What is Fancy Parking?
Fancy Parking is many things to many people. It’s a way of life, a philosophy, a global movement, and honestly, any attempt to define it would be an insult to Thousands of Fancy Parkers worldwide. But essentially it’s reversing your car into a parking space…
This is easier said then done. If you’re driving a Pinto with a glass hatch and think to fold the rear seat down ahead of time, no problem. But what about a 1978 Lincoln Continental? It’s 20 feet long and at least half that length is behind you. Good luck guesstimating where the rear of the car ends and an unfortunately placed light pole at the convenience store begins, especially through gunslit windows and puny mirrors.
Modern cars have eschewed low beltlines and the maximum outward visibility they provide. The sills are as high as ever, and because of the current love affair with trucks, SUVs, fake SUVS and tall wagons, rear visibility is, in a word, craptastic.
This is the Ford Flex. Room for 7 and their stuff, or 5 and a couple of berserk dogs. The usable rear window is about 75% of what it looks like it would be. Fill the wayback with people or just leave the headrests up and what looks like 8 square feet of window becomes about 8 square inches between the bobbing heads and luggage. If you are willing to spend the money, you can get the bumper dimple parking sensor. This will tell you when you are six feet and closing from something – another car, a lost hobbit, the moon. But, it won’t tell you about curbs. It won’t tell you about negative space, like how close you are to the edge of the dock before it drops off.
A camera would, and many modern cars can be bought with OEM rear camera systems. But at what price? If you just want a base 2014 Ford Flex and a rear view camera, you can: go without (SE), pay $3,600 more (with extra stuff) for an SEL, or pay $8,400 for a Limited with more extras than you ever knew you wanted. (E.g., seat heaters on a car in Phoenix). Or you can go to the aftermarket.
Rearviewsafety.com is one of the leading providers of backup camera systems in the USA and Canada. They also sell dash cams and parking sensors for everything from cars to RVs to semis. A backup camera from them runs just a couple hundred bucks, i.e., thousands less than the upsell costs to get it from the factory. On some models, the viewer is in the mirror, so it looks OEM.
So now you don’t have to choose between being able to see when you’re parking fancy, not going broke on trim/option package upgrades and not running your new ride straight into pole. You can have it all. Your fellow parkers and your kids learning to drive will thank you.