Why Your RV Needs A Wireless Digital Weather Station
There is more to weather than just accurate temperatures, and having a weather station can give you a lot of info about what’s happening both indoors and outdoors, so let’s take a look at the best weather stations for your RV or home.
So what is a digital weather station? While it might sound like something complicated and expensive, it can be as easy as a wall-mounted digital screen indoors with a sensor outdoors. This digital screen can give you all kinds of information in addition to temperature.
Exactly what information depends on each product, but it’s common that you can read the indoor and outdoor humidity, the weather forecast, the barometric pressure, moon phase, high and low records and also time and date with an atomic clock. Most of them are wireless and portable so you can move it around your home or camper.
But wait, you might say, I can do all of this online on my phone or computer already. Well, sure you can. But how accurate is that information? And should you rely on that if you’re out in the woods and need to know if it’s going to be windy to where you should retract your awning? Will your phone warn you ahead of time and alert you when it’s freezing outside that your pipes are in danger? And do you have service everywhere you go? I do know you can find a lot of great weather information online, and if none of these questions make you want to get a weather station, maybe you shouldn’t. But in my opinion, in addition to the safety information it will give you, it’s also fun to track the temperature, humidity and air pressure at the places you go to.
I get that one product doesn’t fit all, so I am going to share some digital weather stations that have minimal features, and some that are more advanced and feature-rich. A word you might run into is barometric pressure, and I have answered a question in the FAQ about what it is and how you can be your own weatherman with the information based on it.
Most of the stations today are supposed to be plugged into AC, so this is aimed mostly towards RV’s that have solar panels or stay at campgrounds where they have access to power. A lot of stations come with a battery slot for backup, but that is for when you move the station so it can keep its data and not lose it. There are ways to only use batteries, and I talk more about this in the FAQ.
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A Closer Look At Each Weather Station
I have the old model of this digital weather station, and like it so much that I had to put it on the list.
With accurate temperature and humidity readings of both indoors and outdoors, a surprisingly accurate forecast, an atomic clock, pressure history, and customizable alerts, it might be everything you’re looking for in a weather station for your home or RV.
Mine is wall-mounted and has been running on batteries ever since I bought it a couple of months ago. The screen is dim when on battery power, but still easy to see from different angles.
It’s very portable since you don’t have to keep it plugged in 24/7. If you’re close to an outlet it’s worth connecting the AC adapter though to save on battery power.
This model has colors, moon phases, and a seasonal foliage background that changes every three months.
The wireless sensor requires two AA batteries and has a working temperature range of -40°F to 140°F (-40 °C to 60 °C).
Buttons on top of the weather station let you set alerts and control other settings. There is also a light button if you want to activate or adjust the digital display brightness.
Some people are just looking for a good atomic clock with indoor and outdoor temperatures, and you will get exactly that plus a couple of extra features from this weather station.
- Great accurate indoor/outdoor temperature & humidity
- Moon phase
- Wireless sensor
- LCD digital display with adjustable brightness
- Atomic clock
Tohsssik is a company I haven’t seen or heard any product from before, but they have released this digital weather station that is one of my top picks today due to its features, simplicity, design, and accuracy.
With an included wireless outdoor sensor, you can monitor and keep track of both indoor and outdoor temperatures and humidity of both. Read the current pressure on the digital screen or take a look at the forecast, presented to you in colorful icons.
The Tohsssik unit will let you know whether it’s going to be sunny, partially cloudy, rainy or snow.
One feature I haven’t seen in every other weather station is the 3-level brightness that lets you decide how bright you want the digital screen to be. If it’s on battery power, it will stay dim until you interact with it to preserve battery life.
Being able to set the screen to dim or bright will be a useful feature if you place this in a bedroom. Set the screen to dim when you head to bed, and you won’t be bothered by a large bright screen when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Since it has a snooze clock alarm and temperature alarms, it can be very useful in a bedroom.
The forecast is based on the barometric pressure, and you can connect up to three sensors to one unit, note that only one wireless sensor is included with the purchase. You can buy additional ones here.
Last but not least, one of the best things about the Tohsssik weather station is the fact that the power cord is a USB cable. I wish more manufacturers would realize that it’s 2020, and we want USB cables and not simple AC plugs.
- Clock/temperature alarms
- Digital screen with three brightness levels
- Accurate forecast with colorful icons
- Indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity with wireless sensor
- USB Cord
- No AC plug included
La Crosse Technology is an American company that wants to bring technology, time, and weather together and have done so with a lot of their products. The one weather station I have decided to take an extra look at today is the model C85845 weather station.
It has an adjustable backlit colored display that will give you some more information than the basic temperature and humidity. Other than that info for indoors and outdoors, it will give time and date, a forecast, trends, and customizable alerts based on temperatures and humidity.
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You can choose to plug it in with the included AC adapter, but also use with AAA batteries. As mentioned before, I recommend plugging it in when possible, as the batteries are there for backup and not for 24/7 use. When using batteries the screen will turn itself off but can be turned on with a push of a button, so it depends on you as a user as well and what you want.
The humidity range it can read is 10% to 99%. The outdoor temperature range is between -40˚F to 140˚F if you use lithium batteries. La Crosse makes solid products with accurate readings.
So what makes it worth it over the ThermoPro TP-60S? Well, you either like the colored design or you don’t. It has a more information filled screen which means it will be using more power. You have an adjustable backlight digital display that you can either set to off, low or high to save battery. The La Crosse Technology C85845 also has a wireless range of 300 ft vs. ThermoPro’s 200 ft.
The customized alerts you can set can be worth a lot if you camp in cold weather where you have to worry about pipes freezing.
Overall, the La Crosse C85845 is a great portable digital weather station with accurate temperatures and forecasts. It’s a solid choice both for your home and your RV.
- Customized alerts
- 300ft range with wireless sensor
- Heat index and dew point
- Adjustable backlight
- Barometric pressure reader
- Accurate temperature & humidity
- Barometric pressure not shown on the display
AcuRite is another popular company that has a lot of weather stations on the market. I am taking a look at one of their more simple ones and one more advanced. Starting with the model number 0227A1.
It has a color display and displays a picture behind the forecast. The AcuRite 02027A1 will run on AC power and batteries and has an adjustable digital display for saving energy.
For features we have temperature and humidity with low and high records, also showing trends pointing up or down. A barometric pressure reader will show pressure on the screen, together with the moon phase, time and date, and a forecast.
AcuRite 02027A1 has, in my opinion, the best looking screen in today’s comparison. Unfortunately, it’s missing alerts.
- Moon phase
- Shows barometric pressure
- Wireless range of 330 feet to the sensor
- Sensor signal strength on display
- Color display with adjustable dimmer
- Missing alerts
The second AcuRite product today is the model number 01512. This is a more advanced weather station thanks to its big sensor that has more features than just temperature, barometric pressure, and humidity.
The sensor together with the colored display will tell you about rain and rainfall history, wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, forecast, barometric pressure, and high and low records. It will also show the dew point which is the temperature at which air is saturated with water vapor. Below the dew point is where water will begin to condense on solid surfaces.
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You could put this on top of your RV roof to get information about windy weather and whether you should retract your awning for example. The sensor can track wind speeds up to 99 MPH and will also show you the direction not only at the moment but the two previous directions as well.
The display likes to be plugged into the wall with its AC adapter but can run off of batteries for backup. The sensor features a 2-year battery life.
What makes this and the next product special in addition to the extra features are the buttons on the front of the display to change what is shown. Some other products have buttons to do this on the back which means you have to take them down if it’s hanging on the wall.
My favorite feature on the AcuRite 01512 is the information below the screen where you can scroll through different pieces of information, like the highest temp outside that week, what the “feels like” temperature is, etc.
- The sensor provides rain and wind information in addition to the basics
- The sensor has 2-year battery life
- Moon phase
- Sensor signal strength on display
- Shows barometric pressure
- Color display with adjustable dimmer
- Heavy sensor compared to the other products (nitpicky!)
The most feature-packed weather station in today’s comparison is from a company called Ambient Weather. It’s a 10-in-1 station with internet monitoring and it’s even compatible with Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa.
Wind speed and direction, rainfall, outdoor temperature, humidity, solar radiation, UV, barometric pressure, dew point, and wind chill and heat index are all part of what you can do with this weather station.
As with most other stations, you should be plugged in with the AC adapter which only consumes 0.5 Watts (1.25 during WiFi configuration mode).
The color LCD display will give you lots of information like indoor/outdoor temperatures and humidity, the barometric pressure, the clock with the date, wind, rain, UV, and solar radiation.
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You will be able to get information from the station remotely through the internet. Note that the station must be connected to the internet to be able to share this info. This can be done with a product like the Verizon Jetpack MiFi if you have cell service.
Not only can you get information about the weather by your sensor online, but also by asking the smart assistant Alexa on supported products questions like “ask Ambient Weather for a weather report.”
Something that can be useful for most people is the smart alerts you can set, which delivers to you in both texts and emails.
The Ambient Weather WS-2902A is a first step into a more hardcore weather station suited for homes and RVs. If you only want temperatures and humidity, this will be overkill. But if the weather is something you’re interested in, you’re going to have a good time with a fully-fledged digital weather station like this.
- Beats every other product in the number of features
- Alexa support
- Remote access to weather information through wifi
- Sensor range is 330 feet
- Colored display
- Smart alerts
- Shows barometric pressure
- No Bluetooth support
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a weather station for my RV?
To be able to forecast how the weather is going to be when you travel around in an RV is useful, in my opinion. To know about whether you should pack your gear in because significant pressure changes are hinting that a storm is approaching, or if the wind has changed its direction and a storm nearby might be heading your way. It’s not just for fun, but for the safety of you and the people around you. Being prepared is always important.
A weather station will give you temperature and humidity levels indoors which will help you regulate to prevent mold and bacteria growth as well.
Is it enough to have a weather station to predict the weather?
No weather station is 100% accurate. When you first buy a weather station, you should try to get to learn it. See what it tells you and what is the reality outside. I also recommend getting an NOAA Weather Radio for emergencies and alerts. You should also bookmark the weather.gov website where you can click on the map to see a current forecast of where you are located.
Your weather station might malfunction and show incorrect information so having several sources will make you safer.
If you’re a traveler, it’s a good idea to use any kind of tool to monitor temperatures and weather. Being able to monitor temperatures and humidity in your RV might help prevent mold and water damage.
How accurate is a forecast on a weather station?
I believe the weather stations that have a forecast feature base it on the change in barometric pressure. You can read below what the barometric pressure is. Some have forecasts based on past weather and the results of pressure changes. Like with any estimates, they’re not 100% accurate but will give you a general idea about what you should prepare for.
Can I run a weather station on batteries?
Most stations we looked at today come with an AC adapter that is recommended to power the receiver unit and its display. Most of them have space for batteries to have a backup for if you want to move the weather station without losing the data it has collected.
This can be a problem in an RV where you don’t have power everywhere you go unless you have solar panels. You can get a station that turns off the display while on batteries and has to be interacted with to brighten up and then plug it in on occasion to change the batteries, or you can look into solar panels or an inverter.
With solar panels and an inverter, you could wire your outlets to be run by the battery in your RV and then a solar panel would make sure you don’t run out of juice.
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Whether the weather station you’re considering will be able to run on battery power for months or not also depend on what features it has. I have the basic weather station pictured above, and I haven’t had to change my battery months after buying it. In the picture, I have turned on the backlit screen, but I can see and read the dim screen as well from far away.
What is barometric pressure?
Barometric pressure, often called atmospheric pressure is what it sounds like, the pressure in the atmosphere. When the air pressure rises, the air sinks and increases the pressure on the earth and clears the sky as the barometric pressure is high. When it falls, the air is rising away from the surface of the earth and now we have low pressure which often means clouds and rain. The lower the pressure, the worse the weather.
If your weather station shows barometric pressure, you might see a number that says 29 something. 29.92 inches Hg is the standard atmosphere pressure where inches Hg is the measurement of pressure. If your weather station shows a number over 29.92 it means that the pressure is high, and if it goes below 29.92 it means that the pressure is low. With this information, you can be your own weatherman and predict depending on the pressure how sunny or cloudy the skies will be.