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How to: Install a Garmin BC-30 backup camera


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Installing a Garmin wireless camera with protective guard, to communicate with a Garmin GPS in the tow vehicle (mine is a RV660LMT). Here is a teaser shot:

 

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I had to take several deep breaths before I started drilling holes in the hull, but after the first one it was easy. The trailer is pretty dirty, I haven't been able to wash off 3000 miles of road grit yet. Lots more coming soon.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John, I thought you were planning to run a wired camera to the truck.  Did you decide that it was going to be too much trouble or could you not find a good solution?

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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For mounting the transmitter, I was originally going to run dc power and the Garmin antenna coax to the front closet, but in looking at the limited access at the entry door I decided it was going to be too much of a pain, so I settled on the small wiring compartment immediately aft of the head, street side... It has easy access from the 6 inch round port in the head cabinet. Running the coax is easy since there is a continuous wiring "trough" all the way along the left side. The only tricky part is behind the pantry insert.

 

Access to the inside of the rear wall of the hull is easy once you lower the two side panels and pull down the insulation. Revealed to you is more crappy wiring ;( There is 6 inches of free hull area below the LED riding lights and lots of room to maneuver if you stand on a small step stool.

 

I laid everything out carefully using a bubble to align with the trailer cross belt line, and positioned the bracket on a relatively flat part near the bottom of the available space. This will get the camera up high where it can get a good panoramic view and also be up and out of the way. The camera and mount are delicate, but in the mount I fabricated they are well protected from a wayward branch or hail stone.

 

I ordered the 50 extension cable that is optional, since the camera pigtail is only about three feet long. I wish they had shorter ones available.

 

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The material is 6064 T6 (tempered aircraft grade) aluminum, from a 2x2x10 inch a scrap I picked up at the local metal supplier for $4. I wanted a full shield on top to divert rain and objects, and also a smaller lip on the bottom to protect the underside. I can easily access the camera and adjustment screws from the sides. I added a crescent cutout so that the camera could point down far enough and still be protected. All work was done with a hacksaw, file and hand drill, with finish work on a bench top belt sander. It's very easy material to work with.

 

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The camera and bracket can easily be removed from the mount without disturbing that part, in case the camera fails. I used 5 mm steel threaded nutserts and metric Philips panhead screws to hold the steel bracket on, after trimming the bracket ears that are intended to clip over a license plate. I used clear RTV sealant on the bracket and screws for easy removal. Since the nutserts flare out behind the aluminum plate, I had to drill larger holes in the fiberglass for clearance.

 

I masked around the area, and with the help of my daughter inside the trailer, I mounted the assembly onto the hull with a  thick bed of 3M 4200 adhesive sealant.

 

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A word of warning: 4200 is great stuff, but expensive and once opened, you have to use the tube within 24 hours or it will harden in the tube . It always pays to read the instructions: I was going to use isopropyl alcohol to prep the parts, but it specifically says that alcohol will prevent the 4200 from curing! I used MEK, as advised...

 

http://3mmarine.com/3mtm-marine-adhesive-sealant-fast-cure-4200fc-white-3-oz-tube-05260.html

 

More to come, I haven't finished the wiring, and am waiting on a switch panel from Jason. I'll post pics of the inside work and transmitter.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John - thanks for the pictures and details of your camera install.  Nice job!

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Good looking install. Very professional.

Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

      ALAKAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA       ABBCMBNSYTsm.jpg

 

 

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John,

 

Excellent installation.

 

Thinking about installing a back-up camera on our Ollie, too. Edit: Hope you don't mind if I build a similar back up camera installation.  Been looking at different backup camera systems, was not aware of the Garmin backup camera used with the GPS until seeing your unit.

Bill

LE2 #75 Tundra

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I am still in limbo over a switch, but I did end up ordering a complete backup camera placard, LED and switch from Oliver, I just haven't received it yet. I plan to post part two of this thread when I get it installed. I hot wire the system for each tow....

 

Here are some screen shots. Resolution is barely adequate and response time is laggy, but it is entirely usable in decent light. At night it is going to be pretty much useless. I wish Garmin had spent more development on a better camera. My 6 inch RV660 LMT display is plenty sharp.... the camera resolution is poor. All pics are in full sunny daylight.

 

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This is my garage door about two feet away:

 

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The side lines are the lane lines, showing where the tires will go, and the horizontal lines are distance markers, the nearest is 2 ft and the furthest is 6 ft from the back of the rear bumper. More to come later.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John - you're right about the resolution.  I spent less than $125 for my camera and transmitter plus the $125 I paid Oliver to install the wiring, on/off switch, and plate and my resolution is about the same as yours.  I guess that I could spring for a better camera, but, as with yours, the resolution is adequate for seeing that big rock or tree or even kid before one backs into it.  I've been pleasantly surprised with the camera reception in low light conditions.  I do think that your camera location is a bit better than mine because you will get less road spray.  Certainly a BIG benefit of your install is that you do not need yet another screen in you TV just for the camera.  Given that I can use either my Andriod tablet or phone to view, I too didn't have to add another screen to the array inside my truck.

 

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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  • 3 weeks later...

FINALLY, I finished this project. I have been using it by hot wiring the camera every time I tow, which is probably not a prudent long term solution.

 

Heres most of the electrical stuff, reposted:

 

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The inside look at the camera wire coming through the rear outer wall. I reglued the two white plastic harness supports that fell off...:

 

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The wires for the Oliver Sign, about 5 feet (!) too long:

 

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The unsecured and un-capped wire for the factory Backup Camera:

 

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Wiring secured:

 

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The Garmin video extension cable is 50 feet long, about 30 feet too much, so the excess is coiled and secured in back. It is not good to secure coax in anything but a loop, you can damage the inside, so I have heard:

 

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I ran the cable along the outside of the street side overhead cabinets. Access is very easy when the rubber mats are removed. The only problem was the pantry, which blocks a few feet, so I used a piece of stiff 14/3 house wire to act as a snake.  I fed it through from the cabinet over the dinette, and taped the Garmin cable to it to pull it back forward:

 

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More to come.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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The Garmin transmitter is stuck with the supplied double stick tape to the inside of the cabin wall, above the factory mounted Cell Amplifier switch, in Mouse. This is the cubby immediately to the rear of the bathroom wall. One of the two flat sides should face to the front, as shown. You can't see this surface without a mirror - I stuck my phone inside the opening and fired off a dozen shots until I got a good one:

 

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I picked up power for the transmitter from the rats nest of cabinet lighting wires inside the cubby, accessible by removing the round hatch in the overhead cabinet in the bathroom. Oliver diagram - Yellow is Ground, Red (Pink actually) is 12 V DC:

 

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Here are the parts I got from Oliver: placard, switch and green LED. I supplied the standard spade connectors. Note that the brass colored terminal on the LED is positive, the silver one is grounded:

 

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I soldered 24AWG wire to the LED, and covered the connections with heat shrink tubing. The factory uses crimped mini spade connectors but I did not have any of those. This method allows you to slide the wires through the placard hole and install the nut and washer from the back side:

 

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I added a guide line using tape, and drilled the holes. They need to be bigger than the 3/4" switch and the LED, to clear the nut and prongs. I opened the holes to 1 inch and 1/2 inch using a step drill bit. Drilling fiberglass is always messy. I used a shop vac to collect dust as I drilled, to keep it from going everywhere:

 

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I made splices inside the cubby to Pink and Yellow, and fed my new wires out through the holes to the switch and light:

 

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Because the holes in the fiberglass are oversized, I used tape like the factory does. I used carpet tape, after cleaning the two areas with alcohol:

 

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Then I placed the new panel into position, being careful to get it square with the other one, It works! It's always nice when that happens:

 

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The light is bright enough to easily see from the cabin doorway:

 

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Finally, I added a note on the access panel:

 

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Almost done, More to come.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Adjusting the Garmin guide lines.

 

The GPS is a RV660LMT. The onboard settings allow you to adjust the side guide lines, where the tires will go if backing straight, and also to adjust the three horizontal distance markers. Garmin tells you to go to a parking lot and maneuver, using the painted lines for guides, but I decided it was easier to bring the lines to the trailer than vice versa.

 

 

I laid out lines using 2x4s, in line with the outside edge of the tire sidewalls. I just laid them down and moved them around after squinting along the trailer. I used a tape to ensure they were parallel:

 

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I then laid out horizontal reference boards at 2 ft, 4 ft and 6 ft from the rear bumper.

 

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Using the arrows on the Garmin Camera Setup screen, I aligned the side lines, and then the distance lines. There is no adjustment for the center line, but you can accurately align the top and bottom ones with the 6 ft and the 2 ft markers. It is quick and easy.

 

Reposting an earlier pic:

 

IMG_2306.jpg

 

Last, I renamed the camera in the Garmin menu, to reference the distance markers. (This gps will accept up to four camera inputs.) Done.

 

As mentioned before, the resolution is pretty bad but it is entirely usable. I do wish it were sharper. In traffic I keep the camera selected so I can see what cars are doing behind and to the sides. It really helps when planning lane changes. The picture quality is not good enough to check out the driver of the car.... but you can tell it's a car ;) Other than remembering to switch on the camera, the rest is pain free and automatic. When the gps sees a signal from the camera, it will open automatically the video screen. It takes a few seconds after switching on the camera. If you are navigating (the map is in view) a camera symbol will appear in the corner. To see the video, you have to exit the map screen. I guess this is a safety/ liability thing.

 

I found it handy when installing the wiring to have the gps inside the trailer, on the dinette table and plugged into the 12 v outlet below it.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 

  • Thanks 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Looks like an Ariens Compact 26" just like mine :)

 

Nice John :) We put in the water tank pick up tube today ourselves, Raspy came over with all of the parts and we now have 2 successful spin weld systems in the Ellite II's thanks to him :)

Happy Camping,


null


Reed & Karen Lukens with Riffles our Miniature Poodle


2017 Oliver Legacy Elite II  Standard, Hull #200 / 2017 Silverado High Country 1500 Short Bed 4x4


Past TV - 2012 Mercedes-Benz ML350 4Matic BlueTEC Diesel


Click on our avatar pic above to find the videos on our Oliver Legacy Elite II


 

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  • 3 years later...

Fantastic guide! I currently have the Oliver supplied backup camera excluded from my build and I've been doing some research on what is out there (not much!). The Garmin BC 35 is my first pick so I was once again surprised to find that you have already shared your experiences with the BC 30. Are you still satisfied with the BC 30? The BC 35 looks pretty much identical other than the slightly improved resolution (640x480 vs 320×240).

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the kind words, they are appreciated.

The BC-30 is “adequate”, that is about it. The new model, which I just now heard of - thank you - should offer a slightly better picture quality, though it still suffers from a slow frame rate of 15 fps. If you do this mod, please post some pictures of your display so we can get an idea of the difference in video quality. I would not swap mine for the new model unless it failed, but it is nice to know they have finally updated this.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Nice job! 

I will have the factory install their standard backup camera option on the unit that they'll  be finishing for us in December, as it seems like a decent option and we don't have an existing screen we'd want to feed the video into. Too bad the Garmin doesn't have IR illuminators for night video - I've found this  to be really nice with the  camera we  had installed on our camper van's raised top, which feeds into the display of our relatively recent aftermarket stereo display. I pull into camp sites late, after taking  photos through the "golden hour" and "blue hour" so the night vision has helped me a ton.

We used a camera from  Rear View Systems (not to be confused with Rear View Safety, which  also seems to make a nice range of backup camera systems) that  has performed well for about four years of fairly hard use now. FWIW  it still looks new despite lots of use on  a variety of dirt and gravel  roads from  WA to  UT, often at speeds sufficient to coat the rear of the van in  dust. It just has the  metal "hood" that comes stock on the  unit, which has sufficed to protect the unit well. They (and Rear View Systems) both have both wired and wireless options fwiw, but sadly I doubt there's a practical way to feed the signal into  that Garmin navigation unit. As someone who spent a career in computer systems and software (including a  lot of work  with  multimedia systems involving  multiple video inputs/outputs) it's frustrating to  see the  tower of babel  going  strong in such  systems.

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II December 2020 delivery

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Posted (edited)
55 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

 it's frustrating to  see the  tower of babel  going  strong in such  systems.

LOL, I love your final comment, how true it is. Thanks for the compliment, and I hope your factory installed system pleases you, as will your Ollie.

BTW, I like Woodinville, though I remember it most as it was pre-2004, when we moved out of the Wet Side of WA after 31 years there (Ballard, Greenlake, Mukilteo, then Monroe - we kept moving further away).... My son lives in Redmond (game software/ tool engineer) and we visit him routinely. I admire the Puget Sound scenery, love the salt water boating, tolerate the climate, dislike the grey skies and moss, feel threatened by earthquakes and tsunamis, and absolutely despise the @#$&* crowds. 

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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3 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

feel threatened by earthquakes and tsunamis, and absolutely despise the @#$&* crowds. 

You didn't mention lahar! 😉 

I like where we are up in the  Hollywood Hill neighborhood - now the "close in country" that is so much more rare than it was when we moved to WA in '94, at which point many natives were already saying the region was ruined. I still like the area for many reasons but yeah the growing population is not my favorite either. I like the moss and grey though (repeat skin cancer, thankfully only basal cell) and the mild climate. We had fun a few weeks back camped in our van in a backyard right on Lake CdA about an hour from Spokane, and though it was a lovely scene it reminded me of how hot it always has been when we visit our formerly CdA, now Spokane friends in summertime. Thankfully we don't all love exactly the same things or we'd all want to be in the same places!!

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II December 2020 delivery

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LOL, I wonder how many folks even know what a lahar is, it is fearful event. We always picked a house location up off those low lying, threatened river valleys, even tho we never lived in South Sound. .... https://www.usgs.gov/media/images/mt-rainier-lahar-hazard-map
 

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 1

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I couldn't imagine living in Orting where the town alarm would be telling you that you have a very small number of minutes to get out of town alive 

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II December 2020 delivery

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I've picked homes here like I pick tent sites when backpacking, with an eye to where the water will flow

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II December 2020 delivery

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