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Old 08-24-2008, 10:42 AM   #1
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2007 19' Safari SE
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Successful installation of wireless backup / rearview camera

2007 19 foot Safari SE Bambi
TV: 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland

I thought I would post on the successful installation of a wireless backup/rearview camera in the application described above.

I am a new 'streamer and during the first 600 miles of towing, discovered that I really did like having the use of my rear view mirror, particularly for backing in to sites or for merging into traffic.

The wired Backup Camera system described in the Airstream Manual is no longer made. I contacted the manufacturer, who told me of many wireless cameras available.

I purchased the Wireless License Plate Backup Camera and Receiver for GPS System #8909B from 4ucam.com. This system is compatible with my Garmin Nuvi 5000 GPS, and with any other video display system with an A/V input. The cost was $99. The 4ucam.com website also offers other wireless cameras with and without monitors for other applications.

The 4ucam website states in various places that the 8909B license plate camera has a limited range. Depending on where you look this distance is anywhere from 20 to 30 feet. Other cameras are available with longer ranges (up to 100 feet).

I installed the 8909B by using an inline splitter on the red wire to the license plate light. This required a smaller splitter than the one provided by 4ucam. The camera mounts over the license plate itself, and I had to drill a hole in the plate to allow the combined power/antenna pigtail to dangle behind the plate and then run up into the license plate light assembly. I think that the pigtail could be put under the skin of the AS, but the hole in the plate is still required.

The camera instructions say to wire the camera into the reverse lights. In an application in which the camera is mounted to a vehicle with backup lights, this would turn the camera on only when the reverse lights come on. Since the AS doesn't have backup lights, and since I wanted to use it as a rearview camera, I wired the unit into the license plate light. The camera is on as long as the running lights are on. I would guess that this increased use might shorten the life of the camera and infrared LEDs, but I couldn't think of another easy alternative.

With my 19 foot Bambi and my Jeep Grand Cherokee, the distance from the camera antenna to the receiver antenna is about 25 feet. The video quality is excellent over that distance.

I will keep you posted on the durability and performance of the camera.
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Old 10-03-2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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UPDATE on WIRELESS BACKUP CAMERA

OK, now I'm at least 600 miles more experienced than my previous post.

After installing the wireless backup camera as described, I have to report that I am overall pretty satisfied, but am planning to make some improvements.

As installed (with the license-plate camera option), the daytime video quality is quite good, particularly in campgrounds. On the highway, it seems that the signal gets a bit degraded by radio interference. The main problem is loss of resolution, followed by snowing. Sometimes this degrades to loss of horizontal control, but the image is still interpretable and better than having no camera at all. Also, from time to time the receiver picks up signals from security cameras.

The night time infrared video is excellent when backing up in campgrounds. On highways, the video is washed out by headlight glare, although the glaring lights are still better than nothing at all to tell you that something is riding your bumper or about to pass.

I think that all of these problems could be alleviated by installing the remote-mount camera sold by the same vendor. This camera can be mounted on top of the trailer and has a longer antenna. This is my next step, but I would recommend it as a first step for those of you who want the safety of a good rear-view system.
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Old 05-25-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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Update:

OK... as described above, the wireless backup/rearview camera did not work well for two reasons:

1) The license-plate mounted camera was at the level of overtaking headlights, blinding the camera's view.

2) The enclosed antenna was not powerful enough to ensure a consistent signal. I would occasionally get signals from other cameras. (Or at least I was pretty sure I wasn't towing a baby.)

SO...

I upgraded the camera to the CCD camera (model 9901T) and the antennas to model 9901A.

WOW! Does this ever work great! No signal dropout, and a beautiful color video image.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:54 PM   #4
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Very timely update - I am just in the process of deciding how to proceed on a rear view system.

Thanks for keeping your experiences with this up-to-date!
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:15 PM   #5
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Been wondering about rear view cameras...so your experience is interesting and helpful...thanks for posting! Do you have any pictures of what it looks like?
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Old 09-25-2010, 08:21 PM   #6
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I am ready to buy this product. Longdog, what are your thoughts now? Others - any recommends or warnings to add?
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:12 PM   #7
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BackUp setup

Your comment: "I upgraded the camera to the CCD camera (model 9901T) and the antennas to model 9901A. WOW! Does this ever work great!"

I picked this up 9/25/10 and wondered if you connected this up to a garmin gps.

Also did you finally mount this up higher? What about the antenna 9901a?
This might be something that is cost effective -- especially if you are backing up w/o a spotter. Trees make costly dents
My search showed the $99 at
Wireless car backup camera 2.5" LCD Color Monitor and 2.4GHz Wireless Camera - Day & Night and one with a 2.5 lcd display for $120: Wireless car backup camera color monitor RV Truck Trailer Rear View Backup Wireless Camera RVCam Day & Night Vision

Thought I'd send you a private message too in case you weren't following the thread.

Thanks for your input - others want to know....
Steve
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:46 PM   #8
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Longdog, come back!
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:12 PM   #9
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Sav'h Steve, did you hear back from Longdog?
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:37 PM   #10
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Humm, That post was 16 months ago. Hope Longdog did not back into a fire hydrant
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:35 PM   #11
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Maybe Longdog went Winnebago on us? I went ahead and ordered the camera. I'll post when I get it in place and test it out. Hope it's not a POS!
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Old 10-14-2010, 11:56 AM   #12
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I installed a wireless system on my 'burb+31' with excellent results. BOYO camera, 2.4G/2.5W transmitter/9CH. Very rarely looses signal due to interference.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:35 PM   #13
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My hubby bought a wireless webcam and mounted it in the dinette window of our 25' International. He plugs in a WiFi transmitter into the inverter outlet (which is where the webcam is plugged in also.) The Wifi transmits a wireless signal from the webcam to his iPod Touch, which he has mounted on the dash of the Sequoia. He has an app installed on the Touch that allows him to view what's on the webcam, so he has a real-time view of what's behind the trailer at any given moment. (I'm not quite as tech-y a person as he is, so if this is not very clear, just let me know and I'll get him to post something.)
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:06 PM   #14
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that's pretty clever- but I bet he's got a 1-2 second lag with that...
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