So I put a backup camera on Bubba, and it's pretty cool. However, the issue is that while the camera outputs what it assumes is centered behind the van, it's actually mounted on the licence plate well in the door so the image is off center by a foot or so. It's something I will compensate for over time if no other simple mounting location is possible, but has anyone else installed one in the rear center? How did you do it? Mine's specifically a 97 E-350.
Side note, I wired it hot and put a simple on/off switch inline rather than splice into the reverse wire, so I can use it as a rear view mirror when the shades are down (which is most of the time). It was $15 from Amazon and other than coating it with silicone sealer prior to the install because I don't believe the claim of it being waterproof, it was a very simple plug and play. Coupled it with a rear view mirror monitor, for $30, so it's a $45 investment that's well worth it to me.
I'd be interested seeing a view of the monitor, seeing what you're able to see IOW.
I've often thought of adding one of these myself, different monitor since I removed my RV mirror mounting bracket.
Mounted on the license plate. The wires are run behind the plate and into the door through the plate light above it. Little squish of silicone and voila. The bump above the camera is actually the head of the bluebird on the plate design. The wires are unseen.
Full rear of van showing camera offset.
Mirror when off. It clips to the existing mirror and there's overlap. Not noticed by me when driving. The viewing area is considerably larger than the stock mirror.
Mirror when on, viewing camera output. The image looks distorted in the pic but it isn't in real life. I had to hold the phone at a funny angle or it showed up in the image too much. Also the glare is definitely not as pronounced when looking at it in person. I will try to get a picture of it when the sun isn't as pronounced, to try to get a more proper representation of how it actually appears.
One more, extreme close up. You can obviously see the phone pretty clearly. It's a mirror, after all.
So I still need to dress the mirror cable which is why it's hanging down. It got dark and I ran out of time yesterday.
For $45 (free shipping too) it is very serviceable to me. Time will tell about its' longevity but the only complaints I saw online were fogging of the lens, thus why I bathed it in silicone. As always, pictures don't so it proper justice. It's a good clear picture, clearer than the factory camera on the old 09 Caravan.
Hey, thanks for taking the time to take photos of the unit as well as the view in the mirror. A heck of a lot better than nothing. As for mounting location, where can you get center? On the roof rail maybe?
With a lot of the vans you can get a replacement third brake light with a camera in it, but I have been unable to find anyone that makes one for the e vans. Just the ugly scaffold looking roof mounts, which will not clear my garage door let alone the ugly factor.
Indeed thanks for taking time to show us the driver's view of your BUC---very much appreciated. As already said its not bad at all especially considering the price. I've seen a few who've installed elaborate (to me) double DIN receiver/video components which accommodate a BUC and they're very nice---just a bit more refitting to suit me.
Centering wise there's the obtrusive larger style mounting on the roof which is just plain butt ugly IMHO. A neat trick was installing the camera in a step bumper's recess which solves a few issues. Its low and in the center, very unobtrusive or noticeable. Of course if you tow using just the step bumper that's not the best idea.
What brand of display monitor did you use---that might work for me mounted in another location other than on the windshield.
Thanks for the props guys. Problem with mounting it high, at least this camera, is that it's highly likely that the grid is calibrated for the unit to be only a foot or so off the ground. Even at the height it is at now, it's not accurate. The grid shows me being a good foot closer to the obstruction that it actually is. Can't re-calibrate or delete the grid with it either. Still easy enough to get used to and compensate manually for.
You're right IMO though; high mounting it would look too obvious for me. I could mount it low but I don't have a bumper step to use so I'd have to fab something to mount down there so I will just leave it as is. I have no other need for a big double din head unit so I really didn't want to spend the time or money on it just for a camera.
Nice Camera install, how did you run the wiring? I have a conversion van and would definitely install a backup camera too.
The wire for the mirror mounted LCD is just straight up and then behind the plastic front cover along the windshield, then routed down under the dash on the driver's side. In the future I plan to re-mount the rear view mirror higher up on the windshield so the wires can be all but totally hidden.The rear wiring is run through the same hole in the door that the brake light wiring harness runs, then under the rear sill and up along the left side floor in the seam where the wall carpet meets the floor carpet. I took power from a driver's seat-bottom mounted dual power port the PO installed, and ran that wiring under the plastic step-well trim then up under the dash, I split off the switch under the dash and mounted it just to the left of the cup holder.
In the future (Spring) I may relocate the camera to the low center of the rear. The offset and inaccurate grid are kind of a pain in the butt and I can probably move the assembly pretty easily. For a fresh install I would advise planning not to use the in-door plate mounting location.
A neat trick was installing the camera in a step bumper's recess which solves a few issues. Its low and in the center, very unobtrusive or noticeable. Of course if you tow using just the step bumper that's not the best idea.