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Old 09-18-2019, 03:43 PM   #1
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2014 22' FB Sport
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Backup Camera Issue

We just brought our 2020 FC 25' RB home. So we just used the backup camera for the first time. I find it impossible to figure out what information I'm getting and how to use it. I hope one of you veterans can help. Here's a picture of the image I see.

I hope this attaches ... Click image for larger version

Name:	Backup Camera Pix on FC.jpg
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I finally figured out that the silver bar that obscures the bottom 1/3 of the screen is the rear awning. That means--by the principles of geometry--that I can't see the bumper, or anything much closer to the trailer than about 3' (according to my experimenting with cones to find the visual field.

I'm wondering if the camera was useful before they added the awning. If the factory put too short a bracket on my camera. If the camera is a cheap piece of stuff, which is why it doesn't have guidelines. If anyone finds it useful. If I'm just not understanding.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:45 PM   #2
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If this is any help to you, I spent 40 years backing up boats and the last 6 backing up my Airstream. There is a muscle memory that comes to you as to what way to turn the wheel to back the trailer a certain direction. BUT, I have not been able to use my backup camera to back up the trailer, it just fights that muscle memory. I use the backup camera after I am in where I want to be to see what is right behind the trailer, what I cannot see in the mirrors.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:09 PM   #3
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Congrats on the new Airstream. Good to hear that yours came with a camera. We had to buy and install one at the dealer for $500 when we bought our trailer in 2016.
To your question: In my humble opinion, I don’t think of the rear view camera as a “strictly back-up as close to objects” camera. That’s what a human spotter is for . . . who stands behind the trailer and calls out to the driver—via the microphone that’s part of the camera. The rear awning that is the silver bar in the picture is indeed blocking your view, and perhaps a custom-built elongated camera mount is the answer you want to seeing over the awning to the bumper.
Again, IMHO I see the Voyager camera system as merely one means of seeing what’s behind me—particularly when on the road and seeing who’s tailing me (and about to suddenly change lanes and speed up along side—scary when they do that!) Also when at a stop sign and upon not seeing a line of impatient drivers behind (tense situation), being able to take my time to safely cross or enter lanes of traffic.
Personally, I’d like to see Voyager come out with side trailer-mounted cameras as well, so that I can see what’s at my side, but out of view of my mirrors when my tow and trailer are at an angle (had two—thankfully minor but still scary incidents when I couldn’t see something out of both mirrors and camera range). Involved minor repairs, but I did do the cardinal sin of not asking for another person’s guidance in those tight situations.
If I were you, I’d adjust the camera slightly upwards (with the supplied—I hope, Allen wrench) to focus more on distance. Better for the overall picture of what’s behind you—even if it’s 3 feet or more.
Leave the tight parking assistance to a real live human assistant.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:04 PM   #4
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Belbien -- I have the same Voyager rear view camera mounted on my 19' International Serenity that is also equipped with a rear awning. The camera is mounted ~6" aft of the center clearance light and I have it adjusted in angle so that the rear bumper is visible in the lower edge of the image (no more than 5% of the height of the image) and provides a good rear view of both traffic when driving and one means of confirmation of safe reversing. The rear awning is not in the image on my installation. The bracket is standard and not extended in anyway.

Clearly your camera was not installed in the optimum location. Was it factory-installed or dealer-installed? Was the rear awning added later? Mine was installed by Lewster as part of my Solar/Lithium upgrade.

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Old 09-18-2019, 07:35 PM   #5
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Supposedly factory installed. But dealers always say that. The trouble is (well, one of the troubles is) now that Airstream is sold by Big Box Trailer Dealers, the sales and tech people tend not to know anything about Airstreams. To an Airstreamer, it would be obvious that between the big rump of these beasts and then the awning, the camera becomes useless unless they do more than just screw it in. But to the Big Box techs, you just screw it in anyplace and if you don't like it, unscrew it and put it somewhere else. I have not been impressed with the techs who worked on--or gave us info on--the AS, or the Equalizer hitch, or the camera. Luckily I have all of the Airforums community!
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Old 09-19-2019, 02:37 AM   #6
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Just loosen the bracket and pull the camera up so you can see!

You also need to make sure the camera is adjusted so cars coming behind you on your left look like they are coming from the left on the screen. Your voyager manual will explain that. Hold the power button down for 5 seconds.
Adjustments are left, right, flip, etc.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f450...wn-151516.html
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:40 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmslawson View Post
Personally, I’d like to see Voyager come out with side trailer-mounted cameras as well, so that I can see what’s at my side, but out of view of my mirrors when my tow and trailer are at an angle...
Actually, up to 4 auto pairing Voyager cameras can be paired to the monitor. I intend to get an additional one just so that I can use it for blind-spot monitoring, or as a backup camera (since my tow vehichle didn't have one).
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:50 AM   #8
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Belbein - I had the Voyager on my 2016 FB Intl and it worked great. I also have one on my current 2019 Globetrotter. Not so great as I lose signal. I think I will just relocate the antenna.


As far as the Equal-I=Zer hitch what is the problem. I used it on my other trailer and now on my 2019 27' Globetrotter. Works perfect.


There must be a reason it is the most popular hitch.


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Old 09-19-2019, 03:45 PM   #9
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I put my camera down by the license plate. Very helpful. Use it more as a rear view mirror on the road than as an actual backup camera.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:48 AM   #10
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Hitch comment

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Originally Posted by NoResults View Post
Equal-I=Zer hitch
No problem, as it turns out. But the instruction I got from the dealership was woefully stupid. The guy who was demonstrating me looked like Arnold Schwartzenegger on steroids (uh, more steroids), and he used main force to get the bars onto the retainers and off. Every time he did it there was this tremendous BANG. I was doubtfully that I'd be able to manage the weight. So I asked--based on my previous weight transfer hitch--"Would it help to raise the truck/trailer more to take some weight off?" He said, "Naw, won't do any good." I almost insisted that we switch the hitches out, because my back won't take what he was doing. But of course, he was wrong. Now, when I raise the jack stand to its limit, I can push the bars on with my pinkie.

It's that kind of stupid, ill informed advice that I was referring to.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:49 AM   #11
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Moving camera

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Originally Posted by LY007 View Post
I put my camera down by the license plate.
That seems like the perfect solution. But how did you move it? I shudder at the idea of drilling into that nice shiny aluminum.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:51 AM   #12
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Thanks

Thanks to everyone for your replies. I'm going out to the trailer now and am going to work on a bunch of this stuff. I appreciate all of your help.
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Old 09-23-2019, 03:06 PM   #13
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Update

I went up to the trailer and adjusted the camera. Someone said that there was about 6" below the center top running light. Mine is more like a foot. I'm not sure if that matters or not. It would certainly be better down near the license plate, but I just can't imaging drilling into the aluminum.

I adjusted the camera up, so that now the rolled awning takes up about 10% of the screen, and I have views back to the sides and maybe up to 50' or so behind me. I also put a line of cones directly behind the trailer, in line with the sides of the trailer, at 3', 5', 10' and about 15' … and then I took a dry erase marker and put a dot on the screen image of every cone. At least now it gives me some index. Not great, but something.

That adjustment and that "indexing" immediately preceded my managing to back it into my test slot 5 out of 7 times, and the last 5 of those 7. So I guess it worked. Tomorrow I'll try to put it in my driveway. [Fingers crossed.]
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