If you enjoy traveling in your RV, one thing that is certainly in your mind is keeping your companions safe during your road trips. An RV tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) is an essential component of maintaining that safety. A TPMS warn you of a loss in air pressure in any one of your tires. This warning system alerts you to underinflated tires so you can avoid problems like a flat tire or a substantially deflated tire that won’t stop properly when you apply your brakes.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of having an RV tire pressure monitoring system in place and then we will answer some of the questions you may have about tire pressure monitoring systems in general.
Why You Should Consider a Tire Pressure Monitoring System for Your RV
Tire pressure monitoring systems, abbreviated TPMS, are considered important enough that Congress has enacted laws requiring vehicle manufacturers to install them in all new passenger vehicles, SUVs, and light trucks. A tire pressure monitoring system alerts you when one of your tires has deflated to the point that it has lost 25% of its air pressure. This means that your tire is dangerously low and in imminent danger of going flat.
#1 – Early Alert Before You Risk a Blowout
When you are hauling your family’s RV down the interstate, the last thing you need is to experience a blown out tire. Having a tire pressure monitoring system in place can alert you if one of your tires is slowly deflating so you have time to get your vehicle off the road before it blows out.
If you have ever witnessed an RV tire blowing out, you know about the damage that can be sustained. A blown tire can cause a terrible accident, greatly putting your family and other drivers at risk of severe injury. A blown tire can also cause a great deal of damage to the undercarriage of your RV, substantially delaying your trip and necessitating a visit to the mechanic.
#2 – Revealing a Flat Tire Before You Even Realize It
If your RV has dual wheels, you could be rolling down the interstate with a flat tire and not even realize it. Meanwhile, all kinds of damage is being done to your RV while you continue to drive on the flat tire. Having a tire pressure monitoring system in place can prevent this, as the system will alert you to the existence of a flat tire quickly, so you can get off the road before further damage occurs.
#3 – Maintain Optimal Tire Performance
Maintaining your tires at their proper inflation level allows your tire to fully engage with the surface of the road. This allows your tires to grip the road properly, so your RV will stop appropriately after you apply the brakes. Having the right amount of grip on the roadway will also allow your RV to move smoothly when you press on the gas pedal.
#4 – Prevent Uneven Wear and Tear
Keeping your tires filled to the correct air pressure prevents your tires from developing uneven wear over time. An improperly filled tire will hit the road’s surface unevenly, and your tire will wear down more quickly than it would if it was properly filled. Keeping up with your tires’ air pressure will maintain the life of your tires and ultimately save you money as you avoid uneven wear that would necessitate replacing the tire.
#5 – Alert You to Overnight Changes in Your Tires
A tire pressure monitoring system can alert you to changes that have developed in your tires overnight. Changes in air temperature can greatly impact the air pressure in your tires. If you have forgotten to manually check your tires before heading out one chilly morning, your tire pressure monitor can alert you to a dangerous change in air pressure before you suffer the loss of a tire once you hit the highway.
Now that we’ve looked at some of the benefits of tire pressure monitoring systems for RVs, let’s look at some common questions that can come up when you are considering getting a TPMS for your RV.
Top 5 Best RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) Reviews
Do you need a TPMS for your RV?
Let’s face it; most RVers hate the annoyance of manually checking tire pressure before every trip, and many skip this critical step, which can lead to a tire failure disaster!
Avoid the stress of manual inspections by installing the best tire pressure monitoring system for your RV from our list below and let the system do the work for you.
Use this guide to the top five best RV tire pressure monitoring systems with pros and cons of each model, essential details, customer feedback, and which type of RVer we recommend use each model so you can safely travel this camping season!.
#1 – TireMinder A1A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (6 sensors)
BEST FOR – RVers who have a motorhome, truck camper or tow vehicle and trailer combination with six or fewer tires so this TPMS kit is enough for complete installation right out of the box.
- Accurate readings
- Blow out, low pressure, high temp alarms
- Nice display monitor
- Self-diagnosis and automatic updates
- Supports up to 22 tires
- Must disassemble to fill tire with air
- Some issues with faulty readings
The TireMinder A1A Tire Pressure Monitoring System comes with enough transmitters to fit the needs of most RVs, travel trailers, motorhomes, and fifth wheels, so you can feel safe traveling to your camping destination.
The TireMinder allows you to view pressure and temperature readings for your RV tires and will sound a visible and audible alarm when tire pressure is too high or low. This model also has a blow-out alarm.
Customers like the easy installation that took less than an hour in most instances. Another feature they appreciate is the ability to scroll through each tire to check the stats and how the system points out a slow leak that you may not notice during a visual inspection.
Customers aren’t as happy when they have to remove the sensor to put air into a tire. Some customers found inaccurate readings with the sensors, which could mean the need for a signal booster or a faulty sensor.
#2 – EEZTire-TPMS Real Time/24×7 Tire Pressure Monitoring System
BEST FOR – RVers on a budget who want a reliable, easy-to-install tire pressure monitoring system from a leader in the RV TPMS industry.
- Visible and audio alerts
- Large, easy to read display with backlight
- Supports up to 22 tires
- Some issues with disconnects and innacurate PSI readings
The EEZTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System is an easy-to-install kit to keep any motorhome or travel trailer and tow vehicle combination safer while on the road.
This system takes a short time to program and install. The large display monitor lets you see the condition of your tire pressure and temperature at a glance and gives you an audible and visual alert if it senses the tires exceed safety parameters.
Customers love that this TPMS kit checks tires every six seconds and can accurately monitor up to 22 tires, which can handle the needs of any RVer even with a tow vehicle or dingy. The anti-theft sensors give you peace of mind that strangers will not tamper with your system.
Some customers had readings that would drop, which could be the distance between the sensors and the monitor which a signal booster can alleviate. Other customers note lower-than-actual PSI readings from the sensor that triggers the alarm. This issue could be from improper installation or a faulty sensor.
#3 – Bellacorp Tire Pressure Monitoring System TPMS (4) Sensors for RVs
BEST FOR – RVers looking for a very user-friendly TPMS that offers commercial-grade quality and performance.
- Accurate readings
- Large display screen with backlight
- Straightforward sensor/monitor setup
- Commercial grade system
- Anti-corrosion, waterproof, and leak proof sensors
- Two separate alarm alerts
- May not fit on all rims
- Must remove sensor to add air
The Bellacorp Tire Monitoring System is a user-friendly model for recreational vehicles because of the easy-to-follow installation directions and the straightforward operation, which makes camping trips less stressful.
This commercial-grade system TPMS system takes real-time tire pressure and temperature readings and sends different alerts for either a low tire or a more urgent alarm for a fast leak from a puncture giving you more time to take precautionary measures.
Customers like the secure fit of the waterproof sensors that will not leak air and are anti-corrosion. They also like the range of the sensor, which eliminates the need for a repeater in most lengths of RVs.
Customers took issue that these sensors do not fit correctly on some rims and others
recommend you install steel valve stems before using this RV tire monitoring system if your tire does not come with them for best results.
#4 – Tire-Safeguard RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System
BEST FOR – RVers with travel trailers, pop-ups, teardrops, or Class B motorhomes with one tire per axle, since the installation of this sensor on an inside dually tire is complicated.
- Lightweight and waterproof sensors
- Flow-through, anti-theft sensors
- Per-axle adjustable settings for pressure
- Excellent range between sensors and monitor
- Monitor dropping sensor readings
The Tire-Safeguard RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System is an ideal choice when you need to monitor your recreational vehicle tires and want a system that allows you to add air to your tire without removing the sensor.
This RV tire monitor system checks for high and low pressure, high temperature, and will even detect slow leaks. An alarm will alert you to dangerous levels so you can fix the problem right away. You can set the monitor to read in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
Customers like the ability to set alert levels, especially the low-pressure alert for an axle, which is vital for RVers hauling lots of camping gear. Customers also like being able to replace sensors batteries instead of having to purchase new ones when the battery dies.
There were some customer complaints of the monitor randomly dropping sensor readings, which could be due to external interference with the signal, faulty installation, or a sensor with a dead battery, so eliminate these causes before replacement.
#5 – Truck Systems Technology TST 507 Tire Monitor System – Flow Through System Model
BEST FOR – RVs that have tires with rubber valve stems, so you never have to worry about the TPMS sensors causing tire damage. Jump to top
- Anti-theft sensors
- Flow-through sensor
- Safe for rubber valve stems
- Auto-scroll monitor
- Rechargeable battery in monitor
- Monitor hard to read in bright light
The TST 507rv Tire Monitor System will keep you posted to your RV tires pressure and temperature so you can feel confident driving to your camping destinations.
This system can monitor up to four trailers or dinghies, which will cover all your RVing needs. You can customize your high and low alert settings to fit your RV tire needs and your comfort level.
Customers like how the system automatically scrolls through the stats on each tire without having to push buttons. Another feature customers note is the sensors are safe for rubber valve stems which prevent damage to your tires and also keeps readings accurate.
The biggest complaint isn’t with wrong readings, but with the monitor being hard to read during exposure to bright light.
Are Tire Pressure Sensors Accurate?
As you consider an RV tire pressure monitoring system, you may have questions about the accuracy of the actual tire pressure sensors. Drivers rely on these electronic devices to send a signal to the vehicle’s computer system when there is a seriously deflated tire. These specially-designed devices, which are powered by batteries, are usually located on the tire pressure valve stem or the wheel.
With a direct system, the tire pressure sensor is designed to measure each tire’s pressure. A properly functioning sensor should read the tire’s pressure to within 1 psi, making the sensors very accurate.
But remember this: The TPMS sensor is designed to cause the warning light to come on when one of the vehicle tires has dropped to 25% below the appropriate tire pressure. This means that your tire pressure would have already dropped substantially below the pressure required for your vehicle to operate safely. Don’t rely on the TPMS system to monitor your tires for pressure; take the time to manually check your tires once a month.
Why Does My Tire Pressure Light Keep Coming On?
Your tire pressure indicator light will come on when the pressure in one or more of your tires is 25% lower than your vehicle manufacturer guidelines. The indicator light is located on your instrument panel; it is shaped like an exclamation point inside of a horseshoe.
If the light stays on, it is warning you that one or more of your tires are substantially under the recommended pressure. In order to determine which of the tires needs additional air, you will need to use a manual gauge to check each tire. Once you determine which tire needs air, you can inflate that tire to the correct pressure recommended by your vehicle manufacturer.
Another reason your tire pressure warning light may come on and stay on is when the outside temperature is cold. Cold weather can cause the pressure inside your tires to drop.
If your tire pressure light comes on and flashes, your vehicle computer system is alerting you that there is some sort of a malfunction with your tire pressure monitoring system. You should arrange to visit a dealer or car mechanic at the earliest possible opportunity so they can determine what is going on with your tire pressure system and get it repaired. If you are running your vehicle while using a ‘donut’ or spare tire because you suffered a flat, then your system is probably alerting you that the tire pressure system is unable to determine the pressure in that particular tire.
How Long Can You Drive with Tire Pressure Light On?
The tire pressure monitoring system light is not to be considered an advance warning that you should get your vehicle to a repair shop sometime in the next few weeks. The tire pressure light should be considered an alarm that requires immediate attention. Your tire pressure light is designed to come on when one of your tires have lost 25% of its air pressure: this is a serious situation, as it indicates that you are driving on a tire that is dangerously underinflated.
Tires that have been driven at low tire pressure for long periods of time can become seriously weakened, making them subject to a possible blowout. Tires that are underinflated cannot grip the road properly, which can impact your ability to stop your car when applying the brakes.
Our best advice: when the tire pressure light comes on, you should check your tires with a manual gauge and add air as necessary. Your tire pressure light indicates a very serious loss of pressure in one or more of your tires—a situation that needs attention as soon as possible. The sooner you can get your tires filled with the appropriate air pressure, the quicker you can safely get your vehicle back on the road.
Do Tire Pressure Sensors Need to Be Replaced?
If your vehicle is in need of new tires, you may be considering whether or not it is time to replace your tire pressure monitoring system’s sensors. After all, the sensors are connected to your tires, so perhaps this is an indication that they should be replaced as well.
Or should they?
Your TPMS sensors operate on batteries that are contained within the sensor. The batteries, called lithium ion batteries, have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years. This is longer than the life of a typical tire.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the sensors aren’t using the battery all the time. The sensors are using the battery to monitor the pressure and send a signal to the vehicle’s computer when your car is moving. Also, the signal that is sent to the computer is done on an intermittent basis.
Do Tire Pressure Sensors Go Bad?
It is possible for tire pressure sensors to go bad. Some sensors (in particular, original equipment sensors) have developed an issue with severe corrosion at the valve stem, as metal valve stems can weaken after exposure to salted roads. If the sensors cannot accurately determine the air pressure inside a tire, the sensor needs to be replaced.
Once it was determined that the corrosion at the metal valve stem could prevent the sensors from operating properly, some sensors have been developed that have a rubber valve stem, making them impervious to corrosion at the base of the valve stem.
How Long Do Tire Pressure Monitoring System Batteries Last?
In almost every type of tire pressure monitoring system, the sensors are operated on battery power. The sensors themselves are designed so the battery is actually molded into the sensor assembly. You will not be able to replace the batteries; once the battery on your tire pressure sensors are exhausted, the sensors themselves must be replaced.
The batteries, therefore, will last as long as your sensors last. If you purchase a vehicle that already has sensors in place, you need to determine how old the sensors are in order to get a general idea of when the batteries may run out. The sensors contain lithium ion batteries which generally have a lifespan of five to ten years.
Remember how the sensors operate? They send an intermittent signal to the vehicle’s computer system. So even though the sensors are onboard and available to work, the sensors do not use the battery on a constant basis. This means that your sensor batteries may last longer than the typical lifespan of five to ten years since they are not in constant use.
Are All Tire Pressure Monitoring System Sensors the Same?
The original equipment manufacturers now install TPMS when the vehicle is assembled. The sensors that are installed when the vehicle is being assembled are often referred to as OEM sensors. These sensors are either mounted around the valve stem or actually inside the tires themselves.
But be aware that the manufacturers sometimes change the way their tire monitoring systems are designed from year to year as improvements are made. These means that you must be careful to purchase the correct OEM sensors when you reach the point when they must be replaced.
There are aftermarket manufacturers who create sensors that are designed to work with a vehicle’s original tire pressure monitoring system. So long as you are careful to ensure that the sensors are compatible with your vehicle’s tire pressure monitoring system, you may be able to use aftermarket sensors instead of OEM replacements.
If you decide to locate replacement sensors on your own, remember that all sensors are not the same. Some attach to the valve stem while others attach near the valve stem. Other sensors are attached to the wheel.
Are Tire Pressure Monitoring System Batteries Replaceable?
Tire pressure sensors rely on battery components for their power, at least for now. (In the future, you can look for sensors that are not reliant upon batteries; but for now, they are reliant upon batteries as the source of their power.) These batteries are not the type of removable batteries that we are used to replacing; instead, the batteries are actually molded into the sensor housing.
Since the batteries are an integral part of the sensor, there is no way to remove the batteries and keep the sensor: instead, the entire sensor—including its encased battery—must need to be replaced when it stops operating properly.
The tire pressure monitoring system’s sensors run on lithium ion batteries designed to last up to ten years. Some companies state that the sensors may last up to 12 years.
There are some things that will cause the sensor batteries to run down quicker than normal. These things include driving in extreme temperatures as well as driving many more miles than is typical in a calendar year.
In general, you can expect that your sensors will last five to ten years. If you are fortunate, you may get an extra year or two out of your sensors before it’s time to replace them.
Will Tire Pressure Light Come on If Over Inflated?
The tire pressure system was originally designed to alert drivers when their vehicle tire pressure had dropped by at least 25%. When the tire pressure is too low, it can create a myriad of dangerous driving conditions.
Tires are designed to hold a particular amount of air pressure, and underinflated tires can substantially weaken over time. This can result in a dangerous blowout while the vehicle is in operation. Underinflated tires cannot adhere properly to the road, which may prevent the car from stopping properly.
Since the tire pressure monitoring systems are designed to warn drivers of underinflated tires, the system will not alert you when your tires are overinflated. The sensors are not designed to measure too much air in the tires; instead, they were created to measure too little tire pressure in your tires.
Overinflated tires can be just as dangerous as underinflated ones, so it is important to use your manual tire gauge to be sure that you maintain your tires at the proper inflation level. A monthly check of the pressure of your tires is recommended to ensure that your tires are filled to the manufacturer’s recommended levels.
How Do Tire Pressure Sensors Get Power?
Tire pressure sensors run thanks to a small battery that is contained within the sensor itself. These batteries, typically ion lithium batteries, are enclosed within the housing of the sensor in such a way that they cannot be separated from the sensor. When the battery dies, the entire sensor must be replaced.
The sensor’s job is to measures tire pressure; sometimes they are also designed to measure the tire’s temperature and its acceleration. The data is then transmitted to the vehicle’s computer system via radio frequency transmissions.
In order to prolong the life of the sensors, the tire pressuring monitoring system is designed to use the least amount of battery power possible. The data is transmitted on an infrequent basis as opposed to continuous transmissions. The sensors are also designed to operate only when the vehicle is in operation.
Do I Have to Have Tire Pressure Sensors?
Following more than 250 fatalities that were linked to underinflated tires on a particular Ford model of vehicles in 2000, the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation Act was passed. One requirement under the law is that all 2008 and later passenger vehicles, SUVs and light trucks have to be equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems.
The system was required to provide a warning whenever a tire’s air pressure was detected to be 25% less than the manufacturer’s recommended level.
So if you are purchasing a 2008 or newer passenger vehicle, SUV or light truck, it will be equipped with a pressure monitoring system in order to be in compliance with the TREAD Act. The Act requires the monitoring system to monitor tire pressure and warn drivers via a dashboard light whenever it detects dangerously low pressure in one or more tires.
Does My Car Have Tire Pressure Monitoring System?
If you are driving a passenger car, SUV or light truck that was manufactured in 2008 or later, your vehicle should be outfitted with a tire pressure monitoring system by law. TPMS is required by the TREAD Act, passed by Congress in 2000, which required such vehicles to be protected by TPMS systems by 2008. The TPMS is designed to monitor the air pressure inside your tires and to alert you if the pressure is low, which was defined as 25% less than the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure level.
Your vehicle dashboard should contain a symbol that looks like an exclamation point inside a cross-section of a tire. You can check your vehicle’s operating manual for an illustration of what the symbol looks like for your particular vehicle. If the light comes on and stays on, you are being warned that the pressure in one or more of your tires is dangerously low and you should manually check your tires and refill as necessary.
Are Tire Pressure Sensors Wireless?
Tire monitoring systems use individual sensors located at each tire to collect data on the air pressure inside the tires. The sensors are operated by a battery that is contained within the sensor. Once the date is collected, it is sent to the vehicle’s computer system via radio frequency.
The tire pressure sensors are totally wireless. The sensors run on batteries that have a lifespan of close to ten years. Since the sensors are constructed to fully contain the battery, once the battery runs down the entire sensor needs to be replaced.
Our recommended RV tire pressure monitoring system: Bellacorp Tire Pressure Monitoring System is our top pick for overall features and reliability.