September '20

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122 • RV PRO • September 2020 rv-pro.com Readers' Choice Awards for eight con- secutive years, from 2012 to 2019. Prior to winning the award in 2016, Minder introduced the industry's first smart- phone-based system, the TireMinder Smart TPMS. TireMinder Smart TPMS allows users to monitor RV tires from their smart- phones. The system, which is compatible with iOS and Android devices, monitors tire pressure and temperature every six sec- onds. It pushes emergency alerts to users, and a Bluetooth BLE adapter extends the system's signal range. "The majority of available TPMS use the 433-MHz, low-power device fre- quency," says Pescitelli. "Our Bluetooth BLE adapter takes that frequency, converts it to a Bluetooth signal, and sends the alert to your phone. This way the smartphone can be within 30 feet of the adapter and the transmitters can be 100 feet away from Husband-and-wife team Chuck Fleischer and Debbie Druien achieved success with Minder Research in recent years in part by focusing on the RV market, where they saw a need for TPMS products. The couple is now stepping back from the business, which was acquired by Valterra Products in 2017. Hu Langston, general manager of Valterra's Diamond and Minder divisions, says that Minder is able to offer better price points for customers and better margins for dealers thanks to the company's acquisition by Valterra. the adapter, so it gives a huge range, as opposed to current Bluetooth, which is 30 feet." Users glance at their smartphones to see tire pressure. TireMinder released its A1AS system this year, providing a dedicated display or smartphone compatibility. "With our new TireMinder i10 and A1AS systems, users can see all tire pres- sures at once," Pescitelli says. A red circle appears around a tire that falls outside of normal tire pressures. Low-pressure alerts happen when a tire falls 15 percent below the baseline (cold tire pressure). High-pressure alerts happen when pressure increases to 20 percent above the baseline. High-temperature alerts occur when tires reach and exceed 167 degrees F. "The TireMinder system sets multiple alerts. There is little room for error because it sets alerts automatically," Pescitelli says. "Let's say you have a travel trailer running at 80 psi. The system sets the monitor to check for a baseline pressure of 80 psi. If the TPMS senses the pressure dropped 3 psi or more in two minutes or less, it alerts the user to a rapid leak in pressure. If a tire loses 6 psi in 10 minutes or less, the system alerts users to a slow fall in pressure, and at 167 degrees F and above, users receive a high temperature alert." To increase safety, Minder has included a signal booster in every kit since 2013, as well as a free battery replacement program that been in place since 2010. "One thing TireMinder offers is choice. We have an array of sensors for every type of application," Pescitelli says. "For instance, flow-through transmitters were released this year, weighing only 0.7 ounces ... removing the need to rebalance tires. We also have smartphone systems, dedicated monitor systems, and built-in systems. There is a TireMinder system built for every application, whether it be a heavy-duty commercial vehicle or a 15-foot travel trailer." Building Awareness Pescitelli says Minder doesn't plan to stop its educational efforts until every RV has a TPMS – provided at the RV manu- facturer, dealer or aftermarket level. Minder offers dealers a brand-new shelf display designed to educate consumers about TireMinder products. The 3-foot display, made of heavy-duty PVC, fea- tures a planogram and images of blown or flat tires and the repair issues blowouts can cause. "We worked on this display for eight months and gathered a lot of different feedback," Pescitelli says. "Dealers wanted a heavy-duty display that would not fall apart, and they wanted actual valve stems attached to the display to show off the product. The product attached to the display is hollow so there is no incentive to steal it, but it's made of the same metal." The display is designed to simplify educating others about TPMS. "TPMS can be difficult to educate people about, so we tried to make the dis- play tell the story of why you need TPMS, and the benefits of using our products," says Hu Langston, general manager of Val- terra's Diamond and Minder divisions. In addition to its new display, Minder offers better price points for customers and better margins for dealers, according to Langston, who credits that to the Val- terra acquisition. "Our initial TireMinder system cost $499," he says. "Our new systems – which

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