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Old 09-12-2020, 12:17 PM   #1
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Adjusting rear view camera on 2016 Interstate 3500 EXT

Hi there. I could have sworn I saw something about this on the Forums, but I cannot for the life of me find it now. So, I'll start a thread. The rear view camera on our new-to-us Interstate is aimed a bit too low. It's view includes the entire rear bumper, but prevents us from seeing back to the near horizon. This limits our rear view enough to be irritating.

I was hoping I could just hop up there with an Allen or Torx tool and adjust the camera, but this camera appears to be a fixed "eyeball" that is an integral component of the piece that goes across the top of the van above the door. I see no way to adjust it at all. I see no obvious hex or torx screws except the two torx screws holding the entire assembly to the van.

So, with the scenario set, what am I missing? There has to be some way to adjust this camera so it provides a bit more value that doesn't require me to visit an Airstream dealer to remove the unit and shim the gasket to get the view we need to feel safer while driving. I am assuming this camera was added by Airstream and that as a result Mercedes can't help us with it. If I'm wrong on that, let me know.

Thank you!
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Old 09-12-2020, 02:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Hi there. I could have sworn I saw something about this on the Forums,

Thank you!
My two cents worth. At first i wanted to adjust the camera out as you describe. Then I noticed while passing, if the passed vehicles wheels disappear from the back camera it is safe to pull back in front. This removed much guess work on when to return to the lane. This lower position also allows me to tell distance to curb when backing in to a parking spot.

I have adjusted the outside mirrors to see behind me, I start tracking an approaching vehicle further back, when visible in side mirror. If I can see an approaching vehicle in my rear view camera, they are too close.

Notice when stopped at traffic light, you will rarely see the vehicle behind you in the camera.
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:36 PM   #3
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I believe the cameras are MB. Part of the MB safety package Airstream ordered with the chassis.
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Old 09-12-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
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Thanks, TN Princess an Heckler56.

It drives me crazy that I can't see the vehicle behind me in the camera when I know they are actually pretty close. I will definitely play with the side mirrors to see whether I can improve things while we work on a solution.

I hope the camera is part of the MB safety package, because in that case I might be able to complain to my MB dealer and try to get them to help improve situation. OTOH, they may say, "Hey it's a backup camera and it works great for that. If you want a different view, get a different camera." With that in mind, I will also investigate the possibility of adding a second rear camera that's lower down and has a longer view out the back so we don't feel quite as blind behind the van.
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Old 09-13-2020, 07:18 PM   #5
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On my 2018 GT there is a very small allen screw on the black collar. Back this out and the camera can be adjusted.
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Old 09-13-2020, 08:17 PM   #6
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I will look again, though when I climbed up there before, I saw nothing. Thanks for the tip, I hope you are right!
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Old 09-14-2020, 09:29 AM   #7
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Rear camera view

Hello Rocinante -- congrats on your "new" acquisition!



When we first got our 2017 GT ext the camera view bothered me too, but after four years I've found that I only use the rear camera for backing up and the view of the bumper is really helpful. I've gotten used to using the side mirrors for driving and always feel comfortable with my awareness of vehicles around me.


You might want to live with it for a while and see if you agree.


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Old 09-14-2020, 07:26 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input! Hey, I was reviewing my MB manual today to see what it said about the rear view camera, and it looks to me like the camera on the back of our van above the rear doors may not be the camera shown in my MB manual. Does Airstream put their own camera up there instead of using the MB camera?

Oh, and given we're going to replace the radio head anyway, when we do that we'll see whether the folks we use for that job can add second rear view camera that gives us the additional visual coverage we crave and somehow have both of them active all the time.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:43 PM   #9
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Adjusting rear view camera on 2016 Interstate 3500 EXT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Thanks for the input! Hey, I was reviewing my MB manual today to see what it said about the rear view camera, and it looks to me like the camera on the back of our van above the rear doors may not be the camera shown in my MB manual. Does Airstream put their own camera up there instead of using the MB camera?

Oh, and given we're going to replace the radio head anyway, when we do that we'll see whether the folks we use for that job can add second rear view camera that gives us the additional visual coverage we crave and somehow have both of them active all the time.



If you do a search… You’ll come across secondary cameras set up using the license plate bolts/area. I forgot who posted it… But it was in the past 30 days and it was a credible, confident, informed install :-)

You know… Something tells me it was handsome Alex, Nevada… Bike racer/rider extraordinaire.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AI927 View Post
On my 2018 GT there is a very small allen screw on the black collar. Back this out and the camera can be adjusted.


Thanks for posting this… On our 2018 unit, the rear camera is way out of whack… And I keep forgetting to add it to the dealer “fix it please list”

As soon as I locate a step ladder, find some ambition, I’ll hop up there and give it a try

Thanks again for sharing your experience
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:46 AM   #11
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Per our MB dealer, none of the cameras on our 2016 Interstate are MB cameras. Not a single one. They must have all been installed by Airstream when they installed the RVS-770619N rear vew camera system. Ironically, Airstream didn't even use the rear view camera that's referred to in that screen's manual. They went with something else.

The side view cameras work fine, but the rear view camera, as I've noted, looks enthusiastically down toward the bumper. Turns out, it's even worse than that. Because the camera is so close to the van body, what we're actually seeing in that camera view is the upper section of the rear door on the Sprinter, not the bumper. It then sees another 10-15 feet behind the van, looking toward the ground. The only time we see a car behind us with this camera is at a light or if they are ferociously tailgating. We see no horizon, just a section of road beyond the upper section of the door.

We are having our upper rear camera replaced and a second camera added when we upgrade the radio head, speakers and amplifier in a couple of weeks. We will end up with a rear view camera above the door that looks and works more like the original equipment MB camera that is normally up there, and with a second camera near the license plate. When we're done, one rear view camera will be wired to the camera screen that replaced the rear view mirror, as that will give us a good sense of what's going on behind us at all times, and the other camera will be routed to the radio head where it will automatically switch to that camera when the vehicle is in Reverse.

I'm having a hard time believing Airstream would have shipped a rear view camera setup as dangerous as we now understand this one to be, but that is apparently what happened with our van. Poor Rocinante Piccolo can't properly see her own backside until we get this done.

If you have a 2016 Interstate 3500 EXT, it would be interesting to hear from you regarding your own camera setup above your rear door. Does it look like the stock MB rear camera, or is it something else? Your MB manual will show you what kind of camera is normally installed, so it's a quick and easy check. Does your view show the top of your rear door and a few feet behind you, or does it show what might be considered a normal view? Does your camera have any way to adjust your view? Ours definitely does not. Our current rear camera is a non-adjustable fish-eye camera in a strip that has reflectors on either side, covering the normal MB rear camera hole, and the camera is so close to the body that it cannot see the bumper due to curvature of the rear doors at the top.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:15 AM   #12
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Rear view camera

My 2017 Grand Tour (2016 chassis) had the camera looking down at the back doors and not much else. There is no adjustment. I dismantled the camera from the brake light and adjusted it upward. I then essentially glued it all back together. I had to put a home made sun shade above it as the camera caught a lot of glare unlike the side cameras. Now it shows me traffic behind me but if the traffic is say more than 50 feet away it is tiny due to the very wide angle lens.
Now the whole contraption looks ugly. I will replace it when I find a 120 degrees or less camera. I do not tow. When backing up the camera picture is not great and so not dependable.
When I was messing with the camera I accidentally cut the very thin wires. I had to solder them back together as they are so tiny - could not use any type of connectors.
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CorkWins View Post
My 2017 Grand Tour (2016 chassis) had the camera looking down at the back doors and not much else. There is no adjustment. I dismantled the camera from the brake light and adjusted it upward. I then essentially glued it all back together. I had to put a home made sun shade above it as the camera caught a lot of glare unlike the side cameras. Now it shows me traffic behind me but if the traffic is say more than 50 feet away it is tiny due to the very wide angle lens.
Now the whole contraption looks ugly. I will replace it when I find a 120 degrees or less camera. I do not tow. When backing up the camera picture is not great and so not dependable.
When I was messing with the camera I accidentally cut the very thin wires. I had to solder them back together as they are so tiny - could not use any type of connectors.

Thank you fire sharing your experience as well. When we get our new rear view camera(s) installed, I'll share part numbers and photos. The current situation is frankly dangerous, and we look forward to improving this.
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