Installing a Backup Camera System

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rsalhus

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Hi everyone!? This is my first post as a new member here.? I'm from Minnesota and have a 36' 2001 Rexhall Vision DP that I acquired last fall.? I would like to install a backup camera so I can safely tow another vehicle.? I have found that the MH already has a cable strung from front to back for the camera and monitor.? I just need some help on choosing a backup camera system and doing the actual install myself.? Has anyone here installed their own and what brands are worth looking at?? Any help would be appreciated.
 

Tom

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Welcome to our forum.

I can't help with a brand of rear camera, but I wonder why you need one for towing. For all practical purposes, you cannot back up a motorhome towing a car except maybe a few feet in a straight line. I occasionally use the backup camera when reversing our coach after unhooking the car, but the lens really distorts the picture and loses perspective. So in pratice I'm only using the mirror to watch my wife as she spots the coach and only then when she's not visible in my mirrors.
 

rsalhus

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I don't have a rear window with the DP so we won't be able to see the toad through the back, and the width (102") and length (36') of the MH makes it impossible to see the toad in my mirrors (except maybe when going around a curve).  So I need a way to see if the toad is still there and the backup camera is the solution.  No, I won't be backing the MH up with the toad attached.  It sounds like your camera lens needs to be cleaned.  :D
 

Tom

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Our coach is 38 feet long and doesn't have a rear window either. When we first had a shortler (29 foot) Pace Arrow with a rear window I used to send my wife back there to check if the toad was still there, but eventually realized the driver can tell if the toad is no longer there.

It sounds like your camera lens needs to be cleaned.

That may well be true. But the issue I described is due to the relatively wide angle of the lens.
 

Jim Godward

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We have a Clarion balck and white system.  It has a series of dots on the screen that aid in telling the distance to things while backing up or if some one is following closely.  Tom is right though in that it is very hard to judge distance with the BU system.

I might add that the detail is not sufficient to tell if anything is wrong with the towed, flat tire etc.
 

Ned

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The only things a rear vision camera will tell you about your towed is it's still there or on fire.  That said, we monitor ours while travelling, just in case it goes missing or catches fire :)
 

CoachPotato

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Stockton, Ca
Gotta agree, back up cameras seem to offer little if you can get used to your mirrors.

Would sure love to see photos of your Vision DP. I have the 315 V-10 and saw only one in the DP version. Must be a great rig!
 

King

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Jan 30, 2006
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I have a Pleasure-way (class B), and added a camera and "monitor" as an aid in backing up.  The rear window is so high that the view is useless.  I bought a wide angle color camera on the internet for $65 and a small b&w am-fm-tv that has a-v inputs for $15.  The only problem was the wiring, but you already have that.  Since I make it a rule to only drive in daylight, I bought the cheapest camera. A more expensive camera has IR lights and works to a range of 50 or 75 feet in the dark. (Probably around $125)
 

Jeff

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James Godward said:
We have a Clarion balck and white system.  It has a series of dots on the screen that aid in telling the distance to things while backing up or if some one is following closely.  Tom is right though in that it is very hard to judge distance with the BU system.

I might add that the detail is not sufficient to tell if anything is wrong with the towed, flat tire etc.

Jim:

I atteded a seminar that described how to outline your toad on the screen of your monitor with a grease pencil. According to the speaker if you blow a tire the car will not track properly and you will see that it is not within the outline.

Couldn't tell you if that is true, never blew a tire. Besides Pressure Pro will tell me sooner.

I do find that I check the monoitor to verify that it is clear for lane changes.
 

rsalhus

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So, the net result is that nobody here can recommend a backup camera system for an RV.  And no one has ilnstalled one in their motorhome before and lived (or wanted) to tell about it.  That tells me that either this is not a job for a do-it-yourselfer or that it's too complicated to explain it to someone else.  In either case, I'll keep looking for a way.
 

John From Detroit

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The problem with instalation is that it's very rig dependent, for example on my MH if you cheat a bit it's simple as pie, in fact you don't even have to cheat (My rig has a "False rear" that is there is a very good size "Gap" between the rear of the rig that someone would see if behind me and the real back wall,  (Couple of inches at least) so instalation of a back up camera is very easy, here is how

Drill a hole for the wire, drop a weighted fish line down it, tie line to wires and pull them  up, attack to camera, attach camera with screws and seal the opening with seaing stuff.  However if your rig is not so blessed with a nice gap, you have a job and a half.

Then it's just routing the wire under the rig till you can bring it up into the dash area (likely via firewall) and hook to monitor

Beyond that everything is simple electronics or if you like 12vdc electrical, nothing to it at all

That said, the manafacturer mounted my camera, which is helpful when backing up and driveing  (I just wish I did not have to manually turn it on when going forward)  When backing up it really does help with stopping BEFORE I hit the pine tree at the rear of my parking pad  (Back up till the needles touch the screen) alas, did not help much with the ASH out by the road though, it was off camera when I hit it :-(  But the damage was minor and will soon (I hope) Be fixed
 

rsalhus

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The camera installation is probably the easiest part.  My rig is prewired with the 2-pin camera wire already running inside the MH from the dash to the back wall.  I found this out when I was looking at all the wires under the dash.  Cutting a hole in the dash to install the monitor and hooking up the power for both the camera and monitor and (finding) and connecting the reverse light wire seems to me to be the hard part.  And of course, purchasing a decent system that has all the bells and whistles and selling for a song and a dance is the really hard part!

Some systems have 3 cameras, one in the back and one on each side.  The side cameras come on when the blinker lights are used.  John In Detroit could have used that it sounds like.  LOL
 

John From Detroit

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Those side cameras would not have helped me much

Consider connecting to the AUX wireing (IE: radio power) instead of reverse,  That way the monitor is on whenever you are driving
 

Jeff

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John In Detroit said:
Those side cameras would not have helped me much

Consider connecting to the AUX wireing (IE: radio power) instead of reverse,  That way the monitor is on whenever you are driving

John:

Mine does that by leaving the camera power switch on.
 

Ray D

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John: Curious that your camera is wired, that way. In my Challlenger, like Jeff, I leave the power switch for the monitor on. It comes on when I turn the ignition key on.

It doesn't completely satisfy me, for rear view. But, it is as good as rear view mirror would be, in an above the windshield position. Better, in fact, because I can see right up to the back bumper.

Didn't work when I took the fence out, because I wasn't looking at it, that time!  DUH! ! Engage brain, then engage engine! Not the other way around!

Ray D
 

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