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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello DIY PM Camper Builders

I wanted to start a new thread for DIY specifically to report “Gadgets” that you have incorporated in your build & tested (not just for an hour), & that you have no reservation recommending to other DIYers

Also, it is my hope that this thread does not become a “debate” platform & reply comment thread - Joe Friday “Just the Facts”


My example of this in my case is as follows;

Electronic Rear View Mirror

I have a cargo 3500 Ext with no back windows. I want to continuously see behind my rear metal doors when I drive, just like a rearview mirror. So I purchased the following product and installed it before doing my van build out. I can report that it works very well for me and I would do it again on a new build. I have it connected to the starter battery and every time I drive in the van I turn on the dash monitor. It works just as I expected and I’m very happy with it




58950
 

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A nice thermometer / moisture meter is handy as well. The cool thing about this one is it is an e-ink display. So it only uses battery power when refreshing the display. At night it's completely dark so if you don't want more indicator lights it's got that going for it too.

Homidy Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer

 

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akarmy,

I'll up the ante a bit... I think a thermometer is a pretty useful item in my PM too... Just got a new one installed!

In my build, I wanted a slightly "smarter" unit - admittedly, it costs more, but I wanted a few additional features to monitor my environment.

The lower unit is similar to yours, but... it has a touch screen that lets you press it to see the info at night. Why? you might ask. When camping, I use a shore powered electric heater. Sometimes I wake up at night and wonder if I set it too high (or low). I couldn't see the old thermometer in the dark, so this is an added feature.

plus, you can add 3 sensors! The unit pictured on top is a remote sensor (with a display). I put it in the fridge so I can keep an eye on the temperature in the Engel fridge, and with the display, I can see the temp when I open it (I used to use a separate indoor/outdoor setup to monitor the fridge)!

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The other sensor (included with the bottom unit) is going to get tucked in outside somewhere so I will also be able to see what the temp is outside too!

The other feature is useful too. The remote sensors are rechargeable via USB, so I don't have to go look for sensor batteries if they get low. (main display does need 2 AAAs)
 

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The full-time rear cam and monitor is something I may do. I might blackout my rear windows from the inside so I can insulate and cover them. Glad you posted that.
Also liking the thermostat/hygrometer/maybe even barometer.
Actually, my van was just s'posed to be a simple, light weight road trip conversion and then just a cargo van 48-50 weeks out of the year.
I really need to stop looking at all these threads.
 

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I may have gone a little over the top. This shows the temp of the hot water tank and the capacity of the fresh water tank. The blue button is the switch so this isn't on all the time.




This shows the temp at the display, the temp in the fridge (39F) and (for no reason other than it can) the temp in the back yard. That only works when we are parked in the driveway. :)

The fridge sensor uses a remote probe, so it sends the temp at the probe and at the sender (60F). Is it designed to use AAA batteries, but I've hard wired it.

A matching display in the house picks up the van's sensors, so I have van/fridge info when inside.




Wireless phone charger.




No good photo, but I have floor level lighting tied to a motion sensor to come on when you open the slider. I covered the factory domes, so I needed something.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I may have gone a little over the top. This shows the temp of the hot water tank and the capacity of the fresh water tank. The blue button is the switch so this isn't on all the time.




This shows the temp at the display, the temp in the fridge (39F) and (for no reason other than it can) the temp in the back yard. That only works when we are parked in the driveway. :)

The fridge sensor uses a remote probe, so it sends the temp at the probe and at the sender (60F). Is it designed to use AAA batteries, but I've hard wired it.

A matching display in the house picks up the van's sensors, so I have van/fridge info when inside.




Wireless phone charger.




No good photo, but I have floor level lighting tied to a motion sensor to come on when you open the slider. I covered the factory domes, so I needed something.
Thanks ThomD

Is it possible for you to list the equipment you purchased, or a link to where others could buy? If so Much Appreciated 👍🙏
 

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Another Gadget I like:

A USB rechargeable small fan for "spot cooling." I bought a few of these a while back, and they work well, have a long battery run time, and are easy to stash when not in use. Plenty of USB ports in the van for a quick recharge.

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The only down side is the magnetic base... not strong enough. So, I double-stuck taped a 1 1/2" washer to the bottom and bought some super-duper 1 1/4" magnets that I attached to the bottom of my upper cabinets on each side, above the foot of the beds. The magnets let me rotate the fans in any direction and the bracket let's 'em tilt as needed. I may add other magnet locations but the spot I have 'em in works for lots of cooling!

Very quiet on the low speed, still quiet as you speed them up. PLus, a timer so you can go to sleep with a gentle breeze and it turns off later as things cool down.

At under $20, they are on my "A" list !!!
 

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I've been wanting to have an electronic rear view, but I have a few requirements: I do not want a wide angle view - I want to see down the road behind me, so that what a low-flying object, or an emergency vehicle, or whatever is coming I know enough in advance to respond. I want a display that can dim down so that at night I am not being blinded (I hate the uConnect display, as when it "blanks" it doesn't kill the backlight). And I'd rather have 1920x1080 rather than bad old Never The Same Color.
How has your display been at night?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been wanting to have an electronic rear view, but I have a few requirements: I do not want a wide angle view - I want to see down the road behind me, so that what a low-flying object, or an emergency vehicle, or whatever is coming I know enough in advance to respond. I want a display that can dim down so that at night I am not being blinded (I hate the uConnect display, as when it "blanks" it doesn't kill the backlight). And I'd rather have 1920x1080 rather than bad old Never The Same Color.
How has your display been at night?
Hi Wowbagger

You can setup the monitor “brightness, colour, contrast. It has IR, but if cars at night are behind shining light into the cam you get a bright light. So it depends upon the lighting. Also if the sun is at the right angle it can “bright” out the remainder of the picture. Im sure these technologies will get better as time goes on, but they are not perfect. Neither are my eyes when the sun shine directly into them or a bright car light from a rearview mirror.
 

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Propane Tank Level Sensor

For those who use propane in the typical barbecue cylinder or other tank, this can be quite useful gadget.

59116


I find it very helpful. My tank is hidden in the air tight box and it is relatively difficult to take out to weight it and determine roughly the amount of propane. No more guesswork. This little sensor attaches itself to the bottom of the tank and report the level to the phone app. I have it for two month: so far works well and shows the level quite reliably.
 

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Propane Tank Level Sensor

For those who use propane in the typical barbecue cylinder or other tank, this can be quite useful gadget.

View attachment 59116

I find it very helpful. My tank is hidden in the air tight box and it is relatively difficult to take out to weight it and determine roughly the amount of propane. No more guesswork. This little sensor attaches itself to the bottom of the tank and report the level to the phone app. I have it for two month: so far works well and shows the level quite reliably.
woah thanks for linking this I didn't know these existed i'm buying one right now for my tank.
 
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