RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > iRV2.com General Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-04-2020, 11:21 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: St. Louis, MO
Posts: 143
Upgrade - Smart Home Devices - RV - Opportunities

Smart home devices & systems are revolutionizing home automation

Alexa, Echos in every room as intercoms, smart alarm clocks, cheap tablets for displays, outlet controllers, controlled bulbs, controlled dead bolt, garage door opener controller, alexa controlled TV, controlled t-stat, wireless camera systems, camera door bell, smart appliances, etc, etc

Some vendors have a family of devices that intercommunicate ... e.g. Amazon Alexa devices, Amazon FireTV, Amazon Blink cameras, Amazon Fire tablet, etc

Unless your uber rich & order a Prevost with NASA controls ... or you build your own customized "building automation system" (BMS/BAS) ... using a off the shelf smart home system/devices is the reasonably affordable way to go.

Maybe the latest RVs have some smart systems and integrated systems incorporated but the vast majority of us don't. Therefore if we want to take advantage of some smart creature comforts we'll have to use Amazon, Google or other.

You can say that you want to get away from technology in an RV and its unnecessary .... but smart devices are inevitable and some of them do make life easier (when they work).

Question:
What do you see as worthwhile opportunities for smart devices in an RV:

1) T-stat (s) - would have to build a custom interface to a smart off the shelf smart T-stat
2) TV controls - via a FireTV stick or smart TV app
3) Satellite TV controls - via existing Dish feature
4) Smart microwave
5) Coach lighting - would have to customize a Alexa 120V device to control DC
6) Security cameras - easy off the shelf, Alexa enabled

What ideas do you have?
swduns is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-04-2020, 11:37 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 3,124
My sticks and bricks home has no Alexa, no HeyGoogle, no "smart" TVs, and I lock down my wifi really tight (MAC address filtering, dedicated hardware firewall) among other things.

Since I have no S&B experience to duplicate in a coach, home automation/IoT *is a non-starter.

*Internet of Things - your refrigerator, HVAC thermostat, surveillance cameras, robot vacuum sweepers, pet monitoring, etc. that connect to a network, usually wirelessly.
__________________
2005 Four Winds Majestic 23A
“To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” - Dr Suess
Solo_RV_Guy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 11:40 AM   #3
Community Moderator
 
Spdracr39's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Central, Arkansas
Posts: 7,737
Didn't have it at my house and don't want it in my rig. It really isn't that much trouble to walk a couple of feet to turn the lights on and off, or push some buttons on the remote. Just trying to get Siri to call the right person is frustrating enough.
__________________
2004 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
Cummins ISC 350HP Allison 3000 6 speed
2020 Chevy Equinox Premier 2.0t 9 speed AWD
https://enjoying-life.net
Spdracr39 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 04:34 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Metamora, MI
Posts: 4,437
Currently doing just that. WetBay is current project. Then HVAC. Interior / Exterior Lighting is mostly complete. Digital dashboard half complete. Media systems complete. Then user interface and rules engine to tie it all together. Hopefully can post some details some time in the future. Want to contribute and assist, but also to be nice to our forum hosts.
__________________
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire Limited 4370 w/ Spartan K2 and Cummins 500hp
ASE Master Certified (a long.....time ago...)
Dav L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 04:36 PM   #5
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
Dutch Star Don's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
Posts: 16,556
I agree that some of those things are nice to have, but they all require internet and to be useful, they need to know where they're at. I tried a Google mini in the RV and it was a pain, especially since we thought it would be nice to check weather and local area info. The problem, you have to keep updating where it's at, which becomes a chore.
__________________
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
2019 Ford Raptor
Dutch Star Don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 04:49 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Metamora, MI
Posts: 4,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
I agree that some of those things are nice to have, but they all require internet and to be useful, they need to know where they're at. I tried a Google mini in the RV and it was a pain, especially since we thought it would be nice to check weather and local area info. The problem, you have to keep updating where it's at, which becomes a chore.
Hi Don, No, little of it requires Internet. Just depends on what the goal is, and how it's implemented. In my RV (and home) Internet provides some value added content and services, but the core systems runs Internet Free.

Any connection to the RV from the Internet certainly requires Internet, but those aren't the key capabilities. And, most of the time, the RV is able to connect to the Internet for those remote control functions. Since Status and Control requires very little data, a high speed persistent connection is not required.

Location based services are all done automatically like current weather. The weather data is then cached locally in the system if the RV goes Out of Internet reach. Again, just depends if the system is engineered and configured with all the right stuff and in the right way. If you try this stuff with products that were intended only for home use then sure...you will see gaps.

Most of the products you see marketed are from the Big Brother Companies that design their systems for cloud as that is how they monetize and capture your data. When one has more background in the products that are available, it's easy to implement without those "World Domination" products.
__________________
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire Limited 4370 w/ Spartan K2 and Cummins 500hp
ASE Master Certified (a long.....time ago...)
Dav L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 06:13 PM   #7
"Formerly Diplomat Don"
 
Dutch Star Don's Avatar
 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Moorpark, Ca.
Posts: 16,556
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dav L View Post
Hi Don, No, little of it requires Internet. Just depends on what the goal is, and how it's implemented. In my RV (and home) Internet provides some value added content and services, but the core systems runs Internet Free.

Any connection to the RV from the Internet certainly requires Internet, but those aren't the key capabilities. And, most of the time, the RV is able to connect to the Internet for those remote control functions. Since Status and Control requires very little data, a high speed persistent connection is not required.

Location based services are all done automatically like current weather. The weather data is then cached locally in the system if the RV goes Out of Internet reach. Again, just depends if the system is engineered and configured with all the right stuff and in the right way. If you try this stuff with products that were intended only for home use then sure...you will see gaps.

Most of the products you see marketed are from the Big Brother Companies that design their systems for cloud as that is how they monetize and capture your data. When one has more background in the products that are available, it's easy to implement without those "World Domination" products.
I referenced the Google mini which certainly does.
__________________
Don & Mary
2019 Newmar Dutch Star 4018 (Freightliner)
2019 Ford Raptor
Dutch Star Don is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 06:20 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Metamora, MI
Posts: 4,437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutch Star Don View Post
I referenced the Google mini which certainly does.
I took your post as you made a statement that Internet is required. You referenced Google Mini as the example, but the industry has thousands more solutions than Google Mini which is known to require Internet.
I thought I nicely suggested there are lots of other products that DO work well.

I wanted to inform that there are a LOT of products (other than Google Mini) they can choose from and have a better RV experience than what you saw.
MOST all folks have very little background in this subject. I do. So I wouldn't want people to read this thread and assume all is lost because it isn't.

If I could openly share some of the experiences, maybe it would have save you the time to buy / try the Mini. Google is the prime example of "World Domination" and how they engineer their products (and then abandon them with little warning). I like their engineering, hate their business but still would rather have my Google Pixel phone again

If that works for you, that works for me too.

And, I'll say it again as I have posted before...your posts are some of the ones I enjoy reading the most as you are very good at fabrication of solutions. Something I really appreciate. At some point I will look closer at your hood prop posts to see if they specifically apply to mine (location of pivots, length and PSI).
__________________
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire Limited 4370 w/ Spartan K2 and Cummins 500hp
ASE Master Certified (a long.....time ago...)
Dav L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2020, 11:38 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
153stars's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Braidwood Il.
Posts: 2,191
When it comes to OEM Less proprietary smart boards that just turn thing on and off the better when they discontinue them in 10 to 15yrs
__________________
95 Monaco Crown Royale
M11 400hp, 4060 trans.
Aquahot, Generac Guardian7.5k
153stars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 08:04 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: LA, Lower Alabama
Posts: 1,864
I'll stick to switches rather than some one-command do all system As we know quality control in RVs is abysmal and typically the cheapest, read that least quality, appliances are chosen. How many of you would deliberately put a Furrion stove or television in your house? The workmanship that connects and ties it together in an RV is done by a "paid by the" job employee. Sensitive electronics have to assembled well and connected well. Bouncing down the road is not conducive to longevity or reliability.

Some people have to have the latest and greatest electronic gizmo and that's great for them. In my opinion, it's not practical in an RV and al these gee-whiz items will be awful nightmares in the near future as you try to trouble shoot an electrical issue and find that replacing the BCM or control panel is what you have to do. As said, give me a switch for a light, awning, and slide. A switch that has a wire that goes direct to it. Yep I'm a tech dinosaur and happy that way.
__________________
2020 Keystone Raptor 356
2012 PT Crusader 355BHQ (GFs)
2020 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW CC 4WD Diesel
chunker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 08:16 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
richard5933's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2019
Posts: 1,893
I have a few devices which can be operated through my smartphone via a Bluetooth connection, such as my Victron solar charge controller and battery monitor. No centralized system though, and nothing that requires an internet connection. Too many problems when outside a good signal area.

The problem I've seen with many of the centralized systems is the need for an internet connection, and our coach doesn't have one unless it's on wifi or if we have a strong enough cell signal.

Our S&B house uses quite a number of the newer smart devices, and it amazes me that they all need an active internet connection to function fully. Even the simple thermostat which is wired directly to our furnace can't be used remotely without an internet signal - there is no way to connect to it from a remote touchpad or device directly.

All that said, the biggest problem I see in many (most?) of the newer integrated systems is the lack of tactile controls. Touch pads are great, until you are fumbling for a switch in the dark or trying to flip a switch while in the middle of something else. I think the same thing of touch pads in cars as well - they require looking at them to use with no way to do it by touch alone.
__________________
Richard
1974 GMC 4108 - Custom Coach Conversion
richard5933 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 11:56 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
GypsyR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Upstate SC
Posts: 932
I like a smart TV in the coach and that's about it. Most of the other stuff though fun to mess with, tends to exponentially add potential points of failure. New cars are subject to the same problems with an over complexity of gadgetry. It's all so neat when it's new and works. A few years down the road and the headaches can be astounding.

Having an older coach that has been subject to entropy for quite some times I can take solace in that the systems I have to work on are at least outdated to the point of obsolescence. Meaning there are people out there that know how to fix them as there's a LOT of "been there, done that" experience out there. Figuring out what went wrong rarely involves me having to blaze any new trails. IE, less pulling out of my hair which is already in short supply.

Or just the short version.............less is more?
GypsyR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 12:56 PM   #13
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Where my wheels are
Posts: 84
I am an Alexa person all the way. I use Alexa enabled plugs for lights by plugging the Alexa plug (Nooie) into a receptical then plug the lamp into it. I can turn on and off with voice or I can setup a routine where it turns on and off at certain times. I love coming home later than expected and find the light in the living room is already on.


Now I want to put in an Alexa thermostat so I can turn the heater on from bed as it's down into the 20s at night and I sleep with the heater off...otherwise I'm wasting propane heating the place when I'm sleeping.


There are now Alexa enabled thermostats on the market but they are the ones for houses. Can I use on in my rig? I don't care about having two fan speedss.
__________________
2013 Rockwood 8523 TT - 2007 GMC Sierra 2500HD Diesel - Buster & FlipperDoodle (cats). - Full-timer from NorCal.
GVJeeper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2020, 01:15 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Metamora, MI
Posts: 4,437
ie: Internet.
When one puts in an automation system, especially for mobile vehicles, the core system should work without ANY Internet connection. So, if you need to authenticate (log in) that authentication takes place IN the vehicle controller, NOT in the cloud. This one point is the start of "good" stuff vs. cloud "cheap stuff" that doesn't work well in an RV.

The Internet can provide some great value added services. Voice control is very commonly cloud (Internet) only service as the servers that figure out what you said and what should then be done are big bad servers that only "fit" in a large building. And, most of the services (Play "Santana") typically are also on the Internet as that makes it much easier for the cloud provider to develop and support (hard for a newbee to get your personal Santana music collection made available and indexed for voice use). When in cloud, it's relatively easy for the "Amazon" and the "Google" to do all that since the media is sitting on their server and when they index it, it's indexed for all users (not just you).

If you are a little more advanced user, then with simple software you could probably put your music collection IN the RV, let the software index it, and then be able to easily navigate your entire collection even when NOT connected to the Internet. When you try to play media content from the Internet, then you have to have not just an Internet connection, but a pretty good and fast connection too.

Weather is also ONLY available on the Internet. Because it takes super computers to guess what the weather will be tomorrow (think IBM / Weather Channel who we buy our weather data from). The good news is now-a-days most all RVs sometime in their trip or day ARE connected to the Internet. If the cellular / wiFi hardware is in place and configured correctly, then you get the next four days weather forecast in a few seconds of download. It is stored IN the RV. Then when you want to know the weather for tomorrow, you don't then need to be currently connected to the Internet. If you want the awning to be brought in an hour before the storm, the data is there to know to perform that task. No more or less accurate than a weather report (which gets better every year due to those super computers). Of course you should always manually be able to move that awning in if the weather doesn't seem accurate and you happen to be at the RV (not driving around town in the Toad).

If you location changes, we know that because of GPS (or a new "city" you select manually). That hardware / software should be IN the RV so Internet is then not required.

Lighting: there are LOTS of "smart" switches on the market (they really are dumb remote control switches). And of those, a few that also work entirely via 12 volts. And a few of those can use your EXISTING switch for manual control and just adds the "remote control" capability. This is what is generally going in my RV. It makes it easier to install (no need to redrill for new switches that don't fit in the current spot) and cosmetically, no change. I am also using DMX system to control most all of the LED lighting (interior and exterior). Just because it's finer level of remote control, and VERY reliable. This is what's used for professional stage lighting so it must not fail or the people go home wanting a refund.

Things like climate control (a neat feature for RVs) to orchestrate the multiple systems I think is one of the great adds. ie: Should Heat or Cool be on (basic thermostat function), hmmm, which heater should be used (Aquahot electric? Diesel? Motor? Heat Pump? Heat strips? Local 110 volt plug in heaters? Dash heat?) things an advanced RV'r might know intuitively but it takes a newbee RV'r quite a while to know the heat pump probably shouldn't be used if it's under 45F outside. And that the generator should be on since not connected to campground power. But I can't use both heat pumps because not enough Amps from the generator. Lots of decisions that can be automated based on operating mode, 110v status, exterior and interior temp. But, anyway, that should NOT require the Internet to function or it's basically worthless. Fear not, there are solutions available.
__________________
2002 Newmar Mountain Aire Limited 4370 w/ Spartan K2 and Cummins 500hp
ASE Master Certified (a long.....time ago...)
Dav L is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
upgrade



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Do I need two WiFi devices - one for internal devices and one for Camp Ground source? CountryB Technology: Internet, TV, Satellite, Cell Phones, etc. 23 12-17-2017 04:09 PM
Stipend Park Host Opportunities Rvickery Workkamping & Volunteering 1 11-30-2015 03:44 PM
Opportunities never cease spinn Newmar Owner's Forum 14 03-07-2014 07:51 PM
Flaming Gorge Volunteer Opportunities- Utah Woodsy Owl Workkamping & Volunteering 0 01-29-2013 04:27 PM
Job opportunities at Curcuit City, sort of Dalsn1 Just Conversation 20 04-02-2007 09:12 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:30 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.