We often drive long distances in our RV and stay overnight in Walmart parking lots, highway rest stops and other places. I can say that in the years we’ve done this, we have yet to encounter any situations where we have felt unsafe in our RV. But for years, I’ve always wanted to install some kind of camera surveillance system that would allow me to see what’s going on outside our door without having to go outside or open a window.
One day it occurred to me that I could install a side-view camera on my RV which could also double as a surveillance camera. While driving, I could monitor the right side of the RV. While parked, I could use it to monitor the front door from inside.
My plan was as follows:
- Install the side-view camera pointing towards the entry door
- Power the camera from my RV’s house batteries (not the dashboard monitor)
- Install a second video monitor near the door so I could see who’s outside
- Split the video signal between the dashboard monitor and the external video surveillance monitor
I found a deal on an older model side view camera and RCA cable adapter while browsing the Jensen RV Direct website and jumped on it. I then picked up an inexpensive 12 volt video monitor and a wireless transmitter/receiver from Amazon.
What You Will Need For This Project
Jensen Voyager Side View Camera
I was able to find mine on the Jensen RV Direct website for cheap, but you can also find them on Amazon. Make sure you get one with IR night vision capability.
HD Video Monitor
There were many of these types of monitors to choose from. This was the one I settled on. I has a pretty good picture and several outputs. In additional RCA inputs (using the included adapter cable) it also supports HDMI and comes with a remote.
12V Wireless Video Transmitter/Receiver
This device takes an RCA video input and transmits it to the receiver unit plugged into your monitor. It also needs 12V DC power to operate.
Jensen RCA Adapter (JensenRVDirect)
If you use the Jensen Voyager camera, you’ll probably need this cable adapter to convert the voyager video plug to an RCA video output.
RCA Video Splitter
To split the output signal from the camera, you’ll need a basic splitter like this. You can find these anywhere. You may also need some video cable if you don’t have any laying around.
The wireless transmitter is the really cool part of this project, since it eliminated the need to run cable to the second monitor. Sweet! It also would allow me place the monitor virtually anywhere in the RV, even back in the bedroom.
It took a little wiring to get it all up and running but I turned out great. It was pretty inexpensive too. All total, it was around $150 and well worth the effort. Check out the video on this post to see it in action. Stick around until the end for a little cameo appearance from our friends The RV Geeks.