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Old 08-10-2009, 03:29 PM   #1
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Silverleaf vs. RoadRelay vs. ??

Howdy,

I have a '99 Dutch Star we just picked up with an ISC cummins. There's no vehicle management display or whatever in the coach, and I'm looking at options for adding one. We had an intermittent engine stop light on our first trip that I'll hopefully be getting figured out, but it just highlighted for me that its worth some money to have a little more information.

It looks like Silverleaf makes a system, the VMS 120 LC, that would be in our price range. Its $400 by itself, or you can add a tire pressure monitoring system for ~$900 total price (including the pressure pro, six sensors, and a repeater).

Not sure the pressure monitor addition makes a whole lot of sense when I can buy a TST six tire setup for $360...

Cummins also seems to make "RoadRelay"... That kit looks to be about $1k at the Cummins place I called. That's getting pretty pricey for us.

Are there other options?

If we get one of these things, the ability to catch and hold intermittent or constant faults is required, plus the ability to monitor things like actual trans gear, fuel pressure, instant and average mpg, etc. would be highly desired.

Appreciate any input!

Mark
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Old 08-10-2009, 10:52 PM   #2
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Mark, I'm not familiar with the VMS 120 but it appears as though the information rotates through it. We use VMSpc, where I can configure the "gauges" whatever way I want and the individual displays will stay put if I set them that way. VMSpc would definitely give you access to the codes set by the check engine light. Silver Leaf could tell you if VMS 120 does the same thing.

VMSpc runs on a laptop. We use a 17" display HP laptop which I've configured horizontally to be 1/3 VMSpc and 2/3 Delorme Street Atlas. The SA package is voice recognition and voice response so you have a good GPS and the chassis monitor in the same package. THe advantage of the VMSpc is that it can be moved (I have a rear diagnostic port in my engine compartment) to monitor the engine while you are physically beside it.

VMSpc has saved me at least 100s and probably 1,000s of dollars in being able to diagnose and repair my own issues, even after Freightliner could not. It is a great package.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:55 AM   #3
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Mark,
Where did you find the VMS 120 LC for $400.? I find the basic kit for $495. and sensors for $50. each
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Howdy,

Quote:
Originally Posted by H. Miller View Post
Mark,
Where did you find the VMS 120 LC for $400.? I find the basic kit for $495. and sensors for $50. each
I called Silverleaf. The VMS 120 is available without the pressure pro stuff for $399, according to the (very helpful) guy on the phone.

Sounds like I'll probably go this way. I really don't want to have to have a laptop setup and running when I'm going down the road.

Mark
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:07 PM   #5
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I have the VMS-240CL which is a color upgrade to the VMS-120 but very similar otherwise. It is an excellent unit and I'm sure that the 120 would be as good - just less a few bells, whistles, and color display.

The one benefit to the 120 or 240 versus the PC is that it's always on and logging. If you don't have your laptop on and running VMS-PC you won't be able to track any current history such as mileage, generator hour usage, etc. The PC version has lots of info and is very affordable but it does require a laptop to be tethered to it and running in order to get full benefit. But the 120 or 240 does cost more so there are pros and cons to either system.

Regardless of which version you choose, the Silverleaf data is more than you'll ever need and is a great addition.

It does accept optional modules and you can get a JIB (J1939 Interface Breakout) to insert so that you can monitor SmarTire TPMS sensors. My personal choice was to have my SmarTire displayed on a separate in-dash disoplay because I'd rather have dedicated display than have one display that's cluttered with too much information, but that option does exist for those who prefer a single display device. My SmarTire system monitors 8 RV tires and 4 toad tires and also displays temperature information so it's a great system but costs quite a bit more than the TST system that you mentioned. If you're happy with the TST system and don't want to spend more then I'd skip the TPMS option for the VMS-120. You can always add it later on if you change your mind.

Road Relay is more designed around the engine itself, which is understandable seeing as how it's a Cummins product.

Silverleaf has more "driver friendly" features. My VMS-240CL gives me multiple trip computers with miles to go, fuel economy, gallons burned, time to go, etc as well as tons of engine parameters. It also logs every instance of a trouble code with date, time, numeric code, and descriptive text (which is really helpful). I also used it to monitor torque output, horsepower, percent of load, etc which gave me a pretty good idea of just how much engine I "need" versus "want".
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
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Howdy,

Thanks Cruzer...

I ordered the 120 today from Silverleaf for $400 (which seems like a heck of a price... I saw it a few other places at $900 or so!), without the tire pressure monitoring option. The 240 looks nice for sure, but I couldn't justify spending another ~$1500 for a better display. The RoadRelay setup also looked nice, but didn't seem to be quite as "RV / Trip info" friendly as the Silverleaf stuff in addition to costing about double the price of the 120 system.

I'll probably add a standalone tire pressure monitor system. I think I'm with you on preferring a dedicated display for that.

Sounds like I'll get it in about a week. Might even get it installed here, rather than waiting to get home.

Thanks for the info folks!

Mark
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Old 06-24-2012, 12:43 PM   #7
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Marka
I'm looking at the same options but leaning toward the Trip Tek as it integrates with my Sony rear camera. It means one less display to keep track of. You can also integrate their tire sensor system in it as well. How did the Silverleaf end up working for you. Are you happy with the info displayed as well as the display? Thanks for the info.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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I use my laptop for GPS when driving my MH and really like the large screen. I added VMSpc which was very easy and economical since the laptop was already there.
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Old 06-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #9
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X2 on VMSpc and Streets and Trips with the gps puck. My 10" netbook set on the dash just great, and if we want something bigger just plug it in the DW big laptop. I have a VGA cable and can use the 32" LCD TV for trip planning, and screen layouts.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
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....some text deleted....
The one benefit to the 120 or 240 versus the PC is that it's always on and logging. If you don't have your laptop on and running VMS-PC you won't be able to track any current history such as mileage, generator hour usage, etc. The PC version has lots of info and is very affordable but it does require a laptop to be tethered to it and running in order to get full benefit.
There is one other option that has not been discussed. I use an old windows based tablet pc that is permanently wired into the motorhome. When I power up, the tablet pc boots, loads vmspc, and starts displaying data. I do have to manually shut down the tablet pc at the end of the day. With this arrangement, my vmspc is running during every trip and I don't have to set up the laptop. There are many windows based tablets available on ebay.

Fred
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