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Smart Plugs - Turn Stuff On & Off with your Phone as a Remote Control


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Hi Folks!

I realize a lot of motorhome owners are older so you may not be aware of Smart Plugs but they are really handy and I just saw a box of 4 for $20 CAD at Costco so I picked them up and gave some to my neighbors. 

What they are is just an electrical outlet that is controlled by WiFi. So once they are joined to your WiFi network you just install an app on your phone and then you can remotely turn on and off that outlet. You can label the 'plugs' on your phone to what they do, ie, Fan or whatever. 

In my unit I have most things using the phone as a remote control. I can turn the hot water tank on & off with the phone, a circulating fan, my dehumidifier has native phone control, and outside outlets such as the TV in the lower compartment, as well as my oil filled heater (on a separate remote). 

It's very handy, especially the Hot Water tank as I can turn it on when I'm lying in bed before I get up. That way the tank is fully hot for the shower. If you have a Google Phone they have a central app that will run most things on smart plugs. 

But at $20 CAD for 4, well, that's about $15 USD. So...not much risk there!

Because my hot water tank has a 2,000 watt element I had to use a more expensive one for that. It was about $50 CAD. But that one includes a voltage and watt meter and also shows you how many volts AC are available. It's more sophisticated than the Costco ones. If you have the stock 1,400 watt element I bet you could run your water heater on the cheap Costco ones as well because they are rated for 15 amps.....

Since they are integrated with your phone you can also schedule items to turn on or off at predetermined times. For instance, you can hit the Away button on your phone and turn everything off all at once and schedule things to turn on at certain times. 

It adds a LOT of versatility to living in a motorhome when you don't have to get up anymore to turn things on and off. But when I saw a 4-pack at Costco for that price, well, I wanted to mention it in case others have not heard about them yet. At that price you can give them away as gifts!

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I have several of them hooked to small electric heaters and heat lamps in various compartments for freeze protection. I can turn them on from home when freezing temperatures are forecast. Beats the heck out of driving 30 miles to where I store the RV!

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Good point! I know my dehumidifier can be operated remotely over the Internet but have yet to try the other plugs. Glad you mentioned that, it's probably one of their most important features. 

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1 hour ago, Harvey Babb said:

I have several of them hooked to small electric heaters and heat lamps in various compartments for freeze protection. I can turn them on from home when freezing temperatures are forecast. Beats the heck out of driving 30 miles to where I store the RV!

I have some Sonoff smart switches that I bought on Amazon hooked up the the electric heaters in my motorhome. They work the same way but they also have a thermostat so they can be programed to come on and go off a certain temperatures. Plus I can see the temperature and humidity at each one on my phone. They cost about $30 each and you either have to wire them into the heater cord or add plugs to them. It's pretty easy.

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I chose to use a variety KASA Smart outlets & Switches along with Cameras in our winter home in Flagler Beach Florida. I also have an Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat to control the AC and HP in the house. I like to keep the humidity below 70% during the summer months so on days when I get an alert, I can manually turn on the AC to bring the humidity down.

My Orbit B-Hyve Irrigation System is also Wi-Fi which I can adjust as needed when my lawn service tells me the grass needs more water.

Love the ability to manage your winter home while away for the summer.

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1 hour ago, Dr4Film said:

I chose to use a variety KASA Smart outlets & Switches along with Cameras in our winter home in Flagler Beach Florida. I also have an Emerson Sensi Wi-Fi Thermostat to control the AC and HP in the house. I like to keep the humidity below 70% during the summer months so on days when I get an alert, I can manually turn on the AC to bring the humidity down.

My Orbit B-Hyve Irrigation System is also Wi-Fi which I can adjust as needed when my lawn service tells me the grass needs more water.

Love the ability to manage your winter home while away for the summer.

Geeez,

My wife figured out that our programmable thermostat has humidity control so she set it up to TRY to get the humidity to 50% which is impossible in E TN during the summer.  As a result the AC was almost running continuously.  I finally figured out something was up when the thermostat was set at 72F but the temp was dropping below 68F and still running.  This was after I got back from an extended trip. 

I went back and looked at power consumption and $$$ for a comparable period last year and I figured it cost us $50/month more.  I tried to explain this to her but I fell on deaf ears. 

The thermostat does has wireless capability but I'd have to get a module, which may be worth it so I could keep an eye on it remotely, it wouldn't take many months to pay for it.

Edited by jacwjames
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