After tens of thousands of miles traveled across North America with our 26-foot Keystone Passport travel trailer in tow, how many tire issues have we experienced on the road? ZERO.
That may be some kind of world record, I’m not really sure. (Yeah, it definitely is.) But I give credit for this amazing feat to two primary factors:
- The upgraded D-rated tires I purchased for my new travel trailer immediately after I brought it home.
- The TireMinder RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System I also purchased before we hit the road.
I am absolutely certain that you would love nothing more than to get out there and break my world record (I won’t be bitter). But more importantly, I imagine your real focus is on keeping your family safe on the road and protecting your investment.
That’s why we’re here, so let’s stop wasting time and start discussing all the juicy details related to RV Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems.
RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System: 5 Reasons to Purchase and Protect Your Investment
But before I jump straight in to the reasons you should consider this important safety purchase, I feel I should first discuss the actual RV TPMS product that I used during our epic journey. This is the TPMS that kept us safe (and off the side of the road) through 36 states, 5 provinces, 15 national parks and more adventures and memories than you can possibly imagine.
TireMinder A1A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with 4 Transmitters for RVs, MotorHomes, 5th Wheels, Motor Coaches and Trailers
**Note: This product is extremely similar to what I purchased on Amazon two years ago, but not the exact same product. This is basically an improved version.**
Let me admit first of all that, like you might be experiencing now, researching RV TPMS options gave me a bit of sticker shock. The reality is that you may not have been planning for nor expecting an added expense like this when you purchased your RV. I know I wasn’t, because I was completely clueless about RVing in general.
Like I had to do, what I would encourage you to do is prioritize safety items like this above any other convenience RV accessories or luxuries you may be considering. Safety has to come first when you hit the road, and this RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System is one of the best ways I can think of to do that.
My Experience with the TireMinder RV TPMS
I honestly had very few issues with installing and initially using this TPMS system on my 26-foot travel trailer. (One hint: Perform the installation when your slides are all in so you don’t have to be crawling under the slides multiple times to complete the installation. Your back and knees will thank you.)
The biggest issue I faced was simply with needing to unscrew the transmitters from the valve stems and reattach a couple of times in order to get the display device to pick up the signal and display properly.
In addition, when I purchased this product the signal booster was not included as part of the product. I had to purchase it separately after realizing that it was going to be a necessity in order for the signals from the transmitters (attached to the valve stems) to reach the monitoring display device in the cab of the truck.
Here’s Everything Included With This Purchase
Lucky for you, that signal booster is now included in this package, along with everything else you need to hit the road safely and confidently. This product package includes:
- An LCD monitoring device that displays PSI and temperature for each tire (can monitor up to 22 tires), and provides audible and visual alarms for changes in PSI or temperature
- 4 transmitter devices (0.5 oz each) which easily screw on to tire valve stems, capable of monitoring up to 232 PSI
- 8 CR1632 batteries for transmitters
- 12-volt and USB charging cable options
- Dash mount for holding small display device
- Signal booster device (attaches to RV battery) for boosting transmitter signals
- Handy nylon carrying case for all components
A Few RV Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems Alternatives
Each of us has different needs when it comes to a TPMS product, so that TireMinder option that worked well for me may not be right for you. Let me give you a few other RV TPMS options that may be a better fit for you:
- EEZTire TPMS4B Real Time/24×7 Tire Pressure Monitoring System with 4 Transmitters
- This particular option includes the signal booster (which you will absolutely need for a travel trailer or fifth wheel), but they also sell without the booster if that suits your situation better.
- Setup can be a little more challenging with this one compared to the TireMinder option above, according to reviews.
- TireMinder Smart TPMS with 4 Transmitters
- If you like the TireMinder brand but prefer a simpler option, take a look at their “Smart TPMS” which allows you to simply use your iPhone, Android phone or tablet as the display device.
- This option also includes the necessary signal booster for trailers and fifth wheels and setup is just as simple as what I experienced.
- Very strong customer ratings on this RV tire pressure monitoring system with the ability to customize each axle for high and low alert parameters
- Color monitor makes it easy to see and keep track of alerts and warnings related to temperature and PSI
Of course, there are plenty more options on the market, but this gives you just a bit of a taste before we go into the actual reasons you should consider making this TPMS purchase.
Reason #1: Tire Problems are the Primary Threat to Safe and Smooth RV Travel
I don’t think I’m overstating this one, because based on the stories I have heard over and over again via RV videos and blog posts, tire problems have caused more “nightmare scenarios” than anything else.
Sure, you could also face mechanical issues on the road whether you are in a driveable RV or towing a travel trailer or fifth wheel. That would certainly mess with the “smooth” part of your travel and would introduce a major complication.
But with mechanical issues, the vast majority of the time you and your family’s safety is not immediately threatened due to a failure. Tire issues are a different story.
Traveling at 60-65 mph down the interstate and experiencing a blowout can be a recipe for disaster, especially for a less experienced RVer. It is far too easy to lose control of the vehicle, forget to use the trailer brake, and potentially get into a world of hurt by not being able to stay in your lane or even on the road. This is the reality of towing.
Unexpected Repair and Lodging Expenses
Beyond that, tire blowouts on travel trailers and fifth wheels have been known to produce such powerful blasts that severe damage to the RV itself can occur. More than once, I’ve heard of a blowout causing major damage to the RV, and even to kitchen appliances inside the RV, rendering the family helpless and stranded.
Finally, think about the additional costs you would quickly incur if your RV was crippled and you had to stay in a hotel while having your “home” towed and repaired. These repairs can almost always take weeks, and sometimes months. Spending a little money now on a TPMS product could very easily save you much more down the road.
I certainly don’t want to see your nightmare story about how a blowout hijacked your travel plans or partially destroyed your RV. That’s why I’m getting this information out there into the universe: To help you avoid learning a painful lesson the hard way.
An RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System is simply the best money you are going to spend to increase your margin of safety on the road and provide peace of mind.
Reason #2: TPMS Can Greatly Extend the Life of Your (Expensive) Tires
As I stated at the beginning of this post, I spent a decent amount of money (over $600) on brand new tires for my brand new travel trailer right out of the gate. Tacking on an additional expense for an RV TPMS didn’t feel great.
But I had to look at it like this: Keeping my tires properly inflated by easily monitoring the PSI every time I drove would absolutely extend the life of those brand new tires. I knew that if I had to replace one or more of those tires as I traveled due to uneven wear, it would easily cost me as much as I was looking at spending on the TPMS product.
For me, spending smart money now is always better than spending stupid money later. I determined that the tire pressure monitoring system was the smartest money I could possibly spend to protect the investment not only in my new tires but also in my new travel trailer.
36 states later without a single tire incident, I feel very confident that I made the right decision, the smart decision.
Reason #3: Properly Inflated Tires Can Save You Money Through Increased Fuel Efficiency
Ah, the pain at the pump. We’ve all experienced that. Some days, I felt like I would do almost anything to increase my fuel efficiency and decrease my fuel bills that I racked up every few hours of driving. This was especially true in those areas of the country where fuel normally exceeded $3.50 per gallon (I’m looking at you, California).
I did take some other steps to increase my fuel efficiency during our travels, including purchasing a truck bed cover for improved aerodynamics (and increased safe storage capacity). But I have to say that this decision to buy the TPMS was probably what saved me the most.
Now don’t get me wrong here: I’m not talking about saving hundreds of dollars per month on your fuel costs if you’re traveling full-time. I’m talking about shaving some nickels and dimes off your fuel bill, because on average you will lose about 1% efficiency for every 10% your tires are underinflated.
Here’s an example: My tires were designed to run at 65 PSI cold for full load capability. If they dropped to 59 PSI because of colder temps in a new area we moved to, that meant my fuel efficiency dropped 1%. If all four tires are running this low, I have to believe we are talking about more than a 1% reduction in fuel efficiency…but that’s above my pay grade.
Bottom line is that underinflated tires will absolutely cost you more at the pump. Proper inflation = better MPG. And better MPG = more $$$ in your pocket. An RV TPMS like mine will help you keep that money in your pocket with constant PSI monitoring and reporting. It’s something to think about.
Reason #4: An RV TPMS Can Lower Your RV Insurance Rates
I have to start this part out by saying that I have not independently verified that the addition of a TPMS for your RV will lower your insurance rates. Honestly, it never occurred to me during our travels to check into that possibility or notify the insurance company about that monitoring system.
Having now seen that piece of advice in multiple locations from many different sources, I feel fairly confident that it is legitimate. At the very least, I strongly encourage you to have a conversation about this issue with your insurance company and let them know that you are using an RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System during your travels.
**Note: Each insurance company is likely to treat this issue differently. Some may offer the discount and others may not.**
Worst case scenario is you’ve lost two minutes of your life on that phone call, but ideally, you will be able to save yourself some cash with that same two minutes invested.
Reason #5: You Can’t Put a Price on Peace of Mind
If there is one category of product I am more likely to spend money on than anything else, it is simply anything that provides increased peace of mind.
Yes, I like a few luxuries here and there. Yes, I also crave simplicity and am willing to pay for that as well.
But peace of mind? That one stands out far above the crowd for me. In my world, increased peace of mind positively impacts every other area of life. And for me, that makes it quite valuable.
When I have less to worry about and more ability to just be fully present in the amazing moments, life gets better. I think you’ll find the same thing if you look for it.
Which RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System Is Right For You?
You have plenty of information in front of you right now, plenty of details and factors to consider regarding the purchase of an RV TPMS. I simply hope that I have been able to guide you further down the path in making the decision that is right for you and for your family.
I believe you can see clearly now just how much sense it makes to have this type of product along for your travels, but if you have any questions about this issue or about specific products that I might be able to help with, comment below!
Until next time…happy trails to you!
Todd Bonner is the slightly quieter half of the dynamic TREKKN duo. He spends most of his time sharing information about RV travel and safety, RV accessories and tips, and the National Parks he has visited and still desperately craves. When he’s not busy working on TREKKN, you will often find him staring at breathtaking pictures of Glacier National Park, probably his favorite spot on earth.