If you could remotely monitor or turn on/off things... - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-11-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
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If you could remotely monitor or turn on/off things...

I have never camped in a trailer so this Escape will be my first venture into RV land.

I have poured through the boards looking at things people have done, e.g. a nifty LED for knowing when the water heater was on near the switch.

However, I am not certain which items really need remote control and monitoring (from an application on my phone).

If you could turn something off or check the status of things with a phone/table/wall mounted touch screen either camping or from your home, what would do you think would be useful?

Right now I have:

1. Water heater on/off.
2. Tank Levels.
3. Furnace/AC Settings.
4. Remote control of vent.
5. Interior/exterior lights.

Did I miss something?
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:28 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scriptx View Post
I have never camped in a trailer so this Escape will be my first venture into RV land.

I have poured through the boards looking at things people have done, e.g. a nifty LED for knowing when the water heater was on near the switch.

However, I am not certain which items really need remote control and monitoring (from an application on my phone).

If you could turn something off or check the status of things with a phone/table/wall mounted touch screen either camping or from your home, what would do you think would be useful?

Right now I have:

1. Water heater on/off.
2. Tank Levels.
3. Furnace/AC Settings.
4. Remote control of vent.
5. Interior/exterior lights.

Did I miss something?
For myself, I could see no circumstances where I would need to or want to have remote (phone) controlled access to devices in my Escape. I could see some value in those things for my house, but when I am camping, I am ok with turning things on and off the old fashioned way.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
For myself, I could see no circumstances where I would need to or want to have remote (phone) controlled access to devices in my Escape. I could see some value in those things for my house, but when I am camping, I am ok with turning things on and off the old fashioned way.
Absolutely fair. It isn't a need, but it is a hobby of mine and since I finished with the automation in my home...

It may help to ask in another way, do you have to monitor or turn off/on anything I don't have on the list? For example, do we have to turn the refrigerator on/off, inverter or are they always on?
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Old 06-11-2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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Some of these things require options, some might be difficult to do and some are downright silly. I am having fun brain storming ...

You could monitor:
stabilizer position (up/down)
fridge/freezer temperature
Texas fan running or not (external fridge cooling fan for hot weather)
Battery voltage
Solar charger state
Propane level and automatic cutover valve status
Awning status (in/out)
Wind conditions (if it is windy the awning needs to be in)
Put in a GPS and monitor location and speed
Correct hookup to tow vehicle (lights and brakes)
Propane and CO2 detector

You could control:
Fridge on/off, heat source, and setting
Lights on/off
Awning in/out (if you put in a powered one)
Dump valves (if you replace with powered ones)
Stereo/TV/DVR (if you put in a DVR and signal source)
Burglar alarm (if you put one in)
Lighted message board http://www.amazon.com/GeekCatch-3-Co.../dp/B0055PKD2U
stabilizer position (if you add motors)
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
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I must admit that being able to just monitor the trailer location via iphone would be nice fro those of us who have to store the trailer off site from our homes. Maybe ties into the threads about theft a little more.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamman View Post
Some of these things require options, some might be difficult to do and some are downright silly. I am having fun brain storming ...

You could monitor:
stabilizer position (up/down)
fridge/freezer temperature
Texas fan running or not (external fridge cooling fan for hot weather)
Battery voltage
Solar charger state
Propane level and automatic cutover valve status
Awning status (in/out)
Wind conditions (if it is windy the awning needs to be in)
Put in a GPS and monitor location and speed
Correct hookup to tow vehicle (lights and brakes)
Propane and CO2 detector

You could control:
Fridge on/off, heat source, and setting
Lights on/off
Awning in/out (if you put in a powered one)
Dump valves (if you replace with powered ones)
Stereo/TV/DVR (if you put in a DVR and signal source)
Burglar alarm (if you put one in)
Lighted message board Amazon.com : GeekCatch 3-Color LED Programmable Message Display Panel for Indoor : Business And Store Signs : Electronics
stabilizer position (if you add motors)

I see lots of phantom electrical draws here.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:58 PM   #7
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Great list... Some additional questions. If you are filling the tanks, how do you check the levels while filling? Can you just look down into them?

The solar state could be good. Do you need information like current charge rate to help diagnose potential issues? E.g. if it is sunny outside (using a photometer) the charge rate should exceed a value else there could be an issue?

Battery voltage would be good during the winter to make sure conditioner is doing its job...

Regarding trailer location, there are systems now though that use a cell data plan and can give you an alert if the vehicle moves and track it. Since it would use very little data it could be cheap insurance.

I already have cameras where I plan to park it and they'll fire an alert anytime motion is detected. The GPS with cell data would work if you are at home/camping, etc.
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Old 06-11-2014, 03:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
I see lots of phantom electrical draws here.
Excellent point. I am trying to get a handle on core things to prevent problems, e.g. don't allow power to the water heater if there is no water in it, etc. Once I figure that out, I can have the power wires routed to one location during the build. In terms of power consumption, I'll only draw 18mA when sending per monitored/switched item (which is intermittent) and have a nominal draw of 4uA.

If you don't "roll your own" and use standard technologies, you'll be more around a continual 200mA draw per item (e.g. light switch).
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
I see lots of phantom electrical draws here.
No problem. You do have the Honda 999,999 watt inverter-based portable nuclear gene-modified current bush with the coal-fired supplemental boiler don't you?
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Old 06-11-2014, 04:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scriptx View Post
Great list... Some additional questions. If you are filling the tanks, how do you check the levels while filling? Can you just look down into them?
The only one I try and fill is the fresh the others magically fill themselves. It is almost full when it comes out the filler, turn the water down and keep filling until it runs out nicely.
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