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Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera Installation - 2013 Ford Edge

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How to Install the Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera on a 2013 Ford Edge


Rob: Rob here at etrailer.com, and today you're going to be taking a look at the Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera and Hitch Aligner on our 2013 Ford Edge.A lot of new cars come factory with backup cameras already installed. It's really nice. It's a convenient thing, and it's a safety thing. We don't have to worry about having an extra set of hands to help us hook up to our trailer, back into a parking spot, or anything like that, but also, make sure everyone around us is being safe. We're backing out of our driveway, make sure there's nobody else or any objects around. But it can be kind of expensive to put in a factory backup camera in an older car.But that's where our Hopkins Smart Hitch and Backup Camera is going to be a really cost-effective way to get your older car to have the convenience and safety of a newer one.

And we're not only going to get just the camera, we're also going to get a sensor on each side that's a backup sensor. So if we get too close to an object, it's going to give us an audible alert so we know. And the fact that it uses this license plate mount means we're not going to have to worry about finding a spot to mount it, because it'll simply use the two factory holes for our license plate, and it'll sandwich in between the car and our license plate here.Our backup camera is going to come with a monitor. It's going to be a full color, 3-1/2" LCD. So we're going to have a really nice, crisp, clean picture.

You also notice that it's going to have the grid lines on there so we can get an accurate depiction of how far things are away. Our camera does have a microphone on it, and if we come to the side here, there's a little rocker lever that we can push up, and we can see the volume will go up. If we need to go down, we can go down.Now there is a full menu in here, and to access it we're just going to push the button on the side instead of pushing it up and down. Just push it in. Going to push it in, we can see that it says, "hitch line off." That's because our camera's actually going to have two functions.

We'll have everyday mode like we have here which is going to give us our grid lines so we know how far we are away from something; but when we go to hitch line, if we turn it on, we can see that it gives us a nice center point, and we can see the green line means it's farther away, and the closer we get, gets to that red line alerting us that we're getting too close to our car.Those grid lines are going to make it really easy to hook up to your trailer. You have ball mount, line up your coupler, you won't even have to add that extra set of hands to guide you in.If we keep scrolling through our menu, we'll see that we can adjust the brightness, the contrast, the color, and the sharpness of the picture on our monitor. That way, we can get the best picture. Now if you went through the menu and you're not quite sure what you did, and you don't really know how to get it back, you can go .. scroll through the menu until you get to reset.

We'll scroll down, it'll say okay. We can hit enter, and it'll reset back to the factory settings.One thing I really like about our backup camera is the fact that it is wired. A lot of people might wonder why I would like a wired system over wireless, and the main reason is, is because a lot of times with wireless systems we'll get a connection issue, and there may get some interference. If we don't get the best quality picture or audio out of the camera, then the monitor tends to suffer as well. And comparing it to some other wireless systems too, some of them don't even come with a monitor, and they want you to use your phone, which that's fine, but if you're driving, you don't have your phone, or you don't want to get your phone out, this is going to alleviate that problem, because we'll have a dedicated monitor for our camera.So we have somebody standing behind our car, and we can see they're in the green section of the grid lines. Now that's going to indicate that they're anywhere from 3-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet away. But as they start to move forward slowly, you'll hear a beep, and as they move closer, the beeping is going to get louder and it's going to alert us that they're getting closer and closer, until they're in the red section and a loud alarm. Now the red section is going to be zero to 1-1/2 feet, and the yellow section is going to be from 1-1/2 feet to 3-1/2 feet away.Now as far as mounting your monitor, we're going to have a lot of different options. We have a swivel base here at the bottom. It is going to pivot so we can adjust the angle of how we want to mount the monitor, and it is going to have some double-sided tape on the bottom. So basically anywhere that this cable will reach, we can mount our monitor. And just to let you know, once we ran our camera cable from all the way to the back up to here, we actually still had a few extra feet of cable. So we have plenty of room to mount this just about anywhere we want.As far as the installation goes, it is going to be pretty straightforward. However, since our Edge has the license plate right in the middle of the hatch door, we are going to have to get inside the panel here and then also get inside behind our taillight assembly so we can get to the reverse circuit. And it may seem like a little bit of an overwhelming task to take all these panels apart, but rest assured you can do it in your driveway. In fact, let's go ahead and walk through everything together.To begin our installation, we want to remove our license plate because our camera's going to be mounting right in that area. Then we can move to the inside, open up our hatch, and we're going to need to get access to behind the taillights. So we're going to start taking these panels loose.We start at the very corner here, we're going to have a tie down hook. Now this is just going to be threaded in, and you should be able to just grab it with your hands and turn it counterclockwise to loosen it up. If it is really tight and you can't get it loose with your hands, I suggest wrapping it in a towel and getting a pair of pliers so we don't damage the hook. And remove the hook, and then we're going to start taking these panels loose so we can get behind our taillight here.So you want to pull your floor covering out. We don't have to pull the spare out, but that way it'll give us access to the threshold. Go ahead and pull this up, just want to grab the bottom, and start lifting up and it'll release the clips. We're just going to work our way across until we pull the whole panel out, and we'll set it aside.With the threshold removed, we're going to come to this side panel here, and we're going to loosen this up just enough so we have enough room to get behind here, but we're going to go all the way up loosening the panel until we get to the headliner. So we'll start here at the lower section, and you just want to grab the panel, and start gently pulling away, releasing those clips. Once we get to about this section again, just kind of want to loosen it up so we can get some room, and we'll come behind and grab the other panel. You may need to pull the weatherstripping away to get access to it, but again we'll just start pulling it away until we get it to release the clips and we can get access to all of our wires back here.Now that we have access to the wires behind the taillight area, we're going to need to get access to the panel on our hatch, because our license plate is actually on the hatch. So we're going to need to remove all these panels as well. Since we pulled down our hatch just a little bit on each end where the handle is, we're going to have two screws holding that panel in place. I'm going to grab a Phillips screwdriver, our Phillips bit, and we'll pull those screws out. And we'll pull out the screws on the other side as well.With the screws removed, we're going to grab the end of our panel, and just like the side panels we're going to start pulling away, working our way across until we get the whole panel to come down. And if you're having a little bit of trouble using your hand, use a plastic trim panel tool. The plastic's going to prevent any kind of scratching or marring on the plastic panel. We'll just start working our way across, unclipping all the clips holding the panel in place. And we'll take the panel, and we'll set it aside.Now that the panels inside are loose, we can go ahead and mount our camera. Before you mount it though, you want to make sure you flip out the sensors and that they do lock into place, and that'll make sure we can sit our camera nice and flush against the body. Just move the cable out of the way. We'll line it up with our mounting holes, and then we'll take our plate, and you want to slide the plate so that it fits underneath the sensors and that the holes line up. May be a little bit of a tight fit to get it underneath those sensors, but it'll slide right under there, and we can take the new included screws that come in our kit, and we'll screw these directly into the license plate holes.Now obviously we're going to have to get the end of our camera cable to the inside of our vehicle so we can route it towards the monitor. But, if we look above where our camera's mounted, there's not any access points that we can go in through. So we're going to drill a hole through the plastic that's right next to the camera, but inside from where the light is, because we don't want to do any damage.Now, it's a good idea if you do check on the inside of this panel to see if you can get your hand in there and see if there's anything back there. We already checked, there is some wires, we just need to be really careful. Drill our hole right about here. So you want to grab a drill bit that's at least as big as the connector so we can push the connector through. And clean up all the shavings, make sure it went through all the way, and then we're just going to take our cable and make sure we can pass it in. Now that we know that our cable fits through the hole, we're going to go ahead and remove the camera, move to the inside so we can start routing our wires and get access.Now since I'm not going to be able to get my hand or finger inside the hole to grab my pull wire, I'm going to move just the outside. We're going to have our license plate light here towards the passenger side with a little tab. I'm going to push in on that tab while you're pulling down on the license plate light. We'll slide it over, and that'll give us access to the inside, where hopefully we can start feeding our pull wire through and get it to come through this hole right here.So if we look at the inside of our panel right before the glass, we'll have several holes. One of them's going to have a wire going through with a grommet in it. That's going to be for those tag lights that are right above our license plate. So we're going to use that grommet as an access hole to get to the outside. So I'm just going to take a screwdriver, and I'm going to poke on the grommet so that it can come out. We can pull it through if we need to, either way, just so that we have access to the hole. And then I'm going to use an old piece of airline tube. I'm going to start feeding it through the hole so we can get it on the outside. Now if you don't have an airline tube that's fine, you can use a coat hanger or whatever you have available. You just want to make sure that it's kind of stiff, and that it's going to hold its shape when you start pushing.I got my pull wire to come out of the license plate light. Now I'll just bend it a little bit, hopefully get it to come out the hole we drilled. It may help if you can get a screwdriver and you can kind of hook it onto the tube. Kind of guide it a little bit, because it is a pretty tight fit in there. If we can get that hose to come out just a little bit, we'll attach the other end to our camera cable. Let's put our license plate light back in, make sure it's locked into place.And I went ahead and remounted my plate and camera, and we're going to take the camera cable and the end of our pull wire, and I'm going to attach my cable to my pull wire using some electrical tape. But depending on how big you drilled your hole, keep in mind you don't want to double it up too much because it'll be a little bit too big to go through the hole, but you want to make sure it's nice and secure so we don't lose it halfway through when we're pulling it. Just put a good amount of tape on there, make sure it's not going to go anywhere, and we start pulling our pull wire. Kind of help feed it through a little bit, until we can get our cable to go all the way thru that grommet and into the inside of our Edge.At this point we can grab our harness. We want to start out with the wires that have the red and black wire with the connectors on it, and then a single black wire that has the camera cable connector on it. So we're going to connect this end to our camera, and we can start routing these down the side so we can hook up to our reverse light.Now, on both of our camera cables you're going to notice there's a small arrow on it. You want those arrows to line up so that the pins inside line up properly. So we'll take the two ends, we're going to push them together, make sure they're fully seated together just like that, and it's not a bad idea to wrap it up with some electrical tape to help secure the connection, but also keep out any kind of moisture or debris from the connector itself.So I ran my wire, zip tying it to the existing wiring under this panel here. I routed it along the top edge, came underneath this panel. There's actually an access hole that we can get to. Using some tape to keep everything in place, and an access hole where our factory wiring went in, I snuck it into this boot, and then I had my wires come out right underneath the headliner, right up behind the boot.Now my red and black wire, you'll notice that I actually cut the connectors off, and that's because our Ford Edge does not have a seven way connector on it. So we're going to have to wire in our reverse light circuit and our ground wire. But, you'll see that once we get our wire up to the hatch area, we ran out of room, so I just had some extra wire laying around and some butt connectors, so I extended my wires, and if you need extra wire or butt connectors, you can find both here on etrailer.com. But we're going to run our red wire along the inside here, and we'll find a reverse light wire, and we're going to hook it up to it.So if you pull that lower panel back, we'll find a large bundle of wires right behind our taillight assembly. And we're going to be looking for the blue wire that has the white stripe on it. This is going to be our reverse circuit, and you do want to double check, get a circuit tester. Have an extra set of hands, go ahead and put it in reverse and check that you are getting voltage. Now since you have to have your foot on the brake while you put it in reverse, check the voltage and then have them put it in park, and make sure it goes away.When you go to hook up your red wire, there's a few different ways you can tap into that blue wire for your reverse circuit. You can use a butt connector and connect everything together like we did to extend our wires, or you can use the tap. That way we don't have to cut anything, and don't have to worry about trying to get a butt connector behind this panel. The way this is going to work is we're just going to slide our factory wire inside. We'll slide the red wire in the other channel, and then we're going to crimp down that metal section in the middle and close it up.We'll take the included tap, and we'll make sure that our factory wire slides over. There's only going to be one opening on the other channel, so we need to trim our red wire and slide it in. So we'll slide our red wire in, make sure that both wires are inside the tap, and we'll take a pair of pliers, and we want to crimp down right on that center section where that metal tab is. Once you have that metal tab pressed down, kind of give a quick tug on the wires and make sure they're connected, and we just close the cover up. Then we can hook up our black wire to ground.Now for our black wire, we can use a fuse tab to tap into the ground wire for our reverse circuit, or we could use the factory ground that's right here right behind our panel. So I'm going to estimate . it's always a good idea to give yourself a little bit more than you need. I'm going to estimate about how much wire I need, I'm going to trim back the excess. I'm going to strip back the end of it, and then I'm going to crimp on a ring terminal. Now the ring terminal's not going to come in your kit, but if you need one you can pick them up here at etrailer.com. Just slide it over the end of our wire, crimp it in place. Then we can grab an eight millimeter socket, and we're going to remove the stud, a bolt that's holding our ground wire in place. Remove the stud, slide the bolt through our ring terminal, and then we'll put it back in place.Now that we have our connections made back here, we're going to need to route our camera cable up to the general area where we want to mount our monitor. So we at least want to get it to the front seat of our Edge. So we're going to go ahead and run this, and then we can put all of our panels back back here as well.So since my camera cable was already inside the upper part of the headliner here, I just started routing it going towards the front, following the very edge. I will mention that it is easiest to route it through the headliner if you use that pull wire method, either a coat hanger, piece of airline tube. You can feed it through and start directing it towards the front, and we just went all along the edge of the headliner here until we got to the very front by the pillar.Now once we got to this section by this front A pillar, we came down, then I actually took all the excess wire, looped it down right here, right we're our dash is going to meet the pillar, put a nice loop down there so I could hide all the excess, then I brought my camera cable back up so we can mount the monitor in this general location.So we'll grab our monitor. Cable's going to have another white arrow on it so we can make sure we plug it in correctly, and we'll take the end of the wire that we routed from the back, plug our two camera cables together, and we can always tuck the excess wire back down below, but before we mount our monitor, it's a good idea to double check that everything's working. So we'll go ahead and take our keys, turn on our Edge, and we'll go ahead in put it in reverse.Now we can see that I am getting an image, so we know that our camera's working properly. So we can just take a little bit of time, clean up any of the excess wires, and mount our monitor wherever we'd like. If you look at the bottom, we are going to have some double-sided tape, so we can mount it to the dash, over on the side, or wherever we'd like to.Now that we've verified that the monitor as well as the camera's working, because we have a picture as well as the grid line, we're going to go back, adjust the camera, and the sensors.Now we went ahead and made all of our adjustments to the camera as well as both sensors. You just want to pay close attention to the numbers that are written on the sensors themselves, because that's how you're going to make your adjustment. Just follow the diagram in the instructions, and for our Edge we have both our sensors set at number five.But that'll finish up your look at the Hopkins Smart Hitch Backup Camera with Hitch Aligner on our 2013 Ford Edge.


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