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.

Hard-wired and wireless systems – what you get

A wired backup camera system

This aftermarket kit includes:

  • A small DVR or Backup Camera video camera to be mounted at the back of the vehicle;
  • A Monitor Screen and sufficient cabling to carry the video footage from the camera. The monitor can be designed to be mounted on the dashboard or fitted as a replacement rear view 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;
  • Or a Hardwire set to splice into the vehicle fuse box etc for constant recording when driving
  • Fitting Instructions, adhesive pads, power connection clips and ties for neat cabling.
  • A wireless backup camera system

A wireless 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 the same 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:

NB. Remember to connect the cables as described below to ensure your system is working before you install it properly.

Then:

  • Fix the monitor to the dash or rear-view mirror as designed. Depending on the kit you buy, you will either connect power to the monitor from the cigarette lighter socket or from the vehicle fuse box. Hide the wiring behind the trim using strong adhesive clips if necessary.
  • Install the camera at the back of your vehicle.  Either bolt to the body or fix to the license plate with the frame provided, or by adhesive pads provided.
  • Find an existing hole close to the camera mount 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. Remember to fit a grommet to avoid tearing the wire.
  • Run the cable from the camera to the reversing lights circuit taping or clipping it to the inside of the trunk.
  • Connect this wire to the reversing light circuit using splicers or clips – you need to identify which cable is the live power supply to the lights.
  • With a wireless camera system connect the wireless transmitter, if separate from the reversing camera, between the camera power cable and the reversing light circuit.
  • With a wired system you route the video cable to the front of the vehicle to the monitor, hiding it behind or under trim and sills.
  • Plug in this wire to the monitor.
  • You should now be ready to go.

If you would rather someone fit your system for you:

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:

 

If you would like to learn more about the Auto Vox M1 featured in the video, see below: