8 Best Security Systems for RVs and Campers [2020]

Posted on September 27, 2020 by Daniel Renfro in Towing & Utility

The Quick Pick
Best Integrated RV Security System
Ring Security System
Best RV Security Camera
heimvision HMD2 Wireless Rechargeable Battery-Powered Security Camera
Best Door & Window Alarms for RV
Toeeson 120DB Pool Alarm

As an RV owner, you know that an RV is more than a vehicle. It is a lifestyle. A way to get away and live differently. An opportunity to explore parts of the state and even country that you’ve never seen before. An RV gives you a type of freedom that day to day life generally doesn’t offer. When you are away, your RV is your home from home, and just like your home, you want to keep your RV and its contents safe. 

The good news is that there are a lot of security systems available that are suitable for RVs, trailers, vans, and campers. Choosing the best RV security system for your needs is the challenge. In this article, we will walk you through the different types of RV security systems and the features that they have. We will look at some of the key points for you to consider when purchasing the best security system for your RV and some of the popular RV security systems on offer.

Table of Contents
+

Types of RV Security Systems

Integrated RV Security Systems (wifi required)

Integrated basically means that all the parts of your security system talk to one another via a central hub. An integrated security system generally comes with a set of different components that work together to keep your RV safe. Each system kit is different and could contain all or some of these parts: a security camera, motion sensors, door and window alarms, and a keypad. Integrated security systems are smart systems (connected to one another via the internet) so will always require a wifi signal to work.

Professional Monitoring

A useful option offered by some security system providers is the option to have your security system professionally monitored.

If professional monitoring is available, your security system will be connected to a service that is primed to look out for triggers such as your security alarm going off or a contact sensor being activated. Some systems can detect when motion sensors are activated and alert an agent in the monitoring center. Depending on the service, the monitoring center will most likely first call you to check if it is a false alarm and will call the police if a break-in is suspected or you are unavailable.

However, professional monitoring is not always an option for RVs or other types of mobile homes due to their mobile nature. Most companies require a home address. The reason for this is that they need to know where to send the emergency services should they be needed.

Camera Only RV Security Systems

Security cameras act as a deterrent to thieves as well as providing all important footage of activity around your RV. Many of the security cameras best suited to RVs are wireless models with relatively easy installation. Security cameras will need access to a wifi signal in order to send recorded footage to cloud storage and also to allow you to view live camera footage from your cellphone. Some RV security cameras are motion sensors and so will only activate when the sensor is triggered. This method saves both power and wifi use.

Door and Window Alarm RV Security Systems

Also known as contact sensors, door and window alarms come in the form of pairs of small blocks that are attached next to each other inside the RV. Each sensor has one part that attaches to the inner window frame (the part of the window that can be opened) or door and one part that is attached next to it on the window or door frame. When the alarm is on and the window or door is opened, the connection between the sensor parts is lost and the alarm is triggered.

How to Choose a Security System for your RV, Trailer or Camper

Cost

When it comes to security systems for your RV, you can expect to pay anything from around $20 up to $300-400 or even more. What you pay depends largely on what features you buy. A fully integrated system for example will be much more expensive than buying single feature systems like window sensors. There is something to fit every budget. Keep in mind that you, most likely, will have to pay additional fees for any kind of monitoring service and notification options.

Quality and Protection

When you are deciding on your needs and budget, consider the kind of quality and protection that you require. There are security systems that will deafen and scare anyone trying to break into your RV – and that’s all they will do. If that’s the only kind of protection you need then you can expect to budget less. Alternatively, there are security systems that will connect to your phone and systems that will detect fire and carbon dioxide too.

When it comes to quality, look for security systems with robust parts. The last thing you want is a camera malfunctioning in the heat or rain or a sensor coming loose after a few drives on bumpy dirt tracks.

Power Source

Always a burning question for any experienced RV or camper owner – Does it take batteries? The good news here is yes. There are a number of security systems available that are battery operated. There are also systems that come complete with a mini solar panel (about the size of a copybook) for charging. Other than being more eco friendly, the solar-powered option offers a couple of benefits for anyone in a van, RV, trailer, or camper. Firstly, it doesn’t drain your other power sources or need to be replaced. Secondly, it taps into a free power source so doesn’t drain your wallet either.

Installation

More and more security systems are being made with DIY installation in mind. The days of needing an engineer to call round and set you up are long gone. Nowadays, security systems are delivered to your home with an installation guide and QR codes that lead you to video instructions too.

There are fewer fiddly bits in modern security systems and far fewer wires since most systems are battery operated. Installing a security system in your RV should be much quicker and simpler than in a home since you have fewer windows and doors to contend with. However, if DIY is not your strength, consider enrolling a neighbor, friend, or family member to help you out. If you are stuck for someone to help you, call up the nearest mechanic and ask if they can help you out.

Remote Monitoring

This is usually available with camera systems and allows you to view live footage on your smartphone. Some systems live stream constantly, recording every minute of the day and night whereas others are motion-activated letting you know if someone is near your RV.

Does It Require wifi?

For cameras and integrated monitoring systems, it is probable that there will be a need for wifi in order to function correctly. This may or may not pose an issue for you. Most RV parks and resorts offer site-wide wifi for an additional fee. However, if communal sites aren’t your thing and you are the kind of RVer who likes to park up where ever you like then wifi could be lacking.

You could, of course, use your cellphone as a mobile hotspot if you never plan on being more than 20 meters from your rig. That’s the standard hotspot range. A better option would be to invest a little more in a mobile hotspot device that can stay in the van and keep the security system online whilst you are out.

What Can You Do Remotely?

With systems that come with an app, there are all manner of remote features available. These will differ from vendor to vendor. Some apps allow you to arm and disarm the system via the app so you don’t have to make that 30-second sprint to the keypad before the alarm sounds.

With others, you can access your camera footage in realtime and even talk through your camera. Handy if a friend stops by and you want to tell them when to call back but possibly not so useful for scaring away potential thieves.

Conclusion

When it comes to buying the best security system for your RV you will have to be realistic about what is available. Remote and professional monitoring is the ideal solution for many RV owners but aren’t always available for the transient nature of RV life. For anyone investing in the more expensive versions, don’t be afraid to have frank conversations with the suppliers about the suitability for your needs if there is anything you are not sure of. The last thing you want is a system that looks great but is rendered useless because of its reliance on a power source or technology that you don’t have access to.