We all know what a nightmare it can be trying to reverse onto a pitch – especially at night., so a rear-view camera would make a welcome addition to any towing outfit.
Since we’re all about making caravanning that bit easier, today we look at the best rear-view cameras for caravans and motorhomes. We’ve also written a complete buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice for your set-up.
What are the Benefits of Having a Rear View Reversing Camera for your Caravan?
There are many benefits of having a rear-view reversing camera for your caravan. One of the most obvious benefits is that it helps you to see what is behind you when you are reversing.
They are especially handy for those newer to towing and are less able to gauge distances.
Towing mirrors just can’t give you the rear range of view you need – especially at the rear of the caravan.
They can be extremely useful when you are trying to manoeuvre into a tight pitch. Another benefit is that it can help to avoid accidents. If you can see what’s directly behind you, you can avoid any potential collisions.
When towing, you’ll know all too well that changing lanes can be challenging and this is where a reversing camera becomes invaluable.
Finally, having a rearview reversing camera can simply give you peace of mind – much like a dash cam. Knowing that you have this extra level of protection can help to put your mind at ease when driving your caravan.
How Does a Rear View Reversing Camera Work?
Much like modern cars, the camera is mounted at the back of the caravan, usually above the license plate, which then gives you a clear view of what’s behind you when towing and reversing.
You will also have a monitor, usually kept in the car that lets you see what the camera is seeing. Some systems even have a recording function, so you can review your footage later – much like a dash cam.
Most rear-view reversing cameras will activate automatically when you put the caravan in reverse, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to turn it on.
Some of the more advanced systems even come with sensors that will warn you if someone or something is getting too close to the back of the caravan. This helps you avoid accidents and keep everyone safe.
So whether you’re a first-time caravanner or a seasoned pro, a rearview reversing camera is going to be a valuable addition to your safety arsenal.
AUTO-VOX M1 Reversing Camera Kit Rearview Backup Camera Waterproof with Night Vision
1st up is the Auto-Vox M1 Reversing Camera Kit – for good reason. Loved by many caravanners, the brand has some of the best backup cameras available.
This particular model comes in at a more reasonable price than some of the others.
Installation is simple with a two-way wired connection. You power up the system by pressing the car charger button, which will display the rear image on the monitor.
You can also connect via the reverse light – the monitor displays the rear image automatically once the ‘Reverse’ gear is engaged.
The images are transmitted in real-time and are crystal clear and stable – even when driving at faster, (legal!!) towing speeds.
The 1/3 CMOS image sensor delivers superb night vision with the LEDs kicking in when the light is low. Obstacles can be seen in the dark at a range of around 6 metres – plenty when reversing onto pitch and towing.
The Auto-Vox M1 carries the standard IP69 waterproof standard – meaning no matter what the weather throws at you, you can be assured of perfect rear vision when towing.
Dallux Wireless Reversing Camera Kit with 7-inch DVR Monitor
The most expensive of our picks – the Dallux is a great choice giving a transmission range of up to 980 feet!
The waterproof casing is an IP69 standard rating, so you know you’re safe when the bad weather hits and has a six-layer HD lens offering 130-degree wide viewing angles.
Images on the monitor are perfect with no colour loss, or quality loss even when viewed from different angles.
The monitor has an SD card slot to allow for recording and playback and also supports multiple channels in case you have, or want to add any more cameras.
It’s strong, reliable and shock resistant, with a 20G vibration and 100G impact rating, which is the highest in the industry.
BW Wireless Waterproof Night Vision CCD Reversing Rear View Camera
3rd and our mid-range pick is the caravan rear view camera kit, from BW.
Featuring a wireless 7″ TFT LCD Monitor and a wireless 2.4GHz camera, the 7″ TFT LCD monitor is powered by a DC 12 to 24v connection.
This kit features a video input with 2 channels that switch automatically, should you wish to add an additional camera.
The wireless 2.4GHz camera offers superb wide viewing high definition angles and supports CMOS colour imaging and NTSC TV connections so you can be assured of a clear and stable image.
The camera is capable of capturing horizontal images of 170 degrees and vertical images of 120 degrees.
It is compatible with NTSC, PAL and High Solution 420 televisions. It only comes into action when you begin reversing, and helps you to avoid bumps and avoidable unnecessary collisions.
Boscam K1 Wireless Reversing Camera, Wide Angle Waterproof Rear View Camera
So this setup is completely wireless, allowing for easy and quick setup.
Since it is a wireless system, you don’t need to route the wire from the rear camera to the monitor which is the most difficult part of the wiring.
The monitor is triggered when your car is put into reverse and remains switched off when travelling forwards.
The 2.4GHz transmitter is strong enough to provide wireless signal within 100m in an open area; so the signal can cover different vehicle sizes, making K1 suitable for a wide range of vehicles including caravans.
K1 provides high-quality images both day and night. Since reversing at night is potentially the most dangerous, the camera as of 2022 has been fitted with an upgraded light sensor which ensures clear enough night vision.
The rear camera of the K1 meets IP68 waterproof standards, so you can be assured of performance, in our delightful UK weather!
You can mount the camera externally on the number plate and no need to worry about using it on rainy days.
CAMECHO Reversing Camera Heavy Duty Vehicle Waterproof IR Night Vision Backup Camera
This little camera is our budget pick and an excellent little model from Camecho.
The rear-view camera has a waterproof rating of IP68 so is resistant to submersion of 30 minutes in a maximum depth of 1.5m of water.
It’s also pretty robust and can easily withstand the dirt and dust the roads kick up.
With 18 infrared LEDs, the Camecho can easily reach a distance of 20ft in night vision mode.
The camera also produces a wide-angle image of 120 degrees which can help to reduce and even eliminate blind spots and to avoid a collision when reversing.
It’s a great, high-performing, low-cost driving aid for novice towing drivers or just to give you that bit of extra help.
The wide range of 12-24v DC power is compatible with most vehicles and it provides 24 hours of power.
You can rotate the image that the camera captures vertically and horizontally and you are treated to high contrast and sharp picture.
We should point out here that this camera does not come with a monitor – these are sold separately.
Just because this is our budget pick – this camera will do the job perfectly well if you’re after a simple set-up for your caravan.
Things to Consider When Looking at Reversing and Rear-View Cameras
As you’ve seen above, rearview cameras come with various functions and a wide variety of prices. So you need to really consider what you need from your camera. It’s not necessary to go for the top-of-the-range models as essentially they all do the same thing.
If you are a regular tower – then yes, go for one of the higher-end models with the extra features you can make use of.
Here are a few pointers to help you decide which camera system would be best for you:
Screen size: The majority of reversing camera screens are between 3-7 inches. While a larger size will help you view the rear more easily, think about where whether a larger size will fit on the dash easily.
Wired or WirelessCamera System? A wireless reversing camera system will be your best option if you don’t fancy doing much DIY. If you choose wireless – go for a decent model (listed above) to ensure a reliable signal strength between the camera and the monitor.
Wired systems tend to be more expensive, but will be more reliable signal-wise.
Night Vision: This is an essential feature for reversing cameras. If you’re towing at night or pitching early on, you will need a clear image on the monitor for successful and safe manoeuvring- make sure the camera sensors are up to the job.
One Camera or Two? This is optional. One camera should be sufficient for general towing and reversing. Just make sure you opt for a system with a wide-angle lens to give a better range of view.
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Once you’ve sussed out what features you require and chosen a particular model – make sure to check out the reviews. As well as providing an honest opinion on the product, you will quite often find some handy tips to set it up and get the best use out of it.
It’s also worth checking out the manufacturer’s instructions where possible.
Check out Amazon reviews and ‘Which’ Guides for impartial reviews on your chosen product.
Are There Any Downsides to Reversing Cameras?
Like most things technology related – there are obvious benefits to fitting a reversing camera on your caravan – but please don’t become solely reliant on them. What if the camera suddenly breaks?
Learning to tow is a fabulous skill, but difficult skill to master. If the camera fails for any reason – you’ll need your own experience!
Reversing cameras shouldn’t be used as a substitute for good driving skills – just think back to when cars didn’t have cameras!!
Cameras Can Give You a False Sense of Security
It’s easy to become reliant on reversing and rear-view cameras and they give caravanners a false sense of security. Treat your camera as an ‘assistant’ to your towing and manoeuvring.
As above, remember to use your own skills, regularly check your blind spots and always take your time.
They are not 100% Reliable!
Technology is never 100%. The same is true for reversing cameras (and Cars)! I have a 1-year-old Kuga that has failed to pick up on lamp posts and bollards on occasion!
Even a great camera system could fail when you least want it to, so never fully depend on them.
Like most things, driving assistance tools are only as good as the person using it. Always make sure you’ve set your system up correctly and do a quick test as part of your hitching routine before you go off to tow.
Is DIY really an option?
Absolutely! These days most off-the-shelf camera products are manufactured with the average user in mind.
Mounting the camera on the back of the camera is pretty straightforward – but you will need to find out first whether installing after-market cameras will invalidate your caravan warranty.
Don’t start drilling any holes anywhere on the caravan without checking this – ingress in the wall is a potential risk of fitting a camera yourself so please check this!
You could opt for a removable number plate mount with an integrated camera for a less invasive installation method.
You could also try placing a powerful neodymium magnet, of the opposite pole, on the other side.
Wireless systems are going to be the easiest DIY option, but a decent auto electrician should be able to fit a wired system for a reasonable price as it’s a pretty straightforward installation.
The Law and Reversing and Rear-View Cameras
Standard driving laws apply whether you are using a reversing camera or not. It’s completely legal to have a reversing camera for a car or caravan when driving.
It is illegal to obscure the registration plate – so make sure that the camera is placed out of its way.
You must also still use your towing mirrors – this IS a legal requirement!
- You still need towing mirrors if the caravan is wider than the car you are using to tow it.
- You legally need to have a clear vision of at least 4 metres to the side and 20 metres behind the driver
- Failing to adhere to these rules, if you are caught, will land you with 3 points on your driving licence and a fine costing a maximum of £1,000 for every mirror-related infringement.
So that concludes today’s post – I hope it will help you in your buying decision. As you can see, reversing cameras for caravans and motorhomes are so beneficial in towing, reversing and manoeuvring. Just remember that they are no substitute for your own skills – they are an assistant to help take away some of the stress.
Until next time, stay safe and happy caravanning!