I have been thinking about installing tire pressure monitors in the wheels of my 5th wheel for a while now. Over the years I have had some bad experiences with tires. It only took me four Goodyear Marathon failures to realize it was the tires and not me. Recently a Firestone tire failed on my new 5th wheel with a bit over 3000 miles on it. I don't mind the tire failure near as bad as the secondary damage that is done when the tire fails.
I always watch my tire pressure, but it seems most of the tires fail just after I have given my tires a safety check (give em a bit of knock with a tire hammer) at a service station or rest area. It would be nice to catch the tire beginning to fail before the bad stuff actually happens. You usually know a tire has gone flat when you see rubber flying in the rear view mirror.
Now my question. Has anyone installed or seen installed the Roadmaster tire monitors that camping world now has in their catalog. In particular, I am curious to see how the tire pressure low indicator light would mount on the front of the fifth wheel without a lot of unsightly wires showing.
I am open to any and all information in this matter of tire pressure monitoring....
Road Runners, Don't know about the ROADMASTER, but I have the SmartTire system on my TT. I had a rash of blow outs too (always on Rt23, Delaware, OH)and then got the Smarttire system 4 years ago. It uses 400MHz spread spectrum radio waves to send the pressure & temperature information for up to 6 wheels to the receiver/monitor plugged into the lighter socket.
It has saved my butt once with warning of a slow leak allowing pleanty of time to drive to a tire shop, and most of the time it has provided a lot of security and pease of mind everything is OK. I have mine set with such close limits for pressure & temp change, that if I have been driving along in sunshine and hit a rain squawl, the cooling of the rain will abruptly drop the pressure a few lbs and the warning signal will flash. A more serious failure will also sound an audable alarm.
The unit is about $200, but you have to pay for installing the transmitter modules inside the tires on the wheel. Then it requires remounting the tire and balancing. Each transmitter is ID coded so you know which wheels are reporting and the current status, reading temp and pressure out to within a lb. I found they are very accurate. More so than the Sears tire shop gauges by 4-5 lbs.
See http://www.smartire.com/fl/na/products/ and http://www.tirerack.com/tires/accessories/smartire2.jsp
I have the 1st generation system shown at http://www.tirerack.com/tires/accessories/smartire1.jsp
Pete W4WWQ DX70 IC-2800 Pressure-Pro X-10 camera
2006 Chevy 3500 CC LB 4WD DRW Duramax auto-6
2003 Cardinal 29WB LX EU3000is Roto-Choks 300W from www.amsolar.com
When I purchased my Smartire system, I dealt direct with Smartire. It cost about $350 but came with free installation certificates worth $120 for 4 tires. Now the same system is offered without installation for $200. Check the TireRack link in the previous post.
The generation-I system is good for pressures up to 127 lbs, but the generation-II is only for up to 78 lbs and I think for limited distance since Smartire says for automobiles only, not intended for RV or trailers. None of the parts of the -I are compatible with the -II system from what I have heard.
Smartire seems to be spending all its time currently catching up with the TREAD law that will require all vehicles manufactured in 2003 to require tire pressure indicators, before they expand the RV/truck product offering. (Hope I got the facts right :-)
RR, since they fail following the hammer test, first thing to be sure of is that its not a claw hammer you're using. ;-)
But seriously, maybe a tire temperature gage rather than pressure gage would be more useful in identifying potential failure. sure there are catastrophic blowouts, unrelated to temperature, but the pressure gage wouldn't likely be much value there either. While the instrumentation for temperature is much cheaper than for pressure, the big cost factor is probably the uh telemetry to get the signal from the rotating tire to the readout.
Onn the other hand, one of those non-conntact remote sensing goodies might work, you know like Mom's now stick in kid's ears to get their temperature.
Probably impractical, but with the cost of this stuff dropping to a couple bucks, might be worth some thought. [which I probably won't do until my first blowout].
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Bob & Marty Howe Full-time Street People
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