I think I’ve narrowed it down to 2 cameras for a challenging application

VanKo

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After much research and deliberation, I think I’ve found a solution to my application. I have a Chevy Express cargo van with no rear windows. I want front and rear HD (1080 is good for me) cameras with a 2 channel dashcam. I also want a cam covering me and the window (for traffic stops as I’ve mentioned here before) but I’m going to use a second camera for that. My main priority is front and rear coverage.

I’m looking at the Blueskysea DV988 and the Street Guardian SGGCX2PRO with X2WRC323 rear waterproof camera. The challenge in mounting is that the rear camera needs to go inside the plastic trim on the back of the van. Mounting in the license plate frame is too low and requires too much cable to make it to the front regardless of how carefully I run it and I want the camera up higher anyway. My plan is to cut a hole in the plastic only big enough to accommodate the camera, adjust it to the proper angle, and then secure it. I will then seal around the camera so water does not get inside the trim. This keeps it up high, prevents damage to the camera, and keeps it mostly out of sight. I have added gotten measurements from both cameras and also from the trim on the van. It appears that I can make this work with some ingenuity and creativity although it will be a tight fit. I’ve added some pics so you can see what I’m working with. The camera on the right (blue box) is just a backup camera that’s tied into the head unit. The red box is where I want to mount the camera for recording. The two pics with the tape measure are the inside of the plastic trim where the camera would be mounted. (Sorry about the mm/inch combination, I use both when building).

DV988:
Camera size without mount: 28mm W x 34mm L
Camera size with mount: 51mm H x 48mm L x 34mm W

Street Guardian X2WRC323:
Camera size without mount (based on caliper pics from SG): 50mm L x 30mm H (including cable connection)

I’m leaning towards the Street Guardian because I don’t use Amazon so with the DV988, I have to wait a long time for shipping from China and with the extension cables, this setup will be more expensive(even though I really like Blueskysea and had a great experience with several G1Wc units). Also with the SG, I can take it out of my van and use it in a rental car with a suction cup mount. However, I’m still considering both cameras. You guys have been a huge help thus far, so I welcome any feedback you have on this project.
 

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SawMaster

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It seems to be a good approach. Not sure how easy it is to get that plastic trim off, but this body style has been around a while so to maintain originality you could source a used trim piece for drilling and put the removed one back when it's time to get a new van ;)

Either cam should work fine. Street Guardian have built a reputation for quality, reliability, and trouble-free operation so they are never a bad choice, and you can get near 24/7/365 support from them on these forums. The DV988 is of course a motorcycle cam by design, so may not be as easy to fit the other parts as well (but could be good enough for you). It's essentially an updated version of an older model so many potential issues will already be worked out with it, and should provide reliable and trouble-free operation. Blueskysea cams are known for their good value for cost and also for getting you any needed firmware updates which many cam manufacturers do not do. Plus the manufactuurer also has a large presence on these forums too. I own neither of the cams in question but have other Blueskysea cams and I like them- I aspire to own a SG someday but the budget hasn't been there for one yet.

Phil
 

kamkar

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I remember years ago, some guy in here build a camera into the rear stop light, but ill be damned if i can find his pictures ( might be in the show us your install pic thread )

If that trim that go up over your doors are just a piece of plastic, and you have space to do good with behind it, you should be able to make a damn nice install.
 
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VanKo

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It seems to be a good approach. Not sure how easy it is to get that plastic trim off, but this body style has been around a while so to maintain originality you could source a used trim piece for drilling and put the removed one back when it's time to get a new van ;)

Either cam should work fine. Street Guardian have built a reputation for quality, reliability, and trouble-free operation so they are never a bad choice, and you can get near 24/7/365 support from them on these forums. The DV988 is of course a motorcycle cam by design, so may not be as easy to fit the other parts as well (but could be good enough for you). It's essentially an updated version of an older model so many potential issues will already be worked out with it, and should provide reliable and trouble-free operation. Blueskysea cams are known for their good value for cost and also for getting you any needed firmware updates which many cam manufacturers do not do. Plus the manufactuurer also has a large presence on these forums too. I own neither of the cams in question but have other Blueskysea cams and I like them- I aspire to own a SG someday but the budget hasn't been there for one yet.

Phil

The trim comes off very easily with only a few bolts. I like your suggestion about replacing that piece down the road instead of leaving a hole there. There are tons of these vans at junkyards so it shouldn’t be hard to find a replacement.

It seems both companies are vested in support and quality development and I like both cameras. I’m leaning more towards SG because of portability and speed of getting the unit and/or parts. I’ll be making a decision soon and will do a full write up on the install once I get done.
 
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VanKo

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I remember years ago, some guy in here build a camera into the rear stop light, but ill be damned if i can find his pictures ( might be in the show us your install pic thread )

If that trim that go up over your doors are just a piece of plastic, and you have space to do good with behind it, you should be able to make a damn nice install.

I had considered this too. A few manufacturers even make a replacement 3rd brake light lens that has a camera built into it. However, they are expensive and/or won’t work with another dash cam dvr. They are designed for input into a head unit or monitor for use a rear view camera. I thought about finding just the housing and attaching the camera myself but haven’t been able to find one without a camera yet. I think I can make the camera work inside the trim. It’ll just take some time and tedious adjustments but hopefully it’ll turn out good.
 

kamkar

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This is what i get from the rear camera in my little 5 door hatchback with a flat vertical rear end. ( camera inside the glass shooting above the top heater element, lens in a mm or two from the glass )


The first 2-3 feet or so directly behind the car i dont see, but otherwise yeah you can see other stuff you dont want to hit alright.
As age are taking a toll on me and i find turning to look out back becoming more and more problematic i am shooting for a reversing camera and a LCD mirror
 
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VanKo

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This is what i get from the rear camera in my little 5 door hatchback with a flat vertical rear end. ( camera inside the glass shooting above the top heater element, lens in a mm or two from the glass )


The first 2-3 feet or so directly behind the car i dont see, but otherwise yeah you can see other stuff you dont want to hit alright.
As age are taking a toll on me and i find turning to look out back becoming more and more problematic i am shooting for a reversing camera and a LCD mirror

I have a separate camera for backup that comes on and displays on my head unit when I put the van in reverse. It doesn’t record. I can’t use the dashcam for backing because it’s always on and doesn’t connect to my head unit. Either way, it’s almost necessary to have one because my van has no windows in the rear at all. Being able to see back there certainly makes things easier and safer.
 

kamkar

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Yeah.
I am also licensed to drive big rigs, and reversing one of those around a corner is a leap of faith.

I was schooled on a rig like this, and according to the teacher i was the only one he tried ( under his supervision / instructions ) to do a parallel parking in between cars on a public road.
And i also made it, but for the most i think that was down to good coaching, cuz to be honest i was thinking " this is not going to work"



A tractor & trailer, thats too easy so we Danes learn the hard way, and those front wheels on the trailer that can turn, well they are quick to throw a spanner in the works when you have not learned how to handle them.
And i have always had pretty high opinions on my own driving skills, so on day #1 in the trailer course we was just given the rigs and told to reverse, and i couldn't even reverse in a strait line, it was 20 feet backwards and then 25 feet forwards to straiten out the rig and then 20 feet backwards again and 25 feet forwards :rolleyes:
Okay i then found out that the trailer i was on had a somewhat busted pull triangle, so to go strait you couldn't reverse strait ( as seen in the mirrors ) you had to be a little crooked and then it reveres in a strait line.

That knocked me down a bit, though i still am pretty optimistic when it come to me driving anything, i firmly believe that just give me a F1 car and a couple tanks of gas to get the feeling for it and the track and i will keep up with those overpaid boys.
And i will keep thinking that until proven wrong.
 
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