rear view camera

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 18:37
ThreadID: 56568 Views:2445 Replies:7 FollowUps:9
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I've just 'traded down' from a 16 foot pop-top to an A'van. Even though the A'van is compact I still won't be able to see out the back window via the inside mirror.

I don't like having a blind spot behind me - even the best mirrors don't show dumb tailgaters tucked up under the rear bumper of the van.

I can fit a 'reversing camera' but I suspect they're not designed for continuous use. All of them are in theory required to be fitted so they only work when the tow vehicle has reverse gear selected.

There are also nice mirror/monitors and I have no doubt that it's illegal to display a picture of the road behind even though it improves safety.

Have any of you solved this dilemma or fitted a camera that's continuously on? I can easily wire a camera to a switch instead of the reverse lead but I can't stop an unsuitable camera from overheating.
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Reply By: da76 - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 18:42

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 18:42
one way is to connect the power of the camera to the parking lights. When you turn on your parking lights 'camera on' etc.
AnswerID: 298139

Reply By: jomah - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 19:25

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 19:25
A rear view camera is exactly what it says - a rear view camera. They are fitted as standard equipment to many new vans & motor homes. They will operate all day long without ill effect and also if they were not legal to have on then the motor home would not get past registration in the first place. Most decent motor home/caravan accessory outlets can enlighten you more on the various makes & models.
AnswerID: 298153

Follow Up By: V8 Troopie - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 01:13

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 01:13
Well, maybe yours does but I had one die when left on while the car was parked on a hot day. The camera was mounted outside. The monitor still works fine.
FollowupID: 564298

Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 19:38

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 19:38
The company I work for have reverse cameras continual running without any dramas so I'm not sure about any probs with doing so.
We have some that where fitted 5 years ago, bouncing around in trucks, on for 10-12 hours 6 days a week.
The newer models have 3 camera's feeding into a common screen, camera 1 rear facing, camera 2 left, camera 3 right (needed for reversing out of alleys to see approaching traffic from the side)or split screen, so you can watch all 3 camera's at once.
These have been wired so that the driver can elect to turn them off, but once reverse is selected camera 1 (set as default)will automatically come on.
I have heard that it's illegal in some states to have a "screen" in drivers view, but I think that's aimed at DVD players/games so as not to distract the driver.
Having a screen for rear facing camera on while driving is as no more a distraction than having a mirror!, It's doing the same job
AnswerID: 298156

Reply By: westonpaul - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 20:33

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 20:33
Thanks Gentlemen - it seems that there's no problem with running the camera continuously.
AnswerID: 298164

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 20:59

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 20:59
Email me at and I will send u some pics of a setup that works all the time and automatically in reverse
FollowupID: 564262

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 21:05

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 21:05
Our rubbish trucks have them on 8-10 hrs a day....silverback
FollowupID: 564265

Reply By: Member - David P (VIC) - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 21:10

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 21:10
I was interested in an Avan but when I asked the seller what it was like on dusty roads he said he had to admit it was dreadful. Just wondered do you have any ideas on how to reduce the problem of dust ingestion?....silverback
AnswerID: 298167

Follow Up By: westonpaul - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:13

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:13
Our (ex) pop top had a 'positive pressure vent.' It's just a forward facing scoop on the roof that pressurises the interior of the van and stops dust getting in (in theory!)

The scoop can be closed when parked because it can let in rain.

FollowupID: 564267

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 10:57

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 10:57
The Avan doesn't have that scoop does it? How will it keep the dust out?, because thats the reason I can no longer consider the sportsliner.....silverback
FollowupID: 564333

Follow Up By: westonpaul - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 16:19

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 16:19
The purpose of the scoops is (as I said) to pressurize the inside of the vanThe A'Van has roof panels that overlap but the front (top) panel, doesn't reach the back of the van so a vent could be fitted at the back.

That might be a problem, because you want the vent in clear air - there's no point in a vent that sits in the dust from the towing vehicle.

Another option would be to pressurize the interior with an electric fan. A squirrel cage air conditioner fan from a truck (wreckers) would do the job but it would require ducting. A starting point would be the type of snorkel used for 4WD air intakes.

If you really really want an A'Van, I think all problems are solvable with a lot of time and a little money.

If an A'Van leaks dust then simply (!) beefing up the seals would do the trick, or even travel with a tight cover over the top.

I know it's easy to be clever from a distance but there's a lot of satisfaction to be got from solving problems.
FollowupID: 564394

Follow Up By: Member - David P (VIC) - Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 16:46

Sunday, Apr 13, 2008 at 16:46
I've done a lot of modifying in my time , not ready to buy yet, lets know how you go with the Avan and what mod works...silverback
FollowupID: 564401

Reply By: DIO - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:02

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:02
Think you'll find that they are actually called reversing cameras not rear view cameras. Rear view mirrors are required by law to be fitted to all vehicles and to provide the driver with an uninterupted view to the rear of vehicle and anything being towed. Some manufacturers are installing them as standard equipment and others as after market fittings. Legally if they are an aid to the driver they may be acceptable but only as reversing cameras. I don't believe that it is safe to drive with them switched on, too much of a distraction for the driver and likely to contribute to unsafe driving. Not that all will agree with that.
AnswerID: 298169

Follow Up By: westonpaul - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:27

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:27
I can't see the difference between a reflected view of the road behind displayed in the centre mirror or a video image of the same view. Neither is distracting unless there's a prowl car up yer bum (!)

Glancing at the internal central mirror is less distracting (and takes less time) than looking to the left and right into the exterior mirrors. In fact, with practice you can sense traffic that comes up close behind without glancing up.

The law however, can be an ass. I'll go and see my friendly cop and find out what's legal.

Even if it's technically illegal I'll fit it up (as suggested here) on the side light circuit so that I can flick it on when making turns in heavy traffic - or fit a push button in the centre console.

Dash mounted GPS units are visually a lot more distracting but careful drivers (are there many left?) can compensate. I also find that the voice prompted GPS takes stress away because I'm not searching for street names - I can just sit back and follow the nice lady (or if you prefer the bloke, but I find the female voice easier to hear. Or maybe I'm frightened of not hearing it...? (Yes Dear!))

Wandering off the topic a little, I can say that GPS will always get you there, but not necessarily in the way that you expect!

FollowupID: 564269

Reply By: Trippin' - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:19

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:19
Qld Legislation (road rules)

Section 299 Television receivers and visual display units in motor
(1) A driver must not drive a motor vehicle that has a television
receiver or visual display unit in or on the vehicle operating
while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked, if
any part of the image on the screen—
(a) is visible to the driver from the normal driving position;
(b) is likely to distract another driver.
Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.
(2) This section does not apply to the driver if—
(a) the driver is driving a bus and the visual display unit is,
or displays, a destination sign or other bus sign; or
(b) the visual display unit is, or is part of, a driver’s aid.
Examples of driver’s aids—
• closed-circuit television security cameras
• dispatch system
• navigational or intelligent highway and vehicle system
• rearview screens
• ticket-issuing machines
• vehicle monitoring devices
AnswerID: 298173

Follow Up By: westonpaul - Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:30

Saturday, Apr 12, 2008 at 22:30
Thanks Trippn' That's the 'out' clause I need.... It's a drivers AID!
I'm surprised that the law is so sensible in QLD.
FollowupID: 564271

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