RV Electronic Security Systems. Do You Need One?

December 21, 2008 by Lug_Nut · 14 Comments 

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Security systems, we have them on our cars, in our homes, and even in the offices we work in, but most people do not have them in their RV’s.   Of course with an RV, be it a trailer or motorized coach, we are talking about a security system far more complex than most automotive or most residential types.  Essentially a full blown security system for a large fifth wheel trailer or a motor coach is more like a residential alarm system and an auto system on steroids.  Some of the features you will find on the full deluxe systems include main door sensors, basement door sensors, interior inside motion detectors, vehicle vibration sensors, engine starter disabling devices, proprietary pager transmitter with point to point contact with supplied pager for both alarm functions and stand alone two channel pager advice, multi-function key fobs, remote door lock controls, selectable valet mode, on/off toggled interior motion sensors for “stay in” alarm mode, and more.

While this option is a good chunk of change, it should be noted that it can be used daily for both added security and convenience.  The alarm can of course be set during the owner’s absence.  It can also be set and armed while sleeping within the unit.  This is done by switching the motion detector disabling control and possibly locking out the vehicle vibration sensor also.  You can then have a peaceful nights sleep, even in a deserted location.   Oh yeh, if you use this feature overnight while sleeping in a quiet campground full of people enjoying a sound slumber sleep, make sure you disarm the system prior to stepping out the door.  It may very well attract a verbally colorful response from those neighbors that seemed so friendly just the night before.  Please, don’t ask me how I know.

The pager feature is kind of interesting.  It has a range of a couple of miles radius from the RV and therefore will probably cover about a normal campground area.  If the alarm is triggered, the pager will immediately inform the owner.  Also it can be used as a communication device within the same coverage area.  The communication is one way, RV to pager only.  But, with two separate channels, two different pre-determined messages can be sent out to the pager.  For example, say the kids or spouse is out playing in the area.  You have pre-determined that page #1 means “Lunch is ready” and page #2 is reserved for “Return to the RV immediately” or anything else that suits your lifestyle.

Having a security system on your RV can also serve as a deterrent.  Generally there is a red L.E.D. in the area near the entrance door.  This red indicator light flashes when the alarm system is in the arm mode or can be triggered to flash also in stand-by like mode.  A would be thief in all likelihood, will take a pass and select an easier target.

An additional tip,if your RV is equipped with one of these security guarding devices, and it also has the key fob option, keep it within reach from your bed, perhaps on the night table.  Should an event happen that may threaten your safety or that of your rig, the panic button can be activated without delay.  This will cause the lights to flash and a great deal of noise.  In most cases this will quickly frighten any people up to no good.  For those that do not have this feature on their rig, but are towing a vehicle with keyless fob entry, the same nighttime noisy deterrent can also work very well.

So, at $1,500 to $2,000, is it worth it? Providing they use it properly, I believe yes, for some people.  The value of it is dependant on an individual’s lifestyle and the type of camping involved.  For many however, it may be a waste.  Like many option choices, one must evaluate their personal application to determine the need and perceived value.

I happen to have the full system in my coach.  To be truthful, I doubt that I use or need it at the frequency equal to justifying the cost.  However, one break-in. would far exceed the cost.  In that manner, it’s kind of like insurance, but better.  You only have to pay it once.

Footnote: These systems are very functional and can guard your property and safety 24/7.  Given the recent surge and continuing fluxuation of the price of fuel, I would predict future offerings from the alarm company manufacturers that would include monitoring and sensors for the fuel door(s).  These, to my knowledge, are not offered to motor coach purchasers at this time.

So, do you have one?

With Some Alarming Thoughts   -   Lug_Nut    -     Peter Mercer

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