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Backup Camera on a Solitude with a F-450

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  • Backup Camera on a Solitude with a F-450

    We have purchased 2019 Solitude 3740BH and a F-450 Truck to pull it.
    I am looking to add a backup camera to the Solitude and would love it to connect directly to the Ford Camera system, but not sure if this is the best option.
    Any ideas on what to buy? Or advice on what to do?
    We are new RVers just setting out on our adventure.
    Phil & Kay Wigglesworth
    2019 Solitude 3740BH
    2020 F-450

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mythlandia View Post
    ...I am looking to add a backup camera to the Solitude and would love it to connect directly to the Ford Camera system, but not sure if this is the best option.
    I'm not sure what the best option is but like you, I plan to use the Ford factory camera system. I don't like adding additional gadgets to my windshield/dash so I like the Ford factory trailer camera/TPMS system (part# HC3J-1A515-AC). In fact, I just purchased that system today. I had the same system on my last Solitude. The camera quality isn't great and it doesn't work while in motion but it works fine for backing up and having it integrated into the factory camera system is a big deal to me. I also really like the Ford factory trailer TPMS system. Again, it integrates into the Ford dash. Finally, if you have a 2020 truck with the Ultimate Camera System (and maybe 5th wheel hitch prep?), it should have come with the Pro Trailer Backup Assist system and a yaw sensor. This system, in conjunction with the backup camera is pretty cool.

    Having said all of that, I think most people get a Furrion wireless camera. Plugs right into the factory Furrion mount. Takes about 5 minutes to setup. They have several models and one of them works while in motion which is very handy to keep track of traffic behind the RV while driving. Our first camera system had this feature and I really liked it.

    Only you can decide what is best for you. It depends on what your needs are.
    Brian & Kellie
    2020 Grand Design Solitude 310GK-R, FBP, MORryde IS, 1,460w solar and 540ah BBGC3
    2020 Ford F-350 Platinum SRW PSD Tremor, 60g TF fuel tank, Hensley BD3-F air bag hitch

    Previous setups:
    2019 Grand Design Solitude 373FB-R, 2019 Ford F-350 Platinum DRW Powerstroke, Hensley BD5 air bag hitch
    2016 Grand Design Reflection 318RST, 2016 GMC 3500 Denali SRW Duramax, Hensley BD3 air bag hitch

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mythlandia View Post
      We have purchased 2019 Solitude 3740BH and a F-450 Truck to pull it.
      I am looking to add a backup camera to the Solitude and would love it to connect directly to the Ford Camera system, but not sure if this is the best option.
      Any ideas on what to buy? Or advice on what to do?
      We are new RVers just setting out on our adventure.
      The information below is from a thread I posted elsewhere in June 2018. Due to that forum owner's request I am not allowed to link you directly to that thread, so I've copied the majority of the content and pasted it below. Going on two years of ownership, and really like the combination of the NAVIKS and Ford Ultimate Tow Camera System (with integrated trailer TPMS).

      ------Below is the slightly edited text and pictures from a June 2018 thread-------

      Naviks' Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera Bypass for Ford Truck -- A Review

      This review is for those of you that own (or are considering) a Ford truck with the Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera system. Please note that I have no association with Naviks or financial interest in the company--this post is my own experience with their product and it is written in hopes it helps someone else on the forum that dislikes Ford's stock camera operation.

      Note I purchased Ford's optional rear camera/TPMS kit which is now installed on my 315RLTS. (The NAVIKS will allow me to view behind the trailer as we roll down the road.)

      Click image for larger version

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      PROBLEM
      So the issue is that Ford has disabled the cameras--all of them--once you're moving faster than 3 to 5 mph. The way the system works it should be called the "Ultimate Parking Camera System". Though I really like my 2017 Ford F-350 Platinum, the camera system (except for when I'm parking) is a real disappointment.

      SOLUTION
      I came across Naviks' product while searching for a solution that allows me to use the cameras when I want to use them. After watching Naviks' video, I decided to get the system with the video interface. ("Video interface" is another input with unused analog RCA and stereo inputs. I'm not using the additional input for anything at the moment but got it for future expansion should the need arise.)

      PRICE
      Make sure you're sitting down when you see the price. They are very proud of their device! Is it worth it? Read on...

      INSTALLATION
      A set of panel prying tools (Harbor Freight has small sets that work great) is required--they are not provided by Naviks. If you use a screwdriver you'll mar your interior panels. (Don't use a screwdriver!!!)

      The directions are OK, but step 4 tells you to "reassemble in reverse order" and then sneaks in another step on the top of the next page. I caught the discrepancy before reassembling, but it could lead to frustration. I wish they'd called out the size of the screws in the directions, too. (The majority of the screws are 7mm.) It is also unclear how I'm supposed to run the video lines for the auxiliary inputs. I suspect going through the glove box is how I'd do it if I ever utilize that feature. Then I'd have to leave what is basically an extension cord in the glove box.

      The electrical connectors that must be removed are stiff and have tiny release mechanisms. Inserting the harness is not hard, but they have a lot of very small pins and care/patience is an absolute must. If you're unfamiliar with automotive-type connectors and how they come apart it could be a challenge.

      If anyone is interested in getting a copy of the installation directions let me know and I'll post the PDF.

      OPERATION
      In a word: FANTASTIC! There is a bit of goofiness in that to turn on the Front Camera you must press the "rear defroster" button 4 times and then press the camera button to turn it on. To turn on the rear cameras you press the "front defroster" button 2 times. All of the different rear cameras are available and every view is available. The view from the camera above the bed (mounted to the upper brake light) is my favorite--I can see everything behind me! Best rear-view mirror ever. Perhaps the most outstanding feature is the appropriate side camera turns on when I turn on the turn signal. (You can manually disable this feature if you want.) I loved this feature in my previous vehicle (a Honda CR-V) and now I have it back in my truck. What's even better is that when I have my favorite rear view enabled and use the turn signal (activating the side camera) the system reverts back to the rear view when the turn signal turns off.

      You can watch Naviks' video here:


      VALUE
      So is it worth $550? <Edit: Currently on sale for $475!> For me the answer is an unqualified "yes". The price is steep--no doubt about it--but I'm very pleased with the device. There are multiple options depending on what system you have and what you want it to do. I decided on this one: https://naviks.com/i-24075925-2017-2...1305%26go%3DGo

      ISSUES
      1) Doesn't work with Ford's Trailer Reverse Guidance
      I tried the Trailer Reverse Guidance (TRG) feature but I could not get the last step ("calibrate") to work. I tried everything I could think of...refused to calibrate. As a last resort I removed the Naviks harness and the trailer calibrated within ~100 feet of putting the truck in drive.

      Whether the TRG is worth using is a debate for another thread--I am posting this experience here so anyone who may be considering the Naviks harness goes in with "eyes wide open".

      One more note--after calibrating the trailer I reinstalled the harness and the TRG continued to work. It was the "calibrate" step when adding a new trailer that refused to work.

      2) Impact on Navigation Feature
      Switching between the Naviks camera views and the Sync 3's Navigation screen disrupts the Ford's GPS input. As I was traveling along I-10 just west of Tallahassee the nav showed us up in Alabama, traveling a straight line headed northwest. After a rest stop and power-cycling the truck the nav found my correct location.

      As a test I again selected a Naviks camera view and then went back to the Nav. Again, the GPS lost my location but within a few moments came back.

      BL--if the onboard Nav is your choice for guidance, I'd skip the Naviks.

      I'm also disappointed that when the truck is put in reverse the front camera (even when deliberately chosen as the source) flips to the rear camera. When I was recently parking my 315RLTS at my home for the first time, I needed to see in FRONT of me, not behind, as I got straightened out before backing through my double-gates. Quite annoying it kept turning off as I alternated between Reverse and Drive.

      3) Voice Command Disabled
      With a view enabled via the NAVIKS the Sync 3's voice command is disabled. As soon as I turn off the NAVIKS'-enabled camera view, voice command returns.

      4) Turn Signal View Wonky Activation
      I've found one more issue with the NAVIKS. In the features list it says you can turn off the left and right side cameras when the turn signal is activated. That's true if you're NOT viewing a camera. With a camera activated (usually the one on the back of the camper so I can see behind me) when I activate a turn signal the view switches to the corresponding camera (left or right side). I can't consistently get the camera to stop switching--I want it to stay on the rear camera. What's double-annoying is when the turn signal is turned off the view switches back to the default rear view--the camera on the tailgate. The DW keeps busy switching the view back to the camper's camera so I can monitor what's going on behind me.

      I called NAVIKS and sent them videos. They acknowledged it was an oversight in their testing--no resolution to date.

      Sometimes when I engage the rear camera when I activate the turn signal it does not switch (as described in the previous post). Sometimes it does. I can't figure out why. <Edit: Still doesn't work consistently to this day, but it is only a minor annoyance.>


      5) Doesn't Work With All Ford Trucks
      There's electronics and wiring in trucks that have the Ultimate Tow Camera System that is required for the rear camera / TPMS kit to work (and thus the NAVIKS). Forum member ncitro stated, "I think you need the tow technology package from Ford, but the easy way to tell would be to look in your trailer settings in the dash and see if you have the option to configure trailer TPMS." <Edit: So if you don't have a way to configure the TPMS on your truck, the NAVIKS (and the Ford camera system) won't work on your truck. At least that was true in Jun '18--unsure of any changes to the new truck configs.>

      PICS FROM THE TRUCK
      Took a few pics while driving to/from the CAT scale today. Even with all the limitations of the NAVIKS (and cost!) I really like having the ability to view the cameras while towing. I also installed Ford's wired camera on the 315RLTS and added Ford's TPMS. Here's the pics (any questions, let me know).

      Bed View Camera (that's my Goldwing)

      Click image for larger version

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      I use a Garmin RV770 for Navigation and have the rear view (camera on the back of the 315RLTS) on the truck's display at all times while traveling. Really like being able to see what vehicles are doing behind me! That's the bikes hanging off the back of the trailer at the lower bottom of the pic.

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      ---End of copied information---

      If you have any questions, fire away.

      Howard
      Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

      Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mythlandia View Post
        We have purchased 2019 Solitude 3740BH and a F-450 Truck to pull it.
        I am looking to add a backup camera to the Solitude and would love it to connect directly to the Ford Camera system, but not sure if this is the best option.
        Any ideas on what to buy? Or advice on what to do?
        We are new RVers just setting out on our adventure.
        I ordered my 2020 F450 with the trailer camera/TPMS kit to use with my Solitude 375, currently have the Furrion camera. The truck came in but the camera kit did not, it should be arriving any day. I plan on having my dealer mount the camera and run the harness down a rear corner and under the coroplast up into the pin box. I have read that the harness is only 35 feet but an extension can be ordered from Nichols manufacturing online. They also sell a Y harness so you can plug both the camera/TPMS and the new pro trailer backup into the same plug in the bed. Sounds like it's going to take some work to get everything together but should be nice once done. I'll post back once it's up and running.
        Jeff
        2019 Solitude 375 RES
        2020 Ford F450 Platinum

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Txfivver View Post

          I ordered my 2020 F450 with the trailer camera/TPMS kit to use with my Solitude 375, currently have the Furrion camera. The truck came in but the camera kit did not, it should be arriving any day. I plan on having my dealer mount the camera and run the harness down a rear corner and under the coroplast up into the pin box. I have read that the harness is only 35 feet but an extension can be ordered from Nichols manufacturing online. They also sell a Y harness so you can plug both the camera/TPMS and the new pro trailer backup into the same plug in the bed. Sounds like it's going to take some work to get everything together but should be nice once done. I'll post back once it's up and running.
          Anybody have any experience with something like this for the 2020 Chevy 3500 High Country with all the camera including the options for two for the trailer?
          Thanks,
          Tony
          Tony G
          2020 Chevy Silverado 3500 Highcountry
          2016 Grand Designs Reflection 303RLS
          KTM 250XC

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          • #6
            I have the Naviks installed on my 2019 F-250. I have no issues with it, works well, not complicated to activate some of the functions. The Sync 3 GPS loses functionality when viewing the camera so when you restore navigation it takes several minutes to reset your location - I don't mind because I use a separate RV GPS unit when towing. My issue with Naviks, at least on the Sync 3 units, is that you cannot update the Sync 3 navigation maps without removing the Naviks and restoring original connections. You will get an error that Sync 3 is not installed. Not fond of pulling my dash apart every time I need to update the navigation maps. I contacted Naviks, they don't have a solution other than to pull it out, install the map software and then put it back in.

            As I understand from Ford truck forums, 2022 and future trucks have, for better or worse, OTA (Over The Air) software updates - all software: Sync, maps, engine & transmission modules. Ford has the ability to monitor all functions in your truck from remote and correct problems as they occur. Got a software update for the transmission, they just push it out and upload. Sync or map update, they just push it out and upload. Better fuel mix for emissions, just push it out and upload. No more going to the dealer for updates. I am not sure how a Naviks harness will affect that functionality and whether Ford will have an issue with disabling the camera/motion interlock. That also impacts folks who tinker with their PCM to get better power.

            It is also important to understand that having video in view of the driver while the vehicle is in motion is illegal in all states (hence the camera/motion interlock) with some states (not all) having the caveat that it is acceptable if the video is for safety reasons (like rear view when towing).

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            • #7
              Originally posted by howson View Post

              PICS FROM THE TRUCK
              Took a few pics while driving to/from the CAT scale today. Even with all the limitations of the NAVIKS (and cost!) I really like having the ability to view the cameras while towing. I also installed Ford's wired camera on the 315RLTS and added Ford's TPMS. Here's the pics (any questions, let me know).

              Bed View Camera (that's my Goldwing)

              Click image for larger version  Name:	PnCFIls.jpg Views:	1248 Size:	119.4 KB ID:	17702
              Has anyone ever told you that your front cap has bug eyes?
              Last edited by howson; 11-10-2021, 05:21 AM. Reason: Trimmed quote?
              Jerry and Kelly Powell, with Halo, Nash, Reid, Cleo, and the new baby kitty Rosie..
              Pilot (Zebulon), NC
              2020 Solitude 390RK-R

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