For a few years now, I have played with using some wireless cameras on my Jeep. I installed a few in different locations. I tried having two forward, then I switched and had one looking forward, and one pointing below toward the front axle.
So far, the best option I found was using just one camera since having two, and splitting the receiver screen for each camera was way too distracting, causing at times dizziness…
Installing a camera system would allow you to look straight down and in front of your rig even when you are over an obstacle, without needing a spotter.
I installed the camera above the winch in the center of the vehicle. It is the best way I found so far. I ended up using an external antenna that improves the connection to the monitor.
I tested quite a few setups. I prefer a wireless system because of how easy are to setup. The cons of a wireless system is a bit of delay, not huge, but noticeable. Since my rock crawling adventures tend to be in the slow side, especially when I’m by myself, I don’t mind the bit of delay. I tend to stop, look on the monitor, then execute the move, so the delay doesn’t affect me.
Brands and solutions
In the market, there are some really expensive systems, promising to be fined-tuned for the offroad community. In my case, I like to figure things on my own. The system I currently own is a ZEROXCLUB Wireless Digital Camera Kit 1080p. It includes a recording slot in the monitor you can use to record a pretty decent video. This system includes two cameras and the monitor. You can add more cameras, up to 4. But one camera so far is all I need. This camera system cost around $250, other offroad systems start at around $800. They do include some cool 360º view, and other neat features, but not what I needed.
If you start looking to buy a set of camera as, make sure to get a system rated at least to IP68. My current system is rated to IP69. IP68 should be enough for most real-life scenarios, but if you are looking for something a bit more sturdy, look for an IP69-rated. IP69 is supposed to withstand high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, steam-cleaning, or washdowns.
For the installation I used the power from the running lights on the front bumper which are wired straight from the fuse box with a 10amp fuse and are active when the vehicle is running. Pretty easy and fast to setup. The monitor runs out of the lighter 12 volt outlet. In my case I have a multibox adapter and it connects straight into it.
Having this system will make you wonder why you waited so long. A few weeks ago, while I was working on some other areas of my rig, I removed the cameras temporarily, and went offroading… is hard to explain, but I felt going blind quite a few times. So I can’t recommend them enough!
See you on the trails,
By Big AL PDX
follow BigAl at @bigalpdx
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