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How to build a smart home for a recreation vehicle(RV) Answered

There are already a bunch of projects doing similar things for houses but non for RV homes. I would like to communicate with my camper RV motor home and trying to understand and learn ways to do this.

Here are some thought of requirements:
- Data like temperatures, rain sensor, burglarizing alarm and a few webcams
- Google App engine and Google GCM for the storage and bidirectional communication.
- The RV API can let any device have bidirectional coms

My thought is to us info from other HOUSE projects and do a mash-up to fit an RV,

example: (thanks to Nikus at instructables) "Smart home with arduino"
The HOUSE in this project has a static ip no problem with coms but what about an RV?

There are a number of questions like I think the RV will have problem with a static IP or maybe not any ides on this would be grate?

Why do most project use the Arduion over the Raspberry pie what would be most suitable for my project?

If anybody here have done this or want to contribute with knowledge it would be a grate



1 year ago

I am looking to do a similar project for my RV, this is my todo list (still in flux)

Use a pi and openhab II for control. create wifi hotspot so several hand held devices can access system use wify to connect to my home wify to give internet access mount 1 display/control panel ( Ipad ) monitor security/video (2 or 3 IP cameras ) monitor battery level of RV (12VDC) monitor solar input (12VDC) monitor inside temp monitor basement temp monitor outside temp monitor fresh, grey and black tanks ( I assume this will require a 3 DAC’s) monitor LP tanks (This will require DAC’s) control all lighting (this is tough, the lighting is 12VDC, I assume it they will be controlled via a set of contacts) control water pump (via a relay 15amp) control AC/Heat (done through an Ecobee) control slide (via a relay 15amp) control awning (via a relay 15amp) monitor several leak detectors monitor smokes/fumes detectorscontrol on-board audio system Control/check/verify 50amp/30ap service.


1 year ago

I now live in my RV full-time and having automated my brick & mortar home, I would like to do the same with my RV, but there are some significant differences. First is power, not only do I want to conserve it, it's the primary thing I want to monitor as I add new intelligence. The second priority is tanks, something most homeowners need not be concern with, but are of significant importance in an RV. While I can connect to the world with my phone and the computer connects to the phone, an internal network would be nice. I previously used XBees to avoid string wires, but choices are more plentiful today. I purchased a PCengines APU as my network server; while it is more suited to networking, it is not as easy to use as a Raspberry Pi. The advantage of the Raspberry Pi over the Arduino is the graphical display and choices of libraries and languages. I have lots of code, but no experience with open source collaboration and would love to join a group building a smart RV app.


2 years ago

I don't know how far you want to go and what your final goal is but:
IMHO a good way would be to convert the RV into a WiFi hotspot.
For multiple cams and real time video you need quite a bit of bandwidth, that is one reason.
The main reason is that you can automate the RV around it's own WiFi hotspot.
So all IP addresses can be fixed on the RV side of things.
On the other end you only need access to a webserver running in the RV and a raspberry pi is more than capable of providing this and some more.
Good thing about such a setup would be that you can decide what network is used, e.g. around home the RV can log into your private WiFi, on camp grounds it uses the provided internet and outside those areas you use a 3G or 4G connection through a SIM card.

As an example your safety cams:
You can set up a server based applet or program that uses them for motion detection.
Similar to all these webcam surveillance programs out there.
You can check at any time by accessing the RV server and even get live feeds if the connection is fast enough.

As food for thought in regards to alarms:
Have you checked these "talk back" alarm systems for cars?
Some have a range of up to 2km and allow for direct checking on the key remote.
Similar could be done with a small Arduino.
You collect all alram inputs and assign events to them.
If something happens the Arduino can use a WiFi shield to send data to the RV's server - which in return can send out an alert to you with detail info on what was tripped.
You can drive this as far as turning on the diesel heater and coffee machine before even leaving the house LOL

Your main problem will be mobile access when RV and you are not inside the same network.
Unless you have good codin skills to write your own Android or Apple apps I would opt for existing solutions.
Intergration of systems is key here of course.
So you need to check upfront what you really need now, might want later and what you use to access the RV remotely - Android, IOS, Linux, Windows...
A lot of things like webservers, camservers, audio- video surveillance is already available as open source for many platforms.
Depending on your skill set it might be easiest to try an car-PC system running on Windows.
With a small SSD instead of a hard drive you should be good to go.
As the most basic free access method you could then use Teamviewer to access the RV.
A bit more advanced and you might run a dedicated webserver on the RV and access all through any browser you like.
Options are literally endless here and you get even more if you include existing home automation products, although some of them are only usable with mains power.


Reply 2 years ago

very good reply this is what i need to know, thanks


2 years ago

thanks, does the Arduino take lesser power also? The RV´s batteri pack is 200amp/h only


2 years ago

Just adapt home projects for the RV. Only thing that changes is where you are placing it and how you power it.

People use Arduino over the Pi for many reasons. First and foremost is cost. Secondly most of these projects are coordinating only a couple of sensors. Things an Arduino can easily handle with no problem. The Pi costs more and is better suited to coordinate data from multiple Arduino projects and help control them.