Side "parking" sensors

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Side "parking" sensors

Post by GrahamF on Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:23 pm

I always feel that the most vulnerable area of any motorhome is the near side bodywork just in front of the rear wheel due to the possibility of cutting a corner too close and the habit campsites have of placing large rocks at their entrance to catch out the unwary (said with feeling!).

On my Worcester the reversing camera does an excellent job of looking after the back end and the view of the front is such that no help is really needed there. It is the near side in particular that I feel could benefit from a sensor, something to bleep you to pay urgent attention to the mirror on that side before the expensive noise occurs. Has anyone any experience of fitting sensors in such a position or can anyone think of any detrimental effects of such an installation? As ever, any advice would be much appreciated.
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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by oldfred on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:21 pm

Hope you get an answer - I have twice grazed my skirt in this vulnerable area. No joke intended  smile!
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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by Dutto on Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:53 pm

Hi there,

Nothing can beat "Caution!"

A good friend bought an ancient motorhome which he called "Gladys" and in which he installed every form of available technology.

With a variety of mirrors, lenses and proximity sensors front and rear he practised parking against a set of cones on his driveway until he felt absolutely sure that he was aware of the width, length, height and handling characteristics of the van.

On his first trip he made it all the way from Aberdeenshire to Yorkshire without incident .... up!

.... until he hit the end of a scaffold pole that protruded out over the pavement at a height of eight feet .... tap_fingers

.... and well beyond the range of any of the mirrors, lenses or sensors that he had installed. tap_fingers tap_fingers

I could have cried for him so "Caution!" is the word. allthumbz

Best regards,
drinksallround

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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by roli on Thu Mar 12, 2015 6:45 am

I cant remember the company name but one of the outfits that go to the Indoor Shows has a rear view camera that also has side view facilities which when seen I thought was very effective

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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by Peter Brown on Thu Mar 12, 2015 8:51 am

The potential problem is real but the sort of raised concrete curved road edge that I caught in Reims when our last van was 3 weeks old would not have given me alarm in time to avoid and to be honest I was far too busy trying to navigate and avoid traffic that I wouldn't have had time to react appropriately.

Neither would it have helped when I was trying to get Chris as close as possible to motorway toll machines in Italy last year.

Ian's advice is best - exercise caution.

Peter

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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by m8form8 on Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:10 am

I agree Caution is the only thing to save nearside skirt from damage. I scraped ours first trip out at Lakeside trying to find a parking spot, they have very annoying low fences overgrown with shrubs lurking on tight corners. Too low to see in mirrors when negotiating. High enough to damage the side skirt though.  shrugg
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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by rogerblack on Thu Mar 12, 2015 12:14 pm

In theory there's nothing to stop you fitting 'reversing' sensors on the side skirts, however you would need some thought as to how and when to activate them.
They are usually wired to be active only when there is power to the reversing light/s. i.e. when you select reverse gear.  Having them permanently activated would mean they would keep going off every time you were in proximity to anything above ground level, such as when overtaking parked vehicles, or even when passing lampposts or signposts near the edge of the road, which would become extremely annoying.
You could fit a manual activation switch on the dash and only switch it on when close manoeuvring but this wouldn't serve all your needs as outlined in your post.

The split-section mirrors on our Pollensa give full coverage from ground to high level and are brilliant for manoeuvring and parking.  I actually find it easier to park than our Vectra, on which I have to adjust the powered mirrors to be able to see white lines on the ground delineating parking spaces, whereas I can see those easily on the van mirrors without adjustment. 

Does the Worcester not have such split-section mirrors?  If not may be worth exploring that as an option - although side cameras might actually prove less expensive!
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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by groundhog on Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:09 pm

Can't really help much, I find the mirrors adequate on our Worcester but delighted I am not the only one that has had such an 'incident'. Clipped a loading ramp not visible in the mirrors, the van was two days old, the ramp flipped up and caught the underside of the wheel arch, fortunately no major damage, so easily done.

Sensors are only as good as what THEY see, reversing a previous van I hit a piece of barbed wire fencing, totally invisible in the mirrors and the sensors didn't pick it up. Result scratched motorhome.

Loads of care and someone else to see what you can't is about the only answer.... scratch head
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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by GrahamF on Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:06 pm

Many thanks to all who took time to respond to my question. In truth, although I thought it was a valid idea, I was far from convinced myself that it would really help in practice. As was pointed out, these accidents tend to happen when you are pre-occupied with other driving matters and even if an alarm did sound then I am not sure you would have chance to react to it. Back to being (even more) careful. I was quite taken by how many of you had not only re-modelled the skirt area but were actually happy to admit to it! We are all human - I think.

I did make a couple of enquiries to firms who fit these sensors. Both could not see any reason why they could not be fitted, but neither had ever been asked to do so. One also pointed out that there could be some legal limitation on having them on all the time (the only practical proposition). I notice on my Freelander that the sensors are either switched on when reversing or when travelling forward at less than 5 to 10 mph. Perhaps there is a reason behind that.

Anyway, twas a good thought -  thanks again for the replies.
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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by Gromit on Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:36 pm

Hi Graham

I had wondered about fitting them high up on the rear of the van.

On one occasion I stopped (pure luck) an inch from a substantial tree branch which the reversing camera couldn't see, and on another I (gently) clouted the house guttering as I reversed the van into its rather tight parking spot. Again the camera had no sight of the guttering.

The top rear corner of the van had a narrow escape both times, and it occurs to me that's a vulnerable spot which might well benefit from an audible warning.

I shall ponder some more, but the sensors are not expensive and I think the wireless ones are more reliable than they used to be, so they might be the answer.

A bit more research is required, but thanks for the thread which set me thinking again.

Dave
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Front parking sensors

Post by Heanorboy on Sun May 07, 2017 9:34 pm

Having read through this seems to be the only time recently that this was raised.
Has anybody fitted front/side  parkimg sensors to their Boxer, they are now very common on cars. I have fitted them to the back of my van and am looking to fit to the front.
If anybody has these could you send me a picture
Thanks folks
David

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Re: Side "parking" sensors

Post by daisy mae on Sun May 07, 2017 10:04 pm

I had sensors on both front and rear on my Topaz and I found them brilliant,

I haven`t got them on the Clubman although I do have twin rear cameras, I would like the sensors as well, as that would alert me to lower posts etc that isn`t picked up by the cameras,   I thought 5 senses across the rear,  one near each of  the corners  would pick up obstacles at the rear skirt.
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