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Old 03-26-2020, 07:41 AM   #1
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Rear Vision From SUV

We have a 2018 Navigator and just bought a 2019 25RBT. Being a SUV, there are no extendable mirrors available for it and the strap on mirrors I bought vibrate so much, they are not a good solution. I am thinking about modding the back up camera to point up more. Has anyone done this? I know there are door mounted McKesh mirrors which would be a solution, but I am thinking the camera would be a good alternative if I could get it to point in the right direction.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:07 AM   #2
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We have a 2018 Navigator and just bought a 2019 25RBT. Being a SUV, there are no extendable mirrors available for it and the strap on mirrors I bought vibrate so much, they are not a good solution. I am thinking about modding the back up camera to point up more. Has anyone done this? I know there are door mounted McKesh mirrors which would be a solution, but I am thinking the camera would be a good alternative if I could get it to point in the right direction.
I assume you are considering modifying the angle of the tow vehicle's back-up camera. Correct? If 'yes', what benefit would you get from the re-angled camera? I have never really relied on my Ford F-150's back-up camera when hitching-up my rig or when traveling down the road with rig attached. Just curious - I may be missing something.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:23 AM   #3
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The camera helps, but does not deliver the resolution required for the application. Get the McKeesh mirrors. They do an excellent job and the optional wide angle mirrors add to the available visibility.

We've tried the Aero's and found d them to be acceptable, but not ideal. We have compared the camera, a Voyager with large view screen, to the McKeesh mirrors. The McKeesh are the best solution, but not without issues.

At a minimum you have to twist the straps to stop wind vibration. We used pipe insulation and secured it with wide white tape. Several ways to achieve the required result.

The window mounts press against our windows and squeal when opening and closing them. Also left black marks. So we added some clear Gorilla tape to the tangs over the plastic cladding. Adhesive marked the window at the start, but after cleaning it several times, the problem was minimal.

We were skeptical. We were not happy. We tried the options. We were wrong. Get the McKeesh mirrors. Deal with the down sides and enjoy a better view.

Pat

Edit - yes, we do have the trailer backup camera pointed slightly up. It gives a better view of traffic behind while still providing a view of the area behind the trailer. Never back with only the camera. Always use a spotter. Or, you can GOAL if solo.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:30 AM   #4
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I assume you are considering modifying the angle of the tow vehicle's back-up camera. Correct? If 'yes', what benefit would you get from the re-angled camera? I have never really relied on my Ford F-150's back-up camera when hitching-up my rig or when traveling down the road with rig attached. Just curious - I may be missing something.
That's the idea. I already have it pointed up as high as the adjustment will allow. As it is, I can barely see the bumper, but I'm not sure that I really need to see the bumper because I will always be using a spotter. If I can point it higher, perhaps it would be a substitute for mirrors and easier. I am wondering if anyone has tried it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:35 AM   #5
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The camera helps, but does not deliver the resolution required for the application. Get the McKeesh mirrors. They do an excellent job and the optional wide angle mirrors add to the available visibility.

We've tried the Aero's and found d them to be acceptable, but not ideal. We have compared the camera, a Voyager with large view screen, to the McKeesh mirrors. The McKeesh are the best solution, but not without issues.

At a minimum you have to twist the straps to stop wind vibration. We used pipe insulation and secured it with wide white tape. Several ways to achieve the required result.

The window mounts press against our windows and squeal when opening and closing them. Also left black marks. So we added some clear Gorilla tape to the tangs over the plastic cladding. Adhesive marked the window at the start, but after cleaning it several times, the problem was minimal.

We were skeptical. We were not happy. We tried the options. We were wrong. Get the McKeesh mirrors. Deal with the down sides and enjoy a better view.

Pat

Edit - yes, we do have the trailer backup camera pointed slightly up. It gives a better view of traffic behind while still providing a view of the area behind the trailer. Never back with only the camera. Always use a spotter. Or, you can GOAL if solo.
Thanks, Pat. I appreciate that I can get the McKesh mirrors and they work. It seems to me that a camera pointed backward instead of down might be a better solution. I am unsure.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:40 AM   #6
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For hitching-up, I always use my so-called Hitchin' Rods. Easy - always a solo job, no spotter needed. No arguments! OEM back-up camera and rear view mirror help. https://www.hitchinrods.com/ Available on Amazon. Try it, you'll like it.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:48 AM   #7
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For hitching-up, I always use my so-called Hitchin' Rods. Easy - always a solo job, no spotter needed. No arguments! OEM back-up camera and rear view mirror help. https://www.hitchinrods.com/ Available on Amazon. Try it, you'll like it.
The issue I am trying to address is seeing behind the trailer and adjacent lanes in motion. Thanks.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:12 AM   #8
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Thanks, Pat. I appreciate that I can get the McKesh mirrors and they work. It seems to me that a camera pointed backward instead of down might be a better solution. I am unsure.
No need to be unsure - compare the images. You can adjust your rear view trailer camera to see behind and then check what you get with a mirror. You can do that while parked. At 50 ft, there is not much difference. At 1/4 mile, you see what you are missing with the camera resolution. A truck is less clear at that distance. Now some folks do not care. They just want to know there is traffic there. What helps is the better image from three mirrors while entering a highway from an on ramp. I also like to see that it's a bull hauler headed my way as soon as possible and if the triple is controlled or wagging as it approaches.

Really do understand the reluctance - took me a year to get the brain around the issues. Compare and do best for you. Pat

Edit - you posted that the camera can't tilt up enough. Duct tape is your friend. Take out the screws and carefully adjust the camera - don't over stretch the wires. Tape it in place. Test and then return to the screw secured position. If you like the different camera position, you can modify the bracket. Do not remove the bracket, as that ruins the sealant and may let water into the coach.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:27 AM   #9
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No need to be unsure - compare the images. You can adjust your rear view trailer camera to see behind and then check what you get with a mirror. You can do that while parked. At 50 ft, there is not much difference. At 1/4 mile, you see what you are missing with the camera resolution. A truck is less clear at that distance. Now some folks do not care. They just want to know there is traffic there. What helps is the better image from three mirrors while entering a highway from an on ramp. I also like to see that it's a bull hauler headed my way as soon as possible and if the triple is controlled or wagging as it approaches.

Really do understand the reluctance - took me a year to get the brain around the issues. Compare and do best for you. Pat

Edit - you posted that the camera can't tilt up enough. Duct tape is your friend. Take out the screws and carefully adjust the camera - don't over stretch the wires. Tape it in place. Test and then return to the screw secured position. If you like the different camera position, you can modify the bracket. Do not remove the bracket, as that ruins the sealant and may let water into the coach.
Thanks again, Pat. My sense is that I can see pretty well from the truck's mirror entering a highway from a ramp, but I have very limited experience with it yet. I appreciate the comment on not removing the bracket. It didn't take me long to conclude that I did not want to remove it. Not sure how to modify it either, but that is part of the reason I asked here.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:05 PM   #10
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I use these on my 2013 Expedition, work very well. I think I got them on Amazon in the end. no problem with vibrations or moving when in motion.

https://www.milenco.com/products/mir...-3-xxl-mirrors
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Old 03-26-2020, 03:49 PM   #11
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I use these on my 2013 Expedition, work very well. I think I got them on Amazon in the end. no problem with vibrations or moving when in motion.

https://www.milenco.com/products/mir...-3-xxl-mirrors
Looks easier to use than the McKesh mirrors. The ones I bought have a similar attachment mechanism but on both top and bottom and with a strap between. I can't quite understand how this works well with just attaching at the top. Interesting.
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Old 03-26-2020, 04:00 PM   #12
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I'm in a '19 Expedition. The car's back up camera works well for hitching. Get a Voyager camera on the back of your Airstream and you will not have any blind spots while towing. Easier and more foolproof than extended mirrors.
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:29 PM   #13
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-- snip -- I can't quite understand how this works well with just attaching at the top. Interesting.
That is the bigger version of the Aero 2s that we used for four seasons. They work reasonably well. The bigger mirror is likely an advantage.

How they work with just clamping to the top? ...... They don't clip on, they clamp and you can crank them down hard. The down side is that you can crack the OEM mirror surround, so a little care is needed. Edit - the mirror surround must have a lip for the clamps to mount. Some mount to the bottom lip.

If you can't deal with the McKeesh's, the Aeros make a good alternative. Pat
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:46 PM   #14
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-- snip -- Get a Voyager camera on the back of your Airstream and you will not have any blind spots while towing. -- snip --.
I've got that setup. The voyager can be purchased with a 7inch monitor, which provides a better image. Pat
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:51 PM   #15
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Looks easier to use than the McKesh mirrors. The ones I bought have a similar attachment mechanism but on both top and bottom and with a strap between. I can't quite understand how this works well with just attaching at the top. Interesting.
I totally understand your comment here, remember, Amazon has a great return policy so the risk is low!
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Old 03-27-2020, 05:22 AM   #16
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Am lost on what the goal is. Is it to convert the rear-view camera into a better device for hitching? Are we still looking for tow mirrors? Or are we trying to use the rear-view camera in place of tow mirrors?

FWIW, this conversation / search is probably a better one for the Expedition / Ford forums. If the actual search is for tow mirrors, IIRC on a 15 - 17 model year Expedition / Navigator, a CIPA slide-on from a Dodge works with a slight mod of using some sort of strap (bungee, etc) in place of the locking mechanism. Only real down-side is that this will not work with BLIS. Am not 100% sure whether the Dodge slide-on will work for the '18 Navigator, but again, check on the vehicle specific forums.

If the goal is to use the camera in place of tow mirrors, perhaps I am missing something as the trailer will take-up ~95% of the field of view and only leave a thin radial slice viewable.

Presuming the Navigator has the navigation system with a large center console display, and at the risk of insulting, for hitching purposes there is a little '+' in one of the display's corners. Press that '+' and it zooms-in which makes hitching super easy. Once I mentioned this feature to a buddy, he came back the next morning and stated that it was almost like cheating!


An external camera on the trailer's rear does seem like a nicety, and at the same time have not found it necessary when driving as the OE mirrors are very good. For reference, I am currently using an Expedition very similar to your Navigator. Only time I think I might need a trailer-mounted camera is while backing, but I usually have a spotter or two for that.
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Old 03-27-2020, 06:45 AM   #17
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Am lost on what the goal is. Is it to convert the rear-view camera into a better device for hitching? Are we still looking for tow mirrors? Or are we trying to use the rear-view camera in place of tow mirrors?
I appreciate that I have drifted a bit between camera and mirrors. i would prefer a camera, I think, but I don't know whether that is practical. That is what I am trying to find out. If a camera works, I would prefer to use the one that is already there if that works. Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:12 AM   #18
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Guess I am still lost. Also, suspect there is a bit of over-analysis.

Unless I am missing something, using OE camera (presuming there is only one above the rear license plate) while under tow will get nearly the same results as the center rear-view mirror: a whole lot of trailer.

Towing with just the Expedition's OE mirrors is actually much better than other SUV's that I have used as (when properly adjusted) there really is no blind spot. From what I can tell, the Navigator's mirrors are nearly the same as what I have now. On occasion I do forget to install the slip-on tow mirrors and it is no big deal as the OE mirrors are that good and can easily see around the wide-body trailer.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:26 AM   #19
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Guess I am still lost. Also, suspect there is a bit of over-analysis.

Unless I am missing something, using OE camera (presuming there is only one above the rear license plate) while under tow will get nearly the same results as the center rear-view mirror: a whole lot of trailer.

Towing with just the Expedition's OE mirrors is actually much better than other SUV's that I have used as (when properly adjusted) there really is no blind spot. From what I can tell, the Navigator's mirrors are nearly the same as what I have now. On occasion I do forget to install the slip-on tow mirrors and it is no big deal as the OE mirrors are that good and can easily see around the wide-body trailer.
No doubt on the over-analysis. This is it: I am new at this and its unsettling to not be able to see behind. I have a camera that would seem to solve the problem, except it points at the rear bumper. I think I see a simple solution by repurposing the back up camera into a rear view camera and asked here whether anyone has done that. Yes, I got distracted with mirrors because they address the same issue. I would prefer just using the camera if that is practical.
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Old 03-27-2020, 08:52 AM   #20
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The issue I am trying to address is seeing behind the trailer and adjacent lanes in motion. Thanks.
Thank you for the clarification. I do not believe that the tow vehicle's rear camera will measurably assist "seeing behind the trailer and adjacent lanes in motion". My F-150's rear camera certainly doesn't. I rely on my side mirrors. Good luck.
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