Friday, December 31, 2010

5th Wheel REAR VIEW CAMERA installed

Several blog readers wrote in anticipation of the install of our rear view camera and in-cab colour monitoring system.  Some were curious about our install and the product details.  This blog will be dedicated to answering most - if not all - of your questions.

When we decided to install a rear view camera to monitor our motorcycle swivel wheel, I began searching the internet to find out what systems existed and what users thought about their respective choices.  It was clear that the wireless systems (that I had initially favoured) were problematic.  They were prone to frequency breakup or outright failure due to interference or simply because they were inferior in quality.  I chose the hard wired way.  Although a longer and more difficult installation, the result is awesome.

The camera:  12 volt deluxe weatherproof high resolution CCD Colour camera - with wide angle reverse image lens, night vision, metal bracket & hail/sun shade.
We drilled three small holes, added a few globs of RV white, self leveling sealant and three self tapping screws.  The sealant will prevent any moisture issues.  The camera is easy to adjust. 
Removed the tool box from the truck to access the rubber grommets.
Son in law, Trevor, removed the rear inside panels - removed the rubber grommet and we fed the wires from the cab to the power receptacle near the hitch in the truck box.
Once this was accomplished, we cleaned up the outside wiring and re-installed the truck tool box.
You can see the video and 12v power cable
A plastic tie holds the cable in place near the fiver power connection
With the rubber grommets back in place, the cables are run though the quarter panel wire troughs at the base of the driver doors....and toward the under dash.
Trevor is completing the under dash wiring.
We temporarily connect the in-cab TV to adjust the fiver rear view camera.  Super wide angle view.  Quite good!
Satisfied with the angle, the camera is locked into position and we began the longer process of running the wiring to the front of the 5th wheel hitch pin.
Yes, I was there and I did do some of the work.  Someone has to take photos,  right?
Rather than try to run the cables through the roof of the fiver and under the carpets, etc, we chose to route the cables down the rear ladder, under the fiver, and - using self drilling/tapping screws and cable clips - we attached the cable every 12-16 inches on the underside.  This 5th wheel is a polar unit (the underbelly is closed off and insulated) and the installation was quite easy. 
The cables are very well hidden.
The cables were routed to the front of the fiver and using plastic strap ties, they were attached to the 12 volt connect cable that connects the fiver to the truck power.
We positioned the truck to the front of the fiver, plugged everything in and voila!!!
We had a good fact, a better than expected image.  Incredible quality - and in colour too.
The in-cab TV is a 12 volt 7" TFT Monitor with remote control.  You read right!  It comes with a remote control.  How neat is that?  The system plugs into a cigarette lighter adapter with two power plugs for the monitor and the camera.  The system came with a 32 foot video/power cable for the truck and a 65 foot video/power cable for the 5th wheel.

I should explain that the MP4-700ZA in cab 16:9 LCD monitor is a super slim colour display that mounts to the sun shading board (truck visor).   I never intended to mount my monitor on the visor.  I checked that out and found it inconvenient and impractical.  I chose to build a floor mount that can be easily removed and taken away from the truck when not in use.
This is what I came up with.  The right side is configured to mount the remote control using Velcro strips attached to the monitor itself.
Here is a close up view. 
The monitor is attached to the laminate board using Velcro strips. To remove the monitor is simple:  I unplug the 12 volt adapter and two power/video cables. The monitor is easily stored out of sight or away from the truck itself.  What some of you may find interesting is the fact that this unit also comes equipped with an SD card reader and a USB connector.   Photos and video can be screened and any computer, iPod or other accessories can be charged from the USB connection.  The monitor has two stereo speakers too.  All of this is  packed into this great little package.

All done
After the install was completed, all systems checked, all parts returned to their rightful place in the truck, and tools put away, Jeanette and I checked out the SD card reader and adjusted the contrast, colour, hue, brightness and angle. 
Backed the truck back into its rightful place.
Once more photo.....

This LCD camera/monitor is a high resolution system with image stability built in.  It was specifically installed to monitor the motorcycle swivel wheel that will be mounted to the 5th wheel receiver.  We are quite far.  This system should add to our comfort level while cruising down the Interstates and freeways of Canada and the USA.

5th wheel receiver.
Although we have already pre-tested the the swivel wheel with the truck, the next step is to hook it up to the fiver, load the motorcycle and test it out.  Stay tuned for that.
The camera will monitor this little set up when connected to the 5th wheel.   It will also come in handy when backing into RV spots.....!
So, other than loading up with clothing and other stuff, we're ready to roll.  A big thank you to Trevor for his help in getting the task completed.

Thanks for stopping by.

For those of you who wish purchase, shipping, and other details, feel free to email me.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Deni & Courtney in for a late Christmas!

Christmas was not quite over on Dec. 25.  Our son, Deni, could not be home for Christmas so we held off celebrating a part of Christmas till he and Courtney arrived on the 27th.  Here they are celebrating with gifts and good cheer.

Courtney, Deni, Ginette & Trevor goofing off....and somehow it would not be right if they didn't do that!!!

 It was great to see Deni and Courtney - who drove in from Edmonton, Alberta.
Nice hoody.....!

This will be ideal for the Alberta winter.
Yep, fits well too.  Alright!!
Courtney's in the spirit too!
So is Trevor....
Over to the family room for the tiny stocking stuffer.
Christmas stockings returned to their proper place......waiting to be put away  in storage till next year.
All had a chance to 'scratch & win' but there were only two really tiny winners of $1 and $2.  Maybe next year eh?
Jackson - the cat - keeping watch over things....and enjoying Deni's company.
 Only a few days here and it was time for Courtney to fly back to Edmonton to take care of trauma patients arriving in the emergency ward....and Deni prepared to drive out to Kelowna to visit with good family friends.

Jeanette loaded Deni up with baked goodies - a whole lot of it - to take back to Edmonton.  Good thing he drives a truck. 

Notice the snow?  That was a real surprise.  The weather girl had not forecast this snow but it did just that.  It would be considered a 'skiff' here on the west coast.

After Deni left for the BC Interior, Trevor and I continued our work to install the rear view 5th wheel camera.  Details on that install - with many photos - will be the subject of tomorrow's blog.

Thanks for dropping by.

Monday, December 27, 2010

5th is HOME

It was a good day to drive out to the RV storage place and bring the rig home.
It is a tight cul de sac....but we'll get it backed in.
With Jeanette on one radio - talking me back....while looking up - we managed to back in without hitting the eaves troughs.  Although that hasn't just cannot be too careful.
Just enough room for the dually....but plenty of room on the loading side.  Makes the numerous trips from the house much easier.
Now for the fun stuff.   The next activity includes the installation and testing of the back end colour camera with connection to the in-cab 7" colour LCD TV.  The weather girl on TV is calling for sunny days ahead.  Beats working in the mist and rain.

Well.....that's it for today.
Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


This pretty well begins the Christmas day story.  
Morning coffee in anticipation of presents to come.
Santa made a stop at our home.  We are so spoiled!
So...after a Christmas eve at family and friends, here we are on Christmas Day morning - enjoying the fruits of all that shopping.
Mrs. Clause busy with the distribution.
Son in law Trevor, receiving the first of his bounty.
The out clothing...for gym training.    
 Ginette attempts to foil Santa Clause and make the right guess!
Mrs. Clause with her new travel diary.
More stuff.....but all important for the 5th wheel too. 
Nice sweater.....most ideal for those Edmonton winters.
New golf hats....and yes Deni, yours awaits your arrival on the 27th.

And yet more presents.
Awesome socks.

Heading off to Trevor's family for more presents and food!
After the kids left for rendez-vous with other family, Jeanette and I cleaned up and before sitting down to write today's blog, I thought it best to start the motorcycle and let it run for a while.  Kind of keeps the battery charged up, if you know what I mean.  

Later this afternoon Jeanette and I will join Trevor and Ginette @ Trevor's grandma's home for a festive family dinner.