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Old 06-13-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
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Adding side vision cameras to motorhome

We are taking delivery of a Thor Damon Daybreak 34ss on the 18th. It is fully optioned but for some reason they omitted the side vision cameras. I asked to have them installed at the dealership but the labor cost was astronomical. Has anyone added these to their coaches ? How difficult of a job is it?

Thanks for your help
Ed
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Old 06-14-2012, 03:49 AM   #2
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A option that the manufacturer does install if it is ordered. The monitor will have to accommodate at least three cameras. Running the cable from the cameras to the monitor is the hardest part of the job but should be able to be done in a couple hours.
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:32 AM   #3
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Old 06-14-2012, 07:34 AM   #4
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When you say they "forgot", do you mean that your ordered it with the side cameras, or the dealer forgot to include it with the order? OR is it you that forgot to have them included with the original order?

If you ordered it that way and the factory "forgot" to install them, then you have paid for them and are entitled to have them. In this case I would tell the dealer that you will not accept delivery until that is completed.

If your dealer "forgot" to put them on the order, then your beef is with the dealer. I would certainly push hard for this "oversight" to be corrected to my satisfaction.

On the other hand, if it was you that "forgot" to include it with the original order, then you are kind of on your own to have it done.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #5
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I added them to a 2007 diesel bounder two years ago. It was easy since the backup monitor already had the cables under the dash. The hardest part was starting the drill to make the hole in the side of the coach. It was about 6 hours just because it takes time to do things. However, I did not hook them up to the turn signals. The rear monitor and both side cameras are on all the time. They are only helpful at night and during rainy weather. The side mirrors give much better visibility. They are a cool gadget to add. Unfortunately, I am out of things to add to the coach. My last addition was automatic generator start. Completely unnecessary but cool.
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Old 06-14-2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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I agree with pcurt23..your mirrors give you MUCH better visibility. What happens is you get in the habit of looking at the monitor rather than the mirror when turning or changing lanes and cameras are useless for judging distance... you may see a vehicle in that camera but not know where it is along the side of the coach. So you will end up using your mirror anyway. I find when I drive, my eyes move constantly.... windshield, left mirror, windshield, right mirror,windhshield, left, windshield... you get the idea. Save your money and get used to using the mirrors, you will be much better off.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvguy40 View Post
I agree with pcurt23..your mirrors give you MUCH better visibility. What happens is you get in the habit of looking at the monitor rather than the mirror when turning or changing lanes and cameras are useless for judging distance... you may see a vehicle in that camera but not know where it is along the side of the coach. So you will end up using your mirror anyway. I find when I drive, my eyes move constantly.... windshield, left mirror, windshield, right mirror,windhshield, left, windshield... you get the idea. Save your money and get used to using the mirrors, you will be much better off.
Counter point...

Right side blind spot. A well placed camera will alert you to something being there that your mirrors can't see.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:13 PM   #8
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Everyone has likes and dislikes when it comes to side cameras so it's all up to each individual as to what they prefer.

My personal opinion is that sometimes they are nice and sometimes not. I guess that puts me right into the middle of the field.

I do not care for them "most" of the time I am driving. The mirrors do a great job and I really don't want my rearview camera switching off and going to a tunnel vision side camera when I am overtaking another vehicle and putting on my directional signal just before moving back into my lane in front of that vehicle. But, in city traffic it's nice to have that extra view to help eliminate blind spots when traffic is packed.

What I did was make them switchable so that I can use them when I want and lock them out when I don't want them. My monitor has three inputs on the rear - one for each camera. It also has 12 volt connections that tap into the turn signal dash indicator lights. Whenever it sees 12 volts at one of those wires it will switch to that camera and stay there until the turn signal cancels out. All you have to do is run those two wires through a double pole rocker switch that matches the rest of your dash switches. By turning off the switch you'll prevent the monitor from seeing any directional signals so that your rear camera stays hot at all times. If you want the side cams to be active just flip the switch to the ON position.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Cruzer;1211106...
My personal opinion is that sometimes they are nice and sometimes not. I guess that puts me right into the middle of the field.

I do not care for them "most" of the time I am driving. The mirrors do a great job and I really don't want my rearview camera switching off and going to a tunnel vision side camera when I am overtaking another vehicle and putting on my directional signal just before moving back into my lane in front of that vehicle. But, in city traffic it's nice to have that extra view to help eliminate blind spots when traffic is packed.

What I did was make them switchable so that I can use them when I want and lock them out when I don't want them. ...[/QUOTE]

My plan is to replace my dash radio with one that has video input. Once I find my radio station I can bring the video up and avoid switching or having to use my turn signal to activate it. My working theory is that it is a tool. It doesn't replace mirrors which I agree should be PRIMARY.
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Old 06-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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Cruzer is right on. I hardly ever use my side cameras while driving. I do use them for security at night if I hear something going on outside. I like to see what I am shooting at.
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Old 06-14-2012, 08:55 PM   #11
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Counter point...

Right side blind spot. A well placed camera will alert you to something being there that your mirrors can't see.
true...counter-counter point... with properly adjusted mirrors, and properly placed/adjusted wide angle blind spot mirrors, the blind spot is virtually eliminated.... this is just my opinion and personal experience though. Please take it with a grain of salt. I've gotten so used to using mirrors that I can back into a campsite, parallel the coach to a cement pad, rear tire 3 inches off the pad.... in one try.( Not trying to brag..... it comes from years of camping alone or with people clueless in the art of guiding ..LOL ) I will say this though...if you look at the pic of my motorhome, you'll notice the mirrors are hanging from above rather than placed conventionally at the base of the windshield....this seems to help GREATLY in reducing any blindspot I may have had.. They're Velvac mirrors, and the wide angle part of the mirror is at the bottom and is full width of the flat mirror...
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:07 PM   #12
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My last addition was automatic generator start. Completely unnecessary but cool.
I tried to add that. So far it doesn't work and nobody can help. I've got it wired per Xantrex, I've gone through the troubleshooting too. I can stop the gen with the control but can't start it. That's one thing I would really like to get working!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:51 AM   #13
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Adding side view cameras is very simple as long as you get the correct side view cameras. Here is a site that carries them, hopefully they will work with your system.

Backup Camera System | Rear View Backup Camera | RearViewSafety.com

As far as installing one it should only take about 3 hours as long as you are not afraid of drilling a hole in your rig.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:45 AM   #14
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There are differences in side cams as well as mirrors so it's importabnt to check them out carefully before buying.

For instance, our Allegro Bus has the Sony side cams. They are very tunnel oriented and you lose any depth perception with them. The mirrors are your typical Ramco 4 way mirrors so thwey do have blind spots.

The 2013 American Eagle I just did a road test and review on had 6 way mirrors which helped to eliminate blind spots. The side acms were also mounted in the mirrors so they had more depth perception (more of a 3D view) than those mounted directly on the front cap.

The Entegra Coach I drove was the best of all. It's lower windshield base allowed for lower mounted mirrors. That let me look out overthe top ofthem to eliminate blind spots plus it gave me great coverage with the convex portion of the mirrors and allowed me to see the rear tires as well as fairly far back. The side cams were the best I've seen and had a nice wide range that virtually eliminated any blind spots and gave a great 3D view with excellent depth perception, even though they were mounted on the side of the coach. I'm not sure what brand they were but those were the ones I would look for if I were to add any to my coach.
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