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3rd Party Observer TPMS


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I had a unique opportunity on a recent trip we took while towing our Ollie down to the Chesapeake Bay for a little vacation.  Actually observed a trailer tire failure in real time.  Driving in moderately heavy traffic on an interstate at 60-65 mph, we were a bit behind a pickup truck towing an SOB dual axle travel trailer.  It was a section of the interstate with 3 lanes in each direction.   I was in the far right lane as usual, and the pickup truck/TT ahead of us were in the center lane.  My wife and I both noticed that the forward tire on passenger side of the trailer ahead of us was low and the sidewall of the tire was oscillating side to side noticeably.  Our position to the rear and right of the other trailer gave us a great viewpoint.  The oscillations were getting worse, but the pickup truck driver was showing no indication he noticed anything at all as he happily maintained his speed.   I tried to speed up an little to get alongside to try to honk/wave to warn him, but traffic opened up a bit at that point and he actually sped up significantly, so I fell pretty far behind.  At this point, small chunks of rubber were now being thrown off the tire, but the driver continued on at speed.   I gave up on my attempt to get alongside to warn him since I didn't feel safe getting closer, and actually backed off a bit further.  Within another 30 seconds larger chunks of tire started coming off, followed by pieces of aluminum siding from the trailer side wall around the wheel well as the entire tread started coming off the tire and whipping around in the wheel well.  So I slowed down even more to get a very safe distance behind from the impending disaster.  Incredibly, the driver was still maintaining his speed!  Probably doing 70mph and in the middle lane of three lanes of traffic!  The full tire tread soon came off, fortunately I was far enough behind to avoid it easily along with all the other debris laying in the road at this point.  By now other drivers closer to him in traffic were honking & waving at him, and he probably felt some drag or vibration at this point, and he finally figured out something was wrong, but because he was in the middle lane of the three lanes, and with the traffic, it took him quite a bit of distance to finally get over to the far right lane and he exited at an off ramp and pulled off on the shoulder there.    By that point the tire was completely gone,  but fortunately since it was a dual axle trailer, the driver never lost control.    Some lessons learned, and/or reinforced.  A very strong reminder of the need for a good TPMS system (I've had one since day one with our Ollie Elite II).  A  great demonstration of the advantage of a dual axle trailer for stability.  And also a reminder that keeping to a reasonable speed and staying in the right hand lane most of the time are good practice.  

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2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

 

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There are bunches of reviews for various TPMS on Youtube.

I use and am satisfied with EEZ Tire but I know that a number of Forum members use Tire Minder and TST systems among others.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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DaveM - 

Whichever TPMS you decide upon, seriously consider getting 6 tires sensors.  Four for the trailer's "ground" wheels, 1 for the trailer's spare tire and 1 more for your tow vehicle's spare tire.  This will let you monitor all of those, plus, in the event one of your sensors "goes bad" during a trip, you can take a sensor off one of the spare tires as a temporary replacement until you get home.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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There are a number if good brands. Our TST has served us well for a very long time, and their warranty and customer service have been excellent. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I have a GUTA system that I am quite happy with.  I have an Elite l so I got the model with only four sensors.  That covers my single axle tires, spare tire, and a spare sensor to replace one if it fails.  My tow vehicle has an onboard monitoring system. 

One of my biggest concerns was the signal range.  I did not want to install a repeater.  The GUTA has great range.  With my Ollie parked on its pad in my back yard, I still get a good signal in my truck when it is parked in the driveway.

The only con that I can come up with is that the instructions are horrible.  Apparently much was lost in the translation from Mandarin to English.  I will never understand why manufacturers don't have someone from their intended market proof read instructions.  I am sure that the instructions make perfect sense to someone from China who is fluent in English, but they make no sense to native speakers of the english language.

YouTube to the rescue...

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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Question: I purchased the TST 4 sensor unit for our LE I we pick up later this month. Does the rotation of the tires activate the sensors?  If so, can you get an accurate pressure and temperature on the spares (truck and trailer) if those tire don’t rotate?   I would appreciate any feedback so I can set my expectations correctly. 

Thanks!

Carl

2021 Legacy Elite I | "Lil' Tow" | Hull #924

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

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10 minutes ago, Carl Hansen said:

Does the rotation of the tires activate the sensors?

Not on my TST system.  I just turn on the monitor and it hunts around the airwaves and finds each sensor.  And then the monitor continues to receive a data signal from each sensor.  If you already have your system, you can go through the pairing sequence before hand and put them on your tow vehicle and test them before you pickup your Ollie.  Just follow the setup instructions and call their support line if you run into any difficulties.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Many TPMS sensors do have a "sleep" function and will cease to send a signal - in order to save battery power - if certain conditions are met.  One of these conditions is the lack of movement and if that is what you mean by "rotation" then certainly it is possible that no immediate reading would be available at the monitor screen.  In this case, the monitor would show what the last reading available was.  However, many sensors only require "movement" in order to start sending a signal again (i.e. wake up if they were in "sleep" mode).  This movement can be obtained by just vibrating the appropriate sensor by "flicking" it with your finger or if the sensor is not easily touched then it would wake-up with the first bounce, jostle, crack in the pavement, pot hole, or most any movement of the vehicle.

If you are concerned about this a more through explanation could be had by calling or emailing TST asking what kind of movement activates their sensors.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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2 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Many TPMS sensors do have a "sleep" function and will cease to send a signal - in order to save battery power - if certain conditions are met.  One of these conditions is the lack of movement and if that is what you mean by "rotation" then certainly it is possible that no immediate reading would be available at the monitor screen.  In this case, the monitor would show what the last reading available was.  However, many sensors only require "movement" in order to start sending a signal again (i.e. wake up if they were in "sleep" mode).  This movement can be obtained by just vibrating the appropriate sensor by "flicking" it with your finger or if the sensor is not easily touched then it would wake-up with the first bounce, jostle, crack in the pavement, pot hole, or most any movement of the vehicle.

If you are concerned about this a more through explanation could be had by calling or emailing TST asking what kind of movement activates their sensors.

Bill

Thanks!

2021 Legacy Elite I | "Lil' Tow" | Hull #924

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

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54 minutes ago, mossemi said:

Not on my TST system.  I just turn on the monitor and it hunts around the airwaves and finds each sensor.  And then the monitor continues to receive a data signal from each sensor.  If you already have your system, you can go through the pairing sequence before hand and put them on your tow vehicle and test them before you pickup your Ollie.  Just follow the setup instructions and call their support line if you run into any difficulties.

Mossey

Thanks!

2021 Legacy Elite I | "Lil' Tow" | Hull #924

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

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14 hours ago, Mike and Carol said:

With my TST there is no need for movement.  I can turn on the monitor and pressures and temperatures pop up with the trailer stationary. Mike

How do you know those are not the last stored readings from one or more days back? I looked at their FAQ and they do not mention it there…..Mine usually show a “warm” pressure and temp reading until a minute of movement which is how they are all designed. Otherwise the batteries would discharge very rapidly. I always wake mine (including the spare) before leaving and check the display so that a slow pressure drop overnight (from a nail) will be obvious before I leave the site. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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48 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

How do you know those are not the last stored readings from one or more days back? I looked at their FAQ and they do not mention it there…..

I just went out to the truck and brought the monitor in to the trailer.  When we arrived here (Taos, NM) tire temperatures were high 60s and TPs were high 50s. I just turned it on and after 45 seconds or so the monitor started showing temps and pressures.  Tire pressures are all at 50 psi, where I set them when cold and tire temps are all 55, which is the outside temperature right now, much less than high 60s when we arrived earlier this week.  The little batteries have been lasting a couple of years and are not hard to replace.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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1 hour ago, John E Davies said:

How do you know those are not the last stored readings from one or more days back? I looked at their FAQ and they do not mention it there…..Mine usually show a “warm” pressure and temp reading until a minute of movement which is how they are all designed. Otherwise the batteries would discharge very rapidly. I always wake mine (including the spare) before leaving and check the display so that a slow pressure drop overnight (from a nail) will be obvious before I leave the site. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

How do you “wake” them up?  Tap on them?

2021 Legacy Elite I | "Lil' Tow" | Hull #924

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Jeep Gladiator

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3 hours ago, John E Davies said:

How do you know those are not the last stored readings from one or more days back?

I don’t pay too much attention to the temperature or pressure readings while the trailer is parked because I usually turn the monitor off shortly after arriving at a campsite.  I really don’t think it matters as long as they were within the target parameters when I turn it off.  I do know that the monitor reads each sensor in 5 second intervals and any changes are updated within a short distance of travel.  If I drove 5 miles at 60 mph and didn’t see any change in temperature or pressure, I would be concerned.  And I really think I need a TPMS when the trailer is moving.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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3 hours ago, Carl Hansen said:

How do you “wake” them up?  Tap on them?

 

19 hours ago, topgun2 said:

However, many sensors only require "movement" in order to start sending a signal again (i.e. wake up if they were in "sleep" mode).  This movement can be obtained by just vibrating the appropriate sensor by "flicking" it with your finger or if the sensor is not easily touched then it would wake-up with the first bounce, jostle, crack in the pavement, pot hole, or most any movement of the vehicle.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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On 10/9/2021 at 9:16 AM, John E Davies said:

How do you know those are not the last stored readings from one or more days back?

After thinking about this a little more, I turned my monitor on yesterday and the sensor values were blank initially and after 3 to 4 minutes all 5 sensors reported values that were within my parameters.  Now my trailer has not moved since August 20th which really doesn’t mean anything, but does make me think that if it was a stored value, the monitor shouldn’t have needed 3 or 4 minutes to show an old value.  I do believe the monitor has non-volatile memory to store user parameters, but what would be the purpose of storing historical sensor data?

Mossey

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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It would appear that there is not much definitive manufacturer information available regarding the behavior of tpms sensors while they are at rest.  I keep waiting for someone to say "My owners manual says..." and no one has come forth.  Perhaps all of you have user guides that are as crappy as mine.  

My sensors provide a reading while static that changes with atmospheric conditions.  Our Elite sits in a north/south orientation when at home.  There is a noticeable difference in tire pressures on sunny days.  Particularly early morning when the east tire warms in the sun.  My sensors are without question sending a signal while static.  I believe that without motion the sensors go into sleep mode and immediately awaken when they detect a change and only then do they send a signal.  That makes sense from a design perspective.  You can monitor them while the trailer is not moving and you will always get the last recorded change. 

It is doubtful that any of the sensors on the market emit signals on a constant or even on a timed basis irrespective of a pressure or temperature change.  In fact, the signal that wakes up the sensors while static is likely just pressure variation.  That would be the simplest method of waking the sensors based on a change.

That's my take on it anyway.

As far as the lack of useful literature on the sensors themselves... Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (that's for you JD) why?  I'm sure the technology is widely known in the industry.  I felt the same way, albeit with more despair, when Oliver stopped providing wiring diagrams.   

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820.png.45d6985802d380947444b4da5835ac4e.pngMike and Yasuko

2021 Legacy Elite Hull #820 "The Owls Nest"

Tow Vehicle: 2020 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7 V8 TRD Off-Road 4x4 "Tundrasaurus Rex"

 

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