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Question for all the people who like to do their own mods.  I am going to be towing my Oliver EII  (11/1/2021 delivery) with a GMC 2500 AT4.  The truck has the tech package with multiple camera views and the ability to add a wired trailer camera to do the "invisible trailer".  Has anyone installed on of these GMC cameras and if so what route did you use to run the wire?

 

Thanks

John 

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II  (11/21 delivery)

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On mine, the camera is up top just above the Oliver light.  The cable runs from there down the street side rear corner along with the other cable runs, then along the street side under the dinette and toilet into the vanity where it exits and connects to its plug, which is located on the front of the propane housing. You'll have to remove the side panel in the attic to feed the cable down to the basement (easy, as long as the cable doesn't get hung on something), then you could either run it along the top of the basement and into the hull space or pull the floor and run it underneath.  Then just attach it where you can in the hull until you get to the dinette.  There, you'll want to fish it through over the black tank drain, then do the same for the bath.  You'll have to take out the bath caddy to retrieve the cable from under the toilet or shower.  Then drill through from the outside and install a cable gland.  Shouldn't be that difficult.

Edited by Overland

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks Overland!  I spoke with my Sales rep at Oliver and he said they probably wouldn't install this during production but could do it after the fact.  If it is possible, and it sounds like it is, I will just tackle it myself.

 

John

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II  (11/21 delivery)

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I think it's a good DIY project.  The only risky bit would be drilling through the hull for the camera and making sure it's properly sealed.  I actually wish that I'd done mine myself instead of getting Oliver to do it, because when they ran the cable they got it twisted around some other cables in places, which made it impossible to separate them when I was cleaning up the cable runs.  

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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While I do not have specific experience with the GMC camera, I have installed (sort of) two separate rear cameras on the Oliver.  Both cameras have been of the "wireless" variety but to increase the WiFi signal strength I've placed the WiFi transmitter near the propane tanks while the camera is mounted above the license plate in the spare tire cover.  Back in the day when Oliver still did special requests during the production, I had them "pre-wire" for the camera by putting a power source in the spare tire area and a camera switch in the usual location by the door.  During the install all I did was mount the camera in the spare tire cover (note: you need to allow for the 6 degree slope of the cover in order to get the camera to look directly behind and not at the ground so much), connect to the available power that was already there and then run the cable from the camera up to the WiFi sending unit at the propane cover.  I ran this cable under the Ollie along basically the same route that is taken by the propane line on the curb side.  Of course I protected this cable by covering it with plastic wire guard and all connections were soldered, taped (silicone tape) and heat shrink taped.  

Since you are planning on doing this yourself I'd suggest that you plan on installing a switch to be used to turn that Ollie camera on/off.  Getting a power wire shouldn't be difficult at all in that you can either tap into the running lights down in the basement or up in the attic depending on where you plan on putting the camera.

Good luck!

Bill

 

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2015-12-30 14.53.26.jpg

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

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Bill, how do you like your camera mounted in the tire cover?  I can see how it would give a more familiar view, but I do like the bird's eye view that I get from mine mounted up high. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Yeah on  my van I've really appreciated the view from the mount at the very top of  the back of the van, which is almost as high as the top of the back of the Oliver. I  can  see higher potential  obstacles and when  we have bikes on a rack I can see where the back of that is in relation  to  whatever it's approaching  while reversing. I also have found that  it gets less dirty from road spray than the  one mounted above  our  license plate on our little wagon.

As an aside, If, like me,  you have a  tendency  to often pull into  camp late, it's also nice to have a camera with night illumination (the one on our van  is from  Rear View Systems - NOT Rear View  safety which  may also  make solid cameras but  I have  no experience  with them, and I have really  liked the  RVS camera including the little  weather  shield above the  lens and the easy to clean hard shield in front of the lens.

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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3 minutes ago, Jim_Oker said:

the one on our van  is from  Rear View Systems - NOT Rear View  safety which  may also  make solid cameras but  I have  no experience  with them

Ours is from Rear View Safety.  I think it's decent enough, but the resolution would have been cutting edge ten years ago and the nighttime view is just so so.  It's dependable, but if I were to replace it, I'd definitely look at options.  

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Re mount on the tire cover - good and bad.  The good is as you mention - the view is what you might expect and there are times when the "grid lines" really do come in handy.  The bad is that I think that when driving in rainy weather, the my camera position gets more road spray than it would if mounted higher.

Re Rear View Safety - the camera shown in the picture is from them and for the first couple of years it worked well and this includes what I think is remarkable night vision even without lights.  However, the WiFi transmitter ceased to function and when I called to see about a replacement I found out that they didn't have this model any longer.  So, given that I recently purchased a Garmin GPS that has the ability to view a rearview camera at only slightly over the original cost of the Rear View I have installed the Garmin brand.  Unfortunately, the Garmin resolution is not as good but I really don't need to be able to read the NY Times via this camera 😁.

Bill

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

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1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

While I do not have specific experience with the GMC camera, I have installed (sort of) two separate rear cameras on the Oliver.  Both cameras have been of the "wireless" variety but to increase the WiFi signal strength I've placed the WiFi transmitter near the propane tanks while the camera is mounted above the license plate in the spare tire cover.  Back in the day when Oliver still did special requests during the production, I had them "pre-wire" for the camera by putting a power source in the spare tire area and a camera switch in the usual location by the door.  During the install all I did was mount the camera in the spare tire cover (note: you need to allow for the 6 degree slope of the cover in order to get the camera to look directly behind and not at the ground so much), connect to the available power that was already there and then run the cable from the camera up to the WiFi sending unit at the propane cover.  I ran this cable under the Ollie along basically the same route that is taken by the propane line on the curb side.  Of course I protected this cable by covering it with plastic wire guard and all connections were soldered, taped (silicone tape) and heat shrink taped.  

Since you are planning on doing this yourself I'd suggest that you plan on installing a switch to be used to turn that Ollie camera on/off.  Getting a power wire shouldn't be difficult at all in that you can either tap into the running lights down in the basement or up in the attic depending on where you plan on putting the camera.

Good luck!

Bill

 

 

 

 

Luckily I don't think I need power for the camera since it gets it from the TV.  For the "invisible trailer" view I think it requires the camera to be mounted around the same height as the tailgate camera on the truck.  I will probably end up routing the wire under the trailer then up though the spare tire cover somehow.

 

John

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2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II  (11/21 delivery)

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So, it is obviously a "hardwire" installation.  Make sure that you leave enough slack for turns.

If you decide to mount the camera on the spare tire cover, note that this cover is not perpendicular to the ground but slants in at the bottom - out at the top some 6 degrees from perpendicular.  Since I didn't want to use the metal bracket that came with the camera - I wanted a more solid mount and one that was a bit more secure from theft - I fabricated a mount out of a material similar to nylon (I think it is Delran) and installed the camera within it.  Then I simply used E6000 to "glue" the mount to the cover.  Since I wanted the camera to slant slightly towards the ground in order to reduce headlight and sun glare, I cut the back of the mount at 4 degrees thus giving me a 2 degree downward slant.

Bill

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

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How long do you plan to keep your GMC? The reason I ask is that the hard wired factory camera has got to be pretty expensive. I personally would not invest in that system, because if you trade in your truck or wreck it, the trailer components may be worthless either for your next TV or for the buyer of your Ollie when you sell it.. A universal system may not be as technocool, but you don’t risk losing a big investment.

At the very least, run the wiring externally underneath as you mentioned, and make sure it is easy to remove later. You could always resell that system in the future. 

Do you know if the GMC camera can be operated while driving forward? Maybe a Camera Settings change?  If it cannot, then that is another negative point for choosing that over a more versatile wireless aftermarket unit.

John Davies

Spokane WA

"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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Quote

Since you are planning on doing this yourself I'd suggest that you plan on installing a switch to be used to turn that Ollie camera on/off.  Getting a power wire shouldn't be difficult at all in that you can either tap into the running lights down in the basement or up in the attic depending on where you plan on putting the camera.

Got to thinking about this statement last night and - obviously - it is wrong.  The running lights are only "on" when your TV lights are on and, most often, these are not on during the day.  Therefore, assuming that you have two choices - tap into the backup lights for power if you only want the camera to function when you are in reverse or tap into another 12 volt source if you want the camera on all the time.  There are several 12 volt sources fairly near the rear of the Oliver that you can use - the basement light, the 12 volt outlet located in the attic, the 12 volt outlet(s) near the nightstand, etc.  For ease of installation, I'd seriously consider that outlet in the attic.  It is very easy to access and it would be easy to install a switch in that same panel to be used to disconnect the camera when you were not using the camera.

Bill

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

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55 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

The running lights are only "on" when your TV lights are on and, most often, these are not on during the day. 

I have to smile at this. I always turn mine on when towing,  even in sunlight. I think it adds extra visibility for other drivers - it might jar a texting one awake - and I think it looks very cool. The little diamond eye marker lights are so bright, they are like little suns. I have had people flash me, that just proves that it works. In heavy “nightmare” traffic I turn on the headlights and the fog lights.

I once had a Mazda 6 Sport Wagon that was a beautiful beige/ green metallic color, with no daytime running lights. It got hit hard twice in parking lots, and there were ALWAYS people pulling out in front of me because the car was so hard to spot. I didn’t want to drive with the lights on so I added bright always-on LED strip lights above the front spolier. That stopped the “people pulling out” problem. It didn’t help with parking lots, so I just parked as far away as I could from the store front.

But it taught me the benefits of driving with lights on in daylight..... Am I alone in doing 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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16 hours ago, John E Davies said:

How long do you plan to keep your GMC? The reason I ask is that the hard wired factory camera has got to be pretty expensive. I personally would not invest in that system, because if you trade in your truck or wreck it, the trailer components may be worthless either for your next TV or for the buyer of your Ollie when you sell it.. A universal system may not be as technocool, but you don’t risk losing a big investment.

At the very least, run the wiring externally underneath as you mentioned, and make sure it is easy to remove later. You could always resell that system in the future. 

Do you know if the GMC camera can be operated while driving forward? Maybe a Camera Settings change?  If it cannot, then that is another negative point for choosing that over a more versatile wireless aftermarket unit.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

The GMC camera is only $350 so it really isn't that big of an investment.  I like the fact that I don't have to have another screen to mount since this will send the image to the factory  screen in the truck.  It can be left up while moving so that isn't an issue.  It supports 2 accessory cameras so you could mount one inside the trailer to see what's going on while underway.  Might be overkill but it is nice to have that option.

Here is a good YouTube video explaining the system.

 

2021 GMC Sierra 2500 AT4 6.6L Duramax 11350 GVWR  3048lb Payload

2021 Oliver Elite II  (11/21 delivery)

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3 hours ago, John E Davies said:

But it taught me the benefits of driving with lights on in daylight..... Am I alone in doing this?

This is a bit harder than it seems at first glance.

Back in the day before newer vehicles had "daytime running lights" safety conscious motorcycle riders routinely rode with lights on all the time so that they would be a bit easier to see by "cage" drivers.  Unfortunately, as more and more vehicles started to come standard with these daytime running lights the benefits to motorcycle riders lessened.  So, then these riders started adding more lights - particularly in a triangle fashion - in order to be seen.  But, then more and more car and truck drivers started adding more lights.

I used to always "flash" drivers coming towards me that had their "driving lights" or fog lights on in an attempt to get them to turn them off - that NEVER succeeded.  Interestingly, one time a number of years ago while driving just outside Silver City, New Mexico I was stopped by the local police.  He was rather annoyed at me when he asked if I knew why he pulled me over and I replied that I had no idea.  He stated that I had my "brights" on to which I replied that I didn't.  After going back and forth a number of times about this with the officer getting more and more agitated with me, I finally figured out that he was talking about my "driving lights" and I promptly turned them off with a BIG apology.  

However, I do agree with JD - vehicles with lights on certainly stand out to me more than those without and I'm glad all of my vehicles have these lights burning at all times.  But, both my truck and the car have "automatic" settings for the lights.  While the head lights are on, the rear lights and the side lights are not on during times when there is good ambient light nor are any of the camper lights on. The rear lights, side lights, marker lights on both the tow vehicle and therefore the trailer do not come on unless I go through a tunnel or the ambient light is too low.  Yes, there is a manual setting on the truck that allows for all lights, all the time and I have used that a few times when I thought that being seen was an issue.

Bill

Edited by topgun2

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

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