Just like any other vehicle, you can install a dash cam in your convertible car. While mounting one, especially a front and rear dash cam, may seem complex in a cabriolet, we can assure you that there are ways to make it work – even if your car has no roof. In this article, we will show you an easy, step-by-step guide to installing a dash cam in your convertible car.
How to Install a Dash Cam in a Convertible Car
What to Know Before Installing a Dash Cam in Your Convertible Car
If you wish to have a front-only channel dash cam in your convertible, the process is similar to any other car. The easiest option is to have a plug-and-play CLA installation, but for maximum safety and 24/7 recording, we recommend you get a dual-channel dash cam, installed via hardwiring.
Some of you may wonder, “But where can I mount the rear camera if I’m driving a car with no fixed rear windshield?” In some cases, owners choose to install the camera to the rear licence plate, or fix the camera to the frame of the vehicle. Both options will likely involve a complicated wiring path and drilling holes – it is very difficult.
For us, the best way to install a dash cam into your convertible car is to mount a camera facing the front, then also mount the rear camera on the windshield facing backwards at the cabin and rear. Since your car can have a roof (and sometimes not), attaching the dash cams to the front windshield is the safest, and easiest option. This will affect the viewing angle, and license plates of close-up vehicles may be obscured, but the rear video feed is still useful to prove who is at fault.
Beyond that, the camera facing the rear can also serve as a cabin camera, which can add an additional layer of safety to passengers. Just be careful with the angle positioning because you don’t want your headrests blocking your view. More importantly, choose a dash cam that’s discreetly built, can be attached via adhesives and is not dangling by a suction cup.
How to Install a Dash Cam into A Convertible Car
Step 1: Mount the Front Camera
All front dash cam setups begin with the same step: mounting the dash cam on the windshield, and determining how far the wipers extend. If you position the camera above the wiper's reach, your camera will not have a clear view. For installations, we recommend placing the front camera behind the rearview mirror to avoid distractions. Most importantly, keep your windshield clean!
Step 2: Locate the Fuse box and Wire the Camera
The next step is to find the fuse box. If you wish to use the parking mode capabilities of your dash cam, you must select between a hardwire installation and a dedicated dash cam battery pack.
Hardwiring is typically preferred for 24/7 protection because it connects the camera to the vehicle's fuse box. The fuse box location varies depending on the car model – some are at the footwell of the driver's side, in the glove compartment, or under the steering wheel. Check your vehicle manual to confirm as well.
You can use the pry tool or a flathead screwdriver to remove the plastic trim pieces along the A-pillar. If your convertible is European, chances are it has really tight and rigid trims, so this could be one of the toughest challenges to encounter when hardwiring.
But with the right tools (and patience), we’re sure you can do it. Just be careful not to damage any of the wires or components while removing the trim pieces, and wire behind/around the airbag as needed. Check out our recommended installation tools here.
After that, connect the cable from the front dash cam and power source. If you purchased a two-channel dash camera, it will come with a rear camera cable.
Step 3.1: Mount the Rear Facing Camera on the Front Windshield
Some people will mount a rear-facing camera on the front windshield facing towards the interior to record the cabin.
To do so:
Mount the rear camera. If there is no room on the front windshield, you can mount the rear camera on or around the rearview mirror mount.
Connect the rear camera to the front camera using the rear camera connecting cable. Remember that most rear camera connecting cables are 3-4.5m long, so you will have a lot of excess cable to tuck away in the headliner.
Step 3.2: Mounting the Rear Camera to the body of the vehicle.
If you are looking for a true rear camera for your convertible, mounting to the rear body of the vehicle is possible. In this case, you will mount the rear camera on an interior part that doesn’t go down with the roof, preferably as close to the rear as possible. The viewing angle will still be an issue in such a setup, as if the surface is flat with the vehicle, it will not be able to see downwards. Beyond that, if mounted to the interior, the view will likely be blocked by the convertible’s roof when it is up, and if mounted to the exterior, would need to be a Weather-Proof Rear camera. Providing generalized advice for such an installation is difficult, given how different convertibles have different systems for the convertible roof.
To do so:
Find the perfect spot for the rear camera: A flat surface, a part that doesn’t come off with the roof, as close to the rear as possible. Somewhere located in the interior of the vehicle when the roof is up, to not be damaged by the weather.
Connect the rear camera to the front camera using the rear camera connecting cable. You may have to remove the hardtop to run the cable properly.
Step 4: Test the Dash Cameras
Of course, after the mounting and wiring, we want to test the dash cams to make sure they’re working properly. Turn on the car engine and check if the dash cam turns on automatically. If it doesn't turn on, check the power connections and make sure the dash cam is properly mounted.
Step 5: Clean it up
Finally, now that the cameras are installed, it’s time to clean up the wires. You can use electrical tapes or cable clips to keep the cables bundled up in the interior of your headliner, tuck them away, and put the covers back. Ensure there are no kinks or rough corners in the cable as it’s run along its way, these could prove problematic in the long run.
In general, we like to secure the camera with 3M tape, which is normally included with the dash cam. It is effective against significant vibrations, bumps, and wind, all of which are common in a convertible that drives rougher.
Thus, it’s important that you have plenty of time and patience, especially if you're installing one for the first time. Get ready to tuck in cables and wires and loosen stuff if you want to maintain your car’s neat and cool looks.
If you have other questions, feel free to contact our product experts and we’ll be happy to help! For more dash cam installation guides, visit our Dash Cam Installation Guide here.