A sense of security and peace of mind go hand in hand, and the first thing everyone strives to secure is their home. Most security camera systems(monitoring system) are manufactured with a traditional home design in mind. But you can install home security cameras in mobile homes as well.
It’s fairly easy to learn how to install security cameras in your mobile home. Granted that there are differences in the structural design of a mobile home and a site-built house, and the community layout of a mobile home park and a traditional neighborhood, but the principle of home security cameras stays the same. You have to install them at strategic places to cover the parameter outside your house, or cover an area inside the house.
Installing security cameras is not a very difficult job, but many people prefer to leave it to professionals, especially in large properties. But in mobile homes, there is less area to cover, and dimensions are favorable for easy DIY installation of security cameras.
In this article, we will guide you about setup security cameras in your mobile home yourself.
What Will You Need?
Security camera DIY installation doesn’t require any specialized tools. What you’ll need will depend a lot on the type of video surveillance system you will be installing. So let’s tackle that first.
There are a number of ways in which home security cameras are divided into different types. A few of those are:
- Indoor or Outdoor
- Wired or Wireless
- Camera Design
Outdoor cameras are sturdier and more rugged than indoor cameras. Mostly because they have to be weatherproof. Purely indoor cameras cost relatively less. Whether you choose indoor, outdoor, or a combination of both home surveillance depends mostly upon the safety requirements of your mobile home.
Choosing between wired and IP cameras is a bit tricky. Both have their advantages, disadvantages, and cost considerations. Wired CCTV systems are the traditional and reliable security camera solution. In them, cameras are connected to the central recorder through wires. The recorder can be connected to the internet to relay the live feed or alarms to the owner’s phone or a home security company.
IP cameras don’t need any cable DIY installation for signals since they are connected to a recorder through WiFi. It is important to note that the wireless surveillance systems can be used with or without the internet, but if you want to access the live feed remotely (on your phone or saved on a cloud), you will need the internet connection. IP cameras can either use a power supply(power adapter) or batteries.
There is an extensive range of home security cameras in terms of design. They can be bullet cameras (shaped as narrow horizontal cylinders) or dome cameras (upside down domes). They can be fixed or moving. PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) is a term often associated with the movement of a security camera.
Some important features of a security camera that you have to understand before making your choice are:
Infrared: For low light and night visibility.
Motion Detection: Allows better protection by alerting you whenever the camera detects motion.
Field of View: An especially important for fixed cameras, since it determines how much your camera will be taking in.
Resolution: Determines the quality of the video(camera footage)you will be receiving.
Choose the security camera that suits your needs best, and is within your allotted budget. Going for an over-the-top video surveillance system setup might be overkill. You have decent options available under $200 for both wired and wireless surveillance systems.
List of Items
The few things you will need to install your video surveillance cameras are:
- A pen and paper (for planning)
- Security cameras(CCTV cameras) and main recorder (Network Video Recorder – NVR or Digital Video Recorder – DVR)
- Screws and screwdriver
- Hammer and wire clips (for wired security systems)
- Additional lights (for cameras without infrared)
Installing the Home Security Cameras
The plan includes where you want the home security camera system, and how you want to set it up. Based on the area you want to cover inside and outside your mobile home, you need to figure out the number and type of cameras you will be using. Once you have done that, you need to decide on the places for the cameras.
Let’s say you have a four-cctv camera setup, and you want one camera inside and three cameras outside. The outer three will be covering your entrance, right-side wall, and the back of your mobile home. The height and placement of the ip camera will depend upon the camera’s field of view, as well as the area you want to cover. The angle can be changed later, as and when needed.
Installing the Central Recorder
Once you know where you are going to be putting the cameras, it’s time to install the recorder. Since wired or wireless, almost all new surveillance cameras require internet for remote live feed transmission or sending alarms; the recorder should be installed near the WiFi router in your home.
The Central Recorder, whether it’s NVR or DVR, should be securely hidden. The whole security system will be all for nothing if whoever breaks in your mobile home takes is able to access and remove the recordings. You can keep it in a lockbox, or some hidden place.
Whether it’s NVR or a DVR, they usually don’t come with a hard drive, and you have to install one yourself. Depending on how much feed you will be saving at once, a day, a week, or a month, you may choose the hard disk with adequate memory.
Check the IP Camera
It is important to check if your cameras are correctly working, and relaying their feed to the central recorder as they should or not. For wired cameras, it’s better if you connect the camera with the full wire (with extenders). If there is any problem with the wire of the camera’s transmission, arrange replacements before setting everything up.
When home cameras are connected to the recorder, take them outside. Check the feed from the distance the camera will be transmitting from once installed. You will have a realistic idea of the video quality you will be receiving.
Once you have ensured the proper connectivity of the camera and the recorder, check for a remote feed. Usually, these recorders relay the feed through an app you can download on your phone. You should also check for features like infrared and motion detection at this point.
Place the Cameras
Once you are satisfied with the testing, it’s time to install your cameras in place. First, you have to mark the places for your home camera system. You can mark just the screw holes for home cameras, but for battery powered camera system, you will have to mark for a hole (usually in the middle of the mount) to run the cables through. It should be big enough for data and power outage.
When you have marked the places, you can drill holes for the cables and screws. Since most mobile home walls are dry walls, choose the relevant bits (drill bits for wood would suffice). The most home surveillance system is very lightweight, so you might not need anchors for screws. Ideally, you should use the ones that are provided with the cameras.
After the cameras are in place, tilt or rotate them to your desired position. It’s best to check the feed to see if you have the desired coverage.
Almost all the new wireless security cameras is rated IP66. This means that their housing is weatherproof enough to handle heavy rains and snow. Still, it’s better if the outdoor cameras are not directly under a rain gutter or somewhere the snow piles up upon them.
Secure the Cameras
Securing the thing that is supposed to secure you might seem counterproductive, but some simple steps may prevent your cameras from being tampered with. Installing the cameras as high as possible is generally recommended. It provides a better field of view, and more height makes it hard for people to reach out and fiddle with it.
Once you have decided on the angle, secure the rotation mechanism tight, so that some vandal doesn’t just tilt it up using a stick. You may choose to hide your cameras in a guise, but most people prefer to keep them visible to deter any break-in attempts since most amateur outlaws don’t even attempt to break in a place with cctv camera.
Managing the Cables
For wired cameras and the power cables(power outage) of wireless ones, proper cable management is an important step. An exposed surveillance camera cable is a weak point since it can be cut.
It’s easier to drill a hole completely through a mobile home wall (from the exterior to interior walls), than a concrete wall. It means that you don’t have to run any cables on the outside house walls for outdoor cameras. You can simply drill a hole through the wall, and push the cable inside.
Inside the house, you can use running wires clips to lay an appropriate path for the cable from the camera to the recorder and power supply source.
Recheck and Set Up Your Recorder
After the home security camera installation, make sure all the cameras are properly relaying the feed, and features like night vision and motion detector are working. Once you are satisfied with the feed, it’s time to set up your main recorder.
Security cameras play an important role in the safety and security services of your home. Many people don’t think of them as a necessity or avoid them because they believe it’s a sizeable and unnecessary expense. But as you might have gathered by now, installing a home security system is nor very hard, neither very expensive.
Installing home security systems is also not very different for mobile homes and conventional homes. Mostly because newer cameras are specifically designed to be installed and operated easily, if you plan it right and choose the right home security system, you will have no problem ensuring proper surveillance in and around your mobile home.
You may need to ask for permission from your mobile home community owner or manager. Some mobile home parks don’t allow mobile homeowners to install cameras. It’s also better to let your neighbors know about the cameras, so they don’t feel like their privacy is being invaded.
More and more mobile homeowners are going for cameras for added security. Even if your park is very secure and there aren’t any incidents around you, a security setup is never a bad idea.