Those that live the RV lifestyle are known to be the most trustworthy people in American society. In your travels, not everyone around you shares the RV community mentality. Having an RV alarm system is a great way to keep you, your family, and your coach safe from unforeseen circumstances.
Campgrounds are still safe. When you’re camping remotely, boondocking, or generally off the beaten path, you only have yourself to rely on. RV security systems allow you to check in on your coach while you’re away, and some even alert emergency services for you.
In this article, we’ll show you the best alarm systems on the market that are excellent for your RV. You’ll learn how they work, their unique features, and many other facts about them. To show you how important this is, we’ll discuss which alarm system we chose for our own RV and why we chose it.
The Basic Concept Behind These Alarm Systems
In the past few years, a new style of alarm system has come out that uses wifi and cellular technology, instead of traditional landline telephone cables. This advancement has made alarm systems more versatile. You program your alarm and receive alerts through your smartphone apps no matter where you are.
These alarms start with a base station that receives all the data from the various sensor devices you have with the system. All of them come with a basic startup kit, but you can buy expansion components based on your needs that are very affordable. These components include:
- Wired/wireless cameras with wide fields of vision
- Motion sensors
- Microphones and speakers
- Realtime video sent to your smartphone
- Recorded audio/video saved to a memory chip or cloud memory
- Panic buttons and/or pendants
- Motion sensor lights
- Smoke alarms
- Carbon Monoxide alarms
- 24/7 monitoring services from the company
- Door sensors
- Window sensors
- Other proprietary components unique to each company
Things To Keep In Mind
Installing an alarm system is great to have when you’re using it. While you’re out enjoying your adventure, you can have peace of mind that if anything happens, you and the authorities will be alerted. They’re also great to have while you’re storing them in the off-season.
There are two concerns you’ll need to take care of when storing your RV: Electric power and internet service. Many of these components run on either chargeable or regular batteries. Your base station and wifi system have to be powered and connected to a cellular or internet connection to work properly.
There are a few ways to solve these issues. The internet issue can be fixed with a mobile hotspot device from your mobile phone provider. These devices have a secure connection, so you don’t have to worry about anyone breaking into your RV’s system.
Another internet solution is to see if the storage facility has a secure network you can use for your alarm system. While you’re asking, also find out if you can plug into their electric service. They may charge you a little extra, but you’ll have that confidence of knowing your RV alarm is active.
Other ideas for your electric problem is to stop by at regular intervals to check on and replace batteries on the components. Many of them have low battery indicators, so you don’t have to go through each one to test them. While you’re there, turning on your generator for a few hours can replenish your house batteries.
Our 5 Selections for RV Security Alarm Systems
We chose these alarm systems for many different reasons. We looked at many different factors when we chose these alarms. These factors include:
- Customer Reviews
- Customer Service
- Adaptability to many RV categories
- Ability to D.I.Y. install
- User-friendly setup and operation
- Camoflauge within the RV’s interior/exterior
- Pet friendly
- Multiple security and disaster detection
The Guardzilla system is the best RV security system for truck campers, A-frame expandables, and other small camper categories. You can choose the indoor version, outdoor version, or combine the two. Each one is an all-in-one system that connects to your cellphone for programming and notifications.
You can purchase daughter cameras as add-ons to expand your system. You can also connect other people’s phones to your system to share alerts and access. Alerts come as either text messages or emails.
For RVs, the outdoor base units and add-on cameras are water and dust resistant. The mount for the base unit permanently attaches to solid surfaces. The alarm itself is held to the mount through a magnet, making it adjustable and easy to take off when you are breaking down to travel.
Both indoor and outdoor versions have a 360-degree camera that streams to your mobile device. Basic service doesn’t include sound, but you can upgrade that through a monthly fee. The devices have microphones and speakers so you can carry on conversations through the unit if you need to.
The indoor device has a louder siren than the outdoor one, but either way, they are loud enough to alert everyone around. The units themselves don’t alert the authorities, but they have a third-party professional monitoring service you can connect your unit to. Overall, it’s a great system for small campers that want a budget-friendly device for monitoring their RV.
- HD QUALITY: Get live streaming High Definition quality video of...
- PIR MOTION DETECTION: Arm the system from the app and choose your...
- ALL-IN-ONE SECURITY: Built-in microphone and speaker let you hear...
- FLEXIBLE MOUNTING SETUP: Place the camera on a flat surface or...
- WARRANTY & CUSTOMER SUPPORT: 1-year Warranty along with...
Tattletale Home Flipper
The Tattletale has two versions. The Home Flipper is designed for houses but can come with you when traveling. Setting it up takes 30 seconds requiring your email address and your cellphone number.
It’s built-in Rattlesnake Technology will warn you when someone tries to move it. This all-in-one device has add-on components to alert you for all security and disaster situations:
- Door and window sensors
- Motion detectors
- Outdoor motion detectors
- Fire/smoke detectors
- Glass breaking listeners
- Smart bike lock devices that alert you when they are cut
- Key fobs that activate/deactivate the system and work as panic buttons
- Many other features
In order for the system to work, the base needs to be plugged in. If it loses power, there’s a 20-hour battery backup. The components work on batteries.
Another drawback is the monitoring limits. The professional monitoring service only works for permanent addresses, so they can’t dispatch emergency services to your RV. Having the system alert you on your mobile device will work on your RV, but it requires a $20/monthly fee.
- Full emergency monitoring
- Tamperproof design
- 20 hour battery back-up
- Portable, wireless, instant
- Keeps you informed via text and full monitoring with police &...
The Reolink Argus 2 is a wireless camera-based system that connects to your wifi. The cameras have a 130-degree field of view, siren, and two-way communication capability. Like the Guardzilla, the cameras have a magnetic mount so you can adjust their position and take them down when you’re ready to travel.
The cameras have HD quality and live streams in realtime. Each camera has HD memory cards that store the video they record. The cameras are weatherproof and can withstand most temperatures.
A unique feature is the optional solar panels you can connect to the cameras. If you’re using the system for a long period, these mountable solar panels can keep the cameras charged. This can solve your electric issue.
Reolink has another camera system that solves the connection problem if you can’t keep your wifi going. Their Reolink GO has technology built-in to work on 4G LTE cellular networks. Instead of keeping your RVs internet running, you would activate each of these cameras similar to a hotspot device on one of the participating cellphone carriers.
The disadvantage to the Reolinks is its limitations. They’re only camera-based. While they do have night vision and activate when they sense motion, the system doesn’t detect other crisis situations.
Another low point is they can’t alert emergency services for you. It doesn’t have a professional monitoring service you can sign up for or any other service features. The upside is that it’s affordable and competes well with other basic monitoring systems.
Blink is an Amazon company. It’s another camera-based system that works with their Alexa voice assistant system. The batteries have a two-year lifespan and the video backs up to cloud storage.
The cameras also have two-way communication to speak with whoever is inside your RV. As you can see from the video above, These full-timers bought their system to communicate with their pets. Pet owners can use this feature to calm their four-legged children or check in on them while they’re out.
A great feature unique to this product is the temperature gauge that helps you determine the conditions of your RV. If you lose power, you’ll be able to determine if you can make it back in time, or call the campground front desk to turn on your generator. The cameras do work both indoors and outdoors.
The shortcomings of this system happened during its release. In the first months, it was having software issues that hindered the maximum range between the base and the cameras. The video streaming was lagging and there were other issues.
Once Blink identified the software issues, they sent out updates that resolved the problems. Customer reviews have been mostly positive since then. Overall, this system is a great camera-based alarm system that has expandable capabilities and the trustworthiness of a solid company.
- Extended battery life – 2 year battery life on two AA lithium...
- 2-way audio – Talk to visitors through the Blink app on your...
- Customizable motion detection – Use activity zones to choose...
- Free cloud storage – Keep hundreds of clips stored up to a year...
- Works with Alexa – View live streams, motion clips, or arm and...
The Ring security system is popular among the bigger RV classes. Its wireless connectivity is favorable for RVs and the affordable components make customization perfect for your coach. Their professional monitoring service doesn’t need a permanent address, so sending emergency services to your RV isn’t a problem.
Distance from the base isn’t a problem for Ring devices. It uses a Z-Wave mesh network. This means that each component needs to be able to connect to another component nearby, not the base itself.
Let’s say you have your base set up in a cabinet in your rear kitchen. You want some components to monitor your front master bedroom. As long as you have other components mid-coach, those front components will connect to the base through your mid-coach devices.
Another unique feature is the listening detector components. Instead of replacing your CO, smoke, and other alarms, this device listens for your factory-installed alarms. If they activate, this device activates and sends an alert to your mobile device (and the authorities if you program it to do so).
- 720p HD video doorbell that lets you see, hear and speak to...
- Get notifications whenever motion is detected by adjusting your...
- With Live View, you can check in on your home any time through...
- Easily setup your Ring Video Doorbell by connecting to wifi via...
- Powered by a built-in rechargeable battery or connects to...
Why We Chose Ring For Our Alarm System
In our research, we found that Ring is the best RV security system for our class A motorhome. We chose it for many reasons. Many of our full-time friends recommended it, it has high customer reviews, and we love the fact that we can have professional monitoring services with our RV lifestyle.
Since Ring primarily caters to houses, we debated about starting with one of their package deals or just doing everything a la carte. When we priced everything out, we decided to go ahead and start with their 14-piece kit. We did find a way to use everything in the box after all and bought extra door/window sensors to cover the rest of the windows we have.
For our new 2020 Fleetwood Pace Arrow LXE 37R, we installed this system once we brought it home. The whole D.I.Y. project took a better part of a day due to the many components we installed. The setup process was simple.
To protect our RV, this is how we put our motorhome camera system, alarms, and sensors in place. Our plan was to cover both the exterior, interior, and subfloor for all types of issues. We also wanted to use the system to check on our RV while we were away from it in case of power outages or if we needed to leave our dog for a short time.
- We installed the base station in a cabinet next to our wireless router
- The 14-piece kit came with a range extender, so we placed this over the second bathroom sink outside of the bathroom itself.
- For the front door, we installed Ring’s keyless entry door lock and a solar charging video doorbell so we can see who knocks on our front door without physically being there.
- On the door and the 10 windows, we installed sensors. We disabled the chime when they open because we knew that would quickly become annoying.
- The kit came with two motion sensors. One we placed above the main TV to cover the living room, and the other above our dresser to cover the bedroom. We also activated the pet safety programming so our dog wouldn’t trip the sensor.
- We put a keypad by the door and by the bed. We put it by the bed so we could activate it at night without having to get up.
- To save some money, instead of getting their detectors, we bought two of their listener devices which are great RV security accessories. This way, if the smoke, CO, or propane alarms go off, these listeners will pick them up and signal it through the Ring system.
- Under the kitchen sink, we put a flood/freeze detector to indicate if we ever get a leak under there. We did the same thing for the outer bathroom sink. We placed the third one in the storage bay under the bathroom to detect flooding for the toilet, shower, and warn us about freezing temperatures in the basement.
- We have a security camera mid-coach on the door side and off-door side. We added Ring’s solar panels to them so we don’t have to worry about keeping them charged. Even if we forget to recharge the interior components, we know the exterior outer defenses are always working.
- We placed three interior cameras inside. One in the front driver area facing the back, one mid-coach by the refrigerator, and one above the bed. This gives us a clear view of everything inside.
- We also purchased the four-pack of the Ring alarm system window stickers. We placed a sticker on each side of the RV. According to a study, yard signs and window stickers are effective theft deterrent.
We’ve had the system now for about four months, and haven’t had to use it for any disaster scenarios. We did use the interior cameras a couple of times to check on our dog. We also enjoy the peace of mind knowing that if something happens to us, we can use the panic button and someone will be on the other side of the line to make sure we’re taken care of.
Product data was last updated on 2020-05-24 at 00:14.