RV tire pressure monitoring

RV Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems— a key safety feature.

RV tire pressure monitoring


Onboard real-time TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) technology has been around for years. The early generation type was ITPMS (Indirect Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems).  These systems electronically measured the tire rotations. This was designed on the principle that the inflation level of a tire changed the rolling distance per revelation. Therefore, a loss of pressure in a given tire would cause that wheel to rotate faster at the same speed. The second generation and most common today is the direct TPMS. These monitor the pressure and, if so equipped, the temperature of each tire.

Today, all automobiles sold in North America are equipped with a visual/audio tire pressure warning system. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that approximately 660 lives are saved each year by having the early warning from these devices. In addition, the agency reports that upwards of $533 million in fuel costs are saved by giving people the real-time information for corrective action.

RV Tire Pressure Monitoring — Peace of Mind

So, why are these not mandated on all new RV’s? Well, many things are not regulated at the same level as the mass vehicle market. The RV industry is a relatively small niche that may not be practical to govern in the same manner.  Given time this will change.

I think clearly this is an option that one day will be a standard feature on all recreational motorized vehicles. However, in the meantime, specifying a TPMS be on your next motorhome is a smart move. Being proactive and adding an aftermarket TPMS on your existing unit is also a great move. Either way, it will probably pay for itself in fuel and tire-wear costs over the coming years.

There are very few products or accessories that you can add to your RV that will really save you money. The TPMS is one that can, while also providing an additional safety factor.

Peter Mercer – Watching the Air Between You and the Road

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  1. Anonymous

    I have owned a Montana fifth wheel for 7 years and have had 5 blow outs. I have used a TPMS for 2 years and it did not help me. Last month, while on vacation, I had two blowouts in 3 days. These involved 2 year old tires with tread separation. The readings from the TPMS showed no problem right up to the blowouts. I was told by the tire dealer that the Montana is overweight.

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      Have your trailer weighed and check each wheel position’s actual weight. Then check the tire/wheel rating capacity at the correct pressure. If the tire does not provide adequate capacity, or suitable margin, replace the tires with one rated higher. Remember that most people carry far more than they realize. Overweight is more often the cause of the owner not the RV maker. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Anonymous

    thanks for the advice- what do you think is the better choice of systems when purchasing for a 28 ft travel trailer? would like your input on this. Ive been doing a lot of reading and getting a lot of different opinions :*

    • Peter Mercer

      Peter Mercer

      Well, I believe the best systems are those that are installed within the tire. They can not only give you near real time air pressures, but also temperatures. I hate to mention brand names for fear of omitting one. There are many great choices to pick from. Thanks for the question. Hopefully some other members may post their favorites and why.