A 2011 Freightliner Sprinter is a fantastic vehicle for a catering business in many aspects. The down-side is that there are really no premium technology options (for instance navigation or bluetooth) in a work van. We had one such customer recently that wanted to experience what WSS had to offer for this vehicle. His main goals were adding a navigation system, backup camera, and backup sensors. Off to the drawing board!
We and the customer chose the Kenwood DNX6990HD navigation system as the backbone of this system. One thing that was very important to him was reliability. Kenwood has proven year after year to be the most stable and well-built GPS systems available on the market. We have dedicated much time and effort into learning in-dash navigation systems inside and out. After putting many navigation systems through vigorous testing, Kenwood still came out on top!
The DNX6990HD offers many features. This gave the customer integrated bluetooth, allowing him to make and receive phone calls without ever holding his phone in his hand. See how easy it is to make a call using the navigation system HERE! Since the hands free law is now in effect in Maryland, this was a necessity. This also provided A2DP wireless streaming music as a source. What this means, is he can play music off his phone wirelessly through the bluetooth connection to the navigation system. If it were an iPhone he would also be able to plug it in directly, using the iPod/iPhone connection cable that we installed along with the nav system. This cable gives you full control of the all the music on any iPod or iPhone, and will also charge the device while it is plugged in. See this unit controlling an iPod live HERE! Another added benefit of this cable is when using an iPhone, the navigation system will also let you use and control Pandora! For those who do not know what Pandora is please CLICK HERE.
The navigation built into this unit is made by Garmin. It is a partnership between Garmin and Kenwood that makes operation seamless. The user interface is one of the easiest to use on the market. All navigation features are big and bold, and the system will walk you through selecting any address or point of interest with no issues. It will mute whatever music source is playing and speak the directions to you through the speakers in the vehicle. It will even speak the street name of your next turn. One really nice feature of this system is the processing speed. If you make a wrong turn or miss an exit the navigation system will recalculate the route and redirect you much faster than any portable system you can buy. This way if the NEXT exit is the one you need to take, it will be able to tell you with time to spare.
As you can see in the photos below, the navigation system also gave him a full screen image for the backup (reverse) camera. We installed an Echomaster VM150 backup camera to the right of the rear license plate, making it as close to centered as possible. This Echomaster camera produces a high quality image making it very easy to determine what is behind the vehicle. This was not an easy task, being a fully insulated and refrigerated van. We had to disassemble the rear door panels and run the cables through the insulation without taking away from the integrity of the vehicle. Once that was done, the navigation system would flip to the rear image whenever the vehicle is shifted into reverse. It also gave him the ability to turn this camera on while driving, in case he wanted to see directly behind the van for any reason while not in reverse.
We then installed an Echomaster EMPV7B backup sensor kit, and added two sensors since this was a large van. The four sensors were installed in the step plate on the rear of the vehicle. These sensors turn on instantly when it’s shifted into reverse, and will beep more and more frequently when backing up as you get close to any object. The speaker is small and discreet and could be hidden up under the dash. Again, this was a bigger task because of the style of vehicle. Nothing we couldn’t handle! Things like this are features that will be very beneficial for a van of this size with as many blind spots as it has.
He can now back this catering van right up to where it needs to be with confidence that he can SEE and HEAR if anything gets in the way! And he won’t get lost on the way there! The combination of the navigation system, backup camera and backup sensors made the drive easy!