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Old 06-17-2015, 05:04 PM   #21
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How much is your camper worth ?
Folks can run up huge bills year after year having some monitoring thing going on, when the odds of something being stolen is small (just really lock it down to make it hard to steal).
Instead maybe you should over-insure it, or slap a really low deductible on it, with a high evaluation of it. Then you would profit when its stolen and get a nice new one.
I like that, no batteries, electronics, or moving parts.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:15 PM   #22
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Kind of sounds like you would like to be able to locate the RV if stolen and "Discuss" the issue with the thieves, before the police get there. Wheres Tony Soprano when you need him.

I think Lojack can do a "geo-fence" notification if it leaves a boundary, but costs a lot per mo.

Lojack may find it, but the cop's will not let you go and recover by yourself

PS , is the RV where you keep your prized dryer sheet collection ?
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:33 PM   #23
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You could use an Android phone with Cerberus on it. Cerberus has a neat feature where you can send a text message to the phone to get its location, so you don't need to have data running constantly.
https://www.cerberusapp.com/help.php

It also looks like Where's My Droid has a similar feature.
Where's My Droid - Features
Thanks, this sounds like something that might works as I envisioned.
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Old 06-17-2015, 05:35 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Sunset View Post
How much is your camper worth ?
Folks can run up huge bills year after year having some monitoring thing going on, when the odds of something being stolen is small (just really lock it down to make it hard to steal).
Instead maybe you should over-insure it, or slap a really low deductible on it, with a high evaluation of it. Then you would profit when its stolen and get a nice new one.
It is only worth 5 to 6K, but I've put a lot of work in it, so it is more of an emotional attachment. Kind of like insuring your dog vs not losing it.
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Old 06-17-2015, 08:36 PM   #25
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If you've reached the point where you forget where you parked it, maybe it's time you gave up camping...
OMG, you made me snort my milk!
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Old 06-17-2015, 09:27 PM   #26
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Even non smart phones now have a GPS receiver built-in. And the digital phone network interface has the SMS (Short Message Service) built-in, which is the perfect means to send out the GPS position fix (latitude/longitude) every so often. So all that is needed is software or an app; perhaps what a poster suggested above would work.

The problem with GPS is that if the phone is hidden in the metal trunk of a car it is most likely not able to receive signals from GPS satellites to get a position fix. An external GPS antenna would work but requires camouflage. Of course a fiberglass RV will not have this problem.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:09 AM   #27
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Even non smart phones now have a GPS receiver built-in. And the digital phone network interface has the SMS (Short Message Service) built-in, which is the perfect means to send out the GPS position fix (latitude/longitude) every so often. So all that is needed is software or an app; perhaps what a poster suggested above would work.

The problem with GPS is that if the phone is hidden in the metal trunk of a car it is most likely not able to receive signals from GPS satellites to get a position fix. An external GPS antenna would work but requires camouflage. Of course a fiberglass RV will not have this problem.
Thanks. What I was trying to get a handle on was how much service (data/text) it would use in standby. If little to none, I could do it for $40 a year + the cost of a used phone.

If it gobbled data it would be a non starter.
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Old 06-18-2015, 09:54 AM   #28
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SMS is the air interface protocol that cell phones use for texting. An SMS is limited to 160 characters, which is way more than what you need to send lat/long coordinates.

So, each position update is one SMS message. How frequent do you need an update? Once per minute, or day? That should be user programmable. An earlier poster suggested an app that sends out position update only as a reply to query. That makes it into a transponder, which is excellent.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:39 AM   #29
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SMS is the air interface protocol that cell phones use for texting. An SMS is limited to 160 characters, which is way more than what you need to send lat/long coordinates.

So, each position update is one SMS message. How frequent do you need an update? Once per minute, or day? That should be user programmable. An earlier poster suggested an app that sends out position update only as a reply to query. That makes it into a transponder, which is excellent.
Some of the smartphone apps send out a message when the vehicle is moved and can send a GPS coordinate position when asked to. That is the function I'd be interested in, but don't know how much data it consumes in standby while providing this functionality.

Maybe a "dumb" phone could also do this - I was assuming it would take more technical ability to make it do so.
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Can a smartphone be used as a tracking device?
Old 06-18-2015, 01:42 PM   #30
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Can a smartphone be used as a tracking device?

Pretty cool app. Think I can get an AT&T third party company to give me an account for maybe $25 that will last six months. Phone and text only. Then an android phone is only $20. Can ask it to send it's location and battery level once every few days via text.


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Old 06-18-2015, 04:40 PM   #31
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I'd like an inexpensive way to track my camper as I would hate to lose it, beyond the dollar value.
Just out of curiosity, what would be the salvage value of this RV that would entice someone to go to the trouble of stealing it? I, of course, am assuming that it is licensed and would be very difficult to resell as a unit. Or do you imagine someone would keep it intact for their own use?
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Old 06-18-2015, 06:24 PM   #32
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Just out of curiosity, what would be the salvage value of this RV that would entice someone to go to the trouble of stealing it? I, of course, am assuming that it is licensed and would be very difficult to resell as a unit. Or do you imagine someone would keep it intact for their own use?
My best guess: Campers seem to disappear back into the woods on someone's private property or go to another state to be re-licensed as "home made" or "lost title". Also, in many states, a little camper like mine doesn't even need license plates or a title.

The serial numbers are just an aluminum sticker on many, so no big feat to change that.
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:57 PM   #33
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At around 2000 or 15 years ago, when the digital phone system is still new here in the US, Motorola had an OEM module that would allow the building of a vehicle location reporting device such as the OP wants. It's basically a phone but without the audio portion, and allows the host CPU to use it to send/receive SMS messages

Our small company folded before we went very far with some of the apps that we had in mind for this module. This thread reminds me that I still have one such engineering module in one of my junk boxes out in the garage. I cannot remember if the module has a GPS receiver (there goes my superior memory).
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