By Tony Barthel
You want to bring your pets along but there are a lot of places where you are specifically prohibited from bringing them on your daytime adventures. Some parks and recreational places restrict pets due to wildlife. You don’t want a bear to eat Fido, do you? So what do you do? You don’t want to leave the pets behind in case the RV gets too hot or cold. But you might if you could monitor the temperature inside your RV.
There are a lot of pet monitors out there but we recently got to test out the Waggle Pet Monitor.
How it works
This is a battery-powered device that uses a Verizon connection to alert your smartphone if the temperature and humidity inside the RV or vehicle are outside of the “safe” range for your pet. You can use the app on the phone to set the maximum and minimum temperatures. The device checks the temperature and humidity levels every minute, so you’ll be notified immediately if something changes.
Since the device uses the Verizon network, there is a monthly monitoring fee that ranges from $12.50 to $16.50 per month, depending on how long you commit to in your subscription.
Monitor the temperature and the power
If the temperature inside the vehicle falls outside the range you’ve specified, you’ll get an alert on your phone and can take action. This is useful in cases where the ambient temperature might be outside the comfort zone for animals and you’re worried about the AC or furnace not operating properly.
The device also monitors power so if the power’s out you’ll get an alert for that as well, which is good to know. The device does have a built-in battery so it will continue to send alerts if the power drops out.
Since this device works only on Verizon this will only operate if there’s a decent Verizon signal in the area. Furthermore, you have to have a smartphone and that phone has to have service to receive the alerts. If you’re hiking in the backcountry this solution might not work.
While the Waggle monitor is highly rated, there are some complaints on Amazon of the app being laden with more bloat than needed. There were other complaints that the tech support was not the best with operators being difficult to understand. But those people who call from the IRS are difficult to understand, also. However, they have no issues processing my iTunes gift cards for my convenience. Mmmhmm.
The box includes a door hanger that you can put outside the RV to indicate that your pet is being monitored which is nice.
Of course, on some motorhomes and fifth wheels with generators and more advanced climate control systems, these systems can kick in when needed to create a safe condition for pets as well and start climate controls.
If you’re nerdy or have some form of internet connectivity in your rig already there may be cheaper ways to do this.
Still, for peace of mind, this is certainly a solution. Of course, it may not be enough to prevent something like this from happening…