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Old 05-29-2023, 08:08 AM   #1
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Backup Camera 12V drop question

I had Reace instal a 12V drop in the upper back cupboard of our 2015 5.0TA so I could instal a backup camera at some point.

The time has come for that camera and I've accessed the wiring although it was very difficult to reach seeing as it was secured in the very far corner of the upper cupboard.



When I was able to cut the retaining strap I unwound the wire to find a continuous loop with each end going into seperate holes in the headliner.

Thinking the loop needed to remain continuous, I spliced in pigtails to attach the camera to. I don't get any voltage to the pigtails.

There are adjacent 12V LED reading lamps and they both work as do the nearby the roof mounted LED lights.

I have another 12V drop in the closet at the foot of the bed. It has butt connectors on the ends of the two wires and they give a 12V reading.

Does anyone have an idea how Escape would have wired this rearward 12V drop? Does it need to remain continuous like it is? Should I just cut it and use one end? That shouldn't make a difference should it? If everything else is working properly with the wire continuous, and if it is live, the pigtails I installed in the lines should show voltage.

The trailer is in storage so each session of mods means a bit of a trip out there. Not a huge deal but 30km round trip is a pain if I forget something at home so I try to be prepared before I go.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Lyle
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Old 05-29-2023, 10:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamunique127 View Post
I had Reace instal a 12V drop in the upper back cupboard of our 2015 5.0TA so I could instal a backup camera at some point.

The time has come for that camera and I've accessed the wiring although it was very difficult to reach seeing as it was secured in the very far corner of the upper cupboard.



When I was able to cut the retaining strap I unwound the wire to find a continuous loop with each end going into seperate holes in the headliner.

Thinking the loop needed to remain continuous, I spliced in pigtails to attach the camera to. I don't get any voltage to the pigtails.

There are adjacent 12V LED reading lamps and they both work as do the nearby the roof mounted LED lights.

I have another 12V drop in the closet at the foot of the bed. It has butt connectors on the ends of the two wires and they give a 12V reading.

Does anyone have an idea how Escape would have wired this rearward 12V drop? Does it need to remain continuous like it is? Should I just cut it and use one end? That shouldn't make a difference should it? If everything else is working properly with the wire continuous, and if it is live, the pigtails I installed in the lines should show voltage.

The trailer is in storage so each session of mods means a bit of a trip out there. Not a huge deal but 30km round trip is a pain if I forget something at home so I try to be prepared before I go.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Lyle

Hmmm, that's interesting. I don't have the Escape camera or pre-wiring, so I don't know for sure, but doesn't Escape wire the backup camera into the reversing lights? Did you check if you had voltage when hooked up and in reverse?
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Old 05-29-2023, 10:31 AM   #3
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Hmmm, that's interesting. I don't have the Escape camera or pre-wiring, so I don't know for sure, but doesn't Escape wire the backup camera into the reversing lights? Did you check if you had voltage when hooked up and in reverse?
Or perhaps the 'running / parking lights' (seems I recall mention of that here somewhere)?
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Old 05-29-2023, 12:26 PM   #4
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Or perhaps the 'running / parking lights' (seems I recall mention of that here somewhere)?
I think thatís it - this wire should show voltage when the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the ideas.

I have tried with the trailer connected to the tow vehicle. It's necessary as I have no batteries right now. There is no voltage with either the headlights on of off. The running lights and tail lights both work fine.

It may in fact be hooked up as backup light power and only work in Reverse. That I have not checked and will do tomorrow.

I want the camera for monitoring the back of the trailer as i'm driving because I plan to tow a trailer there. Feasibility of that is another issue altogether and I will post about my experiences elsewhere on the forum. Right now I'm concerned about a feed for the camera, which I plan to mount in the back window.

I wonder if there is a way to change that drop from backup power to full time power? I guess I could check connections at the tail lights but it seems unlikely any connection would be made close enough to the wiring hole for the tail light to be accessible from the outside.

Anyway, I'll check for voltage when the vehicle is in Reverse.

Thanks again.
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by splitting_lanes View Post
I think thatís it - this wire should show voltage when the trailer is connected to the tow vehicle
ETI wired mine into the trailer marker lights, so they have to be on for the camera to work.
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:41 PM   #7
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ETI wired mine into the trailer marker lights, so they have to be on for the camera to work.
Thanks Charlie.
The marker lights all work but still no voltage at that drop.
It would be fine for me if it was connected to the running/marker lights as I always travel with my headlights on.
Any idea how to switch that drop to continuous power if it is in fact hooked to the Reverse lights?
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Old 05-29-2023, 03:55 PM   #8
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If the provided Escape drop isn't working, I'd consider just running a new pair of wires from the cabinet down to the load center. You should be able to remove the single screw that holds the corner "padding", temporarily remove it, and then thread a pair of red/black wires down from the corner edge of the cabinet to the bench seat. Escape already routes a few wires that way, so it's a good way to do it.

Others may have other suggestions.
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Old 05-29-2023, 05:08 PM   #9
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Mine says headlights must be on to work….not just the side markers or running lights,
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Old 05-30-2023, 05:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamunique127 View Post
I had Reace instal a 12V drop in the upper back cupboard of our 2015 5.0TA so I could instal a backup camera at some point.

The time has come for that camera and I've accessed the wiring although it was very difficult to reach seeing as it was secured in the very far corner of the upper cupboard.



When I was able to cut the retaining strap I unwound the wire to find a continuous loop with each end going into seperate holes in the headliner.

Thinking the loop needed to remain continuous, I spliced in pigtails to attach the camera to. I don't get any voltage to the pigtails.

There are adjacent 12V LED reading lamps and they both work as do the nearby the roof mounted LED lights.

I have another 12V drop in the closet at the foot of the bed. It has butt connectors on the ends of the two wires and they give a 12V reading.

Does anyone have an idea how Escape would have wired this rearward 12V drop? Does it need to remain continuous like it is? Should I just cut it and use one end? That shouldn't make a difference should it? If everything else is working properly with the wire continuous, and if it is live, the pigtails I installed in the lines should show voltage.

The trailer is in storage so each session of mods means a bit of a trip out there. Not a huge deal but 30km round trip is a pain if I forget something at home so I try to be prepared before I go.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

Lyle
Lyle, I had Reace do something similar. The drop in the rear closet in my 5.0TA is powered by the center pin of the seven-pin umbilical cord. The one in the wardrobe closet is not. It was intended for a booster, if needed, but I never used it.

The center pin is typically used for backup lights on the trailer and is powered only when the tow vehicle is in reverse. Because I had installed a harness which allows plugging the umbilical cord into the bed of the truck and I wanted to use the backup camera as a rear view camera, I cut, capped, and sealed the center conductor in the harness (not the truck’s wiring) that was connected to the truck’s wiring. I then ran another wire through the cab with a switch and spliced and sealed it to the center conductor that fed the trailer. That allows me to turn the camera on and off at will. I suspect as others have said that the trailer must be connected to the tow vehicle to be powered, but the fact that there is a loop confuses me. That will require investigation. My drop in the rear cabinet was capped, not looped. Perhaps disassemble your splice and connect the tow vehicle. At that point, if only one side of the cut loop is powered, try to determine if some other 12v component (indoor lights, tail/running lights, etc. are not working. There has to be some reason why the drop is looped?
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Old 05-30-2023, 06:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suregrip391 View Post
Mine says headlights must be on to workÖ.not just the side markers or running lights,
Thanks.
I tested it with the headlights on and no luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hugh View Post
If the provided Escape drop isn't working, I'd consider just running a new pair of wires from the cabinet down to the load center. You should be able to remove the single screw that holds the corner "padding", temporarily remove it, and then thread a pair of red/black wires down from the corner edge of the cabinet to the bench seat. Escape already routes a few wires that way, so it's a good way to do it.

Others may have other suggestions.
Thanks, Hugh.

That makes a lot of sense. I hadn't looked closely enough into that option to be familiar with just one screw holding the corner padding in place. I'm going there today so I will take a look at that.

I have all LED lights so if I add that drop to a lighting circuit I should be good, I assume. We haven't used the trailer in while so I'm not totally familiar with the panel. I'll take a look.

Alternately I suppose, there is an LED reading light in the corner, right below this area, that I could tap into. The red/black wires for it are connected to the light leads with white crimp-on caps. It would be simple to cut the caps off and add in the extra set of wires for the camera. With a couple small holes drilled, I could access the back storage cupboard where the drop is now.
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Old 05-30-2023, 07:23 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
Lyle, I had Reace do something similar. The drop in the rear closet in my 5.0TA is powered by the center pin of the seven-pin umbilical cord. The one in the wardrobe closet is not. It was intended for a booster, if needed, but I never used it.

The center pin is typically used for backup lights on the trailer and is powered only when the tow vehicle is in reverse. Because I had installed a harness which allows plugging the umbilical cord into the bed of the truck and I wanted to use the backup camera as a rear view camera, I cut, capped, and sealed the center conductor in the harness (not the truckís wiring) that was connected to the truckís wiring. I then ran another wire through the cab with a switch and spliced and sealed it to the center conductor that fed the trailer. That allows me to turn the camera on and off at will. I suspect as others have said that the trailer must be connected to the tow vehicle to be powered, but the fact that there is a loop confuses me. That will require investigation. My drop in the rear cabinet was capped, not looped. Perhaps disassemble your splice and connect the tow vehicle. At that point, if only one side of the cut loop is powered, try to determine if some other 12v component (indoor lights, tail/running lights, etc. are not working. There has to be some reason why the drop is looped?
Thanks for your input. We received our trailers at about the same time. I recognize your name from when I was frequenting the forum back then.

I will cut that loop and investigate. With the idea that it is to the backup lights, I suspect it is just some extra length in the wire that they coiled up for me to access.

I appreciate your description of the wiring for your camera, it helps me understand the wiring harness. My camera system is a simple camera and a seperate wifi transmitter connected by a RCA cable. My monitor will be an old iPhone on the dash of the truck dedicated to monitor usage. I'm OK with the camera and wifi running constantly cuz i can turn the screen on/off when desired. That's an ingenious way you wired yours though.
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Old 05-30-2023, 06:36 PM   #13
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You guys have been so helpful. I can't thank you enough. I got it all sorted today.

First, with tow vehicle attached, I removed the corner panel at the back of the trailer and located two sets of wires. One, as someone described, only had voltage when the tow vehicle was in Reverse. That is the set in my upper cupboard. The other set though goes to the tail lights and lit up my tester.



I attached my pigtails to the hot set and connected the power to my camera. I used the pigtails so I could disconnect the camera if I needed to. I taped up those connectors before closing up the corner.



I tucked the power cord to the camera up between the padded wall and the cupboard then ran it up into a hole I drilled up into the cupboard. That lead actually powers the wifi transmitter, which in turn powers the camera. That's why there is a wire going in and coming out of the hole. The camera was mounted in the back window and aimed slightly downward. It doesn't interfere with the blind once it was popped back into place and all wiring and the hole are nicely hidden.



Here is the working wifi transmitter temporarily taped in place inside the cupboard.



I am using an old iPhone as a monitor. The wifi came with an address from which to download the proper app. Once it was transmitting wifi, I went to Settings and connected to the wifi signal and the image out my back window showed up in the app.

I'm choosing to use a seperate iPhone as the monitor because other users described on YouTube that other functions of the phone are disabled while using the app. I want to be able to have the use of my primary iPhone while travelling. A little cumbersome perhaps, having two phones in use, but I can live with it for the sub-$100CDN price tag for a functioning rearview camera.

Thanks again for all the input, guys.
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:20 AM   #14
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Hi Lyle - would you be able to share the source and model # of your camera/wifi setup? I’ve wondered about adding a rearview camera to my 17B, and thanks to the comments from everyone and your clear summary of the steps you took it looks like this is something I can look into further! Thanks.
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Old 06-08-2023, 06:09 AM   #15
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Sure WCoaster, although its maiden voyage is today so I can give more info on functionality next week.

The image looked perfect last week when I installed and tested it when stationary at my storage site. When I brought the trailer home for loading this week, the image in the app was very dark. I turned up the brightness of the iPhone display to max but the image is still pretty dark and hard to see. I speculate it is because of the very dark tint on the rear window.

Once I got home I took the iPhone in-hand and walked around to the back of the trailer and the image on the screen was bright and clear again. Perhaps this has to do with the wifi signal so I will try moving the transmitter closer to the cab, say in the upper galley cupboard and see if it makes a difference.

The clarity of the image was what you'd expect from a lower resolution camera and video quality was steady with no jumpiness. Both are satisfactory for my purposes.

The biggest surprise for me was how close other vehicles pull up behind the trailer at stop lights. Several times, smaller cars were not visible in my side view mirrors so without the camera I'd have no idea they were even there. It had me thinking of the stickers truckers put on their rigs "If you can't see my mirrors, I can't see you"!

Anyway, for parts and installation I generally followed these instructions:

I used this camera: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00H3ZN3JK?...roduct_details It says it is waterproof so could likely be mounted on the outside of the trailer and possibly get around the dark-tinted-window issue. I didn't want to drill any holes in the fibreglass for a $15 camera but may reconsider later.

The wifi transmitter: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B011BDY7XA?...roduct_details

For me, this was an inexpensive experiment. I'll have more opinions after this trip. I have been reading about other Escape owner's experiences with higher-cost camera systems and may go to one of those in the future.
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Old 06-08-2023, 12:39 PM   #16
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Thanks for the added info, Lyle. I will watch for your updates. Have a great trip.
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Old 06-18-2023, 10:10 AM   #17
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Here's what I found in real-life use of this camera set-up:

The image when I first hooked up the boat behind the 5.0TA:



I was seeing too much tongue and too little boat so I adjusted the camera up a bit so I could see the back of the boat.

On the road, the frame rate was a bit jumpy occasionally, especially when a vehicle passed in the other direction. For the most part though, the camera and the reception of the signal was just what I needed to see the boat and what was happening with it, which was nothing BTW. The boat towed totally stable and smooth, just like it was behind the truck itself. But this post isn't about towing the boat behind the 5.0, it's about the camera. I will make a seperate thread about double towing.

As far as using the camera for backing up: it didn't work out for me too well to watch the image on the dash to back up. That probably has more to do with too little experience backing up this rig than it does with the performance of the camera. (I had already dropped off the boat and was only backing the 5.0TA) The image was clear enough for backing and the brightness of the image was not an issue when not travelling at speed.The view was very wide and there were the usual issues of where my wife was standing to guide me, her use of whacky signals and yelling, etc.

For me, backing up with the side mirrors worked best. Perhaps with some practice (alone) I could master backing with the rearview camera.

The biggest issue for me was the brightness of the image on the screen of the dedicated iPhone, even with the phone's brightness turned up to max. I had to look at the screen too long to see details while moving down the highway, like if the back of the boat was still level. I found it a bit distracting. My solution was to stop frequently to check the boat, the boat trailer hubs and the frame of the 5.0. Everything checked out fine at every stop so I was much more relaxed on the return trip and only occasionally glanced at the rear view, much like you would at your mirror.

We thought maybe the brightness of the image had to do with the screen of the older iPhone so my wife downloaded the app onto her new iPhone and her iPad. Although the image was bigger on each of those, it was not brighter or clearer.

As for the app, there are icons on the screen but none of them did anything. I tapped them but nothing happened. All we got was the image as above, which was really all I needed. The app did drop out a few times but the home screen was displayed, we tapped the app and it opened right up again. No problem.

All in all, I'd say the whole set-up was adequate for my needs. I think the issue with image brightness is a result of the camera being mounted behind the very dark rear window glass. I'm sure that could be solved by mounting the camera outside the trailer, perhaps to my solar panel or to the spare tire holder (I remove the spare to reduce weight on the bumper to double tow).

Anyway, I hope that is of some use to someone.
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