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Mike 04-29-2009 04:04 AM

STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
I did several forum searches and could only find one person mention a Black Widow
alarm system and I can only assume it's in addition to whatever the van
manufacturer installed - is this a concern for anyone besides me?
The last thing anyone wants is to make camp and leave your rig for a while,
taking a walk, hitting the beach, riding your bikes, and upon return,
find that you've been robbed, and they broke something to get inside.
So, do you have any sort of alarm system to let you know when/if you're being robbed?
Do you know if there are any RV specific alarms out there?
Ever considered it? We were thinking if we were somewhere near a beach say,
but we had to leave the van in the c/g to go there it would be an easy target.
In camp, who really knows who should be entering your van if you're not nearby.
I wonder if there's a noisy or silent alarm system with a transmitter and a
fob/pager you can carry with you?
We're trusting about some stuff, but not when everything of value has to be
left unguarded in your van at your campsite.
Some people have safes installed, but I think they're more of an incentive to
try harder to steal what ever might be in it.

Any ideas/comments/suggestions anyone?
Have you already purchased an OEM alarm system for your van?
If so, has it ever been tested and did it do the job?

Mike.

Hallibagger 04-29-2009 11:27 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Hi Mike,
The only ones I have seen are the typical traveller's alarms for use in motels and hotel rooms with a motion detector to activate them. They seem to have about a 100 decibel alarm which is battery powered. Costs run from the $30 -50 area.

One of those would be OK if you could also make it blow your vehicle horn too. It should not be too difficult to take the activation signal to close a relay in the horn circuit.

Surely those motor mansions must have a built-in system.

Interesting! :thumbup:

Mike 05-01-2009 04:00 AM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Hi Deryck,
I''d actually seen a portable/standalone I/R motion detecting alarm at a few home reno stores around town.
I was thinking the shrill screech might be enough to scare off any would be thieves, but then they've already
broken something to get far enough to set one off, so I don't know how useful that would be.
I recall a friend had a sports car with a proximity detector that verbally warned you that "you are too close
to the vehicle, please step back" or some such warning 3 times, before it would start howling in multiple
alarm patterns. Maybe that's the sort of thing I'd be interested in but I'd imagine it would be $$$$$$.
I guess the object of the game is deter thieves before they break the window or lock which may cost
more to fix than the objects taken. We don't normally leave anything valuable inside when we leave it,
even for a pit stop or food.
I guess most folks aren't too concerned about it, or figure that's what insurance is for?

re: Motor mansions - I hope they come with an armed security guard, for that kind of money.

If I come up with anything interesting, I'll post it up.

Mike.

RSRV 06-04-2009 03:21 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
I have a Viper 5701 with remote start on a 2009 2500 conversion it works up to a half mile. will page you if someone even bangs on your vehical with there hand.Have had no problems with the alarm or remote start

Mike 06-05-2009 12:55 AM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Did you install it yourself? What sort of price would I be looking at?
What part of the continent are you in? I'm in Ontario, Canada.
Would there be some place near me that might have the system you mention?

RSRV 06-05-2009 12:19 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
My van is a 2009 sptinter Diesel it was installed in Elkart In. it cost me $550.00 compleate with the auto start and one 2 way remote and one 1 way remote The 2 way remote will page you if someone trys to breake in.

Mike 06-05-2009 01:17 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Thanks for the info. We may be in that neck of the woods before year's end, and
might have to have a look into them. I like the proximity or contact reaction, and the
remote pager sounds like what I'm looking for.
When it pages you after someone/something hits or makes contact with your van,
does it page you silently first, then set off the audible alarm if there's an intrusion?
Does contact anywhere on the surface initiate a page to the remote?
How much of a touch triggers the system? What's the contact sensitivity like?
Would a bird landing on it, or a tree branch brushing against it set it off?

Again, thanks for the info.

arrveedogz 08-18-2009 02:25 AM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
A DIY alarm system requiring only two wires to hookup. Does this seem too simple to be true? And too cheap to be worth anything?

https://paylessall.com/cart/brand-new...tem-p-757.html


Dan F.

Mike 08-18-2009 01:31 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
I'd say "yes" and "probably".
The install is probably a lot more complicated to be diy possible.
It does seem a bit inexpensive to be able to do what it says.
RSRV said he/she paid $550 for an installed system in a Sprinter, and I'd imagined
that to be about what I'd expect to pay for a good system with remote options.
I may have a look round Elkhart later this year when we're on our way out west.
I'm also planning to visit Jensen/ASA while I'm there to see what they've got in the way of 12V LCD TVs.

Mike 03-02-2010 01:26 AM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
I also posted this mini-saga in the "Security" thread, that another forum member posted
more recently. It was in response to a question about security and auto-alarms, and resulted
from his need for some sort of noisy alarm system, with remote notification of a break in.
I had a NuStart NUAS 8000 installed today in my van. It satisfies both of his requirements.
It went a s follows......

Ok, I lied. :crazy: So shoot me! :clap:
I just got the NuStart NUAS 8000 remote starter and alarm system today.
I went with it because I spotted it on sale at Best Buy (it's their other major alarm/starter company).
Got it installed, along with an extra (required to work the door locks with the factory system) module,
and all labour, for just under $500 including taxes. Not all vehicles need the extra door lock module.
The alarm by itself, including installation was on for $299.99 + tax.

The Viper 5901 would have also required the door lock module ($89 + $49 extra to install),
so it would have come in closer to $750 installed.
Both starter/alarms do about the same thing, according to my extensive, but unscientific research,
so it came down to price.

The NuStart (which is actually a Compustar rebranded) uses the existing factory on board computer
to sense and watch the doors, and has a "bump" sensor which is user adjustable to the point where
it'll trigger when the wind blows, or you can disable it for sleeping, and just leave the doors armed.
It comes with one of those funky sirens that does impressions of any number of emergency vehicles.
It has (most importantly) Valet mode which keeps the unsuspecting service man from starting the
engine, or triggering the alarm while doing whatever other vehicle maintenance might be required
from time to time. It also has several shutdowns which disables only the engine start function,
including a hidden under hood switch, so your mechanic doesn't fire up the engine, while up to his elbows.
It comes with one 2 way LCD remote, and one 1 way "dumb" manual remote. The 2 way has a small screen
with numerous status indicators in text and symbols to tell you what's happening with your RV, when
you're not in it. If something happens while you're elsewhere, the LCD remote starts chiming.
The display shows the type of event by symbols that indicate a "contact" problem, or a door opened.
They both have a published range of 5,000 feet, under optimal conditions. I'll let you know
about that after a few weeks. It's an FM send/receive, so it should probably be pretty decent. If it
works up to 2500 feet, I'd be satisfied.

The installation took 2 installers the better part of 6 hours to complete, including several support
calls to the manufacturer to resolve various vehicle specific issues. :shock:
I think it has to be a professional installation, as they had the van plugged in to an external computer
to get the software in the NUAS 8000 brain to talk to and work with the Chev on board brain.
The good news is it seems to be working as designed.
I left the box with the serial information at Best Buy (I was tired and in a hurry to get home, after
all day at the mall) and still have to get the installer to show me a couple of things, but the basics
are described pretty well in the manual. Just a bit of reading tonight, and a return trip to Best Buy
tomorrow.

So, so far, so good. If there are any other significant events worth noting, I'll update this thread.
I hope this helps anyone considering adding a non-factory starter/alarm system.
Any other questions, please ask here, or PM me.

visionquest 03-09-2010 04:06 AM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
I appreciate this info Mike! We are going to have an alarm system installed in a week or two, so we need to get it narrowed down some. We have been shopping locally and finding mostly Viper brand systems that the stereo shops are selling. They are claiming a mile and a half range on the key fobs though which sounds really good, we'll see. We are likely going to drive down to Silverdale which is an hour and a half from us to get it done. There should be more options that way, including the Best Buy.

I will let you know what we end up with. We are looking in a similar price range (under $700 installed)

-Mike
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"
https://vantramps.blogspot.com

Mike 03-09-2010 12:50 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by arrveedogz
A DIY alarm system requiring only two wires to hookup. Does this seem too simple to be true? And too cheap to be worth anything?

https://paylessall.com/cart/brand-new...tem-p-757.html


Dan F.

Hi again Dan,
I was just browsing this thread for an update and realized again that the price seemed a bit low,
but 2 wires might be enough to install a functional alarm system. I was under the impression
(incorrectly) that alarms needed door contacts and wires to protect the vehicle. Wrong!!! :roll:

I found out by witnessing my installation, that all the techs really needed was some sort
of laptop, like the car dealerships use to diagnose problems, to install the software "wires, contacts,
and switches". I think my alarm has 5-6 wires, one connects the alarm/starter brain to the vehicle
brain for power and access to the ignition circuitry, one with the manual shock sensor unit and
adjustment (hidden), one to the siren, one to the transmit/receive antenna, one to the flashing
blue "alarm armed" indicator LED, and one for the hidden "valet mode" starter kill cutoff switch
which is a safety feature to keep Joe Mechanic from accidentally triggering the starter while under
the hood.
It appears that most new alarms use the vehicle's door sensors and locking indicators to signal the
alarm system. As the info on the system you linked to states, - "The current sensor activates the
alarm immediately when a door, trunk or hood is opened (if these opening trigger a light) while
First Defense is armed ". That's how these newer systems work, by piggy-backing off the OEM
computer and wiring. Until last week, I did not know that. :(
So, while the 400 foot range might indicate it's an older AM band or model and that's why the price
is lower, and it doesn't have remote starting functions which adds cost, I think it might possible with
2 wires, if you don't count the siren/antenna/LED blue light/starter defeat (optional), and a bit of
OEM computer tweaking. Also, as part of my more recent research, Directed Electronics owns Viper,
so it's probably not a bad system.

If you've already figured this out, apologies.
Standing corrected, :shock:
Mike.

Mike 03-09-2010 01:28 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by visionquest
I appreciate this info Mike! We are going to have an alarm system installed in a week or two, so we need to get it narrowed down some. We have been shopping locally and finding mostly Viper brand systems that the stereo shops are selling. They are claiming a mile and a half range on the key fobs though which sounds really good, we'll see. We are likely going to drive down to Silverdale which is an hour and a half from us to get it done. There should be more options that way, including the Best Buy.

I will let you know what we end up with. We are looking in a similar price range (under $700 installed)

-Mike
97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"
https://vantramps.blogspot.com

The Viper 5901 and the NuStart 8000 (which I chose for price) were the best systems I could find up
here, and both advertise 5000 foot transmit/receive range to the fobs under perfect conditions.
I believe they both use FM band signals so I expect/hope the range will be better than half the claim.
I've fiddled with the shock sensing, and we live on a busy road with more than enough heavy truck
traffic going by, and it notified the remote fob a couple of times, due to roadway vibration.
So it does work!!
I would imagine that you'll get an even better system in the USA than I got up here, just based on
my experience that you guys "get all the cool new toys" before we do. :wink:
Good luck, and post up your experince when you can.

Mike 03-17-2010 02:23 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Just an update. I'm having a remote starter problem with the NuStart system.

If I remote start the van, and let it run through it's warm up cycle (default is
15 minutes), when I then go out and try to start the van with my keys, the battery
is dead. If I don't use the remote starter first, I have no problems.

I've been in touch with Staub/NuStart and they think the installers connected
the thing to the wrong ignition circuit. I have it scheduled in on Friday for follow up
and corrective service at Best Buy.

Mike 03-17-2010 11:27 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Not wishing to wait until Friday, I contacted Best Buy and told them
what Staub had told me they thought it was. I pressured them a bit to look at
it before Friday, and I took it in this afternoon and they fixed it by adding a
second relay to activate the alternator's charging of the battery from the alarm/starter's
brain. It was a brown wire they couldn't see on any NuStart wiring charts, and so they
didn't check to see what it did. It is the 2nd ignition wire, and it controls alternator charging.
If anyone else has one of these systems installed, on a Chevy chassis,
be aware there are two ignition circuits, and the brown wire needs activation, as well as
the white/pink wires.

Happy ending (I hope). :roll:

Mike 03-17-2010 11:28 PM

Re: STOP!!!! THIEF!!!! RV Alarm Systems
 
Not wishing to wait until Friday, I contacted Best Buy and told them
what Staub had told me they thought it was. I pressured them a bit to look at
it before Friday, and I took it in this afternoon and they fixed it by adding a
second relay to activate the alternator's charging of the battery from the alarm/starter's
brain. It was a brown wire they couldn't see on any NuStart wiring charts, and so they
didn't check to see what it did. It is the 2nd accessory wire, and it controls the alternator's
charging of batteries, among possibly other circuits.
If anyone else has one of these systems installed, on a Chevy chassis, be aware there are
two accessory circuits, and the brown wire should also be activated by the alarm brain.

Happy ending (I hope). :roll:

JKatfish 09-15-2015 06:24 PM

I know this is a very old thread, but what if any cheap alarms are owners of B coaches using. With all the newer wifi technology and all the electronic "toys" we all have, I'm a bit more concerned about theft in the cities. Using a B to go shopping or restaurants may make it tempting for thieves since they consider as someone's home and may have stuff they want. Any alarm just to scare them away would help, or with wifi tracking is nice. Being careful is the first line of defense, but it's good to have a backup.

avanti 09-15-2015 07:14 PM

I just finished a self-install of a Viper 5706V, which has a 2-way remote with an "up to" 1-mile range. Perfect for campground and while shopping/eating. I installed it in our Sprinter using a DBALL2 CANBUS interface, which makes it extremely easy. Only four wires connected to the Sprinter (Power, GND, CAN-HIGH and CAN-LOW). This gives you a fully-integrated alarm that sees all door and ignition events, controls lights and door locks, and fully-supports the OEM key fob buttons. Total cost $235 from eBay including the Sprinter-specific programming of the DBALL. Install is easy. I am pleased.

I posted the details of over at Sprinter-Source:

2014 Great West Vans Legend SE - Page 12 - Sprinter-Forum

If anybody needs this information posted here, let me know.

SiennaGuy 09-15-2015 07:24 PM

IMHO, vehicle alarm systems generally have two problems.

1. Because they tend to have so many false alarms, most people who pass by ignore their sirens, horns, or whatever.

2. The noise that they make is only outside the vehicle.

With an RV, I think that it would be a good idea to mount a siren inside, in addition to having one outside. If a burglar has gotten inside, a loud and annoying siren in their ears would make them leave quickly without digging through your things for very long.

An ideal system should also alert your smart phone. That way you can call the police (or park ranger) and meet them back at your RV.

avanti 09-15-2015 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SiennaGuy (Post 32954)
With an RV, I think that it would be a good idea to mount a siren inside,

That is exactly what I did! For the reasons you state, the outside alarm is all but useless. Inside, it is brutal. I also intend to install a very bright strobe-light inside.
Quote:

An ideal system should also alert your smart phone. That way you can call the police (or park ranger) and meet them back at your RV.
The next Viper up can do that. The trouble is that you end up paying a monthly charge. The one-mile 2-way remote has no recurring cost and covers most common scenarios, at least for us.

Bruceper 09-15-2015 10:41 PM

I would also suggest an ignition immobilizer that is certified by your insurance company.

Yes it would be bad to have your stuff stolen. But worse to have your whole rig stolen.

Mike 09-16-2015 03:28 AM

Another "outside the box" option might be a home security system like the wireless GSM system from Fortress Security Store. They have a fairly decent selection of sensing methods including PIR motion, glass break, and standard door/window contacts, and some extremely painful sirens with strobes built in. It can't use the vehicle's ECM for breach control but that isn't necessarily a show stopper. It uses a standard SIM card which you supply and when triggered can call or SMS up to 3 phone numbers that you choose and program. I'm using a low cost year long airtime expiry SIM supplier in my home system. The system brain and sirens are powered by 120VAC with long duration battery backup and all the sensors and sirens are wireless and battery powered. Makes mounting location choices more flexible.
I have a typical car alarm similar to Avantis, but if I had to do it again I would consider this somewhat off the wall option. If you want to get notified on your smartphone this does it. Some arm/disarm and live dial in and listen and talk functions are also available via your smartphone too. It's all password protected at 2 levels so it's a pretty secure setup.
Just a thought.

mlts22 09-16-2015 09:57 PM

Back in the 1990s, there were inside sirens that were part of various alarm setups. So far, the best alarm I've seen was one called the Dragon.

It would spew pink fog when the alarm went off and flashed a strobe light. Can't see the stuff in the vehicle, can't steal it, and a car spewing smoke is a lot more interesting to bystanders than an alarm sounding.

SiennaGuy 09-19-2015 08:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mlts22 (Post 32993)
Back in the 1990s, there were inside sirens that were part of various alarm setups. So far, the best alarm I've seen was one called the Dragon.

It would spew pink fog when the alarm went off and flashed a strobe light. Can't see the stuff in the vehicle, can't steal it, and a car spewing smoke is a lot more interesting to bystanders than an alarm sounding.

I remember these systems. I'm sure that they'd work well in an RV but I'd have some concerns about an RV's wooden cabinetry. You'd probably have to pick one that put out the driest, non-oily fog. In any case, I did some Googling and could only find a few systems available. I seem to remember more being available. Here's what I found. I have no idea about the quality/reliability of any of these.

Smoke Machines Pea Soup (British company--Contact them for info about delivery in the U.S.)
12V DC Car Security Smoke Screen

Fog Machines (British company--Contact them for info about delivery in the U.S.)
Fog Machines - Buy Car Security Fog Machine System

Defender (Florida--Also carries a Xenon Strobe Light and a Sound Barrier)
Defender | Concept Smoke Screen

mlts22 09-21-2015 04:18 AM

There are two facets to auto crime. One are people who want to steal the vehicle. The other is people who want to grab contents of the vehicle.

Here in Texas, BOV (burglary of a vehicle) is a common crime. It is a high misdemeanor, but from what I learned in criminal justice, it just means the crook spends a night in the clink and then gets booted because the bed space is needed for a DWI or someone who had a joint. Most of the time, the police will come, look around, give a report number for insurance, and that will be that. The big issue is that insurance usually won't cover an item, or will have such a high deductible that it isn't worth it.

Actual theft of a new vehicle is relatively rare, unless someone left a key to the vehicle somewhere in it.

For additional protection against vehicle theft, I'd see if I could put a kill switch on the fuel pump's power, making 100% sure it isn't going to cut any CANBus leads. This way, the bad guy gets the vehicle started, it gets in the street, stalls, and now the crook has to get out of the vehicle while people are honking behind them and create a major scene with tons of witnesses.

For protection against theft of items, alarms don't do much other than the fog/strobes mentioned above, because people are so used to ignoring car alarms. The two choices people have for items are a strongbox or a hidden compartment. So far, the best I've seen for securing a laptop is the vertical strongbox that Davydd has. Barring that, having a metal shop fab one to custom dimensions with a Simplex 9600 lock, and have that bolted down to something sturdy (something crowbar and long screwdriver resistant) will be good enough. We are talking meth-heads here who will bang at the lock a bit, as opposed to professional safecrackers. Hidden compartments work as well, but a "B" tends to have the fewest of any RV type just due to size.

B Eventually 09-21-2015 05:27 PM

Does anyone manufacture an alarm with the option of a customized recording? Something like "You thieving piece of ****, get the hell out of my RV right now. Can you believe this people, this jerk is breaking into my vehicle. Could someone please record this on your phone?!" loudly blaring inside and outside of the RV might by unusual enough to get the thief's and bystanders' attention. This approach probably runs the risk of ticking off the thief which might result in extra damage....

mlts22 09-21-2015 08:59 PM

There are alarms that do that. I think BMW has an alarm that has a recorded voice of someone shouting, "Unauthorized entry" or some brain-dead stuff like that.

When I was in college, there was a psychology experiment about what recorded shouts would get people to bother to look at a car being broken into. Shouts of "rape" caused people to quietly leave the area. However, a recorded voice shouting "Fire!" or "Its gonna explode!" brought crowds.

avanti 09-21-2015 09:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
eBay is full of cheap little sound recording boards from Asia that you could trigger from most any alarm. Random example:

Attachment 2820

SiennaGuy 09-21-2015 09:23 PM

There was such an alarm, the ScyTek SR-MP3. To use it, you had to use some very unreliable software that only ran in Windows 2000 or XP. ScyTek also had another version that ran in Windows Vista. There are a few online retailers that still carry it. I just remember the complaints about the software. I haven't found any others that play a customizable sound. They may be out there, but I haven't seen them.

I've always want an alarm that played "It's a Small World After All" over and over inside the vehicle. The thief would leave ASAP!

islandrog 04-15-2016 05:28 AM

Has anyone tried this in their RV?
https://www.tattletale.com/personal-device.php

gcvt 04-15-2016 07:33 AM

Recently had a Ravelco Anti Theft Device installed in my Sportsmobile, but always looking for extra security measures.

SiennaGuy 04-15-2016 12:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by islandrog (Post 43431)
Has anyone tried this in their RV?
https://www.tattletale.com/personal-device.php

Security has been on my mind lately, so I've done a lot of research. My major concern with all of them is Internet access. Many of us have camped in places without a cell connection and several systems rely on making a cell call to you and/or the authorities. I've kept my eye out for systems that can send a text message out. Sometimes when I couldn't make a cell call in a remote campground, I could get and send text messages. I've also thought about the possibility that the intruder might be a bear or other animal and not a human thief. You should have the option to call the cops or not. If the problem is a raccoon, waking the police up in the middle of the night might not be a good idea. I tend not to like systems that have elaborate keypad controlled command centers, so I ignored those. I haven't finished doing my homework, but here's the preliminary report. Opinions are mine and are subject to change and I haven't tried any of them yet.

The Tattletale: The best part of it is that it's portable, and that if a thief tampers with it, it supposedly won't disable it. I don't know how they do that and I assume that it's proprietary information. They call it "Rattlesnake Technology" and they have something about it on their site:
https://www.tattletale.com/blog/porta...ke-technology/
The Tattletale can send out a text and/or an email to alert you. More details are here: https://www.tattletale.com

The Canary: The Wendlands (the Roadtreking.com folks) use a similar portable device, the Canary. I can't find info about how tamper-proof the Canary is, but here's what the Wendlands have to say about it:
https://roadtreking.com/canary/
The Canary will send you HD video and you can remotely sound the alarm (again relying on a cell connection). Here's the Canary website: https://canary.is/

The Piper: It's activated by sound or motion and like the Canary, has a camera. It will send you your choice of email, text message, phone call or a push notification. It also has two-way audio, so if there's a burglar, you can activate a very loud siren (relying, once more, on a cell connection). I couldn't find info on how tamper-proof the unit is. More info at: https://getpiper.com

The Scout system: It's not portable, but the system looks pretty good. I especially like the fact that their sensors aren't the usual white plastic that sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm not sure, but their sensors look like they can be mounted just inside the storage compartments to protect those areas, as well. It can connect to the Internet on its own, so even if the home or RV Internet connection is down, it can let you know that something's wrong. Again, that all depends on the RV being parked where there's a cellular connection. https://www.scoutalarm.com

For general info on DIY systems: Here's a good article that reviews these DIY alarm systems and others. Not all of them can be used in an RV, however, because of the lack of permanent AC power, but the article is here: https://www.techlicious.com/guide/do-...urity-systems/

Other options: There are tiny, battery powered, wireless hidden cameras that have DVRs in them that would be perfect inside an RV. Some are triggered by motion and others are triggered by infrared heat coming from the intruder's body. Having video of a break-in might mean fewer arguments with your insurance company and might help the police find the SOBs. My gut says that the ones that include a time and date stamp on the video might provide stronger evidence but I'm not an attorney or a cop. In any case, you can get these hidden cameras built into tissue boxes, clock radios, fake AC wall outlets, wall mirrors, smoke alarms and all sorts of other common household items. You can even get just the tiny surveillance camera to put into whatever you want. The key thing with all of these is internal battery standby time. The better ones I've seen can last up to six months on battery standby, waiting for a thief. There are some that can connect to a wi-fi system but the advantage with all of them is that the video stays on the DVR and isn't reliant on a cell connection to record. You therefore want one with as much storage as possible.

The best sites to look for hidden cameras, IMHO, are Spytec (https://www.spytecinc.com) and Brickhouse Security (https://www.brickhousesecurity.com). I've found these sites to be easy to navigate and they have clear explanations of the items that they offer. Spytec has a live chat feature that allows you to get your questions answered right away. The folks that I've chatted with have been very knowledgeable.

Tracking a stolen vehicle: Last but not least, if someone decides to take your entire vehicle, either by hot-wiring it or by towing it away, it would be nice to at least know where it's been taken. There's a device called the PocketFinder 3G GPS Vehicle Tracker just for that. What makes it different is that it can track vehicles not just in the US, but in Canada and Mexico, as well. All of the others I found covered only the US. It connects to the chassis battery and can communicate via the Internet with a computer or smart phone. I assume that a stolen vehicle would be taken, at some point, to a major street or highway, so I'm not so concerned about a cell connection with this device. You can also use the PocketFinder to let your friends and relatives know where you are. There may be other similar devices out there, but I haven't found them yet. Here's the company's site: https://pocketfinder.com/gpsvehicletracker/
Amazon carries it:
https://www.amazon.com/PocketFinder-C...9926616&sr=8-3

Mike 04-15-2016 02:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by islandrog (Post 43431)
Has anyone tried this in their RV?
https://www.tattletale.com/personal-device.php

Looks similar to, albeit maybe a bit more portable than, the Fortress Security Store home alarm option I mentioned a while back in this thread. The issue with these GSM ready systems being cell tower access, when set up to call/email/SMS you in the event of a break and enter event.
That said, it might be a good option (depending on the price of these things?) in combination with a more typical car/auto alarm system with a loud siren for deterrence, when you're within range of the alarm 2-way fob, like the NuStart remote start/alarm system. I have one installed in my Roadtrek. Works well within it's limits.
I have experience with both of these systems, and as long as you're within around 2500 feet of the vehicle, the Nustart 2-way fob alarm/remote notification works well. If you're going to be farther from the vehicle, a GSM ready system with auto-dial or auto-SMS or email options would be your only option, assuming cell service was also available. When I added my Nustart system to my Roadtrek, it was around $500 (including the remote start feature) installed by Geek Squad/Best Buy. That was a while back. No idea what it would cost now.
How much is a basic Tattletale system? Looks like the base unit itself would suffice, based on some youtube demo videos I've just browsed.

avanti 04-15-2016 02:50 PM

2 Attachment(s)
As reported above, I self-installed a typical Viper car alarm. In addition to normal "door open" triggers, it has vibration and "warn-away" motion sensors. I picked that particular unit precisely because it has long-range (up to a mile) communications with its fob without requiring a cellular connection (which we rarely have).

The reason I am repeating myself is that I am currently working on a nice upgrade:
I recently installed one of those 360-degree "bird view" camera systems that uses four cameras to synthesize a "top-down" view of the area around the vehicle:

Attachment 3340

Attachment 3341

You can get these systems from Asia for less than $250. Mine works really well.

The main reason I did this was that these systems can continuously record while driving--I got tired of bogus traffic tickets. What I am working on now is connecting it to the alarm system so that it automatically starts recording whenever the alarm or "warn-away" triggers. I think this will be about as thorough system as can readily be achieved, at least without requiring a cell signal.

booster 04-15-2016 03:03 PM

Interesting camera setup, mini satellite view:)

What kind of bogus tickets would this show? Around here it is mostly no turn signal stuff they use to stop you. Would the camera show if the turn signal was used?

Mike 04-15-2016 03:54 PM

Agreed on the multi-directional surveillance setup. Very nice. I think it would definitely give a better 360 view of the complete traffic situation during any incidents while moving, good or bad. Better than the typical dash cam setup used by truckers and people who drive a lot in bad traffic (read as bad drivers :rolleyes: ). Only sees what the camera is pointed at.
Is your 4 way camera device hidden on top of your van somehow? Could I simply throw a cardboard box or some other nearby object over it, and defeat it's functionality?
btw, I underestimated the range of the NuStart 2-way notification system I have. It's rated up to 1 mile, like your Viper, assuming a clear line of sight transmission pathway. These things do tend to be overrated by the manufacturers, based on laboratory test bench results, versus the real world. I did manage to trigger the panic alarm on mine from about 3/4 mile away once, in almost ideal weather conditions, and with some significant obstacles in the way. Remote fob battery strength may affect your range, as well I guess.

avanti 04-15-2016 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by booster (Post 43444)
What kind of bogus tickets would this show? Around here it is mostly no turn signal stuff they use to stop you. Would the camera show if the turn signal was used?

It certainly would show the turn signals at night. Not sure about the daytime. Actually, the turn signals are connected to the device (to auto-select the left- or right-side camera). Not sure whether it is recorded, but it certainly could be.

The recording will show stuff like whether or not you stopped at a stop sign, yielded to traffic, etc.

The event that pushed me over the edge was getting trapped in a scam that a local municipality was running in which they had a woman (a town employee) stand just off the curb in a crosswalk. Then they stop everybody who drives by for "failing to yield to a pedestrian". The woman wasn't crossing (not even facing the right direction), so the cam would have shown it as clearly bogus. I had to go up to the county-level appeals court before they threw it out. The video would have made this a lot easier.

avanti 04-15-2016 04:14 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mike (Post 43447)
Is your 4 way camera device hidden on top of your van somehow? Could I simply throw a cardboard box or some other nearby object over it, and defeat it's functionality?

No, it is actually four tiny cameras that are hard to even notice:

Hidden in the Mercedes "star":
Attachment 3343

tucked into the porch lights:
Attachment 3344

and just behind the OEM backup camera:
Attachment 3342

islandrog 04-15-2016 04:18 PM

Mike, the tattletail base unit and 1 fob is $399. What seems excessive after talking to them is the $20 a month to get txt, email when triggered. For an additional $8 they call the police. I pay $15 a month for my home security for txt, email and police notification.

Mike 04-15-2016 04:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by avanti (Post 43449)
No, it is actually four tiny cameras that are hard to even notice:

Hidden in the Mercedes "star":
Attachment 3343

tucked into the porch lights:
Attachment 3344

and just behind the OEM backup camera:
Attachment 3342

Aha, of course.
I had pictured something more like the Google periscopes on the Streetview recording vehicles. Should have realized yours were separate based on the downward angles of view, had I looked more closely. Pardons.

You do nice work, btw. :cool:


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