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Old 02-22-2018, 12:19 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Installing Voyager Wireless Backup Camera

I recently purchased and installed a Voyager wireless backup camera in our new-to-us 2013 Flying Cloud 25 FB Twin.

I got lots of help throughout the process by various forum members, but didn't see all the issues I encountered in one thread, so wanted to post them for others.

I picked the Voyager 4.3" wireless camera system as it is the same one many have had success with and it is the only system our local Airstream dealer installs and has good luck with. Although I'm generally pretty handy, I initially would have had the local dealer install it if it hadn't of been the 4 hour round trip drive times two plus 2 weeks in their shop, and booking 4 weeks out! In the end, I'm glad I tackled the project and gained familiarity with our trailer, but it was certainly more involved than I first expected.

Going into the install, I planned to get power from the center roof mounted clearance light. This seemed like where many people, including the dealer get power. This is great because I always drive with the TV lights on, so the camera would have power. And because it's not connected to trailer power, there would be no parasitic power draw when not in use.

Well, as I soon learned and many already knew, there is nearly no slack in the clearance light wiring. There was about 1/2", not nearly enough to crimp on wire connectors and feed back through the trailer. This sent me on a variety of thought processes which I finally discounted and went back to the clearance light solution, thanks to help form Brad (bradt) and Ray (Adventure.AS) in this thread
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f38/...er-177388.html

Following are the steps taken to install the system:
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:33 AM   #2
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 1

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of the products or companies mentioned. Use your best judgement and do not proceed with any modifications to your trailer that you are not comfortable with.

I knew that I had to cut off the clearance light and there wouldn't be enough wire left to re-use it so I ordered a new clearance light for $30 from Silver Trailer Supply. PN 5128690.

http://airstreamsupply.com/light-cle...red-led-512860

I also went to West Marine and bought some Ancor products. 18 gauge double jacketed wire, heat shrink butt connectors for 22-18 AWG, heat shrink multi-wire connectors for 22-18 AWG, and a grommet kit (not shown)

I also bought Silkaflex 221 in Gray from Amazon (more on this later)

http://a.co/89i4kKM
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:37 AM   #3
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 2

I removed the clearance light using a flexible steel putty knife, working it between the red light and the plastic chrome mounting bracket, popping up each end of the red light.

This gave about 1/2" of slack in the wiring to barely fit a pair of wire cutters in there. I cut the wires as close to the backside of the clearance light.

Here is a picture of the wires cut with both the clearance light and mounting bracket removed.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:42 AM   #4
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 3

Next was removing the plastic bushing. This presses in from the top and has little retention tabs that made it impossible for me to remove. At Brad's suggestion, I very carefully cut off the flange on the outside of the trailer. I used a new blade so that it would easily cut and I was less likely to force too hard and then slip and cut the wires. This was nerve wracking for sure!

I then crimped on two of the butt connectors.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:49 AM   #5
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 4

Next I drilled a 3/4" hole in the aluminum skin about 2" below where the clearance light ended (this was a hard mental hurdle to overcome!). I started with a small drill bit and worked my way up to a 1/2" bit in several steps and then used a sheet metal step drill bit that I had to get to the finished size required for the Voyager rubber grommet.

I then crimped on the two strand 18 gauge wire to the butt connectors.

At this point I tried feeding the 18 gauge wire and connectors into the clearance light hole but discovered how much sealant was on the other side! I had to use a flat bladed screw driver and work it loose in a full 360 degrees. This took a while and multiple curse words were uttered!
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:55 AM   #6
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 5

This step was the AHA! moment where I felt pretty confident I would be able to successfully complete the project.

I cut up a wire coat hanger and made a small hook on one end to pass into the 3/4" hole and catch the 18 gauge wire. On the other end of the coat hanger segment I made a larger hook to hold on to and be able to pull.

I used a lighter to shrink down the heat shrink (not having a sufficient heat gun)

I pushed the butt connectors and about a foot of the 18 gauge wire thru the hole from the clearance lamp

I inserted the hook into the 3/4" hole and fished around until I caught the 18 gauge wire. I then pulled it until I was able to pull a loop out through the 3/4" hole.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:07 AM   #7
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 6

I continued to feed the 18 gauge wire through the clearance light hole and pulled out a larger loop from the 3/4" hole. When I had several feet coming out of the 3/4" hole, I cut the loop in half.

This means I now had a powered wire pair coming out of the 3/4" hole (that I had previously crimped on to the clearance light wiring) and I also had a wire pair that ran from the 3/4" hole inside the trailer back out through the clearance light hole.

I used the Multi Wire Butt Connectors to connect these two wire pairs at one side of the connector and another short segment on the other side of the connector, which would eventually go to the camera wire.

I put a grommet on the clearance light wires, and used butt connectors to connect to the wire pair coming out of the clearance light hole. Make sure to double check the polarity before crimping, as LED lights only work one way!

In the third picture you can see the black wiring going out of the bottom of the frame is to the wiring harness for the camera. This whole bunch of crimp connectors were heat shrunk and fed back into the 3/4" hole. You can also see the mounting bracket installed. Make sure to install the bracket in the correct direction. If you install it backwards, there may not be enough available rotation in the slots to achieve the correct camera angle. I put a small piece of tape on the top side of the bracket when test fitting it to make sure it was correct when fully installing it.

I used lots of the Silkaflex in the holes and under the bracket, plus around the clearance light holes and grommet. I sure hope it doesn't leak!
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:17 AM   #8
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2013 25' FB Flying Cloud
Scotts Valley , California
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 55
Step 7

Finally I mounted up the camera and installed the camera wiring harness grommet into the 3/4" hole. I used the Silkaflex to seal around the outside of the grommet and around where the wire passed into the grommet. Unfortunately, this is where I wish I had used a different product. This was my first time using Silkaflex and I was unable to smooth out the seams as I am used to with other caulk products. I also ended up with two silver beads around the grommet and wire and a thin black ring of exposed rubber that looked like an ugly black and gray bullseye. I ended up covering the entire grommet with the Silkaflex, which looked only marginally better. A clear silicone or product that was easier to smooth would have been preferred. Luckily this is way up high and out of eyesight unless your looking for it.

A note about the 4.3" Voyager. I picked this size as it offers more wireless camera connections than the larger screen version. This was in case I decide I want to add side view cameras near the front of the trailer, although I think that will be unlikely. I do wish the monitor was larger, but the nearly double cost of the 7" version didn't seem worth it at time of purchase.

I have had no problems connecting from the Voyager monitor in the truck during the several test runs during setup. I'll know more during our first trip coming up if the connection remains steady on the road and will post an update.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:56 AM   #9
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2000 30' Excella
Toledo , Ohio
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Thanks for the post I plan to do the same when weather permits.
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:36 AM   #10
Michael Wild
 
1978 31' Sovereign
1984 31' Airstream310
Edmonton , Alberta
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 65
Great post, thank you for the details
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Old 02-22-2018, 09:50 AM   #11
Okstreamer
 
2007 25' Safari FB SE
Yukon , Oklahoma
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 11
Images: 2
Voyager install

I bought the same system and just removed the middle clearance light. I did not want any more holes in the trailer than necessary. Checked around about the Leagal need for that light first. I drilled out the existing wire hole to 3/4 inch spliced on and put the wire grommet in and mounted the camera. Plugged the other two light holes with sealant and larger stainless steel screw. Adjusted the camera to get the best rear view and it works great. You are correct, the wire to the light does not have much slack.
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Old 02-22-2018, 10:39 AM   #12
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2016 19' Flying Cloud
Burlington , Vermont
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 27
I bought the same system but I had the local RV shop install it. That proved to be less stressful than doing it myself. It works GREAT!!! I just wish the screen was a little bigger because the cam has a wide angle lens.
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:08 AM   #13
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1962 19' Globetrotter
New River , Arizona
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Posts: 89
So this install is to see behind camper when you back up? Right? Has anyone used this, or another, to help line up hitch ball to connector while hooking up alone, without benefit of another human to guide you?
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:05 PM   #14
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2003 25' Safari
LAS VEGAS , Nevada
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 45
Backup camera to help hooking up trailer ball/ remote trailer camera

My 2017 Chevy PU has a backup camera on the tailgate which looks mostly straight back, but if you make the tailgate slant at 45 degrees, it is looking down on the ball coupler, making it useful for solo hooking up the trailer. Making the tailgate slant 45 degrees is easy on the 2017 Chevy: just loop the gate support cable on either side over the top latch bolt for the gate lock. I would assume that other backup cameras, (either factory or aftermarket) could be coaxed into this kind of service, with a little thought.

My 2017 Chevy 2500 HD also has a remote camera (from the factory whose image appears on the dashboard GPS /backup camera screen) that installed at the rear of my 25 ft AS. I mounted it on the right tail light housing and wired it to the tail light wire, so I have to have the TV lights on for the camera to work. I felt that this camera was too heavy to mount on the AS skin but the cast tail light housing offered a much sturdier spot. Most remote cameras are wide enough angle to work well from any location at the rear of the trailer.

For those who have the Chevy or GMC factory camera system, you have to remember to put the TV in reverse, turning on the tailgate backup camera for 5 seconds before you turn on the remote camera. Otherwise the backup camera
takes precedence over the remote camera if remote is turned on first. Drove me crazy till I re-read the instructions.

Good luck with all your cameras, wherever they come from or where they are mounted.
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