Two or Three Camera System for a Ute (Light Pick Up Truck)?

Theodulf

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I have a 2012 Toyota Hilux (single cab) with an aluminium dropside tray (a flatbed with removable sides) and I am looking into installing a front facing camera and one or two rear facing cameras.

I need one rear facing camera either inside the back windscreen or just outside in front of the ladder rack (aka "headboard" / "headache rack") of the tray, which can record thieves getting into the tray while the vehicle is parked. This is because the tray simply has a vinyl cover which unclips, there are no locks etc.

I would like to install this camera inside rather than outside, but the rear windscreen was tinted by the previous owner. I'll be able to call the shop on Monday and find out how dark it is because I have some of the original documentation.

Because it is likely to be night time when this camera gets its "time to shine" I am concerned whether the tint is going to affect it enough to obscure the face/s of Thievy McThief-Face (or driving at night). Could I cut a hole in the tint for the camera to see through? Is this a bad idea? The warranty on the tint is already void because I am not the original purchaser. Or would it be more prudent to get an outside camera like the rear cam of the BLACKVUE DR650S-2CH TRUCK or the BLACKVUE DR650GW-2CH TRUCK for this purpose and mount it in front of the ladder rack? The disadvantage of doing this is that the camera would be exposed to weather/vandalism and might interfere with loads I am strapping to the ladder racks.

I am wondering whether it is also worth having another waterproof camera mounted under the tray right at the back. This would capture the number plate of anyone who hits me from behind very effectively, but given the number of options for cameras like this out there, this would make the setup expensive and I am forced to wonder whether it is worth having or if the other rear facing camera would be sufficient on its own. Note that I occasionally carry loads which are high enough to block the other camera's view.
 
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Theodulf

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In the following video, the truck is using the DR650GW-2CH TRUCK and the waterproof rear camera's view is at first obscured (hence, useless) by condensation on the lens, which is shaken off by the collision.


Is condensation on the lens like this a common issue for exterior cameras?
 

SawMaster

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Though you may have to figure out a mounting scheme, the G1W-S might do well inside the cab. It has a Sony sensor for good low-light vids and comes with super-caps so it can handle the heat. It's not exactly stealthy but it's cheap for what you get in performance.

Phil
 
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Theodulf

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Thanks for your input.

Depends on the IP rating if condensation is an issue or not
I think you mean for whether condensation will get inside the lens? What I was trying to say was; does condensation on the surface of the lens commonly obscure the view of exterior cameras?

Though you may have to figure out a mounting scheme, the G1W-S might do well inside the cab. It has a Sony sensor for good low-light vids and comes with super-caps so it can handle the heat. It's not exactly stealthy but it's cheap for what you get in performance.

Phil
I take it what you mean is that this one would do well pointing out of the rear (tinted) windscreen?
 

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Single cabs have long trays so mounting it on the rear windscreen wont be ideal. The number plates will be cut off and it will be blocked off if you have any tall load.

I got a dual cab hilux with a tub and the rear camera angle is just enough to get the number plates and also get theives faces.

You can mount the cam underneath the tray so its sheltered. Id still apply wax or RainX on the lens to stop the water from beading up and collecting dirt. Only downside is that you wont see any theives faces at that level.
 

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Not sure about shooting through tint, but otherwise a good cam and a bargain.

Phil

Meant to add that another member here is running his 24/7 to good effect so far so it would serve well for cargo security day and night.
 
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Theodulf

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Single cabs have long trays so mounting it on the rear windscreen wont be ideal. The number plates will be cut off and it will be blocked off if you have any tall load.

I got a dual cab hilux with a tub and the rear camera is just enough to get the number plates and also get theives.

You can mount the rear camera underneath the tray so the rain doesnt get on the lens. Id still apply wax or RainX on the lens to stop the water from beading up and collecting dirt. Only downside is that you wont see any theives faces at that level.
This is very useful information, thank you. From what you say, it seems a three camera system might be more prudent. I had not thought of applying a protective finish to the lens of an exterior camera. Thanks for your input.
 
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Theodulf

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Not sure about shooting through tint, but otherwise a good cam and a bargain.

Phil

Meant to add that another member here is running his 24/7 to good effect so far so it would serve well for cargo security day and night.
You're right, it is a bargain. I could conscionably afford to run one of these in the rear windscreen and use one of the Blackvue truck sets for the front cam and the one under the tray.
 
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Theodulf

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On the topic of tint, it is good that I have tint because, with the rear windscreen being right behind me, it is easier for the sun to get in from the rear and reflect in my mirror but at night, because the rear windscreen is vertical, not sloped, the reflection of my stereo's lights affects my view through the rear windscreen. Whether removing the tint would reverse this, I don't know, but I am forced to wonder whether the combination of this and wanting to use a rear facing dashcam justifies removing the tint.
 

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Heres the sample pic from my rear camera in the cabin with 35% tints, which is the legal VLT in Australia.



I was going to cut the tints out for the lens but i don't have any spare double sided tape to stick it back on. With 35% VLT tints, your essentially losing 65% of the light, which is a killer for night time parking mode.

Its easy to patch up the tints later on.
 
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Theodulf

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Heres the sample pic from my rear camera in the cabin with 35% tints, which is the legal VLT in Australia.

(image removed)

I was going to cut the tints out for the lens but i don't have any spare double sided tape to stick it back on. With 35% VLT tints, your essentially losing 65% of the light, which is a killer for night time parking mode.

Its easy to patch up the tints later on.
If one were to cut out a hole and then patch it later, I imagine it's not entirely seamless but does it look alright?
 

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It wont be seamless but you will only notice it if your looking at it very close (assuming the replacement patch is the same tint)

See how the night time quality is with the tints first before you cut it out.
 

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Agreed with trying through the tint first- that might work well enough. The tint would help hide the camera body, one would only need to make a small hole for the lens. And I'm thinking the Blackvue under and the G1W-S inside could be close to ideal. The A119S is another good low-light cam, but I don't know of anyone using it 24/7 which is what you'd need for security without going to a cam with a good parking mode. Both of these are relatively new cams without much history to go on as far as longevity, but both seem to be made well enough to do that so far :)

Good daytime footage can be had in many cams, but good night-time footage is just becoming affordable in dashcams, so in a year or two there might be other good choices available ;) Even so, I doubt they will make the G1W-S or A119S obsolete. The almost-released Street Guardian SG9663DC might be worth a look, bit the problem with 2ch cams is that recording time is halved for a given card size compared to a single-channel cam. A 64GB card in a single cam gives you 8+ hours security recording which is usually enough; bigger cards get costly fast and don't work in all cams.

Phil
 
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Theodulf

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Agreed with trying through the tint first- that might work well enough. The tint would help hide the camera body, one would only need to make a small hole for the lens. And I'm thinking the Blackvue under and the G1W-S inside could be close to ideal. The A119S is another good low-light cam, but I don't know of anyone using it 24/7 which is what you'd need for security without going to a cam with a good parking mode. Both of these are relatively new cams without much history to go on as far as longevity, but both seem to be made well enough to do that so far :)

Good daytime footage can be had in many cams, but good night-time footage is just becoming affordable in dashcams, so in a year or two there might be other good choices available ;) Even so, I doubt they will make the G1W-S or A119S obsolete. The almost-released Street Guardian SG9663DC might be worth a look, bit the problem with 2ch cams is that recording time is halved for a given card size compared to a single-channel cam. A 64GB card in a single cam gives you 8+ hours security recording which is usually enough; bigger cards get costly fast and don't work in all cams.

Phil
Is the gentleman using the camera 24/7 using it in time lapse mode? I had not originally realised this was possible and had thought that parking mode was the sensible option. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, I guess but either will be good to use because I am halfway through installing a dual battery system and whatever I choose can run from the auxiliary battery while the ute is parked.

Aside from the two Blackvue models and the Street Guardian SGZC12RC, are there any other options for an external camera that are worth a damn? - Standalone ones or part of a multi camera system, either is good.
 

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No, the member is recording constantly as a number of us do with Mobius. You get everything the cam sees this way, but you'll have to dig through the files to find an event. Hopefully that will be a rare occasion. Time-lapse and parking modes can miss critical details sometimes- constant recording can't but it is rather hard on the camera which must be well designed and well-built to endure this kind of use without problems occurring. Mobius uses an older sensor which isn't so good at night, otherwise it's still not a bad choice for a dashcam ;)

Phil
 
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Theodulf

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No, the member is recording constantly as a number of us do with Mobius. You get everything the cam sees this way, but you'll have to dig through the files to find an event. Hopefully that will be a rare occasion. Time-lapse and parking modes can miss critical details sometimes- constant recording can't but it is rather hard on the camera which must be well designed and well-built to endure this kind of use without problems occurring. Mobius uses an older sensor which isn't so good at night, otherwise it's still not a bad choice for a dashcam ;)

Phil
Does constant recording contribute meaningfully to battery drain or is its power use next to nothing? My concern here is that after my auxiliary battery is drained to 50% it will start to lose condition and if it stays at less than 100% for long periods it will also lose condition. I don't drive every day, so it's not getting recharged all the time.

I imagine it would be quite doable to have the camera record constantly only when I choose, would it? I tend to only have a load in the tray overnight for one night at a time.

Also, thank you for your input, I am getting the impression that this is a very knowledgeable forum. :)
 

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I tend to only have a load in the tray overnight for one night at a time.
If thats the case just get a cheap rear cam with a big memory card and let it run on the aux battery or a USB battery bank overnight. Its a manual process but its a lot simpler and a lot less stuffing around compared to a parking mode cam.

Dashcams will only draw like 200mA at 12v which is only about 2Ah for a 10 hour run. You can fit up to 110Ah deep cycle battery in the second battery bay of the hilux. Even bigger if you put it on or underneath the tray..
 

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Dashcams use little power. A safe figure to use when calculating battery draw times is 1/2A- the actual current used is less. With an auxiliary battery you should easily be able to run a cam overnight without shortening the battery's life significantly, but starting type batteries are really not meant for this kind of usage, and a deep-cycle type would do this better. No need to change what you've got if you're running only one cam overnight; you'll need to do some math for the battery you've got to know how long it will run without degradation ;) My van starting battery is large and I can't tell any difference in it after running one cam 24/7 for well over 2 years now. Sometimes I forget to switch the extra cams off (I have 4 cams) and the next morning it is apparent they've been on- the average battery would be a no-start then and that level of power draw does harm battery life :( They make battery discharge preventers (BDP) to switch cams off at a preset lowest voltage to save the battery but I don't think you really need one for running one cam overnight- past that I don't know.

I'm still wired 'temporarily' but I'm using a cheap triple-ciggie outlet to power 2 cams with the other 2 on a switched line. That will change but I'm finding that the ciggie plug connection is loosening with the PS that gets used as a switch. A factory ciggie socket will do better, but you seem to know something of wiring so I'd recommend you do a switch for the in-bed cam and do the driving cams normally. "Hardwire kits" would make it an easier and cleaner install but you can do this several ways. Those kits are not all created equal and you want only the good ones. With the low current draw it's low-budget friendly if you do the install work yourself :) If you need any specifics on this just ask.

You might want to consider alarm system for best security. Not cheap but all a cam can do is hopefully identify a thief after-the-fact and even that is not certain to happen with any cams. The only real protection you've got is insurance which may or may not be affordable or available for unlocked cargo. For my van it's unaffordable so I depend on visible cameras, signage, and common sense when parking. Maybe you can do better which is why I mentioned insurance and alarms :cool:

Phil
 
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Theodulf

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I'd recommend you do a switch for the in-bed cam and do the driving cams normally.
I was thinking along the same lines. I could install a three position switch which allowed the tray-cam to film 24/7 on aux battery power in 1st position, have no power in 2nd position and turn on and off with the ignition in the 3rd position. While I was at it, I could rig the other cameras so that I could override parking mode and have them film constantly as well, if I wanted.

Unfortunately, though, I have come to the realisation that I need a camera that is very small for the tray-cam, because, being a single cab, the rear windscreen is very close to the rear-view mirror, meaning that any visual obstructions there become huge in the mirror. The roof lining also comes right down to the top of the transparent part of the glass, there's no strip of translucent glass between the two. This rules out a camera of the A119S's form factor, or any of the cameras that are listed under the Good Night Vision section of the forum's 2017 recommendations, or pretty much anything with a screen, unless it is mounted off centre and angled inwards, but there's only so far off-centre I could go before the upright supports of the ladder rack get in the way.

EDIT: The A119S is smaller than I imagined from pictures. I cut out a piece of paper the same dimensions as the camera and blu-tacked it to the rear windscreen and found that, while not a miracle, it is not nearly as bad as I imagined.
 
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