RV Back Up Camera - 6 Tips for Installing, Troubleshooting, and Getting the Best Deal

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RV Back Up Camera - 6 Tips for Installing, Troubleshooting, and Getting the Best Deal

Friday, February 5, 2021

Pardon the dirty RV!  It needs a wash, but I'm also super proud of how easy the camera was to install!


We have talked about a backup camera for our Grand Design since our purchase 18 months ago.  We have a 90 degree turn from a narrow street into a narrow drive.  While we have managed to master this process, a backup camera seemed like what we needed to help make this process a little less stressful.  A backup camera is great for backing into your driveway or campsite, but it also provides some additional help when towing and parking.  I didn't realize how beneficial this piece of equipment was recently, and it might be the tool you need too!

The Furrion Vision S Back-Up Camera works perfectly with RV's that have been prewired for a Furrion back up camera.


RV Back-Up Camera - 6 Tips for Installing, Troubleshooting, and Getting the Best Deal

Many new RV's come prewired for a backup camera.  Our Grand Design has just been waiting for a camera to slip into that spot, and the installation process was minimal.  However, here are three things you should know before you get started.

  • Get a larger monitor for the backup camera that you purchase.  We have a 7-inch screen.  I think anything smaller would be too small in my opinion.  Spend the extra money for the larger monitor.
  • You can install the camera with a simple screwdriver and ladder to get into the position to place the camera on your RV.
  • Pair the camera to the monitor before you install it.
I'll go over the troubleshooting and shopping tips at the end of this post!  So, keep reading.

Everything you need to install your new camera and monitor system is in your box.  Get everything out and organized before getting started.


Unboxing


When your camera arrives, unbox everything so that you can prepare to install it.  You will need the monitor, mounts, and antennae for your tow vehicle.  There are a couple of different mounting options for the monitor.  One is a suction cup mount for the windshield and another allows it to attach to a piece that sits on the dash.  I prefer the windshield mount.

There is also the camera and the antenna to attach.  There are some TINY screws for mounting the camera.  These are the worst part of the job.  There is also a plastic camera piece that you can use to attach to the camera and the tow vehicle.  I didn't use this because I just attached the camera to the little mount that was already on our RV.  In hindsight, I should have just attached the whole mount piece with the camera attached already to the RV.  This would have worked better and gone faster.

Pair the camera to the monitor before you mount it to the RV.  It should pair right up, but it is a good idea to test your equipment first.



Pairing the Camera to the Monitor


Take your camera and monitor and plug in the monitor to the 12-volt plug-in your tow vehicle.  You can plug in the camera to an attachment on the power cord on the monitor.  It will plug right in.  Make sure it turns on and you can see an image on the monitor from the camera.  Once you have done this, you are ready to install the camera on the back of your RV.




Installing the camera


If your RV is already pre-wired for a backup camera this part is really a snap.  There are 4 tiny screws in the box that come with your back up camera.  Save these.  You will probably end up needing them.  You will unscrew the tiny screws located on the camera attachment on your RV.  This will expose the wiring plug for the camera and allow it to screw into the plastic mount.

Another way that you could do this is to remove the plastic mount that is attached to the RV and replace it with the new mount with the camera attached from your kit.  When you do it this way, the larger screws are located on the camera mount attached to the RV.  

Regardless of how you do this, you are going to be removing the holding piece attached to the camera bracket on your RV or the whole piece to reveal the wire for the camera itself.  This prewiring allows you to have a plug, pair, and play (use your camera) with little effort.  

It took a little effort to tuck the connected wire into the mounting bracket behind the camera and reattach the screws.  Take your time to ensure that you have a flush mount.  Once you are done, attach the antennae.  Done!

Make sure your trailer lights have a good connection to ensure your camera is getting power.

For your monitor to get a signal from the camera, you will need to have your headlights on as well.


Operating Your Back-Up Camera


First, you will need to have your RV towing lights plugged into your tow vehicle to power the camera.  Next, you must have your headlight turned on as well.  If you just have your headlights in your tow vehicle set to automatic, shift your lights into the on position.  Otherwise, you will not get a signal from the camera.  Plugin the monitor to your tow vehicle and if everything is paired and operating properly, you should immediately see the image from behind your RV.  

If you tap the screen twice on the monitor, you can control the sound from the backup camera on the Furion model that we have.  I mute the sound when going down the highway.  Once we are backing up, I turn it on and adjust the volume so that I can hear my husband directing me when backing up.

Switch your tow vehicle's headlight from automatic to on for your camera to work properly.


Tap the power button on the right of the monitor once to reveal the menu.

Select pairing and the read camera (camera 4) to pair the camera to the monitor if needed.


Troubleshooting Your RV Back-Up Camera


These cameras are pretty simple to operate, but you can run into the occasional issue.  Things to look for:
  1. Make sure you see a blue light on the backup camera when you are ready to start moving.  If there is no image on the monitor and it is not pairing, make sure that your camera is getting power.  You can unplug and reset your towing lights to see if this does the trick.  It has for us.
  2. If you are still not getting a signal but the blue light is on, try repairing the backup camera.  On the monitor, tap the power button to bring up a screen that has a pairing option.  Select camera 4 to repair.  
  3. Still not paired?  There is a pairing button, under the camera itself.  I have climbed up on the ladder on the back of the RV and pressed the pairing button for 15 seconds.  Then, I repaired the monitor.  
The first time we used our camera, it worked for a few minutes in our drive before our trip.  But, it blinked out and we could never get a signal from our camera again.  I was so frustrated.  Then, after some research, I learned that we needed to have our headlights running.  Once we did some basic troubleshooting, there was still no signal.  I discovered the two lights weren't plugged in securely.  I reset those and got the power to the camera.  After repairing it worked like a charm.  

Tap the monitor to reveal the other options like the sound.  I typically mute the sound on the monitor when towing and turn it on when we are backing up so that I can hear my husband guiding me.



Tips for Getting the Best Deal

Lots of retailers carry the Furion Vision S 7 inch back up camera like we have.  If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can get it with free shipping.  No problem.  

I went a different route for our purchase.  I priced it on Amazon, e-Trailer, and Camping World.  The price was the same for this camera at all three retailers.   

I use Rakuten a lot when shopping online.   Many times you can get 2% cashback on purchases at Camping World.  While this works sometimes, it didn't for me on this one purchase.  But I think this discount may have encountered restrictions because Camping World was offering some other discounts to Good Sam Members at the time.  Regardless, the price was the same across the board.  I still got the best deal.  I would encourage you to shop around just to be sure though.  There is always a chance you can find a discount or deal that would save you some money.  

Now that we have this backup camera, we both have a new sense of confidence when towing and backing up.  The additional sound so that I can hear my husband guiding me down the drive from the monitor is very helpful.  I'm much less frustrated.  Plus, it is great to be able to see behind us when we are towing.  If you have been on the fence about a backup camera and are debating because of the price tag, I think the answer is a solid yes.  This holds especially true if you use your RV a lot and on busy highways.  

If you give yourself the right tools for the job when you RV, you will love the experience so much more.  A backup camera isn't a fluffy expense that I wonder if we will get our money's worth.  We will use it every time we tow our RV.  This could easily be one of your first purchases for your new RV or for this camping season.  

Until next time...

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