In our previous blog posting, I spoke of Airstream and their Smart Control Technology. In today’s blog post, Lippert Components is also changing the RV Industry for several manufacturer’s of campers. Much like Airstream, Lippert Components has OneControl Technology that is similar in ways as it lets RV’ers control and monitor their RV systems all from the unit’s touchscreen or smartphone.
After spending several hours reading and researching this smart technology, it is quite overwhelming and impressive all at the same time. No, I’m still not a fan of Smart RV technology but that’s just simply my opinion. As I had stated, I feel like the money that can be saved from buying a RV without Smart RV technology versus one with Smart RV technology could be a game changer. How will it affect the young generation whose tech savvy and always up to do with the newest and hottest electronics, versus a senior citizen married couple. Then you also have to consider folks like myself who are middle class and live on a tight budget.
As much as I would love to travel in a brand new RV, I can’t justify the price tag. I still remember my 2003 Keystone Montana and even though I’ve looked at the new High Country Montana there’s truthfully not a “huge” difference. It’s more of the color scheme has changed, granted newer appliances and better features but once again it is a frame with slide outs, windows, furniture, appliances so it’s hard for me to want a new camper truthfully.
I’ve always had the fear that technology was sometimes too much trouble. With new features and technology, the price tag will just about always increase. I’m curious to find out if a sensor fails or the technology to be able to do the programming fails or causes error messages, how much will that cost? Does the warranty cover all those aspects and for how long?
So let’s dive in and talk about OneControl Technology. When you connect your iPhone or Android to the OneControl Wireless System one thing I’ve noticed that I was concerned about is you set a pin number to prevent unauthorized access to your RV. That’s a good safety measure that I’m pleased to see!
OneControl Technology provides several more features with their technology which is rather impressive to be honest. Let’s break it down and understand the functions:
Smartphone Functions with OneControl:
Leveling: Operate Ground Control TT, Ground Control 3.0, Level up Automatic leveling systems
Awning: Operate multiple Solera, Carefree or Dometic Power Awnings
HVAC: Control Heat Pump, Air Conditioner and Fan Speed
Generator: Power up or power down your generator
Lighting: Control multiple light zones. Dimming and RGB lighting options available
Slide-Out: Access to multiple slide out functions
Tank Monitor: View multiple tank levels, turn on or off electric or gas water heater or turn on or off water pump
Landing gear: extend or lower hydraulic or electric landing gear
Stabilizer: Extend or lower electric stabilizers
Bed Lift: Raise or Lower Power Bed Lift Systems
Fan: Turn on or off vent fans
You can view the manuals for their technology and it provides great breakdowns of how their system works. I’ve been reading them over and examining all the photo’s and documentation and I have to say I am quite amazed with the precise information available and how easy it was for someone like me to truthfully understand. I have to give Lippert Components credit, they have done a fantastic job of explaining everything their system does with great quality photo’s, descriptions, resources and troubleshooting.
Maybe, just maybe I’d love to one day test out this new technology as Lippert Components definitely has raised my interest quite a bit. I think sometimes it is all how information is presented that makes a huge difference. For example, I looked at the way the OneControl technology monitors your tanks. It is sensors that are placed at three different levels that reads, now I’m not quite sure how different that concept is from older campers such as my previous 2003 Keystone Montana as when I hit the switch, lights would show me much like a stoplight where my tanks were at. Full, empty, 2/3rd, maybe it had sensors as well?
Then I pondered a very interesting thought. Maybe this new technology is becoming more available as it is cheaper to replace than your traditional “switches”. Could that be a reason? Maybe it allows for more space even though most “buttons” didn’t take up that much but appearance is everything as well. Normally we find most control panels hidden in a cabinet usually near the main entry door.
This technology has me excited, nervous and concerned all at the same time. I almost feel like a child on Christmas morning excited to open that big present. I’m sure as time goes by, technology will increase in RV’s much like our personal life as well. When we think of how many times an iPhone has changed for example and wonder how they can continue to make the next model bigger and better it’s surprising but yet they do. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if in the future you could press a button on your smartphone or on the touch panel these new RV’s are displaying and have it automatically dump your tank with the press of a button.
While technology certainly has many pro’s to it, the cons are really what concerns me. Will this cause layoffs down the road as machines will practically replace humans? Will the average family whose middle class be able to afford these campers? Will we have enough trained technicians to be able to handle the technology aspect of repairing the RV’s or figuring out why it isn’t connecting? These are simply a few questions that while we can only hope will be positive we also have to consider the possible cons as well.
The biggest part of technology that I always get concerned about truthfully is cost. Referring back to smart phones, every time a new model is released the cost is at least $100 more on the new model. I wonder if Lippert Components will offer a wireless data plan rebate to help curb the cost like Airstream has provided. Maybe even offer a new smartphone might would be the better option?
If you’re curious, here’s a list of all the campers that the OneControl is already on. The future of how we camp is changing, are you ready?