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A Tire Pressure Monitor System (TPMS) for your Trailer.

 


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If you have been following my videos or reading my webpages, you may know that I installed a TPMS for my motorhome. It was so successful that when I went to a fifth wheel, I wanted a TPMS for the trailer. The TPMS I installed will work with most trailers - whether they be fifth wheel or conventional.

The TPMS system I selected was the TM55C by Tire Minder. I especially like this one as the monitor is small, and shows all 5 tires (4 tires plus spare) simultaneously.

Most TPMS systems, such as the EEZ-RV system I had on my motorhome worked well enough, but was a bit overkill as they can monitor almost two dozen tires - and I did not need that. As well, to have the capability for monitoring that many tires, the display cycles through each tire's status sequentally.

In contrast, the TM55 shows the current tire pressure and temperature of all tires simultaneously.

There are a couple of limitations to using the TM55. If you read the advertisement literature, you will find several references that only the TM55C version of this system is intended for use with trailers. I discussed this at length with the manufacurer (Tire Minder), and I learned that the only difference in the TM55 versions is the supplied tire transmitters. The monitor is the same for each version. The versions are:

  • TM55A is intended for Aluminum tire valve stems - such as those on late model vehicles.
  • TM55B is intended for Brass tire valve stems - and can be use for trailers.
  • TM55C is a lightweight sensor version of the TM55B - and preferred for trailers.

In addition, the signal booster is required for all trailer applications. And the maximum tire pressures to be monitored should be limited to 80psi (although the system itself will read up to 100psi, which provides a 20% overpressure reading for 80psi).

Tire Minder confirms that within these limitations, you can use the TM55 for trailer applications. Good thing too, as this system is significantly less expensive than the systems having the capability of monitoring more tires. Of course, if your trailer has more than 4 tires, you cannot use the TM55.

 

 

 

The Booster. The purpose of the signal booster is to extend the range of the transmitter/sensors on the tires. When you attach the sensors to the trailer, you need to extend the range of the transmission, which is accomplished by the booster.

I found a suitable location in the front utility bin of my fifth wheel, which is more-or-less half-way between the tires and recevier in the cab.

The booster only consumes a few mA of current, but still, I like to turn that kind of stuff off when I am not using it, so I did wire a switch for that purpose.

 

 

In actual testing - I tried to turn the booster off to see if it made a difference. I did notice that often you don't need the booster, but the signal does fade out occasionally, so for the best performance, you really do need to consider the booster.

 


TPMS Video

 

 


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Last reviewed and/or updated June 14, 2017