Do I Need an Alarm or Security System in My RV? 

Over the last two weeks, I’ve introduced you to RV alarm and security systems. Now that you’re properly acquainted, you might be readier to make a purchasing decision. The question becomes, which do you need for your motorhome, a security or an alarm system?

If room in the budget allows, you should get an alarm and security system for your RV. Since an alarm system notifies you of potential trouble and a security system safeguards your motorhome from danger, both will go a long way toward making your RV a safe, enjoyable place.

Ahead, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about outfitting your motorhome with a beefy system that will enable your security, so make sure you keep reading!

What Is the Difference Between an RV Alarm and a Security System?

Let’s dive right in and discuss what makes alarm and security system for your motorhome different.

The answer comes down to functionality.

An alarm system comprises two main components, entry sensors and the alarm system. When a burglar trips an entry sensor, the alarm goes off. That alarm blares at high decibel levels that most criminals will run off, as the alarm system brings attention to the crime going on.

A security system catches criminals in the act with cameras, motion detection, and night vision. If the worst happens and someone nefarious breaks into your motorhome, you’d have clear evidence of the crime.

For as many differences as a motorhome alarm and security system have, these systems also share much in common. This table outlines everything you need to know; only remember that not all alarm or security systems have all these features, but they might, be sure to read the product descriptions.

System FeatureDo RV Alarm Systems Have It?Do RV Security Systems Have It?
CamerasYes, often severalYes, often several
Panic buttonYesYes
GPS locatorNoYes
Night visionYesYes
Entry sensorsYesPossibly
Motion detectionYesYes

As the different systems can be so similar yet so different, I would instead encourage you to focus on what type of functions you want to prioritize for safeguarding your RV and making you feel safe.

Maybe it is important for you to have a loud alarm that will wake you up and alert your neighbors if someone is trying to break in, but you also want to have a GPS tracker in case someone steals your RV while you are away.Or you might feel that it is more important to have security cameras.

Hence a combination of both systems might be a more suitable option where you choose a system or a combination of systems that fills all your needs and functions that are of most importance to you.

The Benefits of a Combined Alarm and Security System for Your RV

With so many overlapping features, combining your motorhome’s security and alarm systems makes sense. Although perhaps initially more expensive, the choice to outfit your RV with both will pay back dividends.

Let’s explore how!

More Comprehensive Security

RV alarm and security systems on their own are solid solutions for increasing security around your vehicle.

However, each respective system has gaps.

For instance, an alarm system doesn’t have a GPS locator, so if a criminal were to ignore the high-decibel alarm and make off with your RV anyway, it would be very difficult for the police to track the criminal.

Without solid leads, the criminals get a chance to make their getaway, and you’ll never see your motorhome again. Perhaps someone will find it, but it will be trashed beyond recognition.

An RV security system lacks the loud alarm that can deter criminals. Cameras can pick up on illegal activity but do nothing to stop it outright. A GPS system to find your stolen motorhome comes in handy, but it would be better if your vehicle were never stolen in the first place.

That’s not to say that alarms are always successful, but they’re a line of defense an RV security system doesn’t have.

By combining both systems, you bridge any gaps.

Peace of Mind

As I discussed in my introductory post on RV alarm and security systems, when camping out in your motorhome, you deserve to feel relaxed and at peace.

I also mentioned how it’s hard to relax when you have a worry lodged in the back of your head about potential funny business around your RV at night.

That niggling thought will grow as you stay at a park or campsite. It will torture you when you try to fall asleep, so you’ll end up staying up, listening for every little sound.

I’m not recommending that you become completely oblivious with a combination alarm and security system, but you should feel much more comfortable. The combined system will have measures in place for gauging and preventing ongoing criminal activity.

You can finally catch some Zzz’s and enjoy your time in nature as you’re supposed to! After all, if you don’t live in your motorhome full-time, that time away is even more precious.

The Freedom to Leave Your Vehicle for a While

Owning an RV means having the freedom to see the world on a reliable set of wheels. However, if you worry that someone might try to take your motorhome when you’re not looking, you won’t want to venture far from it when at a national park or campground.

This can limit the activities you can do. After a while, you feel tethered to the spot. You’re missing all the freedom that RV ownership is about.

With the app functionality that today’s security systems use, you can monitor what’s going on even if you’re nowhere near the campsite just by checking your phone.

The alarm system will work even in your absence, giving you the confidence to explore that park or campground fully.

Will a Combined RV Alarm and Security System Be Compatible with One Another?

Alright, but what about compatibility issues? Are they something you have to contend with if you combine an RV security and alarm system?

Possibly, especially if you’re makeshifting a combined system yourself, you can always buy a combined system from one manufacturer, eliminating the risk of compatibility problems.

However, I recognize that’s more expensive, so it might not be in the cards for everyone reading this. If you do combine preexisting components to make your own combined system, choose parts from the same manufacturer to ensure they integrate.


Focus on the functions that the systems provide rather than the name of it and choose one or a combination of systems to fulfill all your needs towards a safe and protected RV experience.

Selecting between an RV security or alarm system is a tough call. Fortunately, it’s not a choice you have to make! You can always have both to increase the protection your motorhome receives and keep it safeguarded against nefarious characters.

Stay tuned for product recommendation posts and step-by-step guides to set up your motorhome’s alarm and security systems.

Rikard Adamsson

Hello! My name is Rikard Adamsson; I am the creator of I live full-time in my motorhome, and right now, I am traveling through Europe the right way, without campsites; yes, wild camping and being off the grid works excellent even in a real beauty from 1996. I have done a lot of rebuilding and upgrades. I am happy to share my experiences with everything regarding motorhomes, RVs, or caravans with you here at

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