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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Installing rear wireless camera

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RustyMacIntosh

Fresno, Cal

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Posted: 11/30/19 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a generic Fleetwood 19ft Mallard. No window to the rear.

My intents are to install a wireless camera. The instructions are in colloquial Engrish but understandable.

The instructions indicate that the rear camera is triggered ON by the backup light. Reverse. Which I do not have on my Mallard. That is, it is no big deal tapping into the reverse light power cord at the back of the Suburban.

The screen for the front of the Suburban is straight forward. The manufacturer has a cig lighter plugin-with a trigger switch.

So at the rear of the coach. I am thinking of going into the aluminum at the back but not at the very top, maybe down a foot or two, then drill a hole big enough to push the video wire and red wire which is for the reverse light. My unit the furnace is right at the base on the rear of my trailer. I know there is 12v power there since I worked on it swapping in a controller and circuit board earlier this year.

The rear of my trailer is full cabinets. I think coming through the skin at the rear, and taking the power from the furnace....

Does this make sense? Obviously I need a power source. Since I do not have reverse lights on the back of the trailer eliminates that. Plus I want the ability to see who is behind me even if I am not backing up. But I don't want the camera on 24/7.

Reverse light is momentary power. Tapping into the furnace power is 12v 24/7.

Any ideas?

DutchmenSport

Indiana

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Posted: 11/30/19 02:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

First off, what is the brand and model of the camera?

Most folks who install after-market back up cameras will wire them through the running lights on the RV. Usually, the wires are connected to the red clearance lights at the rear of the camper.

What this means is, as long as your headlights are on, the camera is on. Its not just on when you engage reverse. This is great when driving because the camera is now an observation camera, not just a back up. So, when you hitch up tow vehicle and trailer, the power is available for the camera. Of of course, when you unplug from the tow vehicle, the camera is off, and not running non-stop. That also means, if you want the camera working as an observation camera, you have to keep your headlights turned on.

If your camera is a wireless camera, this works very, very nice. If it's a wired camera, then you are still going to have to run a separate wire to the tow vehicle to run the monitor.

Give more information on what type of camera this is.

Good luck.

RustyMacIntosh

Fresno, Cal

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Posted: 11/30/19 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

**hangs head--shows how cheap I am.....*

Its some cheap brand probably made by slave labor in the back-alleys of China. It's wireless. It is Podofo. Which I guess is another way of saying...(Cheapskate!) I have no problem with spending a few bucks, this was an idea and a purchase late at night....For all, I know the unit will last about 2 hours max before going kaputz.

And in regards to the clearance lights...that is brilliant. I never thought of that. Of course, that is why we have forums. Others like yourself who have experience in this area have the installation down to a science.

SpeakEasy

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Posted: 11/30/19 03:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I installed a similar camera, and I wired it to the running lights, as has been suggested.

You'll want to have the transmitter from the camera as far forward as possible in the trailer. You may also have to keep your cell phone as far as possible from the receiver/display unit in the truck or tow vehicle. I found that there was a fair bit of radio frequency interference from my cell phone when it was close to the receiver.

Here's an LOL moment: I installed my camera on the rear bumper of the trailer. Everything was fine until the first time I went to empty my tanks. Yup. I had drilled and screwed into the stinky slinky stored in the rear bumper. Embarrassing.

-speak


It's just Mrs. SpeakEasy and me now (empty-nesters). But we can choose from among 7 grandchildren to drag along with us!



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freetime58

Winnipeg

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Posted: 11/30/19 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Simple install, tap into the top center clearance light as previously mentioned, the camera will be active when your running lights are turned on.

If you want to use the camera while camped as well, you'll need to tap into the 12v circuit in your trailer that always receives power from the onboard battery, any 12v light will do, you probably have one close to where you would need to mount the camera on the outside. You would need to take the monitor with you into the trailer and need a 12v power source close by.

I see why some folks (with no rear window in their unit) might want visibility out the back while camped.

RustyMacIntosh

Fresno, Cal

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Posted: 11/30/19 04:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For me, I drove big rigs for a living for 40 years. I got this thing about cameras. Plus sometimes I back the trailer into the side yard that has about 3 inches of clearance on both sides...

I thank everyone for their suggestion, I never would have thought of using clearance lights as the source...I had some wilded eyed idea of a switch, and , oh well, it was wild...

corvettekent

Marysville, WA

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Posted: 11/30/19 07:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My 5th wheel did not have back up lights either but it did have the yellow wire for the back up lights at the back of the trailer, so I tested it with the truck in reverse and it had power so I used that wire to power my camera.


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cougar28

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Posted: 11/30/19 09:23pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Also make sure your camera is a observation camera and not just a backup camera. Observation camera can be left on 24/7 and most backup camera will burn out if left on for extended time. A good friend of mine found that out after leaving his backup camera on while on the road after a couple hours.


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drsteve

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Posted: 12/01/19 07:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cougar28 wrote:

Also make sure your camera is a observation camera and not just a backup camera. Observation camera can be left on 24/7 and most backup camera will burn out if left on for extended time. A good friend of mine found that out after leaving his backup camera on while on the road after a couple hours.


Some of the cheaper backup cams have a delay in displaying the rear view, which makes them unsuitable as observation cams. The monitor might show nobody there, when in reality there is indeed a vehicle.


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freetime58

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Posted: 12/01/19 10:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

drsteve wrote:

cougar28 wrote:

Also make sure your camera is a observation camera and not just a backup camera. Observation camera can be left on 24/7 and most backup camera will burn out if left on for extended time. A good friend of mine found that out after leaving his backup camera on while on the road after a couple hours.


Some of the cheaper backup cams have a delay in displaying the rear view, which makes them unsuitable as observation cams. The monitor might show nobody there, when in reality there is indeed a vehicle.


Furrion cameras and monitors are the same whether used as a back up camera or an observation camera.

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