Front Facing Camera Suggestions Please

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Wanderlost

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Often when we're offroad or on a 4L trail we have difficulty seeing over the hood to see what's over a drop/ hill, or exactly where that rock is we need to line up on.

We want to install a front facing camera and would greatly appreciate your suggestions if you have any experience with them.

Here's what we're looking for:

It will be permanently mounted on top of our Slimline bumper, or just behind the grill.

It needs to be Bluetooth. We want to use our iPad Pro for the viewing screen.

It needs to be, much like our Toyotas, durable and reliable. We don't want to spend a small fortune, but we don't want cheap junk either.

It can't be "mirrored" like a rear facing camera is.

Is there anything we're missing?
 

UtahRnr

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I think this is a great idea. I like your thinking. When I read it, it gave me an idea how I would do this myself on my own rig.

First of all, I already have a “backup camera mod” which is just a switch that tricks my 4Runner into thinking it is in reverse. So when I activate the switch, the backup camera displays on my stereo LCD. This isn’t changing normal backup camera functionality, it just lets me use the backup camera when I’m not in reverse.

With your idea, I would simply get either a second OEM backup camera or an aftermarket backup camera to use on the front. Then I would run it into my current existing mod switch, but with one more new toggle switch that lets me switch between front or back cameras. This way the installation feels stock, and you can manually force the camera view ON and then toggle between the normal backup cam or the “front” backup camera, all while seeing it on the factory stereo LCD. No Bluetooth or WiFi required.

The challenge with this idea will be figuring out how to “flip” the “front” backup camera image horizontally so that you’re seeing it the way the camera sees it. After all, you don’t want to veer left thinking you are avoiding a rock on the right side of the screen only to realize the rock is actually on the left side.
 
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Wanderlost

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That's a cool idea! Maybe a two way toggle switch, front and back. Do you remember where you found the hack for the mod? I think this is worth looking into. Probably a video too. :)
 

DrivingTacoLoco

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I love your videos
I have the following setup. Front camera on license plate holder. Could be mounted anywhere. Back camera mounted above 3rd break light. Monitor mounted where my rear view mirror was. I like the monitor as I don't need the rearview since my cap window is blocked with reflectix. The monitor allows me to flip and zoom. I don't see the point of wireless. It's much more money and more likely to break. Whatever you do I definitely think you should get a front camera. After my first off road trip I realized I was blind going up hills. All I saw was sky. A 90 degree turn as I came over the hill convinced me I needed a front camera. I like that it's low I can navigate rocks and stumps. I have driven through areas only looking at the monitor for a hundred feet or so. Very comforting.
This is the monitor I got. As you can see it came with cameras. They are no good. At night the lights reflect of the cover glass and cause ghosting in the image. Beautiful during the day. but no good at night.
 

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persquank

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You could always mount a GoPro to your Slimline bumper. They make attachments that you could permanently attach. It can be viewed from an ipad. I do not believe it would mirror unless you set it to. A GoPro would be pretty easy to replace if it gets damaged. And it would require no wiring of power or signal. The downside would be charging it all the time.
 

UtahRnr

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If you want a ready-made option like what I was describing you might find this helpful:



Here is where he bought the full kit:
 
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Wanderlost

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If you want a ready-made option like what I was describing you might find this helpful:



Here is where he bought the full kit:
Definitely going to look into this further, THANKS!
 
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MiamiC70

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If you want a ready-made option like what I was describing you might find this helpful:



Here is where he bought the full kit:
Wish they had kit available for my Subaru Outback. Japanese versions of the Gen5 Outbacks got the front cameras and several other goodies and US versions as usual got the shaft.
 

Pathfinder I

I have a system that ties in to the oem nav/backup screen, really helps when off road. I have seen other add on systems with screen and two cameras for front and rear vision.
You can see the camera just above the winch, below the light bar.
 
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UtahRnr

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Ultimately, whether you find a ready-made kit or not, this is not a difficult modification.

In principle, if you already have a factory backup camera that displays on an LCD screen in your vehicle, you need to do the following:
  • install a front facing camera
  • locate the wiring for the factory backup camera where it leads into your factory display. splice a Front / Off / Rear switch into this wiring.
  • modify the wiring so to trick your vehicle into thinking that it is in reverse when the switch is in either Front or Rear positions, so that the camera view will display on the LCD even when you're not in reverse. You can find writeups with photos for most vehicles online for this 'anytime backup camera' hack. Try searching for your make/model vehicle and 'backup camera anytime mod' or 'hack'.
At the very least you could acquire a camera and the 3 way switch from the vendor I linked above. Don't bother with the harness if you're not driving a 4Runner, and do it the old-school way by wiring it in yourself.
 

Charles M

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I would like to get an android tablet so I can run maps with it and dual front and/or rear cameras at once with total night vision also so I can run without lights too. Not sure if it is possible. ... yet.
 

Charles M

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I would like to get an android tablet so I can run maps with it and dual front and/or rear cameras at once with total night vision also so I can run without lights too. Not sure if it is possible. ... yet.

Does anyone know of such a system?