Want to do your first backup camera installation? you’ve come to the right place.
This guide will walk you through the steps of buying, planning and preparing your vehicle, and finally the actual installation.
Please note: This article is intended as an overview and introduction to the backup camera installation process. Although we include specific step-by-step instructions with our products, be sure to follow the instructions for your specific backup camera model.
The process is simple if you are a bit handy, read this guide and prepare yourself. If you’re uncomfortable with the process, most people can still save money by buying a kit and having someone more mechanically inclined install it, rather than taking it to the dealer.
- one minute explanation of how rear view camera installation works
- rear view camera installation costs
- plan for a successful rear view camera installation rear view camera
- sample wiring diagrams
- assemble your tools and equipment for camera installation
- sample installations
- time of test
1) the one minute explanation of how backup camera facilities work
Every installation of a backup camera follows roughly the same steps:
1) first decide what type of rear camera you want. There are many types of rear view cameras you can choose from based on your rear view camera mounting options and rear view camera system power needs. you can choose between Wi-Fi models or (more reliable) wired models that connect to an auxiliary display. (We cover the pros and cons of wired versus wireless systems.
We also carry a wide selection of high quality OEM replacement backup cameras that will provide an equivalent experience to your current camera. There’s also a variety of dvr and more sophisticated integrated security equipment for you to choose from while you’re at it. Options with a broader set of features will, of course, cost you more, but could save you thousands when it comes to insurance. More importantly, they will help keep you and your family safe.
2) Next, order your preferred rear view camera, read the instructions and & Prepare your work area. for oem type reversing camera replacements, you’ll want to be extra sure you have the correct model.
- Generally speaking, regardless of the camera system you choose, you will need to do the following:
- Depending on the format chosen to view the video, you will need to:
- Install the monitor selected on your dash or preferred location within your cab.
- remove your current rearview mirror and install the new unit you have selected.
- remove panels as necessary to gain access to the unit of your car so that you can connect your camera correctly or install your wifi interface module.
3) From there you should be able to test and make sure everything works as expected. in most cases you’ll want to make sure the system is fully installed before you test your installation.
2) backup camera installation costs
If your camera has bitten the dust, you’re probably wondering: how much does it cost to add a backup camera? how much will it cost me to replace a backup camera?
The good news is that with an installation like this, it’s likely that any handy person will already have most of the necessary tools on hand, and we provide handy extras in our kits, like zip ties and removal tools.
The cost of backup camera installation is often completely up to you! the units themselves can range in price from:
- <$100 for a basic backup camera. There are always cheaper options, but they generally have weaker cables and less weather resistance than our products.
- $100-200 for a universal license plate style backup camera or smartphone backup camera with wifi. these are standard backup cameras that will get the job done.
- Depending on what you want bells and whistles, we also have a large selection of high-quality:
- oem fit ford reverse cameras
- gm oem fit reverse cameras
- toyota oem compatible rear view cameras
- dodge & chrysler ram oem fit rear cameras
- universal rear cameras
- rear cameras with fleet camera
- agricultural cameras
Time-wise, you should budget 1-4 hours to install your backup camera. your experience and the complexity of the chosen system really determine how long it will take. obviously you don’t want to rush.
Let’s get to work so you can see how to plan the installation.
3) plan for the success of the rear view camera installation
Listen, this isn’t going to be as simple as backing up your camera roll. you’ll have to think about how you’ll route these cables through your car and get your hands dirty.
but having a good plan will go a long way.
First, you need to decide where you want to look to see this backup camera.
Installing a display on your dash or radio console is an entirely different kettle, one of which we’ll address in a later guide.
For the purposes of this example, we’re going to assume you’ve purchased a rear view mirror kit or one that you can mount to the top of your dash or to your windshield. there are advantages and disadvantages to both, so we won’t advocate either here. however, we recommend that if you have purchased a kit that you use the monitor that came with it, as that will make things much easier.
Next, you have to ask yourself: are the cables provided long enough for my car? it’s better to have too much than too little, because you can always trim it down or secure extra wire. with very little cable, you might be out of luck right in the middle of a project. make a rough measurement from where you will place the camera to the license plate/trunk area. that will roughly correspond to what you need, and make sure you have a few extra feet just in case. all of which is to say, make sure your chosen kit actually fits your car, truck, or sport utility vehicle. While we include a lot of high-quality cables in our kits, you can usually tell a low-quality backup camera kit by how much thought was put into the quality of the connector cables.
Before you begin, you’ll want to read and reread the instructions. installing a camera should be easy if you know what you’re doing and are familiar with the process.
and with that, you should be ready to start your installation. Next, we’ll move on to how to install the backup camera.
4) examples of wiring diagrams
Below is an example of what most rear camera setups look like when using monitors:
Below is an example of what most backup camera installations look like when using rearview mirror monitors:
Below is an example of what most rear view camera installations look like when using original fit components.
5) assemble your tools and equipment for camera installation
for your tools you will need an electric hand drill, a bit suitable for drilling holes to feed the cable, fishing tools may come in handy, and an appropriately sized rubber grommet (a rubber cylinder that will protect the cables so they are not damaged). damaged by the sharp metal edge of the hole to be drilled) & ties can keep things secure.
Your backup camera likely came with the necessary cables (typically rca female/male camera and monitor cables with connectors for video, power cables, ground cables, and possibly ground wires). a cable release). if not, you’ll probably need to buy them, and most can be found at a hardware or a/v store. Lastly, it will be helpful to have a crimper or wire stripper handy.
Any kit car and camera will be a little different but generally speaking you should be covered if you have the following tools on hand:
- hand drill with metal drilling bits (preferably titanium oxide coated high speed bits)
- torx set
- wrench set
- safety goggles
- standard wire stripper/crimper
- torx wrench set
- razor knife
- wrench or nut guide set
- trim removal tool or small plastic putty knife
- soldering iron and tin (optional)
- shrink tubing (optional )
Finally, if your kit didn’t come with one, you’ll need to purchase a monitor, but it’s helpful to determine your next step before doing so.
6) sample installations
We’ll include a general walkthrough of an installation here, but you can also check out some of our installation-specific product guides below.
We have complete installation guides for our products below:
example of installation of a rear camera with monitor
most likely your backup camera is installed right on top of or on your license plate. let’s start there. this is what to do:
- remove the interior panel of the trunk. it’s probably hard plastic or rubber, and you should be able to use a thinking tool like a flathead screwdriver to pry it out. this won’t break anything and will give you a good look at all the necessary cables. most things can be fixed, if it’s breaking plastic it’s getting too aggressive during installation.
- remove your license plate.
- make sure you’re not going to cut the wires drill a hole from the outside of your trunk that is large enough to run the necessary cables. you’ll add your plate later, but it’s a good idea to make sure that if you’re going to mount the camera over the plate, it won’t block your plate number.
- insert the rubber grommet you purchased earlier. now you are ready to start running and connecting cables.
pull and connect cables
This is where we start to figure out how to turn on a backup camera. let’s go!
- Put the camera and power cable through the hole into your car.
- Locate your car’s reversing light wires. this is a tricky step and you want to make sure you do a good job. This is how to connect a backup camera to your reversing light. be sure to check your owner’s manual to make sure you found the correct one.
- strip the positive and negative wires from the reverse lights (make sure the car is turned off before doing this). Using a small screwdriver, pry apart some of the bare wire strands and splice the backup camera power wire to them. you can usually do this by joining the wires together. make sure positive is connected to positive and negative is connected to negative. once you’ve done this, cover everything with electrical tape.
- connect the rca cable to the camera cable and run it all from the trunk to the fuse box area in the front of the car. this is usually located on the bottom left of the steering wheel. you can hide the cable under your vehicle’s roof panels if you want to remove them, or if you don’t care about aesthetics, just attach it to your car’s roof.
- The next step is to mount the monitor. it can be one that mounts to your rear view mirror or one that mounts to your dash. in any case, it is best to follow the mounting instructions that come with the device. if all else fails, this rear view camera installation guide can be very helpful.
- connect the rca cable to the rca output of the monitor. you may also need to run a trigger cable up to your monitor, or even power it through the same source as the backup camera. (Again, models will vary.)
- If your monitor requires it, you may need to install a fuse socket, which will allow you to connect your monitor’s bare wiring to the feed from your fuse box. . see the guide linked above for good instructions on how to do this.
mount the camera
- cheer up, because we are in the final stretch. all you need to do now is mount the camera to the back of your license plate or trunk, connect the appropriate cables (rca and power), and you should be ready to go!
7) trial time
time for the drill. Before you put everything back together in your car, run a few different driving condition setups to make sure the camera is working properly. put your car in reverse to test and make sure the camera comes on when it’s supposed to, and also test your brakes to make sure you didn’t connect the camera to the wrong wire (you don’t want it to come on every time you hit the brakes ).
if you encounter any problems, you can refer to some of our basic support guides like:
- troubleshooting a rear camera that is not working
- troubleshoot blurry rear camera
- troubleshooting foggy rear view camera
If you have problems, check the manual again and remember that most problems in environments like this come from bad cable splices, bad connections that don’t tie down unused power cables.
start there and continue troubleshooting until you have a working rear camera!
do the job well!
camera source is your #1 provider of rear view cameras and camera solutions. If while reading this guide you want to install your own camera, search our products or contact us for more information.
- Depending on the format chosen to view the video, you will need to: