Backup Camera 5th Wheel Challenges
When dealing with long RV’s, there’s a challenge when considering a backup camera solution. The challenge is further amplified when a 5th wheel comes into play. For wireless solutions, we have the distance from the rear camera to the truck dash that typically exceeds the working distance from camera to monitor and then we have the metal structure of the truck cab further impacting the video transmission. Our tests of past wireless cameras gave less than favorable results due to our attempt at transmitting 52 feet to the truck dash monitor. The signal would drop out from time-to-time causing blank screens or the video would pixelate to the point of being unusable.
End-to-end wired backup cameras are an option that typically provides a quality signal, but with a 5th wheel, we’ve now added a break in space between the RV and the truck. Due to this break in connectivity between truck and 5th wheel, we have to come up with a creative solution to power the camera from the truck, adding a weather proof connection to route a cable around the pin box, then cable through the truck bed and on to the truck cab monitor. For our needs, a hardwire-only solution was more trouble than it’s worth.
The Haloview Range Dominator 7
Haloview contacted us to review their wireless backup cameras. We shared our past experienced with our 40 foot 5th wheel and failures from the past. Haloview’s response: “We fixed that”. And I’ll add; a very creative fix they have indeed. The Haloview Range Dominator 7 or RD7 is a hybrid wired and wireless solution with claims of a working distance from camera to monitor up to 80 feet in length. For our application, this was perfect. Our distance from backup camera to truck dash was around 52 feet.
Receiving the RD7, the box contained all the parts required for Haloview’s recommended installation. Clicking to enlarge the picture on the right, Haloview suggests mounting the backup camera in the back of the RV and running the supplied cable to the front 5th wheel cap connecting to the wireless transmitter. A power inserter is supplied and due to the low power requirements of the transmitter, suggest using a rear marker light for power. This is a simple installation that should take the better part of an afternoon to complete.
Our RD7 Installation
While the installation recommended by Haloview works, our preference was more of a factory style install. We found the supplied 12 meter cable provided sufficient reach to run from the backup camera mount, through the rear wall and the floor, then route under the 5th wheel to the front bay where power and wireless transmitted was installed. While hiding the wires provided that “factory” look, it tripled our installation time. Removing all the bolts from one side of the black underpinning and running the cable from front to back, then replacing the bolts took about 2 hours with the overall installation taking around 6 hours.
Finding power for the wireless transmitter was easy. Our front bay had a spare fuse block and adding the wiring with an inline fuse took minutes. We also took an extra step adding a power switch between the 12V DC connection and the wireless transmitter. Although not required, we wanted that extra assurance of removing power from the transmitter when we weren’t traveling. Click the simple wiring diagram on the right to enlarge with the full installation shown in the video below.
The Cab Monitor
The Haloview RD7 monitor is feature rich. It’s capable of supporting 4 wireless cameras offering a solution for rear, left/right side and front along with a number of display options. The monitor also contains a memory slot to for recording. There is an easy to use menu for all the features and we found the monitor setup to be very intuitive.
We have limited dash real estate with our current 8 inch GPS tablet, but fortunately, Haloview provides several powering options along with brackets to install the wireless backup monitor. The large 7 inch, 720P high definition monitor provides a vivid display and we wanted to ensure we had good visibility of the unit while traveling. Our solution was to use the 12V DC dash power plug and the bracket, installing the monitor on the front of our center console.
To say we are thrilled with the installation and performance of the Haloview Range Dominator 7 backup camera is an understatement. The factory look of the installation turned out better than expected. The video quality of the camera and monitor provides a wide view of multiple lanes along with a very detailed presentation of the all things behind us. And with a transmission length from the wireless monitor to camera transmitter now at 12 feet, we have zero video drop outs or pixelation.
We have provided links below the video of the Haloview products along with the items we used for our factory style installation.
Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.
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