If you’ve got an older caravan, camper, or motorhome and you want to add some technology to it, BMPRO’s ProSmart kit is just what you need.
If you purchase a new caravan, camper, or motorhome today, it is likely to be stacked full of technology, particularly when it comes to resource management. Everything from advanced battery and power management systems to water and gas supplies monitoring, and all controlled via sophisticated data screens or even applications on your smart device. If you have an older van that was made before all this great tech was available, you may be feeling a little left out. Well, thanks to BMPRO and their ProSmart kit, you can now add some of this technology to your RV and it is completely DIY. They sent us one of their ProSmart starter kits to fit into an older caravan to see how easy it is to install and use.
At the heart of the ProSmart kit is the SmartLink controller. This clever device can connect to up to 40 Bluetooth sensors, 4 water tank level sensors, a hard-wired temperature sensor and a wired connection to the house battery. There’s also a provision for an external display. It is all controlled by the ProSmart phone app. The standard kit comes with the wired temperature sensor and the connection to the battery, a Bluetooth temperature sensor, a Bluetooth LP Gas tank sensor and two tyre pressure/temperature sensors. Additional sensors can be purchased separately from BMPRO. Also supplied with the kit are some mounting screws for the SmartLink controller, a tool for securing the tyre sensors to the valve stems, another tool to access the batteries on the tyre sensors, some security nuts for the tyre sensors, some spare rubber seals and some grease used for the LPG tank sensor. Installation and operating instructions are available to download from the BMPRO website.
Installation is extremely simple however there are a few tricks to keep in mind. It pays to actually read the manual beforehand. For instance, BMPRO recommends mounting the SmartLink control box at a high point in the van away from the metal chassis in order to maximise the transmitter performance. It also recommends mounting it as close to the battery as possible so a little planning is essential to find the perfect place to mount the unit.
Once you’ve determined the mounting position, the next step is to connect the wired connections to the SmartLink box, mount it in position and connect it to the battery. Then you pair the device to your smartphone using the free-to-download ProSmart phone app. It’s worth noting each SmartLink has its own 6-digit pin code so you can’t accidentally connect to your neighbour’s system. I had no trouble pairing the device with an iPhone. In fact, it was probably the easiest, trouble-free Bluetooth hook-up I’ve ever done. Top marks to BMPRO for that.
The next task is to connect the sensors. Again, this was fairly painless and I had all the supplied sensors connected within minutes. A trick for young players; link the LPG tank sensor to the app BEFORE you attach it to the bottom of the tank itself. Once these are set up, you can customise the main screen by removing the sensors you’re not using and adding the ones you are. The display is simple and easy to read.
The amount of available information is quite remarkable for such a simple system. The two temperature sensors can be configured so that you can monitor the temperature of your fridge as well as the internal temperature of the RV itself. The tyre sensors measure pressure and temperature and the LP Gas tank sensor shows how much gas is remaining in the tank as a percentage of full as well as the outside temperature. It’s all very impressive.
One thing that I was concerned about was the range of the SmartLink device. Due to the layout of the test van, I had to mount it at the very back of the van under one of the seats. As it turned out, I need not have worried as my phone was able to receive the signal quite clearly from the driver’s seat of the tow vehicle. In fact, I tested the range and found I could still get a clear signal from about 20 feet away.
All in all, I was really impressed with the BMPRO ProSmart kit. In fact, I don’t recall having so much fun installing anything in an RV or car in the past. It is very easy to do yourself and the system is fully expandable to cater to even the most kitted out caravan. Best of all, when you turn up to happy hour and your neighbour is bragging about the expensive tech in his equally expensive new RV, you can whip out your phone and beat him as his own game.
If I had to pick one negative about the system, it would be that there could be a graphical representation of the left and right tyre sensors rather then the alpha-numeric display on the app but this is a minor issue and something I’m sure BMPRO could look to include in a later update of the software.
The BMPRO ProSmart is made in Australia, comes with a 2-year warranty, and retails for $395. I reckon that is excellent value for money. The free ProSmart application is available for both iOS and Android phones.
For more information, visit www.teambmpro.com