Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Installing a Rear View Camera System

When pulling a 40-foot fifth-wheel, there is a huge blind spot to the rear.  Unless you are lucky enough to purchase a rig with an preinstalled rear-view camera, you'll want to install your own.  
We purchased a wired unit, which requires more work to install, but, in our opinion works better.

We selected a dual-camera set up (RVS-813613) with a quick disconnect kit (RVS-2133) 
(A quick disconnect kit is like an extension cord that attached the wiring installed in the truck to the wiring installed on the fifth wheel.)

This was a two-part process.  

Part: I:  Wiring the Fifth Wheel

Step 1: Locate a mounting location.  We chose just below the clearance markers (so the clearance marker lights didn't interfere with the night vision.)

Step 2: Attach camera bracket.  For the bracket, I drilled four holes and used Eternabond tape and silicon around the threads of the bolts to prevent moisture from entering.  

One camera focuses on the rear cargo rack holding my scooter;
the other is aimed on traffic.
The camera also has night vision and a microphone to pick up
ambient noise.

Step 3: Because this is a dual camera set up, each camera has its own dedicated cable.  This kit includes 66 feet of cable per camera, which was more than enough for our needs.  

The instruction manual suggested drilling quarter- to half- inch holes per cable to route them through the RV.  The thought of drilling two half-inch holes scared me, so, I opted to run PVC piping from the camera to the hitch. I only ran PVC on the end caps; I followed the frame underneath and zip-tied the cables to the frame.

Camera cables travel through PVC to hitch in front.
PVC runs across top of rig and down left side to frame.
Rear PVC housing from camera to frame.

Transition from PVC to frame.
             I attached the PVC pipe using standard PVC brackets.  This required one small pilot hole per bracket. And again, I added Eternabond and silicon to each screw location.

Pilot hole for PVC bracket
Eternabond over the pilot hole
Front transition from frame to king pin.
I used adapters to accomodate the curve of
the fifth wheel.

   Terminus of the cable and PVC into the kingpin.

Since I began at the rear, and moved my way forward,
I could coil up the excess cable and place it in 
                                                              the cavity of the kingpin.

Cables into the kingpin
Step 4:  Install Quick Connect terminal.  I drilled a hole into the kingpin bracket to insert the Quick Connect terminal.
Quick Connect Terminal

Part II: Wiring the Tow Vehicle

Step 1: To get into the cab of the truck, I chose to follow the path of the cable for the emergency brake.  This had a water-tight seal.  I needed to enlarge the hole that the emergency cable went through in order to get the two camera cables in.  I then used plumbers putty to fill in the oem plug to make it water -tight again.

Emergency cable plug removed before
addition of camera cables.

Emergency brake cable with newly added
camera cables and plumber's putty.

Step 2: I zip-tied the control unit to the wiring harness located beneath the steering wheel/ignition column.  This is tucked up underneath out of the way.

The three-channel multiplex control unit, pictured on the right, was attached to the wiring harness beneath the steering wheel/ignition column.

Step 3: I installed the Quick Disconnect in the rear pocket stake on the passenger side in the bed of the truck.  I utilized pre-existing tie down holes for this terminal.  
Note: I chose the passenger side of the truck so it would not interfere with the 7-pin harness connector.

Step 4: Connect the monitor to the multi-plex control unit.

Now you can travel with confidence, and back-in with ease.


  1. Steve is the only man I know who reads the directions from front to back before installing or undertaking a intricate job. Congrats Steve, that's fantastic.

  2. A rear view mirror is very different to the Rear View Camera. It is more enjoyable!


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