In May 2018, the United States implemented a new regulation introduced by the NHTSA requiring that all vehicles weighing under 10,000 pounds are to be equipped with a backup camera. More than 200 people are killed and over 12,000 more are injured each year due to “backover” crashes, according to the Department of Transportation. Of those killed, more than half are children under 5 years old or adults 70 and older. Rearview cameras have already been found to reduce backup-related crashes by 17%, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
What about all the vehicles prior to 2018 that aren't equipped with a rear view camera?
Infotainment.com tested over a dozen different camera kits for the F-150 and documented our findings. Now lets take a moment to help you understand your options for adding a backup camera to your 2015-2017 Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Here are a few topics of discussion:
1. Factory F-150 radios. There are three different types of factory radio displays in the 2015-2017 Ford F-150.
- 4-inch Base Display - 2015-2017
- 8-inch MyFord Touch (Sync 2) Touchscreen Display - 2015 only
- 8-inch Sync 3 Touchscreen Display - 2016-2017
Believe it or not, all three of these displays are back-up camera ready.
FYI - If you have the 4-inch base display you do have the option through Infotainment.com to upgrade to either the 8-inch MyFord Touch or 8-inch Sync 3 display. The larger display can certainly help your field-of-view when in reverse. Use the website's year/make/model search to find the kit you need.
2. Not all tailgate handles are alike. The F-150 camera is actually built into the lower portion of the tailgate handle. There are dozens of cameras offered online that utilize cheap aftermarket tailgate handles which tend to wear quickly or even break over time. Be sure to select a camera that's embedded in a genuine factory OEM tailgate handle.
3. Make sure you're getting a quality camera. Many cameras offered online are cheap in quality. Beware of the kits advertised at a very low cost. You get what you pay for. The camera itself should contain a high quality CMOS chip, at least 150 degree viewing angle, and offer a low lux illumination rating (0.2 or lower) for enhanced night vision.
4. Camera gridlines. When you buy a F-150 already equipped with a factory backup camera, it offers dynamic gridlines (lines will shift as you move the steering wheel) and a zoom feature. Although these are convenient features, obtaining them with any type of camera installation is near impossible. Most cameras offered online will feature static gridlines (fixed lines) and does not have a functional zoom feature. Not the end of the world, but worth notating.
5. Power / Ground / Video. Cameras need three connections to function. 12v power, ground, and a way to interface the camera's video RCA connector with the factory radio.
- Power & Ground - Infotainment.com designed an interface called "EZDC" which plugs behind your cigarette lighter to allow for a simple way to tap into the truck's existing 12v power and ground. This interface is included with each camera kit we offer. Wire cutting and splicing is NOT required like the old days.
- Camera Video - Included with the Infotainment.com kit is a pass-through factory radio interface which allows for a video RCA connection. We designed one for the 4-inch and 8-inch radio displays. This makes the camera's video portion of the installation simple & secure.
6. Programming. Lastly, the vehicle's radio display will need to be programmed so when you engage the vehicle in reverse the radio display changes to the backup camera mode. Infotainment.com has partnered with obdgenie.com in the utilization of their "F-RVC" backup camera programmer. Their programmer offers a quick and easy DIY solution to programming your vehicle's radio display for backup camera in less than 15 seconds.
7. This all being said, what camera does Infotainment.com recommend? After trial & error with over a dozen different camera kits, here's our top pick:
2015-2017 F-150 Backup Camera Kit for 4-inch Radio Display: CLICK HERE
2015-2017 F-150 Backup Camera Kit for 8-inch Radio Display: CLICK HERE
Wait, it's rare, but your truck may be pre-wired for a backup camera! In this instance adding a factory OEM Ford backup camera is an option and can be installed in less than 20 minutes. Take a moment to crawl under your truck's rear bumper. Look at the connection where the tailgate wiring meets the main body harness. If the body harness connector has 5 or more wires, your truck is pre-wired. If the body harness connector has 2 wires, your truck is not pre-wired.
If you find that your truck is pre-wired purchase the components below:
JL3Z-14A412-D Tailgate Wiring Assembly
FL3Z-9943400-AA Tailgate Handle
FL3Z-19G490-D Rear Camera
F-RVC Back-up Camera Programmer by OBDGenie.com