‘I installed a GPS tracker … and now I sleep better’

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GPS tracker
Ralph was determined to ensure no one was going to steal his pride and joy

Grey nomad Ralph Westley explains why he decided to install a GPS tracker in his much-loved Jayco Silverline caravan, how the system works … and why making the investment in the device has given him so much more peace of mind  

I had friends who had their van stolen from their driveway the very first night after they had brought it home … and that made me extremely security conscious when I ordered my brand new Jayco Silverline caravan with extras.

Prior to delivery, I bought a Nemesis Wheel Clamp, and when I mentioned this to the sales lady at our local Jayco dealer, she said “why don’t you install a Black Knight GPS Tracker”? Once she had explained how it worked, I purchased one on the spot.

At a cost of $600, plus an annual monitoring fee of $150, it is good value. It offers me real peace of mind knowing that, if the van does get stolen, the police can get a location pinpoint within a few minutes.

The way it works is reasonably simple. First you need to install the program onto a computer or the app onto a smartphone. The tracker itself (about the size of a matchbox) needs to be installed in a secret position in the caravan. The idea is to hide it behind something in the van that would make it hard to find and don’t disclose the hiding place to anyone. The unit is wired into the live side of the 12-volt battery system so as it can’t be switched off by the battery system main on/off switch.

Once installed, there is a motion sensor that brings it to life and the tracker gets its position via the GPS satellites, the same as a Navman or Tom Tom mapping system. The tracker then sends this location information to the monitoring service via the mobile phone service.

You can then log onto the system on your computer or smartphone to see the location of your caravan. The tracker updates this information every 15 seconds and, a passenger in the car, using a smartphone, can see where the van is at any given time on a map, including the speed you are travelling, the direction, the time and date, and even more.

At the end of the trip you can call up, and replay, the information at your leisure. Now, I have the peace of mind of knowing, that if the van ever gets stolen, then the low life sods that took it, will soon have Mr Plod breathing down their necks!

  • Have you install a GPS tracker? How have you found it? Comment below

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11 Responses to ‘I installed a GPS tracker … and now I sleep better’

  1. I have I ordered a Avan Adventure Plus After so much research I decided that you can’t be too safety conscious Avan advised the Alko Anti Theft GPS Black Night Tracker I plan to lock my chains to the draw bar Should i also purchase a Kovix hitch lock ?

  2. Does it work if the van is placed inside a shed???? Or under trees etc?

    • Probably not if an all metal shed. My SatNav won’t work in our shed.

  3. Who does the monitoring, please?

    • I do my own monitoring by the app and computer program. As soon as its moved i get a message.

  4. Great idea but youv just told people where its wires are???

  5. Where can you get $150 year monitoring. The cheapest I’ve seen is $30 month.

  6. Exatly

  7. I will answer your questions as best I can.
    Paul: – I would certainly buy the hitch lock, every deterrent that you can use will make it more attractive for the thieves to pick an easier target.
    Laurie and Easterngrumpty: – The GPS won’t work under a shed roof and probably trees, but once the van starts to move the tracker springs to life and updates it’s position every 10 seconds until the journey is finished. Once the van is taken under a roof, the signals wound stop but on your recorded journey, the last position would be outside the shed where the van is. This is recorded on your log at Black Knight and kept for 12 months.
    Leanne: – The Australian headquarters for Black Knight is in Sydney, and I presume that is where the computer is that stores all the relevant data.
    Barbara: – All I said was it is wired on the live side of the 12v system, not where I have hidden it.
    For the last two doubting Thomases, Chad and Sherrie, I have checked last years statement from Black Knight, it was $142.89, less than $150.00
    Cheers all, happy and safe caravaning.

    • I’ve just been to the Black Knight website.
      Basic plan $29 per month.
      Premium plan $35 per month.

  8. Well done and thanks for sharing the info, very interesting

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