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.

Click here to see our reviews for wireless backup cameras

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.

For car and truck owners, wiring a backup camera shouldn’t take more than a couple hours of work, or $100-200 to hire a professional installation system done.  However, this is the not true for RV owners.  The benefits of a wireless system are much greater due to the effort it would take to install a wired system in an RV, but the monitor is so far from the transmitter that the interference is no the only problem; now they have to worry about range as well.  Very few wireless backup systems on the market today will provide you with comparable quality to a wired system with the range required of a RV, but there is one that stands out among the competition:  The Voyager WVOS511 Digital Wireless Observation System.  They Voyager WVOS511 features WiSight technology which eliminates interference by digitally locking to the monitors receiver and ignoring outside signals.  As well, it has a range that will cover 90ft, which is well beyond the length of any RV!!

Click here to see wireless backup cameras on Amazon.com

Wired Backup Cameras

As compared with a wireless camera, the wired systems provide a much higher quality picture and are extremely reliable.  They are especially good for long vehicles such as a RVs, but the installation can get quite hairy unless the RV is pre-wired for a camera.  In a car or truck, the wired installation typically only takes a couple of hours or $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