While we love the Trig Point service body fitted to our Ranger for the functionality and ability to carry gear securely inside it, one minor problem it did create was rear vision when driving.
The body totally blocks vision out through the back window, and while the exterior door mirrors are great, they only show so much behind the vehicle and nothing directly behind it.
Yes the Ranger’s standard reversing camera does an excellent job when you select reverse gear, but at other times you have no idea what is directly behind the vehicle.
What we wanted was a rear-view camera that permanently displays what’s behind the Ranger and as the interior rear-view mirror had been made redundant, having that image displayed up there where you’d normally look to see what’s behind you made a lot of sense.
We searched online for a suitable product and came across the Gator streaming camera system that sounded like it would be just the ticket.
The Gator GRV90MKT has a rectangular nine-inch LCD touch-screen that clips over your standard rear-view mirror so it’s located exactly where you want it to be. It is hooked up to a wide angle, high-definition 1080p camera that mounts on the rear of the vehicle.
The system can be programmed to operate when you select reverse gear just like a regular reversing camera, or it can stream the image full-time, which is what we wanted.
We still use the OE Ford camera and screen for reversing, as it gives a better indication of the proximity of anything behind you, whereas the wide camera of the Gator makes things look much closer to you and isn’t ideal for accurately reversing in tight spots. But the Gator still projects guidance lines on the screen to help when reverse parking just like the clever OE systems.
The width of the image provided by the Gator is beneficial in that it shows vehicles that might otherwise be in the traditional blind spots for extra security. It virtually eliminates any blind spots.
By inserting an SD card you can also use the Gator to record the image being fed into it, and the unit has a G-sensor that automatically saves the footage should a collision be detected. The GRV90MKT doesn’t have a forward-facing camera but there are other products in the Gator range that allow multiple inputs.
We didn’t want or need a dashcam but this unit does what we need it to, which is to provide a constant view of what’s directly behind our Ranger. The image is clear and bright with adjustment for brightness, plus adjustment for the angle of the image it displays. There’s even a handy clock in the corner with big, easy-to-read digits.
The image at night is just as good as in the daylight, however the headlights of following vehicles flare out at times, making you think they are flashing their high beams. This takes a bit of getting used to but the lights are not as blinding as one directly in a mirror image.
RRP: $239.99 (shop around online to get it cheaper)