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How Our TPMS System Saved Us From A Worse Situation

Out In The Middle Of No Where In Texas

Out In The Middle Of No Where In Texas

When you find yourself driving to Big Bend National Park in far west Texas, you drive along some very desolate roads. You may not see another soul for miles. 

This is not where you want to find yourself with a problem. And recently when we were driving down some of these roads, we found ourselves in such a situation. 

You see, we were just driving along, admiring the scenery and isolation when all of a sudden our EEZTire TPMS started beeping at us. David was driving at the time and he noted that our rear passenger tire on our tow vehicle was steadily loosing pressure. Of course we were in the middle of no where without another soul around and we were on a 2 lane highway with little options to pull off. But the lucky part…we were in a construction zone. Lucky? 

Yup…you read that right. We were in a construction zone in the middle of no where. However, as luck would have it, because of said construction zone, they had widened the highway with an extra driving lane, as they had one of the normally used driving lanes closed off with cones for them to work on. 

Seeing we were also driving on a Sunday, it made the roads more desolate, however, it also made the construction zone a perfect place to pull over as no one was working at that time. So yes, we pulled over, through the cones (which thank goodness were spaced far enough apart for us to squeeze through) and onto a construction area. Which, looking back on the situation, we have no idea what they were actually doing to the road. It wasn’t freshly paved and it didn’t really have any signs of being worked on recently, other than the cones. Oh well….I shouldn’t take it for granted since it really was a perfect place to pull off safely, out of traffic, if their was any. 

Yup...Tire Going Flat

Yup…Tire Going Flat

David Trying The Green Slime To Plug Hole In Tire

David Trying The Green Slime To Plug Hole In Tire

David Adding Air To Tire

David Adding Air To Tire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So what to do next? Well, after examination of the rear passenger tire on our Jeep, David determined that we had picked up a nail or something, in the construction zone of course, and it made a nice big hole in the tire. So air was rapidly escaping. 

A tire patch kit would come in handy right about now. 

Alas, we did not have one. We thought we were prepared for everything. We had a spare if need be but David wanted to try to seal it first. So we did have some Green Slime for car tires. 

The theory is, you take the cap off your tire and add the Slime inside the tire. Then air up and drive so the Slime oozes (technical term here) around on the inside of the tire. The way it works is when air hits the Slime, it hardens. So when you roll the tire, in theory, as the air wants to get out of the tire at the hole, air hits the Slime as it tries to get out and thus sealing the hole. Umm….you heard me say, in theory right? Well, We think our hole was just too big for the Slime to seal it properly. So most of it oozed out of the tire, through the hole. Live and learn. (If it had worked, you want to be sure to get the tire to a repair shop as Slime is not meant as a full repair.)

So plan two. David took a piece of rag with Slime on it and shoved it into the hole, plugging it in a sense. All we needed to do was limp to the next town, which was only a few miles up the road. Well, once we got some air into the tire and saw that it was holding pressure, that seemed to work long enough for us to get to the next town. That town was Valentine, Texas. Now Valentine, TX, as of the 2000 census, has a population of 187 people. And of course, this being Sunday, everything is shut down for the day and there is not another person in site. So we pull over into a parking area while David tries to patch the tire again. You see, at this point, we determined that we could not just change our tire too easily as the lug nuts were on there really tightly. 

Slime Brand Tire Patch Kit we used. (Different from the liquid)

 

 

As David was working on the second plug, low and behold, a Good Samaritan (GS) who lived in Valentine came along and asked if we needed help. David jokingly said, well, if you had a patch kit that would help a lot. The next few words the gentleman said were a mystery as his west Texas accent was undecipherable to us upstate New Yorkers. He then took off in his truck and we pondered what he had said while trying to work on plugging the hole. About 20 minutes later, the GS came back and low and behold…he had a tire patch kit! Exactly what we needed! After talking to him a little bit more, we discovered he did not have a patch kit but his neighbor did. So he drove off to his neighbors house to retrieve it. 

Tire Patched And Ready To Roll

Tire Patched And Ready To Roll

 

 

 

 

 

So after just a couple plugs, which took all of less than 10 minutes, we were back on the road with a fully functioning tire. Thanks to the GS that stopped to help out strangers in his small town. I’m sorry to say, we do not remember his, nor his wife’s name. We offered to buy the patch kit from his neighbor as we did use it and they would not take anything for it. They just wanted us to pay it forward. So nice and very much appreciated. The perfect solution to our problem. 

And before you say it, yes, we do have CoachNet Roadside Service. I actually was on the phone with them, in Valentine, TX, as the GS pulled up with the patch kit.

NOTICE: We just got off the phone with Costco where we purchased the tires last Sept 2016. We wanted to set a time to come in and have the tire checked and repaired properly if needed. We were told because we did a patch on the road, the tire warranty provided by Costco may be VOID. OUCH! So, while we will still carry a kit, we may think about it next time depending on where we are. We never would have thought that fixing a tire with a tire repair patch would void your warranty and we will find out for sure when we see them next week.

So back to the title of this post…How the TPMS system saved us from a worse situation. Well, that is totally true. If we did not have a TPMS system, air would have steadily leaked out of the tire without our knowledge until it was completely flat. We would have ended up dragging our Jeep down the road, on the rim and shredding the tire and then starting rim damage. It is way too easy to drag these tow vehicles down the road with the torque that is behind these giant diesel pushers. Sad to say, we have seen it happen. So a TPMS system will alert you to a leak or a high temp on your tire or what have you, before it becomes a bigger problem down the road. 

Here is our blog post and video on why it’s important to have a TPMS system. 

And the lesson that we learned was, no matter how seasoned an RVer that you are (we’ve been traveling since 2008), there is always something to learn. We learned that we were not as prepared as we thought/hoped we were. We need to carry a patch kit no matter where we are and let’s face it, they’re cheap enough to always have one. Also be sure you carry a small air compressor to put air back in the tire. (In this case, seeing we had the coach, we used the air system from the coach.) Leave both the patch kit and compressor in the tow car so you have it. After all, you never know when something may take place be it when the car is being towed, or you are driving it.. But rest assured, it is there for when you do need it. But ALWAYS, ALWAYS, be sure you have a good TPMS system!!!  We use the EEZTire TPMS from EEZ RV Products

 

25 thoughts on “How Our TPMS System Saved Us From A Worse Situation

  1. ren

    Nice story but… You missed the most important one.
    Lesson learned should be…. Loosen lugnuts AT HOME and tighten them to the specs they should be. Do this once a year if your tires and not rotated for you. This way you will be able to get the wheel off. Which is what I would have done in the first place. The slime stuff is terrible and usually ruins the tire.
    Might consider a different place that services your tires too. Sounds like whoever put them on torqued them way too high.
    Another tool EVERYONE should have is a breaker bar that you can use on your lugnuts. You will ALWAYS get them loose.

    1. David.B

      I can honestly say I have never, ever, heard of anyone, until now, that loosens there lug nuts once at year. I choose to patch the tire vs removing it as all we had was the smaller spare and I did not want to run on that if I did not have to. If I could patch it, we would be much better off. Good thought on a breaker bar to help when you can not get help out to you. (I would have just used two of my large wrenches and liked them together to make a longer lever but I never got that far as I wanted to repair it if I could first.)

      1. RJj Redding

        Lug nut should be tighten to manufactures specs, and in a specific pattern. Just like head bolts. The tire and rim need to be balanced for better performance and safety.

      2. Todd

        Consider getting a full size spare. As ren was saying, if the tires don’t get rotated, then it’s a good idea to retorque them to manufacturers specs. If you have a torque wrench, use a tire iron or a large 3/4in socket wrench to loosen the lug nuts slightly. Then torque them back down. Again, you only need to do this if you don’t get them rotated within a year and/or the shop you use over torques them. Just saves your butt if you get into a similar situation again. I really like your videos and you guys put a smile on my face cuz you’re just so darn happy 😁

  2. Pete

    David
    Since you have an air compressor, you might want to carry an impact gun (Walmart) with socket to change tires. Enjoy your videos, love you dash camera. What kind of pie did you eat? My favorite coconut cream. Safe travels!!

    1. David.B

      Hi…Not enough PSI in the coach compressors to have the “impact” needed. :) The other compressor I mention carrying is just a small one that can run off your battery to fill a tire.

  3. Racklefratz

    TPMS is a good idea-when it works. I paid $600 for one that had good ratings, and found one of my truck tires deflating early one morning, with the TPMS sender well seated on the valve stem. That TPMS system got removed from the truck very quickly. If such a device can itself become the agent for a flat tire, I’m not inclined to want it on my vehicle. A rare occurence? Maybe. But it happened, nevertheless. So, now you have **my** TPMS story. ;)

    1. David.B

      Are you saying you now DO NOT use a TPMS because of that? If that that is the case, then I would strongly recommend you put one back on, even if it is the same one, and have that ONE sensor replaced. Anything can fail…I had a value stem itself fail on a car for example. Without a TMPS system, you are, IMHO, putting yourself at more risk.

      1. JB

        A failed valve stem on an inside dual is exactly what my TPMS saved me from, the first time I used it. New tires. New valve stems. Had bought the RV in the fall of ’15 and immediately put on new tires and valve stems. Did a shakedown cruise out to the Colorado River and everything went well. Put on the TPMS before major summer trip. Tire started losing pressure on from an inside dual on I-80 in Utah, late in the afternoon. By an amazing stroke of good fortune, I pulled off the freeway in Coalville, UT to check it out. While I was verifying the pressure with my gauge, somebody came over to see if everything was OK. He told there was a truck tire shop right in town and told me how to get there. By the time I got to the shop, less than a mile way, the air coming from the stem was audible.

        The good people at Moore’s Tire Service basically dropped what they were doing when I pulled in and told them what was wrong, fixed it for only $32, and got me back on the road. If you’re going to have a tire problem, I guess Coalville, UT is a pretty good place to have it.

        I would most definitely not go without TPMS coverage of both my coach and toad.

  4. joenpeeweeontheroad

    Excellent advice!! We’ve been remiss in installing our EEZtire TPMS system. It doesn’t do us a whole lot of good sitting in the box in the living room of our coach! Thanks for sharing your experience. :)
    ( husband dear asked me to ask you where you installed the booster for the system for your tow car )

  5. Jim R.

    Great story and so true about TPMS. As for the lug nuts, I’m betting your tow was already jacked up when you tried to take the lugs off. An old trick my dad taught me is to loosen the lugs with the vehicle still fully on the ground, then jack it up.

    1. David.B

      Hi…never got that far as I did not try to replace the tire. I went right to looking to patch it. But yes, ON THE GROUND as you surely also do not want the jack to give-way.

  6. Kathy

    David,
    On a different note I have a battery question for you. We have a 40′ Fleetwood LE DP, we have 4 AGM batteries connected to our inverter and 3 solar panels up top. We are looking to replace the batteries and have been checking into carbon foam batteries, I thought though some research they looked interesting. Something new in the RV market, I was told they are used in the boating market with a good success rate. Have you heard anything about them? http://www.fireflyenergy.com is there website. Thanks for any and all info you might have. Kathy

    1. David.B

      Hi…I have not heard of them I am sorry to say. I would think however that you MAY also then need to replace your charging system, usually part of the inverter thus replace the inverter, as they are made to charge water based and AGM batteries. How a battery is charged is very important.

  7. Steve Kass

    Hi David,
    I have found many RV’ers who have TPMS but don’t trust it. Not being able to trust your TPMS suggests you need to find one you trust. I agree with you; not having one or one you ignore because you can’t trust is a recipe for disaster. My suggestion is if you’re not happy with the TPMS you have contact the manufacturer; tell them the situation and see what they can do.
    Great story Brenda :-)

  8. Dave Wettaufer

    Concerning TPMS systems, another thing to be sure of is that the receiver is turned on! I purchased a TireMinder system while on a trip last summer and did not connect the receiver to a DC source right away, rather running it on it’s internal battery. We disconnected (5th wheel) for a few days and I turned the receiver off. Of course I forgot to turn it on again when we resumed our trip, and that was the day we had a tire go on the trailer. Fortunately I heard it pop and got pulled over right away with very little damage was done, other than being rather annoyed at myself.

  9. Jeff Branning

    You mentioned David tested or looked into a number different TPMS systems before settling on EEZTire. I was courteous if he looked into the TPMS system by Minder Research TireMinder? The reason I ask is TireMinder is what I purchased for our motorhome and was wondering if he looked at the one from Minder Research and what made him go with EZZTire over TireMinder or any other. Tks!

    1. David.B

      Hi…It came down to unit failures, getting updated information from the sensors, and just being able to read the monitor without issue. I tired Tire Minder, Tire Tracker, Pressure Pro, and EEZTire. All for months. The first two had to many failures and were not reliable to enough for me. From bad monitors to bad sensors. Other users of course may not have issues with the same units. (Or they just do not know they have an issue.) The Pressure Pro just did not have programming that supports rapid leak detection which is a BIG DEAL. We have not had any issues with the EEZTire and we have used it for a number of years and thus I can count on it. It also tells you what is happening in English and not with some icon you need to figure out.

    1. David.B

      Just as I stated in a reply to another comment…It came down to unit failures, getting updated information from the sensors, and just being able to read the monitor without issue. I tired Tire Minder, Tire Tracker, Pressure Pro, and EEZTire. All for months. The first two had to many failures and were not reliable to enough for me. From bad monitors to bad sensors. Other users of course may not have issues with the same units. (Or they just do not know they have an issue.) The Pressure Pro just did not have programming that supports rapid leak detection which is a BIG DEAL. We have not had any issues with the EEZTire and we have used it for a number of years and thus I can count on it. It also tells you what is happening in English and not with some icon you need to figure out.

  10. Curtis

    Just a tip, carry a tire patch kit for the RV tires also. They are bigger, longer and fatter. You’ll need special tools to use it. I’ve been carrying one for years. You never know when your big tires will have a problem and you could be in the middle of nowhere. The slime NEVER works. On advice from Coach net I carry a motorhome spare (inside the trunk of the toad), I carry a spare tire for the tow dolly (also inside the trunk, but inside the coach tire) and have a full size spare for the car.

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