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Hello everybody.

Let me first introduce myself.

I am Roel and building my own camper.

As the wheather is getting colder i came up with the brilliant idea to buy a Arduino and program it as a camper monitor/controller. Since there is nothing available for after market campers or way above my budget.

I ordered a breadboard, some sensors and a Nextion screen after reading some reviews and looking at some impressive videos. 

How hard could it be to build such a simple 'Camputer'???

Well a lot harder than i thougt it would be apperantly. 

Off coarse i should have started with the simple Arduino examples, since i have zero programming experience and start building up from there, but who is going to do that right?

After a few weeks surching the internet to see if there is not an example i could just tweak a little bit i was very dissapointed to see there was not even a clear example available to control one output on the Arduino with a simple button.

As i think that controlling an output with a button is the start of my (and many other) projects i would like to share it with you.

I also managed to control an output PWM with a slider.

The value of the output is also displayed in % on the screen.

Now i have to go on trying to add some extra's for the electrical step, so the step can't slide out when it is allready out and vica versa.

And all the other things i wish to control or monitor in my camper.

I hope i can help others with my relatively simple codes.

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Maybe a summary of features would be helpful for those of us who do not know what a camper monitor is, and what it does.

With my camputer i would like to:


  • temperature in and out (by reading temp probes)
  • voltage of two batteries (with voltage dividers)
  • state of my retractable step (in or out) (read out existing micro switch)
  • levels of clean water (2 jerrycans) (load sensors)
  • level of waste water (ultrasonic distance or load sensors)
  • level of propane (load senor)
  • view technical data i always forget (tire pressure, weights, dimensions, etc)
I want to control:

  • my retractable step (power the existing relay)
  • interior light level (white led strip) (amplified PWM signal)
  • adjust the heater (airtronic) (replace existing potmeter with digital potmeter)

That is my wishlist. So far i have the buttons to control the retractable step working, but now i want to add a condition so the step can't be retracted when it is allready retracted and vica versa.

And I can also control the interior light with a slider and display the percentage of light intensity.

It sounds like an interesting project.  There is a lot of work to be done.  

Roel, what is the status of this??? We also made our own camper computer with arduino and a lcd for my DIY camper. Made with ESP chips.

You are right, it is time for an update:

I added some features to my original design.

Lately i was busy with creating a 3d printed frame for the nextion.

These are the things that are finished or improved:

  • retractable step (finished, conditional now, step will not extend when allready is extended and diplays actual step status)
  • interior light (no code changes here, only hardware -> amplified output with mosfet for LED strip)
  • temperature inside and outside (finished, 2x ds12b80 sensors, refreshes every 5 sec.)
  • wallpower status (finished, displays if 220V is connected)
  • central door lock (finished, button to lock all doors, so i don't have to climb to the dashboard)
  • screen sleep mode (finished, screen back light will switch off after no touch)
  • technical data (finished, all things like tyre pressure and car dimensions i always forget)
Things i am currently working on:

  • 3d printed frame with power button (almost finished after three prototypes)
  • power supplies for led strip and complete carputer (2x LM2596)
  • designing the frame that holds the jerrycans with load sensors (test code is already working)
  • designing the frame that holds the gas tank with load sensors (test code is already working)
  • measuring voltage of batteries (should be easy with voltage dividers)
Things i still have to figure out (low priority):

  • controlling the auxilary heater (probably with a digipot)
  • waste water tank (not sure where and what tank will be used)
Nice to haves (perhaps in the future):

  • second nextion screen in the dashboard
  • display if vehicle is leveled
  • auto level vehicle if i would install air suspension

And last but not least is cleaning up my code.

As the weather is getting better here, i must hurry up a bit, because we want to go out with the camper, off coarse with the new camperputer installed and (with most functuions) working. It is still on my desk on a test setup.

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Nice project. Good-looking screen design. Congratulations.

omg, did somebody say ESP chip?  I think it took me about 4 days to figure out how to do the firmware, to finally give up on the error codes it was sending back.  3 more days to make a protoboard so I can see my debug messages and use a software serial at the same time.  Another day to re-learn how to use wireshark again.  I'm exhausted already, it's been a long time since I knew what actual work felt like.

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