Installing a Horse Trailer Camera
Okay, before talking to Rebecca Gimenez-Husted of Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue last week, I thought the last thing I needed was a horse trailer camera. Our trips aren’t very long and it’s a horse trailer for goodness sakes. How much trouble could two horses get into? But, you know, I’ve always wondered what goes on back there after we close the doors. How do they handle the occasional quick stop? Do they sway if I take a turn too fast?
The main stumbling block is, as many of you know already, I am incredibly cheap. Horse trailer cameras can run from $150 – $300+. But, as much as I am thrifty, I do love a good bargain or an inexpensive hack and I found one. A search of YouTube revealed a video by Dawn P. For $39 I got the Wish Ring Wi-Fi adapter and for $19.99, a backup camera. You can watch the video here: https://youtu.be/p6ZWOJY2gQI
It took a few hours to install because I wanted to mount in on a piece of wood. If I ever needed to change out the camera, this would make it easier. The camera is a wide angle lens and is supposed to cover 135 degrees. But where to place it so we would get the best view of both horses? I fiddled with this for way longer than was necessary. The first location I tried would have been just as good as the final location I decided on an hour later. Yeah, sometimes I wonder about me too!
I also wanted to hard-wire it into the trailer lights power system. This way my Horse Trailer Camera would come on when I turned my trucks headlights on and I wouldn’t have to worry about power sources.
The final touch was to affix some wire molding to hide the wires and make everything look nice.
The Wi-Fi System
Next, we set up the Wish Ring wi-fi system. The manufacturer had us download a free app to our mobile device. (I put it on both my phone and iPad) Once the system is powered up, the wi-fi signal was easily detected by the device. You add the simple password once and the screen displays the inside of the horse trailer. Frankly, I was a little disappointed at the image quality. We spent a few extra dollars on the camera and I thought that would show through. The important part is that we can see both horses heads. That offers a lot of peace-of-mind. It’s not something that you constantly stare at, but we checked in on them once in a while to make sure everything is going well.
Other Safety Precautions
For the amount of driving we do, we have our trailer serviced annually, We change our tires every three years and there is usually tread still on them. It’s the age of the rubber and its exposure to the elements that wear out tires. We have a first aid kit with bandages and wraps as well as band-aids and NSAIDS for us.
In my conversation with Rebecca, she told me that many injuries occurred to horse owners who pulled over to check on their horse or trailer. They step out of the vehicle focused on the situation at hand and are hit by a passing vehicle. The simple fix: a light-reflective green or orange vest. This was an easy expense at Harbor Freight. We picked up two for less than $10. Then we got one of those orange reflective triangle do-hickies to put behind the trailer to increase visibility.
Also posted in our trailer is the name and number for our veterinarian, along with our emergency contacts. Finally, I have the important health stats that the vet may want to know and the horses’ normal range.
Even if you are not looking to install a horse trailer camera, it’s a good idea to go through a trailer inspection at least twice a year. If you’re prepared for an emergency, you will reduce a lot of the stress if one should happen.
Thank you for such a detailed review. I am thinking about buying a camera for my trailer, as I plan to go on a long trip. It is a must-have when a horse is starting to get antsy in the back during a ride – you don’t need to make frequent stops, you can see it on the camera.
Thanks Joe. One note: I attached the wifi transmitter to the trailer with velcro tape. This year I replaced that with plumbers putty. I think it will hold up to the vibrations of road much better. Good luck with your install.