Friday, January 15, 2016

Installing the TireMinder TPMS

Having read a lot of reviews and understanding that there are several highly recommended tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), I decided to buy a TireMinder A1A system from Minder Research.  You can read about this system on their web site and can buy it from one of their dealers (like Camping World) or on Amazon.

The TPMS consists mainly of a display monitor that is about the size of a cell phone, a signal booster, and a valve-mounted transmitter for each tire.  The monitor can operate on batteries, but it has a standard micro USB connector on the monitor side and a standard USB connector on the other so that you can plug it into any USB charging device.  It comes with a 12V car plug that has a USB port on the back, so you can charge the monitor with your regular cell phone charger or using a cigarette plug in the RV or tow vehicle.  You should also be able to charge it with a USB charge port on your PC.

A small battery-operated transmitter replaces the existing valve stem cover for each of the tires.  In my case, I needed 8 transmitters for the RV and another 4 for the truck I'm pulling.  The package I bought includes 6 sensors, so I had to buy another six that came in packs of two.

The signal booster that comes with the package is used to repeat weaker signals.  Minder Research recommends that it be placed somewhere at the rear of the coach, so I asked Lazy Days to install ours, which they did.  They put it in the rear engine area and attached it to the 12V cables coming from the chassis battery compartment.

When you open the transmitters, you have to unscrew their caps and insert the included batteries.  They are the disc-type batteries like the ones in watches, and Minder Research will replace them free if you register and then send them your old batteries when replacement is needed.

After installing all of the batteries, the next step was to install the transmitters and to program the monitor with the baseline tire pressures.  If you follow their simple instructions, doing this is surprisingly easy.  You press a couple of buttons on the monitor, then move (using the right/left keys on the monitor) to the tire you want to program.  Then you screw any transmitter on the tire you've selected.  The monitor beeps.  Done.  Move to the next tire.

After all of the transmitters are installed, you put the monitor into another mode where you cycle through each tire and enter its baseline pressure.  After you've done this, you're finished!

The day after I installed this TPMS, we drove from Orlando to Tampa.  About 45 minutes into our trip, the A1A sounded an alarm and NoS came up on the display.  Cycling through the tires showed pressures, except for one of the tires on our toad that had "NoS".  The manual indicated that it could be a loss of signal and reprogramming that transmitter may be required.  I decided that I'd handle it when we got to our site.  About 15 minutes later, the same alarm sounded for another tire on the truck.  And, like clock work, we got a third alarm about 15 minutes after that for still another (3rd) tire on the truck.  My conclusion was that the signal booster in the RV wasn't doing its job, but I thought I'd take a look later.

Overall, the installation was simple and easy to do.  During our first short trip to the Tampa RV Show (where we are now), it worked well for the coach and reported all pressures and temperatures as we cycled through them on the monitor during the drive.

Look for another short post after I investigate those "NoS" alerts.

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