A wireless backup camera is a valuable addition to any truck, van, RV, or trailer. It will help you quickly identify other vehicles, pedestrians, animals, and virtually any obstruction behind your vehicle that can be hard to spot in a mirror. Wireless cameras make use of a Wi-Fi transmitter so you don’t have to bother with running wires. Wireless backup cameras can save you a lot of troubles and damage to your own vehicle. Here are three of the best aftermarket products available now.
This wireless backup camera kit from AUTO-VOX provides a high-resolution 4.3″ LCD color display that includes night vision capability and has an IP68 waterproof rating for all-weather use. The transmitter is resistant to any signal interference.
The camera has a wide-angle fish-eye lens and attaches easily to the back of your license plate mount near your reverse lights. It utilizes 6 LEDs at 26 lumens each for maximum brightness and clear images from up to 100 feet away. The night vision mode kicks in automatically depending on the current external light levels.
The monitor suction-cup mounts allow you to place the display anywhere on your windshield or dash. They are made of rugged but flexible silicon to withstand impacts. The mounts themselves allow you 360-degree rotation to you can view it from any angle.
The M1W can be plugged into your ACC connection and also comes with a mini-charger and an extra USB port so you can plug it into your vehicle and recharge your smartphone or other devices.
It does have a delay of about 2 seconds before the camera image appears on the monitor, which can be a little frustrating if you’re in a hurry but doesn’t seem like much of an inconvenience in normal driving. Installation is simple, but you may want to add additional clamps or plastic ties to keep it snug against road vibration. If not, the video can get a little choppy.
Considering it’s low price the M1W performs very well. Be sure your installation is snug and you shouldn’t have any problem relying on this backup camera when you need it.
Yuwei Backup Camera Kit
Although in a higher price bracket, the Yuwei wireless camera offers a more robust package. You get the higher IP69 waterproof rating for extreme weather conditions and a big 7″ LCD monitor. Yuwei’s system also allows you to attach up to four separate cameras for as wide or tall a field of vision as you like. Hook it up to constant power and you’ll be able to see everything for safe lane changes.
The camera provided comes with 10 infra-red LEDs and a quality Sharp CCD sensor for activating night vision. A strong zinc alloy is used for camera housing to make it extra durable. It’s capable of transmitting images up to 200 feet. Stable signals keep the picture clear even at 70mph driving conditions. It attaches easily to your backup lights to power up every time you shift into reverse.
The 800 x 400 RGB display can be mounted anywhere in your truck thanks to inclusion of both suction-cup and sturdy brackets. Simply plug it into your ACC or vehicle’s cigarette lighter for constant power. The Wi-Fi camera and monitor should be paired before the Yuwei kit ships so you can hook up and get running as soon as possible. It also includes a sunscreen to minimize glare and operates smoothly at up to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
The three-and-a-half pound Yuwei kit comes with everything you need. That includes a camera, the monitor, two brackets, the sunshade, eight-foot cables for attaching to either the cigarette lighter or direct power, two antenna, two mounting screws, a wrench, and a user manual.
If you want to do some creative wiring, the Yuwei wireless camera can operate with both digital and analog signals as well as Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi, you can also transmit images to a tablet if you want an even larger display.
Some of the drawbacks are that if you attach anything besides Yuwei cameras in the additional slots, there’s no guarantee that they’ll pair correctly or provide consistent images. Yuwei cameras should pair quite easily, however. Some users have also reported the anti-glare shield coming loose, but that’s easily fixed with a little silicon.
Altogether, this is a great wireless backup camera kit, and at a very reasonable price considering the technology you’re getting. There’s almost zero interference in the 2.4 Ghz signal if the distance between the camera and monitor are reasonably within range.
If you want a comprehensive backup camera system at a good price, Yuwei’s kit should meet, and even exceed, your expectations.
Garmin BC 30
Garmin’s BC 30 is camera-only, meant to pair easily with most Garmin GPS navigator products used by professional truckers. Refer to Garmin’s website for a list of compatible devices. The BC 30 also allows you to attach up to four separate cameras. However, it has a more limited range at 45 feet. That’s still plenty for all but the biggest trailers, however.
It’s quite small at just 4.8 ounces and 2.5 x 0.9 x 2.5 inches, but ruggedly built. The BC 30 is engineered to withstand the worst weather conditions.
You can wire it straight to your constant 12V power with a push-button toggle between navigation and backup modes. You can also connect it to backup lights so your GPS navigator goes straight to backup view when you shift into reverse, and back to navigation when you shift to forward gear again.
If you’re not comfortable with vehicle wiring, you can also find a number of helpful videos on YouTube for Garmin products. As another option, for instance, you can buy a replacement GPS power cord that includes a receiver/transmitter for picking up the camera signals and sending them straight to the GPS.
The Garmin does have good video quality, and kicks in almost instantly when you shift into reverse. It does not offer night vision. If you plan on using it at night, be sure there’s enough illumination from your backup lights or surrounding lighting.
There are cases where the backup video appears a little fuzzy, or even demonstrates a slight delay in processing images, which is very disconcerting. But that’s generally due to either a sub-par DIY installation or the choice of GPS. A good, current GPS unit is important for getting the best from the BC 30 camera.
That’s the only problem with the BC 30; you must have a Garmin GPS. While Garmin has been in the business for years and makes a range of quality GPS units, you may be wondering if you shouldn’t have just spent the extra money for a wireless backup camera kit that already had a monitor.
Bear in mind, though, that the BC 30 was intended for truckers who already have a Garmin GPS. It provides a cost-efficient option that will work seamlessly with the device you already have. Just be sure you check Garmin’s website for compatibility. If you do, you’ll end up with an adaptable system that will provide crisp images for years to come.