A backup camera system is considered a safety device by most vehicle owners. A rear facing video camera can be extremely helpful when reversing or parking. If drivers can check what goes on behind their vehicles, they can prevent accidents from happening. Across the media you might have seen reports of accidents by reversing vehicles. A backup camera can prevent such a tragedy from happening. And, if you live in the UK, having a rearview camera can attract a discount from insurance companies too. For more information on why install a backup camera, see our post.
Hard-wired and wireless systems – what you get
Hard-wired backup camera system
A good hard-wired kit includes:
- A small video camera to be mounted at the back of the vehicle;
- Sufficient cabling to carry the video footage from the camera to a Monitor Screen which can be mounted on the dashboard or fitted as a replacement rearview mirror;
- Wiring to connect the reversing camera to the vehicle’s reversing lights power circuit – so that the camera operates automatically when reverse gear is used;
- Instructions, connection clips and ties for neat cabling.
Wireless backup camera system
The wireless kit includes the same equipment minus the video linking cable. This is replaced by a small wireless transmitter which is placed near to the reversing camera in the boot or trunk. This means that installation is simpler but still requires some DIY knowledge of the vehicle’s electrics.
How to install a backup camera system
You can, of course, pay a professional mechanic to install your backup camera installation. For many buyers this will be the route to go. But if you are handy with simple vehicle wiring then you might decide to fit your reverse camera system yourself. Here is an outline of what you will need to do:
- Fit the camera at the back of your vehicle. Bolt to the body or affix to the license plate, either with the frame provided, or by adhesive pads provided.
- Find an existing hole through which you can thread the cable from the camera into the trunk or drill a small hole in the back of the vehicle for this purpose.
- Connect the cable from the camera to the reversing lights circuit.
- Run the rest of the cable through the vehicle to the monitor, hiding it behind trim and sills.
- Connect to the monitor. Dependent upon the kit you buy you might need to connect power to the monitor from either the cigarette lighter socket or from the fuse box.
So, there might be slight alterations depending on the method of powering and/or switching on the monitor or simplifications of this process if you buy a wireless backup camera kit that connects from the camera to a wireless transmitter rather than to the monitor.
In the USA, there are professional fitting companies in every state.
In the UK, Halfords offer a fitting service throughout most of the country.
There are a number of YouTube videos that show various installations. We think this is one of the best, courtesy of AwkwardHamster:
And for UK readers click on the image below to find out more from Amazon UK.
For more information and helpful videos, see our Getting started after you have made your purchase post.