Traveling out of Lake Tahoe, I made it safely down the mountain to Reno; however as I traveled East in Northern Nevada with super high winds whipping me around, suddenly the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) warning alarm went off. Of course it scared me because I've never heard it go off and I'm concerned I have a flat tire or losing pressure rapidly.
Watch the video below to see how it unfolded.
Tire Pressure Monitoring System – High Pressure Alarm
Before traveling across the country I had installed the tire pressure monitoring system on the RV so I could always know the tire temperature and the pressure with a monitor that mounts on the dash.
I'm currently using the EEZTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System with six sensors since I have the four dually tires on the rear axel and two tires on the front axel.
As I was traveling through this high wind, headed East on Interstate 80 in Northern Nevada, the tire pressure monitoring system warning alarm went off and thankfully I remained calm – even though it startled me – and looked at the monitor on the dash to determine what the issue was that caused the alarm to sound.
The right inner dually tire was flashing on the monitor and the warning was that it had high pressure.
I pulled off of the road on to the shoulder – which isn't so safe – but I didn't have much of choice and wanted to get stopped immediately to assess the situation. Traffic was flying by at over 80 mph – which is the posted speed limit.
In looking at the tire, I couldn't see anything visibly wrong with the tire. This was my first high pressure warning so I wasn't sure what to expect.
Okay folks – we're getting into some numbers here so if you like to geek out on numbers – here you go.
The EEZTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System instructions states the following for tire pressure:
- Low pressure alarm setting = 10% below axel tire pressure
- High pressure alarm setting = 20% above axel tire pressure
My tires are made my Michelin and the maximum tire pressure is 75 psi for the front axel and 80 psi on the back axel, for each tire, so I kept my tires at that psi until I could get officially weighed. Therefore, the EEZTire tire pressure monitoring system alarm parameter was set at 67.5 psi (75 x .90) for the front axel tires and 96 psi (80 x 1.20) for the back axel tires.
When the high pressure alarm went off it was because that back, inner dually tire had reached 96 psi.
Nascar-Like Tire Pressure Action
“Hmmmm. What to do? What to do?”, I was thinking.
I also needed to act quickly because I was concerned about being on the shoulder with the traffic speeding by so fast. Okay, so maybe I'm not as speedy as the Nascar mechanics who complete the tire changes in seconds, but I was moving fast.
I didn't even want to consider the dangers of being on the shoulder.
I decided to let out a little air from the tires – not too much though or I'd be under pressure. I'm not sure if this was the best tactic. One person told me after the fact that this was very dangerous and others have appeared to be fine with it.
First I had to take the tire pressure monitoring sensor off which can be tricky, because you don't want to accidentally release it as you loosen or it will drop into the tire well. Yeah – so guess what I did?
In my haste to hurry – I dropped the sensor into the tire well! Great! Now what do I do?
Thankfully I had purchased a hub cap remover before traveling so I dug it out of the basement of the RV and removed the hub cap.
Looking around the tire well, I couldn't find the sensor anywhere. It had to be between the two dually tires and I couldn't reach it.
Next I decided to slowly move the RV forward – hoping that I didn't run over it – and then I could reach the sensor.
Success! It worked with sensor intact.
I released some air from the tire, reinstalled the tire pressure monitoring sensor, banged the hub cap back into place with the rubber-like mallet on the end of the hub cap remover, and went on my way.
The alarm kept going off every 30 miles as the tire would heat up and gain in pressure.
I'm convinced now that it's the wind. After many, many drives through higher winds, my high pressure alarm will go off on the left or the right inner dually depending on which way the wind is whipping us around.
Every Girls Nightmare – Getting Weighed
I stayed at a rest area that night off the highway to give some relief to the tires from driving all day.
I had driven more than I typically would, changed elevations several times from Lake Tahoe, through the mountains, down into Reno and then up and down through Interstate 80 with the high winds.
Liz and I were both exhausted. My shoulders hurt from more active steering with the wind and gripping the wheel through the mountains.
The next morning I found a CAT scale at Pilot's TravelCenter so Liz could officially be weighed. This was a perfect time to get weighed since the RV was fully moved into, gas tank was full, fresh water was full, and black and grey had some liquids.
We're geeking out again!
CAT Scale Certified RV Weight:
It's very important to know the weight of your vehicle and the maximum carrying load on each axle.
- Front Axel Weight = 4,160 lbs
- Back Axel Weight = 7,980 lbs
- Total Weight = 12,140
Liz is a 2017 Winnebago Spirt, 26 feet, E450 chassis, and shows a maximum weight for each front axel of 5,000 lbs and back axel of 9,600 lbs.
- Front Axel under weight by 840 lbs (5,000 – 4,160)
- Back Axel under weight by 1,620 lbs (9,600 – 7,980)
- Total under weight by 2,460 lbs
I was so glad to see I was under weight since I've been very self conscious of how much weight I'm adding to the RV for fear of being over weight which is not good for your tires.
Tire Pressure Correction
Now that I knew my actual weight for each axel, I set out to the local Les Schwab tire center to adjust the tire pressure in each tire. Michelin has a chart on its website that shows exactly how much your tire pressure should be for your tires based on the weight on each axel.
At Les Schwab, the manager gave me a calculation they use for determining the tire pressure on larger rigs so I did a quick calculation using his method and compared the numbers between that and Michelin's recommendation and it was a perfect match.
I added about 230 lbs to each axel weight to account for fluctuations in weight and now my tires are set at 65 psi on each axel for the cold weight.
Next I had to adjust the tire pressure monitoring system alarm parameters for the low and high alarms based on the new tire pressure.
Headed to Idaho
Well, I'm so glad that's all over and I can keep on traveling while feeling more confident with the tire pressure and that the tires are all doing well.
During the three day trek across from Lake Tahoe, to Nevada, and then up to Idaho, I stayed at rest areas and the truck stops along the way since there wasn't really much out there in between.
It felt pretty safe since there were others in the same situation, traveling as well in their RVs and so many times we were all in the same areas, congregating in the same parking lot.
At my last stop at the Flying J's in Wells, Nevada, before heading into Idaho, I checked all of my fluids, with the help of a retired fire fighter and his family who were also headed the same direction, and topped off the engine oil and windshield wiper fluid. I'm sure he felt certain I needed help when I brought out my little red stool just so I could climb up and check the fluids. I'm a shorty.
I can't wait to see some trees!
This was a long drive between the wind, the dust, and monotony of driving on one highway for so long.
I took off that morning to US 93 North traveling into Twin Falls, Idaho and arrived by the afternoon to do some errands.
I broke the front of my iPhone glass when I dropped it in Nevada so I needed to get it replaced at the local Verizon store.
As always, I look forward to your comments on your own travel experiences.
Overnights & Places Visited
Place: Imlay, Nevada rest area and Wells, Nevada Flying Js
RV Accessibility: No issues since this was just traveling Interstate and US highways and resting in rest areas and truck stops
Cell Phone Signal Strength: Good – Mostly 3-4 bars on Verizon
Park Pass: n/a
City/State: Imlay, Nevada and Wells, Nevada
Video/Audio Equipment Used
Sony A6000 Camera – For most still images and vlogging
Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video
Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.
RV Accessories Used
EEZTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System – An absolute must have if you're RVing so you can monitor your tire pressure and temperature at all times.
Hub Cap Remover – Dual hub cap remover with rubber hammer to put hub cap back on.