Rear and side view cameras

We are in the process of building a canopy for our landcruiser 79 series. From the drivers perspective this (the canopy) will create blind spots at both the rear of the vehicle and the left hand side. I anticipate that these blind spots will cause problems mainly during city/highway driving.

I am at a stage where I need to purchase a rear view camera and a side view camera.

I have researched this site and obtained helpful information.
A lot of the information seems to be 5/6 years old. I have a few questions that I hope some of you may be able to help with. Also once this unit is completed I dont intend to be towing a caravan etc.

Has anyone wired their vehicle similarly and are you happy with the result and performance? Would you do anything differently,camera placement and so on?
The canopy will be removable.

"Wireless" rear view cameras. I noted during my browsing that a lot of people were unhappy with their performance a few years back. Does anyone know if they have improved?

I am having trouble selecting the type of monitor. Clip on screen or dash mounted. With GPS it may get a bit busy around the dash area.

Any input would be appreciated as purchase has to be this week.

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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 14:42

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 14:42
G'day Jim, to obtain better,wider vision from the external mirrors you can drill holes
through the outer bend of the frame & then mount the heads vertically. I found this
gave much better rear vision. You can easily remount to original holes. Be aware of
the extra width in the shed, etc.....cheers.......oldbaz.
AnswerID: 483085

Follow Up By: JimDi - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:20

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:20
Thanks Oldbaz, I had looked at altering these mirrors to try and improve the view, along the lines you suggest.
Unfortunately the electoral system employed in this household discriminates against minority stakeholders.
Thanks anyway.
FollowupID: 758300

Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:44

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:44
I'm hearin' you Jim,..just do it quietly & say nuttin..:))))))).......oldbaz.
FollowupID: 758304

Reply By: Flighty ( WA ) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 14:48

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 14:48
I have had in the last 19 years 1 x Hilux,1x 75 series and my current 79 series all fitted with canopies.
I have never even thought about fitting the cameras you are thinking of installing,although I have seen one or two.
These units are ( that I have seen ) wired to the reverse switch to activate them when required, and some are used to aid the hook-up of caravans etc.
Personally the only time I would really require them would be when I am parked at 45 degrees, which is a pain sometimes but not really bad if someone is on board with you.
But only my opinion as once people are used to the side mirrors you really don't need them.

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AnswerID: 483086

Follow Up By: JimDi - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:42

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:42
Hi Paul,
Have operated along similar lines to yourself over the years. Diane and I have been towing an off road van around for nearly five years now without the use of a camera.

We have a system worked out whilst both driving/towing and then reversing on arrival.
Could probably continue this way but have decided that cameras may help from time to time. As this new canopy will be "home" for two more years at least and the cost is in line with a caravan a few cameras will not go astray.
FollowupID: 758303

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:39

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:39
I have reasonably recently fitted a single camera to the back of my hilux that has a canopy.......while it has glass front and back it is totally blind at night due to the 3 layers of galss to look thru and even during the day the blind spots are significant.

I fitted a 120 deg camera high inside the rear window and the results are satisfactory......
The 120 deg field of view allows me to see out the back well into the medium distance and to within about a meter of my towball at ground level.

it also give me a veiw about 3 lanes wide by the time it gets out about 5 meters.

this single camera fills in most of the blind spot caused by the canopy and overlaps considerably with the door mirror coverage.

I have intention of fitting a second camera under the tray and that will cover a low angle and should get me right back to the mudflaps and a clear straight shot over my towball.

the biggest issue is getting cameras and monitors that perform well.

I have access to some different suppliers wholsale so I ordered several different cameras, some where disapointing to say the least.

I settled on a simple camera with a butterfly bracket from altronics because the vision from it was pretty good in daylight and the low light performance was fair.

I was skint for somewhere to mount the monitor so I mounted on the back of the pasenger sunvisor which now remains permantly down.

It worth going for a larger screen, but there lies the biggest issue a screen with quality and durability....and the choice of screens and sizes is quite poor.

there are plenty of GPS units with 5 or 5 1/2 inch screens which would be quite good but the stand alone monitors seem to step from a pissy 4 inch up to an inconvienient 7.

And the cheaper screens simply are not durable, I have had one fail already.

hope this helps.

AnswerID: 483089

Follow Up By: JimDi - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:50

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 15:50
Thanks Bantam,
Yes that is helpful.

When you mention cheaper screens being of poor quality could you give me an idea pricewise. I have shopped locally (Brisbane area) and find the kits are quite expensive. I am looking at buying from the internet and the prices there seem dirt cheap to what I am being quoted locally.
FollowupID: 758305

Reply By: Mick O - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 16:52

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 16:52
Jim, I've got a double pod system with a permanent 700mm storage area immediately behind the cab and then a removable camping pod. I've mounted a rear camera into the rear pod, and a camera to 45 degrees looking out to the passengers side on top of the 1st pod. This is mounted in a swivel arrangement so should I be travelling with the camper off, I can swivel it to the rear to give full vision to the rear. The rear camera connects to the main through a small five pin plug. This plug also provides power etc to the rear pod.

Both cameras feed to the double DIN stereo unit and I can switch between the two views with a simple toggle switch. Saves having an extra screen around the place.

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AnswerID: 483098

Follow Up By: JimDi - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:13

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:13
Thanks Mick,
That is very helpful and thanks for the visual shots.

Di and I have read and reread your blog prior to proceeding with our own canopy. I dont remember seeing the rear view cameras but will revisit now and go over it again.

That setup of yours seems to be what I will need. I wont have the seperate storage canopy but even a fixed camera looking from the left will suffice. Toggle switch is a great idea.
FollowupID: 758314

Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:44

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 17:44
I am about to fit camers to my canopy as well, as mine is pretty high as well as wide. I fitted those small bubble mirrors (rotatable) to the outer corners of my side mirrors. They are not the greatest, and take a bit of getting used to, but they are a major help in city traffic. Those, and the cameras (one fitted at centre rear above towball, and the other fitted near the top rear of the canopy) should take care of all the blind spots. I'll be fitting the monitors under my roof shelf console adjacent to my rear vision mirror (seperately switched, rather than connected to reversing light).
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AnswerID: 483105

Follow Up By: JimDi - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 19:47

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 19:47
Thanks Fred,
I have had ARB install a roof console. My understanding from your reply is that you will have two (2) monitors placed near your current rear vision mirror. Is that correct? If so, what size monitors are they?

I have toyed with the idea of placing the monitor lower down near the gear change but am concerned this may be a distraction in traffic. I am looking at rear and side view constant vision rather than reversing aids.
FollowupID: 758337

Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:01

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:01
I don't think you will look back after fitting rear mounted cameras.

As an example most underground trucks are fitted with reverse cameras. As the trucks are operated in very tight spaces these cameras are the ants pants to keep the vehicles of the wall and more importantly know what is behind them.

Once you gain faith in he cameras it is very easy to place your vehicle exactly where you want it.

All of our 76 series cruisers and cut down troopies have them fitted as the rock walls are not very forgiving. Again they are great to use and you can backup very quickly with the cameras when confronted by a Bogger or Truck coming at you.

I can't comment on the wireless cameras as ours are all plug in hardwired.

AnswerID: 483132

Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:16

Saturday, Apr 14, 2012 at 21:16
I just read your comment about leaving them running all the time. That is ok but at night it can become very annoying.

You can select the camera to run all the time or switch it off and only run when you select reverse.

You may wish to do this as the monitors can become very annoying at night.

FollowupID: 758367

Follow Up By: JimDi - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:40

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:40
Thanks RA,
My comment of running them all the time was a bit misleading. I really meant when driving in traffic etc. Once off the black top it would be just occasionally I would imagine.
Thanks for your input.
FollowupID: 758411

Reply By: Member - Nolo (Brisbane) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 10:31

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 10:31
Hi Jim

I have ABR sourced wired and wireless cameras connected to a dedicated monitor fitted to my overhead console. I also have towbar cabled for connection to the van camera when needed.

The wireless camera is directed on to the treg hitch for van hook up which I find magic. Good for reversing around stumps etc as well. The others are hard wired and quality is good all round. Any camera can be selected at any time from the monitor controls. I like the idea Mick for the side camera and the monitor will accept another wireless input so that's on the list.

With limited space in the ute cab Jim, I recommend an overhead console to get rid of some of the dashboard clutter (see photo).


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AnswerID: 483170

Follow Up By: JimDi - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:52

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:52
Hi Greg,
Thanks for your comments especially the visuals,they are very helpful. I have installed an overhead console,its different to yours but I can work something out.

My rig will end up looking similar to yours so I can work from there. Like you I was impressed with Micks side camera. Its already got a spot reserved on the canopy.

Looking at the back of your rig I noticed you have two spares. I will have the same. I checked Toyota to buy another alloy rim and was quoted $1130.00.
I have been poring over LCool etc looking for another but no luck yet,any suggestions?
FollowupID: 758412

Follow Up By: Member - Nolo (Brisbane) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 17:46

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 17:46
Agree Jim, they are both rare and expensive to find. I did miss out on one on ebay a while ago that went for $365 - bugger. I would stick to LCool and ebay for the best chance.

I actually ended up with a genuine Toyota steel rim with the best off my old set of 265/70R16 tyres fitted to it. When I upgraded to a set of five 265/75R16 MTRs, the larger size would not fit into the under tray space. Because it is a slightly shorter tyre it is a sort of a "spacesaver" and will only be used in the unlucky event of a second flat and just to get me home or to a repairer.

Good luck and keep in touch.
FollowupID: 758446

Reply By: Member - Redbakk (WA) - Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 21:16

Sunday, Apr 15, 2012 at 21:16
Hi Jim, I have 1x rear and 1x "passenger side rear corner/side camera" as well on my Troopy and would not be without them, especially when you are angle parked.

I also have one one the rear of the caravan mounted up high.

All three can be selected seperately with a 4 position rotary swich, 1=rear, 2=side, 3=rear of caravan.

The side camera on the troopy looks out from the corner at about 45-60 degrees from the rear.

AnswerID: 483223

Follow Up By: JimDi - Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 13:33

Monday, Apr 16, 2012 at 13:33
Thanks Redbakk,
Sorry for the delay in replying but I have been out chasing a second spare rim for the cruiser.
Angle parking was one of my concerns. Its okay when I have a passenger but camera would be and seems more efficient.
I have ordered a setup from ebay which I hope will do the trick and its now just a case of wiring it up and then seeing what it does best.
The set ordered did not come with any sort of toggle but I will need to install some form of switch to make life easier.
FollowupID: 758522

Follow Up By: Member - Nolo (Brisbane) - Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 09:52

Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012 at 09:52
Jim, you may not need the toggle switch if it is like mine. The monitor itself has a switch to rotate through the various inputs (hard wire canopy, hard wire van, wireless towbar etc).

FollowupID: 758598

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