Vanagon – cheap wireless tire pressure monitor

You must have seen these around. All the usual suspects sell them and I went for one last summer.

Around 30 bucks, worth the gamble.

It has a wee solar panel and function buttons on top of it and a micro USB port on one side ( kit comes with short micro to standard usb cable). There is a sticky type gel pad on the bottom to keep it in place on your dash, and that works well.

The solar panel keeps the unit charged up, mostly, after an initial charge via USB. I say mostly as the panel couldn’t manage to eek out enough current during a one week period in December. Weather was very dull, days were short.

Buttons on top of unit for setting things up. You can have low and high pressure alarm limits, and low temp alarm. Alarm is beeping and display flashing. The display changes from off to on when it feels movement , ie when I open the drivers door to get in.

The pressure and temp senders replace the tire valve caps. There is an additional locking nut supplied for each sender thats supposed to hinder theft and loosening. Of the senders that is, not the van.

The senders connect to the base unit with no fuss, and I haven’t had any disconnects between the two. Each sender has a button cell powering it, I haven’t replaced any yet. I thought the senders stuck out from wheel more than I’d like, but I haven’t knocked one off yet.

For the first while I was obsessed by watching the pressure and temp during trips. I wanted to see if there were any temperature differences between front and rear wheels during braking on long descents. Maybe I saw a 5-10 degree difference sometimes, but as the senders are sticking out in the airstream I’d say it’s not a good way of monitoring brake temps, but you do find out which side of the parked van the sun is shining on 🙂

All in all I’m pretty pleased with it . It sits on the dash, drivers side corner, not too obtrusive and getting some light for the solar panel.

  1. #1 by oldfussbudget on February 14, 2020 - 9:59 am

    Nice. Are the button cells replaceable? IIRC the ones my brother has on his RV are about thirty bucks *per sender*, and you’d need a lathe and some rebuilding work to change the batteries yourself.

    Did you have to rebalance?

    • #2 by albell on February 14, 2020 - 6:33 pm

      Hey david,

      Yes the button cells replaceable. Can’t tell you the size, I chucked out the instructions and I can’t be bothered to pull one off.

      Did I toss the instructions? I might as well have as I can’t find them. 🙂

      Ab

      >

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