Chinook RV Forum

Rear-view camera
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Author:  caconcourse [ September 14th, 2017, 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

Blue~Go wrote:
A friend and I liked the look of that charging port so we each bought one (a year or two ago). Neither of us are still using them. But I'll explain why and it may or may not apply to you. Typically, cigarette outlets are fused to 15 amps. Or, well, maybe not typically, but that's generally considered to be what the sockets are rated for, so you can't go any higher. I try to set things up so I don't have to "remember" that, oh, that particular one is only good for (some smaller number of amps). I don't like to have to remember (or possibly pass on to future owner) special little electrical details.

Well, the wire that leads into that unit is maybe 18 gauge? And who knows the temp rating. Let's be generous and say it's 90ÂșC. If so then it can safely handle 16 amps in an engine space (i.e. if it passes through any hottish areas on the way) or 20 amps in wide open cool spaces, not bundled. If it's 20 gauge? I don't know as ABYC ampacity charts only go to 18 gauge.

That area is pretty warm, so I'd say 16 amps. That leaves 8 per socket. That might be okay, depending on use. Also at 16 amps/12 volts just that little section of wire alone (IF it were 16 gauge - my calculator only goes down to that wire gauge not 18) would have 8% voltage drop at that 16 amps. Plus the voltage drop on any other legs of the wire leading to the Chinook block, etc.

I took one apart to see if I could add larger wire, but it didn't seem practical. Mine also had a mini blade internal fuse but I can't remember the size. It was a royal pain to put back together. Now what I like instead are similar units that don't have their own cord. Then I can put whatever wire I want on (and whatever length).

I think fusing it to 5 amps is a good idea given the relatively weak nature of the device. That wouldn't work for me because my laptop takes close to 4 amps, and then just about anything else would blow the fuse. (My Beverage Mate circuit was fused to 7.5 amps. Haven't tested it but I would think it would have to be ignition controlled or else the battery would be killed constantly by the Beverage Mate.)

Like anything, as long as one knows the limitations. I just don't want to have to calculate every time I go to plug something in.

One last note is that I don't really trust ANY of those cigarette plugs OR the "wart" type things that go in them to be left charging when I'm not there keeping a beady eye on them. They just get too hot, maybe made with low quality control, etc. etc. So I tend to wire switches such that when I leave the rig I can just switch off my charging outlets (vs. going around and unplugging everything and then re-plugging it later). Of course if it's ignition controlled that will happen automatically.

We've been using it for two years to charge our tablet and phones without any issues. Very convenient.

Author:  HoosierB [ September 14th, 2017, 9:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

Well, the sun WAS shining on my parade :(

After reading the Magnadyne lit, a power source of 15A is recommended. USB output is 5V/3A. And Blue is correct: a 15A mini fuse is on the back of the unit.
So, I just may use the unit's cig lighter adapter and plug into one of those nasty OEM dash ports.

Author:  Blue~Go [ September 14th, 2017, 9:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

caconcourse wrote:

We've been using it for two years to charge our tablet and phones without any issues. Very convenient.

Oh absolutely. The convenience and nice package is why we bought them to check them out. And your usage is just fine with a 5 amp fuse. Tablets and phones take very little power (that's why they can be charged by USB, which is not very powerful). So for your usage it's great. I just wanted to mention (sorry if I sounded like a downer; I considered not pressing "Submit" for that very reason), but since there are inverters and other things that can easily be plugged into cigarette outlets that would not be great for those units, I wanted to mention it. All depends on your uses and future plans.

Author:  Beaver [ December 23rd, 2017, 10:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

I'm not much of a DIYer, but I've decided to install a rear-view camera on my '98 Concourse. From Crutchfield, I ordered this camera ... 201MA.html, and this in-dash audio system that includes a monitor ... 1&tp=20217. They will arrive next week with instructions and accessories needed for the installation. I choose a hard-wired camera for the best reception. My question is what is the best path to run the wire from where I plan to mount the camera above the rear door to the front dash?

Author:  kdarling [ December 24th, 2017, 7:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

I've often wished that Chinook had included a conduit from the rear wall to one of the overhead cabinet sides. Even thought about installing my own PVC tube for running wires over the closet and fridge to the microwave cabinet.

Alternatively, I've thought that if I ever replace my wireless camera setup with a wire, I might run it around the top of the bath side wall as discretely as possible over (or under the wood trim if possible, to the sink side cabinet.

(You could go cool and use either plastic office wall conduit, or extra wood-colored L trim to actually create a wire space.)

From the cabinets forward it's fairly easy to get to the trim above the cab doors to the windshield and down to the instrument panel. You can simply push wires behind the trim.

Or go down the pillar behind the driver's seat and meet up with the wire bundle that goes under the driver's door sill.

I wonder what direction shops have used on Chinooks. Anyone?


Author:  Blue~Go [ December 24th, 2017, 12:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

I wasn't going to post since I hadn't run one, but figured since there wasn't a mad rush of responses from those who had (yet), I'd poke my nose in.

I can imagine two basic choices I'd make when/if I run a wire for a camera.

1) Go down the wall (possibly in that hollow "square" that's just inside the door on the bathroom side) (or if not wanting to bother with that perhaps through the tire locker), out through the floor and then up the driver's side frame rail (there are already wires running there in a loom for the taillights, etc. so the trail has already been established). There are numerous holes to choose from to get back into the cab. Perhaps the easiest is into the rear of the driver's side step well (the black stepping surface easily removes and then you will see there is gobs of space for wires. From there into the cab and route dependent on where you have your display etc.

2) Go inside and forward along one of the wire chases (there is one on each side) that are just below the roof "swoop" on either side (in the wall behind the upper cabinets). You're probably going to have the camera on the driver's side of the rear door, so perhaps up that side (although then you do have to fish around the shower). Given the shower, it might be easier to go over the door (that "roll" of carpet above the door easily removes and reveals the path of many wires), then up the chase on the passenger side. There is space above the cab headliner that Chinook put in for wires (at least on the 1997+ era with the molded fiberglass/headliner-fabric covered roof liner). That routing would be more fiddly if you have all of your cabinetry etc. in place, but would bring you out in the cab under the roof liner already. The route in #1 would bring you in on the floor of the cab.

Without giving it as much thought as I will in real life, I'd think underneath along the frame rail would be easier (and easier to modify or troubleshoot in future).

Author:  Scott [ December 24th, 2017, 12:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Rear-view camera

Edit ... Was typing when BG posted. Sorry for any repeated info.

My camera cable goes along the driver side frame rail. If you look under the plastic step well cover, you'll see a hole in the van body for the parking brake cable to pass through; the camera wire goes into the cab through that hole. Camera is mounted to the hitch receiver, which is an expression of my laziness, but it has a decent view and I can tell if I'm about to strike the ground while entering/exiting a steep driveway or fillin' station. It's wired to a toggle switch, which I prefer for a few reasons. I went all-out and bought a $13 monitor and $9 camera. They work fine, although they're seldom used. I just prefer my Velvacs. The camera is great for hitching, however.

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