Install rear view mirror with backup camera on a 2003 Toyota Avalon?


#1

I have a 2003 Toyota Avalon that has been a great car - it has 170,000 miles on it, mostly highway miles. I have done all oil changes and manufacturer recommended maintenance as scheduled, with the dealer, with no issues. I am considering a new car, mainly for new features, but instead am wondering whether I could do some updates. Has anyone had experience having a rear view mirror with a backup camera installed on an older car like mine? pros/cons/issues? Can it be done satisfactorily? If so, recommendations on which ones I should consider? I couldn’t install it myself.


#2

Why do you need a backup camera? A motorhome may need one but a vehicle as small as an Avalon would be overkill in my opinion.


#3

I’m curious. What benefit are such cameras to the average driver?


#4

I have a backup camera on my 2011 Sienna. It came with the car, but I don’t find it very useful.


#5

My Mazda has one and I love it, very useful when you can’t see out the back window too well. If someone tows often, it can be perfect.
No real experience with aftermarket setups, mine was factory. You’d need to run cable from the back of the car to the front for the mirror. If you aren’t doing the work yourself, it would probably be easier, and maybe cheaper, to buy a car with a factory setup


#6

I know they are wireless ones too, the image quality might not be great. They get powered by the license plate lamp or the reverse lamp. It could be done, but I am thinking if after 170K miles you have not backed up into many objects, then maybe you don’t need one.


#7

If you have trouble turning around to look at whatever is behind you, it could be a good addition. Danica Patrick advertises one from Peak. The camera attaches to your license plate and I’m sure that a friend could help set it up for you. Danica Patrick… Danica Patrick… What were we talking about again?


#8

I bought one this year from some outfit in California, with a 7 inch monitor and installed it myself on my Dodge Van. I put the camera on top of van and the momitor on the console. It was wiresless so all I had to wire up was a hot and ground wire to the monitor, sisce you have to push a button to turn it on, and wired the camera to the back-up light and a ground. It works good and is a lot of fun, and on a van, it helps a lost in a parking lot.


#9

I’m not sure why people are questioning the OP’s need for a camera. There are all sorts of situations where they come in handy. I have to back in right up to a half-wall at work, and it’s pretty nice to see where the wall is in relation to the bumper without having to guess.

Anyway, it’s a pretty simple job as far as hookups go - one wire back to the cam, and one wire to power somewhere. The tricky bit is getting the wire from the mirror to the camera without tearing up the interior. They’ll also need to drill a hole through the trunk somewhere. All in all, it’s not that big of a deal as long as you find someone who’s competent at installs like this. Ask around for alarm installer recommendations - they’re used to doing things like this without hurting anything, and the good ones can make it look like a factory install.


#10

I think if it had 100k miles you would get life out of the install/device cost. However at 170k miles it may be a short term and not worth it. Then again its likely much cheaper than trading and buying a brand new vehicle.


#11

“The tricky bit is getting the wire from the mirror to the camera without tearing up the interior.” Didn’t I just say that the one I have is wireless. That’s wireless from the camera to the monitor.


#12

Didn’t I just say that the one I have is wireless.

Hey, wow, that’s great. Were you planning to give it to the OP?

BTW, didn’t you also just say that you had to hook up a hot and a ground. . .Wire. . .To your “wireless” system? That wire’s gonna have to be routed somewhere if it’s installed right, by which I mean not swinging down from the mirror, which is where the OP wants his.


#13

The wireless system still needs power, the camera gets power from the rear lights, the base from the dash. There is no wiring from the camera to the base and that is the difficult part-to track a wire through the trunk and under the seats is a bit more difficult than to hook one wire to the rear light. Crutchfield has all instructions included with the sets they sell.


#14

Yes, I had to hook up a wire from somewhere in the dash to the monitor which is about a foot away. I had to run a wire from the camera to a taillight which was about 4 feet. There is NO wires running thru the vehicle fron rear to front. (wireless).


#15

Well, companies are a little loose with the word “wireless”. Even a wiresess modem for your computer has wires attached to something. A wireless camera system has no wires from the camera to the monitor.


#16

Yes, I know how wireless camera systems work, and that they still require a power wire. That’s the whole point. You are still going to have a wire to run, and that means you’re going to have to tuck it under trim pieces, and the headliner if you install it where OP wants to install it. And so my point about the installer needing to be good at his job so he doesn’t mess up the interior stands, independent of whether or not you have a “wireless” system.

BTW. . .

Wireless modem. No wires.


#17

You are right, it would be hard to hide the wires to a rear view mirror. And I guess you are right about the wireless modem, but mine has a power cable and an internet cable, maybe the internet cable is not needed, I don’t know. That’s a desktop PC.


#18

Maybe the OP could use a separate monitor, if he has a place to put it.


#19

Your internet cable is needed. Don’t unplug it on my account :wink: A wireless desktop modem means that it has a wireless radio to communicate with laptops/PDA’s. It doesn’t mean it can’t also use wires.