Bluetooth Radio Signal Optimization in RVs

RV Whisper’s monitoring station must establish a Bluetooth connection with the sensors that are placed in different areas of the RV in order to work properly. In most RVs, the Bluetooth works just fine and there are no problems with the connection. But a small percentage of users may have trouble with their Bluetooth signal.

This tends to happen most often in larger RVs that are 40 feet or longer or Class A diesel pushers. Problems have also been known to occur in fifth-wheel trailers, particularly with the battery sensor.

How Does Bluetooth Work?

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that uses low-power radio waves to allow two devices to communicate with each other. Bluetooth radio requires a direct line-of-sight signal in order for the devices to connect and establish communication. When there is an adequate signal (between the two devices), the devices can be “paired”. This results in the devices trusting each other and exchanging data securely using encryption.

What Causes a Poor Bluetooth Signal in RVs?

As we touched on earlier, on the rare occasions that Bluetooth radio signal problems occur in RVs, they tend to happen more often in larger vehicles. Because Bluetooth requires a direct line of sight for the devices to connect, walls, and doors can obstruct that connection.

Walls and doors in larger, higher-end RVs are usually more solid because they are made with better quality materials. These vehicles might also have marble or granite countertops, ceramic floor tiles, stainless steel appliances, and solid oak cabinets. Sensor troubles with the Bluetooth very often occur because one or more of these items is blocking the sensor from connecting with the RV Whisper monitoring station.

Another place where sensor problems can happen is under the floor. When this is the case, it is most often the battery sensors that are causing the issue because the battery lead is blocking the line of sight.

How to Optimize the Bluetooth Radio Signal in Your RV

If you are having trouble with the Bluetooth connections between the RV Whisper monitoring station and one of the sensors, it is usually a very easy fix. Most often, all that is needed to optimize the Bluetooth radio signal is to move the sensor. In many cases, just moving the sensor a few inches can eliminate an obstructing object and establish a strong Bluetooth connection.

To start with, visualize what’s between the RV Whisper monitoring station and the sensor. Picture the line of sight and identify any obstructing objects. Then move the sensor in whatever direction needed to establish a clear line of sight.

In some cases, you might need to move the monitoring station to a better location, depending on what is blocking the signal. For example, in larger RVs, the monitoring station might need to be relocated towards the middle of the vehicle in order to send a strong enough signal to all of the sensors.

How Do I Know if I Have an Adequate Bluetooth Connection?

The RV Whisper monitoring station looks for sensor data every five minutes and logs it, and one of the data points that it logs is the radio signal strength indicator (RSSI). A higher RSSI value indicates a better signal.

When the RSSI value is at -75 or higher deciBels (e.g., -74, -73, etc.), then you have a very strong Bluetooth radio signal. When the RSSI value is at -95 or lower deciBels (e.g., -96, -97, etc.), then you have a weak connection. Another possible indicator that the Bluetooth signal is weak is when the monitoring system goes longer than five minutes between logging data points.

If you cannot see any data at all from the sensor, then there is a possibility that the sensor might not be working at all. If you believe this might be the case, move the sensor to a countertop or someplace close to the monitoring station. Test to make sure it works and that the monitoring station is picking up sensor data. Then slowly move the sensor to where you want it and monitor the data connection after each placement.

If you are still unable to optimize the Bluetooth radio signal between your RV Whisper monitoring station and one of the sensors even after moving the sensor and/or station to different locations, contact our technical support for further assistance.