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Old 05-02-2008, 09:18 PM   #1
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GREAT Inexpensive wireless rearview camera

I just drove 1,563 miles with a great new wireless rearview camera installed in minutes with some Velco on the back of my AS and the 3.5 inch screen on the dash, also mounted with Velcro. Cost $99 from Amazon.

It is called the VR3 3.5" WIRELESS BACK UP SAFETY CAMERA FOR CARS TRUCKS SUV RV but as a "full color, wide angle rear view mirror" for anyone towing an Airstream you'll never tow without one again once you try it.

I understand there were earlier versions of this camera/screen that had problems, but they apparently have been fixed. While it is touted as a "back up" camera and designed to affix to your license plate frame, I just Velcroed it with a 1.5 inch strip to the center rear of the rig, running the cable in through the window and plugging into 12 v with a standard cigarette lighter plug.

It flutters & jerks at low speeds or if touching the screen (Velcro to Dash) but on the Interstate it runs perfectly at highway speeds. Easy to see someone coming up on you night or day and easy to know when it is safe to turn back in after passing. Really INVALUABLE to know when some jerk is tailgating you about six feet behind. Excellent very wide angle, automatic light adjusting camera.

Believe me--try one for $99 and you'll never tow without it on the back of your Airstream again. I'm buying a second one as a spare at that price.
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AIR 26504
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[prior AS: 1986 Excella 32 ft ]

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Old 05-02-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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Costco has them too. 89.99
Costco - VR3 4 Button Wireless* Backup Camera
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:32 PM   #3
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Sounds great but, according to the ad, it only transmits " up to to 19' ".

John
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Old 05-02-2008, 11:08 PM   #4
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At CostCo $69

I just bought it tonight at CostCo for $69. The box says that the distance between camera and monitor is about 30 feet. I'm planning on using it for hitching up. (fewer arguments that way). With my trailer I can see straight through to see comeone coming up, but I'm going to see if it will work from that far back just for the fun of it.

Gilbert
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bkidfree
I just bought it tonight at CostCo for $69. The box says that the distance between camera and monitor is about 30 feet. I'm planning on using it for hitching up. (fewer arguments that way). With my trailer I can see straight through to see comeone coming up, but I'm going to see if it will work from that far back just for the fun of it.

Gilbert
Do you know how you are going to wire it?
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:10 AM   #6
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Hi Pete, any chance you could post a picture of the setup, velcro'd at the rear w/ wire passed through the window?

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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Mine tested to more than 100 ft

The box claims of distance may be in error and relate to the earlier versions. My AS is 22.5 ft and my Tahoe is 18.5 ft. and I had no problems. Yesterday, before I made the above post on this Forum, I disconnected the hitch and marked off another 4 truck lengths before losing the photo on the dash mounted screen. That's a total of 115 feet, but I was intentionally conservative in my estimated range as I am sure there will be variations depending on conditions.

In any event, I am certain that at 60 ft you'll still have a perfectly clear image. Remember, the comments from buyers that I saw on the Amazon site indicated this company's first camera came out two years ago and had problems in the earlier versions. I now have TWO and both work fine. As I mentioned, the boxes of each had completely different graphics and the included accessory stuff such as power line fittings, screws, connectors, etc. were different as well. (Even so, I see no difference in the cameras or receiver screens.)

I still can't believe the price and if the Costco one gives problems, perhaps it is an earlier version at $69. (Let us know.) However, you must get up to highway speeds, 30 mph for constantly stable operation and sometimes you have to twist or tweak the screen's angle a bit. When your hand gets near the screen the picture will flip and flutter, so just ignore that.
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AIR 26504
WBCCI 2980
2007 22 ft International CCD
2007 Tahoe 4X4
Hensley Arrow
[prior AS: 1986 Excella 32 ft ]

Whoever said "Money can't buy happiness" never owned a custom made bamboo fly rod.
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Vermont
However, you must get up to highway speeds, 30 mph for constantly stable operation and sometimes you have to twist or tweak the screen's angle a bit. When your hand gets near the screen the picture will flip and flutter, so just ignore that.
So this thing is useless for backing into driveway or campground lot.... right?
I don't back well at highway speeds.
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:49 PM   #9
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Test installation.

I didn't have a chance to do a full install and road test of the unit, but I did give it power and tested it. Seemed to work fine as long as I didn't play with the screen. I plan on putting a quick disconnect on it so that I can move it between my tow vehicles.

I'll give an update as soon as I've used it once or twice.

Gilbert
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Old 05-04-2008, 07:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distantdrummer
So this thing is useless for backing into driveway or campground lot.... right?
I don't back well at highway speeds.
I was thinking the same thing... Though to be fair, I haven't tried backing up at 65MPH.
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Old 05-04-2008, 08:26 AM   #11
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If you are really interested in this unit

There is another thread on this topic. Andy R. documented a test on this unit
and said it passed the test with flying colors despite less than favorable conditions. He was answered by complaints of overheating units. I think the newer units didn't overheat.
I have one and it works well. The first time I tested it out, the picture looked all distorted. Then I realized that my son was mooning the lens with extreme conviction. That was last year. The unit still works and I am still laughing. Dave
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Old 05-04-2008, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Vermont
My AS is 22.5 ft and my Tahoe is 18.5 ft. and I had no problems.
pete, thanks for the post. i have the exact same setup as yours although a slight difference in trailer age. i'm going to buy one of these for that day i actually get to pull my flying cloud.

.....it's been several minutes since my above post. on further review, this isn't a wireless camera, it stills needs to be plugged in and the camera wired into the electrical system. also, it doesn't sound like it will work as a backup camera which in my mind is the most useful application. i would lean more towards this for a backup camera, http://www.airforums.com/forums/f206...era-41348.html and use the costco one for travelling on the road....which begs the question, how many cameras does one person need????
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:03 PM   #13
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So this thing is useless for backing into driveway or campground lot.... right?I don't back well at highway speeds.

SORRY I was so imprecise in my description. The camera works fine for backing up and hitching. In fact I was able to attach my Hensley hitch in only two tries the very first time using the camera. In fact, that's what I originally bought it for.

What I should have said is that at slow speeds, or when backing, don't worry about the occasional zigzag flash you may, or may not see. AND it does the same thing when your hand approaches the screen to reposition it. One post I read on Amazon.com said that the guy "set it up on my workbench and the screen just jumped all around, it's useless." It was that kind of reaction I was trying to caution against and I wasn't too clear.

The instructions clearly state that cell phones, strong power lines overhead, electric motors, etc. may cause occasional screen flicker. And I notice that interference tended to happen when starting to back up or when pulling forward slowly, perhaps due to jerking the transmission antenna which is contained in the first 12 inches of the 12 v power line.

Thus, any "hitch" in the 12 volt system--like your back up lights coming on or your brake lights lighting up--will be picked up by the antenna and appear as a quick "flicker" on the screen.

I imagine the guy who rated it "one star" out of five because it didn't work on his bench, probably had a florescent light running over the bench or perhaps some other electrical equipment running nearby.

I hope this clears thing up. I am sure that for $150 to $400 that some systems cost you can get a "perfect" wireless color camera that operates over 60 ft. But with this model, if it doesn't work, throw it away. I have rigged my 2nd one as a back-up camera on the truck and have outlined the receiver in the Hensley with BLUE tape and added a small piece of white tape to the "stinger" as some people call it. It makes things very easy with the Hensley because you can see the ANGLE as well as the direction, then get out and raise or lower the hitch with the trailer jack or with the spring bar adjustments as necessary.
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AIR 26504
WBCCI 2980
2007 22 ft International CCD
2007 Tahoe 4X4
Hensley Arrow
[prior AS: 1986 Excella 32 ft ]

Whoever said "Money can't buy happiness" never owned a custom made bamboo fly rod.
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Old 05-04-2008, 02:17 PM   #14
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there are several threads on this cheap camera system...

and lots of posts on distance, image, wiring and so on...

here are just a few...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f206...ers-28419.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/...mbi-32100.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317...era-27752.html


cheers
2air'
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