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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  Modifications and Accessories

 > Aftermarket trailer backup assist

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TheJaff

Sweden

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Posted: 12/02/19 02:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey all, new user here.. Most summers, me and my family are traveling around Sweden in a travel trailer, and I've been reading recently about the "Trailer Assist" functionality of Ford and Wolksvagen among others. Not being in the market for a new car, and being a software developer by day, I have started to build an aftermarket solution that I can run using my main phone (in the car) and by fixing a spare (a couple of years older) phone at the back of the trailer. With these two devices I get a very high quality video feed when backing up, as well as very accurate estimation and visualization of the hitch angle (thanks to the gyrometers in the phones). Im also thinking of adding the possibility to input a "desired angle" and get steering wheel recommendations based on that.

Is this all just a crazy idea (I have like 90% of it working already), cause I haven't seen this anything like it on the market?

nickthehunter

Southgate, MI

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Posted: 12/02/19 04:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why not use a web based camera on the back?

profdant139

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Posted: 12/02/19 04:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not a crazy idea at all! You have not seen it because it requires great coding skill, which is not common. If you can develop the app and be first to market, you win!

And if you can price the app at around ten dollars, you will sell millions of copies. Lots of people have old phones around the house for the rear linkage.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 12/02/19 05:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A reasonably price app would be great!


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Grit dog

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Posted: 12/02/19 06:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^ What he said. I think that is a worthwhile endeavor. You may be able to travel around wherever you want, whenever you want in short order if it works.
That said, you are contributing to the dumbing down of society, but that's another discussion.

Now if I could make an app that would actually train someone how to back up a trailer that would be like teaching a man to fish rather than giving him a fish.

But I bet your app would outsell mine about 10,000 to 1, even if mine was half price!
(What's that say about society?? lol)


"Yes Sir, Oct 10 1888, Those poor school children froze to death in their tracks. They did not even find them until Spring. Especially hard hit were the ones who had to trek uphill to school both ways, with no shoes." -Bert A.

TheJaff

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Posted: 12/03/19 01:09am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the encouragement.

nickthehunter: A web camera doesn't have the gyroscope which is necessary to visualize the hitch angle (there are plenty of ordinary backup cams). I'm also thinking of being "sustainable" by using equipment most people have lying around.

profdant139: Yes that is probably the question: can I pull it through. I've read that it took many years for Ford to get their Backup Assist in working shape :-/ Regarding market, I'm not so certain it would be very big, but since you saw the appeal/reality that most people already have the necessary hardware maybe it is big enough. If/when I would try to monetize it I would probably go for a limited free/trial version (no video feed for example) that only displays the hitch angle, and a full version for a reasonable monthly subscription fee.

Grit dog: I'm a pretty proficient backer upper myself, so this is 50/50 wanting the solution myself, and wanting the challenge of creating it. No matter how smart an application like this would get, you would still have to turn the steering wheel yourself, which over time would add up as practice I guess.

Once again, thanks for the feedback, and feel free to add more if you like.

valhalla360

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Posted: 12/03/19 01:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are traveling as a couple and you both have phones...just need a mount on the rear of the trailer. No need for an extra phone.


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TheJaff

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Posted: 12/03/19 03:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360: good point.

Another thing, if you only want a visualization of the hitch angle you could fix the trailer phone/device (could be a tablet as well) anywhere on/inside the trailer. Needs to be fixed in place though.

Grit dog

Black Diamond, WA

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Posted: 12/03/19 04:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

If you are traveling as a couple and you both have phones...just need a mount on the rear of the trailer. No need for an extra phone.


My wife would be pretty upset if I mounted her on the back of the trailer, or extremely pleased depending on your definition of "mount."

However that gives me an idea about where to put the mother in law, she has a phone too....

valhalla360

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Posted: 12/03/19 10:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grit dog wrote:

valhalla360 wrote:

If you are traveling as a couple and you both have phones...just need a mount on the rear of the trailer. No need for an extra phone.


My wife would be pretty upset if I mounted her on the back of the trailer, or extremely pleased depending on your definition of "mount."

However that gives me an idea about where to put the mother in law, she has a phone too....


Reading comprehension...I said "need a mount"...I did not say "mount her phone permanently to the rear bumper".

Kind of like the windshield mounts they have for phones...2 seconds to mount the phone and it's ready to go but you can pull it out in 2 seconds also to return it to normal service.

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