Installation Tips for Caravan Security Systems
All security systems (sometimes called anti theft) have what is referred to as the ‘Alarm Zone’. This is the area that is fully protected by one or more alarm sensors. When installing an security system in a Caravan there are a few things that are important in establishing the alarm zone.
Position of the Control Unit
Make sure that the control unit is placed on a solid surface (wall, floor, furniture etc) within the alarm zone to ensure that the alarm will activate before someone can gain access to disable the alarm panel.
Important: There is no point having an alarm system with the sensors in the van but the control unit in the front boot unless a the boot is fully protected as well.
Generally the ideal places inside the van are those that are out of sight and allow easy access for cabling (if retrofitting).
A good quality system will also allow the installation of the control panel in any location in the vehicle, and not suffer from false alarms caused by “reverberation” or “shock-waves” whilst providing near instant activation if the vehicle is being towed.
Ensure that the system has a suitable number of sensors to protect the van, your possessions and the system itself. There are three main alarm sensor types.
1: PIR‘s provide great coverage for people moving about in the van. They will react before someone has the chance to rifle through your possessions.
2: Reed Switches are great for doors, hatches and toolboxes. A main door reed switch will provide an alarm trigger before the person even steps foot in your van.
3: Vertical Door Opening Sensors (VDOS) are a great option for external hatch and toolbox doors that either lift up or drop down. They are activated by vertical movement and take less than a minute to install.
Having extra sensors on tool boxes etc will protect the extra value (easy to steal/sell) items that we usually carry with us, for instance lithium batteries, generators or tool kits.
A good high output siren is essential for alerting people nearby that the alarm has activated. There are generally two methods of mounting.
1: Internally. Mounting the siren internally is commonly done near the panel itself and inside a caravan the noise can be quite piercing when activated. Mounting the siren in this location does not cause issues with the alarm panels internal sensors.
When using the PlatinumX in night arming mode the siren will not activate when alarmed and the panel itself will sound a much quieter audible alarm.
2: Externally. For best distance of the alarm noise mounting the siren externally is the way to go. The siren is waterproof so whilst it needs to be mounted in a position that protects it from any impacts the weather is generally not a concern.
Towing Sensor Adjustment
Whilst it certainly shouldn’t be the only line of defense, an Anti-Tow system is a useful function as part of a comprehensive van alarm system. If someone were to attempt to tow your van away then the on board movement sensors activate the electric brakes automatically, preventing it from moving.
Vans and campers come in a variety of sizes, axle configurations and weights and just having a single sensitivity setting will not provide the optimal operating condition as one size does not fit all. Having full adjust-ability ensures that your system can be tailored exactly to your van, ensuring that the anti tow system works as intended whilst eliminating annoying and unnecessary false alarms.
Prevention is always better than cure, so ensuring that your security stickers are mounted in a prominent position that can be seen clearly is a great preventative measure to ward off opportunity thieves.
A last word
Whilst no fortress in impenetrable, having a well thought out security approach with multiple layers of redundancies will minimise your risk of the worst case scenario occurring whilst traveling and provide you with greater piece of mind.
For more information, please see the RVsecure range of alarm systems.
For technical advise, please call Simon on 0431 713 337.
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