After a week or so of waiting, and following our UPS delivery around the world (and rather bizarrely from the UK to Germany and back again!), my Chinavasion order has arrived.
They're a very cheap gadget company based (obviously!) in China that ships gear around the world. You have to sort out your own import duty, but the carrier usually takes cash on the doorstep as they hand over your goods. My order this time was £210 and the duty was £16.
I'm fairly handy with electronics, so feel I can fit a reversing camera to the van myself. The fiddly thing will be routing the cables of course, so I'll be taking it very slowly to make sure all that is okay.
So my purchases… I've got a clever drop-down monitor that will sit between the sunshades. It's nice and big at 9inches, and folds flat against the roof in its own slim housing when not in use. It's 12-36v and importantly, has 2 video inputs. The camera is a rugged, waterproofed steel twin unit. One camera is 180 degrees so I can see around the back of the Moho when reversing and the other is 60 degrees to use as a rear-view mirror when driving.
I haven't decided whether to wire the cameras through the van - perhaps under the chassis or go wireless. I know people worry about wireless cameras, but the ones I've seen have pathetically weak transmitters that wouldn't TX through tin-foil never mind the skin of a motorhome. The transmitters I'm used to (I have another life in broadcast television) are a lot more powerful that that, and little more expensive.
I have an A-class van, and the monitor will attach to the underside of the drop-down bed, so there is the added complication of wiring down the struts of the bed, and keeping all the mess hidden.
That probably means I'll be going wireless. Industrial strength!
I've also bought a car recorder. It's a wide angle camera that keeps an eye on traffic ahead in case of an accident. I've been lucky so far not to have been involved in an accident, but I've had more than my fair share of scary drivers behaving badly, so this is a precaution on my part. I'll be able to move that between the van and my car too.
So the next few days should be interesting. I'll be sure to document the installation.
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