Backing up in a regular old car is hard enough. When you’re driving a motorhome or travel trailer, the situation is significantly compounded. But with the multiplicity of RV backup camera options on the market, it can be difficult to figure out where to start — and whether or not you even need one, really, in the first place.
Although many RVers go through their camping lives without the aid of an RV backup camera, adding one to your list of gear could be a major upgrade. Just imagine never again having to ask your copilot to get out of the rig to help you figure out “what’s going on back there” — or, worse yet, for the solo travelers, having to beg off the position of flagger on some innocent bystander. With an RV backup camera, you’ll be able to navigate back-in sites and driveways with confidence, not to mention having a better sense of what’s going on when you’re driving on the highway.
In this post, we’ll walk you through all the basics of RV backup cameras, including want to look for when you purchase one and which types are available on the market (i.e., wired vs. wireless). We’ll also cover some of your most frequently asked questions about RV backup cameras to help you make sound decisions about this important investment for your rig.
Ready to get started? Let’s get going… ahhh... let's put her in reverse!!
What is the best RV backup camera?
Like any piece of RVing equipment, if you ask 10 different campers what the best RV backup camera is, chances are you’ll get 10 different answers… or at least four or five.
So instead of focusing on one specific manufacturer or product (which will, after all, change as technology gets better and better), we’re going to talk more generally about RV rear view camera options: what types are there, and why is each attractive? What should you look for when you’re making your purchase, and how much can you expect to spend?
RV backup cameras come in a wide array of types, with varying video quality, installation needs, and price points. By the end of this blog post, you should feel like you have the information you need to make an informed decision and browse the available RV backup cameras on the current market with confidence!
Are RV backup cameras worth it?
“Hold on,” some of you may be thinking. Because before we dive into the specifics about RV backup cameras, we should first establish whether or they’re even worth it.
Do you really need an RV backup camera?
Honestly… the answer is no. (And you probably already know that!) RVs have been around far longer than RV backup cameras have, and people have been successfully camping without this technology for a long while.
That said, an RV backup camera can be a significant upgrade, and make your RV safer and less stressful to drive. Even small motorhomes and travel trailers are bigger than your average vehicle, and backing up can be a very hairy ordeal — especially if you’re in a camper-filled campground or pedestrian-heavy neighborhood.
An RV backup camera can make you feel safer behind the wheel, and make your RV less of a threat to cars and pedestrians around you. It can also make it a lot easier for you to opt for the cheaper back-in spaces at your favorite campgrounds since it won’t be such an ordeal to wiggle into your campsite. (Which means, heck, it might even pay for itself over time!)
Finally, if you plan to list your RV on RVshare, keep in mind that a backup camera can make your rig more user-friendly to a new RV driver. Chances are you remember how stressful your first few times behind the wheel of a motorhome were; your renters will feel a whole lot more comfortable if they can actually see what’s going on around them — and so will you!
Types of RV Backup Cameras
So, what types of RV backup cameras are there?
While there are dozens of specific makes and models, they generally break down into two categories: wireless and wired.
Wired RV backup cameras are, as the name suggests, wired into your RV. That means there’s more setup involved, yes, and also usually more expensive when you factor in installation. But it also means you can retrofit it into literally any RV out there. Whether you drive a Class A motorhome, a fifth-wheel trailer, or a tiny sleeper van, you can find a wired RV backup camera that will work with your rig!
You also don’t have to worry about the annoyance of losing signal, which can sometimes happen with wireless RV backup cameras — particularly if you’re driving a long, lengthy rig.
Wireless RV backup cameras are — you guessed it — not hardwired into your rig. Instead, they rely on wireless technology and either analog or digital signals to connect the camera to the monitor upfront. While these cameras are often available more cheaply than wired versions and are certainly easier to install, some campers report that they’re unreliable since the signal has a tendency to weaken (or be interfered with by other signals in the area). That said, for ease of use, they can’t be beaten; you simply plug the unit into your 12-volt DC connection, and voila: instant RV backup camera!
Things to Look for When Purchasing an RV Backup Camera
Only you can decide whether a wireless or wired RV backup camera is right for your needs. But what else should you consider when shopping for this important item?
While what’s going on behind your RV might not be as entertaining as the latest HD Star Wars movie — and while you may not need to make out excessively fine detail — the whole point of an RV backup camera is to ensure you can see what’s going on behind you. So you may as well invest in a camera that has decent video quality!
The best RV backup cameras offer not only fine detail and resolution in broad daylight but also come with infrared, night vision, color, and black and white options, so you can choose what works best depending on your circumstances.
RV backup cameras with digital video signals tend to display better and more reliably than those using analog technology, though your mileage may vary. You’ll also want to look for a backup camera that offers an ample field of vision: ideally, more than 90 degrees of the space behind your bumper.
The best camera in the world isn’t worth bupkis if you don’t have a high-quality monitor to, well, monitor it from. You want to ensure the monitor is of proper size and scale to allow you to view the backup camera feed comfortably, and just as with your smartphone and other technological gadgets, screen resolution is important. The more pixels, the better!
As discussed above, wireless vs. wired RV backup cameras vary wildly in their installation requirements. While a wired RV backup camera does necessitate a significant amount of installation, it can also be a worthwhile investment of both time and money to ensure you have a reliable backup signal that actually works.
On the other hand, if you need a backup camera at the last minute before a weekend getaway (and you’re not concerned about losing the money if you eventually decide to upgrade), a wireless backup camera might be the better option. You can also utilize a wireless backup camera if you’re still in RV rental mode and haven’t yet purchased a rig of your own; all you have to do is unplug and re-plug in the unit, and you can transfer it from vehicle to vehicle!
Last but not least, price is likely to have a significant impact on your decisions. After all, nobody has an endless supply of money… except maybe Jeff Bezos.
While a backup camera that costs a lot may seem off-putting at first, it could be worth investing in upfront in order to avoid having to replace it later.
Best RV Backup Cameras — Wired and Wireless
Alright — shopping around is all well and good. But what about some actual product suggestions?
Fortunately, we’ve got a few. Here are some of the most popular RV backup cameras, in both wired and wireless versions.
Wired RV Backup Cameras
Here are some of the best wired RV backup cameras available right now.
eRapta Backup Camera System 3.0
eRapta Backup Camera System 3.0 with AHD 7" Monitor Built-in DVR Back-Up Rear and Side Colorful Night Vision IP69K Waterproof Camera Kit Avoid Any Blind Spot for RV Truck Trailer Semi Box
Upgraded Touch Screen: Vehicle Backup Camera System with the latest 3.0 Sharp Chip built into the monitor, resolution is 1920 × 1080, present better vivid and colorful image. Even observe for a long time, not tired your eyes. Upgraded Touch Button brings better Sensitive, Touch, and Silence when using.
Waterproof AHD Camera: All-metal heavy-duty camera is highest IP69k Waterproof. Fully sealed design and metal quality sure long use life. Don't worry about foggy, rain, snow weather causing water in. No matter when and where just rest assured to use it.
Upgrade Split Screen: This capacitive touch monitor has 4 split screens, Support Full/Dual/Three/Quad screen (CH1/CH2/CH3/CH4), the most convenient system for vehicle, each channel can be adjusted separately to suit your habits.
Multi-Function: Excellent Built-in DVR system with 32G SD card, can automatically loop record in driving. Guidelines on/off, to help better-reversing car. Image Flip/Mirrored, you can easily install it to your as Side/Front/Backup Cameras.
Flexible Vehicle Compatibility: Universal Car Camera Backup System adapt to the voltage range from 12-24V DC Power, the complete camera kit perfect for large vehicles as Semi-Trailer/Box Truck/5th Wheel/Trailer/Bus and so on. Extra You will get friendly 2 years warranty Replacement and lifetime tech support, please contact us if you have any questions.
iStrong Backup Camera System 4.3'' Monitor
iStrong Backup Camera System 4.3'' Monitor for Truck/Car/Pickup/Camper/SUV Mount Windshield Optional IP68 Waterproof Connecting Single Power Reversing/Driving Use Night Vision
Yakry Camera Superior to Other Cameras on the Market: In one power system, you only need to power it from a monitor or camera （Checking Connection Diagram）. The guidelines can be ON/OFF with the menu of the monitor.
Very easy installation: The system is powered by connecting to reverse lights for use when the vehicle is in reverse gear. Or can be powered by directly connecting to a 12v source fuse box or cigarette lighter/PowerPoint/ignition switch for constant use.
HD Front View /Rearview Camera: The camera can be used for a hitch rear camera. IP69K waterproof license plate camera with 5 LED lights, 150 degrees, wide viewing angle provides you larger visible area for safety.
The monitor can be fixed on the windshield. If you need the longer cable, please contact us to get one for free.
Installation instructions are included. The product has a 2-year warranty and tech support is available
Wireless RV Backup Cameras
Here are some of the best wireless RV backup cameras available now.
iStrong Upgraded Dual Digital Wireless Backup Camera
iStrong Upgraded Dual Digital Wireless Backup Camera for RV/Trailer/Truck/Bus 7''Monitor Recorder Rear/Front View Driving/Reversing Use Stable Signals High-Speed Observation System Guide Lines ON/OFF
LeeKooLuu HD Digital Wireless Backup Camera
LeeKooLuu F06 HD 1080P Digital Wireless Rear View Camera with 7'' Monitor High-Speed Observation System IP69 Waterproof Night Vision Backup Camera for RVs, Trailers, Bus, Motorhome, 5th Wheels, Campers
RV Backup Camera FAQs
Let’s finish out this article with answers to some of your most frequently asked questions about RV backup cameras!
How do I install an RV backup camera?
As mentioned above, installing an RV backup camera depends on the type you choose. If you choose a wired RV backup camera, you’ll need to physically wire the hardware into your RV, which may take professional help. If you’re handy and a little brave, you can also DIY it; YouTube tutorials can be especially helpful in this regard. That said, you always want to double-check your owner’s manual to ensure you don’t cause any damage to the camera setup or your rig!
How do I fix my RV backup camera?
Troubleshooting your RV backup camera will depend on what kind of issue you’re encountering and what kind of RV backup camera you have. However, if it’s a wireless camera, consider that signal interference is one of the most commonly-cited problems. For full details, check your backup camera owner’s manual or consult with a professional.
Should I get a CCD or CMOS sensor?
CCD and CMOS are two different types of cameras which are commonly included with RV backup camera sets. Both have their drawbacks and benefits.
CCD cameras are more sensitive to light, and thus tend to have a lower amount of “noise” or “graininess” than CMOS cameras do. In other words, a CCD camera will probably have a better video quality overall. That said, CMOS cameras are cheaper to produce, which could make for a lower price point on your RV backup camera setup.
What are my RV backup camera replacement options?
If your RV backup camera fails, you can choose to replace it with a wired or wireless RV backup camera as listed above or with the other 10,000 (sic) wireless and wired backup cameras available, and not just at Amazon.. This might be the perfect opportunity for an upgrade?
You have done your due dilegence when making your backup camera purchase. Now it is time... now is the time for that RV rental to take that family of yours on your next big RV adventure.
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