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Pioneer AVIC F500BT


Below is an independant and unbiased review of a Pioneer AVIC F500BT

I have been using back up or reversing cameras for the better part of 15 years. Long before they were available in the UK. My first system in fact I fitted on a Dodge Ram 250 day van way back in the early 1990's having purchased it from Camping World in the USA. To day there is a mass of products on the market. Many reviews can be found in magazines such as MMM and if memory serves me they did a reasonable job back in September or October 2009 showing various types on the market at various prices.

The product I am reviewing was fitted to my American B class Winnebago Aspect 23D (2005) it was fitted in July 2009 by Vanbitz. The RV is a typical wide body on a commercial cab, in this case a Ford E350 and while the Velvac mirrors are good I would hate to reverse it without a back up camera. Well I did until I had it booked in and the work done a week after taking delivery.

I wanted a camera with a wide angle lens both to see each wing at the rear and also the tow ball and a fair bit of road behind the 8' wheelchair trailer I pull. Van Bitz had some suggestions for me and at one point we were going with a camera that could either rotate up and down or a twin camera (in the same body) giving different views.

However as I did not want the monitor on the dash or attached to the windscreen it came down to a very nice bit of gear by Pioneer. The head unit which is also a satellite navigation system as well as an entertainment centre (1,400 songs on it so far and only half of the 8gb card full). But the best part is the head is located down below the dash height and on the engine cowl within easy reach to allow me to select the different functions I want as I drive (do not do it while on the move). A limpet sucker type clamp is used so no drill holes. The power wire to the cradle comes from a gap in the dash.

The only issue I have is on the display you get the words saying that items may appear closer than they are. No it cannot be removed.

The vision is good and clear from a very small camera head. It works well in low light Could do with a rain shield but it has not been to much of a problem so far.

I was using the unit in doors the other day and it was telling me I was over speed limit and that satellite connection had been lost. I was 12' from the window. If I am say 8' from the window it still works in doors. It is a plug and go system and can be used in different cars or off the mains. In the RV it sits in a cradle that is powered and is linked to the radio and an amplifier. Yes it has the speed camera thing and traffic up dates live (has a small wire to the window screen on suckers for that) but the actual head has no aerial wire, it is all inside the unit. Good size monitor with a good view. Expensive yes and you certainly can buy cheaper. However if you add up the satellite system, music system and the back up camera it is not to over the top. Plus it can be taken out of the RV for safe keeping.

It is easy to switch between back up and satellite and both work at the same time as does the music - has hands free for telephone and bluetooth. You can leave it as a backup camera that comes on when the reverse gear is selected or you can over ride it by the touch screen to be on all the time.

Van Bitz fitted it and did a first rate job as always and I suggest you talk to them about costs as they are a main Pioneer agent. Plus they have many other makes in stock. This item met my requirement, that was what it was about.




Title: Pioneer AVIC F500BT
Category: Reversing Cameras
Sub Category:
Reviewer: Robert Fage
Added: November 17th 2009
Viewed: 2255 Times
Score:Top of All
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My Score: Top of All

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