Dash cams are great for while you are driving, right?
You can capture some awesome footage of the long drive, you can record a jerk driver, any road incident, and you’re protected in case you get into an accident and the other guy tries to shift the blame.
But all of this is done when you are driving.
Dash cam recording when car is off?
When your car is off, you aren’t in your car, and probably not even near it. What happens to your car when you are at work for 8 hours? Or when you are asleep at night? Or when you leave it in a mall parking lot when you are shopping on a busy holiday?
There’s a dash cam for that, too.
Most newer premium dash cams can be set up to record when your car is off, too, turning it into a surveillance system.
A customer once contacted me because she had a problem with people vandalizing her car at night. This is a real problem, and with a dash cam, you can get the faces of the perpetrators that you can take to the police.
How to install a dash cam that records when car is off?
Normally, a dash cam is powered through the cigarette adapter – but this adapter doesn’t work when the car is off.
So to solve that problem, there is a handy little kit available from BlackVue that lets you wire your dash cam directly into your car’s fuse box, letting it run directly off the battery, so the car doesn’t have to be on.
These power adapters also have a breaker built into them so your dash cam doesn’t discharge your battery to the point that your car won’t start!
When you’ve got your compatible dash camera wired into your battery directly, you can set up “Parking Mode”.
In Parking Mode, whenever your camera detects motion, it will start recording. So if someone comes up to your car, it’ll detect the motion and start capturing footage.
This mode is very handy for when your car is parked and someone crashes into a parked car.
A dash cam can even manage to capture the offending car’s license plate, so you are covered.
To operate a dash camera as a surveillance dash cam, you need the following devices:
A dash cam with a motion sensor to trigger auto recording. If you need to check live streaming from the camera, you need a wireless/3 G dashcam. These dashcams can stream live recordings when the car is off.
A micro SD Card with a maximum capacity, maybe 128 or 256 Gb.
And most important, you need a battery power bank or a continuous power kit.
Best dash cameras for recording when car is parked
Blackvue DR900S-1CH Wireless Dashcam
Blackvue DR900-S is a 4K Wireless dashcam which you can rely on even when your car is parked, or you are on a business trip.
The camera records videos at high-quality day and night without problems. The 4K 30fps recording quality allows you to see the smallest details of an unwanted event like a license plate number which hit and run.
This dashcam is an expensive one, but if you need a superior level of protection for your car when you’re in traffic when your car is parked or when you are not around, this model is a must.
THINKWARE F770 2-Channel Dash Cam | Front and Rear
One of the best dashcam that records videos in Full HD quality at 30fps even at night.
This dashboard surveillance camera incorporates advanced safety technologies like the collision warning, lane departure, and camera alert warning system.
It also offers built-in wireless so you can control and check videos directly on your smartphone.
The parking mode feature uses the device’s inbuilt G sensors and Motion sensors to detect motion or vibration that further triggers the dash cam to record quick footages.
Thinkware F770 records a fast 30-second video when it detects motion and also secures it from being overwritten.
The dash cam pulls power from the cigarette lighter. If you require permanent recording when the car is parked, hardwiring it to the vehicle’s inbuilt battery could be a great option.
This dash camera also comes with a hardwiring kit if you need complete video recording at all the times.
The BlackVue DR650-GW is a solid dash cam made by one of the most reputed dash cam manufacturers in the world. It is easy to use and captures really high-quality video.
When coupled with BlackVue’s Power Magic Pro(the kit discussed above), it can function as a car security camera and will record motion even if your car is off. The DR650GW is a 2 channel camera which means you can record the front and back of your car.
This dashcam has WiFi, so you can stream live videos directly to your smartphone using Blackvue’s cloud service. You can check what’s happening to your car when it is parked, from the comfort of your house or even if you’re not in town.
The Black Vue Power Magic Parking Kit protects the car’s battery from discharging.
Papago GoSafe 272
The GoSafe 272 is a compact and high quality dash camera made by another great dash cam manufacturer, Papago.
While Papago does not have their own power safety device, you can use Power Magic Pro with it in the same way to get it to run on CCTV mode.
If budget is an issue, the GoSafe 272 is much cheaper than the BlackVue DR650GW, but you’ll be giving up a second camera for the back of your car, as well as wifi and gps.
Goluk M1 Wireless+ 3G dashcam
This dashcam has WiFi, and 3G connection and streams live videos directly to your smartphone. Is one of the few cameras that doesn’t need a mobile hotspot to work; instead, it has a built-in cellular connection.
Protecting car’s battery from discharging
Dash cameras uses a small amount of current to operate, and you can use the car battery itself to power the dashcam.
If your car battery is old, it could discharge when using the dash cam for surveillance.
Hardware fuse kits are used to turn off the dash camera before the car battery drain out. As an alternative, you can buy a different dash cam hardwire fuse kit.
Spy Tec Dash Cam Hardwire Fuse Kit
The hardware fuse kit is perfect for parking mode and in fact, helps protect the car’s battery.
This dash cam hardware fuse kit can connect the camera directly to the fuse box for constant power from the vehicle’s battery for surveillance mode.
Streaming dashcam’s videos to your smartphone
Going a little further, you may want to live stream dashcam to the smartphone wherever you are.
This function could help you see in real time what happens to your car when it is parked.
Live streaming dash cams are cameras that connect to a wireless or 4G mobile network and stream live videos to your smartphone using a proprietary app.
Most manufacturers use a cloud service that allows you to see real times videos from your dashcam, alerts when the car is hit or other unwanted events.
While some cloud services are free, others are charging you a monthly fee for all these features.