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Discussion Starter #1
Curious to hear how others have added satellite radio to their vans.. I'm considering a XM Commander Touch for ours, but since everyone gives the Becker Map Pilot such high marks maybe a whole head unit is the way to go? I'd love CarPlay integration, but also want to retain things like the backup camera and steering wheel controls. What did you do?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
use your phone and connect via bluetooth?
That's my temporary solution, but I want something a but more permanent/better integrated.

The head unit is too low for great Nav guidance. I'd get an aftermarket GPS
I'm thinking about a Pioneer AVIC headunit to kill two birds with one stone - better GPS and integrated SiriusXM. The only challenge I'm having at the moment is with the wiring. There seem to be harnesses for the Sprinter that would ease the install, and integrate with the steering wheel. It's not 100% clear if it would work for the Metris, though I'm assuming it will. Also, the harnesses I've found don't integrate with the backup camera. I'm trying to find one that does, and debating if it makes sense to run a new camera if there isn't one..
 

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I was going to stay out of this discussion until I had more concrete information, but have you looked into Crutchfield? I know they have several units that fit the Sprinter, but they haven't researched the Metris yet, as of tonight.

The Metris uses what MB calls an "Audio 15" in both the Metris and the Sprinter. If it is in fact the same unit in both vehicles, Crutchfield's Sprinter solutions might fit the Metris too.

I have installed two aftermarket units from Crutchfield, both Sony XAV-68BT, in two vehicles with total success. I have called their tech support once for each install, and got complete answers in all cases (quickly and in un-accented English). I would suggest calling Crutchfield. All the kits I've received from them have fit perfectly and plug in to the factory connectors. Installation instructions have always been complete. One installation I did was in a car with steering wheel buttons, which required an extra (around $40) kit to enable. Works great.

The more people who call them the sooner they will get a kit specifically designed for our vehicle of choice. I am not in any way associated with that company, which is why I do not provide web address or phone number. I don't own a Metris yet, but be assured that when I get mine, if I am not satisfied with the performance of the OEM stereo/Bluetooth, I will go to Crutchfield first.

I also concur with Greenmanedlion's advice to use an aftermarket GPS. (lifetime updates, traffic, move from one vehicle to another, program in your home), but that is an individual choice.

Some available units will work with backup cameras, which you may have to install.

PS: the XAV-68BT has been superseded by Sony XAV-W650BT.

Hope this is of some help out there.
 

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My Sony XAV-68BT units offer an optional back-up camera, although I didn't purchase one. I assume the XAV-W650BT also offers that option.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've had good experiences with Crutchfield in the past, so that's the first place I went to research. Unsurprisingly they haven't done any research specifically around Metris but I did see they have a wiring harness and steering wheel control module for the Sprinter. The head units in both vehicles are visually the same, and if MB is calling both "Audio 15" there's a reasonably good chance the components Crutchfield has for the Sprinter could work. Looking at their matrix, the only thing I'd likely have to figure out how to integrate would be the backup camera.

I actually realized a bit of a wrinkle in my plan this AM though. Our van is coming thru with Active Parking Assist, which I believe leverages the camera as a driver aid. The question I've got now is whether or not I can have an aftermarket HU use the factory camera and maintain the Active Parking Assist functionality. I don't see an issue with identifying the trigger signal that would switch the HU to backup camera mode, but whether or not the video feed from the camera would include any visual inputs from the Active Parking system, or would I just get the camera (assuming it would even work).
 

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Keep in mind that while the back end of the Audio 15 is a double DIN unit, the face plate is actually a lot larger. Some companies do make head units with more features that conform to that generation of MB face plate size (including the Sprinter and most E- and C class sedans of the mid 2000s). Some also remands tire older ones with more modern components.
 

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I actually realized a bit of a wrinkle in my plan this AM though. Our van is coming thru with Active Parking Assist, which I believe leverages the camera as a driver aid. The question I've got now is whether or not I can have an aftermarket HU use the factory camera and maintain the Active Parking Assist functionality. I don't see an issue with identifying the trigger signal that would switch the HU to backup camera mode, but whether or not the video feed from the camera would include any visual inputs from the Active Parking system, or would I just get the camera (assuming it would even work).
I'm 90% sure the APA is all radar, proximity sensors. The test would be to stick a piece of tape over the backup camera.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
In the end I decided not to replace the headunit and installed a XM Commander Touch. The install was pretty straight forward, the cup holders in the center console pop right out and there's a massive amount of space to locate the receiver and wiring.

I was also able to reach behind the pocket on the driver's side of the central stack and pop the rectangular panel where the USB and AUX ports are mounted. Once I removed it, I was able to pop the AUX port out of it, which allowed me to hide the aux connection from the XM receiver. It also allowed me to flip it upside down so the USB port is accessible with the display mounted on the dash and route the wire for the XM Commander's display without having to drill into anything. The only "damage" I did was the single screw that holds the display to the underside of that pocket.
 

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In the end I decided not to replace the headunit and installed a XM Commander Touch. The install was pretty straight forward, the cup holders in the center console pop right out and there's a massive amount of space to locate the receiver and wiring.

I was also able to reach behind the pocket on the driver's side of the central stack and pop the rectangular panel where the USB and AUX ports are mounted. Once I removed it, I was able to pop the AUX port out of it, which allowed me to hide the aux connection from the XM receiver. It also allowed me to flip it upside down so the USB port is accessible with the display mounted on the dash and route the wire for the XM Commander's display without having to drill into anything. The only "damage" I did was the single screw that holds the display to the underside of that pocket.
Wow I love it! OK so what route did you take for the antenna?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I entertained running the antenna up to the roof, but ended up locating it on the dash. It's sitting right up in the passenger side front corner, right by the windshield, and reception is perfect. It was much easier to locate it there then fish the cable all the way to the back so I could locate it on the roof (the only way to hide the wire would be to run it thru the back).
 

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It's sitting right up in the passenger side front corner, right by the windshield, and reception is perfect.
I did that same thing years ago on an early XM setup and it worked fine. They say not to do it but I found no issues.

My Metris finally landed today so I'll start my messing around this weekend.
 

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Update: worked out great just like you did it. My only change was to use VHT double-sided tape and put the "head unit" directly on the dash. same location as yours, though - right over the top of the USB/Aux-IN cubby. Thanks for the tip to pull out the cup holders...brilliant.

Question - did you find/use a wire to connect the "illumination" lead to?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's great, glad to hear your install went smoothly!

No, I didn't connect the illumination lead but I'm considering finding one now though. The display gets a little distracting at night.
 

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Can you post a pic of what wires you tapped in for the constant power , acc power, and did you ground it on any of the metal bolts/screws? Thanks
 

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I'll try to do that in the next couple of days, but I know that I used the hot and ground of the cigarette lighter for the overall ground and the switched (ACC) power lead. You can access those lines from behind the console by pulling the cupholders like whosagrubb suggested.

I ran the constant power over to the fuse box in the passenger footwell - look at the owners manual for info on locating something suitable.

Originally i had my antenna on the dash like whosagrubb, but I have since relocated it to the roof since the reception was so-so. there is a rubber grommet in the driver footwell near the steering column where it goes through the firewall - and then a fairly simple routing up to the the side of the windshield and the wire just sits perfectly between the windshield and the body.

pics when i can...
 
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