Best dash cam?

Bruno

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2020 Ford F-250 Tremor, Oxford White
Current Ride #2
1974 Plymouth Cuda
Does anyone have recommendations for a dash cam? I’m looking to install one permanently and most likely looking for forward facing only. Sorry if this is a repeat thread, I just want to do this once and wanted input from people who use them. I don’t want wires dangling all over the place. If it matters, I have a 2020 XLT with the premium package (power side mirrors and such but no power to the rear view mirror).
 
I'm in the same boat as you, 2020 XLT no power to the rear view mirror. Looking to get a dash cam SC drivers just are not good. My problem though is how to tie it into one of the upfitter switches. I'm not getting off road lights or anything so might as well use them for something productive.
 
I also have upfitter switches but prefer that it turns on with the key so I don’t forget to switch it on. Hopefully there are some good recommendations out there.
 
I also have upfitter switches but prefer that it turns on with the key so I don’t forget to switch it on. Hopefully there are some good recommendations out there.

I hooked mine up directly to the 12v outlet. You can also get kits that will run directly off battery to trigger when there's motion as well.

Do you consider gluing a removable dashcam as permanently mounted? Also, if you attach the dashcam on the top of the windshield, you can hide all the wires behind the headliner.
 
I have used several different cameras. i have settled on the Garmin Mini for all my vehicles. It is very small and easy to use. It has no screen as it uses an app on your phone. Get the parking power cord so you can make it a permanent installation.
2021-05-12 12.15.07.jpg
 
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I’ve done a ton of research and have decided on Viofo A139. The previous model, A129, is also good but the new one has some excellent features and isn’t wedge shaped like the 129. That wouldn’t matter in a Tremor but windshield real estate is a more limited commodity on my Volvo so the slightly smaller one is better.

A couple other points
They have a rep as reliable.
Their app seems less wonky than others.
The A139 comes with new cables that are HALF the diameter as any others so installation is easier as long as you avoid kinking them.
 
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I have a Vava dual cam so I have a foraward looking and rear looking camera. Overall, it's a nice unit and works well. Somewhere on here, a member had the same setup and captured a wreck they were in.

I also used this harness to power it from the rearview mirror so I didn't have to mess with running extra wires down and hardwiring.
 
I have a Vava dual cam so I have a foraward looking and rear looking camera. Overall, it's a nice unit and works well. Somewhere on here, a member had the same setup and captured a wreck they were in.

I also used this harness to power it from the rearview mirror so I didn't have to mess with running extra wires down and hardwiring.

Nice setup, thanks for including the links.
 
Some additional pointers.

Cheap Chinese cameras come with cheap apps. I chose a Garmin Wifi camera so that it was smaller and more easily hidden behind the mirror. Also so the app is supported. I did not want a screen. I also wanted to be able to download footage quickly at the scene if ever I had an accident. If the camera stores so much data that it is impossible to find the file you need VERY quickly, it is worthless. Also note that most of these cameras are terrible at knowing the current time and storing files in chronological order. The file you want could be burried as one among hundreds.

1. If you are in an accident, you don't want 20 hours of video stored on your memory card. Smaller cards are better. How you were driving 20 minutes before the incident is nobody's business.
2. The police will confiscate the card as evidence on the scene, if they know you have it, so download the data ASAP so you have a copy for your attorney.
3. Don't tell anyone you have a recording unless asked specifically. Don't lie, but don't volunteer either. If you have to, review the video with your attorney and have the attorney provide the evidence to the court.
4. Audio is very important. However, some states prohibit audio recording unless EVERYONE agrees to be recorded ahead of time. This is why you want to be in control of the memory card.
5. Heaven forbid, but if you are in an accident you want it to continue recording the recovery and your rescue. You, or your family, may need that data after the fact.
 
I'm in the same boat as you, 2020 XLT no power to the rear view mirror. Looking to get a dash cam SC drivers just are not good. My problem though is how to tie it into one of the upfitter switches. I'm not getting off road lights or anything so might as well use them for something productive.
I would advise against using the upfitter switch. I recommend a direct connection to the battery. The last thing you want is to need it to be recording and accidentally be turned off. Connect to the battery as that is your best bet to continue to have power in the case of an accident. The upfitter and BCM might be completely shorted and dead but the battery may still be working so you can record the last critical moments. Most of these cameras have a special power cable that you can use to wire it in so that it is powered while the vehicle is turned off. These cables use a battery connection, an ACC connection and ground. You can use the upfitter ACC connection for the camera so it knows when the vehicle is running.

Think of the camera as your own personal cockpit voice recorder. It is critical that it keeps on working.
 
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I have used several different cameras. i have settled on the Garmin Mini for all my vehicles. It is very small and easy to use. It has no screen as it uses an app on your phone. Get the parking power cord so you can make it a permanent installation.View attachment 24056That’s the camera I’m looking at. Where did you route the cable to pull power from? I don’t have an auto dimming mirror, but was wondering if there was power available from the lane assist camera at the top of the windshield.
 
I routed the cable down the passenger A pillar and down through the gland to the engine bay. I pull battery power from the terminal on the passenger side battery and ACC from the ACC line on the upfitter box.

You need both wires so the camera knows when the truck is running and so it can record the last files when you turn the truck off. It also uses the battery connection if you enable parking mode motion recording.
 
Right now in the Tundra I run a basic Amazon camera ($80) and it has been a rockstar for 3 years. It only comes on when the truck is on. For the Tremor I am planning to do an always on camera. With the dual battery, any reason not to? I cannot imagine these would ever cause any power issues. Loving that Garmin for the lack of a screen.

I was looking at a dual camera, but might just be easier install to have a second stand alone camera (maybe the one in the Tundra), back in the camper shell watching the back end.
 
I went a different direction, cheap. After looking at all sorts of dash cams a few years back I went with this cheap one off amazon, it was $49.99 without the rear camera, and I think $59.99 with the rear camera back then. I picked up one with the rear camera and installed it in our 2001 Expedition to test it out. Works pretty well, its a bit touchy to do the initial setup but once thats done you pretty much forget its up there. Picked up a forward only version for the new truck, installed the same as in the Expedition up behind the rear view mirror with the wiring all under the headliner and down the pillar so you dont see any wires. Its been running in the Expedition for about 3 years now without any problems, and in the truck since it was new for about a year and a half now. Both are wired in for power all the time. I can upload a sample if anyone wants to see it.
 

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I went a different direction, cheap. After looking at all sorts of dash cams a few years back I went with this cheap one off amazon, it was $49.99 without the rear camera, and I think $59.99 with the rear camera back then. I picked up one with the rear camera and installed it in our 2001 Expedition to test it out. Works pretty well, its a bit touchy to do the initial setup but once thats done you pretty much forget its up there. Picked up a forward only version for the new truck, installed the same as in the Expedition up behind the rear view mirror with the wiring all under the headliner and down the pillar so you dont see any wires. Its been running in the Expedition for about 3 years now without any problems, and in the truck since it was new for about a year and a half now. Both are wired in for power all the time. I can upload a sample if anyone wants to see it.
The Garmin is not as cheap, but not too bad at $120. That said, since I plan to do always on, I want something without a screen so you need a legit user interface/APP. I expect Garmin has that pretty nailed down.
 
Wanted to throw an option in here that I went with, though notably I haven't had a chance to install it yet:


It's definitely a premium option, but I liked the fact the rear camera can be external. This means I can mount it at the very rear of the truck (likely off the receiver) and it won't be blocked by cargo or a slide-in camper.
 
Question for someone one with the Garmin dash cam. Do you use your phone hotspot? The trucks Wi-Fi? Does the trucks Wi-Fi stay on when the truck is off so the parking alert works? If not does it easily attach to multiple Wi-Fi spots, work home extra.
 
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