Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We tow a Saturn behind our Class C motorhome. I think we should have some type of alarm system or indicator to warn us if a tire goes flat on the Saturn. While driving I can't see or feel the car. It only weighs 2400 lbs. I know my husband can't see it either, but he refuses to look into a system that will give us some warning if a tire goes flat. He says they cost too much and that he would be able to tell if we had a problem. I don't agree and I don't want to find out the hard way. Can you tell me how to pound some sense into him?
Flat Out Nervous in New Orleans
Dear Flat Out:
There are systems that work on tire pressure sensors. A lot of rigs come standard now with backup cameras for visual monitoring. Many people still do not have any way of monitoring their towed vehicle. I agree it is rolling the dice. I can tell you from my wife's experience that your husband will not be able to tell when and if the car has a flat. While I was doing a long hike through the mountains, my wife drove the motorhome ahead a couple hundred miles to meet me. She was crossing 30 miles in Idaho on a well graded gravel road. She was following her sister's van. Near their destination, her sister decided to let my wife take the lead. Once behind our rig she noticed the car looked odd and seemed to be dragging to the right. By the time my wife knew she had a problem, the tire was gone, the aluminum wheel was almost worn away, the strut was bent, and the alignment shot. I can tell you that the cost of all those items would buy you a pretty nice system. When I first started towing a car behind the motorhome, I could hardly tell it was there.
I would tell my daughter, "Go look out the back window and see if we still have a car, I haven't seen it in awhile." Out of sight, out of mind works, but only if you never look.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink