Cameras have come down in both price and size to be useful for a wide range of applications. One application that is highly useful is the use of a rear viewing camera for both normal driving and for reverse movement of the vehicle.
Many modern automobiles and light trucks come with a rear view camera pre-installed but often these add cost to the purchase of the car or truck so many people will choose to forgo them. Other times, a car or truck did not come with the option and in both situations, an aftermarket camera system will have to be used.
Your reception deck, the unit the camera will plug in, has to be installed first. Decks are audio/visual electronic units that sit in the dashboard. This is where the radio/CD player is located. Of course, you can install a rear view camera without hooking it to a deck unit but it will need to be connected to a small monitor that is mounted somewhere the driver can easily see it for the rear camera to be useful.
Using an integrated AV deck with camera connection is the preferred option when wanting a reverse camera. Installation of the deck unit should take place prior to any installation of a rear view camera or if installed by a professional service, installed at the same time. The rest of this guide will assume that the deck is pre-installed and that the rear view camera is being installed as an add-on.
Drill Baby, Drill
Before installing your rear view camera, understand that it will most likely require drilling at some point in the process. This includes drilling mounting holes in the trunk space or on the trunk cover. It could also mean that holes will be drilled in the lower section or places where power and wires will need to run. If you are worried about drilling in your vehicle, you might choose to have a professional service install your camera system.
Rear View Cameras require power and most often this power is separate from the deck system. Before locating your camera mounting spot, find the accessory power cable that runs to the light in your trunk or rear area. Do not use the power line to the rear lights, even brake lights as the relays that control these systems only supply power in situations. Also, it could cause your lights to fail creating more issues.
Use only the accessory power line or a power line that is not connected to an essential service. Some trunks have aux power connectors, you can also use the line to one of these. At this point, you can splice into the power line or create a new connection and then run this to your camera.
Mount The Camera
Once you know where the power connection is, you can place your camera and perform any necessary action to physically mount the camera to the body. Be sure the camera is facing to the rear of the vehicle and try to position the camera as close to the middle of the center line of the car or truck as possible. Not only will you have to drill holes for the mounting screws, don’t forget to drill a hole for the power wire and the AV line from the camera.
Run The Wires
To run the wires from the camera, you want to place them under any carpet or around any area as necessary. Most aftermarket cameras will require separate cables to supply the signal to the deck and you will need to run these under the seats or by removing the door thresholds and running the wire under these.
When you screw these thresholds back down, be sure to not screw through the wires. Usually, it is best to run the wires on the passenger side and along the door thresholds and under the seats to behind the glove box. From there, passing through to behind the deck is the preferred option. This might require more drilling to allow the wires to pass through.
Connect To the Deck
Decks designed to work with cameras have a connection port in the back. In some cases, this is a port that uses two cables. These resemble RCA style jacks and essentially are just plug and play. On some decks, it is a single cable and could require a different connection and thus, a conversion cable might be required. To ensure the best connection.
Read both the manual for the deck and the manual with the rear view camera. Of course, you should have already checked to make sure your camera would work with your deck but when making the final connection it never hurts to check the manual for any exact procedures.
Installing a rear view camera is not hard as long as your go the extra mile to make sure everything works with each other. Make sure you have the right camera for your deck. That you have the right cables and know where the power supply to your trunk or rear area is.
If you have any concerns or issues, there are numerous videos from both manufacturers and other individuals online explaining the different aspects of installing a rear camera. If you have any concern about undertaking such a project you might consider having the unit professionally installed as often they warranty their work.