The Short Story
When choosing an aftermarket backup camera kit, this is the most common question people are asking. Should I get a wired or a wireless backup camera system? The answer can be as complex or as simple as you want it.
First, there’s a single question you should ask yourself: Am I willing to give up quality for convenience? If the answer is “Yes, I don’t really care as much about quality of picture as I do about an easy installation”, then proceed to buy a wireless backup camera. If the answer is “No, quality of picture and reliable connectivity are far too important for me”, then a wired backup camera should be your choice.
Regardless of your answer here, it’s still a pretty good idea to continue reading the learn the details of decision. It’s important that you get the backup camera for your scenario to ensure you gain the most safety benefit from that decision.
The Long Story
Wireless Backup Cameras
Technology for wireless aftermarket backup cameras has come a long way in the past few years, but with an increasing number of wireless products that have hit the market, which includes Bluetooth phones, satellite radio, CB radios, and wireless Internet, it’s likely that you will suffer some interference when using a wireless backup camera. This means that not only will it affect the quality of picture coming through to the monitor, the camera will act a little funny as well. They will turn on at times they shouldn’t, and sometimes you won’t be able to get any picture at all. Additionally, there are more parts to a wireless backup camera than a wired backup camera with the inclusion of a transmitter. If the transmitter malfunctions, they can be difficult and expensive to replace.
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Of course, wireless cameras are much easier to install, which is where we get the ‘convenience’ benefits since there is no need to run a cable from the rear of the vehicle to the monitor on the dashboard, and the antenna is typically built into the camera for an even simpler installation. Some wireless cameras have a separate antenna which can be positioned for better reception, but this does complicate the install slightly.
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Wired Backup Cameras$100-200 for a professional installation. In a RV, this is complicated mainly by the length of the vehicle. Many RV owners run the cable underneath the unit and come in through the floor if in a Class A, or to the hitch if a fifth wheel or travel trailer. For those with a fifth wheel or travel trailer, the wired system does mean that there’s one more set of wires to remember to hook up when you connect the hitch. However, you’ll never need to worry about your reception with a wired system.
Click here to see our reviews for wired backup cameras