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Old 03-23-2009, 08:46 AM   #1
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Excel Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Finally took the plunge and invested in a tire pressure monitoring system for our Excel and small cargo trailer. Went with the relatively new system from Hopkins, "NVision" -- comes with six sensors, enough for "Semi-Suite" and purchased another six sensors for the Excel and trailer. Expect the primary system this week, the six additional sensors are on "backorder". I'll keep you posted on how my new toy works.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:33 AM   #2
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Chief,
My company vehicle is a Dodge Caravan and it has a tire monitoring system that works well. I think you'll like it. When I have to repl either TV or RV tires, I will do the same.
Ed
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Old 03-23-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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Ed,
Our Expedition also has a tire pressure monitoring system and it works great. I learned my lesson the hard way back when we had a MH. Pulled out of a rest area around 0300 on a rainy night heading to Dauphine Island AL, towing a Jeep Cherokee. The rear view camera was useless with the rain and night conditions. Commented to DW that it felt like the MH was losing power and my buddy in front of me was pulling away. Then we started hearing a strange noise when we went under an overpass and finally pulled over. We had gone approximately 2 miles at that time. The left-front tire on the Jeep had blown and I had been dragging it on the rim -- made a heck of a mess. We were able to get the spare tire on and continue to Mobile. Insurance covered the damages.

Lesson learned and I've been nervous about another incident of this type happening -- especially when we pull doubles.
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Old 03-23-2009, 12:27 PM   #4
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Chief,
That reminds me of a day when I was midway between Ruidoso and Roswell,NM and started seeing two parallel scrapes on the pavement. I closed in on a class C MH towing a boat. Before I could get her attention, the wheel was gone and a chunk of the hub had ricocheted off another vehicle and started a brush fire. If it hadn't been for a mobile car wash going by it would have been alot worse.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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Ed,
I cam imagine the excitement surrounding that incident -- I'm sure the driver of the Class C probably had 'skid-marks' in their drawers after that!!

My DW could only say "I told you something was wrong ...." Chalk it up to one of life's lessons learned -- that's why I've been hesitant to tow doubles without some type of safety system. My small cargo trailer would be hidden behind the Excel from the cab.
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Old 03-25-2009, 09:38 AM   #6
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These stories and more convinced me to get a Pressure Pro TMS on the truck and trailer. Easy to check pressure before towing. Or even driving the truck.

Peace of mind - priceless.

Piece of mind - useless.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:39 PM   #7
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Bruce, I really get the "Piece of Mind", my mind is clearly a "piece".

John, I would be interested in a report down the road and see how your system compares to my Pressure Pro. I still like it after a year or so.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Virg,
Got it via UPS this afternoon -- been perusing the manual and it doesn't appear to be too complicated. I like the fact that it has three memory positions -- use one for 'Semi-Suite' bobtailing; second one for 'Semi-Suite' and the Excel; and the final position for pulling an additional small cargo trailer. Sensors are suppose to last 4-years (battery life) and they recommend removing any sensors not being used for more than thirty days to extend battery life.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:46 PM   #9
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There has to be more than four excel owners using tire sensors on their Excel. I have been thinking about it and now that there is a thread started, curious of which is the best for Excels.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Money Bags View Post
There has to be more than four excel owners using tire sensors on their Excel. I have been thinking about it and now that there is a thread started, curious of which is the best for Excels.
Money Bags,
"...which is best for Excels." probably has more to do with personnel preference than performance. I decided to go with the "Hopkins" TPMS for our rig based on it being a relatively newcomer in the TPMS market and the Hopkins Company has been in the vehicle aftermarket business for many years.

I'm not familiar with the other brands, but the only 'irritant' I've encountered with the Hopkins TPMS is the hassle (IMO) in programming the unit. I stated in an earlier post that there were three memory positions -- actually there are four vehicle types/combinations that can be programed. As an example, if I want several programmed vehicle combinations, then I will need to reprogram all the tire sensors involved. My TV 'Semi-Suite' requires six sensors when bobtailing -- beginning with memory position #1, I go through the routine of installing one sensor at a time in the order dictated by the TPMS program.

That was easy enough for a low-IQ country boy (I'll never match our resident automotive engineer SKIA ).

Memory position #2 will be my TV and the Excel -- remove the six sensors I programmed for Memory position #1. Select Memory position #2, starting with the TV, reinstall the six sensors in the order requested, then select the two-axle, four tire trailer option and install those four sensors. Memory position #2 completed.

Memory position #3 will be two-trailers -- yep, you guessed it ?????? remove the ten sensors I installed during Memory position #2 set-up and go through the whole process, beginning, with the TV, Excel, and then our one-axle cargo trailer.

You'll definitely need the DW or someone to work the TPMS monitor/program as you re-install all the sensors again! VERY IMPORTANT -- replace the tire sensors on the same tires during each programming. I used an egg carton as recommended in the Hopkins instructions and labeled each tire location.

Quoted from the Hopkins TPMS instructions: "NOTE: Our system is unique in that it establishes a specific electronic signature between the sensor and the monitor. If you are using the same vehicle or trailer in subsequent memory positions, you will need to remove the sensors for at least 2 minutes to 'blank out' the previous signature."

'Semi-Suite' is heading to the shop on Monday to complete the bed modifications and installation of the RV 5th-wheel hitch -- it will probably be after Easter before I can hook up the 'train' and take a test run.
John
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Old 03-31-2009, 11:33 PM   #11
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Thanks Chief, but what is this system costing you?
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:22 AM   #12
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Approximately $600 through Camping World, which included the basic system with six sensors, an additional four sensors, and a three-year "Protection Plan" through CW. The sensors are marked "PressurePro", which I 'assume' indicates the PressurePro folks make the sensors for Hopkins.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:04 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefJohn View Post
Money Bags,
"...which is best for Excels." probably has more to do with personnel preference than performance. I decided to go with the "Hopkins" TPMS for our rig based on it being a relatively newcomer in the TPMS market and the Hopkins Company has been in the vehicle aftermarket business for many years.

I'm not familiar with the other brands, but the only 'irritant' I've encountered with the Hopkins TPMS is the hassle (IMO) in programming the unit. I stated in an earlier post that there were three memory positions -- actually there are four vehicle types/combinations that can be programed. As an example, if I want several programmed vehicle combinations, then I will need to reprogram all the tire sensors involved. My TV 'Semi-Suite' requires six sensors when bobtailing -- beginning with memory position #1, I go through the routine of installing one sensor at a time in the order dictated by the TPMS program.
Snipped
John
Too true. Right now one of my sensors must be set too high. In the cold AM, it beeps until the sun hits the tire or I start driving. I don't understand the directions on modifying just one sensor. So I'm just waiting till my next destination, when I'll drop the pressure on all the tires thru that bogus method you describe. I particularly like sticking my head in the wheel wells of my dually to find and adjust the inner sensors.

If I had to change the pressure settings frequently, I would not recommend this system. I'd look for a system that could retain more than one set of pressure settings. Like the fancy cars with different driver settings for seat, mirror, radio, and hot beverage temperature.
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Old 04-29-2009, 11:37 AM   #14
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Well I finally got around to installing my Hopkins TPMS -- installation definitely easier with two folks. Marilyn managed the Hopkins monitor and I went around installing sensors. Very pleased with the overall system and I've found that it is extremely accurate -- more so than a couple of my tire pressure tools. I did run into a 'cuss, fuss, and discuss' issue with trying to "Edit" one of the sensors on Semi-Suite (as Bruce noted with his system above). I walked away from it and took a break -- went back and followed the instructions and fixed the problem. Probably takes less than 10 secs. to read all 10 sensors -- we'll travel with the monitor screen folded down. My co-pilot will monitor the system, along with the GPS. As long as we have a "Green" light, all is okay -- "Yellow" light and it's time to pull over and check the problem. Hopefully we won't get a "Red" light.

Bottom line, we will travel more at ease and not be too concerned about the tire status.
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