Installation of a Back-up Camera With GPS

Written by dan harkins
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Installation of a Back-up Camera With GPS
Add a reverse camera to greatly improve your field of vision. (view of the rearview image by Aaron Kohr from

Many manufacturers of GPS navigation devices also make wireless backup cameras to go with their systems. If you want to install a reverse camera on your vehicle to see obstructions behind you before it's too late, acquire the proper adaptors from your manufacturer first. Then install your camera---usually attached to your rear license plate---and your transmitter for sending signals to your GPS unit. If your GPS receiver is receptive, it won't be long before you can easily see in all directions you will be travelling.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drill with bit kit
  • Screwdriver set
  • Wire ties
  • Electrical wiring harness for your vehicle (if needed)
  • Wrench
  • GPS adaptor (according to your manufacturer's specifications)
  • Two-sided Velcro tape or four, 1/2-inch wood screws

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  1. 1

    Contact your GPS receiver's manufacturer to ensure your model can be connected to a reverse camera or if it will need a special adaptor. If no adaptor is available for your model, you will need to acquire a GPS unit that is compatible with reverse camera technology. Install any GPS adaptor specified by your manufacturer before beginning to install your backup camera and transmitter. For instance, Garmin requires an adaptor to be installed on almost all of its units before auxiliary audio or video functions will work.

  2. 2

    Remove your rear number plate by loosening the four bolts with a screwdriver. Look for a hole underneath the plate through which you can insert your backup camera's wiring. If a hole is present, feed your wiring through into the boot (if you have a truck, you will need to wire your camera more creatively to one of your rear tail light assemblies). If no hole is available, use a 1/2-inch bit and drill a hole through the body behind the number plate. Feed the camera's wiring into the boot or hatchback area.

  3. 3

    Reattach your number plate, with the wiring fed into the hole and the backup camera attached to the bottom two screws on the outside of the plate. Feed the wiring toward a tail light assembly. Even wireless backup cameras will have a power cable attached to the tail light and another wire fed to the wireless transmitter.

  4. 4

    Turn on your vehicle and have a friend pump the brake so you can learn which light assembly is for your tail light. Disconnect the negative lead to your car's battery with a wrench and set it aside so it isn't resting against any metal. Open the back of the tail light assembly, often by opening a door from the boot, sometimes by unscrewing some bolts. Many newer model cars will have a wiring harness attached so you can automatically plug in your camera's power cable to the back of the light. If not, use your vehicle's wiring harness to connect the back of the tail light and your camera's power cable. Close the tail light assembly's door and tie down your wiring securely with wire ties.

  5. 5

    Route the camera's other wire for its transmitter box to the back of the boot and up into the vehicle's cabin through a hole by a rear speaker. Secure the rest of this wire with wire ties. Move to the back seat of your vehicle and pull the needed amount of transmitter wire to the spot at which you'll mount your transmitter box. Some GPS manufacturers, like Garmin, will require you to snake this wiring along with the speaker cables to the rear of the stereo, where you'll attach an adaptor. Others only require a transmitter box to be mounted somewhere in the vehicle's cabin.

  6. 6

    Mount your transmitter box to your vehicle's rear speaker dash or a side panel with two-sided Velcro tape or wood screws. Attach the camera's A/V cabling to the bottom of the transmitter. Reconnect your car battery's negative lead, and then turn on your vehicle. Test the tail light and configure your GPS according to the manufacturer's instructions to begin receiving reverse camera video.

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