First of all, we have a 2006 Fleetwood Bounder. It’s in great shape and we love traveling in it. But, like anything else, eventually you are going to have problems with some parts of your RV.
The first thing you have to accept with a motorhome is the fact that things will eventually go bad. And driving a “house on wheels” down the roads of the US will make a lot of things go bad or just not work properly.
Well, my motorhome is no exception.
My rearview Camera/Monitor system died on me a little over a month ago. It’s a Black-and-White model made by a company named Weldex. After a little research I learned that it was the most popular model of Black-and-White rear view cameras installed in motorhomes before the industry changed over to Color units.
So in an effort to see how bad my problem actually was, I went through my own trouble-shooting procedure, and it’s listed below;
First of all, I checked the whole rear view setup out, from the camera to the monitor, looking for some obvious thing that I could possibly fix myself.
My checks showed that the monitor still came on but the picture was just a bunch of rolling lateral dark lines that would not synchronize.
Also, I saw that the rear audio pickup still worked properly.
You people who once owned a “tube TV” will remember seeing this happening when one of the “tubes” went bad. The picture would lose sync and the picture would either start rolling vertically or it would turn into a bunch of lateral lines.
When this happened, my Dad would go over and bang on the TV set and hope it would start back to working; but if not, a technician would have to come to our home and replace one of the tubes.
OK, enough of the flashback.
From what I saw, I deduced that the problem was that the old monitor had lost either or both of it’s horizontal or vertical sync control.
And, with my childhood experiences with Black-and-White TV’s; and as an Electrical Engineer, I could immediately tell that this problem would be inside the monitor itself, and not in the camera.
But still, just in case, I did pull the camera on the rear of the motor home and confirmed that the wires were in good shape, connected properly and the camera didn’t show any signs of damage.
The old monitor itself, was mounted into a recessed hole in the ceiling, above the dash, angled so the driver can just glance up and see what’s behind him.
So as a last step, and in hopes that there might be a loose connection, I dropped the down and checked out all of the wires and connections.
But, sorry to say, everything was good.
I did take the time, to get onto the web and search for a replacement monitor but after a long search I did discover enough information to know that there were no replacement parts and that I needed a new system all together.
The next obvious step was to look for a replacement COLOR system..
After several more days of searching for a color replacement system I learned several things that you motorhome owners out there should know;
- When that old Black-and-White monitor dies, you will need to replace the whole system.
- If you purchase a new color system it will run from $300 to $700.
- If you try to go cheap, there are a lot of wireless ones available from China, but every review I have read complains that they do not have the promised range for reliable signal pickup from the camera to the monitor.
- The older Black-and-White systems use a 4-wire cable from the front of the RV to the camera mounted on the rear. Most of the newer hard-wired color systems use a 6-wire cable.
- Most of the newer color systems also support a couple of side cameras but they will require new wiring to the extra cameras.
While I was searching, a friend of mine went to the big Tampa RV show and brought me some phone numbers and web sites for a few vendors that were there who had American-made systems.
I checked several of these out and I finally settled on one that is manufactured in the USA and has a fairly good price.
Also, they have 6-wire to 4-wire adapters you can use on both ends and I won’t have to run a new cable from the front monitor to the rear camera.
This is a big thing to me and probably to anyone who doesn’t want to crawl around under and inside a motorhome running a new cable.
It is due to be delivered in a few days.
I can’t wait, but when I di receive it I will be writing another article about what I went through to install the new COLOR system.
by Don Bobbitt, February, 2016
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, February 2016, All Rights Reserved. — You are free to enjoy this article and share it with your friends, but if you wish to use it commercially then you must have the permission of the author, in writing.