4 Security Devices To Help You Secure Your RVBy - 06/22/2017
Protecting your RV from theft and burglary can be more difficult than protecting a home. First of all, it’s possible that someone might hitch up your RV and drive away with it. Second, while you’re out exploring, someone might make their way inside and take off with your valuables. Third, RVs are usually on the go, and most systems are designed to protect a home that doesn’t move. While some of our solutions will inherently protect your RV in its entirety, we are going to focus on protecting your contents. Here are four devices/services you can use to secure your RV.
|Starting Price||$399.00||$167.04||$429.99||Requires Old Smartphone or Tablet|
|Alerts||Text and Email||Text and Email||Push and Email||Push and IFTTT|
|Battery Life||20 Hours||10 Hours||4-6 Months||Varies|
|Contract Length||No Contract||No Contract||No Contract||No Contract|
|Move Without Penalty|
|Special Features||Easy, Portable, Tamper-Proof||Option for Professional Monitoring, Optional Camera||HD Camera Based Monitoring, Free Cloud Storage||Free Detection Zone|
|Buy Now||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site||Visit Site|
Tattletale is a unique security device. Popular with property managers and contractors, it’s a system designed to protect temporary spaces and places, like RVs.
Tattletale is a system built around a base unit, a semi-smashproof device whose job is to connect with other pieces of Tattletale equipment. What’s special about the base unit is that it uses a military-grade technology called HALO Advanced Technology. This technology allows the base unit to wirelessly connect to other devices from up to 300 feet away, even through walls. In addition, the base unit can protect your RV on its own thanks to its built-in motion sensor and siren.
If you want to expand your system, Tattletale offers other security devices including indoor and outdoor motion sensors, door sensors, glass break sensors, and smoke sensors.
1. Battery Backup
One feature that makes Tattletale a good choice for RV security is battery backup. The system can run for 20 hours on a single charge.
2. Cellular Technology
Alarm systems need to do more than make noise to be effective. They need to be able to communicate with you or a monitoring center. Tattletale is capable of communicating, and it uses the most widely available and reliable method: a cellular signal.
Tattletale’s cellular technology uses the same type of signal your phone uses to make calls and send texts. It doesn’t need a strong signal either. If your phone has one or two bars, that’s good enough for Tattletale. If it detects an intrusion, it will send an email and text alert.
1. Expensive Equipment
Unfortunately, Tattletale’s impressive features come with a higher price tag. The base station alone sells for $399. If you want to add extra sensors, the price will increase. The cheapest device, the door sensor, costs $30. Indoor motion sensors sell for $60, while the outdoor version sells for $180, and the smoke sensor costs $90.
2. Monthly Fee
On top of an equipment fee, Tattletale requires a monthly fee. Professional monitoring with fire, police, and medical dispatch costs $28.95/month. However, since RVers are always on the go, the $20.95/month subscription plan is perfect. This plan is self-monitored and includes text and email alerts.
3. Lacks CO Detector
Finally, Tattletale lacks one vital element: a CO sensor. The propane you use for cooking might put you in danger, especially if you keep your fuel tanks inside at night. A CO/gas sensor can potentially reduce your risk by detecting poisonous gases early.
If Tattletale is outside your allotted budget, then SimpliSafe might be for you. Unlike Tattletale, SimpliSafe is marketed towards homeowners, but it has features that you can use for RV security. Also, it’s a no contract security system that allows you to pause and start monitoring at any time with a quick phone call.
Like Tattletale, SimpliSafe is built around a base station. It connects with sensors wirelessly, and it also has a built-in siren. However, it lacks built-in motion sensors. If you want sensors to detect motion or protect your doors, those are sold separately.
1. Battery Backup
SimpliSafe’s base station offers battery backup. Take note that SimpliSafe’s battery isn’t designed for on-the-go security. However, it will power the system for around 10 hours.
2. Cellular Technology
Simplisafe also offers cellular technology. They have two versions of their base station: Verizon and T-Mobile. Those who have tried using Simplisafe for RV security recommend using the Verizon model as it offers wider coverage.
3. Low-cost Equipment
SimpliSafe’s equipment is affordable. Their basic package costs $234.99, which includes the base station, a keypad, a key fob, a motion sensor, and a door/window sensor.
1. Monthly Fee
The use of a SimpliSafe system will incur a monthly fee. While you can use SimpliSafe without a subscription, we don’t recommend it. In this case, if there’s an intruder, the siren will sound. That’s it. What we recommend for RV security is the Standard plan ($14.99) + $5/month for email and text alerts. However, take note that the Standard plan includes professional monitoring. If your alarm sounds, the monitoring center will dispatch help to your location. For RV owners, this pro is also a con. Everytime you move, you’ll have to call SimpliSafe to update your address. This becomes even more complicated when you consider that certain municipalities require your alarm to be registered. We recommend you simply ask SimpliSafe to stop sending dispatch. You’ll still receive cellular backup, as well as text and email alerts.
Installing a security system in your RV is one thing, but adding a security camera is another.
One of the security cameras that can work in an RV is Arlo Go. Arlo Go is a wireless camera from Netgear. It records and streams in HD 720p, it has a wide-angle lens (130 degrees), and it offers night vision.
One reason why I recommend Arlo Go is its battery life. The estimated battery life is somewhere between 4 and 6 months, although the actual battery life will depend upon your usage and other external factors such as weather. (Cold weather = faster drain)
2. Optional Solar Power
If you don’t have time to recharge the camera every few months, you can purchase an $80 solar panel from Arlo. The solar panel is designed specifically for Arlo Go and Arlo Pro. You can mount it on your RV’s roof and use the 6-foot cable to plug the camera in. With it, you won’t need to charge your Arlo Go so long as the panel is exposed to a few hours of sunlight every day.
Arlo Go is also perfect for people on the go thanks to a built-in 4G feature. Modern security cameras need access to the internet to upload and stream videos. Arlo Go is no different, but it’s unique in that it uses 4G instead of Wi-Fi. Arlo Go cameras ship with an activated Verizon SIM card.
4. Free Storage
Finally, Arlo Go offers 7 days of free cloud storage. If your camping, we hope that you’re out living and not sitting around monitoring your camera’s feed. If you’re away for a day or two, no worries, you can check all recorded events when you get back.
In addition to cloud storage, Arlo Go has a microSD card slot for local storage.
1. Monthly Fee
Unfortunately, having 4G technology means Arlo Go uses data, and data isn’t free. The good news is that you can choose how much data it can use. For $4.99/month, Arlo Go can upload one 30-second clip to the cloud per day. For $22.99/month, it can upload eight 30-second clips a day. For $32.99, it can upload fifteen 30-second clips a day. Alternatively, you can add the camera to your Verizon plan. This option requires that you pay an access line charge and share your cellular data with the camera.
Another downside of Arlo Go is its price. It costs $429.99 or $349.99 if you’re willing to sign a two-year contract with Verizon.
If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a camera, there’s another option: Manything.
Manything is an app that turns old smartphones into security cameras. All you need to do is download the Manything app to your old and current smartphone and follow the setup process.
Manything is a free app, and the service is mostly free as well. And since you’ll be using a spare smartphone, you won’t have to buy new hardware.
2. Smart Detection
Aside from streaming videos, Manything can also use your phone’s camera to detect motion. Furthermore, Manything supports motion detection zones for free.
1. Premier Features Cost Money
Manything’s premium features aren’t free. The paid plans unlock features such as the ability to use multiple cameras and cloud recording. The plans start at $2.99/month and go up to $19.99/month.
2. You’ll Need 3G/4G Data
3G/4G is a pro for Arlo Go, but not for Manything. Arlo Go is designed to run on 3G/4G 24/7. Your old smartphone is not. Have you noticed that your phone quickly heats up when cellular data is turned on for extended periods? Have you also noticed that it drains the battery faster? If you want to use Manything on-the-go, you’ll need to use your phone’s cellular data to stream and upload videos which means you’ll need an active data plan. This also means your phone’s battery will drain faster.
Your RV is your home away from home, so RV security is a matter that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That said, I recommend multiple levels of security. One, you need a security system. Your options are Tattletale and SimpliSafe. Two, I recommend getting a security camera. Arlo Go is my top pick, but if you want to give Manything a try, go for it. You can also try to strategically place a dashcam. Finally, if you have something specific in mind that you want to protect, check out Smart Cube, a smart lock for almost anything. What are you currently using to protect your RV?