Best RV Backup Cameras: Enhance Your Field of Vision
Get a better view of blind spots when reversing your RV with these backup cameras
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BY Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON August 25, 2019
Driving an RV in reverse can be quite challenging. Your fender mirror may help you with the task, but it may also have a lot of blind spots. An RV backup camera system solves this issue by giving you a clear picture of the areas that your side mirror may miss. It also allows you to get a clear view of the low spots behind your RV to avoid obstacles. Check out some of the best RV backup camera systems available.
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Benefits of RV Backup Cameras
- Avoid obstacles. Backup cameras reduce the possibility of accidents that can occur while you are backing up the driveway or on a campsite. Many people leave chairs and other personal items unattended at campsites, and children may also run around near your RV. A backup camera is an easy solution to avoid unnecessary accidents.
- Enhanced safety. The camera is not only good at helping you avoid obstacles when you are on a driveway. It also gives you a clear view of the vehicles behind you when you are on the highway. You only have to wire the camera to a constant power source like your RV’s fuse box, and it will constantly display live images of the traffic conditions throughout your trip.
- Park comfortably in reverse. Reverse camera systems have parking grid lines that let you know if you are properly aligned in your parking space. You don't have to turn your body backward or ask a passenger to guide you into a parking spot.
- Law compliance. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation decreed that every vehicle built as of 2014 should include a reverse camera for extra safety. If you have an older model, consider buying an aftermarket reverse camera to be compliant with the law and to avoid blind spots.
Types of RV Backup Cameras
These cameras have a cable that runs from the camera on the RV’s bumper all the way to the monitor on the trailer’s dashboard. It only requires a single power source to transmit images from both units. You may need to get some technical help when installing this type of camera, and you can increase the length of transmission by using a longer cord.
Digital wireless backup cameras use a wireless transmitter and receiver to transmit images from the RV backup camera to the monitor. The two devices communicate via electromagnetic transmission or wireless signals but have a shorter transmission distance in comparison to the wired alternatives. It’s easy to install the wireless camera as you only need to look for a mount or strong adhesive tape for the monitor and camera.
Furrion is made up of a US-based team of engineers, designers, and technologists. The company has over 10 years of experience in supplying high-quality consumer electronics and appliances for specialty vehicles. Its unique engineering capabilities led to its collaboration with several Fortune 500 companies. One of its best-rated backup cameras for campers is the Furrion Vision S Backup Camera and Monitor.
eRapta is a manufacturing company that’s dedicated to the research of automotive safety and designs products aimed at reducing accidents on the road. The company has warehouses in the United States, Canada, and China. It also has over eight years of experience in manufacturing diversified road safety products, including car reversing camera kits, wireless rearview cameras, and car rearview cameras. Some of its best RV backup camera systems are the eRapta Reverse Camera with Split Screen Monitor and the eRapta Backup Camera and Monitor.
RV Backup Camera Pricing
- Under $100: Backup camera systems within this price range are usually quite easy to install. You will find wired and wireless types that can fit in almost all vehicles. However, you may have to buy a mounting bracket with some models. Some models have a wide viewing angle of over 120 degrees, and you should expect some convenience features such as motion sensor activation with the cheaper options.
- $100 to $200: The units within this price range are mostly high-quality wireless camera systems with sleek designs and high-resolution images. Expect to find products with a wide viewing angle and a plethora of convenience features, including parking guidelines, infrared night vision capability, waterproof cameras, and a high transmission range.
- Over $200: Price is not a determining factor for the size of the screen you may receive with a unit. Some high-end models have less than five-inch screens but boast the best image quality and can stabilize vibrating images. They also work well at high speeds and have almost zero interference for accurate usage.
The viewing angle or field of view is determined by the quality of the camera and the size of your RV. You need a unit with a wide field of view that covers the entire area behind your RV and gives a perfect view of the blind spots on the side. Any unit with a viewing angle of more than 90 degrees will be ideal for most RVs.
The best cameras are resistant to extreme weather conditions such as heavy downpour, extreme heat, and snow. Waterproof cameras typically carry an IPx7 rating, showing that the unit can withstand being immersed 3.5 feet in water for 30 minutes. A unit with an IPx6 rating can withstand being hit by powerful jets of water from side to side. Such units are also freeze-proof even under temperatures of 59-degrees Fahrenheit.
Backup cameras use either a digital or analog signal to transmit and receive images. However, the signals are susceptible to interference from Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi signals, wireless radios, and phones, among other devices. In the worst-case scenario, you may get images of backup cameras from other vehicles transmitted to your monitor. The best bet is to get a digital camera since it is less susceptible to interference.
- Night Vision: This feature mostly applies to wireless backup cameras. A unit with night vision typically means that it will produce high-quality images on the monitor at night. The cameras are fitted with infrared LEDs that illuminate objects in the dark. Wired cameras rely on your tailgate lights to display objects at night.
- Camera Quality: You should choose a camera with great image quality and customizable options that let you choose between colored and black and white images. Another important feature is mirror image capability that helps you reverse easily without using the side mirror of your RV.
- Monitor Quality: Most backup cameras are sold together with their monitors. The best monitor should display clear image quality and have at least a five-inch screen. Choose units with over 400 horizontal pixels. It’s also convenient if the monitor can double as an entertainment system.
Best RV Backup Camera Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Don't substitute the side mirror with the backup camera. Look over your shoulder and use the side mirror from time to time to ensure that you are getting the correct image from the camera.
- Since the camera will be exposed to outdoor elements such as dirt, grime, dust, and snow, ensure to constantly clean the lens to get a clear image. You can wet a dry cloth with an alcohol-based solution to clean the camera lens.
- Learning how to use the reverse camera is a gradual process that takes time. Practice using the device in your driveway before you take your RV on the road. Pair the unit with a blind spot mirror, and be sure to get a high-end reverse camera if you have never used one before for enhanced clarity and safety.
Q: Can I hook up the reverse camera to a monitor that's already built into my RV?
A: This is possible with a plug-and-play monitor that supports the video system coming in from the camera. With other incompatible models, you may have to tap into your vehicle’s circuitry system to connect both units. However, that's not a guarantee that both units will work flawlessly together as the video screen may "reject" the camera's program.
Q: Do backup cameras reduce accidents?
A: Yes, they do. They reduce injuries to children and pets caused by vehicles backing up, and they help you maintain a safe distance from the vehicles behind you in traffic. They also save you money in repairs for a damaged bumper.
Q: What do I do when my screen doesn't display images from the camera?
A: You can start by troubleshooting the wiring. Ensure that the monitor is well connected to the camera. If that doesn't work, the issue could be with a blown fuse on the camera. Refer to your manual to locate the fuse and see the steps on how to troubleshoot the problem.
We chose the eRapta Reverse Camera with Split Screen Monitor as our top pick due to its high camera quality and its dedicated monitor that displays clear images.
If you are tight for cash but need a quick and easy solution to reverse parking, you could go for the LeeKooLuu Backup Camera and Monitor.