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Old 05-19-2020, 12:40 PM   #1
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12.8 Inch Android Head Unit replaced a B&W Rear Monitor and Outdated Head Unit

I have a 2009 Winnebago Journey 34Y that had a horrible factory 7 inch B&W old fashion picture tube monitor, 3 factory B&W backup cameras and an outdated factory Jensen VR182 head unit. The head unit was mounted so low on the dash that you could not read the LCD face while driving. The head unit did have very nice factory remote control on the steering wheel. There were only 2 factory installed speakers that were mounted underneath the front overhead cabinet facing straight down to the dash below. Hearing them was difficult at best while driving. I had a 7" GPS mounted above the dash and a phone mount to hold the cell phone and all hands free operation via bluetooth adapter and sound coming through the radio via a audio input on the radio.

So after having this rig for a year I decided it was time to upgrade.



(This is going to be a long tread so I will add to it as I can)
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:52 PM   #2
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So I went about trying to find a monitor upgrade. RV Cams had a kit to upgrade the B&W monitor with a color LCD monitor. The kit was $470 plus adapter cables needed to adapt my B&W cameras.

Then I would also need a new head unit. There were many things I wanted in the new head unit. Basically all the new features available in new cars. Android head units have all the features of your phone or tablet built into your dash

Large LCD screen with touch screen control
Remote Control
Steering Wheel Control
Built in functions:
GPS
WIFI
Bluetooth Radio
USB
AV in
Play Store
External Mic
Rearview Camera
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

So the search was on and after a long search I found what I wanted. It had a huge LCD screen all the Android feature I wanted and more. It is a 12.8 inch Android head unit. It is sold by many suppliers here in the US and China. I choose to purchase directly from China because the supplier would configure the way I wanted it and it cost less. $472 with Carplay built-in verses $519 from Amazon without the Carplay built-in. Now there are a ton of suppliers for this unit so shop carefully and check what kind of support the supplier has.

Carbar 12.8" Tesla Style Rotation IPS Screen 2 Din Universal Android 8.1 Car DVD GPS Player Radio Car Stereo Voice Control

https://www.amazon.com/Carbar-Rotati.../dp/B07X7D5B2G
This is a double DIN unit so you have to have room for it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:20 PM   #3
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OK now it was time for the install. Remember the factory head unit was so low that I could not read the LCD face while driving. So I decided the proper place to install the unit was where the rear view monitor was. I removed the B&W monitor and there was a ton of space there. I made a mount for the head unit out of light steel plate. The mount adapter used the monitor mounting surfaces to hold the adapter. Once it was installed I purchased a double din cage to mount the head unit. Mount worked out great and the head unit was solidly mounted.

The hole where the old head unit was located, I made into a storage cubicle. I made a rubber lined cube that fit inside the the opening so thinks would not slide or rattle.

The wiring was straight forward from the old radio and the new one. The main plug that came with the new head unit fit into the factory radio harness perfectly.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:37 PM   #4
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While I was doing the wiring for the new unit, I added additional speakers and a subwoofer to improve the sound. I added left over surround sound satellite speakers above the drivers and passenger seats to compliment the front 3 way speakers. I also added a Rockville SS8P 400w 8" Slim Active Powered Subwoofer beside the drivers seat. The audio went from poor to excellent with these additions.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:38 PM   #5
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So you might think I eliminated the rear monitor. Nope I planned to use the huge 12.8 inch screen as my camera monitor. The head unit has a automatic rear camera display built into it. It is designed that when you put the vehicle in reverse, the rear camera is displayed over anything else that is on the screen. Since I want to use the cameras at anytime I needed another method to control the cameras coming on. I need a hands free switch. Luckily or unluckily I am old enough to remember headlight dimmer switch button on the floor. So I connected a floor headlight dimmer switch to activate the cameras via the backup camera trigger wire. You also can turn on the cameras on the touch screen if you want or have the cameras as part of the screen since the head unit can display 2 applications at once.
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Old 05-19-2020, 02:50 PM   #6
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I need to give you a little of my background to explain my next development. I am an offroader. We flat tow our Jeep from PA to Colorado and Utah for 2 months every summer. Prior to the Jeep I had a heavily modified Geo Tracker. I added a 4 camera system to the Tracker to help be safe on the trail. With the Jeep I decided to up the ante and developed an 8 camera system. This camera system is built around a video switch that has 3 inputs and one output. This video switcher is controlled by an electric 3 way switch. Power is connected to the middle of the switch and the A and B connections to the outside pins on the switch.

Now if you want to just increase the number of cameras on your motorhome this will let you have three camera connected to one camera input. If you have 3 camera inputs on your monitor you could easily have 9 cameras with 3 video switchers and 3 electrical switches.

https://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-V...9921374&sr=8-7

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skitime View Post
I need to give you a little of my background to explain my next development. I am an offroader. We flat tow our Jeep from PA to Colorado and Utah for 2 months every summer. Prior to the Jeep I had a heavily modified Geo Tracker. I added a 4 camera system to the Tracker to help be safe on the trail. With the Jeep I decided to up the ante and developed an 8 camera system. This camera system is built around a video switch that has 3 inputs and one output. This video switcher is controlled by an electric 3 way switch. Power is connected to the middle of the switch and the A and B connections to the outside pins on the switch.

Now if you want to just increase the number of cameras on your motorhome this will let you have three camera connected to one camera input. If you have 3 camera inputs on your monitor you could easily have 9 cameras with 3 video switchers and 3 electrical switches.

https://www.amazon.com/Intelligent-V...9921374&sr=8-7

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This post just caused the light bulb to come on over my head. The reason I want to add the 4th camera is for one sole purpose: to be able to see the back of my rig (and the fuel pump) when I fuel up. I was thinking it was going to be really complicated because I'm pretty sure that my camera splitter is a 3-1 split, just like it was in my Thor. I should be able to simply splice into one of the camera feeds (or, even the main output headed to my monitor) and hit a switch like this when I enter petrol station to flip over to that camera, right?
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:32 PM   #8
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So of course I did not stop just yet. I wanted to have what is called a video combiner. The allows you to have multiple cameras displayed on one screen. So I was looking for a 4 in 1 video combiner. I searched and searched and found an unbelievable device. In China of course. It is a video combiner with a DVR built into it. This device allows you to record 1 or up to 4 cameras at once. So now I am able to record the cameras I choose even if I am not in the coach. Yep, security cameras built right in. It of course can record while driving so you have video proof is something goes wrong.

So if you been reading carefully this device has 4 inputs and the video switcher can connect 3 cameras per input so now you can have the ability of have 12 cameras. Yep, I am setup for 12 cameras.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyB View Post
This post just caused the light bulb to come on over my head. The reason I want to add the 4th camera is for one sole purpose: to be able to see the back of my rig (and the fuel pump) when I fuel up. I was thinking it was going to be really complicated because I'm pretty sure that my camera splitter is a 3-1 split, just like it was in my Thor. I should be able to simply splice into one of the camera feeds (or, even the main output headed to my monitor) and hit a switch like this when I enter petrol station to flip over to that camera, right?
If I understand you statement yes. The video switcher is all you need.
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Old 05-19-2020, 03:40 PM   #10
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If I understand you statement yes. The video switcher is all you need.
Well, I'll still need to add the fourth camera. I just wasn't sure how I was going to bring it in to the system. I haven't been able to locate where they put the 3-1 splitter! Fleetwood hides things a lot more than Thor. I will admit though, there is 10 feet more coach to hide things in than my first one, so they can do that pretty easily.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:07 PM   #11
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So I am able to choose 1, 2, 3 or 4 cameras at once. this is controlled by the remote. The remote also allows you to start stop or play the DVR. I built a mount for the remote off the back of the phone mount. The mount holds the remote the infrared target and a manual switch. I put a magnetic strip on the back of the remote to hold it to the mount. That way I can easily remove it so I can use it anywhere.

If you study the remote it is ingeniously designed. Press a camera button for example 3 cameras and 3 cameras show up on the screen. Press repeatedly and the cameras keep switch position on the screen until the setup you want is shown. Every time you press that button that last setup is shown.
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:45 PM   #12
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So you might ask where would you put 12 cameras. Here is my list. and a picture of the camera switches I added to the dash.

Camera Locations

1F interior rear facing camera (Watch things behind me while driving)
2F forward windshield camera (Security Camera)
3F showing under hitch & rear undercarriage (mounted under DP engine)

4L left mirror arm camera showing left front tire (for backing out curved driveway)
5L factory left side camera (upgraded to color)
6L left rear corner at 45 angle outward (Assistance while backing/ security)

7R right mirror arm showing across front end (View of front surfaces)
8R factory right side camera (upgraded to color)
9R right rear corner at 45 angle (Assistance while backing/ security)

10B rear facing camera above rear hitch (Watch hitch and tow vehicle)
11B factory rear camera
12B wireless camera mounted on rear of Jeep roof Assitance in lane changes or security.

13 DVR windshield camera recording front view

F=Front camera dash switch
L=Left camera dash switch
R=Right camera dash switch
B=Back camera dash switch
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:04 PM   #13
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So I had another item that I wanted on this setup. I wanted to be able to watch the cameras when I am not driving. Of course I could do this on the head unit but I also wanted to watch it from the the main TV or the bedroom TV so I need another piece to the puzzle. If I am laying in bed it would be nice to be able to see all around you if you heard something concerning. Especially with no window to the rear with a diesel pusher.

So what I needed was a 1 In 4 Out Car Video Signal Amplifier. This device takes the signal coming from the video combiner and makes 4 video signals that can be amplified if need. So one output goes to the head unit, second output goes to the main TV and the 3rd output goes to the bedroom TV.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:23 PM   #14
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One more item was needed to make this a perfect setup. I needed to be able to control the head unit on the steering wheel. the head unit has wire connections for a wireless remote. Since I already had great wireless receiver on the steering wheel I was hoping that would be able to work with the new unit. It was not possible. So I purchased a separate universal steering wheel controller. I wanted the remote pieces to look as stock as possible and since the remote for the old head unit was worthless now, I disassembled it to make it the mount for the new remotes.

I ordered a second set of remotes so I could add one for the wife. She can now control volume, mute or change songs from her seat as well.


Well, I am sure I left some things out of this installation. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thanks Dave
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