When you’re on the road – especially full time – home security concerns are transferred to the world of your RV. In home security there are three basic lines of passive defense:
- built in security, such as fences, stout doors, and good locks
- alarm systems
- and finally, surveillance
So how do you get a quality surveillance system for your RV without spending an arm and a leg, or needing a pro to set it up? Youtube user RVwithTito has a method that uses an old smart phone you probably have laying around in a drawer anyway!
How to Make a Smart Phone Security Camera
The first requirement is a smart phone. You probably have one and have considered donating it, or perhaps you have even considered reusing it for some purpose. Good news, if it can connect to Wi-Fi and is able to run either iOS or Android apps, it’s a good candidate for creating your own remote surveillance camera.
If you don’t have one, they are available from friends and family or places like craigslist for cheap – or free.
Second, you will need a WiFi connection. This is pretty standard in many RV parks and the system will not work without it, since your phone has likely been taken off of your phone service and cannot reach a cellular internet connection.
Last (but not least) you will need a current smart phone to use as your remote monitor and control unit. You will want to set up a Gmail account to link these two phones for transferring the data.
How to Setup Your Smart Phone Surveillance Camera
Next you will need to setup your security camera app. Tito recommends one by the name of Alfred.
Here’s what to do:
- Connect your old phone to the WiFi connection
- Download the Alfred app on both phones (use google play for Android phones, or iTunes store for iPhones)
- When the app opens, you will sign in with your gmail address (you can set one up for free)
- Set the camera mode for each phone in the app be selecting camera, or viewer
- Mount your “camera” phone where it will get a good view (there are many phone adapters for tripods)
- Connect the phone’s charger where it can stay plugged in for longer use
That’s all that’s required for basic viewing. Through the app on your “viewer” phone, you will be able to access front and back cameras on the “camera” phone. There are other options within the app for motion detection and the ability to access the microphone as well as add multiple viewers.
Once setup, to monitor your RV, just select the app on your “viewer” phone. You can turn on the microphone, switch between front and back cameras, turn on the camera phone’s flashlight app, or even switch to a virtual “night vision” mode for low light visibility!
For more cool RV tips and tricks, don’t forget to follow the RVwithTito YouTube channel.