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Old 04-30-2007, 09:48 AM   #1
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Wireless Backup Camera for Your Bambi

There have been previous discussions on the forum about the Wireless Rear
Views Camera, and its use on the back of an Airstream. I had concerns on
how well it would work on the back of our Bambi vs on the back of the
vehicle, which is really what this camera was designed for. The concern was mainly
signal strength.

Anyways I decided to take the plunge, and bought the VR3 wireless camera
manufactured by Virtual Reality Video Labs. I bought it at Canadian Tire for
$115.99 Cdn + taxes.



The camera easily mounts on the rear license plate bolts. I used the supplied
wedge shaped mounting shims to tip the camera a bit so it aligns horizontally,
rather than tilted down as the license plate is.

I decided the best way to wire in the camera was simply to connect it in with
the rear hatch light which has a push button switch on it. ie push the button
on and power is supplied to the camera! So when we arrive at the campground
I just send Kate back to turn on the rear light hatch, and voila! the camera is now
on.

Light in the rear hatch just to the right inside the rear hatch...




Red wire from the camera (pos) to other side of the light switch (black wire).
Black wire from the camera (neg) to the white white going to the light...




Camera mounted on license plate with wire into hatch. Note: as per instructions, I didn't cut of
surplus length of camera wire. When needed, I pull out the excess wire from the rear hatch and
looped it up into the rear window. Why?? Well the signal is a tad marginal considering the wireless
signal has to travel from the camera all the way up to the tow vehicle, a bit farther than intended.
By fiddling with the excess wire, I am able to get a bit clearer picture on the monitor. Not sure if
there is any other way to 'boost' the signal.




In my case, I got the clearest picture (of our messy garage) when I sat the camera monitor on
the side of the passengers seat as so. No doubt in actual usage, I might have to fiddle about with
the position to get a clear signal...



I might try mounting the camera up high on the rear of the Airstream which might transmit a
stronger signal to the monitor without having to transmit through the Airstream.... we'll see.

Considering the signal gets a tad marginal, I'd think that use of this camera on an Airstream longer
than a 19ft Bambi would be an issue.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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Thumbs up

Well done, and very informative! I've been looking at that model, and have seen it on sale locally for under $100.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:22 AM   #3
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Neat-o. I would like to have a system like that. I've been waiting for someone else to find one that works before I take the plunge

Does it reverse the image from the camera? I've heard that's one thing that's confusing about looking at backup monitors, because we are used to looking at the image in the rear view mirror.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:56 AM   #4
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Smile Hi

I wanted to put it on my 31 foot but there was not enough signal. Next unit I will mount on the rear bumper driver side so there is less metall between the receiver and transmitter.
I bought my unit at Costco for 89.95
The first unit I put on my 1952 jeep it sure works like a charm. Great back up mirror.
Regards from Russell in sunny Tucson Az.
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Old 04-30-2007, 11:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Neat-o. I would like to have a system like that. I've been waiting for someone else to find one that works before I take the plunge

Does it reverse the image from the camera? I've heard that's one thing that's confusing about looking at backup monitors, because we are used to looking at the image in the rear view mirror.
There is a button so you can change the orientation. So if the image is upside down (you have the camera flipped) you can flip the image. You can
also flip the image horizontally as well.

I believe there is a simplier version of this camera out there, that doesn't have the 4 buttons. I recommend the 4 button version as you have the brightness and contrast buttons which I need to use to get a clear picture, as well as the image orientation button. The 4th button is on/off.
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Old 04-30-2007, 12:59 PM   #6
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I have one also; my approach was a little different. I took a rubber band and hooked it over the emergency window release using the rubber band to attach the camera looking out of the window. I added a 12-volt plug and plugged the unit into the 12 volt socket on the trailer wall, on all the time. I have a backup camera and a rear view camera rolled into one. Worked great on the road, some interference in the city but the antenna is inside of the trailer.

If you had hook the camera into you license plate light all you have to do is turn on your lights to turn on the camera, you don’t have to get out of the car and you can turn on the camera in traffic to see who is behind you. I tow with my lights on anyway. That is what I will do when I set mine up permanently.

BTW I have a 25' trailer.
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Old 05-27-2007, 03:00 PM   #7
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Update: Ok so far this camera rates a 2 out of 10... mainly because the signal just is too weak.

Hopefully mounting up just below the rear window will help with the signal... otherwise I'll add this to my list of useless accessories.
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Old 05-27-2007, 04:15 PM   #8
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Our Wal-Mart had these exact cameras on sale for $50 a couple weeks ago in the electronics department. I passed since we have a 31' 310 RV and it sounds like the distance will be too far.

Susan
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Old 07-19-2007, 06:52 AM   #9
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Thumbs down Wireless Camera = Useless

The latest on this camera.

One word... S UH KS !

I gave up using it... just too unreliable, picture breaks up, too much static. Tried it on several occassions now to no avail.

What DOES work is something that costs you nothing... something you might already 'own'... they call it 'The Wife' !

The Wife works very well in my opinion, if you add the 2 way radio option.

Anyways Kate and I are getting pretty good using radios to do the whole backup thing... MUCH better then that useless backup camera. I simple have the windows rolled down and have her give constant feedback over the radio during the backup process. I find if she continues to provide feedback, then I can trust that all is well and can focus on manuveuring the trailer.

So maybe I'll just take the camera and mount it on the back of our Yukon instead, and use it for backing up over the ball... so all is not lost.

The wireless signal just isn't strong enough to transmit from the back of the trailer to the front tv console... and thats just a 19ft Bambi. Has got to be worst on anything longer.... so save you're bucks, even though its cheap and you'll be a Happier Camper.

Maybe I should submit my unit to 'Will it Blend'

See Will It Blend? | Presented By Blendtec

Cheers
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Old 07-19-2007, 07:34 AM   #10
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Thanks for the report, Dave. Glad I didn't take the plunge this time.
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Old 07-19-2007, 08:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk

What DOES work is something that costs you nothing... something you might already 'own'... they call it 'The Wife' !

I have found "the wife" option to be very expensive and not just financially.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:13 AM   #12
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Ok how about the husband? I back up without the help of a camera or a husband.
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campadk
The latest on this camera.

One word... S UH KS !

I gave up using it... just too unreliable, picture breaks up, too much static. Tried it on several occassions now to no avail.

What DOES work is something that costs you nothing... something you might already 'own'... they call it 'The Wife' !

The Wife works very well in my opinion, if you add the 2 way radio option.

Anyways Kate and I are getting pretty good using radios to do the whole backup thing... MUCH better then that useless backup camera. I simple have the windows rolled down and have her give constant feedback over the radio during the backup process. I find if she continues to provide feedback, then I can trust that all is well and can focus on manuveuring the trailer.

So maybe I'll just take the camera and mount it on the back of our Yukon instead, and use it for backing up over the ball... so all is not lost.

The wireless signal just isn't strong enough to transmit from the back of the trailer to the front tv console... and thats just a 19ft Bambi. Has got to be worst on anything longer.... so save you're bucks, even though its cheap and you'll be a Happier Camper.

Maybe I should submit my unit to 'Will it Blend'

See Will It Blend? | Presented By Blendtec

Cheers
Andy at Inland RV swears by these cameras. He was testing one a while back, is this the same model?

Michael
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Old 07-19-2007, 09:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstream
Andy at Inland RV swears by these cameras. He was testing one a while back, is this the same model?

Michael
Same one.

Some said you cannot leave them on very long.

We put one thru a continuous 500 hour test. (Three weeks).

Worked just as well after as it did at the beginning.

Every Airstream owner that backs their rig up, should have one.

They are cheap compared to paying an insurance deductible along with the inconvenience of having the trailer in a shop for body work.

But it's like insurance.

It's useless, "UNTIL" you need it. Then it's worth far more than it's cost.

Andy
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