Truck Bed Cargo Camera Installation - 2015 Ram 3500

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How to Install a Truck Bed Cargo Camera on a 2015 Ram 3500


Hi there, Ram owners. Today on our 2015 Ram 3500, we're going to be taking a look at, and showing you how to install the third brake light truck bed cargo camera. Our customers going to be using his truck bed cargo camera to help him line up his Gooseneck trailer, with this Gooseneck hitch, in his truck bed. One of these makes it so much easier, so you don't have to stop and get out and check multiple times. You can just back up, and see right in there, and line it right up the first try. This also works great for your fifth-wheel hitches.

And now maybe you don't have a Gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailer, but there's still plenty applications where it can be useful. If you're hauling a lot of exceptionally long objects, where your tailgate's consistently down, your backup camera's pretty useless because it's in the tailgate, so it points down towards the ground.Placing one here, you can have all those long items hanging off the back, and you can still get that backup camera functionality with this system. The camera is adjustable so you can change the angle to adjust it, to best suit your needs. Whether you're using it to lineup your trailer for backing up, or just to monitor the load in the back of your truck bed. It is a little difficult to move, but as you can see here with some pressure, it does swivel inside the ball socket.

This is a custom fit rear view camera system, that's a direct replacement for your existing third brake light assembly. Your new third brake light assembly is going to have the camera mounted already inside of it, and this is going to give it a nice factory look, and it's also going to help it seal properly. There are a lot of different camera systems out there that sometimes install with a bracket between your existing third brake light assembly, but those are just prone to having leaks occur because you've got multiple surfaces you're trying to seal. With this it's going to keep everything just like factory.Now, we don't have a fifth-wheel in our truck, but to give you an idea of what it would be like, you typically have to lower down your tailgate before you back up. Here our factory camera is, which is going to do us no good whatsoever.

We flipped over to our new camera and here you can clearly see right in the bed of our truck. We've got our Gooseneck there, but imagine there's a fifth-wheel, it'd be easy for us to see the king pin lining up with our fifth-wheel as we go back. This is going to save you a lot of time and you don't have to have an extra set of hands, like a spotter, to help you get everything lined up. The lines on our camera will help guide you back, keeping you nice and straight.And what I really like about this system is how it integrates so well into all your factory equipment, everything seems like it was just supposed to be there. Our taillight assembly looks great, and here you can see our display, here in the front is our factory entertainment systems display.

And that's what our camera goes through. There's a toggle switch that you do have to add, which is the only thing that's going to really appear that anything's after market, and it allows you to switch between your factory backup camera and our new aftermarket backup camera.We'll begin our installation at the back of our vehicle by removing our third brake light. There's a screw located on each side. We'll remove it with a Phillips screwdriver. With both of our screws removed, we can pull our third brake light assembly out and we're going to go ahead and disconnect it. Press in on the release tab, and then pull it and we can now set this aside as we're not going to be reinstalling it. We'll next need to take the harness, that comes in your kit, with the female end just like this, and we need to route that into the area back here where our third brake light is. To get this in here, we're going to do that from the inside. I'm going to show you now how I've got it in there.You can get access to that area by taking a trim panel tool like this, and shoving it behind your headliner and then pulling it down. You can then just poke your wire up. Once you've got your wire poked into that area, you can take the wiring and we're going to route it down our fender liner towards the passenger side. You have to peel off your weatherstripping here, that just pulls away so you can get access up in here. And we're going to route this wire up towards the front of the vehicle. We just follow it all the way there. Again, had to pull the weather stripping down. We're going to go behind this pillar, towards the front. We'll then open our front door, we're going to pull our wiring through that pillar. We had to pull the weather stripping out of the way here, as well, so we can route it down this paneling, and we're just going to stop here at this point. There is a panel here that you can just pull off. That just snaps in, so it just pulls out and we're just going to let it hang here for now. And we're going to finish putting our taillight assembly back together with our new camera.We'll now take our camera assembly, and we're going to install that right where our third brake light used to go. You need to plug in our wiring first. Go ahead and get the twisty ties off of there. The connector with four wires going to it is going to plug into our factory connector. This is what's going to operate our taillight assembly. And then our other black wire here is for our camera, that's going to plug in to this connector here. This connector only goes in one way. You have to line up the notch there. It is a little difficult to see, but if you just go in slowly and give it a little twist without applying a lot of pressure, you'll feel when the notch lines up, and then you can plug it all the way in. It's a pretty good idea not to wrap this in electrical tape to ensure that it doesn't come unplugged while you're getting your wiring routed in there and everything.Another little note here, you'll see there's some arrows. Those arrows will line up, when it's lined up properly to be snapped in. We can now tuck our wiring back up in the slot there, and then reinstall our third brake light assembly using the factory hardware. You want to check and make sure that the foam seal is present. On ours it was pre-installed. If it's not, and it comes on a pad, you may need to stick it on there. Make sure not to over tighten the bolts so you don't damage the assembly.We'll now need to gain access to the backside of our entertainment system. To do that, we'll remove the rubber piece located here at at the top. Just use a trim panel tool, or a screwdriver to get under there. And we need to remove both bolts located beneath. We're going to do that with a T20 torque socket. Then, located on the right side of your entertainment system, just above your 115 volt outlet there, we're going to remove the rubber piece located there. There's one bolt down in the back that we'll need to remove. This one, we'll also use a T15 torques. You may need an extension in order to get it out. We can then use our trim panel tool to work our way around our bezels here, and pry those off. Just want to gently work our way around it, don't apply too much pressure, just a little bit here and there. Just take your time, and go slow and don't pull too hard at any particular spot. It will come off of there.And now depending on your trim package, you may need to remove your cup holder assembly here, it may be holding it on. To remove that, we're going to pop out the rubber piece here, exposing two Phillips head screws. We'll remove those with our screwdriver. And then in the bottom of our compartment here, we're going to pull up the rubber piece, as well, exposing some bolts. We'll then remove these three bolts using a seven millimeter socket Then we can take our cup holders, remove the rubber inserts and remove both bolts underneath those, as well. As you work your way around, it'll pop up and we can slide it back. There are electrical connectors located at the bottom, you can disconnect those if you'd like to get it out of the way, or you could just move it back. We're going to go ahead and disconnect it. It's a single connector for our accessory outlet there. So just press in on the release tab. Hard to see, because you can't pull it up very far. You just to feel around for that release tab. You'll just press in on the release tab there, and then pull it out. We can then set this aside. And now we can finish prying off our entertainment center face plate.Once you've got it released all the way around, you'll have several connectors here in the back. We'll need to disconnect all of those. Depending on your trim package, you will have more, or less, connectors. Once they're all just disconnected, we can pull this out and set it aside. I did have to turn the ignition on and pull the shifter lever down a little bit to get it out of the way, to wiggle it out of there. Once you got out of the way though, you can put your shifter back and turn the vehicle off. We can now remove our entertainment center display using a seven millimeter socket. We'll take out all four bolts located in each corner. You can then slide our display out, exposing the connectors located on the back work. We're curious what this large connector here this is where our assembly is going to be plugging in line with.We'll take our new harness and we're going to plug it in line, so we'll disconnect the large connector here, pull up on the release lever, and then slide it out. We're then just going to moved this out of the way, so we can take our new harness and plug it in. Now, your new harness does come with the same style of hold down. You'll have to have that pushed back in order for it to snap in. We're just going to work that back in place. And to make it easier, if you need to, you can just connect some of these connectors. This one here's in the way, so we're just going to move it for a second, and then we can get that plugged in. And make sure to push your lock clamp back down, to secure it in place. Once you've got it all the way down to where it snaps in, just double check yourself. See there, we can't take it out, so we can then take the other end of our harness and this is going to plug into our factory connector there, and then has to be flipped up. Push it in, flip it down, just double check to make sure they're tight. If you did disconnect any wiring down here, make sure you plug that back in.And at this point you could reinstall the display. We're going to go ahead and leave it just chilling right there for now, because we need to finish routing the harness that we had routed over over to the side of our dash there, over to here so we can start making some connections. We're going to get our wire over towards our audio system using a pull wire. We're using a piece of air line, but you can use anything. Coat hanger works really well for fish wiring things through, if you unfold it. We just tape it to it with some electrical tape, and we're just going to feed it on through. It's going to be pretty tight, but you can pull it through. Once you've got it all pulled through, we can start making our connections. The wire that we ran over is going to have two connectors on it. You'll have a female video cable, and then you have your black power cable. You'll get another harness in your kit, and this is the small jumper harness. We're going to use the male end of the video cable, plug it into the harness we ran over, and the other side we'll take the male end of the video cable and we're going to plug it into the female on our little control box here. This is from the harness that plugged into the back of our entertainment system.The black wire coming off of this little jumper harness here is going to plug into the black wire coming off the harness we ran over. That's going to be for our power and ground here, which we'll still need to make connections to. And our camera has a switch here that will allow us to toggle it on and off. We'll need to hook that up as well. We're going to be hooking these to our auxiliary outlet. We've got powering ground here, this connector plugged into the auxiliary outlet that was located next to our cup holder assembly. This is going to be accessory power, which is what we want, so we're going to be using it. We'll be connecting them using some quick splices. If you need some quick splices, you can pick those up here at Etrailer.com.We're going to begin by connecting to powering ground. These two are going to be tied together, and they are pre-stripped. We don't need them to be pre-stripped because we're going to be using quick splices. If you we're going to use butt connectors, then you can go ahead and leave those on, but we're cutting ours off. We can then take the quick splices and slide it over the power wire first, this will just slide in there like that. And then we'll take our power wire, and that's just going to slide down in the other hole. You can then use a pair of pliers, or channel locks to squeeze the quick splice down onto the wires. Double check to make sure it's on there and then you can fold it over, locking it in place. We're going to do the same thing with our black wire here, which is ground to the black wire here, for our auxiliary, which is also great. And for our switch accessory power, we're actually just going to quick splice it to the red wire here that's powering our camera.At this point we've made all of our connections, so we can just set our display back in there and test it out to see that everything's working properly. Now, since we hooked it to our auxiliary outlet here, and the directions do request that you put it to an accessory power, it won't work so you turn your vehicle to either the accessory run position. I've got it now in the run position. I'm going to go ahead and pull it from park down to reverse. You might want to set your parking brake beforehand, you don't want your truck rolling away. And here it engaged our factory rear view camera. Now, currently I've got the tailgate down so that's why we're looking at the ground because that's where our factory camera is.We can take the switch that we have off of our harness and we're going to click it over, and we're not looking out of our new third brake light camera. With everything working properly, we can now reassemble our dash and then mount our switch up. We decided to mount our switch inside of the small pocket above our 115 volt outlet there. We drilled a quarter inch hole in the top. We're going to set our hardware back in place now after sliding the switch through. When putting everything back together, I use some zip ties to clean all the wiring up. If you need some zip ties, you can pick those up here at etrailer.com. Now that we've got it all reassembled, let's test it out one more time to make sure everything's working properly. Pull it in reverse. We can see our factory camera's working properly. We swap it over, and our new taillight camera's working properly, as well. We're now ready to hook up our Gooseneck and hit the road. And that completes our look at the third brake light truck bed cargo camera on your 2015 Ram 3500.


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