By Greg Illes
Once upon a time, the only reliable temperature measurement was with a hollow glass rod filled with mercury. As awkward and fragile as these devices were, they were the only choice. Even rough-country explorers had to use them (to measure altitude via the boiling point of water).
But today, modern electronics provide not only glass-free thermometers, but remote measurement and display as well. With this technology, you can easily place both the sensor and the display wherever you like. Everything runs on long-life batteries, and installation is as simple as placing batteries in compartments and selecting the display.
In RV life, there are several places where knowing the temperature is very desirable:
Air temperature — Both outside and inside, it’s nice to know what the temps are — for the sake of how to dress or whether to flip on the heat or A/C, or just to simply remark or complain.
Fridge and freezer temperatures — It’s truly a boon to be able to plant sensors in these appliances and monitor their performance without opening the doors and spilling out precious cold air.
Plumbing spaces and water heaters — When you get around to using your RV in below-freezing temperatures, you really want to know when your pipes are about to freeze so you can take preventive action.
Storage bays — Got something temperature-sensitive in a storage bay? Put a sensor in there so you can tell if the temp is getting out of range.
These devices are generally easier to read and more accurate than any non-electronic type. Most of these units also have digital clocks. Many can support more than one sensor. Some of the products even have humidity readouts, max/min temperature memories, and other features that can come in handy. All in all, they are terrific tools for keeping your RV running reliably.
And that’s not to mention bragging rights at the campfire. In the words of the famous Johnny Carson, “Tell me, Ed. How cold was it?”
photo: Greg Illes
Greg Illes is a retired systems engineer who loves thinking up RV upgrades and modifications. When he’s not working on his motorhome, he’s traveling in it. You can follow his blog at www.divver-city.com/blog.