Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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This affordable, effective device will track your RV or other items if stolen

There is a simple, inexpensive, effective way to track your RV after it’s been stolen. Bluetooth devices such as Tile® and Apple’s AirTag can be hidden in your RV and if it is stolen, your RV can be tracked in real time.

Designed to help you find things you misplace such as keys, wallets and purses, they are small enough to be a “hidden” asset. I have an AirTag on my keys and in a very important notebook that I use all the time. Some people put them on their dog’s collar in case he or she gets lost.

So why not hide one in your RV or car? Police can use this to locate it and maybe even apprehend the dirty crook who took it. I have hidden an AirTag in my RV. It is linked to my iPhone and can use the FindMy app to pinpoint its location if it were to go missing.

Of course, you should never try to retrieve your stolen vehicle yourself; please leave that up to the police. We don’t want to hear about campers in shootouts with crooks.

Where can I buy them and how much do they cost?

AirTags are $29 each or 4 for $99 on Amazon. You will need an iPhone, iPad or Mac product to use it. The FindMy app comes free with your iPhone or iPad.

Tile works with both Apple and Android products. The company has made quite a few versions of their tracker, but the basic one is about $25. The basic app is free but Tile has Premium Apps that have annual subscription fees.

There are now accessories made for these devices that allow you to mount them on your bike or on a wall. Some of them are quite fashionable.

I have a tendency to lose my keys and my AirTag has been a godsend. Can you imagine how great it would be to find your stolen trailer using your phone?

##RVDT1722

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Marlene Syverson
1 month ago

This is only good if you are 20 or 30 ft away. Not much good if you go to town. Ring doorbell is better, no matter how far you are you get an alert that someone is messing with your rig.

Lauri
11 days ago

Haha, this is so funny because people steal this stick on doorbells all the time. I’m going to miss using my mounted Ring cameras while Rving. But I’m not going to get the doorbell due to the high theft rate of those 🤨

Judy S
1 month ago

Anyone tracking me would die of boredom.
But I do have a silent tracking device called Drone hidden in my rig that uses satellites to send its exact location to my phone. LoJack is outdated technology.
For pets there’s a similar device from a company called Fi which attaches to their collar.

KellyR
1 month ago

Here we are, a group of people that want to put on our wheels and get away from it all, and we still want to be tied to the world and have other people know where we are???

Jeff Craig
1 month ago
Reply to  KellyR

AirPods and Tiles only tell YOU where your stuff is. If you report your tile as missing, it sends a signal to the Tile Network, but no one knows where you are – the app looks out for your missing device and then alerts YOU when it is found, and where.

I’ve been using Tile for years, and it has saved my tablet (fell off the back of my work truck one evening while working late) and one of our cats who bolted out of our RV. The tablet fell in the middle of a residential street, on a dark and rainy night, and the app picked up on the Tile as I drove slowly (it was in a case, with the Tile in the case. As for our cat, we have Tiles on their harnesses, and when Scotty got out, we used the app to sound off, so we could home in on him in the tall grass around our camp site.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago

All this tracking stuff scares me. Too much “big brotherism” with all of it. I recently got a note from Google and a map showing where we had driven in the past month. We had gone from Reno to Houston – and back. Google just showed up with a map of everywhere we stopped along the way. I wasn’t using any tracking stuff of any kind – except that the location setting on my phone was on. We were using it to find fueling stops. I just found it very creepy – and I shut off the location thing on my phone. I’ve heard the only REAL way of stopping that is to take the battery out of the phone. Too much!

Diane Mc
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

You can set location on most, if not all, apps with “use location only when using app”. Don’t select “always”. Also, I try not to use “Google” anything. It is hard as they own so much. With maps you can always use Apple’s map app instead of Google’s. They do not track as much as Google. Again, choose “use only when using app”.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

I’m aware of the “use only when app is on” setting but I’m beginning to think that doesn’t matter. I don’t trust Apple, and certainly don’t trust Google. I have an Android phone and I don’t trust them either. I guess I’m just a paranoid old man, especially after my Google experience. Gimme my trusty old Gazetteer. I’ll use seat of the pants to find fuel stops – ha.

Diane Mc
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Understand. However, exactly why I use Apple devices, rather than Android. Apple’s privacy & tracking is far more restrictive than Android. Apple touts it. Also why Apple devices are rarely hacked, while Android has serious problems with hacks/scams etc. FYI, we don’t have our TV’s connected to the Internet at home for exactly the issues with tracking, sell info, etc.

Kathy Viers
1 month ago
Reply to  Diane Mc

Our new Toyota Rava would send us messages telling us it was in our garage and HOW MUCH GAS YOU HAVE! Creepy.

Gordy B
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

I use Gas Buddy for fuel, they give you all the stations within a certain radius and the price of fuel as last reported by users. You pick a station that has the best price and you can call and verify or google to get directions or google for a view. It is very convenient. I also have a Sam’s Club membership. If there is a Sam’s Gas nearby, they are anywhere from 5 to 40 cents cheaper than any other in the area. Most are accessible with towables and most motor homes. I delivered tt’s and 5’s for two and a half years and bought most of my fuel at Sam’s gas. There is a book available with Wal Mart locations that also tells if there is a Sam’s gas and whether they have Diesel as well (many do but not all). In addition you have a cash back feature as well if you use your Sam’s Club credit card that comes with your $45.00 per year membership. First year I received $950.00 cash back bonus. Don’t mean to sound like a Wal Mart ad, but I found it well worth it. Happy Trails

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordy B

I check Gas Buddy too, but depending on where you are, the last reported price could be weeks behind. Nevertheless, it’s a good way to find fuel. You have to be in big cities (or bigger towns) for there to be a Sam’s Club or Costco. I prefer to fuel out on the road and then just pass through large population centers. I always try to upgrade the prices on Gas Buddy.

KellyR
1 month ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

It scares me too, Tommy. Many decades ago we were led to believe that the Gov’t was going to be Big Brother and track us around. The Gov’t knows less about us than Walmart, Google, and any other commercial entity. When my wife got her new smart phone, we got home one evening and messages came up on the phone stating: “How did you enjoy shopping at ABC?, How did you enjoy dinner at XYZ? That scared the [whatever} out of us. We had our daughter “disable” that feature, but we are not sure that someone is not still tracking that phone. I will keep my “stupid?” flip phone – and I am not sure that is not trackable. Even visiting my favorite RV Travel magazine notifies someone that they can try to sell me a new sewer hose. If you are going to rob a bank, leave your phone at home and off and drive a pre-computerized car. Born 100 years too late.

Tommy Molnar
1 month ago
Reply to  KellyR

I wish I could reactivate my old Motorola bag phone (which I still have!) but it was analog. I wish I could reactivate my old flip-phone too, and it was combo digital and analog (my choice of how I wanted to call). When I finally dumped it they told me I could keep it working but the minute I bailed out there was no going back. I succumbed to the draw of the new “smart” phone with “enhanced digital signal”. What a mistake.

Karel Carnohan
1 month ago

I appreciate all the comments. I realize these products are somewhat controversial because of privacy issues. However, I think they can be useful. All I know is that when I sold my fifth wheel, I forgot to take out my AirTag. I informed the new owner and he was to mail it back to me. In the meantime, I could locate the fifth wheel with some accuracy. So I question the challenges that this only works within short distances – I am in Asheville and the fifth wheel is in New Jersey.

Here is an interesting article about someone who worked with police to find her stolen car:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/10/28/airtags-theft/

And here is an article discussing the pros and cons of using it to find lost pets: Can Apple’s AirTags Find Lost Pets?We look at the pros and cons of using Apple’s AirTag tracking device to find our missing dogs and cats.By Kaitlyn Wells

I think tools can be helpful when used in the right way.

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  Karel Carnohan

It works over long distances because other Apple devices pick up the signal. You therefore have millions of devices out there that are able to act as your “finders”.

Larry
1 month ago

Wow! Lots of misunderstanding of how these devices work. It relies on other iPhone users’ phones (group sourcing) to pick up the blue tooth signal, it doesn’t pair, it then sends the information to the users Find My Device App on their iPhone. You don’t have to be anywhere in the vicinity of the AirTag but someone else done. Apple does not recommend them for dogs because it will transmit only the last location picked up by an iPhone. The dog can and probably will have moved on from there. But it does give you a general idea of where the dog was which can be helpful.

Also, how many times while you are driving down the highway in your RV and looked down at a passing car to see someone on their phone. If it’s an iPhone the signal should be picked up and transmitted.

Bill Kocken
1 month ago

The apple airtags are not meant to track stolen items. They alert the thief of their presence. The thief can then find the airtag and discard or destroy it. They do this so that you cannot use them to stalk people. Here’s the description from Apple. “ AirTag is designed to discourage unwanted tracking. If someone else’s AirTag finds its way into your stuff, your iPhone will notice it’s traveling with you and send you an alert. After a while, if you still haven’t found it, the AirTag will start playing a sound to let you know it’s there.”

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill Kocken

Apple has accounted for a way to balance anti-stalking and anti-theft. An iPhone won’t activate the anti-stalking notification until the person has gotten home (based on their iPhone setup) or to a location of significance. If they are so bold as to take your stolen RV/e-bike/etc to their home, they’ll get that notification. Just a guess, but I don’t think that’s likely in the case of a stolen RV. No it’s not LoJack, but it does seem to strike a nice, and very inexpensive balance.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger V
tom
1 month ago

Bluetooth’s limited range defeats this type of usage. You will need a GPS type tracker that will transmit to the cell system.

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  tom

Any iPhone or other Apple device can pick up the Airtag signal and forward the information so you immediately have millions of transmitters working for you. GPS trackers are of course better for antitheft applications as that’s what they are designed for.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger V
Warmonk
1 month ago

Apple’s Air Tag is not exclusively bluetooth. Instead, it (they) can be located anywhere in the world on the FindMy network utilizing the hundreds of millions of existing Apple devices. Automatically. Anonymously.

Last edited 1 month ago by Warmonk
Bob
1 month ago

Additionally, Bluetooth does not automatically Pair (connect) with another device.
You would need to get within range to reconnect with it.

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Any iPhone or other Apple device can pick up the Airtag signal and forward the information so you immediately have millions of transmitters working for you.

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger V
Bob P
1 month ago

Another example of journalists writing about something before getting the facts.

Bob
1 month ago

Bluetooth has a very limited range! 20 – 30 feet. Once it’s out of range going down the highway, your out of luck!

TallyBeach
1 month ago

Apple AirTags are wonderful. As soon as they were available, I bought a pack of four and put one in the RV. It’s great to be able to glance at the iPhone and make sure the RV is still where it’s supposed to be.

Engineer
1 month ago

This article is totally WRONG wrt using the TILE blue tooth device to track a stolen RV. The ONLY way is if you are within 35’ if your stolen RV.

Roger V
1 month ago
Reply to  Engineer

Or someone else with the Tile app on their phone is that close to your RV and happens to have it active. That worked for me once before. It wasn’t very precise, but it was close enough to get me to the store where I left my Tile equipped item. That’s why we’ve switched from Tile to Airtags though. Far more i – devices out there than Tiles

Last edited 1 month ago by Roger V