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Old 03-25-2019, 08:03 AM   #1
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WiFi Ranger & IP WebCam for backup camera

I just bought a new 2019 Rockwood 2507S. It comes with a WiFi Ranger.
I am thinking about taking advantage of that to do a wireless IP Camera setup for a backup camera.

If you are not familiar (I am just learning), the WiFi Ranger is in effect a wireless router that has permanently installed antennas on the roof of the camper. The idea is that you connect all your wifi devices to it and then the WiFi Ranger can connect to wifi hotspots like campgrounds or Xfinity or somesuch. It also acts as a firewall. It is supposed to provide strong signal strength for your devices and the antennas can reach Wifi hotspots at a greater distance.

I am thinking this is the perfect setup for a wireless backup camera.
I have used some old spare Android phones as IP Webcams at my home so I am familiar with IP WebCam software in general. That won't work for this as I want a permanent and proper camera on the back of the camper.

The advantage of the WiFi Ranger is that it provides its own network for locally attached IP devices. I should be able to connect a wireless camera on the back of the camper and then have a smartphone or tablet in the truck show the live stream through free IP Webcam software.

I haven't taken delivery of my camper yet (later this week) so I can't confirm some things...

Some Questions...

1) does the wifi signal strength of the WiFi Ranger extend well enough such that it will have good signal to my F150 truck? It is supposed to be for campsite (outside) so it should. I will confirm and report back

2) does the WiFi Ranger work on 12 volt power when towing? I think so. I will confirm and report back

3) what is a good wireless IP camera that is suitable for outdoor use (mounted on the back of the camper) that has 120 degree view and is at least 720 p, and runs on 12v power?

4) what is the easiest way to get power to the camera? Is there likely to be some powered device on the roof of this camper that I can steal 12v power from?

Thanks!
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:14 AM   #2
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Good thinking - Should work. Any more than two-second delays might cause headaches. Will be interested to hear how it goes.
What about a Go-Pro camera, or a camera that runs on batteries.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JS Stanley View Post
Good thinking - Should work. Any more than two-second delays might cause headaches. Will be interested to hear how it goes.
What about a Go-Pro camera, or a camera that runs on batteries.
Thought about that but I want to set it up so I don't have to worry about it. It would be a pain to get up to the camera to deal with charging it.

I don't think there will be any 2 second delays. That's what I was getting at since it is all on the same local network within the router. No round trip to some internet based server. It's not like a Ring doorbell...

One thing I did just think about. The video feed needs to be "Mirrored". This means that the image is backwards - like you would see if you were looking in a mirror. Backup cameras built into cars and trucks do this. If it didn't, you would see cars approaching on the right but they really are on the left...

The good news is that the IP Webcam software packages (I just learned) commonly allow you to mirror the image. Phew...
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:10 AM   #4
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Shouldn't you be able to connect two devices without the WiFi Ranger Finder?
What about Bluetooth functionality?
No expert here, but, I would think your phone and a bluetooth camera would work, or maybe, a second phone setup as the camera -viewed using the same tech?
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:48 AM   #5
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Shouldn't you be able to connect two devices without the WiFi Ranger Finder?
What about Bluetooth functionality?
No expert here, but, I would think your phone and a bluetooth camera would work, or maybe, a second phone setup as the camera -viewed using the same tech?
Bluetooth is not strong enough to go from the end of a 26 foot trailer - through all the camper stuff - into the truck.

There are are wireless backup cameras like what Tadibrothers provide. I believe they use stronger RF transmitters to deal with this. They don't require a wifi network because it is all included. Seems to be a reasonable way to go - especially when you don't have a strong WiFi network to work with.

But, since I do have a strong WiFi local network (WiFi Ranger), I have other, and potentially much cheaper options.

Just looking to see if anyone else has attempted what I am suggesting and what the pitfalls may be.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:46 AM   #6
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Anything here that might help you:


Need help choosing a Good Wireless Backup Camera System
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:19 AM   #7
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I believe the WiFi Ranger runs on 12v. It gets a good signal, enough, good enough to do what you’re wanting to I think. I haven’t tried it since I had the dealer install an observation camera as part of my purchase.
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:36 PM   #8
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Garmin and BC-30

Been thinking about adding a backup camera to my Garmin (2589LMT). Supposedly, it can work from 45 feet. An "extension" is available, which I assume will allow placement of the transmitter further away from the camera.

The camera unit is a BC-30 at ~$100, which would be a cost effective addition. Does anyone have any experience with this?
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:19 PM   #9
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I'm no expert on the network the wifi ranger creates, but i recall when i had one, i needed an internet signal of some sort (whether cellular or from the park) to create the wireless network - granted i did not have the model with the router.

i think its a great idea, and hope it works - but I'm skeptical it will. if it works as you believe it will, I'm sure wifi ranger would be using this as an added feature to go with their system, and would have already thought to sell you an overpriced wifi camera to make it work.

just my thoughts. but looking forward to whether it works for you!
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Old 03-25-2019, 05:43 PM   #10
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What you are describing is expressly easy and a much better setup than any of the non-Wi-Fi cameras. Furion type cameras have to transmit from the rear of the trailer all the way to the almost front of the tv. The setup you’re contemplating only has to send the image maybe 15-25 feet to connect to the Ranger and then the Ranger only has to send the signal less than 35 feet. Using a Sharx/TriVision camera displaying via an iPad app delivers beautiful images at 1920x1080 resolution with a delay of well under ½ second

https://www.amazon.com/TriVision-HD-...-1-spons&psc=1

I use a Netgear router which is 12 volt and have never seen a disconnect during use (on previous 32 foot toyhauler, current 32 foot MH and current 38 foot LQ horse trailer behind a long bed dually). Internet connection is not required at all, although I recently created an internet connection by connecting the cellular enabled Jetpack. The internet and camera signals come from the same router but are totally independent of each other.

I don’t have a WiFi Ranger but I’m pretty sure it’s 12 volt. The camera is 12 volt and has continuous record to an SD card. No app needed to setup, just connect with the camera one time only via a Ethernet cable and it remembers everything after that with no cable. Instructions are included to set a reserved IP address in the router. Connect via the IP address with any browser and change mirroring, vertical up or down, contrast, etc etc. you can also download the previously recorded video there.

It appears from pictures of the 2507 there is a camera mount prep on the back. That means it is already wired for 12 volt which activates with the running lights.
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