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Thread: How hard is it to retrofit a reversing camera (RVC)?

  1. #1
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    How hard is it to retrofit a reversing camera (RVC)?

    Hi potential used car buyer here.

    I've been eyeing off a few Passat CC's but I've been surprised to learn that the reversing camera (and bluetooth) were not standard features. Seems like a surprising omission for a top spec VW, but I digress.

    Anyway, how hard is it to retrofit a badge emblem camera?

    I've done a bit of research so far and in addition to installing the camera, running the wires and plugging it in, the stereo also needs to be "coded"(?) with some proprietary toolkit?
    And despite all Passat CC stereo's having a 5" screen, only Sat Nav units have a camera connection? So I'd also need to replace the stereo and get that coded too?

    Am I on the right track, because this sounds very complex?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by minorityracer View Post
    Hi potential used car buyer here.

    I've been eyeing off a few Passat CC's but I've been surprised to learn that the reversing camera (and bluetooth) were not standard features. Seems like a surprising omission for a top spec VW, but I digress.

    Anyway, how hard is it to retrofit a badge emblem camera?

    I've done a bit of research so far and in addition to installing the camera, running the wires and plugging it in, the stereo also needs to be "coded"(?) with some proprietary toolkit?
    And despite all Passat CC stereo's having a 5" screen, only Sat Nav units have a camera connection? So I'd also need to replace the stereo and get that coded too?

    Am I on the right track, because this sounds very complex?
    A genuine badge camera is about $700 but can be had on Aliexpress for under $250 You need a headunit to suit about $300- $600plus the wiring and fitting so looking at about $500 t0 $1500 depending on what bits you get
    2019 Tiguan 162 R line with DAP & Sound & Vision .White
    Front Dash cam Blackvue 750S and Rear Blackvue DR450GW-HD Dash Cam.
    2010 Polo 77TSI Flash Red, for shopping basket with Blackvue 750S dashcam.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillbilly View Post
    A genuine badge camera is about $700 but can be had on Aliexpress for under $250 You need a headunit to suit about $300- $600plus the wiring and fitting so looking at about $500 t0 $1500 depending on what bits you get
    Yeah it seems a used RNS510 headunit is about $600. Surprisingly pricey.

    Can you clarify the fitting requirements? Can I wire it myself or does it need to go to a dealer for some secret VW computer magic?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by minorityracer View Post
    Yeah it seems a used RNS510 headunit is about $600. Surprisingly pricey.

    Can you clarify the fitting requirements? Can I wire it myself or does it need to go to a dealer for some secret VW computer magic?
    Send a message to Kamold He's the Guru You might be able to get a RCD head unit Im not sure if they support a camera or not

    It will all need coded but others than a dealer can do it
    2019 Tiguan 162 R line with DAP & Sound & Vision .White
    Front Dash cam Blackvue 750S and Rear Blackvue DR450GW-HD Dash Cam.
    2010 Polo 77TSI Flash Red, for shopping basket with Blackvue 750S dashcam.

  5. #5
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    In the older models (maybe even current??) the Stereo and bluetooth were separate modules.

    Bluetooth is a 9w7 module which lives under the seat. You need a dealer or someone with a VCDS to tell the computer it is installed.
    At minimum you need a Multifunction display that support bluetooth if you don't have a radio that does.

    The OEM stereo comes in three (and a half) flavours:
    RCD310 - Black/white LCD CD/Radio
    RCD510 - Colour touch screen CD/Radio (this makes controlling the bluetooth much easier as it happens on screen).
    RCD510 (the half model)... some RCDs have the connector for a reversing camera (RVC)built in, some dont. This is important if you want to install an OEM camera and something to watch out for.

    And the big daddy, the RNS510, DVD/NAV/Radio with a colour touch screen and RVC support.

    Note that none of these have bluetooth, you're installing two modules to get that...

    Going from an RCD310 to the RCD510 requires no computer coding.
    Going up to the RNS510 doesn't *NEED* it, the only thing that doesn't work is integration with the MFD.

    Installing the OEM reversing camera does need coding.



    *******************************
    Which brings me to the better option, the RCD330+
    Replacing RNS 510 with RCD 330+

    It's an OEM radio with colour touch screen, built in bluetooth, RVC support* and most importantly CarPlay/Android Auto**

    *RVC Support is not for the OEM camera. The OEM camera uses CVBS (little blue plug) instead of the older composite (yellow plug). This is more of an issue if you already have a camera installed and need an adaptor. If you're installing from scratch, just make sure you get the right style of camera. There are plenty of after market options here too.

    **CarPlay/Android Auto. Not all models of the RCS330+ do both. Make sure you do your research first.

    I think you still need coding for the camera to work, but the radio is plug and play and the inbuilt bluetooth should just work too. In short, the much much cheaper and more modern option.


    In either case, running the cable to the rear for the camera is about the same. It's fiddly, but definitely DIY-able.


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    Which brings me to the better option, the RCD330+
    Replacing RNS 510 with RCD 330+

    It's an OEM radio with colour touch screen, built in bluetooth, RVC support* and most importantly CarPlay/Android Auto**

    *RVC Support is not for the OEM camera. The OEM camera uses CVBS (little blue plug) instead of the older composite (yellow plug). This is more of an issue if you already have a camera installed and need an adaptor. If you're installing from scratch, just make sure you get the right style of camera. There are plenty of after market options here too.

    I think you still need coding for the camera to work, but the radio is plug and play and the inbuilt bluetooth should just work too. In short, the much much cheaper and more modern option.

    In either case, running the cable to the rear for the camera is about the same. It's fiddly, but definitely DIY-able.
    Interesting. Yeah that sounds like a much better option, although I'm still a little bemused at this coding business.

    Do you know if the RCD330+ functions with the MFD? Does it integrate with the other functions of the car (e.g. climate control, reversing sensors etc)?

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by minorityracer View Post
    Interesting. Yeah that sounds like a much better option, although I'm still a little bemused at this coding business.

    Do you know if the RCD330+ functions with the MFD? Does it integrate with the other functions of the car (e.g. climate control, reversing sensors etc)?

    Thanks!
    I don't have one of those units, although I keep thinking about upgrading my RNS510

    From what I understand:

    No MFD.
    No Climate Control on headunit.
    Yes to OPS (parking sensors).
    (also Yes to steering wheel controls if you have them already).

    In our Multivan it came with OPS, but no colour screen so has never had this function, just beeps that get closer together. That was updated by the dealer to a Pioneer NAV headunit (which has been updated to a CarPlay Pioneer) which still doesn't do OPS or Climate controls. Given the knobs and buttons for climate control are right there, it's never been something I have noticed. Also no MFD integration with the Pioneer.

    In my Golf the RNS does show climate controls, but there is a little lag on the input so I've usually already set it by looking at what the dedicated knobs and buttons say. It does have full MFD integration to show next turn information or currently playing track, but I never use it, I'm always looking at the speed on the MFD or some screen from my Polar FIS.

    I don't have OPS in the Golf so the Camera is all I have known and that works just fine.


    Bottom line, you can have the (very) old RNS510 solution with all the things on the screen OR you can have CarPlay. I know which way I would go.

    I only drive my Golf once or twice a month so haven't been able to justify the upgrade from the RNS510 to the RCD330+... but it really wouldn't take much more driving to push me over the edge.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Hawk View Post
    No MFD.
    No Climate Control on headunit.
    Yes to OPS (parking sensors).
    (also Yes to steering wheel controls if you have them already).
    Urgghh that sounds like an annoying omission.
    All I want is to maintain factory features and get reversing camera + bluetooth.
    Why are these used euro cars always such a compromise?

    Android auto and carplay are cool but I prefer just to use a phone cradle with bluetooth audio streaming.
    Maybe I'll skip this used car and get one with the reversing camera and bluetooth from factory.

  9. #9
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    Just buy the top model and they usually have them Poverty packs dont
    2019 Tiguan 162 R line with DAP & Sound & Vision .White
    Front Dash cam Blackvue 750S and Rear Blackvue DR450GW-HD Dash Cam.
    2010 Polo 77TSI Flash Red, for shopping basket with Blackvue 750S dashcam.

  10. #10
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    While I get that these are 'factory features' they don't actually do anything other than flash up momentarily when you make a change, the rest of the time you gave to look at the knobs/displays dedicated to doing these things anyway. As I said, I wouldn't be fussed to lose those images in the grand scheme of the benefits the new head unit adds. That said, some people want to stick with factory everything, often down to the cassette player... one of the first things I have always upgraded, but each to their own.

    With that in mind you are best off keeping an eye out for an RNS510 as other upgrade them to the RCD330+ (I might be one of them soon enough). Then you can have the top of the range unit Prices are slowly coming down, but they still command a good price being a full nav unit which is a nice to have (even if the vast vast majority of the time I'm using Waze on my phone in the cradle sitting next to it).


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