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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

Was looking for rearview camera solutions / options when I stumbled on the VanTop rearview camera and after a quick search here it became clear I wasn't the first. Knowing I likely wouldn't be the last either I wanted to share my notes in the hopes it would help someone else, at least saving some time spend searching threads for the next person.

Saved / Reference Threads:
Full Time Rear view Camera : Contains photos of several installs & of the product itself.
Advice on best way to hardwire VanTop mirror cam : Contains several descriptions on wiring paths, approach and lesson's learned.

Install Tips / Notes:
  • After removing the rearview mirror to create a dedicated hard mount I ultimately elected to install as VanTop shows by attaching to the existing mirror. Looking from the outside and from the driver's seat it's really hard to tell it's not a direct mount; at least with the 12" unit. I purchased the parts to emulate keitho's setup but in the end I elected not to use them.​
  • Before doing anything remove the plastic trim around the mirror and uninstall the cargo lights. Use a non-marking tool to avoid damaging the parts, which simple snap together. Doing this first will give you the most room to work. Should look like this:​


  • I was able to fit all the associated cabling under the cover for the rearview mirror and within the cargo light area. You'll need to go slow, use a couple zip ties, but completely manageable. The cables which connect to the mirror will fit in the existing opening for the rearview mirror, just need to go slow when reattached the trim.


  • I wanted the unit to be powered when the engine was running as I'm using this only as a rearview mirror. As such, rather then connect to the CCP or Passenger fuse box, I utilized the power already within the overhead lights area. (For this reason, I did not purchase the hardwire kit.)

  • Personally, I did not like the idea of taping or mounting the included camera on the outside of the van. Instead I wanted the camera to look integrated within the 3rd brakelight assembly similar to uglyweld's setup. Basically I removed the 3rd brake light, (4) 7mm bolts, and using a Dremel tool and razor blade carefully cut a hole for the camera. Important: Cut the opening tight so to can adjust the angle and depth to the perspective you'd like before gluing. To secure I used a standard black RTV adhesive.

Note: This photo is after removing the brake light lens.


Finished product. Looking at the angle of the lens you can see the difference in viewing area when comparing.

Hope this helps someone else and good luck / enjoy your own setup. Very happy with the product and results.
 

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Hi Everyone,

Was looking for rearview camera solutions / options when I stumbled on the VanTop rearview camera and after a quick search here it became clear I wasn't the first. Knowing I likely wouldn't be the last either I wanted to share my notes in the hopes it would help someone else, at least saving some time spend searching threads for the next person.

Saved / Reference Threads:
Full Time Rear view Camera : Contains photos of several installs & of the product itself.
Advice on best way to hardwire VanTop mirror cam : Contains several descriptions on wiring paths, approach and lesson's learned.

Install Tips / Notes:
  • After removing the rearview mirror to create a dedicated hard mount I ultimately elected to install as VanTop shows by attaching to the existing mirror. Looking from the outside and from the driver's seat it's really hard to tell it's not a direct mount; at least with the 12" unit. I purchased the parts to emulate keitho's setup but in the end I elected not to use them.​
  • Before doing anything remove the plastic trim around the mirror and uninstall the cargo lights. Use a non-marking tool to avoid damaging the parts, which simple snap together. Doing this first will give you the most room to work. Should look like this:​


  • I was able to fit all the associated cabling under the cover for the rearview mirror and within the cargo light area. You'll need to go slow, use a couple zip ties, but completely manageable. The cables which connect to the mirror will fit in the existing opening for the rearview mirror, just need to go slow when reattached the trim.


  • I wanted the unit to be powered when the engine was running as I'm using this only as a rearview mirror. As such, rather then connect to the CCP or Passenger fuse box, I utilized the power already within the overhead lights area. (For this reason, I did not purchase the hardwire kit.)

  • Personally, I did not like the idea of taping or mounting the included camera on the outside of the van. Instead I wanted the camera to look integrated within the 3rd brakelight assembly similar to uglyweld's setup. Basically I removed the 3rd brake light, (4) 7mm bolts, and using a Dremel tool and razor blade carefully cut a hole for the camera. Important: Cut the opening tight so to can adjust the angle and depth to the perspective you'd like before gluing. To secure I used a standard black RTV adhesive.

Note: This photo is after removing the brake light lens.


Finished product. Looking at the angle of the lens you can see the difference in viewing area when comparing.

Hope this helps someone else and good luck / enjoy your own setup. Very happy with the product and results.
Very helpful - thanks! I was trying to figure out how to do this cleanly. Did you just silicone around the outside perimeter of the hole? Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
...Did you just silicone around the outside perimeter of the hole? Thanks
Both inside and out. On the inside, I filled the gap next to the factory camera to get a good bond / hold the position of the new camera. On the outside, just enough to fill and chamfer the cut with the camera body. Tip: I like to use Q-tips (Cotton Swab) to smooth the silicone. Have some rubbing alcohol handy to aid in quick cleanup.
 

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Both inside and out. On the inside, I filled the gap next to the factory camera to get a good bond / hold the position of the new camera. On the outside, just enough to fill and chamfer the cut with the camera body. Tip: I like to use Q-tips (Cotton Swab) to smooth the silicone. Have some rubbing alcohol handy to aid in quick cleanup.
Great - thanks for the explanation! I'm curious how you determined the correct angle of the camera without being in traffic, which would then jar the still unglued camera. All I can think of is to go to a parking lot or some other place to judge distance, and then glue it in the field. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
...I'm curious how you determined the correct angle of the camera without being in traffic, which would then jar the still unglued camera.
Great question. The camera's dimensions are slightly tapered so I cut & trimmed carefully the hole size so that it fit tight without any adhesive and allowed me to position in different orientations (mainly the angle, to set the depth of the field of view) testing what I liked in situ. No issue driving around for testing as the cameras mass is negligent and the fit held it tight. (Even if it got bumped out the cable is going to keep it attached to your van.)
 

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Great question. The camera's dimensions are slightly tapered so I cut & trimmed carefully the hole size so that it fit tight without any adhesive and allowed me to position in different orientations (mainly the angle, to set the depth of the field of view) testing what I liked in situ. No issue driving around for testing as the cameras mass is negligent and the fit held it tight. (Even if it got bumped out the cable is going to keep it attached to your van.)
That makes sense - thanks!!
 

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Great approach for owners with the newer cameras that are mounted in the upper clearance light. For those of us with older vans where the camera is in the rear door, one needs to take a different but similar approach.
 

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I have a 2016 with the small center brake light and did not want the camera up there with kayak loading, branches, and using a push broom to clear winter snow. I also wanted the camera as inconspicuous as possible and came up with the following because the bottom segment of the tail lights have no bulb.

View from behind:


Where to cut:


The location is up off the floor of the compartment and back all the way to the red plastic. To mount it I used some rolled up butyl tape to get the placement right and then locked it in place with silicone sealer around the base. There are only two rolls of butyl tape as the lower set are a reflection:

Taped the cut-out plastic piece back in place with metal HVAC ducting tape.

Wire comes out through this hole, which is then sealed with butyl tape.

More butyl:

The camera works great through the red lens other than taking most of the color out of the display.


Obviously this is a bit fuzzy because the film is still on the mirror.
 

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2021 R2X high roof long carbonized gray - TURBOCHARGED!
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Here are some pics from my install this past weekend, since I got some ideas from this thread. Thanks @stilljeste!

Trapped into the overhead light with Positaps to keep it clean and easily reversible.
151039


From there I hooked in a tiny 12v to USB converter.

151040


Fed that through the ceiling liner to behind the mirror housing and got some short little USB cables (make sure they connector faces the right way).

151041


Just the right length cable to feed through the van to the back. Extended length van would need the extension kit.

Probably not the best idea but I had the cable to come out the brake light housing and mounted the VanTop camera immediately above the factory camera. Guess I didn't get a photo of that.
 
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