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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
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Mods to RAV4?

Every time I get a new car I always try to customize it slightly to make it uniquely my own. Just some thoughts on improving its utility and comfort:

- changing out stock interior lights, fog lights and reverse lights to LEDs
The lights are relatively straight forward and absolutely required for the dimly lit cargo area. If anyone is able to take pictures of the cargo and rear dome light's actual light socket area without the cover that would be quite useful. Measurements to show how much room is available for a panel led with adapter would be even more helpful. I'm thinking about actually just sticking some LED light strips along the bottom edge of the side panel just as long as I can figure out how to disassemble the panel to run the wiring.

- adding a vent mount or some cell phone holder solution so I can still use my phone
Too bad android auto is not supported. I usually plan all my trips using Google Maps so my waypoints are saved and programmed in for easy selection to my next destination should I need navigation. I haven't had a chance to check out Scout GPS or Entune. Though the abysmal reviews of Scout are not encouraging.

- adding a DVR to both front and back
With the added bulk of the Safety Sense system and its own camera, there's not as much available room to mount something between the windshield and the rear view mirror. I'm also wanting to mount a DVR on the rear liftgate as a further insurance policy for myself. Again, not sure how to make the wiring neat and tidy especially if the liftgate moves.

- adding winter tires onto a new set of wheels with wheel locks to match
Any idea what the wheel offset and hub diameter is? I'm surprised this info isn't readily available as the cars are starting to roll off the lot in the middle of winter.

- adding alphatherm or Delphi HTK400 windshield washer fluid heater to speed up windshield defrost
I haven't heard much about heated windshield washer fluid lately. It seems like a nifty inexpensive upgrade. Youtube videos and forums make it sound fairly straight forward to install with good benefits. The small amount of heated liquid would be perfect for both cleaning a bug splattered windshield during the summer and help defrost during the winter. If you've washed dishes with both cold and hot water you'd know the difference a bit of heat makes.

- adding a remote start system
I'm not interested in paying monthly or annually for Toyota's remote connect or bother with adding a data plan to the vehicle for their proprietary system to work. I've seen a lot of sales on Compustar's remote starter systems lately. I don't know if a harness is available or installers can simply splice into your existing wiring without messing up the vehicle's wiring or warranty. This is definitely a convenience feature I'm interested in for the icy cold mornings to help defrost the windshield and heat up the seat before you step foot inside the vehicle.

- potentially removing the whole interior and door panels to add sound deadening material
So there's a lot of chatter with how loud the RAV4 can be ranging from wind noise to road noise to engine revving. I'm concerned especially when coming from a sedan which is typically quieter to begin with (due to the separate isolated trunk not transferring noise into the cabin). This is probably something I'd like to consider but wouldn't want to waste money and add unnecessary weight. I guess I'll just have to wait to see how annoying the noise level really is before doing this labor intensive mod.

- creating some sort of set up so sleeping in the back with the seats folded down
Let me start by saying I don't camp but getting an SUV might actually be worth trying. I think I'd enjoy road trips with a new vehicle until the novelty wears off. I've seen this post where some plywood was put on top of storage bins and the inclined back seat to make a flat bed. I don't believe the 5th gen RAV4 requires something this extreme as it looks fairly level to begin with but it's something worth figuring out if sleeping on it bothers you.

- LED light bar
So... no camping definitely means no off-roading for me. Light bars have always fascinated me. I probably wouldn't mount anything over the top but rather just 1 or 2 short ones between the fog lights. The grill on the 5th gen looks like it's designed for something to fit down there.

- window tint
I find a good window tint useful at times and it now seems like the RAV4 all come with the back half tinted. It looks fairly light though so I'm not sure whether this suits my purposes. Perhaps a tint on top of the existing tint?

- plug out inverter
And last but definitely not least is adding a 1000+w power inverter. This would warrant further exploration probably more appropriately in the Hybrid forum.
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