Friday, February 5, 2010

RV backup camera fix

Driving down the highway in your motorhome is a great feeling. When I'm behind the wheel I actually feel lighter and the cares of the world float away with one exception. I am concerned that the motorhome and the toad (the vehicle towed behind the motorhome) are functioning properly. I rely on my back-up camera to assist me in systems monitoring.The term "backup camera" is somewhat misleading since you should NEVER back up a motorhome pulling a toad because the front wheels on the toad will turn and jackknife causing damage to the tow bar. Some people say it's OK to back up just a few feet, but the tow bar manufacturers say it's not smart.

I had a wireless camera on my 5th wheel that worked reasonably well. I was able to "see" behind me and could make safer lane changes and turns. My motorhome has a "hard wired" camera system meaning a wire runs from the camera directly to the TV monitor. It is made by a company called "intec."For the last two years the monitor would intermittently go blank. I was frustrated but it didn't happen very often so I ignored it until it began occurring with increasing frequency. I noticed the picture would return to the screen after going over a bump so I decided to investigate the connections. I called the manufacturer and asked them what I could do to fix it. They told me to check the connections behind the monitor because sometimes they would work loose. I pulled off the access panel to the dashboard instrument cluster and inspected the connections. I removed and reattached the monitor connector with no improvement.
The manufacturer told me to send the unit back to them if this procedure didn't take care of the problem. I was preparing to box it up and send it off when my brain kicked into gear and I decided to check the connections at the camera itself.

I tore into the shelf over the bed where we put stuff we don't use very often and took off the camera access cover. I found the wire dangling from the camera and fished it out for inspection. Sure enough, the connection was loose accounting for the intermittent operation. Since the wire is hanging in the rear of the coach swinging freely in the hollow between the fiberglass cap and the interior of the coach it is jostled when traversing bumps in the road.

The fix was easy, I simply pushed the bayonet connector together and taped it up with a generous amount of electrical tape to hold it in place. Now it works!If you want new backup camera system I recommend a company called Mobile Awareness. They also make tire pressure monitoring systems. Mobile Awareness

Unraveling the mysteries of the RV lifestyle - Jim Twamley, Professor of RVing

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