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Old 01-20-2013, 06:34 PM   #1
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Made a wireless backup camera system cheaply

I have been wanting a backup camera or cameras, to aid me in hitching up... as well as stopping in the correct spot at the campground.

I have also been reading everyone's post on the camera(s) systems they use, or have experience with both wired and wireless. From what I have been able to ascertain with wireless systems is lack of range when mounted at the back of the trailer, which lead either to loss of pic or distorted/fuzzy pictures.

I didn't want to wire a system in, either on my tow vehicle or trailer.....so that left me with the wireless option. In my thinking, a wireless system didn't need the camera or monitor tied to a power supply...thus needed to be battery powered or rechargeable. Because of this requirement, it omitted many of the wireless home surveillance systems that might could have worked on the truck/trailer as well, because most of these require 120Volt power to use.

If I haven't bored you to death yet, here is what I found in my local Wally World the other day, the GE Wireless Home Monitoring Kit #45255 for $140.

GE Wireless Color Camera and Monitor: Surveillance Equipment : Walmart.com

Here is why I got it:

The color camera and handheld monitor can be run off of 120 volt with included power supplies, or the monitor has built in batteries that can be recharged, while the camera can run off of AA batteries.......thus they don't have to be hooked to a power supply.

The package says the connection is 2.4 Ghz with a 450 foot range. I have used it from one end of my house to the other and it works with no problem, as well as placing the camera on the back and underside of my camper (pics below) with no problem. The monitor has a flip up antenna to help the range.

The camera also has night vision, that works.....as well as a two way intercom built in so you can talk/hear from the camera and monitor....but from what I have been able to tell the sound may not be so great outdoors.

If you put in a micro sd card in the monitor, you can record video from the camera (which is what I did to get the pics below)

Another plus is, you can add up to three more cameras to the system for four total that can be seen on the monitor. However these extra cameras were $80 a piece.

What I did was just place the camera base into one of those magnetic base tool/parts bowls and run a few rubber bands around it. After that, I could just stick it on my tailgate (as seen in pics), or on my back bumper of the trailer, or underneath the trailer to see my rear electric stabilizers.

I took the three videos while the monitor was on the dash of my truck. I have lost some of the picture quality by taking screenshots of the videos while they were paused in windows media player.

Anyhow, I can't testify yet to the durability or life expectancy of the system....but just letting everyone know if they want to test it out. You can also use the system for other things once you get to the campground, and be able to record it.

P.S. The camera will also play four lullabies and has a built in nightlight, if you can't sleep on your camping trip.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
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Those are great pictures.

I bought an Eyeball wireless camera that is powered by a 9v smoke-detector battery. The camera has a magnetic mount to stick on the tailgate of my pickup. The receiver plugs into the cigarette lighter. Only problem is I get a lot of distortion when backing up to my trailer, especially when I step on the brake. If your setup constantly produces the quality images that your pictures show, I'll have to try it.

Thanks for the tip.

Mike
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
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Your setup looks pretty good. The photo's are nice and clear.

I ordered a "Swift Hitch" system. It has not come in yet but I'll post something after I give it a try.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:30 PM   #4
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I have to admit; that is pretty darn cool.

Another thing on my "To Buy" list.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:37 PM   #5
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great find and thanx for the pics.
i too, have looked for an inexpensive wireless camera setup.
the Peak one seems to be no longer available and there were some issues with its range. i wanted to be able to use it on the back of the trailer, to see what's behind me while driving and when backing up.
with this range, it might be something to look at. just wish the lcd screen was bigger.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:51 PM   #6
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I have been looking for a reasonably priced backup camera for use when pulling in mostly.


Have added this to m wish list and will be checking it out oat our local Wally World tomorrow ( they have it in stock too )
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
i wanted to be able to use it on the back of the trailer, to see what's behind me while driving and when backing up.
It's really an indoor camera and states that if used outdoors it would need to be protected from the elements.

If you were going to use it while driving, then it would depend on where you placed it. If it was outside of the camper, it would probably need to be mounted in some kind of weatherproof clear container or camera housing....which shouldn't be hard at all. Don't know if that would interfere with the antenna and/or transmitting range though.

You might could also mount it inside the trailer and aim it out a back window.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:35 PM   #8
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That would be great for watching stuff on the cargo rack !

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wmtire View Post
It's really an indoor camera and states that if used outdoors it would need to be protected from the elements.
You might could also mount it inside the trailer and aim it out a back window.
unfortunately, i don't have a back window in my trailer.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:23 AM   #10
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Very cool. Something to look into for sure.
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