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Old 12-13-2003, 12:51 AM   #1
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Back up camera installation

I just purchased a backup camera system and would like to install it myself but I don't know how to:

1. Attach something to the fiberglass via drilling holes in the fiberglass, without splitting or cracking the fiberglass where the mounting holes are going to be.

2. Route the camera wire down through the back wall of the MH. I think if I could route the camera wire down to the undercarriege then it wouldn't be that difficult to route the wire undernieth everything and bring it up to the front area.

I'm considering hiring a shop to install it but I'm afraid it could become a big mistake if the techs don't know much about the job at hand. After a recent disaster at a bad mechanic's shop, I learned that some shops don't say no, they try things that they have no expereince doing and the result is damaged MH parts.

I guess the main thing I'm wondering is if this is a job that I can do. I have some experience working with small amounts of fiberglass and epoxy glue in the model airplane hobby. I've drilled (actually Dremmeled) small holes in FG before and added some material to the area to strengthen it and keep it from cracking. But that was a toy.

BTW: If anyone knows a shop near the Bay Area that they would trust to be able to install this camera, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know where I can go to have it done by pros. I don't mind driving a few hundred miles to have it done if the shop's a good one. Anywhere in central California would be fine.

Thanks for any advice.

Dave

P.S. Here's a photo f the rear. It looks like the flat area right below the center marker light would be a good spot to put the camera.
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Old 12-13-2003, 11:31 AM   #2
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why did you not get one of the wire less systems
the quality of the image is not so good but nu drilling and so
Remco
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Old 12-13-2003, 02:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by remcolent
why did you not get one of the wire less systems
the quality of the image is not so good but nu drilling and so
Remco
Here's why I didn't get a wireless one and I gave it a lot of pondering before I bought this one.

- A wireless still has to be mounted.

- A wireless camera needs DC power...from where, batteries? Not for me.

- If the wireless camera doesn't need batteries it still needs to be connected to the internal wiring.

So when it comes down to it, not much easier than running a long wire. In my case the long wire also carries the power to the camera.

----

I was hoping to find out some tips about mounting something onto fiberglass. I could use some help but, silly me, asking for help in a forum that only talks about aluminum. What was I thinking? Just because I have an Airstream, my questions really don't belong here, apparently....based on the lack of responses.

Dave
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Old 12-13-2003, 03:10 PM   #4
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Don't give up yet. I find the forum tends to be slower on the weekends. I'm sure someone around here know something about it, or at least can recommend someone in your area to help. Hang in there. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your system. I'd like to hook up a backup camera on our trailer. I think John (Pahaska) documented putting one on his trailer, but he just sat the camera in the back window.

Good luck!
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Old 12-13-2003, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by Stefrobrts
Don't give up yet. I find the forum tends to be slower on the weekends. I'm sure someone around here know something about it, or at least can recommend someone in your area to help. Hang in there. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your system. I'd like to hook up a backup camera on our trailer. I think John (Pahaska) documented putting one on his trailer, but he just sat the camera in the back window.

Good luck!
That gives me some hope. I'm suffering from the flu right now so I guess I'm not in the best of moods and not very patient either. I should've waited until next Friday before I started whining about it. Thanks.

Dave
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Old 12-13-2003, 03:33 PM   #6
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yeah what steph said...

give it a little time....

i remember that post she mentioned. one advantage to mounting inside the rear window is no drilling of the skin for mounting or routing cables. i remember even with the window screen it worked reasonably well. (except i think it was alan who did it)

if you do go with an exterior mount perhaps mounting on a piece of stainless steel sheet metal would spread out the stresses on the fiberglass and cut down on cracking.

you could even come up with a bracket to mount it to the ladder and not drill anything.

john
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Old 12-13-2003, 05:28 PM   #7
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mounting camera

Dave,
I too own a glass Airstream, and fortunately, mine was mounted by the factory.
I had two thoughts.
The first would be to investigate more the above mentioned thought of mounting to the steps, or inside the back window.. Allows for removal if unhappy or if an upgrade is desired later. it also protects against concerns of glass damage. . The second thought would be like mine is mounted. It appears there as been a square hole cut in the glass adequate to recess mount a 'box', whether steel or glass I do not know, large enough to install the camera within the box itself. The box appears to have a flange all the way around it, through which screws pass, and an adhesive has been applied.
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Old 12-13-2003, 06:17 PM   #8
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I just got home and went out to the barn an took this pic to show you where mine is, no was, mounted. The PO took it and the CB out before he traded it in Some people are just cheap, eh. In my case the wiring is still there so I'm going by CW while in Flordia to see if they can install a new camera for me.

This may not help with routing the wiring, but at least you can see where they could be mounted. As for the glass work, you should get a template with you camera, so cutting the opening should be the easy part. Afterall fiberglass is alot easier that aluminum to work, or fix, if you screw up.

I would think the wiring could be run around the window and down the back wall, under the rig, and then up into the drivers nest. But if it were me I'd take it to someone with experience and get them to install it right.

Don
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Old 12-13-2003, 08:20 PM   #9
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Camping world in Vallejo/Fairfield is where I would go. It's just off the 80 going east a little past Marineworld. If it's flush mounted, it will be harder to steal. If I remember correctly, someone had his stolen off his rig because it was externally mounted due to the aluminum skin.

I also hear that the A/S dealer in Manteca does body work like this. Believe it or not, not all A/S dealers get involved with that! It's like leprosy to some rv shops and dealers to get involved with body work on an Airstream. I know, I've been looking for one to repair my dent on my classic. It's like pulling teeth.
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Old 12-24-2003, 05:42 PM   #10
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I didn't realize this thread had grown since I left it. No email alerts for this one but I got alerts on another thread for some reason during the last week.

-----

I would like to mount the camera inside the rear window expect for one problem - the camera has the IR LEDs so you can see in the dark. When I was testing it, I set the camera inside the apartment window looking out and the glare from the LEDs made it difficult to see through the glass.

The camera has the rectangle shaped piece of sheet metal bent into a square-U to support it from the sides. I really wish I had a recess to put the camera into. But the installation would probably be easier if I just mount the camera on the surface. Maybe a shop like the Manteca AS dealer or CW can cut a recess into the glass similar to the one in the photo. That would be a real nice way to install it. But I still can't put a piece of glass over the camera unless I disable the IR illumination. That is a possibility too. Just have to find out how to disable it.

What concerns me about attaching something to Fiberglass with screws (if I try to do it myself) is that I need a plate on the opposite side of the material to support something I attach to it or I need a type of self tapping screw for fiberglass or an expansion bolt of some type if there's such a thing.

But I really like the recessed box method. It seems like a good way to mount the camera (to the box and not the glass) then just glue the box in place after cutting a rectangle hole in the body.

Thanks for the advice. I really need this thing so I don't have to hop out of the vehicle to look behind me every time I back into a tight spot. It'll be nice.

Dave
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Old 12-24-2003, 06:48 PM   #11
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In looking at your step I think you could attatch it to the last rung on the bottom side of it and that would eliminate drilling it into the f-glass. If your step goes to the bumper you might be able to fish the wires in the step hand rails or attatch another tube to the back to conceal the wires then along the frame rail to the front of your coach.
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Old 12-26-2003, 12:57 PM   #12
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Because of the tips I've received, I think I'm onto a solution here.

I found these fiberglass molds at Tap that could be the right dimension for the camera. I hope I can find one that is slightly larger and deeper than the camera so that I can attach the camera mount to the bottom wall of the cup and then insert the rectangle cup into the body and glue it in place. If I can't find a mold that is already made, I can buy the special molding clay, a book on fiberglass molding, the materials and make myself a custom mold to make a recessed box for the camera.

Dave
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Old 12-26-2003, 02:36 PM   #13
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Hi Dave,

I know you can't really tell from my pic but mine has a glass cover over the hole to protect the camera from the elements.

Fiberglass is very forgiving, and becuase the mounting screws will have very little stress on them, you may be able to use simple plastic mounting anchors. That might work better than glue, and it would be alot easier to correct or adjust later.

Don
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