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Author Topic: Troubleshooting electrical problems in rear camera hookup  (Read 1179 times)
bigbadjc
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« on: February 20, 2012, 02:42:57 pm »

I know several people have complained about intermittant problems with their backup cameras.  My wife went camping with her girlfriend last week during very stormy weather in the Lake Livingston area.  My wife took our 2006 PC 2551 which has always been stored inside and has only 15K miles on it.  Twice the same problem occurred.  After driving in the hard rain and everything being normal, she stopped the camper for a few minutes.  On restarting it, the rear camera, the turn lights, and the windshield wipers quit working.  Eventually they came back on and worked properly.  I have to assume that the failures were caused by the rain and were related, since they all happened together.  That implies to me that PC must have hung the power cord for the rear tv system to the chassis fuse or breaker for the turn signals and wipers.   Has anyone else had the same problem?  Has anyone ever had reason to find out where the rear tv is hooked to the electrical system?  If we assume the tv camera cord is getting wet and shorting out at a connection inside the back sheathing, would simply sealing the sheathing cure it or do I need to have it fished out to the first connector and clean and seal that connector?  Does it sound like I need an RV repair shop or the Ford dealer?  Would be glad for any input anyone has.  Thanks.

Jerry pulling hair out
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DownBy TheRiver
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« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2012, 03:35:45 pm »

Glad you brought it up, Jerry.

I'm still just a wannabe an' all, but the camera issue is something that has "bothered" me simply as a "bench racer" - as a peruser of photographs of completed units on the Phoenix Website, as well as on many other associated RV sites.

When looking at the wiring from the camera as routed into the rear cap of the Phoenix units, you'll notice that the camera lead usually has no slack, and is directed "downhill" directly into the nacelle.

It would seem to me, as a friend of numerous aquarium devotees, as well as a frequent viewer of Holmes on Homes; one need consider a drip edge to everything external.  Whether a permanent change to Phoenixs practice or not, were I to commission a Phoenix Cruiser build-out for myself, Id ask that there be an excess loop of the camera lead that would dip down below the drilled nacelle before connecting uphill providing a drip edge.

Whether this proves to be in support of your theory advanced, I would still think that providing this excess camera lead, which would create an EXTERNAL drip point below the leads nacelle, its entry point into the rear cap - would be superior practice.

While I would personally specify it, I would hope that Phoenix does the same.  A $5 dollar fix to what might be a $1,000 dollar problem.  My 2 cents.


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DownBy TheRiver
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« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2012, 03:40:53 pm »

The introduction of moisture into the electrical system, provided such "problems" clear up later?  Well. one can perhaps be patient and live with it.

But the possible introduction of moisture into the rear cap and all the underlying structure there?  Much more serious, and worth another $5 and another 5 minutes' attention to detali.
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lghjr
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2012, 05:05:57 pm »

Glad you brought it up, Jerry.

 providing a drip edge.

Whether this proves to be in support of your theory advanced, I would still think that providing this excess camera lead, which would create an EXTERNAL drip point below the leads nacelle, its entry point into the rear cap - would be superior practice.

/quote]

After my camera failure following a wash job with pressure washer on the roof and rear cap, I pulled enough cabling out to provide a drip loop and no failures since.
Also decided that a little clear bathroom caulk around the grommet and wire was in order.  That clear stuff is a bit messy to work with but provides a good seal and is
strippable(?) so it comes off easily if necessary.
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 05:32:32 pm »

Our first PC was a 2006.  We didnt have an intermittent problem it just quit working.  And during a month trip.  And out of warranty.  Called the manufacture (dont remember the name), and they replaced it when we got home.  Have a 2011 now with a Sony, its great.
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ron.dittmer
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 12:58:08 pm »

We have the 2007 model of the backup camera, brand unknown.  It's been reliable except for the sound which sometimes stops working when wet.  I assume a drop of water covers over the microphone.  When dry, it consistently works fine.  I don't consider it a failure.  More like a design flaw of the camera assembly itself.  It is irritating because I rely heavily on my wife's verbal instructions when backing up.  She stands back there saying "left, right stop".  When working, the sound is extremely sensitive.  She can almost whisper instruction which is real handy when pulling in late at night.

I heard the newer back up camera does not have sound.
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lghjr
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 02:36:53 pm »

I don't need the sound, I hear my wife in my head. Like right after I backed the A into a tree, I distinctly heard; "I told you so".
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bigbadjc
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2012, 03:49:06 pm »

I never use the sound feature anyway, so that wouldn't bother me.  My real concern is that the outage of the camera, which appears to be something other people have observed, is accompanied by the loss of the windshield wipers and turn signals.  This leads me to believe they must be on the same circuit.  Does anyone know where PC picks up the electrical power for the rear view camera??

Jerry
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lghjr
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2012, 11:31:23 pm »

I don't know where the camera power comes from on newer rigs, however I do know that some critical circuits are now on automatic resetting circuit breakers and wipers are one of those.  I suspect the warning flashers/turn signals may also be on those types of circuits.  Kinda makes some kind of sense that the camera may also be tied in to that type circuit.  The days of over engineering 50 to 100% are way over so those circuits may also be marginal with the least amount of high current draw like when things get wet and short directly to ground.

Just my opinion here and it may be way off base.
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DownBy TheRiver
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 01:51:01 am »

Wow!  This is why I love PC, and why I love this forum!

Speaking from personal experience on all levels, Im unaware of ANY other entity, be it commercial, political or of public concern in any way; that allows a public forum such as this.  Certainly, there are other public forums that commentate, but I have yet to see ANY as are linked directly from the official website!

Its a HUGE risk to take, yet take it, PC does.  THAT impresses me beyond imagining.  This is an organization that welcomes constructive critiques of its products and endeavors, and takes same to heart.  This is a dynamic organization, people!

(Similar to Rons call for a battery compartment splashguard on the 2350s).

I only comment further as I was concerned that I might have seemed bitchy, rather than attempting to be constructive, which is always my aim.  I wanna PC too!  Its a minor issue, yet annoying nonetheless.  Its perfection we seek, and it appears that its perfection PC tries to deliver.

What with all thats discussed here, when it comes time to place my order for my PC, I know Ill have the nearest thing to a perfect B+ as can possibly be attained at the time of my order!

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DownBy TheRiver
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 01:51:26 am »

Drip loops are everywhere.  In the case of an aquarium enthusiast, every potential point of water shorting of equipment and power supply are drip-looped, ensuring sloppy water management will in no way short or interrupt electrical systems.

In the case of pole-supplied service of electricity, phone, cable, etc to a home, or such lineage from pole to pole, youll see drip loops interrupting connections between various voltage supplies.  And gee I used to think these excess loops were simply slack that was generously provided for junior woodsmen, whose enthusiastic back yard tree-felling across strung wires were simply meant to absorb the shock of arboreal impacts!  (Dont ask!)  LOL!

And in the case of home construction, whatever foundation penetrations by any buried utility - whether electric, cable, phone, well water line, etc?  No matter how well sealed by various goos if the line penetration to the foundation originates uphill of the penetration, youll have leakage either from condensation or ground saturation along that line and through the penetration.  Unless you incorporate a gravity drip loop OUTSIDE of the foundation wall.
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DownBy TheRiver
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 01:51:55 am »

lghjr Said:

>>>>  After my camera failure following a wash job with pressure washer on the roof and rear cap, I pulled enough cabling out to provide a drip loop and no failures since.

Thats great news!  If theres enough ordinary slack already from the factory, all we need do is pull some out and loop it.  And as you noted, no failures since!

>>>>  Also decided that a little clear bathroom caulk around the grommet and wire was in order.

I would/will do the same yet gravitys power is far more enduring and reliable than goo.  But dont forget the goo either!
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DownBy TheRiver
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 01:52:23 am »

bigbadjc/Jerry Said:

>>>>  My real concern is that the outage of the camera, which appears to be something other people have observed, is accompanied by the loss of the windshield wipers and turn signals. This leads me to believe they must be on the same circuit. Does anyone know where PC picks up the electrical power for the rear view camera?

And I think your observations are actual and valid.  Actual observed symptoms are worth a thousand warranty write-ups.  And I think youre correct.  Consider this:

1) As far as the cab chassis circuits are concerned - other than 70s and 80s Chryslers those existing cab circuits from the chassis manufacturers are now and historically flawless and bulletproof.

2) When considering other RV manufacturers and their chassis whether Ford, GM, Mercedes?  In addition to rear cameras, some also offer side-view cameras as well.  If you have selected these side-view camera options, the views provided are not only fed to the rear-view camera screen, but are ACTUATED via the use of the turn signals.  Activating the left-hand turn signal provides the left-side camera view to the rear-view monitor screen, and so the same for the right.

3) Whether chassis are provided PC or any other manufacturer, all RV chassis basic wiring as provided for various purposes to ANY RV manufacturer are identical.  As in the above example, we can easily see an actual wiring link between turn signals AND the camera displays.

4) Moisture AND gravity rule.  Apparently, without an external drip loop, moisture travels downward along the camera lead to an exposed link or circuit somewhere.  Goo or otherwise.

Wipers?  Could very well be linked to the same fuse or circuit as well.  At least its obvious that standard RV chassis wiring practices across the industry and most chassis link turn signal functions to the camera display.

Apparently, a drip dip will do ya!

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mciai2000
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« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2012, 08:05:37 pm »

Just a sorta side note here.  On my 2010 2350 I had a nice big screen to see my rear(so to speak)  On my 2012 I have a little dinky rear screen in the rearview mirror.  Now, I am in my 40's and I can hardly see that screen and what behind me.  So, I can hardly believe that people older than I like that little screen.  Is is just me? 

I will call the Co shortly and see if I can swap with somebody for the old one.  My old 2350 is now for sale on the Company website.  Think I can get my old screen??

DJM
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TomHanlon
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« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2012, 07:47:29 am »

When we had our 2552 built, I requested that we get the larger screen instead of the one in the mirror. Carol was able to get one for me. You might want to call her and see if just the larger monitor can be had and what it would take to hook it up. It maybe just a case of moving the wire from the mirror to the new monitor, but then again it may take a different camera.

After I picked up the PC I started thinking again (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not) and wondered what it would be like to have two cameras on the back. One hooked to the larger screen and pointed down and the other hooked to the mirror and pointed farther back at the traffic.
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