Its been quite a while since I did my first review of a TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitoring System) back in September 2015 in fact, on a Tyre Pal system sent to me for review. I did like it but it did give me a few things to think about. Later on I got to test out the Fit2Go TPMS and I ran with that for about 12 months. However I still wasn’t convinced this was the one for me.
With the Tyre Pal I did like the information, but on a screen that size I would have liked to be able to see all the pressures and temps altogether rather than scrolling through each wheel. Although it did cross my mind at the time “do I really need all this info” and that’s why I liked the Fit2Go unit. It sat there quietly monitoring the wheels and just occasionally flashed at me to say everything was OK…. or beeped if there was something wrong. I did eventually miss not being able to see the pressure and temp of each wheel and started to think my earlier statement was flawed.
I had an issue with the Fit2Go unit at around nine months of using it. The batteries in one of the wheel sensors failed… and a couple of weeks later a second battery went down. This was a bit of an issue as the sensors on this unit were sealed and the batteries weren’t replaceable (a plus point for the TyrePal here!) Credit to guys at Fit2Go… now re-branded as Michelin – they sent me out a complete new unit and four sensors. I installed the replacement unit and sensors and ran with that for a while.
Going into work at around 04:45 in the morning, I pulled off our drive the unit started beeping, indicating a low pressure tyre. I pulled over and checked the small LED on each sensor… no flashing red indication. Tyres looked good, checked the pressure with the Fit2Go hand-held unit and all as they should be. I carried on. The beeping stopped. A few days later as I had just got onto the motorway it went off again, pulled onto the hard shoulder, checked each sensor and wheel… no flashing LED and all wheels looked OK. I also took the time to check the pressures again, all OK. On the fourth or fifth time this happened I gave up checking. It only seemed to happen with an early morning start and I started to doubt the info I was getting from the unit.
I started looking around for alternatives… mainly in the US for RV TPMS systems as they seemed to have a greater number of options. It wasn’t long after this that I got the e-Trailer unit to test. Which as well as checking the leisure battery voltage, monitoring the fridge temp and a host of other things had TPMS monitoring for your caravan wheels and sent alerts directly to your phone. With this fitted I had at least covered off the important wheels when towing. I just needed something for the truck. Looking around at what was available on Amazon.Com in the USA made me realise how much we are actually paying in the UK for this stuff. There were units branded for the American market that were identical to those in the UK for a lot less even with the poor exchange rate.
This set me thinking… could a cheap TPMS available in the UK be as good… were we paying too much? I found a unit on Amazon.co.uk for £50 and ordered one. https://amzn.to/2wv49TS
The unit had a couple of options for mounting. The sensors had replaceable batteries and were pre-coded to the unit. Each was marked with the correct location… FL, FR, RL and RR.
After much procrastination about where to put the display (it’s a man thing) I could not make my mind up so for the time being it sits on top of the steering column….
In the few weeks since I installed it.. which was really easy, it’s worked well. I can set the upper and lower limits for pressure and temp for each wheel and it is fairly accurate on pressure. To test it I used my digital tyre gauge fitted to my compressor in the work shop and checked with a standalone digital check gauge I used to use for aircraft tyres. It always matched the same PSI as both my digital gauges showed and as it didn’t decimal point readings on the PSI setting (you can change it to BAR, as well as from C to F for temp) it seemed to round-up from about .6 which seems acceptable to me. (32.4 PSI would be displayed as 32 and 32.6PSI would be shown as 33)
It comes complete with a small spanner for the lock nuts, a do-hicky for replacing the battery in the sensors and for £50 it seems like reasonable quality. It does what it states on the box, it’s small enough to put almost anywhere (and that’s my problem… where!) and if you have amazing eyesight… it even has a vehicle battery voltage display right in the centre! And if that didn’t clinch the deal… it even alarms when the batteries are low in the sensors.
So was my £50 well spent? Well at the moment I think so. (I reserve the right to change my mind in the future) You know me by now and if I thought it was a jockey wheel with out a handle…. I’d tell you!
So if you don’t yet have TPMS and don’t want to spend a fortune on one this might be a suitable option. If you want one… go on you know you do, here’s my affiliate* link on Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2PX6a3a
*It won’t cost you any more but you will get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing Amazon are going to give Caravan Chronicles some of their profit.
Pete Farnham said:
I purchased an Erayak from Amazon for less than £50. It came with internal tyre pressure sensors, which cost £10 for each tyre installation. (The external sensors are free to fit to the valves.) Therefore make sure you order the correct kit.
The tyre pressures/ temperatures appear on the display once you are moving.
On my single axle the display only shows the 2 tyre pressures.
There is no setting up, apart from entering upper and lower tyre pressures and a max temperature level.
I like to see that all is well with the tyres during any journey, also due to the temperature monitoring could warn of any brake binding.
Pete Farnham said:
Thanks for the tip Simon.
Tim Lloyd said:
Interesting. I just checked back today to see if you were still using Fit2go and agree that the battery life is hopeless. I had the first sensors replaced at 10 months but doubt they will do that again. I don’t understand why they are targeting fleets. The cost of new sensors every year would be enormous. The only good thing is the pressure checker that does not seem to be available with Tyrepal.
I’m wary about a super cheap system and do need to monitor 6 tyres. I’ll watch your with interest. Maybe someone will be offering a good deal at the NEC show next month.
Simon Barlow said:
I’m still happy with the little super cheap unit we are running at the moment. Fortunately for the caravan we have the e-Trailer unit which sends the pressures to my iPhone, however I think if I didn’t have this (e-Trailer) I’d just buy another of these cheap units and use it as a ‘plug in’ version and when we weren’t towing simply unplug it and place it in the glove box.
Sadly although I returned the unit to Fit2Go the same day in the same condition that I received it they are refusing a refund stating it needs to be quality checked? On another caravan forum someone has also mentioned the Erayak unit. I think we will be investing in one.
I have the Tyrepal system and it has some very annoying traits, but is infinitely better than the Michelin Fit3Go unit where you cannot see the pressures. No fun wandering around in the rain checking sensors for red lights. We sent the Fit2Go unit back without even using it. The other issue is that with the Shogun you need to increase the tyre pressure when towing and then lower it when the caravan is not connected. If you forget to lower the tyre pressure, the Tyrepal shows you the pressure to remind you. The Fit2Go does not. Interesting the one reviewed above.
Simon Barlow said:
Thankfully with the Amarok I don’t need to adjust the tyre pressures between solo and towing which is a bonus. I only need to adjust rear tyres for back axle weight and the range is from 28 empty to 48 loaded with 1000Kg in the rear bed so I worked out with all the kit I have fitted in the back (bed slide, tool box, rover cover, bike racks and my ‘normal stuff’ the setting I have is correct and as the caravan only adds just under 100Kg nose weight to the hitch I can run with the same pressure all the time.
The cheap unit I have fitted at the moment..I’m really chuffed with. It ticks all my boxes and I can see the info for all four tyres at once.
Rod Carter said:
I had a nail in my tyre, the very basic sensor fitted told me loss of pressure but not which wheel, after a a short run the heat corrected the pressure loss and it was pure chance I spotted the nail (sans head)
£160 for a new tyre. I have book marked this £50 unit, thank you.
Nick D'Arcy said:
Simon I too had issues with the Fit2Go unit and bought two units. The main battery failed in the first one and the second one would alarm for no apparent reason. Switched to the TyrePal and I’m happy with that, other than it being a little bit bulky for the screen. I too considered one of the units on Amazon, but was not convinced about the quality. Thanks for the post I always appreciate your honest and informative opinions and experience, keep it going.
Simon Barlow said:
Thanks Nick, feedback is always appreciated.
Tony Burton said:
I’m sorry for this basic question. Can the unit also moinitor the caravan wheels?
Simon Barlow said:
The unit I bought only monitors 4 wheels. However I did do a distance check and if you bought a second unit it would be able to monitor a twin axle caravan easily.
As I have E-Trailer fitted that takes care of the caravan wheels, but for the price if I didn’t have E-Trailer I think I might go for a second unit and just plug it in the spare power socket in the vehicle when I was towing.
Mike Durrans said:
Hi there, I have a “fit to go” and during the summer I had the bleeping problem but I put that to temp rise from the sun , Ive never had it since. My main reason for replying is that I purchased two extra wheel caps and they work well on my caravan ( Sprit Alpine)