I previously installed an Alpine A/V system in the Jeep, so I already have the display. I just need a camera mounted on the trailer and somehow wire it into the Jeep. Of course, running wiring from the back of a 14 ft. trailer to the front of the Jeep is not a practical solution. I had to do a bit of research...
I came across a company called 4UCam on the web that sells wireless 2.4GHz vehicle cameras, displays and accessories. There website isn't the best, but they have everything I needed to do the job (a good camera that could transmit a clean signal, IR night vision since the trailer doesn't have backup lights and parts to integrate the camera output with my Alpine A/V system). They sell quite a few kits, but not exactly what I needed, so I pieced the parts together from their website. Here's what I ordered:
- Wireless receiver w/Video output
- 2.4GHz IR 9991T Wireless Camera
- Car 12VDC wire harness (to connect receiver to Jeep power)
The first step in the project is installing the wireless receiver in the Jeep. This was super easy. I mounted the receiver in the rear of the Jeep on the hard-top. This is an out of the way location that puts the receiver as close as possible to the camera transmitter on the trailer. There are only two plugs (composite video & power). I used Velcro to mount it. The entire receiver can easily be removed when I take off the top or want to use it in another vehicle.
Receiver mounted in Jeep
The next step was to figure out where to mount the camera on the trailer. It isn't easy when the entire back is hinged for a motorcycle ramp. I didn't want to mount it on the top because it could get damaged if I go under a low bridge or hit tree branches. Looking at the Trailer lights the location seemed to be obvious. There are three lights grouped together in the center. I just removed the light in the middle. This also solved the issue of getting power to the camera. I wired it to the parking lights. When I need to turn the camera on, I switch on the parking lights. When the lights are off, the camera's off. Not the most elegant solution, but it saved a ton of time by not having to run wiring that would require pulling the interior of the trailer.
Here's some pics of the project:
Trailer with running lights above door
Center light removed exposing power wire
Camera frame mounted
Soldering camera power to parking light circuit
Melting Heat shrink tubing
Crimping ring connector for ground
Ground installed then pushing wiring back into trailer
The completed project:
View from the display (excuse the messy shelves)
I will update this post after I get a chance to run it on the highway, but so far I am pleased with the results. The camera works great in complete darkness and the picture quality is excellent.