As with most things in life, things move on and Motorhome Security is no exception to the rule. It never ceases to amaze me when I look at the products currently offered by most Motorhome Security companies and installers.
In general, Motorhome Security, typically an alarm and sometimes a tracking system, falls into two categories, a car alarm or a specific Motorhome alarm that looks like it was made in someone’s shed.
The former isn’t a great place to start, as car alarms are “specifically” designed for cars and the interior sensors, called ultrasonic’s, which are designed to detect someone breaking in through a window, just don’t have the range needed to cover from the front windscreen in a Motorhome, all the way to the rear. In addition, most Motorhomes manufactured in the last few years, such as the Fiat Ducato, have CANbus wiring and as such, are not compatible with a regular car alarm.
The latter, being the “homemade” variety, are often outdated and lack the technology needed to ensure reliability and user friendliness. Compare it perhaps to fitting a plasma TV screen into a wooden case!
The internet is full of companies offering to install such a system. One company that appears in Google’s sponsored links actually promotes a car alarm as a Motorhome alarm, then states that the system will protect the vans rear doors. I thought a van was a van and a Motorhome a Motorhome and with the odd exception, Motorhomes don’t have rear doors, but a habitation entrance.
Another company I found offer Clifford alarms as their chosen range of Motorhome alarms, yet Clifford don’t make a Motorhome alarm, nor do they make PIR sensors or wireless magnetic switches for lockers!
Tracking companies aren’t any better. The UK’s market leader is Trackstar by Trafficmaster, yet there are products all over the internet ranging from Phantom to SmarTrack to Cistrack. Trackstar is the chosen product by motor manufacturers including Peugeot, Citroen, VW, BMW to name but a few. The others, to the best of our knowledge, are not used by any! When it comes to choosing a tracking system, the question would have to be “why research what product to choose, or ask my mate Dave what to buy, when people who have been paid to do the research have already given you the answer?”
On the subject of alarms however, a little more help is needed. Laserline is probably the most logical route for the Motorhome owner, as they were the first company that developed wireless sensors, specifically for Motorhomes, to avoid having to run wires everywhere. They then enabled the alarm to be able to handle up to 5 different sensors and switches, specifically so the Motorhome owner could protect lockers individually and also a garage if applicable.
When CANbus style wiring arrived on the scene, Laserline developed an insurance approved (Thatcham) alarm that would work in harmony with it, ensuring that the wireless technology remained possible for this system too.
When armed with this information, no matter whether you are buying an alarm or a tracking system, the company you choose should be talking the right language!
What do they fit and why?
If you do allow them to fit their recommended system, what does it do that Laserline or Trackstar doesn’t and what reason could they possibly give for preferring to fit it?
Finally, if you travel in Europe, does their recommended Motorhome security system have any coverage there? If the alarm system fails in the middle of Milan, or your tracking system is activated at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, who do you talk to and what can they do about it?
Just like the motor manufacturers, we’ve also spent over a decade choosing the right systems to protect Motorhomes.