We will test out the SmartCamper projet using Raspberry Pi B+ and several ESP32’s with different sensors in our testbed. Will post pictures and information as we progress! Looks like a mess, but as of today’s testing of Home Assistant running on a Raspberry Pi B+ :

You will also see the editor for WordPress on the screen in the background. 


Objective and Inspiration

A modern motorhome or camper trailer is a home on wheels and a large investment. Why not treat it as you would your home with alarms, monitoring and other system to protect your investment. Considering both home and vehicle aspects of a system i would personally want to monitor, control or have the following features:


Choice of development platform

Criteria and choices

Since this project is primarily a DYI project, it is important that both software and hardware are cheap and readily available. It is also important that the “products” are well documented and preferably has an active user community online.

We have evaluated several hardware and software systems like “Blynk” and IoT systems from the big players like Amazon, Google and MicroSoft. As of today it looks like we will fall down on Home Assistant on Raspberry Pi and Arduino IDE on ESP32 as products for further experimentation.

Home Assistant are an open source home automation software system that puts local control and privacy first. Powered by a worldwide community of tinkerers and DIY enthusiasts. Perfect to run on a Raspberry Pi or a local Linux server. It is well integrated with other IoT systems and has a WEB interface for visually controlling our gadgets.

ESP32 are a cheap but verry capable microcontroller. It is engineered for IoT applications and has WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities built in combined with an ultra-low power consumption. It is also supported in the Arduino IDE for easy software development. Arduino are a defacto standard for DIY automation projects.


Wintercamping in Norway

Wintercamping is a challenge – also giving high rewards

Think of a crackling camp fire, on a starry winter sky…. Yes, maybe we will see the Northern Lights tonight.

Winter camping is colder, darker and sometimes more difficult than you might think. But, done right, it can be massively exciting and exhilarating and reward you with a totally new outlook on the world. Imagine waking up to twinkling frosts, snowy mountains or a cool, calm day by the coast. There is nothing like it. In fact, it could provide you with some of the best camping experiences you ever had!


In order to stay warm in the winter, it is important to insulate the motorhome or caravan as well as possible. Most campers are insulated in the walls and the floor for use in wintertime, but it is still wise to insulate window surfaces and roof hatches. Particularly the windscreen and the side windows of the driver’s cab in motorhomes can be poorly insulated from the factory. There are many products that you can attach to the outside of the car to isolate the driver’s cab as shown in the picture. For insulating the roof hatches you can just fill them up with some rubberfoam or use this insulating sheet made specially for the hatches.


Most campers and caravans are well insulated and have good heaters installed from the factory. However, should the thermometer crawl below -20C, it may be okay or even necessary with an additional heat source. A small propane heater might just save your day should the onboard heating fail for some reason. REMEMBER to check your GAS supply and always have a spare bottle avalable!!


Do’nt forget your warmest clothes when camping in Norway in the cold season! Good warm and waterresistant footware, thick wool socks and Long Johns for your legs. A thick windproof and warm jacket, a skarf and a winter hat is also a must when the temperature gets below freezing. Do not forget the gloves.     


You may want to use an awning as an entrance. This will shield the interior from snow and ice dragged in from your footwear. It will also keep the campervan a bit protected from the wind, snow and rain.


When freecamping, even in summertime, it can be a lifesaver to have a small generator avalable. In wintertime the batteries drain quicker and most heating systems are depentent of battery-power to function! Use the generator to top up your batteries in the afternoon so you don’t wake up to freezing temperature and  a dead battery.