Install a Backup Camera in a Silverado
If you’re reading this, you’ve purchased or are looking to purchase a brand new Chevy Silverado backup camera, and you’re trying to figure out how to install it. If you’re familiar with the general process of installing a backup camera, this is the post for you. However, if you’re a beginner, you should read this guide first.
Get the Camera You Need
First, you’re going to need to get your hands on a backup camera, if you haven’t already. We have an expansive inventory of options that you can choose from for a Silverado. Camera Source provides the highest quality devices, and the installation process may apply to devices from other sources, but there may be some variation depending on the quality of the device.
But before you hit that buy button, let’s go over some important considerations:
What type of body style does your truck have?
Depending on the body style (New Body Style, New New Body Style, Old Body Style, etc.) what you need to do to install the camera might vary.
Why are you installing a camera in the first place?
Ask yourself why you’re buying and installing a camera in the first place. There are many good reasons to do so, but knowing why will help you make the right purchasing decisions based around budget, utility, and other functions.
Are you upgrading the existing camera?
Knowing the features of your current camera will give you the necessary information to upgrade your camera to the specifications you need.
Do you want to upgrade the monitor?
Sometimes you can get away with upgrading the existing monitor in your vehicle without changing out the camera. This is going to depend on what kind of new monitor you’re going to want, as well as where you’re planning on positioning it.
Is a current device damaged or defective?
It might be worth it to consult with a professional before buying a new backup camera to determine if that's what is necessary. Be certain what the actual problem is and if you are able to fix it, or what it is you need to replace. For instance, if just the camera is damaged, you might not need to rewire everything. Try troubleshooting and repairing before replacing.
Are you starting from scratch?
Worried about blind spots when back up and looking for a solution? If so, you’ve come to the right place.
Selecting a Camera
It goes without saying that it’s a necessity to select the right equipment for your needs, or you’re going to find yourself replacing it with a different model.
If you’re wondering what type of camera you’re going to need for the requirements you have, we have a guide for that. Check out our inventory. We have everything, from bare bones backup cameras to ones with all the different bells and whistles.
- Discreet cameras
- For trucks with a monitor already
- Rearview mirror cameras
- Front, rear, and side cameras
There are also wireless backup cameras, which have a simpler installation process since there is no wiring to be done. We recommend installing a hardwired backup camera to ensure a good connection and no interference.
Get the Right Tools and Equipment
First, you’re going to make sure that you have all the tools you’re likely to need for the job Every truck and camera kit will be a bit different but generally speaking, you should be covered if you have the following tools on hand:
- Hand drill with drill bits for drilling metal (preferable high-speed bits coated with titanium oxide)
- Torx set
- Wrench Set
- Safety Goggles
- Standard wire stripper/crimper
- Torx socket set
- Razor knife
- Socket or nut runner set
- Trim removal tool or small plastic putty knife
- Soldering iron and solder (optional)
- Shrink tube (optional)
You might need more or less equipment than what’s on this list, depending on if you have a camera-only system that can be added to a truck that already has a stock in-dash screen.
Installing a brand new camera may seem daunting at first, but taking one step at a time makes it less so. Camera Source provides detailed instructions for operating and installing their devices, and has provided a step by step video tutorial of how to install a backup camera in Silverados with a dash navigation screen.
The steps of the installation process are for devices from Camera Source. The same steps can apply to other devices, but there may be some variation. We recommend selecting a high quality device for installation, which can be found in our vast inventory.
Your backup camera is most likely going to be installed just above or on your license plate. We’ll start there. Here’s what to do:
- Remove your license plate. On the Silverado, you should be able to locate all the wiring you’ll need to connect the backup camera to your truck’s power system. Locate where this wire is running from, it’ll probably be going through a side panel in the bed of your truck.
- Making sure you’re not going to cut any existing cables, drill a hole from the exterior side of your trunk that will be large enough to run the necessary cables through. Make sure that if you’re going to be installing the camera over the plate that you won’t be blocking your license plate number.
- Locate the reverse light wires for your truck. This is a tricky step, and you want to make sure that you do it correctly.
You’re going to connect a backup camera to the reverse light. This is how the camera is activated to transmit the image to the monitor. The camera can be powered through the connection to the reverse lights, but we recommend powering it through the headunit for better weatherization. Make sure to double-check your owner’s manual to ensure you’ve located the right one.
4. Strip the positive and negative wires on your reverse lights (make sure your truck is powered off before you do this). Using a small screwdriver, separate some of the strands of the stripped wire, and splice in the power cable for your backup camera to them. Usually, you can do this by looping the wires together. Make sure positive is connected to positive and negative is connected to negative. Once you’ve done this, cover the wires in electrical tape.
Running and Connecting Wires
Here’s where we start to figure out how to power a backup camera. Let’s go!
- Run the camera and power cable through the hole into the interior of your truck. On a Silverado, removing the panels near the base of each passenger side door should be a convenient place to run the wires.
- Connect the RCA cable to the camera’s cable, and run it all from the rear to the fuse box at the front of the truck. This is usually located to the bottom left of the steering wheel. You can conceal the cable underneath the ceiling panels of your vehicle if you want to peel them back, or if you don’t care about aesthetics, just attach it to the ceiling of your truck.
Mount the Monitor
- The next step is mounting your monitor. It may be one that mounts to your rearview mirror or one that mounts to your dashboard. In either event, following the mounting instructions that come with the device is your best bet. If all else fails, this backup camera installation guide can be very helpful.
- Connect the RCA cable to the RCA output on the monitor. You may also need to run a trigger wire up to your monitor, or even power it through the same source as the backup camera. (Again models will vary.)
- If the monitor requires it, you’ll likely need to install a fuse tap, which will allow you to connect the bare wiring of your monitor to the power of your fuse box. See the guide linked above for good instructions on how to do this.
Mount the Camera
- Get excited, because we’re on the home stretch. All you need to do now is mount the camera itself to the back of your license plate or trunk, connect the appropriate wires (RCA and power) and you should be ready to go!
What could go wrong?
If things aren’t working, one of these is likely your issue.
- Cables are too short - If you didn’t give yourself enough slack on your wiring job, you might end up with a broken wire or one that isn’t able to make a proper connection. Give yourself enough slack, and splice in cable if you need to.
- Truck can’t supply power - If your vehicle can’t supply enough power, you’ll end up with electrical problems. It might be worth consulting with a mechanic in this instance (before you install the camera).
- Messed up wiring - There is always the possibility that you are connecting the wrong wires. Consult your wiring diagram to double-check.
- Rust - If you see rust anywhere, it’s probably a good idea to find the source. Rust is one of the most destructive things that can happen to a vehicle.
Where to Go From Here
Trucks have blind spots, and a traditional backup camera might not be able to give you the coverage you need. We have a massive inventory of front and side cameras so you can have a 360-degree view of your surroundings in your vehicles.
We’ve also got a team of knowledgeable experts who are here to help you find the camera that meets your needs. And, if you have more questions, check out our other blog posts for more info.