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For those who live in a home on wheels, it is important to pay attention to RV tire safety. Not only do you need to keep your passengers safe but also ensure your RV operation is safe for everyone else on the road.
One of the most effective tools in ensuring tire safety is – an RV tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) – which will monitor both pressure and temperature. This will help prevent blowouts and ensure a leisurely ride no matter how long you plan to be on the road. But what is the best TPMS for your rig?
RV tires are made tough, and they have a price tag to match. Here are the best TPMS options currently on the market are:
Proper RV tire pressure maintenance can be tedious, especially if you are traversing vast distances. One of the best ways to streamline this process is by using an RV tire pressure monitoring system. To find out why these TPMS systems are the best on the market for every budget, check out our comprehensive reviews below.
What is a Tire Pressure Monitor System?
RV tire pressure monitoring systems are efficient monitoring units that allows drivers to observe their tire pressure in real-time.
They display critical information about the temperature, tire pressure, and air leak speed of the RV tires in real-time.
Sensors are attached to the seam of the tire vales of each tire while the monitoring display is near the driver’s console. If there is a problem with any of the tires, an alert will pop up and the problem can be addressed before the issue becomes critical.
Did You Know? If your tire is more than 25% under the recommended standard, you’re at risk for a sidewall blowout and studies have shown that drivers rarely check their tire pressure.
Higher-end TMPS’s will even give off a LOUD audible alarm in the event of a critical problem.
How Does an RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System Work?
While there are a couple of types of RV tire pressure monitoring systems, they all work generally in the same manner.
The method of operation starts from the sensors on each tire valve. These small sensors collect information about tire pressure, tire temperature, and even the rate of air loss on a regular basis.
This information is passed along to the main console, which is typically located in the front or to the side of the driver’s seat.
The monitoring unit will either flash, beep, or make a moderately loud noise if any of the RV tires connected to the system exhibit a potentially dangerous problem.
Higher-end models display a wide range of information about your tires and the road condition aside from just the air pressure.
TPMS systems for RVs give you critical insight into the condition of your tires when you are on the road so you have ample time to stop to repair or correct any tire problems. High or low tire pressure, pesky leaks, or even tire overheating can lead to a catastrophic accident.
Is a TPMS Necessary for an RV?
While you don’t have to have the highest-end model, cars and RVs have been required to use some form of TPMS since 2008.
If you do not have one installed, the “check engine” light will remain on and the RV will not be able to pass its road-worthiness inspection.
As far as RV drivability, though you can operate your rig without one, we advise against it! When you spend a lot of time on the road in a large vehicle, the chances of running into a tire-related problem is pretty high.
RV tires last about 3-6 years with regular use, however certain weather conditions can greatly speed up the degeneration of your RV tires. Aside from keeping the tires inflated to the recommended maximum cold pressure level RV owners should also make use of tire covers when the rig is sitting idle for long periods of time.
I’ll say this – using a TPMS unit will save money on repairs and it can even save lives!
No matter how experienced or how careful you are, no one is immune to road accidents. The best way to minimize your risk is by taking ample precautions when you are on the road. An RV tire pressure monitoring system will give you real-time, accurate information about your tires that can prevent a serious accident.
For example, tires that have too much or too little air can trigger axel misalignment. This misalignment can result in drifting, car accidents or even worse problems with your RV.
How Much Are RV TPMS?
There are two main types of RV tire pressure monitoring systems. These two systems, indirect and direct, will produce a different traveling experience depending on which type you choose.
The most popular TPMS type for RV owners is a direct system. This is due to the higher level of accuracy and the efficiency of the reporting they provide. Alerts are sent the moment tire stats go over or under the normal parameters. Direct systems also use a tube sensor that is placed inside of the tire as opposed to simply placed on the cap.
An indirect TPMS is not as accurate, but they are more affordable. Instead of monitoring each tire, this type of system watches your RV performance on the road to extrapolate tire problems. The alerts given are general in nature and will not give you a clear picture of how urgently you may need to address the problem. Both systems help increase RV safety while on the road.
The most affordable TPMS units start at $100 and the higher-end models can reach as high as $950.
Our Reviews Of The Best Tire Pressure Monitoring System For RV Campers
Next, let’s look at our top 3 picks.
If you don’t have a TPMS, GET A TPMS! You’re running blind otherwise and can save you precious seconds in pulling over to safety!
EEZ Tire RV TPMS (E618)
The EezTire TPMS system is a very close second on our list for anyone that drives an RV or tows a trailer.
This model is an affordable option for those who have a multitude of tires to monitor. It can track the status of as many as 26 tires with complete accuracy. It tracks both the pressure and temperature of each tire, all in real-time.
The alarms are both audio and visual which will help you pay attention to important changes even in the middle of a long drive. The battery is rechargeable and can last for 60 hours before needed to be recharged. If you prefer not to risk running on a battery, you can connect the monitor via USB port. There are individual controls for both trailer sensors and RV sensors for customized rig support.
The TPMS can be configured with different number and type of sensors (anti-theft or flow-through) to meet your RV Camper tire needs. Finally programming of the EezTire -TPMS is very simple and Eez RV Guys has some great videos that go tin great detail about that.
H I G H L I G H T S:
- Type: Direct
- Large color display monitor – no squinting to see readings
- Three different mounting options
- Selectable monitor units (RV and/or trailer)
- Monitors up to 26 tires
- Can handle tire pressure up to 210 psi
- Monitors pressure and temperature
- Easy programming
- Replaceable sensor batteries
- 3-year limited warranty
TireMinder Smart RV TPMS
The TireMinder Smart RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System is easy to use with a wide range of rig setups.
You can use them with trailers, fifth wheels, motorhomes, and more. Their sensor usage ranges from 4 to 10 which also allows you to account for different size vehicles. Unlike other models, this unit can be used with a smartphone. It is iOS and Android capable and tracks pressure, temperature, and slow/fast leaks.
While most people won’t be looking at their phone while they drive, the ability to use it mounted on your dash helps to save space and energy. The setup and adjustment of this system is really user friendly and it’s done all from your phone through an app.
This is a solid product offering from another big name in the RV TPMS industry if you are very concerned about tire pressure and failure on tires.
H I G H L I G H T S:
- Cap Sensors
- Type: Direct
- Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and Android devices
- Monitors up to 22 tires (0-232 psi)
- Monitors pressure, slow/rapid leaks, temperature and blowouts.
- Signal booster included, great for longer rigs
- Fast set up
- LCD color display
Tymate 6 TPMS
The Tymate 6 TPMS tops our list as being the best overall in terms of ease of use, reliability and affordability. The design of the system is forward-thinking and the performance is solid over all terrain.
One unique feature of this system is that the monitor also uses solar power to recharge itself. The 850 milliamp-hour battery can store several days’ worth of charge so even if you hit a stormy patch your monitoring won’t be affected. There are six sensors in the set, but you can use a secondary batch of sensors for larger rigs.
Unlike most TPMS models, the battery is fully replaceable. You are able to keep an eye on air leaks, low and high tire pressure, and also tire temperatures.
H I G H L I G H T S:
- Cap sensors
- Type: Direct
- Solar power and USB charging
- 6 external sensors
- Displays pressure and temperature simultaneously
- Energy-saving mode
- 2 year warranty, register it here.
Buying Guide: How To Pick a Good Quality Tire Pressure Monitoring System for RVs
When deciding to add a new RV tire pressure monitoring system to your rig, there are some things you should consider. First, you will need to decide if a direct system or an indirect system will work best for your rig.
Direct RV tire pressure monitoring systems are the most accurate and will keep you and your family safe while on the road.
Reviews can let you know how durable the system will be. There are models that are more suited to RVs that spend most of their time off-road as opposed to those who stick to the asphalt.
The display is one of the most important features of an RV tire pressure monitoring system. Some displays provide audible alerts when there is a problem while others stick to color-coded lights.
If you drive at night often, a display that has a night mode will be the best option. TPMSs run on batteries so you will need to choose a brand or model that has a long battery life. The last thing you want is for the system to go offline right in the middle of a long-haul journey.
Inoperative batteries will have a negative effect on the tire sensor, so if you notice spotty reporting, chances are that’s the cause.
Many RV tire pressure monitoring systems can be self-installed. Others require a professional to handle the installation. Depending on your preferences you will need to pick a model that is easy to install and easy to service even while on the road.
Some RV tires use plain air while others use nitrogen. Pairing a compatible RV tire pressure monitoring system is critical to prevent corrosion. The range is not a topic that comes up often, however, with a wireless TMPS, it is worth considering. The best systems are attached to a fifth wheel, however, you can upgrade a wireless system with a range extender.
How To Install a TPMS System in an RV Camper
Installing an RV tire pressure monitoring system is not overly complex. There are some specialized systems that can work more efficiently when installed by a professional, but most are self-installing. Here’s a step-by-step guide for the installation of direct TPMS models. There is a video tutorial at the end of this section if you want to skip reading these steps.
You will start off with a monitor, a set of sensors, power connections for the monitor, mounting clips for the monitor, gaskets for the sensors, and sensor wrenches. Wireless units will come with antennas, and you can also upgrade the units with repeaters. Let’s take a closer look at getting your monitoring system set up on your rig.
You will start by programming your monitor. Most units will have a single tire already uploaded when the monitor is first turned on. This is just an after effect of manufacturer testing and it will be removed once programming is complete. On the main screen, you will need to assign each sensor to a wheel. Most sensors will have a code specific to each sensor. Enter this into the monitor to assign that sensor to a specific tire. Take note of which sensor you assign to each tire.
Once you program each sensor into your monitor, it is time to set up your alarms. The exact alarms available will differ from one model to the next. All TPMS models will have a tire pressure alarm function. You will also have the option of setting a temperature alarm and an air loss alarm. Your specific setting will depend on your vehicle and the climate in which you plan to travel.
Once your pressure alerts have been set, you will need to mount your monitor on your dashboard. You can attach it to a USB or cigarette lighter power source via the provided cord, or you can let it run on a battery. Depending on the model it will be attached to the dash via mounting clips or a sturdy Velcro/sticky strip.
Take your sensors and attach them to your tire valve stem. This is as simple as twisting off the regular cap and replacing it with the sensor. Check the display to make sure that each sensor is attached and working properly. You check by unscrewing and screwing the top to verify that you are getting readings.
Upgrade Your Road Safety with an RV TPMS Today!
If you are considering hitting the road in an RV or a camper, it is important to install a TPMS to minimize your chances of becoming involved in a car accident caused by a tire blowout, flat tire, underinflation, or other risk factors. All these systems are an affordable and smart way to keep yourself or a loved one behind the steering wheel safe on the open road.
Our top pick is EezTire TPMS because it comes with a very easy to read large color monitor, it has reliable reporting, has a long standing and respected reputation in the industry, it’s super easy to set up and has a strong 3-year warranty.
Another important tool for your tire safety toolbox is an air compressor, this is an absolute MUST! A good compressor kit should handle high psi’s to accommodate a large RV. You don’t want to be running on low pressure while on the road trying to find a place with enough space to accommodate a larger rig. We recommend VIAIR automatic portable compressor kit (450P-RV) which handles up to 150PSI and comes with a 60 foot hose. Remember, it’s not a matter of if, but when you’ll have to add pressure to your tires!