The PressurePro package was compact and easily unpacked. The directions were fairly well laid out and we were able to follow them without much confusion. The kit came with a monitor, 4 sensors, a power cable and an antenna wire. Our truck already has pressure monitors built in for its tires and our purpose for the PULSE is to monitor our 5th wheel's tires.
We were getting ready to leave for our first outing of the spring and wanted to test the monitoring system. The first step made sense -- fill the trailer tires to the desired pressure, in this case, 80 psi. I have a nice portable compressor and each tire was about 10 lbs. low from sitting through the winter. Once filled to the proper level, we proceeded to run the detection process, which entailed placing a sensor on a wheel's tire pressure valve, starting with the left front. The monitor connected with the sensor and we moved to the next, then the next, and last was the right rear tire. The first three tires showed 78 psi each, but the last one only showed 68. When the alarms were set, one immediately went off because it detected more than a 10% difference across the axle, in other words, the right rear tire was more than 8 lbs. less than the left rear.
That was a problem, because that "low" tire wasn't low. We had no choice but to turn off the system until I could double-check the pressures. Once at the campground, I checked the tires and even slightly over-inflated the problem tire. We tried to repeat the process but the monitor didn't detect the sensors, even with the antenna wire outstretched as far as possible, until I tried turning on the truck engine. Magically, it began to work fine. The over-inflated tire now showed the over-inflation and I adjusted it back to normal. The sensor also adjusted its reading.
I am assuming the PULSE monitor will continue to work as advertised. It did the rest of our trip home and since then. The safety factor should not be ignored. Tires often show signs of an issue before they blow, i.e. overheating or loss of pressure, and the PULSE monitors for these and other factors. We has a sense of security knowing they are being monitored while we are on the road, often in the middle of nowhere.
I rated this 3 out of 5 stars due to the difficulties we had during the installation. I don't know whether our experience with this product is common, but overall I believe it works very well, so I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.
You can purchase the PressurePro PULSE monitoring system directly from the manufacturer using this link:
I had to post this update (and upgrade the rating) since this monitor saved us a tire or worse yesterday.
The monitor has been working well for the past few weeks. We were traveling on Interstate 196 yesterday morning on our way back to Buchanan, MI, from our short stay in the Mackinac Island area. Also in the truck were my wife, daughter, son-in-law and our Cairn terrier, Lucy. The alarm sounded when the left rear tire pressure went from 80 to 70 psi, then we watched it drop to 45. I immediately got off the freeway and pulled over. By that time the pressure was 0 psi. I got out to inspect the tire and, sure enough, that tire was completely flat. All five of our 5th wheel's tires had been replaced with a new set just about a month ago.
We called Good Sam's Emergency Roadside Service and a tow truck was dispatched out of nearby Grand Rapids to swap the flat tire with the spare. Within a couple of hours we were back on the road without any further damage done. Evidently the flat was caused by a bolt or screw we hit in a construction zone on the Interstate that punctured the tread but didn't stick in the tire, thus the quick deflation.
Without the monitor installed and working perfectly, that tire would most likely have blown apart, since I never heard or felt anything when it happened, or even after it lost pressure. Who knows what damage that would have caused? Serious accidents can occur due to blowouts, so it may well have saved us from a catastrophe.
I can now positively recommend the PressurePro PULSE!
The packages came and one was larger than I anticipated. The flexible solar panel stood 49" tall by 22" wide. The product description described the lamination as "Aluminium + ETFE + Silicon cell + EVA + Tedlar" but it just seemed like a thick, rugged fiberglass panel to me.
I am a novice at solar technology and the instructions were not easy to figure out, but I eventually did. The controller came with a template for placing mounting screws on a backboard, which I installed in the front compartment on the back wall behind the new Lithium Ion batteries I just hooked up.
I felt foolish when I found that the cables coming from the panel and the extension cables to the controller were keyed, a set of male and female for each that were reversed for positive and negative so that you can't cross-connect them once you've wired the controller and batteries correctly. The controller had three sets of connections in which to insert and tighten bare wires -- one pair for the solar panel, one for the batteries and another for a load, in case you are powering a device directly. I did have to make the battery cables and strip any ends being connected to the controller.
With everything set up, power flowed with no issues. My battery monitor is Bluetooth-enabled and I was able to see the input into the batteries okay, but since the batteries had a full charge, little electricity was drawn. I was happy that it still showed power, however.
The flexibility of the panel is impressive. It weighs about 6 pounds and is stout but can be flexed for temporary mounting on a curved surface, such as an RV front cap. However, from the manufacturer: "Once in a while bending may be possible, but we do not recommend long - term bending to affect the life of the panel." My main purpose for using a solar panel is to charge my batteries when boondocking, allowing for minimum use of my generator. I am confident that this setup will work great.
I rated this 4 out of 5 stars only because the instructions could be better written and/or illustrated and I did have to do some of my own cabling.
The package was simple to open and included 2 aluminum stabilizers and each had a nice vinyl carrying bag. It's important that we tested with two stabilizers because to truly stabilize an RV you need to steady the rig in two directions -- front-to-back and side-to-side. As suggested by other users of the product I installed one under the rear bumper (below left) and under the frame in front of the door (below right). Ideally I would have centered the stabilizer under my bumper but I have a receiver clamped there so I moved it over.
When we first purchased our 5th wheel, the sway and vibration when we walked through the rig was awful. One of our first after-market purchases was a king-pin tripod and that did improve the stability when parked, however, not enough. For example, when we were in bed and one of us got up to use the bathroom or grab something from the kitchen, the one still in bed was usually awakened, not by the mattress, which had been replaced by memory foam, but by the sway and movement of the trailer. Last fall, while camping in Pueblo, CO, a windstorm hit with 55 mph gusts at about 11 pm and we never did get any sleep that night.
I have to say, for the money, these stabilizers work very well. Their unique design makes setup easy -- you simply get your rig leveled and supported like normal, then unfold and place the stabilizers where you want them, attach the ratchet strap and tighten. This is probably a 2-minute operation unless you struggle with ratchet straps. I have been using them at work for years so I didn't have this problem, but they are simple enough to master.
The improvement was immediately noticeable and continued to impress throughout the evening and overnight. We are camping with friends this weekend prior to going full-time next month, so this was important to us. As if to aid me in the product test, a significant windstorm hit us last night. We felt some sway but the difference from the previous experience was remarkable. We were able to sleep through the night with minimal movement of the rig.
View and/or purchase the product here on Amazon
Don't forget to buy at least two...
The vertical arms of the unit are adjustable, allowing it to be used when the RV clearance (frame to ground) is from 14 to 28 inches. I believe that installing one in front of the door also helps to eliminate movement from entering and exiting the rig.
The stabilization is not perfect, probably more like eliminating 80% of the annoying sway and wobble. I'm sure I can spend several hundred dollars and install permanent sway bars and stabilization jacks to the chassis to be virtually motionless, but for a little more than a hundred dollars, no installation and about 5 minutes to set up or take down each time we are camped, this is a great solution.
The package was simple to open and unpack its contents. It's mostly self-contained, with the air hose and nozzle packed in one compartment built into the case and the power cords in another.
I needed an air compressor in order to keep my 5th wheel and pick-up tires at 80 lbs. As you may know, this amount of pressure isn't always available at gas stations or supermarket chains. I went searching and at first found a Black and Decker battery-powered unit that also had a large-volume hose for blowing up rafts and tubes. I purchased that unit and during just the 2nd use of it, the cheap valve stem connect nozzle broke, never to be usable again. Not impressed with the quality of the product, I went back to my search and bought my second choice -- the above-mentioned Campbell Hausfeld inflator.
Even though it doesn't have the large-volume output, it does have adapters to do the job, and the tire valve stem connector appears to be of superior quality compared to the Black and Decker unit. The gauge goes up to 300psi and it is advertised to inflate to 230psi. Although I just needed it to inflate to 80psi, the top end made me more comfortable with the product.
This unit also has a 12-volt cigarette adapter for charging or running 12v electronics or other devices using an inverter, limited to 10 amps. Their documentation shows you can power an 8-watt TV for 14 hours and a 55-watt light for 2 hours. I don't have this need for now, but, again, it's a comfort to have that ability on the road full-time.
Today I attempted to top off my RV tires, taking them from 70 psi to 80 psi. All 4 tires had dropped the same amount over the winter. On a full charge, it took the unit about 20 minutes to accomplish the full inflation. This is actually quick for one of these small portable inflators. I had a machine a few years ago that would have taken over 2 hours to raise the tire pressure that much. The B&D inflator would have been over an hour for this exercise.
The second tire only partially inflated before running out of battery power. This is the only drawback I found with the CC2300 -- one full charge would only handle one pressure raise of 10 pounds. It would most likely do much better at lower pressures, say 32 or 40 psi, but for my needs, I may have to consider a more expensive unit. For under 50 bucks, though, it's difficult to complain.
For the time being I'm going to stick with this model and plan ahead for multiple charging sessions. Recharging doesn't take long, just about an hour or so, and my needs are simple.
For the price, I highly recommend the CC2300 model from Campbell Hausfeld.
The package was simple to open and review its contents. It came with 2 magnetic tank sensors and 6 metal clips for the bottom of the tank. I was excited to try this product because I had already bought magnetic strips that attach to the side of the propane tank, which supposedly change color as the propane level drops along their indicator markings. They didn't work at all.
I had some deja vu, however, when the app I downloaded, Tank Check, didn't connect to the sensors after following the directions both in the packaging and on the app. The app had a spinning icon saying it was scanning for the devices, and that continued for several minutes without success. At first I thought they might have dead batteries -- I've come across that before -- but my multimeter proved that to be incorrect. I re-installed the disk batteries, put the covers back on and tried again. My wife joined me and noticed that a couple of instructions ahead said to press the sync button 5 times after it connected, so we did that, before it connected, and voila, up came each one onto the app. After that, everything worked perfectly.
We then installed the metal clips to the bottom of the tanks' base in order to lift the tank slightly off of the flat floor of the compartment so that there would be more room for the sensor once applied to the bottom of the tank. There were a lot of negative comments about these clips, which evidently may have been plastic in the past, but these metal clips worked fine.
I placed the magnetic sensors on the bottom of each tank and checked the app. Sure enough, the full one showed 100% and the mostly empty tank showed at 28%. The app lets you name the tank and select the size among 20, 30 and 40 pounds, and once I selected 30 for my tanks, the monitor changed that level to 23%. I replaced the tanks in their compartment and went inside the rig, and the monitor app worked fine.
There is a hardware monitor you can purchase if you didn't want to use a phone app, and I'm pretty certain the app is available for both Apple and Android phones (mine's a Moto Z). One other drawback was that once the sensors were connected to my phone, my wife could not connect to them. That means if I'm not around, she can't monitor the tank levels. Not a big deal, but it is a small annoyance.
Overall I'm impressed with the product and highly recommend it. It's long been a pain having dual propane tanks without knowing the propane levels. I'm happy that is no longer the case. You can purchase the tank monitor from Amazon at the link below.
The Tech Support department from the manufacturer contacted me to clear up a couple of things. First, regarding multiple devices syncing up with the sensors:
"The sensors can be paired to as many phones and monitors as you like. If your wife downloads the app, then opens it the scanning icon will spin, when that happens press the "sync" on the sensor again and it should pair to her phone. They will communicate to your phone, the monitor, and her phone as well with the same reading. Any phone after an I phone 4S or a Galaxy 4 would be able to pair no issue."
Then, to answer a question in the comments below about whether the devices would be okay to use if the propane tanks were on the tongue instead of a compartment:
"The magnets are rated at 3# each and there are multiple sensors are installed on motor home tanks as well, so they are exposed to rain and tire wash daily. They are sealed from the elements, and Mopeka has them warranted for this type of exposure as well. You are correct on the support feet, they were made from a rubber, now they are metal to solve the customer concern and feedback we received. "
Well, I had the best of intentions. Really. The combination of my book release Friday (amazon.com/dp/B079CM9H2D), tracking the various marketing tactics for said release, interacting on all my social media accounts about that book, launching my Patreon page, and converting and publishing my most complete collection of poetry in the Amazon Kindle store (amazon.com/dp/B079WHD5ZQ), I just plain ran out of time.
I have received, either by purchase or by donation by manufacturers, several products to install, test and write about. I will be including that information -- how I acquired the product -- in my review as well for sake of transparency. So far, I will be reviewing:
Hopefully, weather will cooperate while I work on the 5th wheel next weekend. If so, I'll get 2 or 3 of these products installed and tested. Currently the forecast for Denver for next Saturday and Sunday is 48 degrees and partly cloudy. Hope that holds ...
I do, all the time, especially since we've been getting our rig ready for full-timing. So, I try to find reviews on-line, look at ratings and comments on Amazon, and whatever else I can find. In that spirit, I thought I would join the fray, posting my own reviews of products we actually use.
Check back often as I will be posting reviews of products we have purchased in the past that we have strong opinions about mixed in with new, exciting technologies and accessories that we come across in our travels. I will let you know if I purchased an item or if it was provided to me for free by the distributor or manufacturer to try out and review. I will also provide a link to purchase the product along with price and other specs, regardless of whether we would recommend it. I haven't come up with a scoring metric yet, but I will be thinking about it.
I've promised the first review to a company who is sending me a "Propane Tank Gas Level Indicator" that is Bluetooth enabled. The lack of propane monitoring in most RV's is a bit of a mystery to me. I know that some high-end rigs now have it, but the rest of us have been pretty much out of luck. This device is on its way and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I also have a company sending me a Wi-Fi extender, which is also something full-timers should have
After that, I have some other products coming that will be enlightening and I have purchased thousands of dollars' worth of gear and doo-dads in the past couple of years that I will share as well.
Thanks for your support!