When grey nomad Ralph Westley bought a brand new caravan a few years ago, he wanted to protect his investment. Here, he explains why fitting a GPS Tracker gives him 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 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 Ralph was keen to protect his new caravan and installed a GPS tracking system so authorities could find it if it was stolen.
A screen on a laptop shows the van’s current location. 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. I have hunted around for the best priced caravan insurance, but have found I can’t get a cheaper price, even when I tell them: ‘I also have a wheel clamp and GPS Tracker’.
Oh well, at least 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!