For everyone who contacted me asking why I haven’t posted to the blog for the last month or so thank you for your concern. We just returned from a 7,200 mile coast to coast RV trip. My youngest son said I always work when we travel in the RV so I promised him I wouldn’t work on this trip. We had a wonderful time and saw lots of this beautiful country along the way. I can’t wait to start planning the next trip.
Prior to leaving on the trip I was really concerned about tires. I think most people have heard stories about an RV that had a tire blowout at one time or another. If the person experiencing the blowout is lucky it will result in little damage and no one will be hurt.
There is more educational material available now on RV tire care and maintenance than ever before. We are instructed to check and inflate our tires to the correct pressure for the load, not to overload the RV, to inspect our tires for signs of damage and/or excessive wear and to replace tires that show evidence of damage.
I am a huge advocate for consumer education on tire care and maintenance. This is all great advice and should always be adhered to, but it is impossible to know what kind of damage may have already occurred to the inside of the tire that you are unaware of and have no way of knowing when the tire might fail.
This was a major concern of mine as we prepared for a 7,000 mile RV trip. Our motorhome was approaching five years old and prior to the trip had over 25,000 miles on it. During those 25,000 plus miles the tires were subjected to pot holes and other rough road conditions that can result in internal damage to the tires.
I did not want to worry everyday about what might happen to the tires as we traveled around the country. Another tire related concern I had were the tires on the vehicle we were towing. They were fairly new, but you just never know what might happen, especially on a long trip like this. Several years ago I had a tire blowout on this same vehicle, when we were towing it, and hardly noticed there was a problem until the entire inner fender was destroyed before I could safely pull over and stop.
There may be no way of knowing if a tire has internal damage, but there is a way to monitor the tires while you are traveling. For years I have heard and read about Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS), but for whatever reason never considered getting one. Now, faced with an extended RV trip, during the hot summer weather, I decided it was time to get serious about monitoring my tires as I drove down the highway.
The big question that confronted me at this point was which TPMS do I get?
I started researching the topic on the Internet and found several reputable companies offering TPMS that would work on the number and size of tires I wanted to monitor. To help narrow my choices down I had some additional criteria I wanted the TPMS to meet.
1) Ease of installation and use.
2) Monitor both the motorhome and the towed vehicle tires.
3) A good alert/alarm warning system if a problem should exist.
4) Monitor the tires for loss of air pressure.
5) Monitor the tires for possible overheating.
6) A good cost effective TPMS.
After some additional research I discovered The TireMinder® Wireless TPMS by Minder Research, Inc. The Tire Minder offers several models, depending on the application. I chose the TMG 400C model that can monitor up to 22 wheels and has a pressure range of 0-145 psi. The Tire Minder TPMS is user programmable so you can set it up to match your particular needs and it was easy to install and easy to use. I liked the fact that there is a visual, as well as audible warning system if you experience a loss in pressure and there is a temperature alarm if the tire temperature rises above 167f.
Another added benefit that helped sway my decision was that you can replace the lithium batteries in all of the transmitters when the battery dies, rather than replacing the entire transmitter which can get very expensive.
I don’t think I was ever as relaxed traveling in the RV as I was on this trip. Driving 7,000 miles in the RV is much more enjoyable when you know what the tire pressure is at any given time, and the fact that you will be warned if any problem exists.
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