If you drive an SUV, chances are you have experienced some level of difficulty with blind spots while reversing. Small cars or objects are virtually impossible to see directly behind the tailgate. The good news is you can install a reverse/backup camera to help overcome that obstacle.
“How would I get one?”, you ask. You can either go and get one professionally installed, or if you have the capabilities you can follow the route that I took and do it yourself.
There are a ton of cheapo cameras on the market for the average do-it-yourselfer and most of them actually look cheap and tacky. I took a chance on a $10 camera that I found on Amazon (with pretty good reviews) and ended up really liking it. The bad news is I found out recently that this model is discontinued and has been replaced by a newer version.
The next step was to create a mount that can be removed if needed, without damaging or altering the vehicle body. That means no cutting or drilling into the bumper, side walls, etc.
I built an 1/8″ thick aluminum bracket to be mounted behind the spare tire, peeking out between the spokes. It works great in the way that the wheel acts as a protective cage. This type of bracket is not entirely my idea so I am not taking credit – there are at least a couple similar on the market. You can download and print the template below:
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If you have a band saw, I would highly recommend using it to cut the shape out of the aluminum sheet. I did not have one, unfortunately, but had to make do with my jigsaw & metal cutting blade. It went pretty well, but left jagged edges. But it was quite easy to shave and smoothen them with my hand files.
Once the camera was mounted and wired up, I had to decide how to display the video feed. I have the base head unit without a LCD display so in order to view the video feed I needed to install one. I considered a few options but ultimately went with a rear view mirror with a built-in display for its stealthy factory appearance (hopefully to thwart thieves). I really liked how simple it was to install and hook up. And it works surprisingly well in low light, but that can vary from camera to camera.
I can now reverse into a parking spot without fear of coming into contact with anything!
Parts & materials & tools
RMP .125 5052 H32 Aluminum Sheet 12″ x 12″