Always on rear looking night vision camera with monitor for Ford Transit

subscriber

BillR

date

February 6, 2016


QUESTION

Now have a 2015 Ford Transit with medium roof line on 130 inch wheel base that is replacing a 1997 Ford F-150 with 700,000 miles–two blocks, three rebuilds, three transmission and three radiators, but very happy with the service.

Would you be kind enough to recommend how best to wire always on camera attached on top of the rear door. The signal will be sent via hard wire to a 7inch monitor that I will suspend atop a “RAM” CUP HOLDER BRACKET.
How would you suggest I run the wire from the third light down to underside of vehicle and then to the cup holder.

Additional, as this will be AN ALWAYS ON CAMERA, please suggest a camera and how do I provide electrical once the engine is turned on.
I appreciate any info. Bill R.

ANSWER

Dear Billy R:
Simple question, but lots to say about it. First of all, I’m not a professional, just someone that spends a lot of time on these issues. So, take my advice with a grain of salt and ultimately do your own research and make your own decisions.
Of greatest importance to you is probably that most states do NOT allow permanent/continuous video to be used by the driver. An always-on camera thus is probably illegal. I have been playing with the same idea, even more elaborate, in combination with two side cameras and perhaps a front camera. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do, however my use is probably different from yours. I see the use of those cameras, while driving, more as a nuisance that takes my attention away from driving; my primary use for them, is when parked, especially at night, to be able to check my surroundings without leaving the van.
A recommendation, is difficult for me at this time, as I haven’t chosen a model yet and certainly cannot tell you about its use or quality. And there are probably hundreds of different camera’s available for this type of use. Prices have come down substantially, making them quite cheap and not a big risk for your pocket. First, you should read two articles, I wrote recently about these gadgets:
Car Electronics Part I
Car Electronics Part II
Probably the best advice, if you can afford it, is to forget about the infra-red lights that come with some models, but choose the low-light models that can handle night-time situations.

If you should decide to use it as a backup camera (only on while backing up), I included two official Ford memos that deal with accessing the battery and connecting with the rear backup lights. Not immediately relevant to your question, but very interesting if you want to do more conversion work on your van, is the following Ford Builders document. You can download it here:
https://www.fleet.ford.com/truckbbas/topics/2015/2015_transit_bemm_v1-0.pdf

I may not have given you a clear answer, but I hope that this information will help you and I would be interested to know what you’ll decide and how it worked out for you.
I’ll be purchasing very likely the same vehicle with a longer wheelbase pretty soon and will start with a similar camera. If you want to know what I’ll be doing, you can subscribe to the website below.
If you have any other questions, let me know and I’ll give you my opinion.
Van Williams

ANSWER

Thanks for EVERYTHING! Regarding your purchase of a TRANSIT. 1. Check for incentives on FORD site. I got $500 off for military retiree. Gotta have a letter or DD214 as the ID can not be Xoroxed. I paid extra $70 for LED interior lights. Extra $180 for step at Side door–a must. I did not go with ECHO BOOST engine as there are recalls on it awa law suits as IT SHUTS DOWN IN HIGH HUMIDITY. I am on GULF OF MEXICO. Positive traction rear end was extra. Tow package and PREMIUM UPGRADE $1800.
Should have gotten step on drivers side, and, camera.
Best of everything to you and thanks again.
Billy

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