Want a reversing camera on your 4WD or camper but not sure where to start? Hema’s latest accessory to the newly launched HX-2 is simple to install and as we found, capable of working on a small camper or SUV with ease.
Late last year, I picked up a new HX-2 navigator from Hema and recently, the mapping pros have added a Wi-Fi reversing camera to the accessories list.
Before I go into the installation and the specs, I wanted to let you know how far we took the testing and the results. At Camper, we're surrounded by well, campers and occasionally caravans, and the Hema team wanted to know if the Wi-Fi-based camera has the range to work on a trailer so sent us one to trial.
The short answer on whether it works on a trailer is that depends on the trailer. We tried it on some large caravans from Bushtracker and Wonderland RV and although we got a signal, we realised that the vans had Wi-Fi extenders that threw our results by boosting the signal. But on our OPUS OP4 twin-fold camper, we got a signal and a clear image, something I’ve not seen available before.
“The Hema Wi-Fi Reversing Camera will work on a small camper where there is a line of sight to your HX-2 Navigator”
HEMA WI-FI REVERSING CAMERA SPECIFICATIONS
The camera is IP69K rated providing protection against ingress of dust and high temperatures and is fine to be cleaned with high-pressure water. It is suitable for both 12v and 24v vehicles and has a wide 140-degree field of view. You can choose to run guidelines or not (coloured lines on the image you see that indicate where you're heading when reversing).
Latency, the speed at which the image refreshes is 120ms, which with 30 frames a second video is enough to ensure a smooth picture. The resolution is VGA, not high-definition like the HX-2’s screen. I’d like to see it in HD but then the draw of only 200mA would increase so I’m happy to say it's a good compromise.
Mounting it is by way of a small adhesive patch which we found worked well but for added security, you can screw or bolt it to a surface as I did on the rear bumper of my Landcruiser.
INSTALLING AN HX-2 WI-FI REVERSING CAMERA ON YOUR CAR
If you’ve watched the video above, you’ll see that I used a wiretap into the 12V cigarette point in the back of my 105 Series. If you are lucky enough to have a Landcruiser or late-model Prado, you have the same option. If not, you can run a wire to your fuse box or a source that is fed only when your key is set to Accessory.
“The draw on the camera is so low (200mA) that you should not have to worry about what you tap into, just that you do not tap into a constant-live”
A common option is to take power from a reversing light but that would mean your camera is only operable when in reverse reducing its value as another rearview when driving (especially handy on a trailer you cannot easily see past or to monitor things like bike racks or your hitch).
Once you’ve found your power, the next step is to position the camera where you want it. I chose to mount mine right above the drawbar as I hitch up often and ‘braille backing’, as I call it when I reverse until I bump into the trailer is not ideal. If I had the option, I would have mounted mine higher up, where it would give a clear view of everything behind me though.
MOUNTING THE CAMERA ON A CAMPER
Here it gets a little more complicated as power on most trailers is constantly live. The easy fix is a few-dollar switch from Jaycar or an alligator clip on a house battery which is what I did. I also chose the cheat option of running wiring through the door but my set-up was always for testing. Long term, I would drill and seal a hole with the power wire in a safe and high spot feeding the wiring to my house battery.
“Make sure you apply a good dollop of Sikaflex around any holes you’ve drilled to feed wires through”
On the camper, I positioned the camera high, on the spare wheel of our OPUS OP4 and it worked a treat. It put the Wi-Fi antenna in a good position relative to my dash-mounted HX-2; it had a clear line of sight so had zero signal issues over the around 8m between each.
The benefit of mounting it here was when backing into a campsite I could see clearly what was behind the camper. It was also handy for keeping an eye on what was behind me when I had the boat rack loaded up with an esky and some swags which blocked my view of other cars.
SETTING UP YOUR HX-2 WI-FI REVERSING CAMERA
Once you’ve found where your camera is going to be mounted and found its power source, you should test it all works. There is nothing worse than getting everything screwed down than finding out the signal is weak or problematic.
I tested mine by dismounting my HX-2 and walking around with it in hand to see how far the range signal would hold. I didn't see the claimed 30m but it worked flawlessly at over 10m and as mentioned, perfectly over the body of the camper which would be around 8m from my dashboard.
To test it was simple, turn on your HX-2, head to your Wi-Fi settings, look for the Sonic camera and connect to it. Once connected, you can switch to its view on the home screen which means you can leave it on to monitor what is behind you or whatever your camera is facing.
PRICE OF THE WI-FI REVERSING CAMERA AND WHERE TO BUY ONE
The RRP of Hema Maps’ HX-2 Wi-Fi Reversing Camera is $199 which is not bad but you do need to have an HX-2 first which is in itself, a decent investment.
I got mine off Hema Maps' website but know they are available from most Hema Maps stockists like BCF, Ancnconda and ARB.