The Ford Transit factory 4″ reverse camera in my otherwise-pointless rear view mirror leaves a lot to be desired for me. My Pioneer head unit, installation details here, has both front and rear camera inputs. The reverse camera has a trigger wire that automatically pulls it up on the screen when it is sent 12v power (the intention being that this is wired into a circuit powered up when the vehicle is in reverse). Unfortunately, accessing the forward camera input involves 3 or more button presses.
My solution was to install two aftermarket cameras, feed them both into the reverse camera RCA input, and power the reverse trigger wire and one of the two cameras at a time via a simple switch. This way, only one camera is powered on at a time and either switch position will activate the reverse camera feature of my Pioneer head unit.
- Double Pole Double Throw Switch
or if you’re doing this in a Ford Transit, this switch and housing is what I used.
- Reverse Camera
This camera is cheap is flexible. Resolution is so-so, but can be “unmirrored” for use in the front.
- RCA Splitter / Wye
- 16-Ga Copper Primary Wire (for running 12v power)
The actual power (100mA?) doesn’t call for wire this thick, but since I was running it under my van — I like this choice because the insulation is just durable enough. Be on the lookout for Copper-Clad Aluminum. It’s junk.
- 10′ RCA Extension Cable
Optional. You may or may not need this depending on your vehicle and cable routing.
You’re going to need crimpers and crimp terminals, as well as solder gear. Everything I used is recommended in my article: “My Basic Automotive / Van Build electrical tool kit“
I think the installation of reverse cameras has been covered over and over, so I’m just going to share a few photos from my van and the diagram you’ll want to follow for the switch wiring.
I spliced into the stereo’s accessory wire for the 12v inputs to the switch, and did the same for the reverse trigger wire. For the Transit, it’s much easier to route cables on the driver’s side since the exhaust runs the length of the passenger side.