best rv backup camera

10 Best RV Backup Cameras For Safe Traveling

Taking a large-size RV down the open road is no easy task; it needs plenty of practice. The size of the vehicle means blind spots become a bigger issue, and driving in reverse becomes a bigger headache.

This is why any sensible truck and RV owner would have the best RV backup camera installed to help them safely navigate long trips and particularly maneuver tight spaces.

These RV rear view camera systems serve as extra sets of eyes that can see what your own as well as your rear-view mirrors might miss. 

To make your purchasing decision a pain-free experience, we have carefully selected the best RV rear view camera for the money among the vast and diverse sea of offerings on the market. There is something for wallet and specific needs.

In addition, you will also find everything you need to know about these systems in order to compare between different types and models, and to select the best camper backup camera for your circumstances, as well as a useful step-by-step installation guide. 


Comparison Chart Of The Best RV Backup Cameras

Effortless RVing have handpicked the 10 best backup camera for RV with several offerings for each category – wired, wireless and hitch systems – so that there is something for every camper, regardless of budget, camping conditions and technical aptness.

For each category, the “Best Overall” product is the model that we think offers the best value for money, that is offering the best balance of price and all the crucial criteria and is suitable for a variety of settings and preferences.

The other offerings also deliver excellent performance, and might give you more options to consider, depending on your circumstances and wallet.

NoTop-rated UnitsTypePriceOur Ratings
1AMTIFO A7 HDBest WirelessWireless$*****
2Furrion Vision S FOS07TASFWireless$$$$$*****
3AMTIFO A8 HDWireless$****
4DoHonest A-7 Inch 2 Rear ViewWireless$$****
5Yakry Y27Wireless$*****
6eRapta ER0202Best WiredWired$$****
7Rear View Safety RVS-770613-213Wired$$$****
8Rear View Safety RVS-770613-NM-01Wired$$$***
9EWAY WiFi MagneticBest Hitch CamHitch Cam$$****
10Iball 5.8GHz Wireless MagneticHitch Cam$***

RV Backup Camera: The Basics

What is an RV Backup Camera and How Does It Work?

Backing up an oversized vehicle, like a truck or an RV, is a task that requires a lot of skills and utmost concentration and mindfulness. Backing up is one of the most common reasons for auto accidents everywhere around the world. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that, in the United States alone, there are some 15,000 backover accidents every year. 

It is dangerous due to the blind spots associated with any automotive vehicle. In many circumstances, you can’t directly see an oncoming car or an approaching pedestrian. While your rear-view mirror does help with driver visibility, it is quite limited. This is where an RV backup camera system comes into play. The NHTSA also estimates that backup camera systems can save around 58-69 lives every year. On average, every year, there are 210 deaths and 15,000 injuries caused by backover collisions. 

In general, the best backup camera for RV gives you a broad and clear view of the area behind your vehicle when you’re backing up or driving in reverse. They are typically connected to and displayed on your vehicle’s factory in-dash screen or an accompanying screen.

Born out of the need for safety, these camera systems fill in the gap that the rear-view mirrors miss. With an RV rear view camera in place, you can avoid backup collisions and maneuver more easily in tight spaces, like a crowded parking spot or campground.

Backup cameras for trucks and RVs usually run on 12-volt power so to keep them running, you just need to wire the cameras to the fuse box.

Is an RV Backup Camera Worth It?

If you think you’re a skillful and experienced enough driver to give a pass on buying a solid camper backup camera, you’ll receive a good coaxing from any seasoned RVer as well as long-distance trucker.

Backup cameras for trucks and travel trailers are now universally recognized as an essential safety tool for automobiles, to the point that they are required by law in many countries and have even become a standard feature in countless vehicles, including many entry-level models.

best rv backup camera
RV backup cameras give you a broad view of the area behind your RV when you’re backing up . Photo: Voyagerix / Shutterstock

It is Required By The Law

In many countries, including the United States, newly released automotive vehicles of all categories are required by the law to have a backup camera system installed as an effort to minimize backup collisions and enhance overall safety on the road. For instance, the US Department of Transportation made a mandate that all models from 2019 onwards sold in the US must include a factory backup camera.

This means that if you own a vehicle of an older model year that does not have a reverse camera system, you will need to buy and install an aftermarket unit to abide by the law.

In addition, if you’re driving an oversize RV on long trips, here’s how having the best RV backup camera will making your time on the road safer, less stressful and more enjoyable:

Easy Hitching and Unhitching

The best RV rear view camera will give you a 360-degree “bird’s eye” view of everything around your rig, including a clear view of your hitch. This means you will find it so much easier to line up a hitch on the back of your towing pickup that you might not ever need the help of your companion again. 

Safer Reversing and Maneuvering in Tight Spaces

The best backup camera for RV would typically improve visibility of the area behind a vehicle by 40 to 50 percent, which makes an enormous difference when you’re maneuvering a big motorhome, as these vehicles have extra large rear blind spots. Studies and tests have shown that these reverse camera systems do reduce the number of backup accidents and the severity of injuries.

Apart from their clear assistance for driving in reverse, being able to “see” around your vehicle better will give you more confidence and control when maneuvering in crowded or tight spaces in general. You won’t need to crane your neck or turn your body to look behind or need your companion to keep an eye out.

Easy Parking

These backup camera systems will also make parking, especially troublesome parallel parking, so much more bearable.

The dashboard screen will display parking grid lines so that you will know for sure the trajectory of your RV as it’s backing into the parking slot instead of having to imagine where your rear end and sides will be.

No more worrying about crashing into the sidewalk or scuffing the nearby cars. 

Types of RV Rear View Camera

To choose the best RV backup camera, you first need to grasp the unique pros and cons of the different four types. You will see that the most suitable option in your case might depend on the type of motorhome you have, how and where you often travel, and more.

Wired Wireless Smartphone Hitch
SetupCamera connects to vehicle’s monitor screen via a cable No cable, camera and screen connects via wireless signalsWireless
Includes camera only, which connects with smartphone or tablet as the screen
Part of the setup is wireless
Camera connects directly above the trailer hitch
Picture QualityBestLowerLowerLower
ConnectionFastest data transmission.
Most reliable connection in all weather conditions
Less reliable connectionLess reliable connectionLess reliable connection
InstallationMight require professional installationEasyEasyEasy
Quick comparison table of 4 RV backup camera types

Wired Backup Camera

A wired backup camera system consists of a camera that is connected to existing lighting wires in your RV, and a monitor that is typically plugged into your cigarette lighter. The camera and the monitor are directly connected via a cable. 

Price range: $150-$600. You might think anything wireless is more technologically advanced than its wired counterparts and thus should demand a higher price. In actuality, a wired backup camera for RVs are more expensive than any wireless setup, due to its superiority, as detailed below.

Best connectivity and picture quality: Now you might easily think that the best travel trailer backup camera in most cases should be wireless, as with everything else these days. Surprisingly, it is not the case. Since the camera and the screen are connected via a cable, this direct wiring means images are transmitted faster and are delivered at higher quality than in the case of a wireless connection. 

Reliability: Thanks to the direct connection, a wired backup camera for RV can consistently deliver clear and uninterrupted images without being susceptible to the strength of your connection or signal interference from inclement weather or from other similar devices nearby.

Best for metal RVs: If you have an Airstream trailer or another type made of metal or aluminum, a wireless camera is not the best option. Metal prevents wireless signals from working very well, and the signal will have a tough time moving from the back of the trailer to the monitor mounted in the vehicle.

Tricky installation: All the wiring might not be DIY-able for the novice. If you do require professional installation, note that it can cost you from close to $100 up to $250 for labor, depending on how complex the setup is.

Wireless Backup Camera

The wireless part refers to the connection between the camera and the monitor. Of course, both still need to be powered, so just like in a wired system, a wireless backup camera system consists of a camera that is connected to existing lighting wires in your RV, and a monitor that is typically plugged into your cigarette lighter. 

Price range: $100-$450

Connectivity and picture quality: Without a direct connection via wiring, a wireless backup camera for RV relies on a wireless transmitter and electromagnetic signals so that the camera and the monitor can communicate. The lack of direct wiring means lower picture quality compared to wired backup cameras and weaker signals, just like with your wifi, especially if you’re installing them in an extra large recreational vehicle.

Reliability: Wireless systems are more susceptible to various interferences than wired systems, including from nearby devices and bad weather, resulting in fuzzy, grainy images. An extra note: you will come across units with names including either the word “analog” or “digital”. While the best RV wireless backup camera typically uses a digital signal, certain systems rely on an analog signal, which is more prone to signal interference. 

Easy installation: If you don’t want to spend a few hundred dollars on professional installation for a wired backup camera system, a wireless system might be more convenient. Installation will not take you more than 5 minutes, even if you’re not at all tech savvy.

Capacity for technical integration: Another thing that makes wireless backup camera systems even more convenient is that they are born later and more advanced, so they allow for more possibilities of technical integration. For instance, you can find units that can be integrated into your existing navigation system; in this case, your navigation system already includes a monitor, so you’ll just need to get a compatible camera.

Wireless Smartphone Backup Camera

Price range: $50-$200. This is a later development of the wireless systems, and these smartphone systems are more affordable, since you’re only buying a camera and would be using your existing smartphone or tablet as the display screen.

Connectivity, picture quality and reliability: A smartphone system is a wireless system, so it delivers subpar picture quality and reliability compared to wired models.

Easy installation: You only need to hook up the camera, and mounting your smartphone is far less work than installing a monitor. This is why many budget conscious, less tech savvy campers or fist-time RV owners deem a smartphone system the best RV backup cameras. That said, this temporary setup means you must not forget to take your smartphone or tablet with you once you leave your RV, or it can easily be stolen.

Hitch/License Plate Backup Camera

A hitch backup camera is one that connects directly above the trailer hitch. There are also license plate backup camera systems that are typically tucked behind the license plate so you have a good view of the hitch.

Both will give you a good view of the rear of your vehicle. These are essentially wireless systems; they are just named after their particular mounting position. 

Price range: $90-$300

Connectivity, picture quality and reliability: A trailer hitch or license plate backup camera is often wireless. The screen typically plugs into the 12V cigarette lighter outlet in your rig, so you won’t need to connect it to the camera via direct wiring. As for the camera, of course you still need to wire it into the existing power wires on your rig like with the other types. The camera and the monitor still transmit data wirelessly, so the connection and picture quality is just like those of a wireless system.

Installation: You’ll still have to wire the unit in, but you can save the trouble of installing the monitor.

All-In-One Systems vs Camera/Screen Only

Another way to classify RV backup camera systems is all-in-one systems that includes everything you need versus buying the camera and the display screen separately.

All-In-One Systems 

These combos can be either wired or wireless, and include both the camera and the screen. All-in-one systems are suitable for the less technically apt campers who want a fuss-free backup camera, as you know for sure the camera and the display are compatible. This type has straightforward installation and a wide range of advanced features. 

Camera Or Monitor Only 

If you are satisfied with the size and resolution of the factory in-dash screen in your motorhome, the only thing you need to buy is a camera.

This will save you money. If you go this route, just make sure the camera is compatible with your existing head unit display, and use the appropriate interface so that your display screen will get video signals from your aftermarket camera.

Aftermarket backup cameras are designed to integrate into a vehicle’s existing electrical system, so despite the mismatch, the installation process should not be challenging. 

In case you are not satisfied with your RV’s in-dash screen or prefer a separate screen for any reason, you can buy a backup camera and a display separately. Also, if you have a portable navigation system in place, you can also use its display as the monitor screen for your backup camera. 

This mix and match approach is ideal for the tech savvy campers who have a hard time finding a top-of-the-class camera as well as monitor in terms of quality and reliability. Of course, this option takes more time for research, and will likely cost you a bit more than getting an all-in-one system.

That said, mix and match systems are still widely popular, as many RVers as well as truckers who drive long distances prefer a screen that is bigger and better than their factory unit.

Best RV Wireless Backup Cameras

1. Best Overall Wireless Backup Camera: AMTIFO A7 HD 1080P 7 Inch Digital Wireless Backup Camera 

AMTIFO A7 HD 1080P Digital Wireless Backup Camera for RV

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 150° diagonal, 110° horizontal
  • IP rating: 67
  • Support for multiple cameras: Yes

Why we love it:

This AMTIFO wireless system is the best wireless backup camera for RV for well-rounded performance and features. Firstly, the 7 inch monitor is of the ideal size, big enough so that you can easily see what’s behind your vehicle but not too big that it would obstruct your view of the road. The screen also boasts 1080p resolution, so image quality is topnotch. 

This unit’s 150 degree viewing angle also allows you to see more of your vehicle’s rear area, further contributing to its capacity to facilitate safer reversing. This is considered an ideal viewing angle, as if it’s too narrow, you won’t be able to see much, but a viewing angle that is too wide will distort images to some degree, which will make it harder to estimate the distance between an object and your vehicle.

Both the monitor and the camera of this wireless kit are excellent. The camera comes with dual antennas to improve signal stability, and has a desirable IP rating of 67, which means it’s waterproof and can withstand challenging weather conditions. Thousands of full-time, four-season travelers have testified on the durability of this unit.

Another handy feature is that this unit supports the installation of a second camera on the license plate or another side view camera with the use of the side view bracket B089R9M9XJ, sold separately. This multi-camera capacity will allow you more upgrade flexibility down the road, should you want a more comprehensive camera system to see better behind and around your motorhome for safer open-road traveling. 

I installed this camera on my 28’ travel trailer just below the middle marker light on the top back of the trailer. I am able to see the entire bumper as well as several feet behind the trailer. Very good for backing up as well as use while driving. This is a very good backup camera.

The camera is solid and feels substantial. It came with two mounting brackets – one for vertical and one for horizontal mounting, each with adjustable angle. Simple two wire installation. I used a multimeter to find the positive and negative wires on my trailer’s tail lights and hooked up the two wires on the camera to provide power whenever the trailer running lights are on. I had to drill a 1/4” hole for the wiring and 2 smaller holes for the mounting brackets. The hardest part was removing all the silicone on my center marker light to get access to the trailer wiring.

The camera has very good viewing angle and good picture quality even in low light.

Shared by Doozie

2. Furrion Vision S FOS07TASF 7-Inch Wireless RV Backup Camera

Furrion Vision S 7 Inch Wireless RV Backup System

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 720p 
  • Viewing angle: 120° 
  • IP rating: 65
  • Support for multiple cameras: Yes (up to 4 cameras)

It’s best for: Drivers who need a system that supports multiple cameras with additional features that provide extra assistance when backing up and maneuvering in challenging situations

Why we love it:

If you are a less avid driver who wants all the insurance you can get while driving, this wireless backup camera for truck and trailer might be the most ideal option. First off, this system allows support for up to 4 cameras all of which you can view at once on the 7″ touch screen anti-glare monitor. This allows you to stay alert of everything around your motorhome; passing, tailgating, and merging cars will be much easier to see. Furrion sells the compatible side view cameras Vision S 2 FCE48TASL to complement this backup camera system.

Hany features that can make reversing even easier is that the microphone on the cameras also picks up sounds to help you become aware of oncoming objects. Another is that the monitor comes with park assist marker lines, so you won’t need to visualize in your head the trajectory of your large RV. The viewing angle is 120°, which is decent, and the camera covers right down to the bumper, giving you a good view of your rear. 

This wireless system costs a bit more than many wired systems, mainly because of its excellent connection stability. The 2.4GHz digital wireless technology provides smooth, clear, and uninterrupted images with minimal lag, as testified by buyers who have also owned the best wired backup camera for RV. The digital locking signature prevents interference or image loss, even while driving at high speeds. Another selling point is its superb night vision: the infrared camera provides coverage of 40ft of high quality video even in complete darkness.

The kit comes with a windshield mount and an interior table stand for easy viewing of the monitor.

3. AMTIFO A8 7-Inch HD 1080P Bluetooth Rear View Camera 

Wireless Backup Camera for RV Truck Trailer with 7 Inch Monitor HD 1080P

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 150°
  • IP rating: 69
  • Support for multiple cameras: Up to 4 cameras
  • 1 year replacement warranty

It’s best for: Campers who often travel in varying, inclement weather with a lot of rain

Why we love it:

This bracket-mount, digital wireless system is the best bluetooth backup camera for RV with regards to weatherproof-ness. For $200, you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck: a large, high-resolution screen, an ideal viewing angle and the second highest IP rating of 69. IP 69 means this unit is fully dust-proof and water-proof, and can even withstand powerful jets of high-temperature water. If you travel in harsh weather conditions, this might be the most durable option. 

This system also supports additional side rear view cameras to give you a bird’s eye view of your vehicle’s surroundings. The monitor also offers parking grid lines for easier parking and reversing.

4. DoHonest Wireless Backup Camera for RV 7-Inch HD 1080P 2 Rear View Cameras 

DoHonest Wireless Backup Camera for RV HD 1080P 2 Rear View Cameras

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 150° 
  • IP rating: 69K
  • Optical sensors: CCD
  • Support for multiple cameras: Up to 4 cameras
  • 2 years replacement warranty

It’s best for: Campers who travel in extreme weather conditions

Why we love it:

This unit is another all rounder that can perform well even in extreme temperatures ranging from -22°F to 176°F. Coupled with an IP rating of 69K, which is the highest level, this unit is fully dustproof and waterproof, even when faced with powerful jets of hot water from a close range.

Reversing and maneuvering in crowded, tight spaces will be so much easier with lag-free wireless connection, a large HD screen and CCD sensors that will give you crisp images even in the dark.

5. Yakry Y27 RV 7-Inch 1080P Wireless Backup Camera 

RV Backup Camera Wireless HD 1080P with 7 Inch Touch Key DVR Monitor for RVs, Campers, Trailers, Trucks

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 150° 
  • IP rating: 69K
  • Support for multiple cameras: Up to 4 cameras

It’s best for: Budget campers who do not want to compromise quality

Why we love it:

For its affordable price, you would be pleasantly surprised at what this Yarky camera has to offer. This might be the best RV rear view camera for the budget campers who don’t want to spend more than $150 but don’t want to compromise on quality either.

You’re getting a large full HD screen, a fully dustproof and waterproof IP 69K camera with a wide operating temperature range of -22°F to 176°F. This system can integrate up to 4 cameras in total, and also gives you park assist guidelines to make parking easier than ever.

Best RV Wired Backup Cameras

6. Best Overall Wired Backup Camera: eRapta ER0202 Backup Camera 2.0 for RV

eRapta Backup Camera 2.0 with Monitor for RV Truck Trailer

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 130° 
  • IP rating: 69
  • Optical sensors: CMOS
  • Support for multiple cameras: Up to 4 cameras
  • 2 year warranty

It’s best for: Budget campers who want the superb connectivity and image quality of a wired system

Why we love it:

For only $230, and especially when considering what you’re getting for your money, this is all around the best backup camera for RV in the wired category. The single camera has a 130° viewing angle, and when integrated with another 3 cameras, you can get a 360° view of your surroundings, which is clearly displayed on the 7-inch full HD screen.

This camera uses CMOS sensor technology instead of CCD sensors, but it comes with ample infrared lights to give you a good view at night. This IP69-rating camera has received raving reviews with regards to its ability to function well even in extreme and inclement weather, and the manufacturer’s 2 year warranty should speak for itself.

No blind spots on RV!

Installed this camera system on my 36′ RV this summer to replace the stock backup camera. This unit has four camera of which I mounted two on the sides of my RV under the side mirrors. They provide a clear view of both sides of the RV and the split screen mode allows me to see either side lane while driving down the highway with ease. The other two cameras are on the back, one down low at bumper level with the other up high where the original camera was. Having two provides a good view for backing up. Would be nice to have an option for a wider angle view with one of the back cameras but using all four to back up is much easier now.

Shared by Shawn C.

Best for RVs

I was pleased with the ease of installation with the cameras and monitor, the power connection as well. The streamlined look of the side view cameras and the simple adjustment to “plumb” the image on the monitor is greatly appreciated. The options of screen arrangements seems endless and tap a camera button for instant full screen image of that camera. Overall a great system for RVs at any price. This is a bargain! Also had good customer service that was most pleasant.

Shared by Gar O

7. Rear View Safety RVS-770613-213 Backup Camera System

7" Backup Camera System for RV/Truck/Bus - Waterproof Camera with Night Vision

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 130° 
  • IP rating: 69K
  • Support for multiple cameras: Up to 3 cameras

It’s best for: Campers who use a tow vehicle to tow their trailer or fifth wheel

Why we love it:

What’s special about this unit from Rear View Safety is that it is the best RV backup camera for those who do not own a motorhome, that is if you are towing your travel trailer or fifth wheel behind a tow vehicle. The Quick Connect Kit cables run 26 feet through your tow vehicle and 66 feet through the trailer with a 12 foot pigtail that runs between the two vehicles and allows you to easily connect and disconnect the trailer with the camera installed.

The 7-inch full HD display comes with a swivel head mount for flexibility and easy viewing. In addition, you’re getting a fully weatherproof backup camera system that can support two other cameras for a more comprehensive view.

8. Rear View Safety 7-Inch Backup Camera RVS-770613-NM-01

Rear View Safety RVS-770613-213 Backup Camera System with Quick Connect Kit for Fifth Wheels, Trailers

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 7 inch
  • Resolution: 1080p 
  • Viewing angle: 130° 
  • IP rating: 69K
  • Optical sensor: CCD
  • Support for multiple cameras: N/A

It’s best for: Campers who want a well rounded wired backup camera with excellent night vision

Why we love it:

Now if you like the eRapta unit above but have extra money to spend on the superior CCD optical sensor technology (but do not want to go above $400), this wired system from Rear View Safety might be the best travel trailer backup camera for you.

This unit also packs enough infrared LED lights around the camera lens to give you the clearest images at night and in low light conditions. It delivers excellent performance in all other regards, but costs less than the RVS-770613-213 model above from the same manufacturer.

Best Hitch Cameras

9. Best Overall Hitch Camera: EWAY WiFi Magnetic Hitch Wireless Backup Rear/Front View Camera

Iball 5.8GHz Wireless Magnetic Trailer Hitch Rear View Camera

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 3.5 inch
  • Viewing angle: 150° 
  • IP rating: 68
  • Optical sensors: CMOS 

It’s best for: Campers who want easy installation (no drilling holes on their precious home on wheels) and who only needs the camera for hitching and reversing

Why we love it:

If you are a first-time, non-techy RV owner whose number one priority is easy installation, this might be the best hitch camera for you. The setup is truly beginner friendly: the camera is magnetic, so it will attach to anything magnetic on your vehicle exterior and requires absolutely no mounting hardware. The display connects to the cigarette lighter outlet. 

Although the display screen is small and you’re getting CMOS sensors instead of CCD sensors, its 150° viewing angle is more than decent. In addition, with an IP rating of 68, this little unit is fully dustproof and almost fully waterproof. Despite being an affordable and unassuming model, this RV hitch camera system has 9 infrared lights around the camera lens to provide for some decent night vision in complete darkness. Another desirable feature is its 100ft digital wireless range, which means it is guaranteed to function perfectly even at highway speeds. 

Excellent product!

I have purchased three of these cameras. One for myself and two were purchased as gifts. The camera provides one shot backing to connect to my boat or travel trailer. It works well on dark mornings, 3AM, when I am heading out early for fishing. The camera’s portability provides the additional benefit of using elsewhere besides the hitch for backing into tight areas, providing a view of blindspots. But best of all, the customer support from the manufacturer is excellent! If a camera has a problem they are quick and efficient in making repairs. Look no further if you are looking for a camera system that will make your towing, backing, and hitching a breeze!

Shared by Lars

10. Iball 5.8GHz Wireless Magnetic Trailer Hitch Rear View Camera

EWAY WiFi Magnetic Hitch Wireless Backup Rear/Front View Camera Rechargeable Battery

At a glance:

  • Monitor size: 3.5 inch
  • Viewing angle: 120° 

It’s best for: Campers who want easy installation (no drilling holes on their precious home on wheels) and who only needs the camera for hitching and reversing

Why we love it:

This might not be the best camper backup camera in terms of functionality, but it’s another one of the very few units that allows for drilling-free installation. It also attaches instantly to any metallic surface via an extra-strength magnetic base. This unit uses a 5.8GHz wireless transmission to avoid the 2.4GHz Bluetooth interference for a more stable and clearer viewing experience. 

As for downsides, there are a few. Firstly, it does not offer night vision. Secondly, the camera is not wired into a power source in your motorhome like the majority of backup camera systems on the market, so you need to charge it regularly. Furthermore, the battery in the camera will only last for about 3 hours of continuous use while it takes about 8 hours to fully charge it. Also, image quality can be improved, and the 3.5-inch display might be too small for easy viewing. 

All these mean that this unit is only suitable for those who use it for backing up and hitching to the trailer. If you need the best RV backup camera that can integrate multiple cameras for a 360 degree view and better features for more assistance for general maneuvering, there are better options out there at slightly higher prices.

How To Pick The Best RV Backup Camera: Criteria

Below are the most crucial criteria that you must keep in mind when hunting for the best camper backup camera for your needs and budget. One word of caution before we proceed: Do not make the mistake of thinking you would do well in case you’re already familiar with cameras in general.

This will surely make it easier to grasp the meaning of technical concepts and specifications, but know that the driving-an-RV-around setting will have some unique implications for you as the user. 

Image Quality

Resolution: The best RV rear view camera should deliver clear images of what’s behind you. Image quality depends on the resolution of both the monitor screen and the camera. Resolution is measured in pixels. The higher the better, and in any case you would want a model with at least 400 horizontal pixels.

Note that the top RV backup cameras should also have a wide viewing angle and a deep focal length, on top of a high resolution, so that you will be able to see more and clearer. More on these two specifications further below.

Display Screen Size: Naturally, the larger the screen, the better you will see. Monitors for RV backup camera systems can be anywhere from three inches to 10 inches, but bigger isn’t necessarily better, as it shouldn’t block your view of the road. Seasoned truckers and RVers often agree that between 5 and 7 inches should be the ideal size.

Viewing Angle, or Field Of View

In addition to image quality, the best backup camera for RV should have a wide field of view or viewing angle, so that the camera can see the widest area possible behind and on the side of your big motorhome.

While 90 degrees is the bare minimum, the best camper backup cameras should offer a viewing angle of at least 120 degrees.

RV rear view camera
RV rear view cameras provide more visibility to campers. Photo: Paigefalk / Getty Images

Focal Length

A measurement associated with field of view is focal length, measured in millimeters. The focal length of the lens determines the image magnification. For a given sensor size, the narrower the focal length, the wider the angle of view and the lower the magnification.

The longer the focal length, the narrower the angle of view and the higher the magnification. A narrower focal length means the camera will include more objects but everything will appear smaller on the screen, narrower doesn’t mean better. 

Night Vision

Sensors: Your camera might either come with CCD sensors or CMOS sensors. The best portable RV backup camera should have CCD sensors, just note that they should be more expensive. CCD stands for charge-coupled device, and these types of sensors create higher quality images at night and in low light. CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor sensors, which need much more light to produce high quality images.

LUX rating: Another important specification is LUX rating, which measures performance in low light conditions. LUX stands for Lumens Per Square Meter, and indicates the level of available light. For context, complete darkness has a lux rating of 0, while that for quarter moon is 0.01 lux, for full moon is 0.1 LUX and for dusk is 1 LUX. So, the best travel trailer backup camera should have a low lux rating, which means the camera can “see” better at night time and in dim conditions. A unit rated for 1 LUX needs a dusk-level light condition to produce good images, while a 0.1 LUX unit can produce equally good images in a much darker condition, which is a full moon.

Note: Some systems do include LEDs or infrared LEDs to help illuminate the area behind your vehicle for a clearer view at night. This might be a complementary accessory, but your own tailgate lights are far more helpful. 

Signal Frequency

For wireless backup cameras, the best options should operate on digital signals instead of analog signals to transmit and receive images.

This is because digital signals are less prone to signal interference or loss and thus will deliver better image quality even in inclement weather or in the presence of nearby backup cameras from other vehicles, phones, Wi-Fi signals, Bluetooth devices, wireless radios, or any devices using electromagnetic signals.

Weather Resistance

IP rating: The best RV backup cameras should be able to perform well in varying and extreme weather conditions, so that it can last you a decade to come even if you travel four seasons, year round. Look at the IP rating of a backup camera for RV, which shows how well the unit can withstand water and extreme temperatures. The best RV rear view cameras that are marketed as “waterproof” on the market are often rated for:

  • IPX7: The unit can be submerged up to 1 meter or 3.5 feet in water for 30 minutes. 
  • IP67: The unit can be submerged up to 1 meter in water for 30 minutes and also is fully dustproof.
  • IPX8: The unit can be submerged deeper than 1 meter. 
  • IPX9K: The unit can withstand high-pressure, high-temperature jets of water at close range.

Operating temperature range: This will indicate how well a unit can withstand extreme heat and cold. “Weatherproof” units rated for IPX7, IP67, IPX8 and IPX9K are often freeze-proof and can function well even under temperatures of 59 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additional Features

You can also find various models with extra handy features, including those with the capacity to integrate more than one camera to provide the broadest view around your vehicle. Another feature for safer backing up is mirror image capability, which helps you reverse without using the side mirrors.

Others can offer grid lines on the monitor that outline the trajectory of your vehicles as well as estimated distance between your vehicles and surrounding obstacles, which will make maneuvering so much easier. 

Mounting Options

Flush Mount: As the name suggests, this setup does not protrude from the rear of your vehicle like the bracket mount setup. With this installation, the camera will stay inside your RV, so it will be less exposed to extreme weather conditions as well as rain, snow, dust and mud splash, but it will “peep” through holes to see what it needs to see. This also means your backup camera will not fall victim to theft, but you need to drill some holes on the body of your rig. If you wish to preserve the exterior of your RV, the two options below might be ideal.

Bracket mount: These kits come with a bracket that can be mounted on a flat surface at the rear of your motorhome for the camera, and the camera is attached to this bracket. You won’t need to drill holes on your precious home on wheels. This also means the camera can be detached, allowing you to easily store it away in case of bad weather conditions or in the off season.

License Plate Mount: As the name suggests, the camera would be directly embedded within your existing license plate frame. Newer vehicles are more likely to accommodate this type of setup, as they typically have an area near the license plate lights or trunk handle where you can mount your backup camera. If your RV does not have such a dedicated spot for the camera, there is also a license plate bar mount, where the camera is secured in a bar that stretches across the top of a license plate.

RV Backup Camera: Installation Guide

Wired Backup Cameras

Safety first: Turn off your RV and disconnect the house battery terminals.

Drill holes to run the cables: Determine where you want to mount the camera. Use a marker to mark the spot where the splitting cord hits your vehicle. Make sure there are no obstructions like wires, cables, or trim pieces between the rear wiring chamber and where you want your camera to sit. Then drill a hole through which your camera’s power cable and video cable will go. To prevent the chances for frayed wires, add a rubber grommet into the hole to protect the wire from the rough edges. 

Run the cables: Pull the splitting end of your camera’s video cable and power cable through the hole you just drilled into the trunk of your car. You can follow your brake light cables all the way to the front of the vehicle. 

Connect the camera to power source:

  • Identify reverse light circuit: Depending on the models, you might be able to simply plug the camera into your RV’s 12-volt power outlet. However, in most cases, you’ll want to connect your camera cables to the reverse light cables in your RV, so that the backup camera will automatically engage when you’re driving in reverse or applying the brakes. Consult your owner’s manual to identify these cords; they are normally located in the rear and directly connect your tail lights to the dashboard.
  • Fusing: Once you’ve found the reverse light cables, use a multimeter to identify the positive and negative wires from the light source. Strip the reverse light wires with a pler and separate the individual copper strands into two. Attach one of your bare wires to the camera cord’s power connector. Now poke your positive bare wires through the hole between the copper strands of the positive reverse light wires that you just exposed, then twist them to establish a secure connection and wrap in electrical tape or shrink wrap. Do the same for the negative wires. 

Connect the monitor to the camera: 

  • The RCA cable is the one that carries video signals from the camera to the monitor. To connect the monitor with the camera, first you’ll need to connect the RCA cable to the camera cord’s video connector and run the RCA cable to the fuse box underneath the steering wheel. To run this cable through the length of your motorhome, you might need to run it through the frame rail, or strip an interior panel, like the headliner or side panels, and pull the cable through the exposed chamber. 
  • Then, you’ll need to connect your monitor to the RCA cable. Route the monitor’s splitter cable to the fuse box. Connect the video end of the cable to the RCA cable and wrap with electrical tape or shrink wrap.
  • To connect the monitor to the power source, connect your remaining bare wire cable to the monitor’s power cord, then connect this power cable to a fuse tap, and plug the fuse tap into your fuse box. 

Mount the camera: All that’s left to do is to mount your camera on the intended position and connect it to its video cable.

Wireless Backup Cameras

To install a portable wireless trailer camera system, the steps for connecting the camera to existing power wires are the same for a wired system. As for powering the monitor, just plug it into the cigarette lighter and mount it with a bracket or suction cup. 

rv backup camera installation

RV Backup Camera: Troubleshooting

Black Screen

If after installation, all you get is a pitch black screen, the issue likely lies with the screen instead of the camera. Possible reasons include:

  • Connection: The first thing to check is whether the screen is properly connected. Check the connections, make sure you’ve got the right level of power being sent to the monitor and also make sure all cables are not damaged in any way.
  • Incorrect wiring: A common mistake is plugging the camera into the AUX dash cable rather than the video feed, so the monitor is not receiving any data from the camera. Double check the wiring instructions for the backup camera kit as well as the wiring diagrams for your car. 
  • Faulty unit: If you have done all the above and nothing changes, the display screen is faulty or damaged. 

Black and White Static

If instead of a pitch black screen, another common problem is a flashing or black and white static. In this case, the most likely culprit is a faulty connection or a frayed wire that became disconnected. Check your cables and make repairs or replacements if you find damaged or faulty cables.

“No Signal”

For both wireless and wired systems, if it was working previously, the first thing to do is try resetting both the camera and the monitor. This will get rid of any technical glitch in the system. 

A useful tip is that if the monitor for your backup camera is embedded in the dashboard, removing the dashboard for inspection is a messy job, so always start troubleshooting with the camera first. Only when you’re certain the camera is not the problem should you proceed with the dashboard. 

  • Wireless system: If resetting doesn’t solve it, inspect behind the trunk panel of your vehicle if you have a blown fuse and a frayed power cable or one that became disconnected. Make repairs or replacements where necessary. 
  • Wired system: Wiring is the most likely culprit. the problem. Check if your fuses and power cables are not blown or damaged and securely connected. 

Poor Image Quality

The most common reason for less-than-crystal-clear images is dirty lenses, as the camera sits quite close to the ground. It can accumulate dirt, dust, mud splash and water stains from the rain.

Remember that scratches also contribute to poorer image quality, so be careful when you try to clean the camera lens. Wipe it with some soft microfiber cloth, or utilize the one that comes with your prescription glasses.

RV Rear View Camera: FAQs

1. Wired or wireless backup camera: Which is better for RV?

Wireless backup cameras are more affordable and easy to install, even for the technical novice. If you are a first-time RV owner on a budget and often travel in good weather without excessive exposure to signal interferences, a wireless system might give you good value for money.

That said, you’re buying a backup camera to be able to see clearly behind your vehicle. Therefore, in most cases, the wired RV backup camera system tends to work better, since they deliver better image quality as well as a more reliable connection in all weather conditions. 

2. Is a CCD or CMOS Sensor better for RV backup cameras?

The RV backup camera systems often come with CCD (charge coupled device) sensors. These sensors are more sensitive to light, so they create high-quality images with low noise even at night.

Meanwhile, CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensors need far more light to produce high quality images, so they deliver subpar images in low-light settings. 

3. How long does a backup camera for RV last?

With proper installation and maintenance, and without excessive exposure to extreme temperatures, the well-made RV backup camera these days can provide you with good service for up to 10 years.

4. How much does it cost to add a backup camera to an RV?

It will cost you anywhere between $100 to $500 for an all-in-one travel trailer backup camera kit, and add in some $200 to $600 to get a professional to install it for you.

Many owners of extra large motorhomes opt for systems that consist of multiple cameras to get the most comprehensive rear view possible, and such a multi-camera system can cost you closer to $1,000, including both parts and labor.

5. How long does it take to install a backup camera in an RV?

If you’re installing a wireless system, it should take around 5 minutes. If you’re installing a wired system, set aside around 3 hours for the job.

6. Can I leave my RV backup camera on all the time?

When you shift out of Reverse, or when your engine is off, or when you choose to deactivate your wireless camera in the app, the camera will be turned off.

There’s no reason to keep it on all the time, and since any backup camera needs to be wired into your vehicle’s power wires, leaving it on all the time can drain your house battery. It’s a small drain, but an unnecessary drain nonetheless.

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