I’ve read a few horror stories about exploding caravan tyres and the resulting problems and expense, so I consider 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 if 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 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.
I note that other systems are starting to be marketed that appear that seem to offer a similar level of sophistication to that of TyrePal that may be worth considering.
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 out of sleep mode up when I get into the car but doesn’t display all information until I have travelled about a mile. It then cycles through each wheel and displays its temperature and pressure in turn with the screen icon of the wheel being checked flashing. Apparently, both the monitor, and the sensors power down to conserve battery power when not in use. When the caravan is hitched it is necessary to press two buttons to display the caravan icon on the display, then the information from its wheels is picked up and displayed after a similar delay. This simple procedure in reversed when our caravan is unhitched.
Initially it is easy to get fixated with the changing pressures and temperatures displayed for each of the tyres with use but 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, however provided one is careful to replace them on their original wheel it’s not an erroneous task.
The batteries in the car sensors needed replacing some six months ago, but the caravan’s sensors are still operating. Changing the batteries is a simple task.
I’ve now used this system for about three years and have found it to be a reassuring aid. Whilst I haven’t experienced any dramatic events the system has given me early warning to naturally lowering tyre pressures long before they became visually apparent as is normally the case.