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Old 11-06-2014, 11:13 AM   #1
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TPMS systems: I need education

Hand in hand with upgrading our rims/tires, we're thinking about a TMPS system. But I just understand so little about these things. Among the things I don't understand is the (imagined?) distinction between flow-through and cap-sensor systems. Heaven knows, I may just be dreaming up distinctions that don't even exist! Help me understand, please!

I guess I should link to a system for sale on Amazon that does look interesting, though, again, figured on the basis of no knowledge at all. Please let me know if I'm all wet by thinking about this choice!

Amazon.com: 6 Tire RV/Truck Cap Sensor Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS): Automotive




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Old 11-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #2
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The first thing to consider with any stem mounted TPMS system is the fact that you have to have metal tire stems. They may say otherwise but don't drink the cool aid. The sending units will cause the stems to flex to the point of marking the rims and eventually braking the stems off at the base.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:25 AM   #3
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Ok, check. Metal stems.

How about the flow-through vs. cap-mount business? Does flow-through imply that the unit is installed somehow differently, essentially taking the place of a stem? This is one of the things that's giving me fits.


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Old 11-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #4
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Not sure about flow through. Most are secured to the valve stem and we also recommend metal stems. The weight (at least of pressure pro) is about 3/8 ounce per sensor and while the flexing is minimal, there is is some with rubber stems. There was a company that made one that strapped to the inside of the rim but they required breaking down the tire to install and/or troubleshoot.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #5
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If you're getting new tires consider an internal system like Dill.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:48 AM   #6
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I bought a Dill system with the flow-through sensors. They are what all cars/light trucks sold in the US in 2007 have. They are mounted inside the wheels by a tire dealer and sample pressures and air temp inside the tire.

I'm in the process of mounting a DILL wifi transceiver on the trailer which will relay the data measurements more effectively to the dash mounted TMPS receiver from an antenna mounted underneath the trailer. I found that there are blind spots created by the trailer's wheel wells and the truck's camper shell that caused inconsistent readings when relying on the receiver's little antenna.
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Old 11-06-2014, 11:58 AM   #7
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Terminology. Caps are just that,they fit over the end of the stem (metal stems should be used) and need to be removed if you need to check or add air to the tire.

Flow Thrus also screw onto the valve stem, are usually longer, but you can check and add air without removing the sensor.

Lastly are internally mounted sensors. Sensor and valve stem are a single unit. All you see externally is the valve stem. As mentioned this is the type of system that is on passenger/truck tires. Simple to check/add air.

Caps and flow thrus usually allow the user to replace the battery. Internals usually need factory replacement, about every 5 years or so. Haven't have to do that but would hope that the brand you buy does a cross ship so that the tires only need to come off one time for the exchange.

TST, Dill, Pressure Pro, Tire Minder are some of the more recognized brands. I use the TST with internal sensors. I like the small size of the receiver, it has a rechargeable internal battery that seems to last for a month or more.

Haven't heard of the brand you mention from Amazon. Lot's of knockoffs out there.
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Old 11-06-2014, 12:12 PM   #8
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Interstate flyer,

I'm on my second Dill system sold 1st one with the 15's. My full size pickup and 30' trailer, no problem getting signals but I do use the roof mount remote antenna.

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Old 11-06-2014, 03:13 PM   #9
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I mounted the remote antenna under the hitch but still had blind spots. They sent a wifi transceiver to be mounted on the trailer that will boost the signal from the remote magnetic antenna mounted between the axles.


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Old 11-06-2014, 04:43 PM   #10
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Oh, this is just the kind of info (and education) that I needed! Thank you, all!

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Old 11-06-2014, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
The first thing to consider with any stem mounted TPMS system is the fact that you have to have metal tire stems. They may say otherwise but don't drink the cool aid. The sending units will cause the stems to flex to the point of marking the rims and eventually braking the stems off at the base.
Howie,
With all due respect:
I think you may have sipped the elixir of gullibility. (drank the Kool Aid)

I approached this subject with the manager of the local DTC when I attempted to buy "metal valve stems". He told me that all the stems they and most reputable tire dealers use are rubber coated metal. We took an old one apart by the shaving off the rubber and by golly he's right. I then asked the owner of Hawkshead (who made my TPMS). His response was the same. He said the only reason he sells them is because some guys just won't believe him and insist on having pretty chrome stems. I have used my Hawkshead TPMS (which has the largest sensors I have seen) for over 5 years and many miles with no bad consequences whatsoever. I would find it extremely annoying to have to take a tire off the rim to service a sensor.

Ken
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #12
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Yes what are commonly considered as rubber stems do have a metal liner. Without that liner they could not hold pressure much above 5 lbs. You may remember the effect of air pressure on rubber from the days you played with balloons.

I would ask anyone still puzzled by my comment that "you need METAL STEMS when mounting a TPS" just go out and apply slight sideward pressure on the rubber stems on your trailer. The resulting displacement is what will happen at 60 mph with a sensor mounted on the rubber stem. The sensor will come to rest against the wheel and will leave a mark and likely damage the sensor.

A metal stem is mounted with a nut tightened down on a flat rubber washer. This configuration will not allow any displacement of the stem regardless of the weight attached at the end of the stem and the centrifugal force generated by your speed. .
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
Yes what are commonly considered as rubber stems do have a metal liner. Without that liner they could not hold pressure much above 5 lbs. You may remember the effect of air pressure on rubber from the days you played with balloons.

I would ask anyone still puzzled by my comment that "you need METAL STEMS when mounting a TPS" just go out and apply slight sideward pressure on the rubber stems on your trailer. The resulting displacement is what will happen at 60 mph with a sensor mounted on the rubber stem. The sensor will come to rest against the wheel and will leave a mark and likely damage the sensor.

A metal stem is mounted with a nut tightened down on a flat rubber washer. This configuration will not allow any displacement of the stem regardless of the weight attached at the end of the stem and the centrifugal force generated by your speed. .
I would much more inclined to respect what you say if:

You presented any evidence whatsoever.

You bring forth any reference not from some RV forum that in anyway that adds facts instead of what I believe to be conjecture and hearsay.

If what you say is true, why have I logged so much time and so many miles, a lot of it at speeds in excess of 60 MPH, with no broken stems and no marks on my wheels. I have ten sensors installed. I monitor all 8 road wheels and both spares. NO PROBLEMS AT ALL THAT YOU SO CONFIDENTLY PREDICT

When I am not towing, I still have sensors on the truck and drive at speeds well in excess of 60 MPH. I also drive in the snow and ice when those build up on the sensors.

Perhaps I'm a pathological liar.

There are people on these forums who make decisions on what they read here. It to me is irresponsible to post things that you cannot personally provide evidence to support. Perhaps at some time in the past this may have possibly have been a problem, if so, that is not the case now.

If you post things that you have not experienced yourself, I suggest you preface them with:

"I don't know, but I've been told."

Ken

P.S. when I drive, I've yet to see anyone outside pressing on my tire stems with their finger.
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Old 11-06-2014, 10:23 PM   #14
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DILL TPMS sensors stems are metal with the sensor mounted internally. The only way to fly in my opinion. It is the standard that all auto and light truck manufacturers use. The stem mounted sensors seem vulnerable.

The only advantage that I can see with the external cap system is that you can move the cap sensors around when you rotate your tires instead of having to reconfigure the TMPS system to identify the correct wheel on the display.
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