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Old 01-21-2018, 06:10 PM   #1
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Installing a Wireless Co-Pilot Monitor - Mike Mas


The old Saying; “You Can’t be too Safe” - Goes a long way when driving a motorhome. Since the advent of cell phones and distracted drivers on them, we need everything we can get to be more observant when driving down the highway. With this in mind, our “Co-Pilots” who occupy the passenger seat are more important than ever since this gives us another set of eye’s when driving.



New-Age Motor Homes - While there has been great advancements such as better braking systems, better handling, anti-lock, anti-skid, better visibility and even 360 degree cameras to see around our coaches, on some designs, the visibility of the passenger has been reduced. While right side mirrors were once in view from the passenger seat, now many motorhomes locate the mirror forward in front of the windshield and hidden from view by the pillar from the passenger seat therefore limiting the passengers assistance in driving.



My Dad always used to Say - “For everything good you do on a vehicle, its at the expense of some bad somewhere else”. This might best explain the beautiful “Wrap-Around” bus style dashboard we find in new generation motorhomes. I’m fortunate to have just bought a Newmar - New Aire. The one feature I like best is the beautiful dash arrangement. Newmar did an amazing job of making everything both viewable and accessible for the driver. Even devices such as Silverleaf has a dash mounted keyboard which displays information right over a video image to even include engine operating information.







The only down-side to this wonderful dash style is the rear view and turn signal monitor(s) are now turned towards the driver and no longer view-able from the passenger seat. With this in mind, I came up with the solution of adding a dedicated wireless rear view & turn monitor just for the passenger seat. This monitor will also double as an aid for the driver when our “Better Half” is at the wheel.

After studying my dash Situation - I came to the conclusion there is three ideal locations to add a Co-Pilot monitor, they are; on the right side on top of the dash, on the upper right of the windshield by the right visor, or mounted right there by the passenger seat panel. Regretfully, two of these locations would be very difficult to route video wiring. On my New Aire, while I could find a 12 volt source to power a monitor, there is little opportunity to run the video cables from the dash to these remote locations, so using a wireless video link can make all the difference in the world.

Wireless Installation - With this routing problem in hand, I began looking for a miniature 2 Ghz transmit and receive module, this way I could place the transmitter in the dash where the video monitor was located and transmit live video anywhere in the coach to a remote monitor.

While I was at the Tampa RV Show - I found a company called; Tadi Brothers, these guys sell a number of backup systems, monitors and transmit / receive modules. I picked up a nice bright 10” TFT color display monitor with remote control and a pair of wireless 2Ghz transmit and receive modules. If your thinking of doing this install, make sure you get a monitor with a remote, so it can be activated without leaving the passenger seat and you can switch to different feeds right from the remote. Secondly, get a monitor with a few video inputs if possible, so if you install another camera or have extra inputs, the monitor will accommodate them.









The New Aire is equipped with a 360 view which stitches together multiple cameras, so you can see all the way around the coach as you drive, so I wired the 360 degree view to one of the monitor outputs to see all the way around the coach and the second input to the right side camera.



Monitor Installation - After deciding that I would mount mine on the dash since it’s easier to view when looking out the windshield, I routed the pigtail down along the right side and drilled one small hole in the lower section of the entry panel to get inside the dash. The provided wire was long enough for me to reach my Silverleaf video controller so I just plugged her in and wired a fuse protected 12v lead & ground.







The monitor is provided with a 1/4-20 screw to mount the monitor to a supplied pivot mount that can then be screwed to a surface or simple stick-taped. To allow my monitor to have a smaller footprint, I deleted the mount and simply used Velcro to secure the monitor in place, since I’m not one for de-facing or drilling anything visual.







New Aire’s Security Mode - Thanks to Silverleaf and the 8 installed camera views in the New Aire, there a security mode which sequences through selected monitors for night security so you can see what’s happening outside of your coach. This same system is also available with three cameras remotely on your cell phone with the Rozie App. To get it on my newly installed passenger monitor, I used a Y connector on the VMS 350 Silverleaf video module. Even when my dash monitors are shut down, my new passenger monitor remains active showing the same video as the Silverleaf display, so I now have a front monitor showing outside activity as well as the Silverleaf display in the kitchen.



Bedroom Security Camera - Since I was able to route my monitor direct without using the transmit / receiver modules I bought, I’ll now use them to transmit my security video feed to the bedroom with another monitor I ordered, so I’ll now have the ability to look outside my coach when parked in a truck or rest stop right from my bed.

How Much Did It Cost - For the amount of safety it provides in driving, the coat is immaterial, but this whole installation only cost me $165 total. The 10” monitor was $115, and the transmit receive module set was only $50.





In Summery - mounting an additional monitor to aid your Co-Pilot to help you drive is a worth-while investment. If your coach does not already have a backup monitor system, Tadi Brothers and many other companies offer a kit containing a wireless license tag bracket with an attached camera. These can transmit up to 65 feet to a monitor. The install only involves finding a 12 volt source for the camera and monitor. I installed one of these kits on my tandem trailer and just wired the tag camera to my 12 volt tag light circuit which worked perfect. Other uses could include mounting a camera on the roof to check for clearance and trees. Anyhow, I hope this over-view of installing a wireless system might help those considering a similar system.

Drive Safely - Mike Mas





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Old 01-21-2018, 06:29 PM   #2
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Well done and great idea!
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:12 PM   #3
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Excellent write up and photos. Great job
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for writing this up, very cool idea.
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:20 AM   #5
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Great write up ! Thank you
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:02 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the kind words guys - I'm working on some additional material which I'll add to this thread, so check back!

Thanks Mike
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Old 02-03-2018, 04:42 PM   #7
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Pic of King Aire monitor

Factory touch screen for passenger. Other then entering new destinations I’m not sure a touch screen is necessary? I think I might do the same with the wireless.
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Old 02-03-2018, 07:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Newaire1 View Post
Factory touch screen for passenger. Other then entering new destinations I’m not sure a touch screen is necessary? I think I might do the same with the wireless.
NewAire1

thanks for the images yes that is a really nice feature for the co-pilot to have. Too bad Newmar didn't include it in the New Aire.

The main reason I installed my monitor is because with the mirror out in front of the coach, its now totally blocked from the passengers view.

Mike

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Old 02-03-2018, 10:09 PM   #9
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I was surprised it was turned down as a special request because the NAV unit installed in the New Aire is the same model # as Essix and King Aire so all the connections are a simple plug in. But the work around listed here is a well thought out alternative with other benefits. So thanks for all the work!
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:22 AM   #10
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Just discussing that on another thread - I'm told the New Aire is using a modified version of the King Aire harness, so more than likely the panel harness is behind the passenger panel. The thing that stooped me is they were talking $1000 min for the display panel, so I bailed out and did mine for $165 and have it in a much better location and a bigger 10" monitor view-able looking out the window.

There really is no need for second Silverleaf when I already have one on the dash.

Mike
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:58 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idleup View Post
Just discussing that on another thread - I'm told the New Aire is using a modified version of the King Aire harness, so more than likely the panel harness is behind the passenger panel. The thing that stooped me is they were talking $1000 min for the display panel, so I bailed out and did mine for $165 and have it in a much better location and a bigger 10" monitor view-able looking out the window.
Never been in a KA, but based on the video from Newmar the passenger side panel is not a slave of the right hand camera panel. Instead it is a fully functioning implementation of the left hand Xite control panel. Can't tell from the video if it also includes touch interface but it does not appear to display the 360 of the camera system from the right hand dash panel.

Anyone with a KA, can you tell us how this panel works?

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Old 02-04-2018, 10:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Newaire1 View Post
Factory touch screen for passenger. Other then entering new destinations I’m not sure a touch screen is necessary? I think I might do the same with the wireless.
It would be much more difficult to add touchscreen capability to this retrofit.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:57 AM   #13
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From owners manual
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #14
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From owners manual
I assume you posted that suggesting that adding touch control is therefore easy? Keep in mind, I said with "this retrofit"...not adding an optional $1000 screen that the Silverleaf system supports.
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