On my previous van, I had a two-camera system that I ran through my computer. With some software I was able to record the camera inputs on a loop system. This system worked well but was dependent on some software that while free is incredibly old, a few things need to be updated. This prompted me to investigate other options like a mobile DVR. One of the options I had was a complete 360 view system. This uses software to stitch together a bird-eye view of the van in motion. While this sounded cool, it was more than I wanted.
My new van has a backup camera already, so there was no real reason for this, but over the years I got use to the camera view while driving. I also wanted the ability to view the area around the van, and this system brings with it some other safety or security features. I purchased the Mobilemule 5500 series with GPS Tracking and Live Video Options.
I chose the low-end model that has two 256GB SD cards for storage from rearviewsaftety.com. This gives me the ability to view and record four cameras, and one IP camera. It comes with an external GPS module, and I ordered a WIFI option. I did not get the 4G option.
SKU RVS-812N -120° HEATED BACKUP CAMERA WITH 30 INFRARED ILLUMINATORS
This is a solid rearview camera, with a built-in heater, and excellent nighttime viewing.
SKU RVS-MV3-IR - SURFACE MOUNT BACKUP CAMERA WITH INFRARED ILLUMINATORS
I purchased two of these to put on the sides of the van.
SKU RVS-C01-02-150° BACKUP CAMERA WITH 10 INFRARED ILLUMINATORS This was purchased for the front camera view. For camera placement, the rearview camera was installed on top the third brake module. It doesn’t have the downward view of the OEM camera but isn’t really needed. My original thought on the side cameras was to mount on the 80/20 roof rack. The view was blocked by the van body, so I moved them down to on the body midship. The obvious issue with the passenger side is when the side door is open, which I would consider more of an annoyance then an issue. My intent was not to use these as side mirror replacement. The front mounted camera is on mounted on the bar holding the front solar panels. It is somewhat exposed, but it is still not the tallest point on the van. If I knock of the camera, that will be the least of my damage. I mounted a Xenarc 802TSH monitor for viewing the output of the MobileMule. This monitor has two video inputs, but also supports a HDMI input and has a touchscreen interface. This will be available for future upgrades.
I now can view all four side of the van at the same time or one at a time.
Passenger Side Camera
Driver Side Camera
I also added additional control to turn on the DVR system when the engine is off, and control over what camera is being viewed. Luckily the MobileMule DVR has 8 sensor inputs which let me identify a camera channel to display among other things. The default scenario is for the DVR to come on when the engine is running. To do that I use the engine run signal from the High Specification Vehicle Interface Connector (Pin 29 Engine Run). While that works when the van is running, part of the reason for installing the system is as security system, that I might want on while camping.
I added another relay that is controlled via the installed manually controlled switch. When the switch is off, the engine run signal goes through the normally connected path of the Relay. If the switch is turned on, the relay is energized to provide an alternative ground input for the DVR/Control power relay.
The next part of the DVR control switch is to choose the camera that is to be displayed. This
Is done using two SPDT (On/Off/On) switches, these switches use independently controlled LEDs that I use to indicate what camera is selected. The input to this switch is controlled power and it is then fed to the input trigger of the DVR. The DVR trigger settings allow you to choose the camera to display.
I had some thought of tying the camera triggers to the turn signals and back lines that are available on High Specification Interface Connector. The fact that my side cameras are not exactly trying to emulate a side view mirror (rear facing) I figured that it would be more confusing and chose not to go that route.
The switches and covers were purchased at OTR Switch Guys.