Some of you may remember my post on the Boat Command remote monitoring system. It lets us monitor things like battery voltages and shore power while we are away and sends alerts should something go amiss. It’s nice to be able to track the battery voltages or get alerted to an intruder when our boat is shrink wrapped for the winter back in RI, but we are somewhere warm and sunny.
Well we also have a similar device on our motorhome, called RV Command. Actually, the hardware is identical to the Boat Command, but the nomenclature is changed to reflect RV functions. For example the Bilge Pump run time tracking is renamed to Engine Hours. The RV Command is the same price as the Boat Command (currently $299) and ongoing cellular based (AT&T) communications service is still $8.99/month.
When wired as described below the RV-Command will monitor and alert us via text and/or email for all of the following conditions:
- House Battery Voltage (configurable low voltage alert)
- Start Battery Voltage (configurable low voltage alert)
- Generator Engine Hours
- Shore Power (alert sent when disconnected)
- Temperature Inside via Sensor (configurable HIGH & LOW temp alerts)
- Temperature Outside (from web based data)
- GPS location with GeoFence (configurable alert radius)
Since I have already done a previous review, this post will provide details regarding exactly how the RV-Command was installed in our 2017 Entegra Aspire motorhome. The Onan generator and control module equipment is the key to making this an easy install and this gear is very common on all types of RV’s, so this information is likely to have a much larger audience than just Entegra owners.
Basically, it was a really simple install. Our Entegra has a 10KW generator made by Onan and it is controlled by a remote panel called the EC-30. The EC-30 provides generator control, status monitoring, error reporting, auto start configuration, etc. It just so happens that all of the most important signals needed by the RV Command are present in the EC-30 wiring harness.
The location of the EC-30 on our coach is in a wiring compartment over the entry door. Turns out this is also a good place to put the RV Command because it has good access to cellular radio signals and it’s built in GPS chip can see the sky.
The hookup was straightforward connecting the RV Command sense wires into the appropriate EC-30 signal wires. The diagram below provides the details.
To make the connections you can use a wire tap like the one pictured left, however the EC-30 harness wires are much heavier than the RV Command wires so there might be some connection reliability concerns, you could get around that by extending the RV-Command wires with a wire that matches the gauge of the EC-30 harness. A Posi-Tap (photo right) might be a better tap type option. Or, you can simply cut the EC-30 harness leads and reassemble with a simple butt connector doubling up the thin RV Command wire on one end with the EC-30 wire.
Note that the shore power sense signals may need to be converted from AC to DC to work with the RV-Command. On our Entegra, the shore power sense comes from the transfer switch and is a low voltage AC signal. A 12 volt DC signal is what is required for the RV-Command.
Note that the EC-30 can accept either 12-16v AC or 12v DC for it’s sense circuitry. Your motorhome may have either voltage present so you will need to check that out before proceeding with the shore power sense connections. Also some older motorhomes may not have a shore power sense signal at all, in that case the RV-Command won’t sense shore power unless you add that capability.
In regard to the RV-Command placement I simply let it lie flat in the bottom of the wiring compartment. It has a “This Side Up” marking on one side, presumably for the GPS sensor, so just make sure that side faces the sky.
Future additions to this install will be a simple magnetic sensor for the entry door or possibly an interior motion sensor. Also I have been considering using one of the Control functions on the RV-Command to allow starting the generator remotely or perhaps unlocking the door.