A tire losing air and going flat can often be felt in the primary vehicle, but if this happens while towing a trailer you might not become aware of it until expensive and possibly catastrophic damage occurs to the trailer tire, rim and trailer. I purchased the Doran Tire Pressure Monitoring System and began using it in November, 2008. See my comprehensive article, “Tire pressure monitoring system“, which shows how I set up the monitor in our F-250 Super Duty truck.
The system has performed flawlessly for over two years. A few months ago, I began to notice an occasional loss of signal from one of the sensors. I contacted Doran Mfg., LLC and received excellent customer service. Per their instructions, I sent back the sensor for evaluation. I was told the processing time would be about three weeks. In the meantime, we already had camping reservations for an upcoming Agua Caliente Park trip and would not think of leaving home without a TPMS, which gave me an opportunity to purchase and try another popular brand, Pressure Pro, during the interim. The Pressure Pro monitor and 4 sensors arrived quickly, were easy to program and install, and performed well.
Shortly after I returned from this trip, I received a new sensor from Doran. See their YouTube video, “Doran Mfg. WTS Outdoor Adventure“. Additional sensors can be purchased so that both the truck and trailer tire sensors can be monitored on one monitor. But since I now have two separate monitoring systems (one for the truck tires and one for the trailer tires), I have the peace of mind knowing that should one fail, I can always use the other for those crucial trailer tires. The two systems mount nicely in the truck as seen below.
Earlier this week, I used both systems for our return to Borrego Springs, California, for camping during the beginning of the desert wildflower displays. Whether we go over or around the mountains to this location, there are often few turnouts, so it is important to know if a tire is losing air before damage occurs.
Over the phone, Doran Sales Representative, Debbi Gerdes (seen in the video mentioned above), told me that people tend to over-tighten the sensors when screwing them on the tire valve stem, which can cause the inner O-ring to bulge out or become loose and can lead to failure of the unit. Debbie advised to just get them barely tight enough to seal. She also said that the seal is not normally visible on the sensor, but if it is seen, it could be gently pressed back in place with a dental pick.
So even if a trailer tire blows out, I’ll know about it immediately. Both monitors emit an audible alert if tire pressure goes out of normal range, so I can keep my eyes on the road and my hands on the wheel and enjoy getting there.