Reversing Camera installed

I purchased a reversing camera kit from a classified on Motorhome Fun in August for £50 including postage, another bargain.

The current reversing camera doesn’t work properly, when it does work the image is patchy in black and white plus the screen is too small.

rev cam1

7″ colour screen, good camera, wiring kit, remote control & instructions

This model clips over the interior mirror but it I plan to have it mounted on the dash near my eye line and not on the interior mirror.

It is hard wired to the ignition so it switches on upon starting the engine, I then choose to leave it on or press the off button. I don’t have it on whilst driving, it’s a brilliant add on accessory and makes reversing so much easier.

Before Lee at DB Audio came and fitted it, I made a camera bracket because I wanted the camera mounted higher for a better camera angle, plus I didnt want any holes drilled in the van.

 

reversing cam pos

Old camera in red, new camera in green, arrows for bolts

The new camera is to be mounted on the base of the cycle rack, the old camera in the red back has been disconnected. Off to B&Q then for angled aluminium, cost £6, back home, measured up drilled two holes to line up with the nut and bolts on the cycle rack, next drilled four holes in to the bracket to mount the camera, job done.

Mounted camera, wired through the vent, no drilling

Lee used the wiring kit, went through the fridge vent, no drilling holes in the external bodywork, along the inside of the van through the lockers towards the front, he did a very neat job with the wires hidden.

rev cam sat nav

Drivers view of the reversing camera & Sat Nav

Very chuffed with the results………

Dave

 

 

SOG Cassette Toilet Unit fitted

As we continue preparing the motorhome for our travels, in September 2017 I bought a brand new SOG unit from eBay for £112 including P&P saving £10

Our cassette toilet is a Thetford C200.

SOG charcoal filter cover

The SOG unit does not require any chemical toilet fluids like Aqua Kem Blue and Pink toilet flush, therefore a SOG unit will pay for itself because you don’t have to buy any chemical fluids.

It operates when you open the cassette toilet blade inside the bathroom, this action powers the small extractor fan, 12 volts, and draws the smell and oxygen through the flexi hose to the charcoal filter fixed to the outside. This action also breaks down the solids naturally. The valve ensures the smells are pushed outside and not back inside the van.

Benefits are:

  • chemicals are not used so therefore this environmentally friendly
  • no further costs, i.e. no need to purchase chemical fluids
  • easy enough to install if you take your time
  • the cassette toilet can be emptied in both chemical disposal points on camp sites and in standard toilets (please clean up though and keep motorhomers reputations intact)
  • no requirement for special toilet tissue paper, continue to use normal toilet tissue paper

Of course we all make our own choices but we are pleased with the SOG unit.

Installation and fitting I did myself and took about an 90 minutes, the instructions are comprehensive with photos.

I did the wiring first, no drilling yet, joined the spade connections and tested to ensure the unit works before fitting. All ok, now;

  • Remove the toilet blade mechanism, 4 screws, approached through the outside cassette door.
  • Next was to carefully saw, cut and sand the plastic blade part as per the instructions.
  • Now put this back in to the same position it came from.
  • Place the metal bracket with the micro switch in position, flick the switch with your finger ensuring it’s still working correctly.
  • Mark the position for the metal bracket, drill a 5mm hole through the toilet plastic white casing, it will go through in to the bathroom, this is normal.
  • Now inside the bathroom push the plastic pop rivet through the hole to meet the pre-drilled hole in the metal bracket, there are self sticky pads on the metal bracket as well to hold it in a permanent position.

The scary bit now, with a hole saw (20mm I think) drill a hole in the white plastic outside cassette door. Fix the fan using 4 screws to the inside of the door pushing the fan neck in to the new hole, connect the wires together, gently push the black flexi hose on the green plastic neck on the cassette and the other end of the pipe on the fan.

Fitted and working

Test the closing & opening of the door, flick the blade switch with your finger to test, then pop inside the van and test the blade mechanism, all working? perfect!

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

 

4G Wifi Broadband in the motorhome

Whilst reading the motor-homing blogs of fellow travelers in Europe access to wifi and broadband is often discussed with many suggestions and solutions. Of course you can use free wifi in shops, cafes,shopping malls, etc as you can here but we wanted; a use anytime, anywhere solution, particularly if we were wild camping and we didn’t want to move off to find wifi.

We liked the look of the 4G mobile broadband – pack 2 from motorhome wifi, looked easy to use, very good reviews and good service. The owners, Adam and Sophie are young motorhomers, they started the business after traveling through Europe and struggling to find wifi and maintaining a suitable signal & connection on the road.

Although we decided on what which companies system to buy we weren’t in a rush to buy one yet.

At the Motorhome Show in February 2017 we saw Adam & Sophie at their stand, got chatting and we bought 4G mobile broadband (mifi) pack 2, I think we got a show discount of about £10, an extra £ SIM card and we saved on postage costs.The normal retail price is £299.99

Once home it was put away until Pogo came back from the repairers and we were ready to drill a hole in the roof!

When I was installing the 12 volt USB and running the 12 volt cables from the junction box a few weeks ago I also completed the 12 volt wiring for the mifi- wifi system, including an in-line 5 amp fuse. It was easy enough to do.

240v and 12v junction box, inside the wardrobe

The day to drill a hole in the roof came a few months later, I was concerned about drilling a 25mm hole through the roof though! I had considered removing the roof mounted Sat TV dish and using that roof hole instead, but upon reflection it might cause other problems. There is only one way, I will have to drill a hole!

I must have measured the spot at least 10 times both inside and outside on the roof for a couple of days beforehand, I stood in the bedroom looking down on the roof, I was up the ladders as well. You only get one chance to do this properly so I have to get it right first time.

The mifi (motor-home-wifi) fitting instructions said to ensure there was a 20cm radius from the hole for the roof mount antennae to receive the strongest signal, I thought it might be too close to Sat TV dish and the bathroom skylight, after more time measuring I decided it would be okay.

A week later, here goes then, it is a dry warm day and will be for a day or two, picked up the aluminium base plate, held it up in position in the wardrobe, marked it, got the drill and drilled a 5mm pilot hole (not the hole saw pilot) upwards from inside the wardrobe, stopped once through. I go outside and up the ladders, heart beating fast, hoping all is ok on the roof and I haven’t cocked it up! Ahhh it looks okay and has come out in the right place where I had hoped it would come through! Down the ladders grabbed the drill, put the hole saw in the drill, up the ladders and drilled downwards slowly but on a very high speed, stopping about half way through, it’s advisable to stop and check the hole ensuring there are no wires running through the roof cavity near by, now inside the wardrobe and drill upwards with the hole saw, pop! I am through and I can see the blue sky! (forgot to take photos!)

Clean the roof around the hole in preparation of sticking the antennae in place, wires through the hole in to the wardrobe, through the hole in the aluminium plate. Peel the backing tape off the roof antennae and stick it down on the roof, back inside, screw the plate on the threaded shaft, tighten up. Check the roof and seal, looks okay, now connect everything up, sim in and test……. bingo, it’s working perfectly.

4G wifi in the wardrobe

Jason from Our Tour has a video of his installation on you tube here.

It’s a great piece of kit, can’t wait to use it in Europe, we have used it in the UK and it works brilliantly.

Dave