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Old 10-25-2021, 09:09 PM   #1
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GPS vehicle tracker recommendations

I'm considering a GPS tracking system for the van.

It's for antitheft, but I'd also like something that conceivably would be like an Inreach or SPOT for the van itself; something I could share so people would be able to see where I was. Obviously it wouldn't work out of cellular range, but seeing that I left pavement headed north on say Saline Valley Road might be enough should the ghost of Manson get me out there

Anyhoo, since I imagine most of the expense and hassle is in the contract and the management of the unit I'd like to know about that. And power...if the van sits for two weeks at a trailhead, what then? you can tell I don't know much about them.

And I take it will be more expensive than a couple of AirTags.
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:04 AM   #2
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https://gpsandtrack.com/car_tracker/
This the tracking unit I installed 2 years ago in our van. The unit is tracked via GPS but a cell phone is required to follow the signal. It costs around $120 (no monthly fees) and I paid an installer $35 to put it in. Mine does not disable the vehicle starting but some do. It’s hard wired in the vehicle, so there is some parasitic draw. Those of us with Transits have figured out ways to keep the starting battery charged if you are going to be away from the vehicle or not driving it for a period of time (solar, trickle charger, intermittent charging).
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:05 AM   #3
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I have also used the https://gpsandtrack.com/car_tracker/ trackers and service. The devices they offer have worked without any issue however I have found the website and the app not very user friendly. For my next GPS unit, I would likely pay more for or a monthly fee for a great user interface. Their devices and service is very affordable though.

On a related but different topic. With all of the discussions about theft that have blossomed out on the social van platforms lately, once GPS starts to be discussed, window stickers will eventually come up. I don't recommend anyone put stickers on their van that say GPS tracked vehicle or the like. You are literally telling the potential thief to used a GPS jammer or drive the van to a location of weak signal like a steel reinforced concrete warehouse. Visual deterrents to theft can be very effective but a GPS sticker is likely not a good idea.

- Eric
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:15 AM   #4
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I recently started using the "LandAirSea" GPS device - and it seems to be OK based on my limited knowledge regarding tech stuff. Just wish the battery life was better ! Price is within my budget at present. Currently prepaid on a six month program - "Possible" downside is - my wife can track me now ! LOL -
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Old 10-26-2021, 11:52 AM   #5
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Also have the Land Air Sea, hidden inside the vehicle and hardwired to the house Batt that is supplier by solar. Looks very well build and works good, they all pretty much do the same thing. App is a bit limited but does allow you to set move fences and track history.
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Old 10-26-2021, 04:23 PM   #6
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I use Trackimo. Good for traveling luggage as well. or kids, etc.
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Old 10-26-2021, 08:54 PM   #7
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I just bought a track-4. Haven’t used it yet, but it checks all the boxes for me.
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Old 10-26-2021, 09:12 PM   #8
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And another thing, my Father said that a lot, be mindful that the cell network providers are discontinuing 3G cell service in the near future. Last I looked each provider had different end dates but I thought some were in 2022. Might be a good idea to make sure any new installs were 4G compatible and to know if our older existing units might be 3G and soon to be not functioning. I'll have to check but I think mine might be 3G only. That may be my cue to upgrade. Do we have someone in the telecommunications biz that could chime in?

- Eric
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Old 10-27-2021, 07:29 AM   #9
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Another option that you don't have to worry about cell tech is Spot Trace. It has similar capabilities , and services as the others, but uses Globalstar satellite network instead of cell.

It can be used with battery , a USB charge port, or an optional waterproof 12 volt power source.

-greg
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:25 AM   #10
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Optimus user here, and have been quite happy with the service.The app is pretty basic and works well.
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