RV Recalls

I pulled this information from Passport America Newsletter.

Three manufacturers issued recalls that will affect more than 9,000 RVs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Forest River, which reported a recall of 1,734 Shasta units last week, recalled 5,374 of its 2009-16 Forest River Cherokee and Vengeance RVs due to an insufficient ground wire for the wiring harness supplying power to the trailers’ lights, electric brakes, battery charging and interior 12V fixtures.

With an insufficient ground wire, the wiring harness may overheat, increasing the risk of fire. Additionally, the ground wire failure would result in the loss of the trailer’s external lights and electric brakes.

Forest River will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the trailer wiring harnesses, and upgrade the ground wires, as necessary. The recall is expected to begin Nov. 18.

Owners may contact Forest River’s customer service number at 1-260-593-4005. Forest River’s recall number is 17B-0918-2015-0090.

Keystone RV recalled 3,585 of its 2008-09 Big Sky, Challenger, Everest, Fuzion, Montana and Raptor travel trailers and fifth wheels due to a faulty transfer switch.

The switch, an IOTA ITS-50R, was used in vehicles wired for generator power, may fail when exposed to high electrical loads or elevated temperatures, increasing the risk of fire.

Keystone will notify owners, and dealers will replace the IOTA ITS-50R transfer switch with a different brand transfer switch. The recall is expected to begin today (Oct. 5). Owners may contact Keystone customer service by calling 1-866-425-4369. Keystone’s number for this recall is 15-234.

Spartan Motors is recalling 550 of its 2010-13 Spartan K3 and MM motor home chassis due to a flexible exhaust tube that may tear, allowing hot exhaust to blow against other components or materials.

Spartan will notify owners, and dealers will replace the flexible exhaust tube with an improved one. The recall is expected to begin in September. Owners may contact Spartan customer service at 1-517-543-6400. Spartan’s number for this recall is 15020.

TPMS Part 2

The installation of the TPMS involves, charging the unit (if required), coding the monitors to the location, mounting the monitors and then testing the configuration.  Total time, including reading the manuals was less than an hour.

My monitor came with a full charge.  Otherwise the manual says to plug it in for 15 minutes or so.  Speaking of which, read the manual.  You need to understand what you will be doing before you do it.  Some steps are time sensitive and the unit will reset if you don’t complete them in time.  Don’t worry, once you understand what has to be done, you have plenty of time to do it.

Kit 1

Kit 2

When you get your TPMS it has two sections of parts.  The top layer has the sensors and the monitoring unit.  The lower section has the instructions, mounting brackets, power cords, tools, screws, caps and mounting hardware for the monitor.

Setup is pretty simple.  You lay the sensor (one at a time) next to the monitor, press a button and it maps the sensor to the tire location.  Repeat for all of the tires.  All total this takes maybe 5 minutes.  This is an important step.  Placing a sensor on the wrong tire will give you a false reading.

After the sensors are configured, the system wants you to set up the alarm points.  High and low pressure are first based on each tire location.  This was the hardest section to do for me.  I had no idea what to set the high pressure at.  Low pressure was easy, I set it at 10 lbs below normal pressure.  I ended up looking at the tire side wall and finding the maximum pressure rating for the tire and added 10 lbs.  I left the temperature setting at 158 degrees F which was suggested in the manual.  You also select C or F.

Next you have to mount the sensors on each tire based on where they were recorded.  This takes some time as you also have to secure the sensor once mounted.  Security is an allen set screw.  In my case several of them were not able to be tightened and I had to remove them and put the set screw on the other side.  Each sensor has two locations for the set screw.  Of course Murphy dictated that over half of the set screws where on the wrong side.  You may also want to have a bottle of soap and water to make sure there are no air leaks.  My first tire had to use an extender (which I happen to have had laying around).  Of course the extender was bad and I had to use another one.  Another sensor wasn’t on tight and was leaking a little air.  Without the soap and water that tire would have gone flat.

Tire 1 Installation... problem tire

Tire 1 with the extender.

Tire 2 Installation

Tire 2 no extender needed.

With all of the sensors mounted, turn on the unit and wait, and wait and wait.  It takes about 15 minutes for the monitor to read all of the sensors.  As it finds a sensor it will display the pressure and temperature.  I knew from my pre-trip inspections that it was time to fill a couple of tires.  So I wasn’t surprised to see the tire pressure readings when the system had initialized.  The readings where close to what I got with a tire pressure gauge.   The sensors even showed a difference in temperature from the sun and shade effects.

Alarmed Low Pressure on Trailer

Shows an alarm for low pressure on trailer (different pressure settings)

Monitoring

Shows alarm condition for RV tire.  This was an inside rear tire reading in the shade.

Overall, I am happy with this setup.  It will save me some time on my inspections as well as peace of mind while traveling.  The alarms are hard to see and I will have my wife watch them along with the GPS and other co-pilot tasks.

The one complaint I have is that it takes 15 minutes or so after the unit powers up to find and register all of the tire sensors.  So this will become part of our pre-trip inspection which is done the day before we leave.  I normally check tire pressure prior to pulling out, but with this taking so long, it will be done the day before.

TPMS Installation

Today I received my tire pressure monitoring system from TST.  This article is about the installation process.  I ordered extra tire monitors for the tow dolly.  I did not order monitors for the car.

Part of my pre-departure inspection is to check tire pressure.  I wanted to add the TPMS to make sure we were aware of issues that happen while driving.  Granted I will be able to cut this one step out of the inspection, but the TPMS will add a level of comfort knowing that if there is a problem with the tires we should be made aware of it prior to a major issue.

I chose the TST model for a few reasons.  Our rig came with a TPMS from another company that did not have replaceable batteries and you had to remove them to check the pressure or fill the tires.  I wanted a unit that had replaceable batteries and that you could add air without removing the monitors.  In addition, I wanted to be able to monitor the tire temperature as this is often an indication of a problem before the tire blows.  I ordered my from Amazon as they had the best prices and I am a Prime member so shipping was free.

Continued in next article