Why do you need a backup camera?
There are many reasons you would go to the trouble and cost of adding an aftermarket backup camera to your vehicle, but the greatest of these is backed by data provided by the child advocacy group Kids and Cars who state that 50 children are hit by a car moving in reverse each week, and that 2 of these accidents end in a fatality. It’s not news to anyone that every car on the road has spots where the driver cannot see, called blind spots, but the average size of U.S. vehicles are larger than normal which increases the size of the blind spots; especially in SUVs and larger pickup trucks which extend 2o feet to the vehicle’s rear. Backup cameras are a critical piece of technology developed in recent years that nearly eliminates these types of accidents.
Backup Camera Guide – The Best of the Best
Let’s get right to it. You can see all of the reviews for various systems like wired, wireless or RV backup cameras and weigh the options, or you can just see the very best of each category right here. Your choice.
|Rear View Safety RVS-770613||Review||Wired||$$$|
|Voyager WVOS511 Digital Wireless Observation System||Review||RV / Wireless||$$$$$|
|XO Vision HTC35 Weatherproof Backup Camera with Nightvision||None||Universal GPS Backup Camera||$|
|Peak PKC0RG Small Rearview Mirror with 3.5-Inch Backup Camera||Review||Wireless||$$|
|Rear View Safety RVS-770618||Review||RV / Wired||$$$|
Do I really need a backup camera?
In this consumer report, the reporter demonstrates why cars need backup cameras today more than ever. Recent designs in cars have made them look sleek from the outside, but have made them very dangerous to drive, causing visibility problems on the inside. Car styling trends are making it more difficult for drivers to see what’s around them. It causes issues not only in traffic but also in driveways and parking lots. Wide rear pillars and smaller back windows make it very hard to see out the back of a car, even when you turn around to look.
Consumer Reports tested rear visibility on four cars using an orange cone. They sat the cone behind the car and move it back until the driver could see the top of the cone. Here are the results:
Hyundai Sonata Sedan has a blind zone of 21 feet.
Toyota Sienna minivan has a blind zone of 22 feet.
Dodge Durango SUV has a blind zone of 37 feet.
Land Rover LR4 has a blind zone of 38 feet.
Ford Fusion has a blind zone of 40 feet.
Chevy Avalanche pickup truck has a blind zone of 50 feet!!!! That means anything behind this vehicle the same height or shorter than the cone is not seen by the driver.
These numbers are very frightening and the very reason that rear view cameras will be required in cars from 2014 and after. But what do we do about the millions of cars on the road already? It’s up to those individuals to take action themselves. The backup camera industry has made many affordable options for owners of older model cars and trucks, but there are many of those systems that will only add frustration and disappointment. Be sure that you review the options carefully and make the right buying decision for your situation.
What’s the Best Backup Camera System?
You’re always on the go and have a need to see what’s behind you before you back your load… I get that. Your mirrors are there but almost useless at times and nobody wants a spotter behind them all the time; that’s just silly. No matter if you drive a pickup truck or a 40 ft diesel pusher, you need a simple, yet reliable, device to show you what’s behind you before you back your cargo into that unseen telephone pole or other object, vehicle, or even a child.
However, finding the best aftermarket backup camera system can be tough, so we’ve put together this resource – a one-stop-shop, all-inclusive guide to help you find the backup camera for your vehicle. Whether you’re looking for a wireless backup camera, a GPS with backup camera, a RV backup camera, or any variation therein, we’ve got you covered.
To get started, you should check out our Ultimate Guide to Backup Camera Systems.
Can I install a camera myself?
Of course you can! Installing a backup camera is really very easy. It requires very basic tools and just a couple of hours for a novice. Have a look at the video below which will demonstrate the installation of a very common camera system.
What should I look for in a camera system?
Buying a backup camera system will make your every day driving much safer, but all systems are not made equally. What should you look for in an aftermarket backup camera system?
- Video quality – many of the systems on the market do not come with a monitor, and those that do aren’t necessarily the best quality picture. Generally speaking, the units that do not come with a monitor have superior resolution.
- Accessories - make sure to look at the accessories that are included with each unit before purchasing it. Sometimes it’s the small things that make all the difference in your satisfaction with a product, and many of the kits come with different accessories; many better than the others. These accessories can improve the installation experience, daily use, control, etc.
- Camera Features – You’ll want to ensure the camera system you choose not only has a clear picture, but also displays an image wide enough to include all that is behind your vehicle in order to backup safely.
- Weatherproof – It seems obvious that a camera that will be exposed to the elements needs to be weatherproof, and most manufacturers do a decent job with this. However, you’ll need to consider where the camera will be installed and be sure to buy a kit that is rugged enough for that location.
- Support and Documentation – Installing your new backup camera system, whether it be wired or wireless, is of the utmost importance. The very best units provide detailed documentation as well online support resources and support by phone. Their products are also included with a better warranty.
Backup Camera Manufacturers
With the increasing popularity of backup cameras, there have been more and more companies trying to ride the heels of the success. However, only a few companies stand out in the consumer grade aftermarket realm.
Rear View Safety
Founded and located in Brooklyn, New York, Rear View Safety’s goal is to “provide rear view safety to every commercial vehicle, preventing risk to life and limb and protecting corporations’ reputation and assets.” RVS came into the market in 2007 with the goal of making high quality backup cameras and accessories as an affordable as possible. Their systems were priced well below that of the competition which forced the entire market to shift prices downward. This was a big factor in the acceleration of the industry, quality and of course, safety. Rear View Safety is currently one of the leading providers of backup camera systems in the US and Canada. From school buses to US Army equipment, UPS vehicles and tour buses, they’re trusted as one of the premiere safety camera systems supplier.
Rear View Safety entered the market with the goal of making high quality rear view safety an affordable commodity. Pricing their systems far below their competition, Rear View Safety quickly gained major market share, forcing the industry to lower their prices. This rapidly accelerated sales of backup safety systems and quickly increased safety nationwide.
You’ll find several products from Rear View Safety reviewed here on BackupCameraReviews.net
Jensen RV (Voyager)
In the early 20th century, Peter Laurits Jensen made a breakthrough by linking a microphone and a transmitter circuit to a grounded telegraph as a receiver, and began experimenting with broadcasting recorded music to ships out at sea. Through the remainder of the 20th century, Jensen solidified their spot in the radio and speaker market. They have always been focused on the highest quality and research and development, and this carried forward into Jensen RV in the early 21st century.
Jensen RV Research and Development team have built the highest quality into JENSEN & Voyager products from the very beginning. Each product is expertly designed from scratch and all designs are validated through extensive testing primarily conducted in the on-site lab. As a result, Voyager Camera Systems offer more durability and the highest performance possible of any other automotive electronics.
You’ll find products from Jensen RV reviewed here on BackupCameraReviews.net
Old World Industries, which is an independent, family-owned corporation located in Northbrook, Illinois and is the parent company to PEAK, has been a leader in the development and distribution of automotive products for the more than four decades. A 40 year history of American creativity and constantly pushing for quality and fair prices, PEAK has been developing products for extreme climates and conditions and endure the test of time.
PEAK doesn’t focus their efforts on backup camera systems, but they have become part of their catalog with the increased popularity of the technology. PEAK focuses on the lower end consumer grade backup camera systems which are typically between $90 – $150. They use standard technology and easy to use devices, with a product quality in the average and lower realm.
You’ll find several products from Peak reviewed here on BackupCameraReviews.net
Founded in the 1960s, Pyle Audio is a leading manufacturer of and known for high quality woofers. Pyle’s reputation grew rapidly in and around the US with the introduction of the “Pyle Driver” which became a household name.
In the 1990′s, this Brooklyn, New York company was well established and went through a major transformation by the year 2000, expanding into new markets such as: home and professional audio, marine audio, and musical instruments – the Pyle Pro line. Into the 21st century, Pyle began making aftermarket backup camera systems for later model cars. They use standard technology and focus on ease of use, with a product quality in the average and lower realm.
You’ll find several products from Pyle reviewed here on BackupCameraReviews.net
Located in Newton, MA, Toren Partners LLC began with the original wireless backup camera system, known as Swift Hitch. This system was designed to assist those who struggled with hitching up trailers and other equipment. Since 2006, Swift Hitch’s portability, night vision and reverse imaging capabilities have made this a valued tool to those who use it. Swift Hitch systems are used by farmers, building and marine inspectors, and anywhere that an extra set of eyes are useful.
Swift Hitch’s SH02 wireless system is NATDA (North America Trailer Dealer Association) New Product of the year 2012 Award Winner and has been sold to thousands of satisfied and loyal customers.