Backup Camera System Installation Guide

  • backup-camera-installation-component-diagram
    Back up camera system component listing

84 Responses

  1. angel says:

    I bought an aftermarket stereo for my jetta and this site saved me!
    Thanks so very much for taking the time to do this

  2. Darek says:

    Thank you for your help, these cameras come with no install manual. Thanks again.

  3. Euan says:

    Awesome I fitted the camera last week but got the power sorted today. I’ve bought a new stereo with camera feed along with my monitor and was wondering how the stereo would get the reversing signal. Seems the little red wire on the yellow Rca is perfect for the job

  4. Dee C. says:

    If you pigtail a wire to the reverse light, will the monitor only come on when you are in reverse? Or, if you put the wire in an “add a fuse,” will the monitor always be on? Wasn’t sure if you are required to hook it up both ways, or if you can pick just one. Hope that makes sense! Thanks

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You are technically correct, however you always have the power button on the front that will allow you to turn the display on. We always recommend that you connect the camera to a power source that turn on with the key and run a separate trigger signal to the monitor; this way you can turn it on at anytime by pressing the power button on the display.

  5. JIM says:

    Can a monitor that did not come with cigarette lighter adapter be changed to one that can use one. trying to eliminate wiring.

  6. TwizTd says:

    can the red wire adapt to yello wire for video if spliced

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You can substitute any wire color if you splice, make sure that you document what changes you made and make sure to connect those to the proper signals.

  7. Seth says:

    How is the positive and ground wired into the car? Do I just cut a red and black wire anywhere and tie them all back together with a wire crimper? This guide explains all the steps to installing the camera except for the hard part that I needed a guide for 🙁

  8. Chris says:

    Thank you for the instructions. I recently purchased a backup system that did not provide instructions. This cleared up the confusion.

  9. richard says:

    if you wire the monitor and camera to the revearse lights will it come on because i want both to come on when i put in reverse cause i realydont want it to come all the time plus im installing it in my gradma car

  10. Gary Regehr says:

    I have a wireless monitor/camera system. the cable has 3 trigger wires. labeled left, right & rear triggers. How are used and what do I need to do with them. There are 2 cameras with this unit.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You will only need to use the reverse trigger if you need the camera to turn on when the vehicle is placed in reverse.

  11. Fred says:

    Hi guys,
    If you use the trigger cable to start the camera via the stereo, is the positive connection to the taillight unnecessary? I.e there’s only need for ground since the camera is feeded from the stereo?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Most stereo receivers will have there own reverse connection. You will need to provide power to the camera by either running a power lead to the front or from the reverse light.

  12. greg says:

    Hi, is it ok to cut and rejoin the yellow camera cable. I want to put the camera on my caravan and connect it to the existing Car camera input

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Technically yes, but make sure that you do a high quality job so that you do not have interference or noise in your image after the connections.

  13. Anthony says:

    Have a front camera has y rca and a female power plug no male power adapter wire.
    So if I just hook the y rca video cable up will the camera turn on or do I need to slice the power cables to key switch hot with a power on button and chassie ground

  14. victor chin says:

    If I want to connect a front and rear camera to one monitor…. is there a way to have the monitor default to the front camera but switch to rear when I out it in reverse? And go back to front when not in reverse?

  15. Julian says:

    Thanks, for explaining A5 the yellow RCA cable’s short red wire purposes, or uses. Thank you!

  16. DB says:

    I have my camera connected to the reverse light but my monitor will not change to video automatically. For example if I am listening to the music and put the car in reverse the monitor will not turn on I have to switch it to video mode. There is no trigger wire just 1 video rca, ground and power. Any way to fix this?

  17. Gary says:

    I have a male and female RCA cable coming out of monitor. How can I have my camera and my DVD players hook up at the same time.

  18. elisa says:

    Do you think permanently powering the camera has a noticeable impact on the camera’s lifespan (in comparison to only supplying power when in reverse)? Thank you for all the very helpful tutorials!!

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      The cameras are usually rated for greater than 50,000 hours as they have no mechanical parts, like a mechanical shutter.

  19. Reuben Mikul says:

    I recently purchased a new pickup truck and the camera does not show the guidelines although the owners manual and vehicle website say it should. The dealer says this is programmed into the vehicles infotainment system and if it wasn’t done at the factory that they couldn’t do it. I disagree. I think this would be as simple as finding a camera that shows guidelines (I found many of these on the internet) and then removing my current camera and replacing it. There is a jumper so the tailgate can be removed from the truck so I won’t be chasing wires. The only issue would be finding a camera that fits in the same hole that the current camera fits in. Is my logic correct? Is it really that simple?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      This almost always can be done at the dealership by them connecting the vehicle to a diagnostic computer and modifying an sub-selection in an option menu, we have a ton of experience with this on BMW vehicles.

  20. Scott says:

    The aftermarket backup camera in my car takes a mini USB cable. I managed to break the cable to the monitor while cleaning the car one day. I followed the cable under the dash and it comes from some sort of adapter or converter with RCA and a power lead in, and of course the mini USB out.
    I’ve looked but don’t know where to source a replacement adapter cable. I don’t know the brand of the camera or monitor… nothing is labeled.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Sounds like this was already modified, this camera is more than likely a 5 volt camera and that is the reason they used a USB for the power source. I would need more information to try to help you.

  21. Jim says:

    Is the following possible? Switch the output from the OEM backup camera from the OEM radio/NAV/backup camera display head unit to an after-market rearview mirror monitor by unplugging the video feed from the head unit and plugging it into the after-market rearview mirror monitor and supplying 12v power to the mirror monitor? I want the camera to operate whenever the ignition is on (the OEM setup only shows something on the head unit when the vehicle is in reverse). (Or will something need to be done to supply power to the OEM camera when the vehicle is not in reverse?) Thanks.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      This is possible but you will need to track down the cables and cut them. Some vehicles use 5 volt cameras so you may need to step the voltage down.

  22. Mike says:

    What is the red wire that comes off both ends of the video Jaguar is that a positive or negative wire

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      This is like having a wire tapped the entire length of the RCA cable it is to allow you to easily bring the reverse signal to the monitor

      • Ross Brooks says:

        HI, I’m installing a Kenwood head unit and a backup camera, and I’ve found this thread very useful. However, I’m running into a similar problem as something I saw earlier, so I thought I’d give this a try and see if anyone can help. The Kenwood head unit has a purple Reverse trigger line, but the camera has no trigger line that I can see. Can I connect the purple reverse wire to one of the red pigtails on the yellow AV line and then attach the other end to the red power supply on the camera end? Will that supply power to the camera as well as allow it to trigger the monitor? Right now I can get it all to work but I have to manually turn the monitor on and off. The camera is currently T-ed into the rear tail light power supply, and it works fine, but I’m trying to solve that monitor issue. Will using the red pigtails on the yellow AV line help?

  23. Chris says:

    If I use the red wire that is part of the RCA cable and send +12V to the camera via the keyed red wire that powers the head unit then tap the reverse +12v under the dash to send a signal to the reverse sensing wire on my head unit (of course grounding the camera at the back of the vehicle) would that be the correct way to make my camera come on when the vehicle is placed in reverse or when the button on the head unit to activate the camera is pressed?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Wiring the camera this way would require you to press a button to activate the camera. You would still need to run a reverse wire to the monitor so that it will automatically turn on when placed in reverse. We do recommend powering the camera the way you have described because this will allow you to use that camera at anytime in addition to using it for reverse.

  24. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the install notes….I installed exactly as described but now I have horizontal lines on the screen that get worse with increased engine rpms… any way to eliminate the lines?…

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You have engine noise. This is caused either by the RCA cable being too close to large current cables, that is inducing noise or you have noise coming through the power or ground connections to the monitor or camera.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You have engine noise. This is caused either by the RCA cable being too close to large current cables, that is inducing noise or you have noise coming through the power or ground connections to the monitor or camera.

  25. Julie says:

    Good morning, I have installed an aftermarket rear view camera in my 2006 F150. It works great however when my headlights are on it does not work. Radio had violet/white wire which I hooked up to reverse light socket, this I believe is just guide lines. . I also hooded up my camera into reverse light socket red wire than grounded black wire from camera. Then plugged into yellow rca cable from radio to camera. Thanks love being able to have support.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Julie, you have an installation related error. You will need to double check your connections using a voltmeter and test the reverse lead with the headlights on and off. This wire controls the auto input function on your radio. It is likely that you have tapped the ground side of this lead and that is what is causing your error.

  26. Adrian gavo says:

    Hi, i purchased a backup camera and monitor (its a video sense based system)
    I connect the camera to my reverse light, red for power and black for ground. Then. I connect the monitor to a cigarette lighter plug. And i connect the long RCA cable from from camera to tye monitor..when i put my gear on reverse , the picture will show but it flickers all the time..i tried to change the RCA cable but still the same? Any ideas how to fix this? Thanks

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Adrian, this is likely caused by the light control module that the vehicle uses to control the rear lights. This control module outputs AC voltage and you camera is responding to that AC voltage by turning on and off. You will need to use a relay to get a perfect DC power source using the AC voltage to turn that relay on.

  27. BAM says:

    Can you be more specific on where to draw power from for monitor/receiver? how do i go about finding the exact wire to splice? i have a light up tool as well as a mulimeter.

  28. Russell says:

    My monitor has a single wire with a female plug not the red white and yellow. What about that?

  29. B A M says:

    Where did my comments go?

  30. Leon says:

    Hi I’ve installed backup camera in my a3 8p 2011 pumping head unit .with engine off it works fine. When I switch engine off it goes off ????

  31. joe hofstede says:

    My camera has a black wire , a yellow wire , a white wire and a bare wire ?
    On the white wire white a resistance reading I get an initial reading that goes to open and that is both to the black wire and the bare wire ?
    How would I wire that as it doesn’t seem to have or need a power (red) wire

  32. Byron Crumley says:

    Can I power the trigger and the monitor both from the backup wire. Or do they have to be from separate power sources.

  33. Brian Gary says:

    I have mine all hooked up and it seems like the trigger wire pulses off the reverse light. How do I make it just come on and stay on while in reverse?

  34. Larry koolmees says:

    Hi. My truck has a kenwood kit 717 DVDs head unit with a kenwood hideaway unit under the seat. How do I connect a esky backup camera to it? Help?

  35. George Malek says:

    Just received new 2 channel 7 inch monitor with wireless camera. Get No Signal on both channels. Camera wireless unit has a blue led on and can see IR leds are working, in dark. Wireless for monitor has a green trigger wire, fused red, another red, and 2 black wires. Received unit has red led on. Connected trigger to same power to test. Monitor menu and channel switch working, but No Signal.
    Can’t figure it out!

  36. Evangelos Kletsas says:

    Hi there.
    I have purchased a back up camera and a minitor. However, the image does not mirror, meaning on the screen I see everything the other way around. Left appears right and vice versa.
    Do you know how I can fix this? The monitor is an android system.
    Thanks in advance for your help!

  37. Mark says:

    I installed a wireless backup camera system in my truck. Positive and negative for the camera and transmitter is coming from the tailight. Power for the receiver and monitor is coming from the 12v ignition cigarette lighter. When I place the truck in reverse I get my back up view on the rear view mirror display however I am also getting glitches in the video display. Would a noise suppressor inline with the power to the monitor help eliminate this?

  38. Chris Carmody says:

    I have a Echomaster MM-4320DVR the monitor cable has a yellow battery, red 12v ignition (listed, but says ACC on wire), green reverse trigger and a ground wire Do you know why I have a 12v and a battery wire? I’m not sure if both are needed or just one. I was thinking since yellow and black (ground) go into a filter and fuse box, that should be my key innignition power and red would be if I installed into a cigarette lighter? Any idea?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You can connect the red and yellow together. You will need to power both of those power leads for the unit to turn on.

  39. Michael says:

    Hello, great tutorial! My backup camera RCA wire does NOT have a trigger wire, but my head unit requires it. Can I make one? If yes, how do I accomplish this? Or, do you sell just the RCA w/trigger wire? Thanks!

  40. Terry says:

    Need to know how to splice an existing 4 pin wiring system (white, red, yellow, shield) of my motor home into new Rear View Camera system that has 6 wire (white, red, yellow, shield, black, green). Don’t know where to connect the green/normal image and black/ground). Thanks

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You will need to test the wire to make a determination which one is positive. The remaining wires from the 4 pin cable will be video signal, audio signal and ground. The normal image wire is a loop that controls reverse/non-reverse image, you do not connect that to anything; by cutting that wire you flip the image.

  41. Ed says:

    I have a SVT 7019L camera, for some reason it is showing everything backwards. For instance left on right. It started out working fine but went backwards after a few weeks. Is there something I can do to correct this issue?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      This is caused by the reverse/non-reverse image selection wire. There should be a small wire on the camera that controls this function, check to see that it is still intact.

  42. Hau Tran says:

    I have searched many websites and read many ideas, suggestions only to know which wire is the positive (color) of the reverse lights of 2006 Passat. So far, I haven’t got any answer. Please help me. I need to tap my backup camera to it. Thanks.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      It is very easy to test for this, remove the light bulb and use a voltmeter and test each of the two wires, only one will show positive voltage, that is the wire you will use.

  43. AMMA WILLIAMS says:

    Question; If I use the cigarette lighter adapter that can with my monitor, do I also need to use the trigger wire? My unit has both. If not then do I just tape it off or would it go somewhere on the monitor?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You can connect the trigger wire to the positive of the cigarette lighter cord, that way the display will turn on as soon as power is provided.

  44. Tom says:

    I have a 2008 Chrysler Aspen, it has a double dinner receiver with DVD player, no navigation, I just want to replace the backup camera with a decent aftermarket camera, can I connect the camera to the existing harness at the stock camera in the rear of the car?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You would have to cut the factory cabling and test the wires to see if you can use them and that they have the same signal.

  45. Timothy Hopkins says:

    My reversing camera works ok but when in forward the monitor does not auto turn off but just shows a blue screen.

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You have not connected the reverse trigger wire to the monitor, once this is connected properly the monitor will turn on and off with the selection of the reverse gear.

  46. Wm. says:

    Installing a back up camera on our 23 foot winibago that we are presently re doing the inside of.
    ?? How high off the ground should the camera be placed , minimum height, using a wire in type

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      You likely will want this at the top of the RV so that you can have the best view possible. You will need an RCA cable with a power lead.

  47. Ray says:

    The problem I am having with my camera is that I get a signal for a short time, and then the monitor gives me the “No Signal” warning. It is on a BMW. I have the camera red lead attached at the reverse lights, and the front I initially connected to the switching device (BMW-PIP – Multimedia Video Interface Module). What am I doing wrong?

    • QMV-Lorenzo says:

      Ray, BMW vehicles have a light control module that will cause problems if you are trying to power the camera. This sounds like you are using a Nav interface, you may need to troubleshoot that module.

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