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It is great to see an increase in people enjoying camping and the great outdoors. However, this surge in popularity has come with some pitfalls. It has become more challenging than ever to find campsites. Because of the “campsite shortage,” we recommend that people plan their trips further in advance (See our article on RV Trip Planning). Another primary concern is camper security. Theft of campers and camping equipment has increased with the rise of camping popularity.
Campers are relatively easy to steal. It does not take long to hook up a camper to a truck, and off the criminal goes with your camper before you even realize it. I watched a video recently where a Ring door cam captured the footage of a camper theft, and it took less than a minute for the thieves to hook up the camper and leave. Sometimes criminals are brazen enough to steal RVs from your yard, but often they are stolen from storage facilities. Actual theft numbers are difficult to quantify because RV theft is grouped with motor vehicle theft.
Several precautions can be taken to ensure that your camper or camping accessories are not stolen (See our articles on camper security precautions and RV security systems). However, there are no foolproof ways to protect your camper. That is why Campers and Campfires recommend placing an RV GPS tracking device on your camper so that it can be tracked if it is ever stolen. A selection of RV GPS tracking devices are available that can be used in motor vehicles (or campers) so that they can be tracked in real-time.
Features to Consider
Most trackers are used to manage fleets of vehicles and have many more functions than you would need if you only want to locate your camper if stolen. In addition, functions include completing tasks such as geofencing (notifying you if the trailer goes outside a predetermined area) and speed monitoring.
Location Tracking – The main feature that an RV owner needs is location tracking. Location tracking will allow you to locate the camper so that it can be quickly recovered.
Battery Life – Battery life is an important feature so that the device is ready when needed. A GPS tracker with no power is useless.
Mountability – Some trackers need to be screwed into place, while others are magnetic and can be placed inconspicuously under the RV.
Costs- There are generally two costs to consider. Most devices require that you buy the tracking device itself for around $50 and then purchase a monthly monitoring plan. Many monitoring plans are less than $10 per month, with some as low as $5.
RV GPS Tracking Devices
Many companies use GPS tracking devices for fleet management. As a result, they offer features at higher costs than an RV owner needs to protect their camper. However, many GPS tracking devices are compatible with campers, and we have narrowed it down to three trackers that best fit the needs of RV owners.
The TRAK4 (Check it out on Amazon) is a popular model for tracking vehicles and other expensive equipment. The tracking device is affordable, and monthly monitoring is around $10/month. A big plus for the TRAK4 is that the battery life lasts up to 18 months. Battery life can vary depending upon how you set up notifications. I would not count on the battery to truly last 18 months, but it should be sufficient as long you charge it regularly. Keep the solar model (Check it out on Amazon) in the sun, and it will not need to be charged.
The Invoxia (Check it out on Amazon) is a popular GPS tracking device with several features that makes it ideal for protecting your RV. This RV GPS tracker runs on a 4G network and has a battery life of four months. In addition, the Invoxia includes one or two years of monitoring, depending upon your selection. After your prepaid monitoring expires, it costs $39.95 per year, making this GPS tracking device a great economical choice.
The LandAirSea 54 (Check it out on Amazon) is a durable GPS tracking device with several valuable features. The initial cost of the LandAirSea 54 is under $50. However, monitoring is more expensive than other devices. Monitoring is $19.95/month, but you can prepay and receive discounted rates. This GPS tracker is waterproof and magnetic, making it easy to attach to the underside of your RV. The battery can last up to 6 months in low power mode, but it only lasts up to two weeks with normal use. You should be able to use it in low power mode since you will not need most monitoring features.
RVs are a significant expense. Unfortunately, no matter what preventative steps you take, you can’t guarantee that your camper will not be stolen. GPS tracking is a great way to ensure that you can quickly recover your camper before it has been dismantled and your personal belongings lost or destroyed.
Do you use GPS tracking to protect your camper? We would love to hear from you. Please take a minute and drop us a line in the comment section below.