Driving an RV can be difficult. What’s even more difficult is seeing both sides of the RV with only the mirrors. You sometimes feel uneasy while changing the lanes because you can’t see the surroundings.
Well, that’s where RV side camera placement comes in. It helps you see both sides of your RV and make driving the RV a lot easier.
However, placing the cameras in the wrong place or doing it the wrong way will be a waste of your money. But you can avoid all that by reading this article.
In this article, we will be giving you all the information you need to know about RV side camera placement. Such as how to install them, where to install them, and many others.
So, let’s get into it.
How Do RV Side Cameras Work?
Side cameras have features like
- Interference protection.
- Wide field of view and
- Night vision.
These features provide clear images of roads, obstacles, or objects on both sides of your RV. Some units even let you move the camera downwards, so you can see obstacles on the ground.
In addition, different types of cameras contain different features. Let’s have a look at some of them.
Types of Side Cameras
There are many types, but the two most popular kinds of camera systems for RVs are wired and wireless. Although we are going to focus only on wired and wireless RV cameras, here are all the other types that you can find in the market.
- Surface-Mounted camera.
- Flush-Mounted camera.
- Dashboard camera.
- Box camera.
Now, let’s have a little closer look and see what wired and wireless cameras have to offer.
Wired RV Side Cameras
Wired RV side cameras give a more stable and reliable signal. They also produce high-quality images and great night visions.
However, you have to figure out whether your RV can handle wired installations. Otherwise, the installation process can be challenging.
On the downside, wired cameras for RVs are more expensive than wireless ones.
Wireless RV Side Cameras
As the name suggests, wireless cameras don’t require cables. Yet, the absence of wires may cause static and interference. In addition, you get weaker signals.
But not having wires also means that the installation process is quick and easy. There are times where you get a bit of poor signal. But wireless cameras have a great screen resolution that gets clear images.
All you have to do is plug the cameras into a 12V DC or cigarette outlet and you are good to go.
So, which one do you prefer? Can’t decide? Well, here’s a comparison between wireless and wired cameras to make your decision-making easier.
Wired Vs Wireless Cameras: Comparative analysis
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Now that we know the basics, let’s get to know about the placement of the cameras.
RV Side Camera Placement: Where to place them
Knowing where to place your cameras is as important as knowing how to place them. If you don’t put them in the right places, you won’t see the sides of the RV properly.
So, the side camera on an RV should be mounted just below the clearance lights. If your clearance lights are low, you shouldn’t have too much problem, but again this will be different from rig to rig.
Just remember that the placement should be as low as possible.
Next up, the tools and equipment that you are going to need.
Tool Required to Place RV Side Cameras
Before installing your wired or wireless backup camera make sure to get all the tools. Finding out that you’re missing something once you’ve started is a pain. So, here’s the list of things that you’ll need.
- 3/4-inch bit
- Silicone sealant
These tools will allow you to achieve a perfect weatherproof seal and tighten the screws that come with your camera.
Now let’s get to the actual business on how to install the side cameras.
RV Side Camera Placement: How to place them
The installation process will vary depending on which type of camera you are installing, Wired or wireless. For your convenience, we will tell you both the wired and wireless camera installation process.
How to Install a Wired Backup Camera
If you want to install a wired side camera, we suggest a camera that can withstand rough driving conditions and offer visibility at night.
No matter which wired backup camera you choose, it‘s important to follow these steps carefully.
Step 1: Mount the Camera
The cameras should be centered as low as possible on the side of your RV. So, make sure to find the perfect spot before screwing it in place.
After that, surround the screw holes with silicone sealant to prevent water leaks.
Step 2: Power the Camera
Now, the cameras will need a wired connection so that they can receive power and send data.
Align the cameras, connect the wires, and test the angle of the view. Don’t hesitate to try several times to check your options.
After choosing the right spot for the cameras, screw them into place. Use sealant all around to avoid moisture build-up.
Step 3: Install the Monitor
The monitor is placed inside the RV. Try not to mount it in the direct line of sight. It will disrupt your visibility. Instead, mount it lower and to the side, or attach it to your dashboard.
You may need to drill another hole inside the RV to insert the monitor’s cable into the power source.
Next, up is the installation process of the wireless cameras.
How to Install a Wireless Backup Camera
Wireless camera technology keeps improving. The best part about wireless connections is that it doesn’t require any wired connections. However, it’s important to get a camera that can deliver a clear picture without relying on wires.
But installing this camera system is much easier than the wired ones. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Mount the Camera
The cameras don’t need a wired connection to the screen, but it will still need a power source.
First, take the power wires from the camera’s equipment. Then connect them through the side of your RV and into the closest power source.
However, you may need to drill a small hole behind the camera to access them.
Step 2: Connect Your Monitor
Now that you’ve installed the camera, it’s time to connect it to the monitor. The monitor will show the live feed. For that, the monitor will need a power source. Some newer versions of RVs have dash screens that can be connected to a camera’s frequency.
But if you have a camera with a monitor kit, you’ll need to give a connection to your external monitor to a power source inside your cabin. Some RV owners just plug their wireless camera monitors into cigarette lighters.
Step 3: Check the Connection
After the hardware is hooked up to a power source, it‘s time to double-check the connection. It’s a good idea to find a volunteer to stand in different places. Make sure you can spot her/his movements in real-time.
If there are any laggings, the camera won’t be able to spot animals, people, or other vehicles that suddenly appear behind your RV.
Next, you’ll need to know how to choose the best camera kit for your RV.
How to Find the Best Camera Kit for Your RV
You may get confused while buying the side camera for your RV. To get the best product, you should look at these features. And see if they are up to your standards or not.
- Camera and Video Quality.
- Screen Type.
- Field of View.
- Night Vision.
- Ease of Installation.
- Mounting Options.
- Price and Warranty
If these features meet your demands, then go ahead and buy them.
While installing the side cameras, some cautionary measures must be taken.
These are some of the things that you must be careful about before, during, and even after the installation.
- Check the fuse or ground connection if they shock you or not.
- Evaluate your mounting location.
- Clean the lens with a soft cloth to remove scratches. Don’t use anything that might scratch the lens.
- Place the monitor and camera in a spot that won’t block your sight.
- Let a professional diagnose and repair malfunctioning cameras.
So, this was how you could do your RV side camera placement on your own. Hope you found it informative. Did we miss anything? If we did, do let us know. So that we can cover that part as well.