[tl:gallery index=0 size=103×155]Our Gentleman Jack Bancroft is an irredeemable motorcaravaning enthusiast. His family have been camping, caravanning and motorcaravanning since 1928. Jack and his wife Flora are now on their tenth motorhome, a 2003 Auto-Sleeper Pollensa on a Ford Transit base. They have toured extensively at home and abroad, including a period of full-timing. Here, Jack answers your motorcaravanning queries:
Q: I am in the process of purchasing our first ’van and would like to fit a reversing camera on the vehicle once we’ve bought it. We have been looking at wireless kits but would appreciate any advice.
A: I’m afraid I lack the in-depth product knowledge to recommend one particular make or model of camera and monitor over another. But here are some general comments regarding reversing cameras:
• I always considered them unnecessary until I nearly knocked over a profoundly deaf young man who couldn’t hear the ’van’s reversing bleeper and was looking the other way. Now I wouldn’t own a ’van without them.
• Those with a colour picture and sound are better, so you can still receive instructions from the ‘look-out’ for anything outside the reach of the camera.
• In my experience, the performance of wireless camera systems on test vehicles has been below that of the hard-wired set up on my own ’van. They have suffered from interference – both visual and audio.
• Monitors which combine with a rear-view mirror can suffer from reflections, making the image difficult to see during bright days.
Practical Motorhome’s technical guru, Diamond Dave, will be able to give you more specific advice. He runs his own business fitting rear view cameras, monitors and such like to ’vans, so has plenty of expertise in the area.
Diamond Dave answers:
I agree wholeheartedly with Jack’s comments, although there is now a wireless system available that is immune to interference. Having said that, I still recommend a hard-wired one for motorhomes as the camera needs a power supply anyway, so you might as well hard-wire it from the off.
I’d recommend a colour system with sound and a heated camera to prevent it fogging up in cold weather and at least a five-inch monitor. I’d say go for one of the more recognisable brands such as Camos or Waeco, too. Also, make sure the monitor doesn’t obscure any portion of the windscreen swept by the wipers.
For more information contact Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services at www.davenewell.co.uk or by calling 01953 587 702.