It started first when we were out west in the desert heat.
Sometimes I like to keep my backup camera monitor on so that I can keep a passing eye on my Honda CR-V being towed back there while driving. Without the monitor, I can't even tell if I have a vehicle back there. And....well, is it still back there or did it fall off? 😉
Anyway, I just like to know what's happening around my rig - and that includes being able to see out the back.
But, this time I was traveling and my screen started flickering. REALLY badly.
It'd start off light, but then over time it would get so bad that I couldn't see anything.
The only solution would be to turn it off and let it sit for awhile. Then later turn it back on and it would be OK for a little while. But, in time, it would repeat the whole thing.
I ended up just adapting. I would keep it off and only turn it on periodically to check on the car back there. And, of course, when I'm in reverse gear backing into a campsite, the monitor turns on automatically.
The monitor got worse, though. Now the screen looks bleached even when it is working. The image is faded and has a white haze over the whole thing.
Clearly... the original backup monitor in my motorhome is failing and needs to be replaced.
The original backup monitor is made by Voyager. It is a Voyager VOM-78. It is an old monochrome 7" monitor that uses a CRT (like an old-school computer monitor or TV).
They don't make the VOM-78 anymore. All the new monitors are now using LCD technology.
So, the questions are:
- What monitor can I use that will fit in roughly the same space as the original VOM-78 and look good in my RV's dashboard?
- Will the cables for my old equipment work with new equipment?
There are quite a few wireless and portable systems out there, but I wanted something that would go right into the dashboard as a direct replacement.
Plus, I figure if I stick with Voyager, I'd have an easier time with compatibility with the cables and the rear camera. These things tend to be rather proprietary.
My search quickly led me to RVCams.com.
Tim at RVCams has a nice selection of backup camera systems. Not only that, he has done most of the work to ensure compatibility with older systems. He makes it really easy to find compatible, direct replacements for your rear backup monitors on older motorhomes like mine.
Plus, aside from camera and monitors, he sells cables and adapters to make most any system work.
At one point, I considered an off-brand monitor that I had found on ETrailer. I didn't pull the trigger on it and eventually they removed it from their site. Plus, I'm sure I would have had to probably deal with RVCams anyway in order to find the right adapter to make that off-brand monitor work with my Voyager camera.
So, I decided to simply buy the whole kit from RVCams. Tim sells a plug-and-play replacement: Kit to Install 7" Voyager LCD in Place of VOM78, VOM7SN, AOM70, and AOM78.
I ordered it on Sunday and had the kit in my hand by Wednesday morning.
Installation Of The Voyager Monitor Replacement
One thing that is definitely convenient about buying from RVCams is that it is indeed a direct replacement. He even includes the adapters needed.
So, the actual installation (as you see in the video) was super simple.
- Remove the screws holding in your dash panel where the monitor is mounted.
- Once the panel is removed, unscrew the monitor from the bracket mount. Unplug the camera input(s) and power from the old monitor and then totally remove the monitor.
- Using the included wiring harness, plug in the power and camera inputs to one end. It is plug-and-play.
- Then plug in the other end of the cable directly into the new LED backup monitor.
- Optionally test the new monitor to make sure it all works. I did.
- Screw the new mounting bracket into the back of the LED monitor.
- Install the sunshade (if you want) onto the new backup monitor.
- Mount the new bracket (with monitor) onto the dash panel such that the new monitor appears properly out the hole.
- Stuff the wiring harness into the dashboard and then re-mount the dash panel.
One thing to note is that my old system was entirely monochrome. This new LED is color, however it still displaying monochrome because the camera on the back up my rig is still monochrome. If I ever decide to go full-color, I'd need to replace that camera.
This monitor also has cables on the harness to support 2 additional camera. My rig only has 1 camera, so I just don't use them. But, I guess I have room for expandability if I ever decided to do that.
All in all, an easy upgrade. Actually... more of a repair, since my original VOM78 was definitely on it's last legs.