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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got around to installing the $9.95 50-Watt halogen flood lamps from Northern. I cobbled up some really "ghetto" mounting brackets out of a pair of 1-3/4" muffler clamps and some 3/4" x 1/8" steel flat stock. Right now, the relay is wired just to the back-up light circuit, but when I get around to it, I'll be adding a SPDT switch to allow both non-reverse operation and to be able disable them.

Happened to be shopping in BJ's yesterday, and found the Roadmaster VR3 wireless color back-up camera for $69.95 - plus a $15 rebate, too good a deal to pass up, so yesterday's project was mounting and wiring that. I decided after a bit of double side tape "testing" that the ideal camera location would be centered, right above the trailer hitch. Turns out, there is just (barely) enough space behind the bumper cover for the camera to fit. Had to trim the license plate mounting "ears" off the camera, and with the help of the handy 1" hole saw, you've got a "stealth" camera mount. I put the monitor right above the rear view mirror, used a 6" piece of 2" x 1/8" aluminum, got real fancy and mounted the VR3 swivel base (upside down and sideways :)), needed to use a tie-wrap to hold the monitor in the base, but with the image adjust feature, the picture orentation can be easily corrected.

A few pics:
 

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Question on the back-up monitor... the picture was a little dark for me to figure out. I got a VR3 over a year ago, total garbage. It was the old two button, 900Mhz one. The picture came and went, lots of static.

If yours is the 4 button, like 2.4Ghz model I'd like to know what you think of it.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is a 4 button unit, but I've already ordered the "direct wire" cable from Roadmaster. Between the radar detector, the GPS, and the bluetooth (for the cell phone), the wireless camera signal does tend to break up. I found that if I turn all the other stuff off, it works quite well, but who wants to have to do that every time you back up? Given that my total investment in the camera is like $55 after the rebate, another $20 for the cable isn't a big deal.
 

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Nice job Steve. You mounted the camera in ALMOST the same spot as me. One thing I might recommend is to put a grommet around the hole for the camera if for nothing more than appearance. I got mine at an auto parts store.....

VR3 Install
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Bang-Bang, I've actually already hit all the local hardware stores looking for a suitable grommet - no luck. I'll swing by the local Advance Auto Parts tomorrow!

Now the bad news - its looking like the VR3 model I thought was such a bargain at BJ's (VRBCS300W) cannot be converted to hard-wired operation. Maybe I should have done a bit more research before I took the hacksaw to those mounting ears on the camera :mecry: I'll be emailing Roadmaster....
 

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:jester:Thanks for the feedback! (pun intended).

I've actually started looking at hard wired units that popped up on the screen when viewing threads on back up cameras.

I'm now thinking of a low lux camera w/ IR LEDs, coupled to a 7"+ monitor to be mounted above the passengers glove box. This would be wired to a switch rather than the back-up light circuit. Two reasons... I like to watch the trailer and load when towing. Also I'm paranoid, I like to see if anyone is sneeking up behind me at traffic lights or at work where we have a few jokers.:jester:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, I was correct, my "bargain" VR3 camera (#VRBCS300W) cannot be converted to hard-wired operation. The only models that can be converted are the one with the 3.5" display (#VRBCS335WCA) and one specific 2.5" model (#VRBCS300WCA).

Regarding the convertable 2.5" display model (#VRBCS300WCA), I was told that the package may be labeled VRBCS300W (same as the non-convertable one), but it is printed with English & French (not English & Spanish).

Pretty simple, huh?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update: Turns out that BJ's also has a 3.5" VR3 (labeled #VRBCS335W), for the same price ($69.95 - don't know if the $15 rebate offer applies to this one or not) that will accept the Roadmaster extension cable for "hard-wired" operation.

I had already bought a 3.5" VR3 online (for more than $69.95 :(), and installed it Saturday with the "hard-wire" cable. The camera is somewhat different (bigger) requiring some additional "dremel surgery" in the bumper cover, but wow, what a differerence. The low-light performance is WAY better, and no picture breakup whatsoever.

Just as an FYI, I did spend some time isolating the cause of the interference with the wireless operation on the original 2.5" VR3 unit, and it proved to be Bluetooth activity between my cell phone and my Parrot CK-3100. Once the initial "sync" is complete (and I was not on a call) the picture was subject to alot less interference (some static, but no blackouts). Hard-wired is the way to go!
 
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