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Aftermarket Product Request - Rear camera heater

RDoc

S85D
Aug 24, 2012
2,736
1,585
Boston North Shore
Under slushy conditions and, to a lesser extent, wet roads, the rear camera almost instantly gets obscured by water droplets, making it pretty useless. I've often noticed, and exploited, the fact that turning on the rear window heater in a car without rear window wipers will greatly reduce the amount of water on the window. I think what's going on is that the viscosity of the water is reduced when it's heated, so it blows off more easily. I do use RainX on the windows, so that may be part of it.

In any event, I'm pretty sure that heating the rear camera, perhaps with RainX as well, would help a lot in keeping it clear. What I'm thinking of is a heater ring that would attach to the camera lens and be fed from the rear window heater circuit.
 

Lex

Member
Apr 23, 2015
805
318
Toronto, Canada
I think I tried to Rain-X coat the lens but didn't seem to do much... maybe I'll use use the end of the Aquapel applicator pad next time as that stuff is more potent.

And perhaps I'll get into a habit of wiping it down with a cloth before ingress but as OP RDoc said, it seems to be in a place that it gets gucked-up pretty quickly while in motion.

Would a heater be enough ? Maybe a little hood for it ??
 

StaceyS

Member
Jul 10, 2015
210
49
Bend, OR United States
I don't think a heater's going to do much. Between road grit, de-icer, dirty roads or powdery snow, the rear camera gets obscured. At the moment, my rear view camera is coated in a layer of volcanic cinders, and I've frequently found inches of snow build-up on the rear. You'd have to have a pretty hefty heater to keep up with that.

Honestly, the camera's nice, but its not critical to me. I learned to reverse with mirrors, I can revert to that when the weather's bad.

Until they come up with a race car type solution (where the camera is behind a rotating cylinder of glass), I clean the lens myself.
 

SteveW25561

Member
Jun 10, 2013
614
120
Vancouver, Canada
I strongly think the rear camera needs a washer nozzle -- in rainy Vancouver, it takes no time at all for it to become a useless blur of light, and worse with snowy/muddy roads.

I've long wondered if someone could develop a separate 3rd party rear mounted washer nozzle that could just activate with the windshield washer activation (eg just tap into the circuitry of the windshield washer nozzle, not the steering wheel stalk).

I also wonder if some sort of deflector hood that juts out from the lower aspect of the camera would prevent the back spray haze from our own tires when driving in wet conditions.
 

SabrToothSqrl

Active Member
Dec 5, 2014
3,738
3,038
PA
I'm amazed no one has a backup camera wiper or spray nozzle. I think the spray nozzle would be the best idea, but would have to test.

Now that we all rely on these cameras, snow and rain just wreck the image...
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,222
13,872
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I'd like to see a washer nozzle and a jet of compressed air to blow off droplets.
That is what is needed. I leave the rear view image up on the center display all the time, and love it. Since I live in a mild climate where half the year there is no rain, the vast majority of my driving time is with the rear view image very clear. But when it rains it's useless. Of course for those who live where there is real weather, the problem is significant. This issue is something that Tesla needs to address.
 

Whitmarsh

Member
That is what is needed. I leave the rear view image up on the center display all the time, and love it. Since I live in a mild climate where half the year there is no rain, the vast majority of my driving time is with the rear view image very clear. But when it rains it's useless. Of course for those who live where there is real weather, the problem is significant. This issue is something that Tesla needs to address.
I agree. We live in the country and the roads are covered in mud at this time of year; the rear camera becomes useless in a matter of minutes. Since the roads are narrow, we keep the mirrors folded most of the time and would like to rely on the camera instead but ...

We have also noticed that the license-plate lights put a lot of glare on the camera and render it much less useful at night.
 

StaceyS

Member
Jul 10, 2015
210
49
Bend, OR United States
Camera heater, wiper or sprayer won't help me here!
IMG_2854.jpg
 

Canuck

Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2013
6,125
5,470
South Surrey, BC
I don't think I've ever seen such clean snow on the rear end of a vehicle. We put so much sand/dirt/gravel on our roads that the back ends are brown.
 

freds

Member
Apr 10, 2014
257
22
Bothell, WA
And perhaps I'll get into a habit of wiping it down with a cloth before ingress but as OP RDoc said, it seems to be in a place that it gets gucked-up pretty quickly while in motion.

It tends to rain a lot where I live so I agree with what everyone posts here. I do try to remember every time I pick up stuff in the car to wipe the camera lens on my way out.
 

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