Install a Rearview Backup Camera on Jeep Wrangler

Install a Rearview Backup Camera on Jeep Wrangler – Spare Tire & Licence Plate in simple steps

A rearview backup camera is essential for your safety when you are driving alone or with family and friends. With a rearview backup camera comes wide-angle cameras that are usually attached at the back of your car, and they provide a rearview for your rear mirror. 

Jeep Wrangler and Jeeps are unique from other vehicles and pose some challenges when installing a rearview backup camera. But it’s easier to wire a rearview backup camera with a switch on Jeep Wrangler once you know the right and easiest process. 

Read on and learn How to Wire a Rearview Backup Camera with a Switch on Jeep Wrangler?

Steps on installing a rearview backup camera with a switch on jeep wrangler

Before you can start installing a rearview backup camera on your Jeep Wrangler, you need to have bought the camera. Many cameras can work as a rearview backup camera, but you need one that serves your need and fits well with a Jeep Wrangler.

Some rearview backup cameras activate automatically when reversing but the best cameras are the ones that can be switched on when you need for use at your convenience as they can be used even when driving forward to monitor your rear surroundings which are important especially when hauling a trailer on busy highways. 

  • Turn off your engine completely and disconnect the negative terminal on your battery by unscrewing the screws on the terminal clamp and sliding off the clamp off the terminal screw 
  • Remove the spare tire by loosening the nuts on the spare tire and slide the tire off. Same goes for the licence plate. 
  • There is an adjustable bracket that comes with the camera, slide, and adjusts it into the same position as the tire was putting it into an upright position. Make sure you adjust the bracket so that the camera is not covered by the wheel spokes depending on the size of your spare wheel. You can put on the tire while doing this to find the best position for the camera. 
  • Slide push nuts on the studs onto the camera bracket and reinstall the spare tire and tighten the nuts. Check whether the camera bracket has been held tightly into place.  
  • Behind the tire carrier, there is a small vent, insert the camera connector through that vent. 
  • Using a thin hard plastic tool, remove the interior panels inside the rear gate to expose the chassis harness. Pull the camera connector through the opening. 
  • The new rearview backup camera comes with a chassis harness that you have to connect to the existing chassis harness. You’ll have to tie the new harness to the main harness using zip ties and make sure to leave enough room for the rear door to open fully 
  • Unscrew the nuts on the subwoofer box and using the same plastic removal tool slightly remove the rear seatbelt closeout that is on the same side as the subwoofer. 
  • Pull up the subwoofer box slightly and run the camera harness through, pull up the carpet, and continue running the harness in line with the existing harness  
  • Run the harness under the B-pillar to the passenger door and using the plastic removal tool, remove the plastic push pins which allow you to remove the passenger sill plate 
  • If your wrangler doesn’t have a head-up display you can use an after-market one. Most market head-up displays are mounted on top of the dashboard where the waste tray is and come with mounting functionality to enable them to be mounted using the two screws that are located in the trash tray. But it is recommended that if you are going to use an aftermarket display unit you should buy a wireless camera that comes with its head-up display but this cannot have a switch due to its wireless feature. For newer models, the wire directly goes into the head-up display which can encode video signals from the camera. 
  • Connecting the display. You have to remove the glove box to gain access to the back of the head-up display unit. Most wranglers do not have the glove box bolted in but if you happen to see any screws in the glove box unscrew then hold the upper and the lower part of the glove box and pull it out. 
  • Now run the harness from the B-pillar up the empty glove box void to the back of the head unit display. Since there was an older camera in place (for newer models) connect the new camera in the same way as the old camera was connected to the head-up display. You must have probably not taken out the wiring of the old camera so you can apply some DIY hacks, splice the old camera wires with the new camera wires together.
  • If you have an aftermarket head-up display that came with the camera that means it has one input only for the camera and another output from the head-up unit display to the car’s electrical system. If you will be mounting it on the trash tray, drill two small holes, one for the camera wire and one that allows the wire from the head-up display unit to the car’s electrical system. Different head-up display units have different ways in which they are connected to the car’s electrical system and it is recommended that you follow the instruction manual that comes with the camera 
  • You can reconnect the battery terminals and turn on your engine, put the car in reverse, and if the head-up display automatically switches to video mode to help you reverse, then you are set to go. 
  • You might want to add a switch to the camera just in case you need to use it when driving normally. Turn off your engine and disconnect the battery terminals. 
  • Split the outer camera cable slowly so as not to cut off the inner cables. If there are only two cables inside it means that the reverse signal cable is integrated into the power cables and you can cut, and splice the cut ends to a switch. A 12v switch is the only switch suitable for the rearview backup camera.
  • You have to make a little adjustment on your dashboard for the switch, Drill a small hole on a panel near the driver’s side to a position where you see fit to pass through the wires to the switch then attach the switch using strong glue or if the switch has a screw to hold it into position, drill another hole the same size as the screw next to the first hole that you had drilled. Then pass the screw through the second hole to the switch and tighten using your hands 
  • Testing out every function on the camera. Reconnect your battery terminals and start your engine. Turn on the camera switch and then turn it off, engage reverse. If both are working, turn off your engine, disconnect the battery terminal, and reinstall every panel you had removed when directing the camera wiring to the dashboard. 

Wiring a rearview backup Camera with a Switch on a Jeep Wrangler 

Install a Rearview Backup Camera on Jeep Wrangler

Wiring a rearview backup camera for a Jeep wrangler is typical the same, with minor differences depending on the screen type or monitor. The main procedures of wiring a rearview backup camera includes connecting your rear camera to power and connecting the reverse signal and routing the display with a video signal. 

Powering your Camera 

For your camera to work, it needs to be powered first by connecting it to the power. It would help if you tapped into your Jeep’s reverse light wires, both negative and positive, to achieve it.

Then start connecting a wire that will trigger reverse on the positive light wire once you have joined the reverse creamy wire head to the front and connect it to the monitor. Your camera is now connected to power only when the car is on reverse mode. 

To power your camera and get to view it anytime regardless of whether you are on reverse mode or just stuck in traffic. It would be best if you got is powered by something is activated by the car keys. It can be the stereo power, ignition, or fuse box, which ranges around 12 volts. 

The process of installing is the same as the reverse. The only difference will be you have your camera on once you ignite the car with your car keys. It’s important to note the reverse power will not be affected. 

Connecting Reverse Signal Wire 

A reverse signal wire is a wire that has 12 positive volts when you put the car on reverse. You connect the reverse signal wire with the reverse trigger wire. Once clicked, it will automatically switch the camera on the video source to view the rear camera images.

The reverse wire is mostly found at the back of the car, just behind the reverse lights. Some monitors have a signal sense which you will no longer need the reversal signal wire. 

Routing Video Signal Display 

When you connect the reverse signal wire and the reverse trigger wire, the video signal display begins automatically. That’s because the reverse signal wire is connected to the monitor transmitting the images. 

Once you have powered and connected the display and the reverse, you can now connect the switch, which can turn on and off the camera. The process of wiring a rearview backup camera varies depending on the camera head you have. 

Integrating Monitor with rearview backup Camera 

Sometimes you are unable to integrate a rearview backup camera with the current stereo of your Jeep.  You can buy a stand-alone monitor and connect it with your rearview backup camera. The monitor’s size varies from 3 inches to 10 depending on the model you choose. 

While using the monitor, you can set your smartphone apps on, whenever your vehicle is in reverse. Then the rear camera, also known as the rearview backup camera can be viewed on a smartphone screen, making it easy to see all the spots you need. 

Perks of having a rearview backup Camera on your Jeep 

Install a Rearview Backup Camera on Jeep Wrangler

Here are the benefits of having a rearview backup camera on your Jeep Wrangler. 

  • Having a rearview backup camera helps you see any blind spots or areas you could not see using your side view and rear mirrors because they cover bigger angles and locations. 
  • Rearview cameras come in handy when you pack your car and cannot see well using the rear mirror. The same applies when reversing in unfamiliar or uneven roads. 
  • During low weather conditions, you will be able to see the car behind you, which would be obscure while using your rear mirror only. 
  • The rearview backup camera helps when you are stuck in traffic and may need that, but you cannot because you are unsure of your turning space and don’t hit a car behind you. With a rearview backup camera, you can see what you have and how you can work with it. 
  • You can watch out for children, pets, or animals when you reverse and they were too short for you to see them with your rear mirror. 

Choosing Best Rearview backup Camera for Jeep Wrangler? 

When looking to purchase a rearview backup camera for your Jeep Wrangler, there are factors you will need to put into considerations. First, most Jeep Wrangler are used for off-road adventures that push your Jeep to the maximum with rough and rocky roads. 

The camera you will need should have the capacity to withstand harsh weather conditions like winter, rain, and sun during winter. 

Rearview Backup camera compatible for spare tire

Rearview Backup camera compatible for License plate

Factors to Consider when Buying Rearview backup Camera for a Jeep Wrangler 

  • Waterproof, the camera you intend to should be waterproof. Unfortunately, it’s most likely it will rain when you are out on your adventures. 
  • The quality of the picture should be HD, both when in good and bad lighting. 
  • A small camera will serve you well and fits well on the back, unlike a big camera. 
  • It should be able to provide a wider viewing angle. 
  • Able to be work with many GPS navigators. 
  • Dustproof, this is an absolute must as you will be offloading through rough and dust terrains. The camera should be able to withstand it. 

These are among the absolute you need to check when purchasing a rearview backup camera for your device. Remember, a Wrangler rearview camera is not like another standard rearview backup camera. It is supposed to withstand all the abuse that comes its way and without a compromise on the quality of its picture. 

A Jeep Wrangler is designed to stand out and tackle difficult terrain so should the rearview backup camera. You now understand how to choose the right rearview backup camera. Next, let’s look at how to wire it. 

Best place to Install a rearview backup Camera on Jeep Wrangler 

Jeeps are designed differently from other vehicles, and it makes mounting a rearview backup camera is a challenge.  There are two mains places to mount a rearview backup camera on your Jeep Wrangler.

The first and commonplace where most Jeep users place their rearview camera is behind the spare tire at the back. It provides a central location that is higher for a wider-angle view. 

If you have the factory tire, you will poke the camera to speak for a more central location.  When you are using an aftermarket tire, you can get a camera with more adjustments that will help you mount it on the tire. 

When you have your camera mounted on the spare wheel, it will be safe and secure, and you won’t worry when traversing rough terrains. It’s also safe when washing even under high pressure. 

The second place is on the license plate, which is on the left side of the Jeep. When placed there, the rearview camera can see beyond the spare tire and provides a wider angle, but it can be slightly offset. 

What is the Cost of Installing a rearview backup Camera on a Jeep Wrangler? 

It can be hard to state the actual cost of installing a rearview camera because it varies from the brand you use to installing. However, you can categorize the price in two as the cost of purchasing the rearview camera and the installation of it.

Cost of the Camera 

When calculating the cost of installation, you need to start with how much your camera will cost. Cameras vary in their prices ranging from $20 on the lowest to $700 on the higher end. Just as the prices vary, so do the brand and features of the camera. 

The most budget-friendly cameras are usually single cameras, and the highly-priced ones have a monitor. However, some have bigger monitors with advanced features like the tracker and GPS. So, when you buy a single camera, you may be required to purchase a monitor. 

You may also notice the durability of different cameras. It’s important to have a budget already and a list of your needs and go for a camera that meets both of your requirements. 

Installation Cost 

The installation cost varies on how complex the process depends on what you need—the rates rate from $75 to $200. For example, if you need to install a stand-alone monitor or change your car’s stereo, then your installation cost may be on the higher side compared to someone who needs to install the rearview backup camera only. 

You may also choose to install the rearview backup camera by yourself and save the installation cost. However, the process may time if you are not equipped with the process.  Here are ways you can prepare your tools. 

Buying the Right Camera 

Jeeps are not like any other car, and it requires the right camera suitable for going off-road adventures. If you have a camera and trying to customize it may give you poor services. 

Inquire Materials 

Most rearview camera installation requirements are camera, monitor, connectors, RCA video, and power cables. Most of them come with all the necessary lines, but you can inquire while purchasing to be sure. Once you have all the requirements, you can now start the installation process. 

What Might Be the Cause of Jeep Camera not to Work?

How to Wire a Backup Camera with a Switch on Jeep Wrangler?

When you notice that your camera is not, you can have mixed thoughts about turning to figure out the cause. For example, a few reasons for a rearview camera on a Jeep Wrangler are not to work but the common like an electrical problem, system, or even faulty camera. 

The first thing you need to do is start by troubleshooting your camera’s system if you use a camera Wi-Fi by resetting your camera before heading to other diagnostics. Other causes are a faulty or disconnected wire the display monitor is not working, faulty camera, blown fuse, and having a bad or broken switch. 

However, there are some occurrences where you can notice your camera may be flashing black, which is mainly caused by a faulty wire or a blank camera caused by the display on the monitor and not the camera. 

How do You Fix a Camera that is Not Working? 

You can try these fixes on your own before you take your camera to the auto shop. First, start with a battery reset which is done by draining the battery. To achieve it, disconnect the positive wire for thirty seconds, then get it back and start putting the ignition on without starting the engine for some time. 

Check circuits connections linked on display and the camera, and it may be the switch that could have burnt out. The next fix you can try is checking the camera display or replacing the rearview backup camera itself.


Having a rearview backup camera enhances your driving experience. Wiring a rearview camera is not hard in today’s digital world. As you have read above, you can have your simplest DIY project and do not require a professional. 

Ensuring you have the right equipment from the right camera, wiring and switch set you up for an easier process. You have a step-by-step guide on how to wire your rearview camera on your Jeep wrangler and highlight possible problems and fixes for a rearview backup camera.