The camera is wired into the rear view mirror so that when the truck is put in reverse, a small screen shows up in the rear view mirror with the view from the camera. Very slick.
|The camera view in the mirror|
I investigated buying another camera to mount on the camper. The original equipment cameras cost over $700 from Toyota and over a hundred from Amazon and other online marketers. Too expensive. The wiring harness is another $50 and of course the camera uses a proprietary plug which powers the camera with 6 volts and connects it to the rear view mirror.
|Can you believe this little piece of plastic costs $700 from Toyota?|
I looked into buying an after market camera which can be found for as little as $12 on Ebay. The problem with these is that they can't be wired into the existing camera circuit because they are powered with 12 volts. They would have to be wired into a different circuit such as the backup lights. All of this could be worked around but I wanted a simple plug and play solution.
Today I decided to try to work with the existing camera from the tailgate as an interim solution until I find a better long term fix. I removed the camera and wiring harness from the tailgate which was not difficult. In looking at the truck for possible mounting locations, I noticed the hole where the wiring harness passes through the bumper assembly to the location of the connecting plug under the truck. It is a square hole about 1.25 inches across located to the right and slightly above the hole for the spare tire lowering crank and accepts a plastic clip that holds the camera wiring harness as it passes through the hole. It looked to be about the right size. I confirmed with a test fitting that the camera fit almost perfectly in the hole.
|Securely fastened in place|
|The camera is beneath the door jamb of the camper|
The view from the camera is slightly obstructed at the top by the camper floor and at the bottom by the bumper but the main field of view is unobstructed and looks great. The results are not perfect but are better than nothing and will do fine until a better solution emerges.
Edit: August 3, 2015
I finally got around to a permanent fix for the backup camera. After growing weary of watching the internet for deals on the OEM camera, I finally bought one on eBay. I also bought a factory tailgate harness to make the project easier. I decided to mount the camera inside the wall of the camper for protection from the elements and other hazards. I selected a location near the bumper above the opening for the tailgate wiring to pass through and connect to the truck wiring.
After a lot of head scratching and pondering alternative parts in the hardware store, I came up with a plan. Of course that plan didn't work and I needed a plan B, and a plan C. After hours of time-consuming, frustrating, fussy work, I managed to get the camera mounted and secured. The wiring goes through the camper floor and connects to the truck in the same manner as the tailgate. It is easy to disconnect when the camper comes off the truck. It is accessible from the inside for service if necessary. The camera gives a nice unobstructed view of the area behind the camper. I'm happy with the result.
|The camera is visible at the bottom right of the door.|
|I used a standard cover plate with a hole drilled in it. The wire to the truck is visible under the camper.|
|The back of the camera extends through the wall requiring a box to conceal the wiring connection and allow service. The wire exits the bottom of the box through the camper floor to the truck connection below.|