It’s an age-old confrontation that has existed since the invention of marriage and the trailer. My wife is a real outdoor woman. She can drive the boat and she can back the trailer down the ramp. She catches more and bigger fish than I do, much more often than I’d like for it to happen, but she becomes as helpless as a mall flower when it comes to directing me to the trailer hitch ball.
There is a time-honored method of pointing left or right initially, and then closing the hands together slowly to indicate how close the hitch is to the ball, but this completely escapes the abilities of the accomplished angler, hunter, and shooter. I always get irritated and she never gets better. I try to keep my mouth shut and suffer through the process, but I don’t always succeed. Leaving on a trip with high blood pressure and an angry woman in the passenger seat is no way to begin a journey or day of adventure.
Outdoors Insight, Inc. has finally released something that may well save our marriage–the iBall Wireless Trailer Hitch Camera. Backup cameras have been around for years but this one is affordable and almost instantly usable with every vehicle you will ever hook a trailer to. It is simple to use and requires seconds to install and remove. The system works with a small magnetic mount camera that sticks to your tail gate or the back of your trunk. The camera sends a wireless radio signal to the display on a flexible gooseneck that plugs into the cigarette lighter. Now you can see both the hitch and the ball at the same time–and your marital problems are solved.
The iBall sells for $149 and includes free shipping if you buy it from their website. The camera is submersible and runs off a single nine-volt battery. The monitor runs off the cigar lighter and requires no battery. To use it, you plug in the camera and adjust the gooseneck for easy viewing, turn on the camera and stick it to the tailgate, and back up to the trailer.
I’ve tested this out and it works perfectly. There is some mental adjustment because you are looking forward and moving backward but the learning curve is fairly short. The trick is to turn the wheel in the opposite direction you think you need to. The only thing I’d change about the system is that I’d flip the image so there would be no mental adjustment, but that might not work for everyone. I back up using my mirrors, not by looking over my shoulder. For over-the-shoulder backer-uppers, it might be easier to adjust your mind.
Even if you have to pull up and try again a couple of times, it’s still better than getting peeved at your spouse. Just think, for $149, you’ll never have to sleep on the couch again.
Image by Dick Jones