Need Cam for Dash (NOT windshield)

John G

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I was about to buy a dash cam when I learned that several states do not allow anything to be mounted on the windshield (CA, NJ, etc.). This throws a wrench into what cam I can use, since I will be mounting whatever I get, in a 45 foot Class A motorhome, going through all 49 continental United States and much of Canada. So I will have to have a cam that can be mounted on the dash and maintain 100% functionality, including upright viewing of the recorded video.

I want a 1080p or greater cam, with good night vision, WDR and 150 degree or greater capture angle. It must be able to be mounted on the dash (NOT on the windshield). It will be connected to power full-time, so I would like to have a parking mode, with optical motion detection and/or one frame per second recording. A screen is not necessary, if it has WiFi. However, remote activation is something that I really want.

In some cases, to get what I want, it may require mounting the cam upside-down. That would require that the cam have the ability to know when it is inverted and invert the image in memory. I believe that the DDPai Mini will do this, but I would have to accept 140 degree wide angle. In other cases, as with the AUTO-VOX D7, the cam can be mounted right side up, to the dash with velcro, since the USB power plug is on the top. However, if I do that with the D7, it defeats the hand motion activated protect feature, to protect the file from being overwritten, since the D7 looks for hand motions below it, where the dash and velcro would be. A dedicated bluetooth SOS or snapshot button would be ideal.

I think that you can begin to see my dilemma. Does anyone have any suggestions for a cam that would fit the above specifications? I'm not interested in paying an arm and a leg for a dash cam at this time, since the technology is changing so fast that whatever I get will be obsolete by the same time next year.

Any suggestions?…
 

Viking

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Maybe you can buy a "Mounting Disk" put it on your dashboard and mount you dash cam on it.

Amazon or ebay it.

Its about $6 from US, < $1 from China.

It will get EXTREMELY HOT in summer time, when your park (maybe it will fried SD card) and VERY HOT even with AC on.
 

SawMaster

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Many vid viewers can rotate the images 180 deg. on playback so having a cam upside-down isn't a big deal ;)

In many Russian car-crash vids you'll see the drivers hand when they reach out and tap the dash-mounted cam to lock the file with the g-sensor; it seems to be a pretty common method of mounting and usage over there.

Phil
 

SawMaster

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It's a good looking cam, but it's performance isn't all it's quacked up to be :p

Phil
 
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John G

John G

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Maybe you can buy a "Mounting Disk" put it on your dashboard and mount you dash cam on it.

Amazon or ebay it.

Its about $6 from US, < $1 from China.

It will get EXTREMELY HOT in summer time, when your park (maybe it will fried SD card) and VERY HOT even with AC on.
Thanks for the lead. I did a search for that term and I'm sure that one of those disks will probably help, for those states where nothing can be attached to the windshield.
 
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John G

John G

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Many vid viewers can rotate the images 180 deg. on playback so having a cam upside-down isn't a big deal ;)

In many Russian car-crash vids you'll see the drivers hand when they reach out and tap the dash-mounted cam to lock the file with the g-sensor; it seems to be a pretty common method of mounting and usage over there.

Phil
Thanks SawMaster. I want you to know that I really do appreciate the suggestion. In fact, I know that it's possible to rotate the video, in post processing. I use FinalCut Pro, for video editing. I can easily manipulate videos in hundreds of ways - rotating, flipping, adding filters, transitions, chromakeying, etc. But if I get a good video, I see no reason why I should take the additional steps of opening another piece of software, importing the video, rotating it and exporting it, if there are cams out there that won't require all those steps. Rotating a single video only takes a minute. But over the lifetime of a cam, all those minutes could add up to hundreds of hours of wasted time that could be better used seeing all that this great country has to offer, which is the reason for the motorhome in the first place. As you get older, you begin to wonder where all that time went. You come to recognize the value of time and realize how it's wasted mostly in little pieces. Since I retired, I have been all about treating myself and my wife to the things that we failed to enjoy, along the way. If a cam that will either mount upright on the dash or if mounted upside-down, will automatically rotate the video, can help me save a little time for myself and my wife, then that's what I want. I'm looking for convenience. I also realize that I need another scotch.
 

2000rpm

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Many, including JooVuu, Mobius, Street Guardian.
I've had a JooVuu (capacitor) on my dash top for most of the last year. In my area we had a fairly warm sunny summer by UK standards (and my car is black so gets 5-10 degrees hotter than many other colours) and the cam was fine baking in the sun all day every day.
The picture below shows two Mobius cams mounted at angles on my dash top as part of an experiment into creating super wide angle coverage. The silver heat sinks sometimes cause an annoying reflection off the windscreen. JooVuu is all black but you'll still want to cover the red LED on the top (I used a small piece of electricians tape) to reduce the red reflection off the windscreen at night.
Unfortunately, many great cams can't have their orientation inverted or are awkwardly shaped or have unique mounts. JooVuu and Mobius are nice size/shape, have versatile mount options and can be set to invert/rotate their video without the need for editing software or special media players.
The Mounts are widely available, cheap, Chinese.
If the ball is removed from the mount's socket there's a small screw inside which holds the cup/socket to the base. I replaced that with a longer screw so it screws into the top of the dashboard; the adhesive-backed mount will not reliably stick on its own.

-

 

SawMaster

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@medash - I'm not sure that info is correct. Here in SC GPS is allowed as long as they are not blocking a driver's needed vision. A clarification was made to the "no video screen visible to the driver" laws wording since many cars now have one instead of analog-style gauges. It was also reiterated that video entertainment screens were not allowed to be visible from the driver's seat (the original intent of the law). Though dashcams weren't specifically addressed, they do fall under allowable "other vehicle monitoring devices" which were specifically mentioned and allowed. When they clarify a law here it is neither added to the law or the law's wording changed, but issued as an official public statement. Therefore any non-legal types reading the law would be led to believe GPS and dashcams weren't legal here if the screen was in the driver's view. Hopefully nobody will place a dashcam or GPS where it could be a safety risk even if the law permits that ;)

I'm a big Mobius fan but I didn't mention it because it falls short on some of John G's listed criteria. First, it's 'parking mode' is 'motion detect' and without pre-buffering that is not really useful for the job. Most of the mid-range and lower cams are the same so normally this isn't considered a 'fault'. It can be configured to take timed snapshots though so that one's a 'maybe'. It also doesn't do as well at night as some of the more modern cams, but no dashcam does really well at night no matter the price; sensor and hardware limitations are behind that. It also doesn't have wifi, a screen, or remote activation. I'm speaking of the original Mobius; the M2 isn't ready for primetime yet and the Mobius Mini isn't suitable for dashcam use at all.

In it's favor the vid is rotatable 180 degrees in-cam, no cam handles heat extremes better (needs to have supercaps for that), and it's video is still considered to be generally acceptable or better even at night. I run mine 24/7 right through SC's hot summers recording continuously. With Mobius the power draw is nearly the same in motion detect or timed-frame as when recording regularly so there's no reason not to record constantly there, only the extra wear on the card may be an issue and my cards test as new after a year's constant use. Mine is mounted in the shade behind the windshield, not on the dash, so that might make a difference here yet mine has worked perfectly through 2 summers of this, and this also reflects the results of a handful of other Mobius users who do similarly. With it's small size it is extremely unlikely to be noticed from the outside and can often be hidden behind the mirror so I'm not worried about laws regarding windshield attachment and blocking of necessary view- mine doesn't do either with it's simple DIY mount. Given all that Mobius would be my choice here, mounted discretely up high on a simple bracket as mine is to gain shade from the sun and to avoid being "on the windshield" thus not contrary to most laws in that respect. There are other somewhat better cams but not at this price and none have ever exceeded the Mobius reputation for rock-solid reliability :) It ain't the newest, best, or flashiest cam but it still remains a good choice and IMHO is still the best bang-for-the-buck in dashcams :D

Phil
 

dash riposki

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I think you'll find actual enforcement in the states that have some sort of law pretty sparse.
I travel all lower 48 states.
Most states that do have some restrictions also have provisions for a GPS or other things, like toll transponders.
I've not had any problems. I have one dashcam attached to the glass at the top of the windshield, and another using an adhesive mount on the underside of an overhead console. There are probably options in a Class C that don't include putting it on top of the dash, or on the glass, but you maybe are thinking you want or need to reach the cam while driving?
 

DT MI

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More than my wife thinks I need.
The type of ambiguity and interpretation of the law in different jurisdictions is why I'm really pleased that I was able to mount my cameras on either the sensor housing or RVM stem. By definition it is not on the window proper and I'm careful to mount it so it doesn't obstruct my vision. I'm reasonably confident that if I should be cited I could prevail in court - but as has already been mentioned the chance of that happening is pretty slim.
 

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I live in a state where the law expressly forbids mounting anything on the windshield except within a four inch square on the lower right corner. Everyone ignores this law and you see all kinds of GPS units, toll transponders, radar detectors and many other gadgets including dash cams mounted on car windshields. The fines for this can be quite steep but after years of paranoia regarding my dash cams and speaking with many other drivers and a few law enforcement officials I've learned that the law is simply not being enforced because the law was written long before the advent of these technologies. I've had dash cams on my windshield for more than six years now with not a hint of any trouble from law enforcement here in Vermont. Of course, things may be different in other states.

One interesting "loop hole" regarding such laws is to use a camera that can be mounted on the headliner or sun visor, hanging down so that it is close to the glass and pointing out the windshield. Technically, in most states if it is not physically attached to the glass you are not breaking the statute.
 
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Even though its technically "illegal", I really dont think its an offense that someone can be pulled over for. I live in NJ and have had a radar detector mounted to the top of my windshield in all my cars for over 20 years with no consequence, as well as an EZpass. Recently added a dash cam behind the rear view mirror. It does not block my view at all. I really think this is being overblown. At least with a suction cup you can remove it if the cop asks you to.
 

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Here's my current set-up:



Though I had to remove the RV mirror to make it centered (legal here because of my outside mirrors) a simple straight bracket could be used instead of a "T" bracket and offset if your mirror is in the way. It's not attached to the windshield or fixed onto anything attached to the windshield, nor does it block my vision, so it's likely that any half-decent lawyer could get a ticket decided in my favor. It's really only noticeable from the side windows and in most vehicles would blend in with the mirror and sensors usually there. I wasn't aiming for discretion, more for a very solid mount in a rough-riding work truck. A few bucks worth of hardware and a few minutes to install and aim, it works excellently. I can rotate it to either side to augment my side cams if I want to. With a little ingenuity, Mobius makes for one heck of a versatile cam!

Phil
 
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John G

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Thanks to all you great folks for some excellent info. I particularly like the map.

I've learned from RV and motorhome forums that toll tags seem to be accepted in all states. I've seen no reports of anyone being ticketed for toll tags on either tow vehicle or toad (towed vehicle), when it is being driven. However, several people have reported being either ticketed or warned, for having anything besides a mirror or toll tag attached to their windshield. In one case, having a dash cam on the windshield actually helped, since the officer chose to give the driver a ticket for obstructed view, instead of speeding, so it didn't count as a moving violation and didn't affect his insurance.

My intent is to mount whatever cam I get low and close to the glass. In a Class A motorhome, it will still be well above the traffic and out of my field of view of the road. As for the toad, I'm thinking of manufacturing a plastic wedge (cut from a 1 inch square plexiglass rod) to glue to the back side of the mirror, to correct the aim of the cam and then mount some sort of small fixed cam (Blackvue DR450, DDPai Mini 2, Auto-VOX D6, GoLuk T3, etc.) to that wedge. I have not decided which cam to use for that purpose. It just has to be light enough to mount to the mirror. It would be nice if the cam could be removed from the mount, so one cam could be switched between the motorhome and the toad, since we will only be driving one vehicle at a time.

Thanks again. Lots of good info here.
 

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I think you'll find actual enforcement in the states that have some sort of law pretty sparse.
It is the same here, so you will see people have all manner of stuff mounted on the windscreen and in the most unfortunate places of the windscreen.
Also stuff hanging from the rear view mirror which is also illegal.
It is legal to have a GPS unit on the windscreen, BUT ! not where it block driver view, so that mean all the way down low on the windscreen, but you will most often find them on the middle of the windscreen, and often as high up as the bottom of the rear view mirror.

And out local cop TV programs you will often see a guy being pulled over for something else, but he will not be fined for the gadget that is clearly installed on his windscreen in a illegal manner.:(
 

Street Guardian USA

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after years of paranoia regarding my dash cams and speaking with many other drivers and a few law enforcement officials I've learned that the law is simply not being enforced because the law was written long before the advent of these technologies. I've had dash cams on my windshield for more than six years now with not a hint of any trouble from law enforcement here in Vermont. Of course, things may be different in other states.
I've been in the dashcam business for years now and have yet to hear even 1 report of mounting laws being enforced as well. I think if you keep a dashcam behind the rear-view mirror it's even less likely to be noticed.
 

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I've been in the dashcam business for years now and have yet to hear even 1 report of mounting laws being enforced as well. I think if you keep a dashcam behind the rear-view mirror it's even less likely to be noticed.
Where would we all be if those laws were strictly enforced? :eek:

§ 1125. Obstructing windshields

(a) No person shall paste, stick, or paint advertising matter or other things on or over any transparent part of a motor vehicle windshield, vent windows, or side windows located immediately to the left and right of the operator, nor hang any object, other than a rear view mirror, in back of the windshield except as follows:


(1) in a space not over four inches high and 12 inches long in the lower right-hand corner of the windshield;


(2) in such space as the commissioner of motor vehicles may specify for location of any sticker required by governmental regulation;


(3) in a space not over two inches high and two and one-half inches long in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield;


(4) by persons employed by the federal, state, or local government and volunteer emergency responders operating authorized emergency vehicles who may place any necessary equipment in back of the windshield of the vehicle, provided the equipment does not interfere with the operator's control of the driving mechanism of the vehicle;

(5) on a motor vehicle that is for sale by a licensed automobile dealer prior to the sale of the vehicle, in a space not over three inches high and six inches long in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield, and in a space not over four inches high and 18 inches long in the upper right-hand corner of the windshield;

(6) the commissioner may grant an exemption upon application from a person required for medical reasons to be shielded from the rays of the sun and who attaches to the application a document signed by a licensed physician or optometrist certifying that shielding from the rays of the sun is a medical necessity. The physician or optometrist certification shall be renewed every four years. However, when a licensed physician or optometrist has previously certified to the commissioner that an applicant's condition is both permanent and stable, the exemption may be renewed by the applicant without submission of a form signed by a licensed physician or optometrist. Additionally, the window shading or tinting permitted under this subdivision shall be limited to the vent windows or side windows located immediately to the left and right of the operator. The exemption provided in this subdivision shall terminate upon the sale of the approved vehicle and at that time the applicable window
tinting shall be removed by the seller. Furthermore, if the material described in this subdivision tears or bubbles or is otherwise worn to prohibit clear vision, it shall be removed or replaced.

(b) The rear side windows and the back window may be obstructed only if the motor vehicle is equipped on each side with a securely attached mirror, which provides the operator with a clear view of the roadway in the rear and on both sides of the motor vehicle. (Added 1971, No. 258 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. March 1, 1973; amended 1977, No. 176 (Adj. Sess.); No. 75 (Adj. Sess.), § 7; No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 89 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)

Edit:
FWIW, this law contradicts the previously posted map for my state. (Vermont) Use that map with caution. :)
 
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