tires with my temp gun often when I stop for gas looking for abnormal, high, or wide differences side to side or tire to tire. 

QUESTION FOR YOU TIREMAN

 I've seen many times a blowout is on the passenger side inside dual hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Just wondering if in your opinion that might have something to do with    A) Road crown maybe causing that tire to carry just a tad more weight???  B) Due to air flow and/or exhaust pipe location, the inner dual runs a bit hotter (maybe causing a tad bigger diameter ??) maybe carrying more weight ????    I don't know which is why I'm asking

 FWIW I often run a few more pounds of air in the outside dual then the inside trying to compensate figuring the inner will run a bit hotter. 

FWIW When I bought six LT 225 75R 16 for my Ford E 450 Class C I shopped Firestone and Michelin 10 Ply Rated Load Range E which were rated around 2500 lbs. Instead I bought Continental Vanco Four Season 10 Ply Rated Load Range E which were rated like 3195 lbs   

 If yall don't mind sharing what brand of TPMS you prefer????????? 

THANKS TIREMAN good info

 

John T  Ever curious 

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Good info Tireman.

I have a question - one of the Great Mysteries of the light truck and van world is: there is a reasonable selection of tires in 16" rim dia up to 4080lbs single load rating. Load index 126 even 128

There is a good selection of 3700-4000lbs load rating tires in 18" rim dia and up.

There are scant few in 17" rim dia of which there must be a zillion on 250/2500 and 350/3500 class trucks. A bazillion designs in load index 121 approx 3100-3200lbs.  Why oh why? 

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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A tire pressure monitor system is just one more type of insurance to help avoid problems when on the road. While they are probably a good thing to have, there are many other things that fall into that same category, like power line monitors and a host of other devices that do serve a valid purpose they also cost more money if you happen to have limited resources. The fact is that there have been happy RV travelers for much longer than tire monitors have existed and even today the vast majority of RV owners do not have one. 

It is true that a TPMS adds some degree of safety margin for preventing tire damage, it is hardly a critical item to be able to succeed as a fulltime RVer. It is also important to remember that adding a TPMS can give some people a false sense of security because it does not remove the need for owners to check tire conditions at every stop and before every trip. 

If you have a limited budget as most of us do, then you need to set priorities in what expensive additional equipment you buy. I have owned an RV of some type nearly continuously since 1972, none of which was equipped with a TPMS of any kind, yet in that time I have only once experienced a blowout and never a catastrophic tire issue. That may be due to my rigorous care of my tires and constant monitoring of them, but whatever the reason may be, for me the expense has not been justified. For those who use quality tires, properly maintained, and replaced as recommended, the risk of operation without an expensive TPMS is debatable. If your budget is not unlimited, you need to make a list of such devices and prioritize the purchase. For me, the TPMS never reached the top of that list. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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9 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

If your budget is not unlimited, you need to make a list of such devices and prioritize the purchase. For me, the TPMS never reached the top of that list

Yo Kirk, FWIW I FULLY AGREE  with the general theme of your post. I've owned RV's for 49 years and got by so far WITHOUT any TPMS or Surge Protectors or expensive EMS or monitors or low voltage auto formers etc. etc., but like you, I have a good working knowledge of those systems and kept a close eye on them plus performed regular routine maintenance. As you well know we got by for yearssssssssssss without (it didn't even exist in most of our RV years lol) most of that just like RV ing before GPS and Cell Phones BUT SOMEHOW WE SURVIVED LOL. I'm NOT saying new technology is bad or isn't helpful and I'm considering investing in a TPMS, but I don't need all the latest and greatest and all the bells and whistles and having to keep up with the neighbor.

Rant over lol I just wanted to say how much I agree with you  

Take care yall best wishes and keep safe ESPECIALLY REGARDING TIRES

John T 

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Well you can not have insurance or you can have insurance.  I choose to have a TPMS, an EMS and use an IR temp sensor.

The TPMS has saved my bacon when we had a flat on the dually.  Otherwise I would have kept driving and ruined two tires.  But I got over, got the spare on and had the tire fixed.   You ever seen what a blown tire can do to the fender and bed of a dually?

Another time, the middle tire on the right side of the trailer had a higher temperature rise than the other 5 tires on the  trailer.  Stopped, took a pressure reading, and it was higher,  Also checked tire side wall temperature and hub temperature.  They were both higher than the other two tires on that side.  The Nev-R-Lube bearing was going out on that wheel and I got the thing changed before it ruined a hub and wheel.

And counter to Tireman, and IR temp sensor WILL READ a rubber tire temperature.  Ir reads a surface temperature of any solid surface.  Higher surface temperature is an indication of higher material temperature.  My background is mechanical engineering with a specialization in applied heat transfer and thermodynamics.  The IR sensor will not read air temperature,

The Progressive Ind EMS has stopped serious damage to the RV when we experienced an open neutral during the night sending high voltage to one leg.  A neighbor experience a miswired pedestal that put 240 volts on his RV and he blew $7000 worth of electronic damage to his motorhome.  AN EMS would have caught this when he hooked up.

The EMS has alerted us to low voltage several times and saved the A/C from low voltage.

All in all it is cheap insurance to invest in a TPMS, and EMS and a temperature sensor.

Edited by TXiceman

Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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Perhaps a thread discussing the best priority for those with limited funds to use in choosing what additional equipment is most important to add to an already expensive RV? Over time, I have purchased quite a few such items and I have developed some opinions on which ones have the greatest priority, for me. But not everyone is the same and each person's situation may have unique considerations. A few years ago I went through the RV forums that I read frequently and I made a list of all of the additional equipment that participants suggested as vital for a fulltimer and then I looked up prices for each of them. When finished that total came to just over $7000! That may work for some budgets, but it has always been beyond ours. 

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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Good point Kirk.  All too many venture into RV land without fully understanding all of the cost that can be involved with an RV.

The biggest problem we see in diving into full time RVing is not setting aside a fund to handle emergency repairs or even normal maintenance.  I know one fellow that bough an older diesel pusher using all of his money and then had engine problems.  Last I heard, he was towed into an RV park in California and was trying to save up the funds to get his engine repaired.  Mean time he was stranded and his dream to travel was put on hold.

But, to start a list of needed items and in what order, I'd go as follows:

1. Emergency funds for repairs and maintenance

2 and 3. TPMS or an EMS.  If you are running the cheap Chinese tires, I'd go with the TPMS first.  If you have better quality and properly rated tires, I'd get the EMS first.

This is my preference, but I am sure others will have their opinions.

Ken

Amateur radio operator, 2023 Cougar 22MLS, 2022 F150 Lariat 4x4 Off Road, Sport trim <br />Travel with 1 miniature schnauzer, 1 standard schnauzer and one African Gray parrot

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20 hours ago, noteven said:

Good info Tireman.

I have a question - one of the Great Mysteries of the light truck and van world is: there is a reasonable selection of tires in 16" rim dia up to 4080lbs single load rating. Load index 126 even 128

There is a good selection of 3700-4000lbs load rating tires in 18" rim dia and up.

There are scant few in 17" rim dia of which there must be a zillion on 250/2500 and 350/3500 class trucks. A bazillion designs in load index 121 approx 3100-3200lbs.  Why oh why? 

Well one reason for the different selections is that larger wheel sizes tend to be done for 'looks". Once you leave the "standard 16" sizes why not go up to 18" if you are just trying to make a visual impression.  Adding more 17" just increases costs.

Check out my Blog www.RVTireSafety.NET

 

I serve on Tech Advisory board of FMCA as their Tire Expert.

Give three different seminars on tires at RV events and I also give three seminars on Genealogy too.

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You only need to have one catastrophic blowout from picking up a nail or screw at highway speeds to understand the value of a good TPMS. That it can also alert you to a failing bearing or a hung caliper is a bonus. We've all seen the photos of some of the disastrous results of steer tire blowouts. Even tire blowout that doesn't result in a crash can easily cause hundreds of dollars in damages. A TPMS is a safety tool that we hope we never need, just like fire extinguishers, surge protectors, etc. Every vehicle we own is equipped with a TPMS...

Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F-53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/brake system

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Fun thread. This is a topic where there's no right or wrong answer, its TO EACH THEIR OWN CHOICES. I figure its THEIR  RV,, THEIR money,, THEIR choice. I've been lucky I guess, in 49 years of RV ownership I've never owned an EMS, never owned an RV surge protector, never owned a TPMS, never had any problems having camped in cheap to ritzy parks all over the US.......IM DUE NOW IM JINXED LOL  Of course I respect those who make THEIR own choices (maybe have all the bells n whistles) and expect the same in return, its mine and their decision, no others. With my frequent boondocking off the grid I have less worries about lousy RV park power problems. It would be a boring world if we all had to use the same things in our RVs and make the same choices grrrrrrrrrrrrr lol  

NOTE this is NOT to say I might choose tomorrow to add any or all of those things !!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 God Bless the USA

John T

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13 hours ago, Tireman9 said:

Well one reason for the different selections is that larger wheel sizes tend to be done for 'looks". Once you leave the "standard 16" sizes why not go up to 18" if you are just trying to make a visual impression.  Adding more 17" just increases costs.

Me truck in question is 17" rim size mid2000's won ton 3500.  Loading to GVW puts range 121 tires near max capacity. I like to have 20% - ish tire capacity to spare.  18" wheels are likely the $imple$t an$wer... 

I just always wondered why the 17" rim size was given a miss for higher load ratings. There were lots of trucks with 17" wheels...

Back to the thread subject of TPMS...

"Are we there yet?" asked no motorcycle rider, ever. 

 

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11 hours ago, Customer1 said:

"The only thing cheap in an RV is the owner".

Hey I've heard that one before lol.  I've heard RV owners referred to as "Trailer Trash" and there are restrictions in some towns as to where and for how long an (RV) ewwwwwwwwwwwwww lol can be parked. I remember starting out when I didn't have two extra nickels to rub together let alone buy any extra frills or gadgets (even if needed for safety). Oh well such goes with the territory I guess, but I'm NOT quitting the RV lifestyle I've enjoyed 49 years yayyyyyyyyyy even if I'm called cheap !!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately there are many out there (especially young first timers)  who simply don't have the money to buy certain accessories, but as far as I'm concerned they are welcome to camp next to me anytime and I'm glad to help them out if I can.... 

A fun thread even if not as technical as some.

John T  

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Just to bring up another view point......

When we got our first 5er, we had a blow-out.  The debris took out the adjacent tire when tread took off the valve stem.  So, I invested in a TPMS.  No more tire issues for years.  Not once did I even get an alarm that anything was amiss.  When we traded trailers, the sensors got moved to the newer trailer.  Then one day we had a sudden failure on the middle tire.  Flying tread took out both adjacent sensors, ripping off the metal valve stems as well. One flat turned in to three.

Soooo, out current trailer came with load range E tires in 16".  We also needed new sensors because our old TPMS didn't have replaceable batteries.  I upgraded to 17.5 wheels/tires in load range H, and have such a huge safety margin I feel comfortable with no TPMS.

Now I check pressures before each trip and check temps at every stop.  If  don't use the IR gun, I at least use the back of my hand on each sidewall.

YMMV.

KW T-680, POPEMOBILE
Newmar X-Aire, VATICAN
Lots of old motorcycles, Moto Guzzi Griso and Spyder F3 currently in the front row
Young enough to play in the dirt as a retired farmer.
contact me at rickeieio1@comcast.net

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