Knock on the nearest tree; hopefully no one ever tries to break into your RV. While it’s not a common occurrence it does happen. That’s why it’s smart to invest in a security system. In the old days, that looked like getting a vigilant dog. These days, there are dozens of mobile security systems to choose from. Whether you’re looking to spend as little as $12 or as much as $500, you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is protected. At the very least, if you have a security camera, you can get some cool footage of wildlife visiting your campsite. Here are 7 best-selling security systems recommended by RVers and security experts.
1. ARLO PRO 2
Price: $249 for one camera, $399 for two cameras at Arlo.com; or you can find a refurbished two-camera kit for $200 on Amazon.
Best for: those who want angle flexibility
Rae and Jason Miller, The Getaway Couple and full time RVers for the last 3.5 years, swear by the Arlo Pro 2. This wireless system couldn’t be easier to install. It doesn’t require making any holes as it attaches via a magnetic base. The Millers recommend attaching it to your RV with 3M tape so you can remove it, without causing damage. “Because RVers are in different places all the time, you never know what angle will be best,” explains Rae. Another handy feature is the microphone. Use it to talk to your pet while you’re away or to warn a stranger they’re on camera. Finally, it can connect with the NetGear Nightwalk M1 Mobile Router which you can use as a base station.
2. WSDCAM WIRELESS DOOR AND WINDOW SECURITY ALARMS
Price: $12.49 on Amazon
Best for: those who just want an alarm for a door or window
Brian Conghalie doesn’t hesitate to sing the praises of this simple alarm. “I can’t tell you how much I love it,” says the founder of My Open Country – a website dedicated to getting people outdoors. He cites the fact that it’s easy to install, using adhesive tape and the magnet that comes with it, and it’s very loud. The alarm is about 105 decibels which is about the sound of a helicopter hovering overhead. He also likes that the remote – which has arm, disarm, panic and doorbell modes – can be paired with 50 different alarms. “It sounds like overkill,” says Conghalie. “But pairing it with 3-4 alarms around your RV can go a long way in keeping everyone safe.”
3. REOLINK ARGUS 2
Price: $115 on Amazon
Best for: clear night vision and two-way audio
For those who want a camera system, Conghalie recommends this device that doesn’t require a monthly subscription in order to record to the cloud and view your footage. It also has a slot for an SD card. Another huge plus? It’s charged by a solar battery that can also be charged via USB, if necessary. It’s compatible with Alexa, and the two-way communication is a neat feature if you want to be able to talk to the person (or pet) you’re recording and hear them talk back. But hands down what really sets this camera apart from others is its picture quality, especially at night. It has a starlight sensor that works well in low light conditions resulting in more detailed, colored pictures. Traditional cameras only show black and white at night.
4. REOLINK GO PT
Price: $270 at Reolink
Best for: people who mostly camp where they have cell service
Kristen Bolig’s top recommendation for RVers also comes from Reolink. The founder of SecurityNerd likes the Go PT model because it offers all of the benefits of a smart camera without needing to rely on Wi-Fi. Instead of Wi-Fi, it uses 4G-LTE. Basically, as long as you have a cell phone signal, you can access the live camera feed. Like the Argus 2, it has two-way audio, its battery is solar-powered and its camera uses a starlight sensor making for clear night vision pictures. Unlike the Argus it rotates 355 degrees so you can cover a much larger area.
5. XVIM 8CH 1080P SECURITY CAMERA SYSTEM
Price: $200 on Amazon
Best for: those who record 24/7 and for RV storage
Mark Evans loves camping so much he founded Summer Camp Hub, a guide to the best summer camps for kids. Of all the cameras he’s seen at camps, his personal favorite is this kit. It comes with eight weatherproof cameras that all connect to the same DVR box (included). The biggest downsides are that it doesn’t record audio, it requires Wi-Fi for live viewing, and it’s not wireless. But the built-in 1TB of memory makes up for them. “The issue with a lot of security systems is that often you have to continuously delete the footage you have saved in order to have memory for more,” points out Evans. “If you’re continuously recording this can be a bit of a drag.” For an RV on the road, you might not need all eight cameras. But if you’re storing it somewhere, you can space them out around the building and your RV.
6. SIMPLISAFE HOME SECURITY SYSTEM
Price: starting at $200 at SimpliSafe
Best for: those who want maximum, customized security
Perhaps the most well-known security system these days (thanks to podcast advertising), SimpliSafe is thought to be the gold standard for home security. Melanie Musson, a travel insurance expert with CarInsuranceComparison.com, recommends it to her RV clients because it can be customized. Other systems can, too, but SimpliSafe has the best value and most options in terms of equipment and monthly plans. Musson’s favorite features for RVers are the water and freeze sensors which can be beneficial for RV owners to monitor conditions if they’re not home. They basically help prevent flooding and notify you if the temperature in your RV drops below 41F.
Price: $59/year at Nord VPN or $99/year at Express VPN
Best for: protecting your identity and personal data
It’s easy to think about physical security but cyber security, especially when so many people are working remotely now, is also important. One way to protect your information while online is to use a VPN. According to PC Magazine, “a VPN creates an encrypted tunnel between you and a remote server operated by a VPN service. All your internet traffic is routed through this tunnel, so your data is secure from prying eyes along the way.” You can still connect to public Wi-Fi. But as long as you have your VPN running (which you simply download and log into), it will hide your location and not reveal your identity. VPNs require a subscription, but most are only $5-10/month.