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Old 03-17-2016, 11:32 PM   #1
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Angry Installing Rear/Backup/Side Cameras to Sandstorm TH????

I've purchased a wired 3 camera system with quick connect/disconnect from Rear View Safety. I've been banging my head up against the wall all week, though, trying to figure out the best/cleanest way to install these.

There's a lot of posts on the forum about product decisions, but not too many about the actual installation.

So, like I said it's all wired. I made this decision to eliminate any and all risk of me complaining about wireless problems. (Instead I'm complaining about running wires )

Since it's a Toy Hauler, I plan to mount the rear camera just above the cargo door, centered under the running lights. I also plan to mount the connector (it has a pigtail cord that connects between TV and TH, so just another cord when hooking up and plugging in... I'm struggling with the best place to route the wires... I'd love to be able to run the cables internally... it appears there's a roof space, with hollow frames, so I was hoping to fish the wires through there, but lots of time spent with fish tape so far.

The dealer quoted me about $1500 in labor to install (not counting what I paid for cameras) - their plan was to run the cable on the roof (flopping around??) and down the refrigerator vent... Yep, tried that too, but once you're in the fridge compartment, where to next!? The gas heater compartment is directly below, so I can't figure out how to route wires from the fridge box to the frames below the trailer. I drilled a couple holes... fished around... keep hitting dead ends.

(I've given up on spending brain power on the side cameras for now... but will eventually need to figure out positioning and wiring.)

We can all agree FR's manuals are a joke... for my other toys, I've always been able to track town things like wiring diagrams or dealer/service manuals, but I can't find anything but the high level layman's manual from FR.

Anyone have any technical docs or insight?? - either from Forest River or personal experience? Any help would be appreciated... even if there's some tricks/best practices, I can take it from there... I'm somewhere between a noob and a pro... Architect for a living, so problem solving is a strength (although I'm currently handicapped with a concussion.)

I'll post steps and pics when I'm done for the sake of the community...

Thanks!

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Old 03-19-2016, 08:32 PM   #2
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I have 3 cameras in all. 1 is on the truck license plate to see the hitch; 1 on the rear of the camper to see behind me while towing, and 1 just above the right tires of the camper to help me with lane changes so there's less of a blind spot.

I have 2 small lcd screens in the truck to see the feeds. One is on the right side of my dash near my right view mirror so I can use it while looking at the right side mirror. The other is on the top of the windshield by the rear view mirror so I can just look up at it like I would the mirror.

For the wiring, I have the monitors hooked up to a dual input switch so the LCDs don't run all the time. So a flip of the switch turns on both monitors. They are powered by tapping into an aux line.

For the truck camera itself, I tapped into an aux power line and ran a power wire to the camera through a second switch. This allows me to turn it off and on at will. Because the monitor has both the truck camera and the rear trailer camera video feeds plugged in, turning power off to the truck camera causes the other one to come on. So, going down the road, I can switch the rear view mirror camera between the hitch and behind the trailer, depending on if I want to check on something at the hitch. I can also flip on the truck camera to use it to hook up or any time I'm backing up. I intentionally did not wire it to the reverse lights because I want to be able to turn it on at will. The right side view camera is not shared on its monitor, so the switch only controls the LCD screen.

For the video feed, I ran 3 rca cables under the truck. One end of each goes into the cab to hook up to the monitors (truck/rear trailer to one; right side to the other), and the other end of one is to the truck camera and the other ends of two hang by the hitch to hook up to the trailer. You have to pull off trim panels to run the wiring, and find a grommet in the chassis to run the wires into/out of the cab. Mine goes through the back wall of the cab behind the rear seats.

For the trailer cameras, I ran a long rca cable from each camera to the tongue, and left extra length so they don't pull out in a turn. I tapped both cameras into the running lights. So to power them, I have to turn on my truck lights, but that forces me to turn on my lights at all times while towing.

I tuck the trailer rca wires under the propane tank cover to keep them dry when not being used, and for the truck rca wires, I smeared a bunch of silicone over the ends and let it dry. Now I have two "hats" that I keep on the wires when they're not being used.

So, finally, after hooking up the camper to the truck, I just plug the two camera rca cables on the trailer to the two free rca cables on the truck, and I'm good to go. BTW, you'll also have to have female/female adapters to attach to the trailer rca wires to allow you to hook up to the ones on the truck. Just tape them to the trailer wires and leave them in place.

If you do this, you'll spend a lot of time crawling under your truck and camper. And you'll use a lot of zip ties. But it works so much better than a wireless camera.

I hope this makes sense. Let me know if it doesn't.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:00 PM   #3
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Installing Rear/Backup/Side Cameras to Sandstorm TH????

Look for my post Back-up Camera Install Coachmen Freelander. It is in this mod topic section. It may provide some ideas. It has some pictures of how I used flex conduit and junction boxes. Hope it helps.
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Old 03-21-2016, 11:16 PM   #4
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I have three cam's on my 5er toy hauler, but I went with wireless, because of the wiring.
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Old 03-22-2016, 02:06 PM   #5
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Here is the link to my camera install post.
Paul

Back-up camera install Coachmen Freelander
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Old 03-23-2016, 01:37 PM   #6
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I bought a 2 camera system from Reaview and really like it. I thought the same thing about running wires in wall spaces but the realized I have a nice channel frame that runs the entire length of the trailer (Freedom Express 301BLDS TH). I used plastic cable clips and metal tapping screws and ran the coax down the frame mounting a clip every couple of feet. I then drilled a hole thru the floor in the corner next to the cargo door and then ran up the inside to the center top. Now be careful here, the wires from the 3-light clearance light runs straight down. I lucked out and drilled a small hole thru first and then used a hole drill to widen it on each side and was shocked to see the wires there. Would have been pissed if I had pushed that drill thru. One thing I have found is that when it rains (as it does often here in the NW) the camera becomes almost useless. I'm going to try some RainEx on the lens to see if that helps. I then applied silicon to the holes in the floor and the wall. Also I made a bracket at the hitch end to hold the connector and just tie wrapped up the coil of wire under the frame as they give you 60+ feet to work with. With all the WiFi out there in the world and only more to come I don't think we are going to regret installing a wired system. Same goes for your homes!!
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