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Message posted by Monty1521/2/2022 at 3:32pm
Outfit: Lunar Cosmos 524 Location: London
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As I travel alone most of the time, reversing a big caravan is a complete act of faith, as soon as you get a bit of a turn on, your mirrors become useless, inside one looks at side of van and nothing else, other side into wide open space without a hint of van in it!
I looked at various reversing cameras, considering wired and wireless types, self powered (inbuilt batteries) and powered by 12v supply from the van, either from battery or reversing lights.
Came to the conclusion that I'd like a camera that I could use at any time (like a rear view mirror), not just reversing, so that I could monitor what was behind if I wanted to say pull out to overtake. Considered the time and aggravation of fitting (van in storage yard, so limited access) and didn't really want to drill any holes in shell. I do long journeys, pushing 11 hours on occasions due to delays, but even as a normal journey 7 or 8 hours, so any inbuilt batteries needed to have many hours duration. Oh yes, I'm also a tight wad, don't like spending lots of money!
By process of elimination, I decided on a wireless battery powered camera that stuck to caravan with double sided tape (so no holes to drill), and with it's own monitor rather than using mobile phone as a monitor.
I picked the Auto-Vox TW1 (https://www.amazon.co.uk/AUTO-VOX-True-Wireless-Reversing-Installation-Support-TW1........). Got mine a bit cheaper than that, opted for the optional solar charger as well (~£30), and combined only came to £154!
Only used it twice since I fitted it last October, but so far very impressed, good image quality, decent angle of view but not grossly distorted, very long battery life (nowhere near flattened battery on my 11 hour journey!), absolutely no interference/breakdown on the wireless link, and passable if not brilliant night time vision (but then I was relying entirely on reversing lights on caravan for illumination). Took a little while to fit (certainly not 5 mins!) as I had a lot of old and VERY resilient double sided tape to clean off caravan and back of number plate when I removed number plate to fit the mounting bracket. Certainly could be a 5 min job if not having to clean off lots of old adhesive tape! As to judging distance behind, it's got (customisable - adjustable range) colour coded distance guiding lines which are rather subjective, but with practice you get to know how much clearance they represent. The screen/camera is not on constantly, but a touch of a button on screen and it near instantly springs into life, so the benefit of use when needed but not a constant distraction.
The real test of it's worth was when I stopped at a motorway services and had to stop in the truck parking area, couldn't pull to front of double length bay as truck already there so reversing out again it was going to be. Incredibly busy with constant stream of trucks passing very close behind and not a lot of manoeuvring room as sandwiched by trucks on either side too, so full length reverse and then some it had to be. That would have been a nightmare and act of faith without the camera, reckon the camera paid for itself on that one use, possibly quite literally, it would have been so easy to reverse into something unseen by any other means as things (cars, vans, pedestrians and trucks) were constantly moving into my reversing space! Wish I'd made the effort before to sort out a suitable camera, so much more reassuring.