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I had one of those license plate cameras, but a really deep water crossing ended the unit, so I decided to go for a somewhat cleaner look. Because I have a tire carrier, I can't put a camera in the lower portion of the back hatch, so I started looking at the area where the window washer. Turns out this is the perfect spot.

Camera:

Step 1: remove the plastic trim from behind the upper brake light: you'll notice a large opening where you can see the tubes for the window washer.
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Use the rubber backings to determine where you want the camera to go and drill a 1/4" hole in the outer shell for the cameras bolt. Don't drill two...I'm just an idiot.
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Put the mounting tape on the back of the camera and thread camera's wire through the 1/4" hole and out the larger wiper access hole.

Place a dab of silicone on the threads of the camera and a little extra at the base of the bolt to make a nice waterproof seal in the hole.

Stick the camera in place and hold for 30" while the mounting tape bonds.
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Thread the lock nut on the camera wire and use your fingers (or your children's) to get the nut seated on the bolt.



Use a range of tools from needle nose pliers to box wrenches to get the nut tightened.

Take the end of the camera wire and tape it to an unbent hanger.

Remove the gaskets that go from the body to the hatch on the driver's side. Don't pull hard, mine was attached to the body, just pull the gaskets free.
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Use the hanger to thread the wire through the hollow upper part of the door to the hole for the gasket.

Pull the wire all the way through and then use something to feed the wire through the gasket and sheath. I found that pulling down through the sheath with the wire taped to the end of a screwdriver worked.

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Plug your camera into the long receiver and power wire and cut the small purple wire so the image is flipped the right way.

Run your receiver and power wire across the headliner to the passenger side and down the rear pillar, I pull power from the reverse tail light. I don't have pictures because i didn't want to undo the whole back panel. This whole process is far easier if you remove the rear inside panel.

Then run the wires along the wheel well and through the white plastic channel under the door jams up to the front. To see how to route all this wiring see my thread about adding switches back in the rear:


Finally, plug it in! And enjoy the view of your tire carrier!
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Nice. I mounted mine up high too, but on the inside of the glass. Keeps it clean, though still have a blind spot about a foot out at the lower bumper level. But I don't have a tire carrier, so this is a better option with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Nice. I mounted mine up high too, but on the inside of the glass. Keeps it clean, though still have a blind spot about a foot out at the lower bumper level. But I don't have a tire carrier, so this is a better option with that.
I considered inside, I saw a few people that mounted theirs to the brake lights. But with the 80% or so tint, I decided that this was a better option.
 

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Looking good... how did you deal with the new hole edges? The bare metal... spray paint or paint on from spray can content can work
 

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Nice write up!

Mine is installed inside. With over one year experience with it, I say that it works quite well. The window tint is not a problem at all during the daylight, however, during the night the camera does not record much of the image.
 

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Jarek - is it pretty standard for head units like yours to have an input for a rear camera? My newest car is an 07 so I'm a bit behind on 2020 car tech.
 

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It's pretty standard for the head units with screens to have rear camera inputs. If you go to crutchfield.com and enter your vehicle data they will show a huge number of compatible head units. When I put in my vehicle specifics, they showed 145 compatible head units. Checking the filter box for Input - Camera (Backup) narrowed the list down to 78 units.
 

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2008 Xterra S 4x4 AT
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Nice write up!

Mine is installed inside. With over one year experience with it, I say that it works quite well. The window tint is not a problem at all during the daylight, however, during the night the camera does not record much of the image.
I opted to put it on the inside as well. If the night time viewing becomes an issue, I’ll go with the mount next to the washer jet as well as most of the wiring is the same.
 

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Very clean job indeed... almost looks stock. I can't seem for the life of me understood why you didn't stop at the first hole you drilled lol.. good thing you were able to cover up the second hole with the cam. :p
 

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Jarek - is it pretty standard for head units like yours to have an input for a rear camera? My newest car is an 07 so I'm a bit behind on 2020 car tech.
I would say most of them should have an input. It is easy to check in the specs section for the stereo. My ATOTO 6 Pro has inputs for the rear, the front, and the USB-based dash cam.
Jarek
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very clean job indeed... almost looks stock. I can't seem for the life of me understood why you didn't stop at the first hole you drilled lol.. good thing you were able to cover up the second hole with the cam. :p
Because it would have been off-center and I can't allow that :p
 

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Do you have to swtich to camera view manually or is your head unit intelligent enough to it when camera is powered up?
 

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There is a trigger wire on the head unit and the camera is only powered in reverse by tapping into the rear taillight.
I think I got this figured out for the most part.. my only issue is where do you tap for power? Lots of wiring on the outside near the tail light, but then I have to break through the tail light grommet. Inside wiring is wound up pretty tight and I haven't figured out how to take the lower panel out yet. Anyone's got any pics?
 

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I think I got this figured out for the most part.. my only issue is where do you tap for power? Lots of wiring on the outside near the tail light, but then I have to break through the tail light grommet. Inside wiring is wound up pretty tight and I haven't figured out how to take the lower panel out yet. Anyone's got any pics?
The inside wiring bundle is a bit tight, but I worked a PosiTap connector in there to get the 12v positive reverse wire. Sorry, not pics, but I was able to pull the panel out enough to get to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think I got this figured out for the most part.. my only issue is where do you tap for power? Lots of wiring on the outside near the tail light, but then I have to break through the tail light grommet. Inside wiring is wound up pretty tight and I haven't figured out how to take the lower panel out yet. Anyone's got any pics?
If you take out the rear storage compartment and the utilitrack, take the bolt out of where the cargo cover hangs on the side panel, and takeout the plastic d-ring clip on the rear hatch pillar, you can pop out the side panel, be sure to disconnect the 12V outlet. Then I believe it's the green wire that is the positive wire to the reverse tail light. I used vampire tap to tap that line and grounded on the same bolt the 12V outlet is grounded to.
 

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Turns out it’s pretty easy to tap into the rear lights without taking off the side panels. The wiring to the tail lights comes through the a grommet that can be fairly easily popped out. Then you can tap into the balcup lights circuit. I ended up bringing constant power from the front since I had to bring the video component to the head unit anyway.




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