Advise on best back up camera- hitching alone - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-17-2016, 12:27 PM   #1
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Name: Nina
Trailer: 17' Spirit Delux 2009
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Advise on best back up camera- hitching alone

I am hitching alone and looking for any devices, tricks etc. I am considering a wireless back up camera and would appreciate advise on which is the best. Is it better to have one that hooks up to the license plate? what about night vision? Any static in the camera?
I appreciate any advice on cameras or other devises that help.
Thank You!
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:33 PM   #2
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Name: Darwin
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Try one of these and save $$$
Reese Towpower Solo Hitch One Person Vehicle and Trailer Alignment System - For Life Out Here

Also, Backing just takes practice with or without a camera or help device.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:48 PM   #3
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I bought the same "solo hitch" in Harbor Freight for $9.99. Excellent tool for hitching alone.
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:04 PM   #4
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I added the Hopkins Back up camera from ETrailer to my Nissan Frontier a couple of years go and have been very happy with it. Pretty clear picture with no interference issues. How well it works at night will depending greatly on how bright your back up lights on the vehicle are. Helps a lot with getting into tight parking spots as well. ;-)
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Old 05-17-2016, 03:24 PM   #5
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I can typically hitch up my Scamp in two moves without a spotter, reverse camera, or any other devices. Once in a while it takes three moves if approaching at an angle or on a slope.

First, I know that the Scamp is exactly the same width as the vehicle, so if I line up both sides of the vehicle and trailer in the side mirrors, the ball will align with the coupler.

Second, I know that when connected on a level surface, the belly band is just barely visible above the rear window glass. That allows me to gauge when I am getting close to the coupler.

Approaching at an angle and/or on a slope makes both of those visual alignments less accurate, so I'll stop a little farther out and make corrections.

For the last move (usually a foot or less), I get out and visually inspect the remaining distance from the ball to the coupler. I leave the driver door open and sight the bottom corner of the door with a spot on the ground to gauge the last few inches.

I think the key is to get in tune with your rig and develop your own visual reference points. Nothing wrong with alignment devices or cameras, but many folks do just fine without them.
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darwin Maring View Post
Try one of these and save $$$
Reese Towpower Solo Hitch One Person Vehicle and Trailer Alignment System - For Life Out Here

Also, Backing just takes practice with or without a camera or help device.
Fleet Farm also sells the telescoping tennis balls for solo hook up.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:06 AM   #7
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We, too, got a Solo Hitch for $9.99 at Harbor Freight. At first it was awkward, but now Paul routinely backs up to the trailer to hook up for wiring, brake checks, etc., and I don't even know he's doing it. It works really well for him.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:27 AM   #8
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I also travel solo, and added a wired back up camera to both my RAV4 & the trailer. I can switch between them, and run the trailer camera full time to act as a rear view mirror. While the coiled cable & additional connectors necessary to connect between the tow vehicle & trailer is a bit of a pain, there are no interference problems & the picture quality is great.

Escape is currently installing wireless cameras as an option for their trailers, although they are not quite wireless - there is a wire from the camera that provides power & sends the video signal to the transmitter. The advantage is the transmitter can be placed in front of the trailer, closer to the tow vehicle so the signal level is strong. Of course that means you do have wires to deal with.

All of the full time "wireless" cameras have wires since they need to be supplied with DC power to run them. While there may be high quality license plate cameras, most of the inexpensive ones do suffer from drop out & interference from passing vehicles & even land based WiFi transmitters. They also make wired license plate cameras that are not too difficult to run if all you want is a camera for hitching.

There are a few battery operated hitching cameras such as the Swift Hitch.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:53 AM   #9
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I have the Swift Hitch and it is great for hitching, good reception, but has a narrow angle of view, so I only use it for hitching.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:04 PM   #10
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I haven't tried a backup camera yet. Operating word yet.
Of the two things I've used the best was mirror I would hang in the tail gate of either my Blazer or Dakota. I could see both the ball and hitch and get a perfect alignment every time. That worked great until I broke the plastic rails that held the mirror.
Now I use two fiberglass poles with magnets on the end, one pole on the ball and the other on the trailer hitch. Those work pretty good. I think they were about $20 at camping world.
The biggest problem with any of these systems is getting the hitch height right without either too high (dent in tow) or too low and hitting the hitch with the ball.

I'm interested what your experience with back up cameras is.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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Our Odyssey has a back up camera. It makes aligning alone easy. We painted the top of the ball white.

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Old 05-18-2016, 12:41 PM   #12
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I use a PEAK wireless backup camera which I Gorilla tape to the back window of the Scamp, and plug it in to 12V next to the dinette. Our state has a 200' law for rear visibility, so this covers me there, too. Besides, it's nice to know if someone is behind me if I want to change lanes, or whatever. It is wired to stay on all the time when plugged in to 12V. When I arrive at my destination, I stow it in the cupboard until I leave.

For hitching - I am getting a Swift Hitch camera; however, in the meantime, I also keep my driver's door open, and use it as a reference for distance.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Our state has a 200' law for rear visibility, so this covers me there, too.
If you read the regulation, the backup camera probably doesn't conform to the rules. Most states and provinces are similar and say you have to be able to see the adjacent lanes.

BC reg is:
(4) Where a trailer or semitrailer in a combination of vehicles diminishes the driver's reflected rear view through the rear view mirrors required by subsections (1) to (3), the towing vehicle in the combination of vehicles shall be equipped with 2 mirrors, one affixed to each side of the motor vehicle, and each to provide the driver with an undistorted reflected view of the adjacent lane of the highway from a point on the road surface 11 m ( 36' ) behind the driver to a point on the road surface 61 m ( 200' ) from the rear of the combination of vehicles.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:09 PM   #14
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Name: Henry
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SwiftHitch, works well. You really don't need anything else.

Having said that, I have a Rear View Safety camera hardwired and mounted on the back of my trailer and an aftermarket camera hardwired in my tailgate, both of which feed into the monitor in the dash of my 2011 Toyo Tundra, and which can be on or off while driving. That way I can check my hitch and traffic while moving, as well as backing up the trailer.
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