Guardian Wireless, Manitowoc, WI

When we were still in the planning stages of our journey, one of my concerns was the cat’s safety. The scenario that kept playing in my mind was this:

We’re staying at a campground during the hot summer months and decide to leave for the day to go photographing. We turn the air conditioners on for the cats, then lock all the doors and windows for security.

While we’re away the electricity goes out at the campground and the air conditioners shut down. The coach heats up like an oven and our beloved Benny and Buddy perish from heat exhaustion.

What we needed was something that would monitor the temperature in the coach while we were away and alert us if it got too hot or too cold. I did a lot of research on the internet and in the RV forums and found a company named Guardian Wireless who seemed to have the perfect solution, the Global RV Guardian an RV satellite security system.

The Global RV Guardian had everything I wanted. To protect the RV from intruders, the system came with two intrusion sensors that were to be mounted on a window or door frame and an infrared intrusion sensor that detected movement but ignored small animals like cats. We could also add a loss of power sensor to let us know if the electricity went out and a temperature sensor that can be set to monitor any temperature both high and low.

The system uses a satellite antenna that sends a signal to the satellite, which in turn contacts Global Wireless, who then calls us on our cell phones to let us know that there is a problem and what the problem is.

The initial cost for the system was $1473.13 for the equipment and then $29.95 a month for the service.

It seemed like the perfect solution, until we put it into practice.

The first thing I noticed when I received my Global RV Guardian system, was that the window and door intrusion sensors could not be mounted on our door or windows. They were designed to fit a standard house door or window frame, not an RV door or window frame. I called Guardian Wireless and the person who answered the phone told me that the sales representative who sold me the system was no longer employed at Guardian Wireless. He said that he was the engineer who devised the system and he would try to help me, “Although,” he noted, “I don’t like to talk on the phone.”.

When I asked him about the door and window intrusion sensors, his question to me was “What do the windows and doors look like in an RV?”. Okay, I’m thinking, “You developed this for an RV and you don’t know what an RV door or window looks like?”. So I described to him what the frames of our RV door and windows look like. He had no solution. This was my first clue that maybe I couldn’t rely on this company.

We figured the motion sensor would take care of any intruders and decided not to install the door and window sensors, since installing them would involve customization on our part.

Then the real test came. We were in Joliet, IL in late July, early August 2007 and the temperatures were in the high 80′s to low 90′s. It was hot and humid.

We had the Global RV Guardian set up and logged into our account on the Global Wireless website to test it out. First we tested the motion sensor. Sure enough we got a phone call with an automated voice letting us know there was an intruder and it showed up on our activity logs on the website. I was happy. Then we tried a power outage test and again we received a phone call letting us know that the power went out and again the event showed up on our activity logs.

Next we tried high temperature. This time no phone call and nothing on the website. I called Guardian Wireless to find out why, but got an answering machine. I tried the Live Chat button on their website and received a “We’re Unavailable” message. I ran another test and again received no automated phone call and nothing showed up on our activity logs.

The next morning we drove into Chicago to do some photographing. I called Guardian Wireless as soon as they were open and got the same engineer. He told me that their Internet Service Provider was down and that my alarm tests were not being received on their end. He had no idea how long it would be before they would be back up and running.

About an hour later I received an automated phone call letting me know that the temperature was high, then another that the power was out. I called Guardian Wireless again and the engineer told me that their ISP was back up and these messages were probably not new, but from my tests the night before. He didn’t sound very convincing, so I called the Liesure Lake Resort office in Joliet to make sure everything was OK.

That night I ran another test and again we did not receive a phone call. The next morning we decided not to go back into Chicago until I found out what the problem was with the security system. I called Guardian Wireless and the engineer told me that their satellite provider in the UK was down and he had no idea when that would be remedied.

By this time I had lost all confidence in the Global RV Guardian. I was not only dependent on Guardian Wireless who were only available M-F from 9-5 CST, but also on their ISP and their satellite provider in the UK. There were just too many places where this system could break down and they had all broken down within the one week I needed them most.

I told the engineer how I felt and asked if I could just ship the whole thing back. He said he would have to talk to the owner. I didn’t hear back from him but the monthly charges stopped so I called back again and was told to package everything up and send it back for a full refund. What we received from Guardian Wireless was a check for $1178.50. They charged us a $294.63 restocking fee.

We do not recommend Guardian Wireless or the Global RV Guardian system.

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