Whether you’re driving an RV or some other vehicle, tire pressure is something that you should pay attention to as closely as possible. However, because RVs have more wheels, and some models are not connected to a cab, it’s even more imperative that you have some method of monitoring your tire pressure.
Fortunately, you can buy Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) and install them on your RV relatively easily. These devices enable you to keep a close eye on your tires so that you can maximize your fuel efficiency and drive safely at all times.
Today I’m going to show you some of the best TPMS models out there, as well as go over the various elements to look for when picking out the right one. Don’t let your tires get low again, be prepared for anything.
How to Choose an RV Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Direct vs. Indirect
One of the more crucial elements of a TPMS device is how it monitors the tires. There are two primary options; first, you can install a sensor inside the tire via the air hole (direct). Secondly, you can have an exterior sensor that measures things like rotational speeds and other factors (indirect).
I overwhelmingly prefer direct TPMS models because they are far more accurate and they can give you a warning when a tire is starting to get low. Although indirect devices are cheaper and easier to install, they are much less reliable. In the end, if you do go with an indirect system you will still have to pay attention to your tires more to be sure that it’s working properly, which kind of defeats the purpose.
Because these tire pressure systems are installed manually, they don’t work the same way as they do in your car. Instead of getting a warning light on your dashboard, the sensors are connected to a display to show you the individual pressure and temperature of each tire.
In most cases, this display is a proprietary device made by the manufacturer. However, in other instances, you may be able to sync the system to your smartphone and check on your tires via an app. Either method is suitable, so it’s up to you to decide which one is more convenient.
If it helps, high-tech models that sync to a smartphone are usually more expensive, so that can be another deciding factor.
Since these are the elements you will be relying on to monitor your tires, you have to be sure that you’re getting high-quality materials. When picking out a TPMS device, it’s imperative that you pay attention to several key components of the sensors.
Cap vs. Flow Through
A cap sensor is easy to install because it screws onto the air nozzle of the tire. You can put cap sensors on all of your tires quickly and remove them just as fast if and when necessary. The downside, however, is that you have to take them off whenever you want to refill the tire.
Flow through sensors are meant to stay on the tire semi-permanently. They replace the nozzle and allow air to flow through them. Thus, you can refill your tires without having to take the sensor off. To keep them secure, many of them have locking mechanisms as well.
Both types of sensors are good at reading as long as you’re using a direct monitoring system. Again, convenience and ease of use are going to be the most critical deciding factor.
Number of Sensors
When buying a TPMS device, you have to be sure that it has enough sensors to fit over every tire on your RV. Usually, these machines will come with a set amount, but they can sync to more of them if necessary. For example, it may have six to begin with, but you can sync up to 22 or more as needed. If you have a lot of tires on your RV or you want to monitor multiple vehicles, it’s helpful to get a system with more connections available.
It’s impractical to connect each sensor to the display manually (via wires), so each one uses a remote transmitter to send pertinent data. As such, you have to be sure that the sensor has sufficient range to be read from the cab of your RV. For most RVs that are self-driven, this isn’t a problem, but if you’re towing a trailer, then you might want to measure the distance to be 100% sure.
Recommended RV TPMS
If you like the idea of connecting your tire sensors to your smartphone, then you will appreciate the convenience of the TireMinder Smart System. This model is compatible with both iPhones and Android, allowing you to connect seamlessly across devices.
The way it works is that you can connect to the sensors via Bluetooth. They feed into a centralized transmitter so that you can read them all simultaneously. They provide data on pressure and temperature readings, ensuring that you’re always on top of them.
When comparing different systems, these sensors are cap-style, and they can go as high as 232 psi. Also, they detect problems like slow leaks and blowouts, sending the data to your phone in real time.
I would prefer if there were an integrated app that could send push notifications, but the Bluetooth connection is a decent setup. Also, you can sync up to 22 sensors at once, making it both reliable and versatile. Installation is super easy with the sensors, and you also get locking nuts, so that people can’t steal them.
Smartphone sync (iPhone or Android)
Six sensors included
Monitors high and low pressure, as well as leaks
Can connect with up to 22 tires
Measures up to 232 psi
Shows pressure and temperature
Automatic search feature
Rhino signal booster included
Bluetooth adapter for easier syncing
Anti-theft locking nuts provided
More expensive than other models
Accuracy may vary over time
When deciding between a proprietary display and a smartphone sync, I usually prefer the former option. The reason that I like dedicated display screens is that it can be set up to show me my tires at all times. When I use my phone, I’m not always monitoring the tires, so it can be a disadvantage.
In this case, the EEZTire System has a large 3.5-inch backlit LED screen. It’s easy to mount, and it connects with up to 22 sensors. You can use either cap or flow through sensor units as you see fit, making this system even more versatile.
As far as data shown, this monitor will display the position of the tires being tracked as well as pressure and temperature information. Although the psi levels are not as high as other systems (stops at 189 psi), it should be more than enough for most rigs.
The sensors are highly accurate, and the range is decent. If you’re worried about your rear tires, however, you can buy a signal booster separately. Although I don’t really like that it cycles through all of the sensors automatically, I do appreciate the fact that the system has audible alarms built-in. When your tire is running low, it helps to get a warning buzzer instead of a visual notification. This way you’re sure to notice immediately and take action. Also, you can program the system to alert you with different criteria, so it’s not just blowouts or low pressure that will get your attention.
Large 3.5-inch backlit LED screen
Shows position of each tire
Syncs with up to 22 sensors
Shows high and low-pressure settings
Audible alerts available
Displays temperature as well
Cap-style sensors provided
Rechargeable battery for the display
Compatible with flow-through sensors as well
Monitors up to 189 psi
Two-year limited warranty
System cycles through all sensors, even those not being used
Backlight fades quickly
When it comes to monitoring tire pressure, do you want a system that’s just good enough, or do you want something that’s made for professionals? In this case, the Bellacorp TPMS is built for commercial vehicles (18-wheelers), meaning that it’s more than capable for monitoring your RV.
What I like most about this system is that it’s highly accurate and it has a long range. It uses cap-style sensors to make installation a breeze, and the 3.5-inch screen is easy to use. You can sync with up to 34 tires if necessary, although I can’t imagine needing that kind of comprehensive monitoring.
One feature that really helps is the fact that the system is motion activated. When you’re parked, you don’t have to worry about the sensor batteries draining since they turn off automatically. Then, once you start moving again, they will turn on and start feeding data to the display. When the batteries do die, you can either recharge them or replace them, making the whole system even more reliable.
Another highlight of this model is the display mount included with your order. Instead of having to buy it separately and hope that it fits, you can get setup in minutes and start monitoring your tires immediately. You can also program alarms and alert settings so that you can always be sure that you’re operating at peak efficiency.
Overall, this is a high-quality TPMS device, and I highly recommend it.
Large 3.5-inch digital screen
Easy to use menu options
Can come with up to 18 sensors included
Cap-style sensors provided
Batteries are replaceable and rechargeable
Sensors are waterproof up to three feet
Backlit monitor for low light conditions
Syncs with up to 34 tires
Monitors up to 175 psi
Shows pressure and temperature readings
Display mount included
Ideal for consumer or commercial use
Programmable alarm settings
Sensors are numbered and have to be installed in order
RV 6-Tire Flow-Through Sensor Tire Pressure Monitoring System
For some people, flow-through TPMS sensors are better at capturing and reading data that screw caps. While I don’t have a particular preference, I can understand the appeal of these kinds of sensors. Also, they are much more convenient since they can remain on the tire indefinitely without any issues.
So, if you want a flow-through system, then this model is a perfect choice. What I really like about it is the display. It’s large, and it shows all of the data in bold lettering so that you can’t miss it. Other monitors can be a little confusing to read at times, but this one is very user-friendly.
Compared to other systems, this unit can monitor up to 199 psi on up to 22 tires. The display comes with a suction cup mount, making it easier to set up than most other models I’ve seen. It has a variety of warning lights and alarms, including low and high pressure, as well as slow leaks and blowouts. Also, if the tires are getting too hot, it will notify you of that, too.
The sensors are high quality and have good range. They are also waterproof so that they last longer outside, and you can lock them to the tire for security purposes. Overall, this is a great flow-through system.
Portable suction-cup monitor
Monitors up to 199 psi
Large LED screen
Big lettering for easier visibility
Displays pressure and temperature
Shows leaks and blowouts
Programmable settings and alerts
Battery level indicator light
Sensors are waterproof
In rare cases, the sensors may stop working suddenly
Large sensor size may prevent some hubcaps from being used
For our last device, I have to say that the features are fairly ordinary, but the price is quite affordable. If you want a decent tire pressure monitoring system and you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg to get it, this can be a good choice for you.
Overall, this system is decent, but it’s not as high quality as other ones we’ve seen. I like the size and appearance of the display screen, and it uses flow-through sensors for convenience. The transmitter range is good for most RVs and trailers, although you may need a booster for extra long fifth wheel haulers.
The system is programmable and will notify you of blowouts, low pressure, and slow leaks. The sensors are pretty good, and they will last for a while before you have to recharge the batteries. Installation is a breeze, and the accuracy of the system is also decent. Overall, I like the price more than anything, although it doesn’t have a lot of significant issues. It’s just not the top of the line.
Large backlit LED screen
Flow through tire sensors
Long range transmitter
Easy to install
Simple menu setup
Display mount included
Shows temperature and pressure
Syncs with up to 22 tires
Removable and rechargeable sensor batteries
In rare cases, the receiver may not work properly
Flow through sensors can take a while to sync sometimes
Overall, if you want to be sure that your RV’s tires are being monitored properly, then I suggest the Bellacorp TPMS model. Since this is a commercial-rated system, you know that it’s built to last and that it will be more reliable than most other units.
I like the battery-saving motion detection technology installed, as well as the accuracy and range of the sensors. Compared to other systems, this model has some of the best sensors in the industry.