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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Figured I’d start making independent threads for various aspects of my build. Helps people find info when they use the search function or google. These are going to be text and detail heavy posts, but I always appreciate the most information possible before a van job. Makes things easier and faster.


My Van: 2020 High Roof Cargo Extended AWD. Dual AGM batteries and Dual Alternators. Backup camera and sensors, Up-fitter package (Modified Vehicle Wiring) and large center console.

I installed the VanTop H612T 4K GPS Front and Rear Dashcam. Super happy with the install, gives me a full time video rear view mirror and the dash cam functions are cool. I bought on Amazon, but they’re only available on Walmart now.

Cam: Hardwire Kit:
These posts are also great resources/inspiration for my install:


General summary and notes from my install:

  • Get a UHS Class 3 micro SD card. I used 128gb Samsung Pro I had lying around. That’s the max storage size.
  • Test everything before you do anything else! I used the cigarette lighter power cord for convenience.
  • Bought the rear camera wire extension kit. Not needed on even the extended van! Routing from the mirror, into headliner, over driver door frame, and into driver side wall cavity let me route it all the way to the back and then into the rear top brake light assembly. Literally perfect length, still has some slack.
  • Bought the hardwire kit, and used it (unlike most here). I think it’s super nice to have power to the shock sensor that will turn the cameras on if someone hits your parked van. “Sentry mode.” It really was not hard or much extra work to do this, why be lazy and tap into the overhead light wiring?
  • If you don’t care about that, my center overhead light compartment had an unused grey connector with two wires/pins populated. The green and brown striped wire was +12V when CCP2 was hot (so times out after ignition off after about an hour) or if the interior lights were on. Could be used, but your camera will be rolling whenever you park or open a door. Black wire was ground. The 12V outlet in the dash could be a good easy option too. I would not tap into the overhead lights personally.
  • I cut a hole in the black plastic brake light housing next to the Ford OEM backup camera. This is the best location IMO, works perfect. You want to mount the camera as flat as possible (not pointed down like the factory camera). Otherwise you won’t be able to see very far behind you.

The included fuses in the hardwire kit ARE NOT SAFE. They are rated for 15A, but the mirror’s power wires are 22 AWG, the wire will melt before the 15A fuse will. Huge oversight by VanTop IMO, the camera (12v to 5v converter) only draws about 1 A at 12V. So you can and should use a 5A fuse to protect the wires, not 15A. I think they just included 15A fuses that came with their make-a-circuit fuse taps without thinking about it.


Install Steps:

1. Bought OEM Ford Mirror for the Transit. Part number 6U5Z17700A.
Carefully remove the black plastic covers in the middle of the windshield. Installing the mirror was a pain, I needed pliers to grip the mirror stalk to do it properly. Marred the plastic but it’s covered eventually so who cares. You install it by twisting counter clockwise.

2. Mounted VanTop LCD mirror with the included shorter straps.

3. Removed the driver A pillar trim. You do this by first removing the handle (pop off the two covers on the handle to access the 10mm bolts behind them). Then just gently pulling out and up on the trim. As a bonus I included photos of how I installed my alpine tweeters and crossover in the pillar (hole saw through the molded plastic screen in the A pillar trim, then used the backing nut included with the tweeter). Looks factory. Ran my speaker wires to the head unit down the A pillar too.

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4. Removed the lower dash cover under the steering column by the OBD port, to access the “Driver Side Fuse Box”. Just pulls off. Also removed both far left driver cup holders (upper and lower) for wiring access.

5. Plugged the GPS in to the mirror screen and routed it down the mirror stalk, up the black mirror cluster area with the electronics, along top of Windshield behind the headliner. Ran it down the A pillar, and mounted the GPS with the letters facing the sky in the bottom left corner of the dash (proper orientation). There is BARELY enough cord to do this, but it does make it. Could have mounted it on the windshield on the right side of the black mirror base area if I swapped the VHB tape, but I wanted it away from the electronics and cameras for better reception. Speed reading is spot on with it in this location.
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6. I spent way too much time digging around in the fuse box to find the right fuses to use for the hardwire kit add-a-circuits. I found out the hard way not to just plug in to an empty “modified vehicle connections” fuse slot (#78, rated at 7.5A in the manual), which had constant power. When I did this and started my engine for the first time, my alternator started putting out 18V! There’s debate about why this happened or if my multimeter just freaked out, but I had to let the van sit for 20 minutes and remove the fuse from that location to get it to stop doing it. I did not re-test to confirm the result because I didn’t want to fry my alternator. See this thread: Alternator at 18V??? What Happened
  • I ended up tapping micro fuse #76 for the constant power yellow wire (10A), which is for the power sliding door control switch (I do not have a power sliding door, so I figured this was a good choice. Not sure what the fused circuit is for in my van). For the ignition-on fuse slot, I tapped into mini fuse #18. Not sure what it’s for, my manual says it should be be empty, but I figured the 20A circuit for that fuse should be capable of the extra 1A draw. As a side note, these add-a-circuit taps create essentially two fuse slots where there used to be 1. They both should still blow independently I believe (not positive). You want to install these in a higher rated circuit than the one you are installing so you can insure it can provide enough current. I had to cut the included hardwired 15A fuse off the red wire, then solder that to the included mini fuse add-a-circuit in the kit. Then installed my own 5A fuse in the top slot, and 20A fuse. Even if the 5A fuse somehow sees more amperage from the circuit, I’d rather have the camera fuse blow than the other way around. Honestly any fuse probably is okay for an added 1A draw. I mounted the grounding wire to a handy grounding bolt on the right side of the steering wheel column (see pic). Perfect spot. Cut a little notch in the bottom of the fuse box for the wires to come out, used zip ties to secure.
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7. Routed the power wire from the fuse box under the steering wheel, behind the driver lower cup holder, then up through the top cup holder area near the side mirror (both cup holders remove easily. Used zip ties to secure the 12v-5v converter below the upper cup holder. While I was in this area I also stuffed some thinsulate in the metal a pillar tube for sound dampening (why not).
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8. Routed the wire up the a pillar with the rest of my audio wires and the GPS wire here. Secured with zip ties and tape. Be careful with all these wires not to ever cross them over the airbags (light green). At the top of the A Pillar, wire continues at the top of the windshield behind the headliner, over to the black mirror cluster.
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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
9. Routed the rear camera wire from the mirror cluster along the headliner to the door corner above the window. Continued tucking it in along the edge of the headliner (had to peel back the door weather stripping). Once it was all the way to the rear of the headliner past the black blob, I pulled the wire up and over towards the passenger side behind the headliner. Make sure it’s past the airbag to the inside!!

10. I routed the GPS, rear cam, and hardwire power cord down the back of the mirror on top of the mirror stalk. Then up through the black mirror cluster. Secured with zip ties. I used a Dremel to give about another 6mm of space for wires in the top of the cutout for the mirror stalk in the two mirror area black covers.
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11. I had my headliner blob removed before this, but you then just route the rear camera wire behind the blob into the first upper driver wall cavity. From there you can route it through all the wall cavities to the rear. You have to have it pop out at the very last compartment to go into the rear door frame area. I did my main wiring harness re-route so I taped the camera wire to that to secure it. I taped wire loom around the wires when they passed through sharp sheet metal openings.

12. Now you have to go outside the van to remove the rear brake light/camera housing. Take the two side covers off the black housing, and there are two 7mm socket head bolts to remove each side. Once you pull those, The housing can pull free. Disconnect the brake light connector and rear camera connector.
  • I noticed a bunch of rust spots behind the gasket foam on my housing! When I cut my AC and skylight holes in the metal roof, some shavings washed down and got wedged behind the housing somehow. Thankfully it was all rust from the shavings, not the van sheet metal. So I scrubbed all the spots off to reveal untouched paint. In the future, I’d tape over the brake housing seam with painters tape before cutting holes in the roof so you can clean the shavings before they get washed down.
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13. Remove the red brake light by depressing the metal clips. The black plastic housing further splits into two pieces with molded clips that lock them together.

14. Now you’re ready to cut the square hole. There’s a pretty perfect spot next to the stock camera. I traced the location with a pencil, then used a step drill to get the hole size close, then used a Dremel with a very small diameter stone grinding bit to make the hole square. Go slow, you want the hole as small as possible around the camera.
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15. Remove the included camera bracket with a Phillips screw driver. The camera is oriented right-side-up when the little letters on the black sticker are facing the sky.

Important!! You want the camera as flat as possible, flat with the bottom surface of the brake housing in this area (the surface with “TRANSIT” molded into it in the outside). This will let you see far behind you! Mine ended up being a little angled down from flat, and I wish I had made it flatter. I can just see about 100 yards behind me maybe. As an added plus, the camera lens is protected under the brake light overhang, so in rain it should be somewhat protected. Poke the square housing out a bit so you can seal the hole around the protruding camera housing.
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16. I mounted the camera in this area with VHB tap on the bottom face, and butyl tape around the edges on the inside. It’s not going anywhere, and is sealed well. Then on the outside, I used 3M Windo-Weld urethane sealant/adhesive around the perimeter. Should be sealed well and won’t move. I have a love- hate with windo-weld, it cures much faster than most polyurethane sealants/adhesives, and it’s super strong as an adhesive and seals well/won’t dry out. Downside is it makes a mess and can be finicky to get nice beads in something this small. Wear gloves, I used a Q-tip to help make the fillets. Also make sure to cover both camera lenses with painters tape before applying! Remove the tape after everything is dry. Rubbing alcohol and a microfiber cloth help clean up mistakes.
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17. Reinstall the brake light, and put the housing back together and bolt it up. I put a few dabs of Windo-weld under the side plastic bolt covers to prevent them from flying off one day (common transit issue). Now just connect the yellow camera connecter to the one inside the rear door frame, and reconnect the OEM camera plug and brake light connector, and zip tie the wires to secure them inside the door frame (I used my re-Routed OEM harness in there as a base).
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Usage Notes:
Now you’re done! The camera has lots of cool features, read through the manual. I found the driving shock sensor needed to be set to low to not record a “locked video”, (yellow light flashing on screen) over bumps. Set the parking shock sensitivity to high. I found front and rear 2k video quality to be ideal, as I want best quality rear view video I can. You can read close license plates pretty well. Everything is super clear, and you can see a lot around you in the back. You can’t quite see your rear bumper, but close.

The mirror only shows a tiny slice of the video it’s recording. You can adjust what the mirror shows by tapping and holding on the left side, and sliding your finger up and down to adjust. With my not-quite-horizontal installation, I’m using the very highest portion of the video feed. Read the manual!

This is a super satisfying task to complete, it’s very useful and everything about the install pretty factory-clean to me! I like that the rear camera looks like it’s supposed to be there. Time will tell how everything holds up, but so far so good!

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Mods please delete this 3rd post, unneeded.
 

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Hopefully you have better luck than I did with Vantop 612....My camera got blurry after about 3 months of use, and the internal battery in the mirror went bad and didn't hold a change a month after that.


Great install write-up though, keep up the good work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hopefully, if it ever goes I’m hoping I can still use the wiring harnesses and everything even if I have to replace the camera or screen. We’ll see, doesn’t seem to be any better options on the market from what I can tell. Hardwire kit hopefully negates the need for the battery
 

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Hopefully, if it ever goes I’m hoping I can still use the wiring harnesses and everything even if I have to replace the camera or screen. We’ll see, doesn’t seem to be any better options on the market from what I can tell. Hardwire kit hopefully negates the need for the battery
Thought the exact same thing! Had mine hard wired to battery bank, the mirror kept showing low battery, and shutting off.

Switched to Auto-vox v5, needed to change power cable because it used a USB type C. Was able to reuse video cable though.

It's been installed for a couple of weeks, so haven't had time to test it yet.
 

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2020 350 High Roof, Extended, AWD Ecoboost
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Hey ArgonautVans.

Thanks for the detailed overview of your installation. I have just ordered the H612T and am excited to install it in my 2020 High Roof, Extended AWD 350. However, I’ve read online that some folks have not had good luck with the unit over the long term. Have you had any issues with it over the last 6 weeks?

Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
No problems so far. Occasionally the sun can glare off the lense a bit, and the screen defaults to the “split view” now instead of the rear view when the cameras turn on. Annoying, but takes two screen swipes to fix. I’ve been to lazy to see if it’s a setting I can change or just to reset the settings in general.

Very happy so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mine finally kicked it: Turns on, Immediately turns off showing low battery irrespective of vehicle power. Just emailed tech support...
How long have you been using it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Not great, only 3 months! Hopefully they take care of you. At least it should be a super quick sway for the mirror unit and you can hopefully leave the camera and wiring in place
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So, very positive review for VanTop. Apparently to still be in business after all. After about a year of use, my H612T GPS stopped working.
after emailing [email protected] I got a quick response. They sent a new gps which didn’t solve the problem.

They asked me to send the whole mirror unit back, and I received a brand new H16T in box about a week later. Works perfect.

Happy with the customer service for sure
 
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