With caravan thefts at an all-time high in 2022, I wanted to write this post to help owners beat the thieves this year!
It’s so saddening to hear when a caravan has been stolen, knowing myself the sacrifices people make to own one.
GPS tracking systems have shown that they are successful at cutting and tracing thefts in the car industry – so it can only make sense to install one in your caravan!
Some car tracking devices are unsuitable for caravans as they are left disconnected from mains electricity for long periods. So I’ve researched the best GPS tracking systems that will work the on leisure battery as well as having a backup.
Here are my top 5 GPS caravan tracker picks for 2022 including the one we currently use on our Swift Challenger:
1. Rewire Security Eco Track GPS Tracker
I picked this system for our caravan as we love how you can set up a ‘geo-fencing system’ where you set a perimeter area, and once it leaves this area you are notified via the app which is perfect if your caravan is in storage miles away like ours is.
It’s supplied and ready to use out of the box and once installed and activated, it will automatically start reporting to the software ‘GPSLive’.
There is no contract and runs on a PAYG for only £5.00 per month. Its really simple to set up – all you have to do is to connect two wires to your caravan leisure battery and your tracker is good to go.
It comes pre-installed with a multi-network sim and allows you to configure SMS alerts in case the caravan is moved or if the battery voltage drops too low.
You can monitor the movements of your caravan in ‘real-time’ which is handy for friends or family who can track you when you are towing.
For the money, this is a great option to consider and comes recommended by Auto Express magazine – we highly recommend it!
2. Rewire Security Thatcham GPS Tracking Device
This is the creme de la creme of trackers and is expensive but is approved by Thatcham. Once one of their engineers, your caravan will be monitored around the clock by their in-house security team, who will notify you of tampering or theft.
Because these devices use the most up-to-date technology, they are recognised by the major insurance companies – although I would advise that you check with your caravan insurer before you go ahead and buy this to see if you qualify for a discount on your premium.
This system also comes with ‘geo-fence’ tracking (which we think is a great idea) and tow alarm.
The first year’s subscription is included and costs £150 each year after, so it’s not cheap!
It is a truly superb piece of kit and if you can afford it – we would recommend it for complete peace of mind.
3. TruTrak FMT100 GPS Tracking Device
Another great pick is the TRuTrak GPS Tracker which comes recommended by ‘What Car’. They have put a lot of effort into developing their product, using their own cloud-based technology and easy-to-use app.
Each new customer will receive their own account manager who is on hand to assist in setting up the device on your caravan – not that you will really need it as they have made is as simple as possible to connect this device to the leisure battery using only two wires.
The TruTrack comes with an in-built backup battery should your main leisure battery fail. With a 60-second update, it aims to provide the most accurate data available.
Alerts can be set up when the caravan is being towed – so you know straight away when it’s moving.
Once your set up the TruTrak will give you limited free data whilst you get to grips with the system and after that offers a no-contract PAYG top-up costing just £5.99
It’s a great little piece of kit with a lot of features – if you don’t require geo-fencing but need a reliable tracking system for a good price this is it.
4. GPSBob FMT100 12/24v Wired GPS Tracker
Another easy-to-install tracker is the GPS Bob which will have you up and running in minutes. It comes pre-installed with a SIM card, providing you with data to last approx 5 years (trackable in the app), after this time you simply top up at £60 per year.
Once you’ve set up via the battery, downloaded the app and logged in you are good to go. They also offer optional upgrades if you require their extra features such as multi-vehicle tracking and linking – which is handy when towing!
It uses very little power and you can set the app to live tracking, or to only alert you if the caravan is moving – then it will update every 30 seconds.
The GPSBob has proved popular with motorhome/campervan owners, so I would expect most caravan owners will be pleased with it, but again it doesn’t offer geo-fencing to alert you if your caravan moves from your ‘designated’ area.
This wouldn’t really matter so much if you keep your caravan on your drive, so although it comes with a higher price point, the 5 years of data give excellent value for money. A great buy!
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5. DrivePro.io Self-Install Waterproof Anti-Theft Realtime GPS Tracker
The DrivePro.io Tracker has gained popularity recently as one of the newer systems on the market.
This is a self-install GPS tracker and includes a SIM card and PAYG or annual service that works across the UK & Europe.
You can track your caravan in real-time and get alerts when your vehicle enters and/or exits certain areas.
You can also set up driving alerts for speeding, rapid acceleration, harsh braking, severe cornering, etc.
Notifications are sent directly to your Android/iOS phone via their dedicated and easy-to-use app.
You can share your current location, live location, trip or set of trips with your friends and via social networks quickly and easily, fantastic for road trips, expense claims and group rides!
Reporting and Feedback
Reporting functionality is built-in, so you can make reports on your trips, expenses, and more, you can even schedule regular reports that are emailed directly to your inbox. Each driver will also receive regular feedback on their recent driving (towing)!
How Do Caravan GPS Trackers Work?
Caravan tracking devices are devices fitted to the vehicle, which are able to transmit its location and other data over the mobile phone network.
They do this by receiving signals from a network of satellites, which is a good alternative to GPS as they are not subject to the same blackouts.
The system can be set up so that it sends an alert when it moves away from a set location, or if it’s been stationary for too long.
Most trackers now come with an app that you can use on your phone or PC to view your caravans’ location and speed etc – some of them will even sound an alarm when being moved unexpectedly.
Top Tips When Choosing a Tracking Device for Your Caravan
1 – Consider whether you want to track the caravan’s location, speed and alerts.
2 – Choose a device that can connect directly to your leisure battery – so it will last on its own power for a decent amount of time. Also, look for a device that has a backup battery should the leisure battery fail for any reason.
3 – Consider where you will be parking your caravan and whether you will have a good mobile signal there. Also is the van in storage? If so, consider choosing a tracker that offers geo-fencing, where you can set the parameters of the area where it stays. This way if it is moved for any reason, you will be alerted straight away.
4 – Ensure that you have read the full specification of the device, as some are only able to send SMS alerts (which can cost more), whilst others have an app which allows you to track your vehicle on your smartphone.
5 – Ensure that you have read the full specification of the device, as some are only able to send SMS alerts (which can cost more), whilst others have a dedicated app which allows you to track your vehicle on your smartphone or PC.
Thatcham Category S5, S7, CAT 6 or CAT 7 for Caravans
In the UK there is a voluntary scheme for tracking devices called the “Thatcham Scheme”. This is a good idea because it allows you to compare devices that are all subject to the same testing and quality standards.
The Thatcham Category is an indication of how secure the device is against attack. The higher the category, the more secure it is, so CAT 6 and CAT 7 are more secure than CAT 5 and CAT 5e (which should not really be used anymore).
CAT 6 or CAT 7 devices can be used on all makes of cars, caravans, motorhomes or campervans, as they support both CAN BUS and ISO 9141 protocols.
Thatcham-approved trackers ‘can’ reduce your insurance premium – but they also cost a lot more! Have a chat with your broker as they may be willing to give you a reduction even if it’s not Thatcham approved!
So are Caravan Trackers Worth It?
Absolutely! Caravan trackers are really useful for your peace of mind, especially when your pride and joy is miles away in storage. And if the worst should happen the police will have a much higher chance of recovery
Lots of newer caravans come with a tracker already installed and you simply subscribe to them – but they can be extremely expensive.
For us older van owners – there are lots of cheaper alternatives available that I’ve mentioned above, rather than opting for a dealer-fitted one and I really hope you consider buying one.
I hope this post has been helpful – if you have any questions about this post, please contact us at [email protected] where we’ll be happy to help!