Trip Date 10/01/2017
Posted On 07/22/2018 12:42:45
Camping | RV | Trailer | rear view camera | wired | backing up | customization
Before purchasing a long RV, I was worried about being able to back up a big rig into some potentially dark, small or challenging parking areas, so I decided that I needed a backup camera.
Rear View Camera OptionsI researched camera systems for RVs and also considered the mounting opportunity on my chosen RV (Highland Ridge Open Range 2910RL). The RV has a rear camera mount for a wireless Furrion camera. In my research, there were several comments about the downsides of wireless rear view cameras such as range and electromagnetic interference. In addition, the cost seemed higher than I was interested in spending.
I stumbled onto a rear view wired backup camera intended as an add-on to a car, and it was much cheaper (ESKY EC170-20). I decided to give it a try. I bought a complete kit, but I now see on Amazon that you can buy the component parts independently also. My package contained a 4.3" color display and a camera for mounting on the rear license plate screws of a car. For power, the camera was intended to be wired into the tail lights so that it is powered only when backing up. I wanted to have it always powered, so that I can also see the road and traffic behind me as I drive. Both the camera and display have RCA video plugs and 12v DC power source plugs.
My Camera Installation ExperienceI was mounting the camera on a trailer and wanted to center the camera on the bumper rather than on the side where the license plate was. I mounted it on a small piece of wood painted black and strapped it to the bumper with metal hose clamps to avoid damage to the bumper.
To connect the camera to the hitch area and then to the display inside my Ford Expedition, I got two lengths of video extension cable. The cable has both the video and power wiring all in one - a 50ft wire for the trailer and 20ft wire for inside the car.
On the trailer-side, I ran the wire wrapped inside split loom tubing to protect it from road grime and heat. There was a propane pipe under the trailer that ran the entire length of the RV where I ran the wire from the camera to the hitch. You'll have to identify your own ideal route for the wiring. With the wire inside split loom tubing, I used zip-ties to secure it to the propane pipe leaving some slack in the back which I tied securely, but not super tight. (I wanted the slack available in the back in case I wanted to reposition the camera later.)
By having an easily attachable connection between the tow vehicle and trailer, it is easy to hitch up.
On the tow vehicle side, I ran the wire inside the under back seats and up to the front. I got a 12v accessory plug that fits in a cigarette lighter and has as splitter with two power source plugs. I can easily plug in the camera extension wire which runs to the back and the display which sits on my dash. The video connector easily connects to the display.
All the wiring is plug and play - no splicing or hard connections.
SummaryIt has been working great. I've used it on many trips and it is not only good for backing into spaces, but to also see what is going on behind the trailer. I can see cars behind my trailer in an adjacent traffic lane which is helpful when I want to change lanes. I can also see my wife's hand signals when checking the tail lights or when backing up. There are line overlays on the video display so I can judge where the trailer will go and judge distance.
Total cost for my self-install was approximately $69:
- Camera+display kit - $24.99
- 20' extension - $9.50
- 50' extension - $13.99
- Power source wire splitter - $4.99
- Split loom tubing - $7.99
- Zip ties - $6.99
- RCA female-female adapter - already had one on hand
Finding The Video PartsReminder: This Wordy Explorers post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of these links, we will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading!
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