Homeassistant in an overlanding truck/RV

I will be sharing some details about running homeassistant in a mobile context. Typically homes do not move, however as the WEF reorganizes world economies into a subscription based economy, ive decided to blaze a trail into automating a mobile home. Particularly an overlanding truck that could be lived in as an option.

Most of this is a work in progress and some critical features are yet to be

Some goals:

  • 100% reliable internet connectivity
  • Automatic power conservation
  • Balance constrained living space with simple work flows for living
  • I need to be able to shit, shower, and sleep in any condition to maintain a respectable job even as a hypothetically homeless vagrant
  • I must be able to clean dishes and take a shower with the same basic functionality as a stationary home
  • I should be able to be completely disconnected from any sort of utility for extended periods, only needing to refuel
  • the whole system should monitor itself while im away and want 2 way communication even if there is no cellular reception

Fun addons:
360degree security camera connected to a computer vision system
TTS is announced over a megaphone describing people by the color/type of clothes they wear and warning to leave if they are within 5ft for longer than 45 seconds. Adding colorful escalating commentary if they remain longer than 90 seconds

Big challanges:
I may be one of the first people to try this. Im sure million dollar mobile mansions have an entire canbus network that does this, but i want to use off the shelf and diy components. This also means that the big names in off roading 12v power do not have an mqtt interface i can subscribe/publish. They are canbus, or at best bluetooth app. If i want full automation, i will need to learn how to reverse engineer the canbus signalling or MITM the bluetooth app.

Current status:
Right now i have the basic platform locked in. There were some key considerations i made to allow homeassistant to perform in a mobile scenario

The connectivity and computer platform is rock solid, even in 10F and below weather. The plywood shelves are temporarily/permanent until i can design an aluminum system, but theyre functional. The secret sauce to the reliable internet is an openwrt router VM running on the mini PC. I tunnel over starlink and an AT&T modem, so that with proper QoS i take advantage of 12Ghz starlink when theres a clear view of the sky and flip to cellular to safe power or when theres 300ms or more of starlink latency (such as driving under a bridge). A BGP network on a VPS decides if cellular or starlink should be used, and even WiFi if theres a free network in range.

An LXC container running docker runs several tools, including a dormant frigate. I did have HassOS as a normal VM, and everything i describe will work in HassOS, but granting arbitrary hardware to docker such as GPU without passing thru PCI devices eventually convinced me to use plain ol homeassistant docker and traefik.

In order to start using home assistant mobile, the first thing that needs to be addressed is the home zone. This was relatively easy because i just poll the starlink device tracker for extremely accurate gps and then redirect the lat/long into the homeassistant.set_location service. Voila, now its “mobilehome” assistant, and any device tracker that has gps and is fixed to the car can be used

More to come…

Ill keep this project scoped to the home automation side of this as i expand if theres any interest in my effort.

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Interested in all uses of HA. I went motor homing last (southern) summer, about a year ago and it got me thinking of how it would operate with HA if it wasn’t a rental.

Its really disappointing that the companies that make 12v power dont make an open interface i can plug into. I think i would be completely “done” minus the security camera if it was easy.

But the positive aspect of having to learn canbus and develop a ha integration from scratch is i will have the ability to also talk to the cars canbus network. Right now i pay $15/m to toyota for the priviledge to remote start the car on a schedule, and their service doesnt even let me control climate control, its just what ever settings were last set.
So eventually my goal will be to lock the doors, roll up the windows, start and stop the engine, turn on defrost, set climate control temp.

Further along, i think the 360 camera view on the integrated cameras is just an analog signal with 12v power to each camera. So im hoping i can use a PoE analog to H264 camera converter to get each cameras feed into frigate without needing to hang cameras off the top.

I know that most of the local features in the motorhome could be managed by a single 10w tdp computer, but a number of my systems rely on a cloud installation of home assistant connected with remote_homeassistant. The reason for this being that if i want to trigger on zones, homeassistant doesnt do zone nesting. So i can use the cloud instance to track my mobile apps and even does TTS and other tasks, so that most of the cpu intensive tasks are offloaded.

I still want to add a shortwave radio system, but the single most amazing feature of starlink is connectivity that was once the priviledge of military and billion dollar industry is now hobbiest accessible.
I have a nodered flow that will take any message i determin is emergency, such as a security alert or low battery, and first check if my phone is responding by waiting for 20 minutes for a notification acknowledgement, then it sends the message to my garmin inreach (these are $.50 a message, so theres a reason i want to send as a mobile app notification).
I can then simply reply from my garmin and homeassistant will pickup the IMAP message to act as appropriate.

Im going to dump some example flows here this weekend. Anyone who wants to collab on their similar project please DM me.
I also have the outline for the SDWAN combining starlink, cellular and wifi as a post in the openwrt forum i can link to.

That’s an awesome project! I want to build an automation system based on HA for the truck camper I’m currently building, so I’m definitely following this post and will share details when I actually get to the electrical system, I’m still way behind schedule on the build.

I want to have sensors than monitor temperature, humidity, air quality in multiple places, fans that can turn on or off, lights with wireless dimmers and switches. Monitor the state of my batteries and solar via the bms and victron integration, monitor the water usage (I was thinking with flow meters instead of a water level sensor in the tanks). Have electro valves for the drain… and much more.

This is the current state:
It’s a Ford Ranger with a custom made camper box (by a company). I don’t have access to big trucks here in Italy, so the big challenge is to have the camper as lightweight as possible.


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I know its not Overlanding based, but you may want to look at BareBoat Necessities OS for the RPi. Its a collection of various tools (Mapping, Canbus integration, HF Radio, etc.) and also has HA running as well. I am building out my system on water similar to what you are describing. I am running Zigbee sensors that all report to my phone for monitoring. I have Climate, Water sensors, power monitoring and weather. Soon to add video via MotionEye or similar.

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