The best way to describe the Venus GX is remote control. It will basically export all your Victron devices to the internet, assuming you have either a router or hotspot in your RV.
There are two main reasons i wanted this. First, while the RV is being stored, I can keep an eye on its electrical system to make sure everything is as expected.
Second, I am now the proud owner of a Danfoss Compressor RV Refrigerator.
I found that while on long hikes away from the RV, I started worrying that the batteries were low or I misjudged the solar that day. Being able to view everything remotely gives me information and confidence to stay away longer.
(Now with the Coronavirus raging, I can’t use the RV anyway, but being able to remotely monitor is still useful to me)
There are a couple alternatives in the Victron Venus GX. There is the Color Control GX, which is the exact same device with a nifty color screen, and the new (Mar 2020) Cerbo.
The Cerbo is basically the same as the Venus, only it adds the ability to plug in a color screen later if desired, and it adds bluetooth.
The second part is easy. You don’t really need bluetooth. It communicates via Wifi just fine, even if there is no Internet. The bluetooth is nice to have but you its not required in any situation.
The color screen is another matter. In theory this is a really cool looking display. You will definitely want to mount it at eye level and where easily accessible in my opinion.
There aren’t a lot of great places in my RV to mount it and I would have to run a long cable and the display will consume some DC power while dry camping, so I elected to go with the Venus GX (no display).
I don’t feel I’m really missing anything important, as the Victron connect phone app already works quite nicely, and you can bring up the exactly same color display on your phone screen if desired.
This family of products can monitor a lot of other devices, including your tanks. So far I can’t really think of any reason to bother doing that though as I already have tank displays and typically water tanks don’t require remote monitoring while not in use!
So back to the installation. This is about as trivial as you can get. A couple of mounting screws and a power cable (included) and I plugged in a special cable to both my Victron Battery Monitor and my Victron MPPT Solar Charger and shes done.
Victron provides a free website they call VRM and after establishing an account the device synced automatically.
One really cool feature added In April 2020 is 2 way communication. You have to enable this is settings. After enabling, instead of just basic information you can now access every supported Victron device remotely, just as if you were local.
The best way to explain this is that previously the Venus was just an aggregation device. It collected history statistics and lets you view real-time and charts over the internet. This is extremely useful, but after the update it now lets you also control all the devices directly. In my case that would be the BMV-712 Battery Monitor and Smart Solar MPPT 100/50.
I’ve had this installed about a month. So far it just seems to work.
Here are the Amazon purchases I made:(Paid Links)