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View Full Version : Stock or Aftermarket Rear View Camera?


DesertRat
04-04-2017, 05:39 PM
I searched but didn't find anything right away.

Ordered a 170 3500 4x4 a couple weeks ago for eventual conversion. Build won't start 'til June, so I can still make changes. I ordered it with the active safety package (Parktronic etc) and also with stock rear view camera ($680). Looks like the quality of the stock camera is not very good.

So, should I nix the stock camera and install an aftermarket camera? If so what is recommended? I'd like it to interface with an eventual upgrade to the head unit, once I have some time and funds.

Thank you in advance!

avanti
04-04-2017, 05:53 PM
Quality of the OEM camera is fine. It is not high-def, though.

Some people don't like it because it points mostly downward, so you can't see very far behind you, and, it is not adjustable. Doesn't bother me, but it seems to be the most common complaint.

If either of these things bother you, consider an aftermarket camera. You could buy a nice one for $680.

brockclimber
04-04-2017, 07:45 PM
I wonder the same. My Original build had the back up camera but dealer stated they were on back order? So I had them delete it and add just the wiring for a future backup camera. Not sure which camera will be compatible with the dash monitor. I will be following your blog as well. Thanks

sprint2freedom
04-04-2017, 07:52 PM
I got the YanTech camera for $130 or so which looks factory and works great. The connector style is a yellow RCA (Composite video) which seems to be the standard on aftermarket cameras. I don't know anything about the stock camera but I'm pleased with my setup.

https://www.yantechusa.com/rear-view-backup-brake-light-ccd-camera-mercedes-sprinter-/-vw-crafter-170-degree-wide-view-and-580tvl.html
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01AX1XZ5W

avanti
04-04-2017, 08:10 PM
The stock camera is standard composite video. The connector into the factory head unit is green FAKRA, not RCA, though. You can get adaptors in either direction on eBay.

If you want actual High Def, you are on your own. You would probably need a dedicated monitor.

MTURNV
04-13-2017, 05:25 AM
I ended up not using the "pre wired " MB wiring on my 2016 2500 Crew Van (waste of Money) and installed the Mid City Engineering Sprinter Van Backup Camera Kit. $408 and includes OBDII programmer with RCA wiring. Easy install and OBDII programing if you have the panels off . The high brake light mount was easy and so was switching out the LED lights to the new brake light. Fast good service from Mid city but terrible instructions.

TrailBuilder
04-25-2017, 06:09 AM
I ended up not using the "pre wired " MB wiring on my 2016 2500 Crew Van (waste of Money) and installed the Mid City Engineering Sprinter Van Backup Camera Kit. $408 and includes OBDII programmer with RCA wiring. Easy install and OBDII programing if you have the panels off . The high brake light mount was easy and so was switching out the LED lights to the new brake light. Fast good service from Mid city but terrible instructions.

Any thoughts about how the field of vision on the Mid City unit compares with stock?

MTURNV
04-25-2017, 02:02 PM
The camera for the Mid City unit is adjustable (up and down). Others have said the Mercedes unit is not adjustable. Lateral visibility of mid city unit probably 6 to 8 ft. Easy plug and play programming of the audio 15 unit.

BBQ Ribs
04-27-2017, 12:28 AM
I have the stock camera, Is there a model that I can just swap camera's using the existing wire harness and will be work with the stock monitor?
Camera quality for me is fine, I just want a larger field of view

avanti
04-27-2017, 12:44 AM
I have the stock camera, Is there a model that I can just swap camera's using the existing wire harness and will be work with the stock monitor?
Camera quality for me is fine, I just want a larger field of view

Yes, any NTSC analog camera will work, with some caveats:

1) The camera should NOT reverse the image (the head unit does that)
CORRECTION:
1) The camera MUST reverse the image (the head unit does not do that)
2) You may have to deal with incompatible connectors
3) The guide lines aren't going to be correct with a different lens. (although I think they can be recalibrate with the dealer diagnostic system.)

avanti
04-27-2017, 05:38 PM
Brain fart alert:
My post above was incorrect. The screen does NOT revers the image, so the camera has to. Corrected.
Sorry about that.

matloik
05-15-2017, 08:34 PM
I'm mulling the idea of adding a second camera to the oem camera mount. I want to keep the oem camera to point down, to give a view of hitching up a trailer, and a view of at least part of the trailer, which usually has motorcycles on it. I'm not going to add rear windows but would like a broad view of what's back there. A small dash- or rearview-mirror mount monitor would be fine. Anyone done this? I've not yet opened up the housing of the oem camera so don't know how easy it would be to fish wires down through there for the second camera. I'm thinking I'd mount the second camera on the roof next to the oem camera, or to the oem camera housing. Thoughts, experiences?

avanti
05-15-2017, 08:47 PM
I installed one of those 360 degree "bird view" camera systems, which involved adding a rear camera. I installing it in the OEM camera housing. Worked great:

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/picture.php?albumid=318&pictureid=2517

matloik
05-16-2017, 09:39 PM
I installed one of those 360 degree "bird view" camera systems, which involved adding a rear camera. I installing it in the OEM camera housing. Worked great:


Yes! That is exactly what I'm thinking. Can you pass along some more details? -- easy to pass wires through? Did you mount another monitor? Thanks.

Dave D
05-17-2017, 04:41 AM
I searched but didn't find anything right away.



Ordered a 170 3500 4x4 a couple weeks ago for eventual conversion. Build won't start 'til June, so I can still make changes. I ordered it with the active safety package (Parktronic etc) and also with stock rear view camera ($680). Looks like the quality of the stock camera is not very good.



So, should I nix the stock camera and install an aftermarket camera? If so what is recommended? I'd like it to interface with an eventual upgrade to the head unit, once I have some time and funds.



Thank you in advance!



I like the stock camera for lining up a trailer, parking, or viewing bikes on a rack. It's good for close range looking down, accurately lining up the van. It's not like most car cameras that point backwards, so it won't give you a panoramic view back, but I don't need that. I also have rear windows. The price isn't $680 lf you get it with the driver efficiency package with cruise control, fog lights, Becker etc. are you getting some of those other items?

gltrimble
05-17-2017, 04:56 AM
I also purchased the Yantech rear view camera from Amazon mentioned earlier. Very happy with it. It is adjustable. I combined it with a Pioneer 8200 which is capable of reversing the image and has adjustable backup guidelines. I ordered the van pre-wired for the camera but did not use the factory pre-wire as it was not compatible with either the camera or the Pioneer head unit. I like the fact that you can leave the rear view camera on while driving to act as a rear view mirror also a feature of the Pioneer.

avanti
05-20-2017, 03:46 PM
Yes! That is exactly what I'm thinking. Can you pass along some more details? -- easy to pass wires through? Did you mount another monitor? Thanks.

My install is documented here:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=44233&highlight=360+degree+bird+view

The wires from the rear camera can follow the same route as the OEM cams into the vehicle. There is plenty of room inside the big black arm.

I did not add a second monitor. Rather, I added a switch on the video input from the OEM cam to the Audio 15 head unit, so I can switch back and forth between the two views. I am not sure that was the best of ideas, though. It would be nice to be able to have the bird-view available all the time; plus, the Audio 15 screen is kind of small for this application.

synergy_58
05-22-2017, 01:01 PM
I wonder if these are any good??

http://www.eurocampers.com/Backup-Camera-System-for-2007--2017-Sprinter-Vans_p_2001.html

I was thinking about getting one and trying it. I too need a better rear view option. As already mentioned, the OEM is fine for a straight down view, but that's it.

kidganic
05-22-2017, 11:32 PM
For mine, I have the stock backup camera which is great for knowing when I'm getting close to hitting something. But in order to really see what's behind I am using the Pearl Auto backup camera. It's wireless and it uses my smartphone as the camera. I didn't want to mess with wires, so this has been a great solution for me. https://pearlauto.com

synergy_58
05-23-2017, 09:47 AM
For mine, I have the stock backup camera which is great for knowing when I'm getting close to hitting something. But in order to really see what's behind I am using the Pearl Auto backup camera. It's wireless and it uses my smartphone as the camera. I didn't want to mess with wires, so this has been a great solution for me. https://pearlauto.com

This looks pretty cool, kinda costly, especially if someone comes along and removes a few screws and disappears with it. :idunno:

Seems that a more permanent fix, up high is more secure.

kidganic
05-24-2017, 05:37 PM
You need a special tool to be able to open it up for removal. If someone really wants it, they can get it, but not without damaging it. But the company states that if someone does steal it, they will replace it for free. :)

Yes, it was pricey, but for me it was worth the convenience. If I had to install a wired solution, it would probably still be sitting in a box in the garage waiting for me to get to my list of to-dos.

-Tim


This looks pretty cool, kinda costly, especially if someone comes along and removes a few screws and disappears with it. :idunno:

Seems that a more permanent fix, up high is more secure.

thejingles
06-04-2017, 05:51 PM
I ordered the van pre-wired for the camera but did not use the factory pre-wire as it was not compatible with either the camera or the Pioneer head unit.

I'm about to put in my order and was considering the pre-wiring + an aftermarket camera and head unit. What type of connections did the pre-wiring have? I'd prefer to just buy some adapters from Crutchfield over running and splicing the wires myself.

gltrimble
06-05-2017, 04:54 AM
The aftermarket rear view camera I purchased came with the necessary wiring, 30' long I recall, for video and audio (did not use audio) and some male/female adapters if needed for the head unit. The optional factory wiring only works with the OEM head unit and OEM camera and included some odd connectors that were not compatible with my Pioneer. Rather than add multiple adapters at each end of the OEM wiring I found it easier to install the included aftermarket wiring.

thejingles
06-05-2017, 05:07 AM
The aftermarket rear view camera I purchased came with the necessary wiring, 30' long I recall, for video and audio (did not use audio) and some male/female adapters if needed for the head unit. The optional factory wiring only works with the OEM head unit and OEM camera and included some odd connectors that were not compatible with my Pioneer. Rather than add multiple adapters at each end of the OEM wiring I found it easier to install the included aftermarket wiring.

Good to know. Thank you. Did you splice into power/ground under the dash or through one of the tail lights?

avanti
06-05-2017, 02:13 PM
Good to know. Thank you. Did you splice into power/ground under the dash or through one of the tail lights?

You should get power/ground from the proper terminals on the EK1 connector under the driver's seat. It is not difficult.

thejingles
06-05-2017, 02:39 PM
You should get power/ground from the proper terminals on the EK1 connector under the driver's seat. It is not difficult.

Are there any guides or pictures around to help with this? Lots of people on here saying they did it and it was easy, but of all of my build-out skills electrical is by far the weakest.

avanti
06-05-2017, 04:03 PM
Are there any guides or pictures around to help with this? Lots of people on here saying they did it and it was easy, but of all of my build-out skills electrical is by far the weakest.

Just search the list for "EK1". There is a diagram that has been posted a zillion times.

The only tricky part is getting wires from under the seat to under the dash. One easy path involves removing the plastic threshold strip on the floor between the driver's footwell and the doorway. Just a couple of screws. You then run the wire up behind the plastic bulkhead in front of the driver's doorway. Very easy. Removing the seat is just four bolts. The seat is heavy, though.

thejingles
06-05-2017, 04:45 PM
Just search the list for "EK1". There is a diagram that has been posted a zillion times.

The only tricky part is getting wires from under the seat to under the dash. One easy path involves removing the plastic threshold strip on the floor between the driver's footwell and the doorway. Just a couple of screws. You then run the wire up behind the plastic bulkhead in front of the driver's doorway. Very easy. Removing the seat is just four bolts. The seat is heavy, though.

Found it all. Thanks again. One last question - Do you splice into the black/yellow cable or connect directly to the terminal?

ptheland
06-05-2017, 04:47 PM
Found it all. Thanks again. One last question - Do you splice into the black/yellow cable or connect directly to the terminal?

Connect to the terminal. That's why it's there!

TrucksMedicAided
09-30-2017, 11:44 PM
Pearlauto.com is gone.
https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/26/15872870/automotive-accessory-startup-pearl-is-shutting-down