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RVIA brought together RV manufacturers, suppliers and vendors to create a universal protocol – a way to tie together virtually every part of the modern RV. This group studied other industries and co-opted the best ideas, then expanded them to encompass the ideal RV. They were innovative, yet conservative, and they built a breakthrough protocol and assigned it the title of RV-C.
The foundation of RV-C is the same core technology that the US Government mandates for every new car and truck. Just two wires connect all electronic components in the network, allowing full communications between every element of the RV. RV-C brings the RV industry into a new era of technological progress, and will impact how RVs are designed, manufactured, serviced, and enjoyed.
MONITORING, CONTROL, AUTOMATION, TROUBLESHOOTING & DIAGNOSTICS
By connecting key devices, RV-C allows RV components to behave more intelligently. They can share information and coordinate their operation. They can provide troubleshooting information to the customer or service technician. These components can also be monitored and controlled remotely. Many features that would be impossible to implement without networking become economical and easy through the use of RV-C.
THERE ARE TWO MAIN PARTS TO RV-C
First, it is a hardware specification which allows RV appliance designers to add inexpensive circuitry to their products to access the network, and tell the RV builder how to connect these components. This specification is based on CAN – Control Area Network, which is the same hardware used by almost all modern automobiles and has been proven to be reliable in the harshest environments.
The second part is a language, or more precisely, a dictionary for all products to use while talking on this network. This language is what separates RV-C from other CAN networks. It is specifically designed to address the unique needs of the modern RV.
RV-C IS A RECOMMENDED PRACTICE OF THE RVIA
It is not mandatory for either the RV manufacturer or supplier to implement RV-C, and compliance is not enforced under the RVIA inspection program. RVIA established a Technical Subcommittee on CAN who was given the task of developing this RV-C protocol and this Subcommittee continues to manage and expand it. The RVIA's role helps ensure that further expansion of the RV-C remains transparent. RVIA is now working with independent standards organization to achieve consensus approval and recognition of RV-C as an open, public protocol.
RV-C USES JUST TWO WIRES TO CONNECT ALL THE DEVICES ON THE NETWORK
These wires form a digital data bus similar to the Ethernet used to connect PCs, but designed for a harsher environment. This data pair is run through the RV, and short drop connections are run from this backbone to each network device. A 120 ohm resistor is put on each end of the data backbone harness to absorb signal reflections. RV-C differs from most protocols in that every device is considered equal. There is no “master” node or server. Because every device can talk directly to every other device on the network, the RV designer can create multiple control and monitoring points for any and every device. Because RV-C provides a standardized language, components don’t even have to know the make or model of any other product to interact.
ONCE COMPONENTS CAN TALK, THEY CAN INTERACT INTELLIGENTLY
Potentially, every device can read the status of the AC and DC power, climate control, chassis (including the engine and transmission), and more. They can use this information to adjust their behavior or act automatically according to the context. They may moderate their power consumption according to the battery level or AC power source. They may change their operation according to whether the RV is moving, a slide room is extended, or the waste tanks are full. All of this intelligence resides entirely in the software – making it inexpensive to add and simple to configure and customize.
RV-C ALSO SEPARATES THE CONTROL FROM THE APPLIANCE.
A single panel can control multiple components, and there can be more than one control panel in the RV. RV-C allows RV builders to tailor their products to their specific customer needs – making the RV simpler and easier to enjoy.
RV-C ALSO SIMPLIFIES WIRING
With so many interconnections reduced to just a single data pair, RV-C has the ability to save the RV builder both wire and troublesome connections. By replacing individual signal wires with a single data pair, RV-C helps make RV electrical systems more reliable, as well as saving money and time in installation.