GPS-based security services are freely available for use with caravans, motorhomes and other vehicles, but they’re seldom cheap. If you’re more interested in just having peace of mind from being able to trace a stolen vehicle rather than paying for a complete recovery service though, you can save a few quid with a DIY solution.
£180, for example, buys the new GTU 10 GPS-based tracking unit from Garmin. This gadget is both small and light enough (1.7oz/48g) to clip to a dog collar or a child’s belt, but this also makes it ideal for slipping into a secret spot in the back of a caravan or motorhome.
The GTU 10 can be configured to send an alert by SMS or email when it leaves — or enters — a certain geographical location. Up to 10 such ‘geofences’ can be created for flexible monitoring and the device’s position can be monitored via an online map, or using the dedicated iPhone and Android app.
Like all such devices, alerts are dependent on GSM mobile phone network coverage and battery life is reckoned to be good for up to four weeks. The GTU 10 will send a reminder alert when it needs to be recharged though, and when it’s about to power down.
The price includes a one-year subscription for the tracking service, with the service costing £45 a year thereafter. Tracking works both across the UK and most European countries — Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
According to Garmin, the GTU 10 is due for launch in “early February”, but there's no news on availability just yet, so watch this space for more details.