Tyre Monitors

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 10:55
ThreadID: 137744 Views:2370 Replies:8 FollowUps:23
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Hi everyone

I am looking for feedback regarding TPMS for an Off Road hybrid van. Already have monitors in the tow vehicle.

Three years ago, I had a set of Inawise monitors in a hybrid and they worked fine but now appear to be unavailable (van sold and new one on order). A really great feature of the Inawise units was the ease of resetting pressures after changes.

There now appears to be many more types of monitors on the market but not clear which are best suited to our needs.

Any feedback on what people are now using and good/bad points greatly appreciated.

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Reply By: Malcom M - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 11:23

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 11:23
2 pages back:
Inawise Agent

The Sth African agents are happy to post to Australia.
You won't find anything else that can do the single press update for air up & down.

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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 16:21

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 16:21
This is what I have been using for past 6 years on vehicle and TVAN and I have no hesitation in recommending.

Great product and customer service.

Doran 360

Good luck in your search...

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 18:21

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 18:21
As a footnote,

Alan B (Sunshine Coast) in is his post below correctly highlights some units can be convoluted in operation, so be sure to research well.

The Doran 360 is simple in operation, and does its job In alerting to air pressure loss or heightened temperature which is the prime purpose of any TPMS.

Many on EO have been very complimentary of the Inawise system whenever a TPMS is discussed and with good reason, especially changing baseline pressures.

The critical problem is it has no distributor in Australia and requires sourcing similar from overseas with after purchase support possibly becoming more difficult.

But on airing up and down; it is often a good opportunity for a break and a cuppa, so an extra minute (rounding up for the Doran 360) to change pressures on the system will probably go unnoticed in that context, at least one would hope so...

Good luck, the important thing is to have some form of TPMS...

And don’t worry, despite regularly highlighting the Doran 360 whenever the discussion gravitates to TPMS, they don’t pay me anything.

Just happy to share my experiences based on real-time experiences in difficult terrain.

Last I looked well known desert traveller and modern day Explorer, Larry Perkins (well known to many on EO) had some good things to say about his experiences with the Doran 360 - if you get a chance read his thoughts...
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 19:23

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 19:23
.
Thanks for that Baz. The Doran certainly stands well above the profusion of TPMS brands and models.

Really, the 4WD market is not well served in this domain. Many of us prefer internal sensors and they are readily available but most of us who have high dependance on tyre monitoring carry two spare wheels. However few monitors can accomodate signals from 6 sensors even allowing that we only need to monitor and display 4 wheels at a time. Inawise of course accommodated optional sensors by swapping matching 'keys' on the receiver. Also, many models do not allow operation as low as 10psi which we often need, and where we have increased need for monitoring because of the risks of low tyre pressure. (I believe the Doran goes down to '0' psi)

You make a very good point regarding resetting the thresholds for 'air up' and 'air down'. I agree that in the overall scale of time to change the pressures, the additional time to reset the monitor is but minor. It is not that time that bugs me, it is simply the fiddling. It really is a bugger to fiddle around with selections whilst holding a beer in one hand! lol.
I am sure that it would be simple to design a product where, following the pressure change, it would only be necessary to press one button to have the monitor accept the now current pressures as the basis for a new set of thresholds.
And I certainly do not consider that it is necessary, or even desirable, to have differing thresholds for each tyre, or even each axle. Threshold setting is not really critical. It is sufficient to alarm if any tyre pressure significantly deviates from normal.

Although I do like to monitor the tyre temperature, I am beginning to wonder if I might be satisfied with external sensors. Then, with sensor swapping, having the two spare wheels is not an issue. Nor is the nervousness associated with internal sensor damage during tyre removal/refitting, or battery exhaustion. If I went this way I would drill the rims for additional dedicated valves to mount the external sensors. And at the low price of some receivers, I could afford to carry two, programmed for air up and air down. Now there's lateral thinking, hmm?
I'm warming to this thought. I can see positive advantages.


Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Gramps - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 19:48

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 19:48
Why drill the rims when you could use these ? 20k so far without problems.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 16:44

Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 16:44
.
Well Gramps, I want the inflation valve accessible without removing sensors but I am not keen on mounting it on your 'Tee' attachment on my rim.
I acknowledge your "20k" but I sometimes get into pretty rough terrain and am concerned that with the sensor mounted atop the "Christmas Tree" the assembly would be more likely to suffer damage.

A new, better positioned, dedicated hole with a very short metal valve stem would position the sensor in a safer location. This may also produce a more accurate tyre temperature reading.

And I think that I have some suitable holes stashed somewhere. lol


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Allan

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Reply By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 17:21

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 17:21
.
It is a pity that the Inawise TPMS is no longer on the Australian market.
I have their '4WD' version with internal sensors and have found it ideal for my needs. The simple switch operation for readjusting the alarm point for 'air up' and 'air down' makes it so simple to use. Some brands have convoluted programming routine for this function.
Some people may be impressed with the complex flexibility of their TPMS but it really is not essential if your needs are to simply have an alarm of departure from safe conditions.

The "Valor" TPMS from South Africa appears to be from the same stable as the Inawise but I really do not wish to purchase and import from there. I am endeavouring to negotiate with the Chinese manufacturer of these on price and minimum purchase quantity. If I come up with anything worthwhile I will post it on this forum, but don't hold your breath.


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Allan

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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 07:52

Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 07:52
If they even answer your email you'll have done well.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 14:04

Friday, Feb 01, 2019 at 14:04
If you want to buy anything from the Chinese, start adding a lot of zero's to the number you plan to order.

I recall talking to a local hardware bloke who went along to a Chinese Trade Fair a few years back, looking for new products to sell.
He said he examined a set of fancy multipurpose pliers on offer, and thought, "Gee, they'd probably sell alright".

He expressed interest in purchasing, and the seller asked how many he required.
The hardware bloke weighed up what he reckoned he could sell, and replied, "I'll take 45 of them".

He reckoned the Chinese blokes face fell, and he replied, "So sorry, Sir - we only sell in minimum lots of 10,000!".

The hardware bloke said he slunk away in embarrassment, only just coming to terms with the level of sales the Chinese indulge in.

I've seen the figures, where Waltons (the big U.S. chain) total purchases value from Chinese manufacturers, is more than the total sales of ALL Chinese products to Australia, as a country!!

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 09:20

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 09:20
.
So Ron, I guess there may be some truth in what you say, but is the South African market so much bigger than the Australian market for TPMS products?

And how come Inawise (Australia) P/L were able to import from Shanghai Baolong Industries Corporation for over nine years?

I did have a conversation with the owner of Inawise after they ceased trading and, whilst I will not go into detail, there was no mention of importation difficulties.

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Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 13:18

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 13:18
Allan, I put up a relevant answer on the "Inawise" thread, but I'll repeat it here for general information ...

"The TPMS supply problem is directly affected by the following factors;

1. The TPMS system is the worlds third-largest vehicle security system, behind ABS and SRS.

2. The latest figures I have seen for TPMS worldwide production was 28 million units produced in 2012. Since that time, the market for them has exploded.

3. They have been a "premium" item since their introduction, because they are fitted to the luxury vehicles either as standard or as an option.
Read "Premium" market, and you read "high profit level" market.

4. The market for TPMS has exploded since 2012 because many countries have now deemed them mandatory fit, via legislation, due to tightening safety requirements.
S. Korea was first off the starting blocks, requiring TPMS to be fitted to all vehicles under 3.5T GVW, from 2013.
China, numerous European countries, and the U.S. are following the trend with legislation passed, or being drawn up.

5. The global leaders in TPMS design and production are Schrader and Continental in that order. However, there are no less than 200 companies in China producing TPMS's.

6. Shanghai Baolong Automotive Corporation embarked on its first TPMS design in 2002 and produced their 1st generation TPMS in 2006.
They are now on about their 5th generation design - and they're listed as a designated TPMS supplier to Shanghai GM.

As you can see by the above, if you're a piddly Aussie distributor, looking to buy maybe 1000 TPMS sets at a time to meet the tiny Australian consumer demand, you're not going to even get the courtesy of a reply, because they're probably selling 1000 TPMS sets an hour, just to premium vehicle manufacturers - let alone aftermarket sales.

Such are the problems of Australia being an irrelevant tiny market in the overall global marketplace."

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 15:16

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 15:16
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Yes, thanks Ron, but that does not directly address the two questions I asked above.
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Reply By: Austag - Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 19:47

Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 at 19:47
Tyredog. Had them for years, can't fault this product. Whilst I don't tow, only have them on the vehicle, can't see why it wouldn't be an issue on a van. Tyredog has saved me $$$
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 16:29

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 16:29
Does anyone know what there are like - Safe-T-Tyre
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 17:56

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 17:56
.
Well Peter, I haven't had my hands on one but I have spent all of today browsing the internet looking at TPMS. And I have learned a few things, especially what to avoid if your application is 4WDing.

I won't attempt to put it all up here now but Safe-T-Tyre was one that I looked into thoroughly. At least, as thorough as is possible because both the distributor and their nominated retailer (Safety Dave) are big on glossy promotion but minimal on information. I was not even able to glean the selling price online.... you are required to phone Safety Dave to obtain that!
Nevertheless, the Safe-T-Tyre (which also appears on some other sites under differing names) does satisfy the 4WD application for external sensor models where many do not. It has fully adjustable alarm points and can be set down to 0psi. Few can do that. It can monitor up to 22 tyres. And it has "Rapid Deflation alarms.... not all others have that.

The identical product can be found elsewhere as "Axis", Masten, and Derek Bester of ABR-Sidewinder sells this one too.

More option are available with internal-monitor models but I was chasing external monitors.
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Follow Up By: Gramps - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 20:55

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 20:55
Had these for quite a while now. Work well with no real problems.

Regards
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 20:55

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 20:55
Thanks Alan, I saw them in the local caravan repair place I frequent. I did not look at the price of them as IO was only vaguely interested in them at the time.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 11:45

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 11:45
Just returned with my van from service. The Safe-T-Tyre is $450 for 4 sensor set and $550 for 8 senor set..
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 13:05

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 13:05
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Well Peter, $450?? --- No wonder that Safety Dave who retails the Safe-T-Tyre does not post the price openly.

As I said earlier, Masten, Safe-T-Tyre, Axis, and ABR-Sidewinder are identical products except for the branding label.

Masten from digOptions is $259 (6 sensors), Axis from AutoElec offer for $339 (6 sensors) and ABR-Sidewinder offer for $395 (6 sensors).

And you say that Safety Dave wants $450 but with only 4 sensors???

Take your pick!!!! All the same product. All from Australian suppliers.
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Follow Up By: Numb Thumbs - Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 12:03

Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 12:03
I have had a Safety Dave equivalent - got mine from ABR Sidewinder - for a few years. Mine is a 6 sender unit.

It has worked flawlessly, unlike the Tyre Dog units I have thrown away over the years - at least 4. I don't use the locking system and have never had an issue. It is just like taking a valve cover off when changing tyre pressures.

Cheers
Numb Thumbs ;)
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 17:18

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 17:18
I have this Masten TPMS kit from Digoptions.

https://www.digoptions.com.au/8-truck-tpms-tyre-pressure-monitoring-system-carav

So far so good, about 4 years.

Saved a few tyres, and one trip enabled monitoring of slow stake leaks so less stopping to air up.
I don't use or need or relay part, if I have the 2nd spare left at home down the back of the carport, start up, it then registers for at least 100m when I drive away.

These are the heavy duty sensors, and I have drilled extra valves opposite originals which means not having to remove sensors for airing down or up, which I do on a majority of trips quite often.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 23:19

Sunday, Feb 03, 2019 at 23:19
.
Hi Les,

Your "digoptions" address is faulty. but here it is as a link.

I am also considering drilling the wheel for a dedicated sensor connection.
Did you use metal or rubber valve stems?
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 08:24

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 08:24
Thanks Allan, I didn't check the link, and yes that link you put above is the 8 sensor kit I purchased (running 2 spares, and 2 extras for trailer / camper when I eventually get one).

They can be set at any psi for warnings, and the rapid deflate works well.
When airing down with the ezi deflator it goes off :)

I used short rubber valve stems only about 15mm long (rare and not all tyre shops carry them), they seem to have less flex / moment with sensors fitted, and keep the sensor back inside the outer rim / tyre edge to avoid damage.

Metal valve stems might be good too, haven't noticed them around much in recent years and didn't even think of them when doing my rims.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 09:50

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 09:50
On valve stems…

I have used the standard rubber stem on my vehicle and have had the Doran 360 external valve mounted on them for the past 6-years.

I had experimented with metal stems on the previous vehicle, but was not happy as I felt it potentially exposed the stem and transmitter to damage, more so than a rubber stem.

My experience has been that the rubber stem, being flexible, better protects the unit from damage or in a worse case scenario a loss of the transmitter. In the 6-years since fitting this unit I have not had any problem across all kinds of terrain, including full off-track travel in sand dune country, despite it sitting slightly outside the outer rim.

Whilst I know people who have drilled a hole in the wheel rim to attach external tyre pressure monitors, I feel this simply adds another thing that can go wrong – besides, presumably you will still need to screw off either a valve cap, or a tyre pressure transmitter, either way, it is usually off in an eye blink. That isn't to say you shouldn't if that better suits you...

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:07

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:07
..
Main reason I did the extra valves is the Masten TPMS I bought has the larger TP20s sensors, that have a stepped security feature at the back of them.

They are taken off with a silver bent security key, not shown in the correct link here . . .

8 sensor truck TPMS

You can see the square shoulders the key fits on the back of the sensor in this pic . . .



I figured with repeated use of the key, the square shoulders may suffer damage over time, and 2nd valves with normal caps (I use bright red anodised ones to see easily if dropped) are easier to remove / replace as often as they can be on trips.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:31

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:31
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Les,
Those "TP20" sensors look rugged. The top seems retained by 3 screws rather than a screw-off cap.
It is good that the Doran & Masten/Axis/ABR et al have fully adjustable alarm set-points. Some brands have alarms at fixed % of the operating pressure (OK?) whilst others have alarms embed at factory at a fixed value which is no good for 4WDing.

Baz,
Yes, I am not convinced that metal stems have any advantage over rubber provided that the rubber can be short enough to resist flapping-about of the sensor. Further, rubber would be easier to fit and can be replaced if needed without tyre removal.
Drilling an extra hole?? My jury is still out on that. On my rims it would provide only a small move away from danger and it is a major task to drill. Maybe some small advantage for airing up/down? I'll think about that.

I can get this year's trek out of the existing tyres so I have time to consider TPMS replacement. With luck, by then there may be a more desirable model on the market.
Cheers
Allan

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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:38

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:38
All good food for thought, mind you, whilst I can lock the Doran on the stem, I have never bothered.

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:44

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 10:44
Baz, I generally wouldn't bother with locking them on either, but that particular sensor the step tightening when fitting them is simply the process to fit them securely.
The top sensor part can be turned without undoing them, so the spanner tightening when fitting is just part of their design.

Allan, after stripping, drilling valve holes and fine filing them smooth (no swarf etc), then repainting my rims, I used just a little black sikaflex in the valve seats when fitting them to ensure they would be 100% sealed.
A simple twist out will break that seal no worries if ever needing to be replaced at home or in the field.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 12:26

Monday, Feb 04, 2019 at 12:26
.
Baz, interesting sentiments about "locking" the sensors to the stems.

1) "Unlocking" them would inconvenience the inflation exercise.
2) I doubt that it is necessary to lock them to retain in operation.
3) A villain would possibly cause sensor/stem damage trying to remove against lock.
4) They are not a big $ item anyway.

So I agree, don't bother locking them, other than for peace of mind.

However, in the case of Les's sensors, I believe the whole body 'freewheels' so it cannot be removed by hand, it is necessary to use the special spanner. A useful security feature but it would be a hassle to use a spanner for each inflation, hence the dedicated valve holes/stems.



Cheers
Allan

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Reply By: Member - PieterP - Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 12:19

Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 12:19
I bought Safe-T-Tyre TPMS for my Prado and camper trailer before we went to the Kimberley. I bought the 8 sensor version.

It has performed flawlessly over some of the most corrugated roads I've ever travelled, including the road to the Bungle Bungle as well as the road to Mitchells Falls, which is the worst I ever seen.

Although some of the small screws fell out, they all worked without any issue, never came off and is easy to set up.

Only way, due to faulty valve stems, two tires had rapid deflation due to the metal part of the valve separating from the rubber part. In both cases the rapid deflation alarm enabled me to stop in time to not loose the sensors as the metal part eventually just rockets out.

I also called their support - which is 24/7 - a few times and it was excellent.
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Reply By: Member - Wombat389 - Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 15:01

Monday, Feb 11, 2019 at 15:01
I had a Tyre Dog system and was very happy until the relay unit (on the back not under the vehicle) collapsed from too much sun exposure. Have recently fitted Masten system and very happy with it.
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