“Which backup camera do I need?” Over the past 10 years I have been asked that same question thousands of times, and my answer usually starts with; How many cameras do you envision having in your rear view system?
This tells me what type of backup camera kit the customer wants, and we custom build a system from there.
If you have an RV, Trailer, Camper, 5th Wheel or any other vehicle and you’re looking for an economical solution, then you would probably only want 1 backup camera. In that case I would go with a 7-Inch Monitor with Wireless Mounted RV Backup Camera (SKU90117), that kit is recommended because it includes everything you need for installation. It comes with a bird’s eye view backup camera that you can mount on the back of your RV, on the roof or even over your license plate. Most rear view backup cameras today come with a 120-degree viewable angle, it is the minimum you should have and if the option to upgrade to 170 degrees is available we suggest you take it. This will allow you to see approximately 3 lanes behind you.
Another feature you will commonly find today is night vision, a lot of companies claim to have night vision but it isn’t always accurate, make sure that you see “Military grade night vision” in the specs, this will insure that the LEDs that you see on the camera, soak in the light, in contrast to the fake night vision that project light backward and thus only giving you a short 5-8ft range view but also creating the dangerous situation of blinding the vehicle or person behind you. True night vision will show you at a minimum of 30ft behind you in pitch dark and those behind you wouldn’t even know it is active.
As for the rear view monitor, most people today purchase at least a 7-inch screen. In the past, 7-inch and up were thought to be huge but over the last few years these monitors have been slimmed down and they have thinner bezels so they take up significantly less space. A good quality rear view monitor has 2 main features, the first is that they should look good in day light and second in that they should all have at least 1 additional input, which would allow you to connect a second backup camera in the future. If you don’t see it in the specs it’s easy to see by looking at the pictures on the face of the rear view monitor, if you see something similar to AV1/AV2 or Cam1/Cam2 then you have found it.
The second question I usually get is “Is it hard to install, can I do it myself?” to that I can tell you that with all my years of experience most people can install the backup camera kit by themselves, the technology is not difficult, when you purchase a wireless backup camera kits the concept is that you first connect the backup camera to the 12 volts and then the rear view monitor to the 12 volts and when you power up the system it should all work. 95% of the time that is how everything works out, on the few occasions that it doesn’t; a 5-10-minute tech support question should solve it.
When deciding what rear view camera system you want to go with, I always say the same thing, ask yourself how many cameras and what size screen you want? then make sure they have a lenient exchange policy because you might want to change or upgrade your system, once you see how everything works. Finally, when deciding between a $200 system and $400 I can tell you this, Your RV was expensive and you don’t splurge like this every day, buy what you really want, even if it’s a little more than your planned budget, after all like most things in life, you get what you pay for.