Model S

Installing a Dashcam

edited November -1 in Model S
I recently received a dashcam as a present and am wondering if there is anything different as far as installation since the car is electric. Also I wonder how to take advantage of the rear camera that already exists on the car.


  • edited January 1
    This is my first post so am not sure what is wanted here. Obviously I would hope to hear from someone who has installed a dashcam and how they went about it.
  • edited November -1
    We have community geeks that are all over this.
  • edited November -1
    Apologies to @TT if he prefers nerd...or “technically proficient Tesla Owner”.

  • edited November -1
    The TeslaTap site referenced above is about the TeslaCam built-in dashcam. For information about third-party dashcams, see this instead:
  • edited November -1
    I sit, corrected. Thanks EVR, HNY!
  • edited January 1
    Don't know which dashcam you were gifted but I just installed a Blackvue DR9005-2CH in my 2017 MS. I mostly followed the excellent instructions on the TeslaTap website and video but I found the cabin routing of the wire going to the rear camera to be easier after watching another YouTube video at:
    I found the most difficult part of the installation to be (once through the "grommet') routing the rear camera wire up through the rear hatch and out the back of it and then into another "layer" of it to get to the Blackvue rear camera.
    Well worth the effort though as both front and rear videos fantastic. Good luck!
  • edited January 1
    I mistakenly listed the address of the Tesla Tap dashcam video in my prior post. The other video with what I consider to be the easier routing of the wire to the rear camera can be found at:

    Both videos are excellent.
  • edited November -1
    @mogul_59: First, what year build is your Tesla. It may be that this dashcam would be redundant if your vehicle has full TeslaCam functionality.

    I installed a Vava dashcam (VD-CD001) in my 2017 MX 'cause at that time I had no TeslaCam. Even now with 2019.40.2.1 I don't have FULL TeslaCam functionality, just partial use as I cannot use flashstick storage.

    Regarding the Vava, I followed the directions in the unit and it works just fine. You can put a larger SD card in, allowing more storage. There is no rear facing camera on this unit which made the installation very quick (mine was about 15 mins). Amazon price was less than $125.00. There is no way to integrate the Tesla rear camera into the Vava SD storage card. The Vava impressed me so much, I took it on a recent trip to England and used in the rental car. It's now back in the MX recording each drive.

    On my 2013 MS, I spent just a bit over $1k to purchase/install a DR650GW-2CH unit professionally that had front/rear cameras. Because this car had no cameras, it was worth every penny to get recorded footage of both front/rear views.
  • edited January 1
    pa30pete, when it comes time to move to a newer Tesla, don't remove the existing cables for your Blackvue. Just hide the ends so no one sees them and pick up fresh ones on Amazon.

    I have had 600's 650's, 750's and 900's in mine. First I installed just one 900-2CH. Then bought new cables and ran two sets of new cables and installed a 900 front and the secondary camera in the left window. Then another 900 in the liftgate window and its secondary in the right rear quarter window. Now I have 360 degree coverage.

    The nice thing about the Blackvue series, is that you can swap 550's, 600's, 650's, 750's and 900's without pulling off the mounts off the car. The labeling it different but the camera will slide in and out fine.

    These pigtails will save you from cutting the end off the Blackvue power cord.

    Teslatap has a link to and ebay kit to tap power behind the speaker grille without cutting or breaking insulation.
  • edited January 1
    Thanks for all the links and support! Not sure there is much more I can add. I actually installed much of it 3 times to get it all on video and in some cases figuring out better ways to do it along the way. The rear hatch is the biggest pain. It seems like it could be easy, but I spent many hours trying to find a simpler way. My one requirement was not to drill any holes. If you're willing to drill into the aluminum hatch, it perhaps would be easier.

    @akikki - good advice - I've left cables and mounts in prior cars, but sometimes it becomes time for a new dashcam. Seems major tech advances are made about every 3-4 years.
  • edited January 1
    The reason I suggested for future purposing to hide the cable ends if you trade-in the car is because of an incident here. I was talking to (here) a second time Tesla owner. He had a Blackvue in his car when he went by the store for the Tesla appraiser review. He said the appraiser told him he was reducing the trade-in because he saw the aftermarket dash cam in the car. So instead of being a plus it was treated as a minus. I hope it was a fluke and the appraiser was "unique" and we won't see it again, but its sure not worth the risk of being offered less because cables are showing - just hide them.

    If you are selling private, we can remove the aftermarket camera and just describe its as "dash cam ready-" or let the dash cam go with the car as part of the sale.

    And from an old unrelated TMC post, an owner there reported his trade-in was reduced because he had aftermarket wheels on his car. This was back when Tesla's CPO program was doing well. They told him they had to remove his wheels and put OEM wheels on it before they sell it. I guess someone could justify with more than one reason why in those days they were stubborn about everything being OEM.
  • edited January 2
    @akikiki - That seems crazy, devaluing for having dashcam cables pre-installed. If I were in the used market, it would be worth at least $200 extra to have cables already installed! Guess not everyone sees it that way. Thanks for the tip.
  • edited January 2
    Interesting, @aikikiki. I thought it would be a bonus too, @TeslaTap. We sold our ICE and left the wires. I thought some lucky person will have that all set tot go. Have any of you tried the cigarette lighter plug option instead of hardwiring it in?
  • edited November -1
    @akikiki-Thanks for the tip about leaving & hiding the wires if I trade in my 2017 p100d in for a newer one.
    Since I am in my mid seventies I am thinking my 2017 will be my last car (only drive aprox 5K mi per year) and have both free supercharging and premium connectivity for life. HOWEVER, if Elon comes out with an MS with a p200d .drive-train with the 200kw hr battery in it with single charge range over 600 miles I would go for that If it comes out sooner rather than when I am really old! Like the 4 doors of the MS and not the 2 doors of the refreshed Roadster. Like your idea of installing second Blackvue DR9005-2CH system in the MS to capture side views of the car. Realize folks might think it is overkill but I do volunteer deliveries in some areas of the city that make me nervous and if "it" happens, would like to show the police any captured videos. I powered my front camera as Tesla Tap suggested into the existing plug under the "speaker panel" and installed the included fuse on the positive side.
    Where did you get the power tap from for your second Blackvue 2 camera system?? That is an excellent idea having the first powered camera (with the better optics) look out the front window and its rear camera look out one of the rear quarter windows and the second powered camera (with the better optics) look out the rear window and its rear camera look out the other rear quarter window. Again though, what did you use to power the second powered camera when I am already powering the front powered camera to the wire under the speaker panel.
    Thanks for you answer in advance. I don't find mounting 2 systems to be overkill at all when I need to travel on a regular basis to questionable areas of the city.
  • edited January 2
    @lilbean-The Blackvue powered camera wire does come with a 12 volt cigarette type of adapter on it and does plug into our MS 12 volt outlet. I did try installing it that way just to test to see that it worked but went with hard wiring it to a extra plug up under the speaker panel so no wires would be hanging down and noticeable. Thanks.
  • edited November -1
    pa30pete, very welcome. This is why we visit this forum. I helped TT shed some light on the manufacturer connections part numbers used to mate to the blue connector behind the grill We can make our own splitters. You can always split that and run power to the rear liftgate glass. BUT that's not what I did. I cheated. I pulled the side wall fuzzy out of the back, and found power on the liftgate controller. Then used a big Posi-tap and ran a larger gauge wire to the inter-side wall. I mounted a 4 fuse fusebox so I can add other 12v stuff back there. Then tapped that fuse box and ran power back to the C pillar and up through the liftgate grommet while I was running the cam-to-cam cable. I also had some vinyl stickers made with our local club logo on them and hid the rear window cameras behind them. I mounted the fusebox in the rear when I installed the lighted rear applique from I used the installation instructions to find the liftgate controller power.

    Thinking about two 2CH's? Remember, you can pre-wire all and get stuff ready for the cost of the cables and some after school labor. Then when you are ready, you pickup the 2nd 2CH and move the rear to the side and mount the second front and rear. I bought (had already - keep extras) power pigtails and cam-to-cam cables then did some a little at a time.

    I'm about your age and have about the same '17 S. I will miss FUSC (and we use it so so often here) and Unltd connectivity, but I'm not leaving my pennies for my brother and sisters, so might as well get a newer one - refreshed refresh. We need a name for a refreshed-refreshed S folks. People are saying its coming this summer. Smarter-better Raven

    lilbean, I think the cigarette lighter plug is acc only, so shuts down when car shuts down. Meaning you lose recording in park mode.
  • edited November -1
    @pa30pete Thanks!
    @aikikiki Yes. I might go that route when I get the Cybertruck because it’s easier and I have a spare camera.
  • edited January 2
    akikiki-My mechanical skills aren't too bad but I am electrically ignorant. If TT and that guy in Brisbane Australia had not posted those videos to YouTube, I never would have attempted even installing one dual camera dash-cam system. I lost you after your "I cheated" comment above. Do I understand you correctly that I can split that plug power wire behind the speaker and send power to both my front Blackvue DR 9005-2CH camera system and a second one (if I install that second system)? My concern would be be that two systems (now 4 cameras) might draw too many amps and blow the car fuse for that plug. Also, in following TT's instructions, I installed an inline-fuse on the positive wire going to my front camera. If I install the second 2-camera system using that same under-speaker power wire source, would I need to install a second in-line fuse or could I split the power wire after my fuse so both camera systems run through my existing fuse? I obtained both the computer fan plug-kit and the Blackvue hard-wiring kit (to get that in-line fuse) from Amazon. Thank you in advance for your advice.
  • edited November -1
    Yes, you can split at the speaker grille and pull power for both. Yes, you can get by with one inline fuse, but why do that? You are already in there - there's room. The separate fuse is going to help you troubleshoot later if one fails. Hmm, is the other dashcam working? Hmm, must be the fuse then.

    The Blackvue even two Blackvues do not pull to many amps to blow the car's fuse. I added a Garmin Speak (5v), stepdown (12v/5v) inverter, and a 12v remote relay to switch the Garmin on/off on that same power source - each with their own inline fuse all in that little cubby behind the grille.

    TT had a link to an ebay kit that was the factory match for the accessory plugging into the power. That computer fan plug is not a good fit to the car's plug, unless the kit includes the "TE Connectivity" connector.

    That car's power plug was originally intended for a an intrusion detection device, that was not installed from factory. That plug has a fuse too. I don't remember where it is on all years, but adding your own fuse is a good idea anyway. After Tesla started offering their Model S Enhanced Anti-theft device ($350), we needed to split that power at the plug anyway. So using factory mate was necessary.

    pete - Youtube is a great teacher for how to do this stuff. Watch them over and over. Keep searching, someone will add more too. Take your time.
  • edited January 2
    akikiki, I did notice that the computer fan plug mates with the car plug but does not snap or click together so I installed both electrical tape and a small tie-wrap around them to keep them snug. I'll look at TT again prior to wiring-in the second camera system for the link to the factory match ebay plug kit. Glad to know that power for both camera systems can be obtained from the same location. Will follow your advice on second in-line fuse. Looking forward to another Tesla project. Thanks again!
  • edited November -1
    pa30pete, Have you visited site? Look at the Modifications section. I often have to remind myself how much effort TT has invested in providing organized useful information about the cars. His Modifications section is unmatched any other place on the Internet. You want projects? This is the place.
  • edited January 3
    akikiki, Yep and I sign in and vote. Without TT I wouldn't know anything about my car.
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