I’ve read a few horror stories about exploding caravan tyres and the resulting problems and expense, so I considered some sort of early warning system essential. Since neither our car or caravan came with any form of tyre pressure monitoring, I had to find something suitable for both.
Apart from needing a fit and forget system one other point I considered important was for it to be both automatic and self-monitoring. I examined many systems and found that all bar one failed on the latter requirement.
It seems to me that a tyre monitor that doesn’t somehow warn me when it ceases to work for any reason is worse than not having a monitor at all since it would engender a false sense of security.
The only system that I found that met my criterion completely was the TyrePal TC215/B unit, so I purchased one in 2016 complete with six sensors. The system can handle far more than six sensors, but six wheels is all I have to worry about. I could have an additional sensor for the spare but decided not to.
The monitor is supplied with both a windscreen sucker style bracket and a simpler metal affair suitable for screwing to the facia. I elected to use the latter so as to keep the windscreen clear. I also routed the supply cable out of sight on its way to a supply socket.
In practice, the unit is very much fit and forget. It wakes up out of sleep mode when I get into the car but doesn’t display all information until I have travelled about a mile. Apparently, both the monitor and sensors power down to conserve battery power when not in use, hence the start-up delay. When the caravan is hitched it is necessary to press two buttons to include the caravan icon on the monitor’s display as well as the car’s, then the information from its wheels is also picked up and displayed after a similar delay. This simple procedure is reversed when the ’van is unhitched.
Initially, it is easy to get fixated with the changing pressures and temperatures displayed for each of the tyres but with use that passes as you realise that these changes are a normal response and that if they fall outside of the set parameters an alarm will sound.
One minor drawback with external sensors is the need to remove them to allow adjustment of tyre pressures as you do dust caps, however provided one is careful to replace them on their original wheel it’s not an erroneous task.
I’ve now used this system for over two years and have found it a very reassuring aid. Whilst I haven’t experienced any dramatic events the system has given me early warning of naturally lowering tyre pressures long before they became visually apparent, as would normally be the case, so in that respect is earning its keep.
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