Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tire Pressure.

In my humble opinion, the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is probably the most important automobile safety development since the airbag.  It's widely acknowledged that this is a piece of mandatory equipment in all motorhomes.

For some strange reason it is not standard or even optional equipment  on Ford motorhome chassis.  And since as of this writing Ford is the sole chassis provider, it means everyone who owns a gasser has to come up with their own solution to the problem. 

In our case, I chose a Tire Minder from Camping World.  This is a system that uses sensors that screw onto the tire stem.  The receiver is a battery powered hand unit that the co-pilot uses to monitor the condition of the tires.

All in all it appears to be a pretty good system.  But installation wasn't quite as easy as I though.

Tireminder insists that you have a "repeater".  This is a box separate from the monitor that is supposed to relay the tire pressure data from farther parts of the rig.  According I needed to find a 12v source and the repeater could remain on full time.

You'd think finding a 12v line in an RV would be easy.  I went to the web and got the Itasca wining diagrams and could not find any of the 12v lines the diagram said were in the back of the coach.

I ended up tapping off the generators 12v start line.  It was near the front of the genny  I'm still a bit adverse to drilling holes in the RV, so the position allowed me to route the cable underneath the door to repeater.

Repeater wired to Genny Starter

On my RV, there is a compartment next to the genny that could hold the repeater.  So I set the to run  on the surface under the door to the next compartment.  The cable mount used a tie to hold the cable in place

Cable to the repeater.


And there it is.  The TPMS repeater was installed.

The Tire Minder is a portable unit that uses a suction cup mount in the dash.  We consider it the co-pilots job to watch the Tire Minder - as a device it is complex enough that the driver shouldn't attempt to use it - much like a cell phone.

A lot of work for something that should have been standard equipment.