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GPS/Cellular based Tracking Device

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There have been multiple threads on the FGRV forum concerning trailer security. Everyone has their own opinion and method and I agree that, depending on your personal beliefs, they could include simple diligence, locks, fences, chains, whips, guard dogs, guns, cameras, claymore mines, trunk monkeys and a moat. Those folks that are un-inclined to subscribe to any of the aforementioned tactics seem to just rely on good insurance. I employ some of these methods myself but if my trailer suddenly sprouts legs and walks off, I want to be able to find it and perhaps use some of the other methods on those folks that helped it along. I started investigating electronic counter measure devices to do just that. I looked at the SPOT Satellite Messenger. I didn’t find the initial cost of about $150.00 too bad. It uses your GPS location and sends it and preselected message to communication satellites which route your location and message to the appropriate network to get you help. It is obviously designed for and intended to be used by a person while traveling in remote regions and it does have good coverage. The best service plan will cost about $200.00 per year. For those folks that may only travel a few weeks of the year, that might be beyond what they are comfortable spending. I continued to look. There are several out there but none seemed to do what I wanted or cost more than I wanted to pay.


I finally found what I thought would do everything I wanted at a reasonable price and I installed it in the Outlaw Oliver. I have it set up so that:


When the trailer is unattended and sitting still (either here at home or anywhere else) and moves over 300 feet, it will send a text message to my iphone that includes a hyperlink to a Google Map page with an icon on it indicating where the trailer is. It will continue to send these until I tell it to stop.


If the door is opened it will set off a local alarm and send a text message stating that the door has been breached and includes the same hyperlink.


I can call it with my iphone and it will send the hyperlink.


If the main power source is removed (trailer batteries) it will send the hyperlink. There are internal lithium batteries that power it if the external power fails and it will alert you if these become low.


I can text it and tell it to switch between tracking and monitoring. In Monitor mode I can listen in on anything going on inside the trailer via a hidden microphone.


I can authorize up to five phones that can access it. Family can always tell where we are.


If we push the “panic” button it will send out a help message to all phones.


All programing is done via text messages and in addition you can arm/disarm it with an included key fob remote.


There are dozens of other functions that it will perform. You can set up multiple virtual GEO fences that will alert if the trailer is moved into or out of. You can have it text you if it is going over a MPH that you have pre-set as maximum. It has an internal SD slot that will log all this data. The list goes on and on.


This piece of equipment is (I’m sure) made in China, as its manual is printed in Chinglish and thus has somewhat of a steep learning curve but it cost me less than $50.00 including the SIM card with 200 prepaid text messages. There are no monthly fees. When you’ve used your allotted text messages, you just reload it with another $10 worth. It operates in conjunction with the GPS and Cell phone systems. And it works just like it said it would.


I tried to upload photos of the aluminum mast and mount that I made for my remote control GoLight and the two antennas for the tracker, but I could not get it to work. I will work on that another day. I believe both of these items might be being offered as options on the Oliver Elite II.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 





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Thanks for the informative post. You left out one crucial fact .... The name of the unit you bought! Can you post a link?


FYI the SPOT is a very nifty device, but the website interface where you store your profile and and emergency info and text messages is very clunky and not at all user friendly. The device itself is simple and can run 12 hrs per day in Tracking Mode up to two weeks on a set of lithium batteries. It has no external power connection, and you cannot use cheap AA batteries, so it would get costly for long term trailer security. Also, all the features are manually operated, you cannot set up any sort of automatic transmissions.


Because it has no external antenna connection, it must be placed with the SPOT logo facing the sky. Ideally at a window location facing south, but in a fiberglass enclosure just about anywhere would work, just not directly under a piece of dense equipment like the A/C unit. It is also unreliable under dense tree cover or in steep terrain, it requires a decent view of the heavens. If you use it for hiking and want the tracking to work, it should be carried high up on a backpack facing the sky. Here is an article I wrote when this was brand new technology....




I've used a Gen 1 SPOT for many years and recommend the optional emergency rescue (SAR) insurance, which could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the event you actually have an emergency in the boonies. Even if you don't use it for trailer security, I recommend a SPOT for anyone who travels away from _reliable_ cell coverage.


John Davies

Spokane WA USA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/


Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I've had my Gen1 Spot Locator for about 7 years and it has been helpful for family and friends to know where I camped. To overcome the shortcomings you mentioned, I now also have the Spot Trace, which connects to a hidden 12v connection in a cabinet and has backup batteries in case of 12v outage. Small, easily hidden, family can even track me as I head down the road during the day. It does not, however, have the 911 feature. Because of that, I've kept the Gen 1 Locator as cheap insurance.




What is the name of the gizmo you are now using? It sounds interesting.

Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.

Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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last Fall I took a 4000 + mile trip on Route 66 as my "Break-in" maiden voyage in my 18.5 Elite. I knew I would be taking several side trips and some were very remote. VERY !

Before leaving, I went to Fastenall and purchased a bag of the locknuts that holds the Oliver trailer hitch to the trailer frame. Each time I needed to leave my trailer and explore in my truck, I removed the trailer hitch/coupler and put it in the back of my truck. On more than one occasion, I had some gawkers staring at my trailer wondering how I towed it. I never told them. I kept my coupler safely locked in my truck. It is long, but fit in my truck

Each time I hitched up, I would use a new nut since they are one time only use.

Low tech, inexpensive, and discourages the not too resourceful thieves.


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