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Although not one that’s on that list, a couple of years ago a company called Rewire Security sent me a “simple” tracker to fit to our caravan. I think that the RRP was c.£50. All that was needed was a 12v supply (it does have an internal battery should the 12v fail). You then download the GPSLive App to your phone. Within seconds of powering the unit, its position popped up on my phone. The annual subscription is c.£50 (again going from my addled memory).

 

As an experiment I transferred it to the car (which is where it has remained), and it works very well. I am notified if the ignition is turned on, if the car moves, any speed violation(?) as well as having a map on the App of where the car is, and the routes that it’s taken. It’s as much for that fun as anything else.

 

However, when insurance companies speak of trackers, they mean 24/7 monitored ones. 

 

It’s time for our caravan insurance renewal shortly, and I’ve been looking around. As the total cost of our caravan is over £30,000 one of the major independent insurers insist on having a tracker fitted. On our caravan, the tracker was an option, and one that I didn’t tick (if the caravan was stolen, would I want it back? I doubt it!). Having one retro-fitted just isn’t cost effective, and neither is the annual subscription when compared to the reduction in insurance premium. For a Phantom Tracker, the annual subscription (a year at a time) is £125, and the reduction in insurance premium was c£80 in my experience.

 

Therefore, unless you want a tracker as a “bit of fun” in my experience you won’t get a reduction in premium unless it’s one of the well known ones, and even if it is, it isn’t cost effective.

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Posted (edited)

We have a pro-active Phantom Tracker in our caravan and in addition to normal tracking and alarm, it advises you if battery falls below and also keep track of mileage.  The police do respond to their call centre.

Our Buccaneer caravan came standard with a Tracker but it was reactive and as much good as a wet paper bag which is why we had the Tracker Retrieve replaced with the Phantom Tracker.  Taking into consideration the cost of the caravan why skimp when it comes to a decent Tracker?

Edited by Durbanite

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Hi Durbanite,

Can I just check with you something. Phantom handbook say they will contact  the Owner upon an alert being signalled.

It is the Owner who must contact the Police, to alert them. If I am wrong, I am sorry to cast doubt, However I once had an issue whilst abroad (without the van) after an alert and asked them to do that as I was  not at home, which they would not do. Would you clarify, please.

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https://www.rewiresecurity.co.uk/db1-lite-compact-gps-tracker-tracking-device

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Posted (edited)

We we have one of these secreted away in the van:

 

https://www.rewiresecurity.co.uk/gps-tracker-tk-104-vehicle-car-tracker

 

Although the built in battery has good life - allegedly 1 month continuous monitoring or 4 months of scheduled reports at 8 hour intervals - I installed covert wires to the leisure battery (topped up with solar panel) to keep it topped up but it goes all winter without dropping below 100% charge.  If the scum should disconnect the leisure battery and steal the van then at least it will be tracked for a month at least - plenty of time to inform Tracker and Plod and get them on the case (wishful thinking??).

 

Had it now for around 3 years, it pings alerts within seconds of any movement, departure from the geofence area, vibrations etc as well as logging all journeys and mileage. Fabulous bit of kit for the money. Also has a “panic button” facility which I guess you could wire to a door switch or PIR type sensor, I didn’t bother cos there wasn’t an easy way to hide that wiring in the van and hopefully it’s reasonably safe on a Cassoa Gold Storage site. 

 

Some aspects of the configuration software are a bit pernickety to set up but the company support is first class.  I cannot recommend it more highly.

 

DrBob

Edited by DrBob

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4 hours ago, Fleetline said:

Hi Durbanite,

Can I just check with you something. Phantom handbook say they will contact  the Owner upon an alert being signalled.

It is the Owner who must contact the Police, to alert them. If I am wrong, I am sorry to cast doubt, However I once had an issue whilst abroad (without the van) after an alert and asked them to do that as I was  not at home, which they would not do. Would you clarify, please.

Nope with Phantom Tracker they contact you which is why it is Proactive.  Tracker Retrieve as fitted to most caravans these days is reactive and you have to contact Tracker if the caravan goes missing.

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On 26/04/2020 at 09:52, MrRVW said:

Any opinions on these?

 

 

https://back2you.com/collections/top-sellers

These trackers look expensive compared to the Rewire Security devices mentioned a couple of times already. After faffing with the Chinese TK plastic garbage I purchased a Rewire DB2 which works brilliantly and is cheaper than the cheapest SIM only deal to use.

No discount from insurers though unless you choose an insurance approved model. Just like for wheel or hitch locks.

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On 26/04/2020 at 10:40, Durbanite said:

we had the Tracker Retrieve replaced with the Phantom Tracker. 

Each to his own, but Tracker Ltd devices can't be blocked with a common GPS jammer and after ringing primary and backup telephone numbers I would expect their control center to be proactive at this point if there was no response to cancel the alert. Otherwise why does the automated message ask me if the van is safe and to respond?

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We have a Phantom tracker, the same as Durbanites,

It will be 5 years old next year and I will be renewing it for another 5 years.  It makes no difference to our insurance but it sure does bring Peace of Mind.

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8 hours ago, limecc said:

Each to his own, but Tracker Ltd devices can't be blocked with a common GPS jammer and after ringing primary and backup telephone numbers I would expect their control center to be proactive at this point if there was no response to cancel the alert. Otherwise why does the automated message ask me if the van is safe and to respond?

If your caravan is in storage and stolen, it may be a week before you realise it is gone and by that time they have found and removed any Tracker.  Even if the caravan was on your drive, it could be several hours before it is realised it is missing.  The Retrieve is a waste of space.

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1 hour ago, Durbanite said:

If your caravan is in storage and stolen, it may be a week before you realise it is gone and by that time they have found and removed any Tracker.  Even if the caravan was on your drive, it could be several hours before it is realised it is missing.  The Retrieve is a waste of space.

When I forget to turn the tracker off it takes about 5 minutes (not a week) before I get a call and text. Usually I'm towing so next my wife gets the notification a couple of minutes after. I'm happy with this, I'm sure I'm not the only satisfied customer here.

Surely they sell different products if you want a higher level of service?

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On 26/04/2020 at 11:40, colin h said:

 

We also have one of these secreted away in the van, running from leisure battery, which in turn is topped up by a small 20W solar panel on the roof.  Annual subscription cost is about £20 from memory and with GiffGaff it uses about £3 a year worth of data.  These claim to have jamming detection and will alert you if it detects it's being jammed - although that's not an easy thing to test.  Also useful as I can use it to keep an eye on the leisure battery voltage remotely.

 

When we bought it, our van had  a full tracker Phantom, but that was about £150 per year to keep the subscription, so I didn't bother - I wondered about leaving it in place as a dummy so anyone stealing the van would find this first (it wasn't well hidden!) and think they had found the tracker, but I decided that wasn't worth the ~4kg weight penalty for the tracker, wiring, and its big backup battery.

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2 hours ago, Durbanite said:

If your caravan is in storage and stolen, it may be a week before you realise it is gone and by that time they have found and removed any Tracker.  Even if the caravan was on your drive, it could be several hours before it is realised it is missing.  The Retrieve is a waste of space.

Tracker do various devices and the Retrieve has to be the most useless, as Durbanite correctly point out you have to tell Tracker that the van is missing and then they'll try and look for it. Not much good when you go down to the storage site a find it's not there, even come back from shopping and find that it's not on your drive. I took mine out of my Unicorn lll.

 

It's the Locate (I think it was previously called the Monitor) that monitors the van for movement and notifies Tracker that the van is being moved so they can notify you. My U1 had a Monitor fitted and I did get a notification when we drove off without disabling the alarm although we  were the best part of 20 miles down the road so not as effective as it could be IMO.

 

My new van (when I get it) is supposed to have a Locate fitted but I'm in two minds whether to activate it and pay the annual fee which is still significantly more than any discount you get from the insurance company.

You'd think that if they really thought it was going to save them £20-£30k they'd be a bit keener to encourage you to fit and use one.

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5 hours ago, matelodave said:

My U1 had a Monitor fitted

 

I'm in two minds whether to activate it

This is what I've got I believe and purchased with a lifetime subscription which has been good for 10 years now.

 

If I was doing it all again I'd just stick with the £60 Rewire DB2 which I purchased mainly to protect our RIB boat. It works great even through the steel of a car engine bonnet, and their website gives you real time tracking via the smartphone app, £5/month.

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