Look Into Small Hidden Places with Inspection Camera
An RV has lots of small, relatively inaccessible spots. Last night, I was repairing two different blinds in the RV, but was having trouble getting one of them down. That’s where the USB Inspection Camera/Borescope came in. Turns out that the top metal bar was bent, making it difficult to slide. It was a small bend, one that due to the location – under the window valance and inside the blind, I couldn’t see without some help.
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At less than $40, this inspection camera should be in your RV toolbox!
Next stop is going to be the battery bank, to check the fluid levels in each of the vent-wells. Since those batteries are heavy, they are hard to pull out, making maintenance a pain. I’ve tried the pro-fill type watering systems, but they didn’t work as well as the tried-and-true method of hand-filling using a small funnel. I eventually gave up on the watering systems and took them off. At least with the inspection camera, I can make sure that I am putting enough water in the batteries to allow them to function properly.
Camera Features with the RVer in Mind
- Camera Picture: The camera has a resolution of 640×480. This produced a good picture on my cellphone (Samsung S6, broken screen and all), easily letting me figure out what was going on in the small space of the interior tube of the blinds.
- Light: The end of the camera has an LED light, making sure you can see what it is looking at. The light gets the job done in a small space where there is not enough other light. Since it is LED, you shouldn’t have to worry about the lights burning out unless you leave it plugged in during storage or something crazy like that.
- Cable: The cable is flexible yet rigid and at 5.5mm can go anywhere. This allows you to feed it through confined spaces and around corners but also to maneuver the camera to where you need it to be for viewing whatever you are looking for. The cable is about three feet long. You won’t be scoping out your entire plumbing system, but you can figure out why the water isn’t flowing. If you need a longer cable, check out the other options from CrazyFire. I haven’t tested other products but they should have many of the same features.
- Waterproof: The camera is waterproof, so I won’t have to worry about dropping water on it while filling the batteries. Or if I ever have to snake it down the drain. I mean, I still wouldn’t take it scuba diving with me or leave it in submerged water for long periods of time, but I’m also not going to worry about a little water while I’m working on something.
Setting Up the Borescope for Use
The camera can connect to your smartphone or your computer, via USB. In a smart manufacturing move, CrazyFire used a flip-style adapter so that the micro-USB and regular USB connections are the same. No need to keep track of another piece as you move between the phone and the computer. Once I connected the camera to my smartphone, the light automatically powered up with no further action required. Do know that the smartphone connector is a micro-USB and will not work on an iPhone. I didn’t test out any adapters so I cannot attest to whether that will work or not. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
The inspection camera did not work with my built-in camera app and required a separate app to be installed. You can follow the link from their instruction manual or download “CameraFi” from the Android store. The app installed quickly and worked immediately. No time to waste when it’s 90 degrees, at night, in the RV.
USB Inspection Camera Attachments
Drop a screw behind the cabinet? How about your wedding ring down the drain?
The CrazyFire inspection camera came with three additional attachments that are quite useful: a mirror, a hook, and a magnet. Now, neither the hook nor the magnet are going to be able to pick up large items, but they are both strong enough to pick up small things like screws or rings.
As you can see in the picture, the hook and magnet were strong enough to pick up a medium sized binder clip without trouble. The magnet and the hook were difficult to attach to the camera. I’d be worried that the attachments themselves would fall off if you tried to pick up anything more than a few ounces. The mirror screws onto the camera without difficulty. It would have been better if the magnet and the hook attached the same way.
Add the Borescope to Your RV Toolbox!
The CrazyFire Borescope (currently unavailable, so try:) The BlueFire Borescope is a handy tool to have in your RV toolkit. There are some limitations but for the price, you can’t beat it.
And don’t worry, I got the blinds down, fixed them and returned them to their original position. Another RV maintenance item off the to do list before football season starts!
Have you used a borescope in your RV or home maintenance? Let us know other potential uses for the borescope in the comments below!
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CrazyFire may have said endoscope in the title, but they also says it is not for medical use. So don’t put it in your body. Particularly after you’ve used it in pipes or elsewhere around the RV. Eeewww!