Bailey Unicorn III models have an added safety feature, tyre pressure monitoring, fitted as standard across all third generation Unicorn models.
Each Unicorn is supplied “TyrePal TPMS Ready”; internal sensors are fitted inside the wheels at the point of caravan manufacture.
TyrePal TPMS is a method of monitoring tyre pressures and temperature whilst driving. Owners have the option of purchasing a TyrePal TC215 monitor for £90 that checks the pressure and temperatures every few seconds and if a safety issue arises, such as low or high tyre pressure or high tyre temperature, the vehicle’s driver receives a visual and audible warning from the freestanding monitor in the vehicle.
This warning alerts the driver that it’s time to take remedial action, like an elected stop to change a wheel, an easier option than suffering a blow-out and putting the car, passengers and caravan as well as other road users or pedestrians at risk of harm.
A blow-out is, in the vast majority of cases, the end result of an earlier incident like a simple puncture caused by a nail or a screw which causes the tyre to begin to deflate, and the increased friction on the road causes the tyre temperature to rise, the tyre wall weakens and the outcome is the dreaded blow-out which can lead to loss of control of the vehicle.
Many factors are involved with safe towing; the correct caravan and car match, weight distribution within the caravan, wheel balancing, the quality of the tyres and tyre pressures. A correctly inflated tyre wears its tread evenly whilst low tyre pressure reduces grip on the road, reduces the ability to corner safely, increases braking distance and increases fuel consumption.
TPMS can also be used on a car or motorhome or when towing a car behind a motorhome. New legislation came into force on November 1st 2014 whereby all new cars sold in the EU must have tyre pressure monitoring fitted; the legislation doesn’t however actually apply to caravans or motorhomes.
As a retro-fit, TyrePal TPMS comes as a kit which contains the monitor and a number of small lightweight wireless sensors, one for each wheel; four for the tow vehicle and two for a caravan not equipped with TyrePal TPMS (four for a twin axle model) The wireless monitor is charged using the 12V cigarette lighter socket and will last around 30 hours.
Internal sensor fitted to wheel
Full instructions are with the kit, but in simple terms the sensors are fitted to correctly inflated tyres, in place of the dust caps, then switch on the monitor and depress the code button. Next screw on the sensors in order to register each one to a wheel. Once the installation is complete various alert settings can be programmed into the monitor. The system also incorporates a link button which allows you to connect and disconnect the caravan sensors.
What price do you put on safety? TyrePal TC215B kits start at £135 for two sensors and the system can monitor up to 22 wheels.
In use on the road the monitor will continuously display the pressure, temperature and location of each of the tyres in succession and gives audible and visible alerts in the event of:
- Air loss (puncture etc)
- Low pressure
- High pressure
- High temperature
Visit the Tyre Pal website for more information.
Details and prices correct at time of publication (April 2015) but may be subject to change.