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Back up camera unusable in rain

Discussion in 'Model X' started by DarrinR, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. DarrinR

    DarrinR Member

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    My wife and I picked up our Model X on Wednesday. We bought the 7 seat version which makes the view out the back window - using the rear view mirror - very limited. Consequently my wife decided to use the backup camera as a high tech alternative. It really works very well when it's not raining. Well we live in the Seattle area and as everyone knows it rains here a lot...like 300 days a year. The water droplets completely obscure the camera lens and the result is an unusable image. I guess they designed the car in sunny CA and din;t check it in the rain..or something. Anyway I digress. I was thinking of using Rain-X for Plastic, which apparently is not as good as the standard Rain-X which is designed for use on glass only. Any suggestions on how to deal with this issue.
     
  2. pvogel

    pvogel Member

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    I've had the exact same problem with every backup camera equipped car I've ever driven, including my current Prius v. Let me know if RainX works!
     
  3. CTemp222

    CTemp222 Member

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    How about miniature windshield wipers :tongue:
     
  4. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Well darn, I had hoped they'd figured out a way to get around that issue. That said, I wasn't going to use it while driving anyway, it gives me a little vertigo.
     
  5. JimVandegriff

    JimVandegriff Member

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    I wipe off the backup camera on my Leaf when it is raining before getting into the vehicle to drive anywhere. I too live in a rainy locale.
     
  6. cgiGuy

    cgiGuy Member

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  7. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    #7 SteveW25561, Feb 19, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
    Love the DIY idea above!!! Hilariously illustrated. :)

    Wiping the camera off only works for a few minutes as you drive and the rear updraft quickly makes the camera unusable. I share the pain as I live in Vancouver.

    There are some rear cameras that can spray washer fluid and I've always thought this could help since road spray is a combination of dirt and fine mist. I wonder if a letter spray of water on it would clear the lens.
     
  8. biotweak

    biotweak Member

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    Here's what I've done for the MS so lets see if this works for you:

    Buy these hard plastic sheets.
    Amazon.com: Grafix Clear Craft Plastic .020 Thickness 12-Inch by 12-Inch, Pack of 4: Art Paper Products: Artwork

    Cut them to fit the area around your backup cam. Make sure it extends about an inch out beyond the camera.

    Buy these magnets to hold the plastic sheet to the car by attaching to the screws that connect the camera to the car.
    Amazon.com: 10 SUPER STRONG Round Ceramic disc magnets. Science Project, Crafts, 0.75: Home Improvement

    There you have it, less issues with rain and snow.
     
  9. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    Rain-X or others help. But don't solve the problem.

    biotweak: I am curious as to how your method solves the problem. Can you fill us in? Wouldn't the plastic just get as nasty as the camera?
     
  10. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    I would love to see pictures of your setup! I've actually been thinking of something like this: I envisioned something that protrudes from the bottom edge (and wraps around like a U under the camera): it would be tilted down in line with the angle of the camera housing. I thought it might help with the updraft from the rear wheels, which I think is the majority of the issue after you get underway. Not sure if surrounding the camera entirely like an extruded square would offer even better benefit, and whether or not this cuts the field of view much.

    Can you post pics of your solution?
     
  11. Iwan

    Iwan Member

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    I just don't know why they don't make a retractable camera like certain other high end car manufacturers. This would certainly shield the camera from the elements. Just had the same issue (again) when driving home in the rain while dark with my S.
     
  12. elguapo

    elguapo Member

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    Sorry, but I don't get that. Let's say it was retractable and it was raining. I want to back up, so I use the camera and it comes out. As soon as it does, it gets rained on - not helpful. OR, retractable, raining and I kept it protected when I back up - so I have no camera. I think any rear view camera I've see in cars is far less useful in rain.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I keep mine on all the time, it's better than the rear view mirror, retractable would be a significant degradation. Also it seems to have improved with age. When I got the car it was not great in rain, now three years later it's not all that bad. A clear cover with a wiper would be a great addition though.
     
  14. JST

    JST Active Member

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    The rental Explorer I had actually had a miniature washer nozzle aimed at the rear view camera lens.
     
  15. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Would a more extensive hood be better? It seems like they should be able to design a hood with the lens far enough inside to keep the raindrops off of the lens for anything but horizontally driven rain.
     
  16. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Won't work. The Model S uses the Kammback effect to reduce wind resistance. This pulls the rain in. the camera would have to be inset to about the driver's seat to not be affected.
     
  17. PGeer

    PGeer Member

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    We picked up our X in Seattle on Friday and drove around (via Tacoma) back to the Port Townsend area. We came through some of the heaviest rain I've experienced in years. I found that when on the freeway, the lens kept clear enough that it was still usable as a rear view "mirror". It was only when we were in slow traffic stopping for lunch that it really fouled. BTW, the X handled big deep puddles at 65mph amazingly well. Best and most fun car I've ever driven...but that's for another post.
     
  18. SteveW25561

    SteveW25561 Member

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    That is exactly what we need!
     
  19. Iwan

    Iwan Member

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    Looks good. Drooling backup camera should be standard our Tesla [emoji6]
     

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