By May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will implement a requirement for all new cars to come equipped with a backup camera. For cars that were made before the new requirement, installing an aftermarket backup camera can prevent vehicle damage and/or tragic injury or fatality. They can help drivers in poorly lit areas or in high-risk pedestrian areas, such as an elementary school parking lot. The best backup camera can also be especially helpful for drivers of vehicles with large blind spots.
Even the most expensive backup camera systems cost only a few hundred dollars, compared to preventing potentially thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in repair fees or accident coverage.
Who should buy this?
Backup cameras can assist any driver, but can prove especially helpful to those driving large vehicles, at night, and/or in areas with dense pedestrian traffic. Owners of large recreational RVs or trailers, business owners and professional drivers can especially benefit from the addition of backup camera systems. However, any driver seeking improved peace of mind can make use of the multiple backup camera options on the market today.
Why it’s important to choose the right one?
Backup cameras are not one size fits all. Different factors will matter to different users and impact the price of each product. It’s important to figure out which factors matter to you, so that you can choose the model that has the best quality in those areas, while keeping the price down.
Best Backup (Rearview) Camera 2017
- Rear View Safety Backup Camera System with 7” Display (Black) RVS
- Rear View Safety Backup Camera System with Trailer Tow Quick Connect/Disconnect Kit RVS
- Backup Camera and Car Monitor Camera Wired and Waterproof For Truck/Semi-Trailer/Box Truck/RV When Reversing Parking Backing to Avoid Blind Area eRapta ER01
- Rear View Safety RVS-770616N Backup Camera System with 7″ TFT LCD Display and Side Cameras
- Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera
- 4Ucam Digital Wireless Camera + 7″ Monitor for Bus, RV, Trailer, Motor Home, 5th Wheels and Trucks Backup or Rear View
- Esky EC180-19 Car Rear View Backup Camera, 180° Viewing Angle 100% Waterproof High-Definition CCD 2 LED Night Vision
- TOPTIERPRO TTP-C12B Car Rear/Front View Multifunctional Universal Backup Camera
- Esky EC170-08 Waterproof Night Vision HD CMOS 170°Viewing Field Car Rear View Backup Camera
- LeeKooLuu CMOS Reverse/Rear View Camera and Monitor Kit for Car With 7 LED Night Vision
Best Backup (Rearview) Camera 2017 Comparison Table
|Model||Screen size||Viewing angle||Waterproof||Night vision|
|RVS-770613||7" LED digital panel||130°||yes||18 Infra-red lights - 50ft of night vision|
|RVS-770613-213||7" LED digital panel||130°||yes||18 Infra-red lights - 50ft of night vision|
|eRapta ER01||7" LED digital panel||130°||yes||18 Infra-red lights - 50ft of night vision|
|RVS-770616N||7" LED digital panel||120°||yes||18 Infra-red lights - 50ft of night vision|
|Garmin BC 30||View footage right on your GPS navigator’s display* (sold separately)||130°||yes||n/a|
|4Ucam Digital Wireless Camera||7" LED digital panel||130°||yes||11 Infra-red lights - 20ft of night vision|
|Esky EC180-19||Display sold separately||180°||yes||2 white lights - 5ft of night vision|
|TOPTIERPRO TTP-C12B||Display sold separately||150°||yes||n/a|
|Esky EC170-08||Display sold separately||170°||yes||n/a|
|LeeKooLuu CMOS||4.3" LED digital panel||130°||yes||n/a|
Rear View Safety Backup Camera System with 7” Display (Black) RVS – 770613 – Backup Backup Camera with Options for Trucks
Overall Description (impressions, packaging, materials, etc.)
The system displays a wide angle (130°) view of up to 50 feet, including at night. The display is a digital LCD color monitor. The system comes packaged with all components needed for use. However, separate tools will be needed for installation. This system is well-suited to driving in varied weather conditions such as rain and sun, due to the waterproof camera and auto-dimming monitor. A 66 foot cable allows it to be installed on trucks and RVs, greatly reducing blind spots.
The system comes with one camera and up to two more can be connected (purchased separately), for a total of three views. Only one view can be seen at a time (no split screen), so the user must change the view as desired if multiple cameras are installed. The views can be mirrored or unmirrored, for front view or rear view use. Some users report fogging of the camera in rainy conditions, other products may provide better views for drivers in warm rainy areas.
Rear View Safety Backup Camera System with Trailer Tow Quick Connect/Disconnect Kit RVS – 770613-213 (Black) – Backup Camera for Trailers with Night Vision
This system is nearly identical to the first backup camera described above, but has the added feature of a quick connect/disconnect cable for use with trailers. The system is made to perform under a variety of environmental conditions and can be modified to each user’s needs as far as number of cameras and orientations.
There are very few negative reviews of this product. There are only two minor issues: shipping and monitor quality. Some buyers reported confusing notifications about shipping progress and the need to pay for return shipping of parts under the warranty policy. A few buyers also reported being dissatisfied with the monitor quality, but many others reported a clear picture.
Backup Camera and Car Monitor Camera Wired and Waterproof For Truck/Semi-Trailer/Box Truck/RV When Reversing Parking Backing to Avoid Blind Area eRapta ER01 – Midrange Reverse Camera
This backup system includes a monitor, camera and connecting wires. It is able to be used in rain and darkness. Based on the product specifications and customer reviews, this is a good option for buyers looking to be in the middle range for quality and cost.
The system is designed to work with power sources ranging from 12V to 36V. (*Yellow*)This system comes with long connecting cables, so there may be a need to neatly coil and secure extra length if used on a smaller vehicle. One user reported that warm weather caused the monitor mount to detach.
Rear View Safety RVS-770616N Backup Camera System with 7″ TFT LCD Display and Side Cameras – 3 Camera Backup System
This backup system comes with many pieces and features and is the most comprehensive on this list.The system includes three cameras, one for rear view and two for side views. The rear and side camera models are not identical. This system is recommended for very large vehicles like motorhomes and long trucks which have large blind spots and can tremendously benefit from side camera views.
Although this system is meant to be used with multiple cameras from the get go, the monitor is only meant to display one view at a time. The user must toggle between the views, which buyers report to be easy. One reviewer reported that the cameras stopped working well after four months, and was told by customer service that the warranty on the cameras was 90 days.
Garmin BC 30 Wireless Backup Camera – Backup Camera Compatible with Garmin Systems
This backup camera is meant to be used with other Garmin products, such as a GPS navigation screen. The user can toggle between navigation and backup modes on a single screen. The camera is meant to transmit video wirelessly to the screen, for up to 45 feet. For larger vehicles, an extension cable is available. The product is sold as a single camera with connecting cables, but up to four cameras can be combined with this system.
This system is compatible with Garmin Nuvi products.
4Ucam Digital Wireless Camera + 7″ Monitor for Bus, RV, Trailer, Motor Home, 5th Wheels and Trucks Backup or Rear View – Best Wireless Backup Camera for Trucks
This product consists of a monitor plus one camera and necessary cables. However, the video transmission has wireless capabilities, reportedly up to 100 feet with the addition of an optional extended antenna. All necessary parts come included with purchase, including power connections and a user manual. The product comes with one camera included, but can be connected to up to 4, which may be useful on such large vehicles.
Reviews of this product are mostly positive. However, the negative reviews focus on similar issues. Users report that the picture quality can deteriorate over time or on above average sized vehicles where the camera is further from the monitor.
Esky EC180-19 180° Viewing Angle 100% Waterproof High-Definition – Backup Camera with No Drilling Required
This rear view camera differs from competitors by including mounting materials that eliminate the need to drill holes. It is attached using only the license plate screws. It offers a 180 degree viewing angle, the widest on this list.
It is made to function in various weather conditions.
TOPTIERPRO TTP-C12B Car Rear/Front View Multifunctional Universal Backup Camera – Affordable Backup Camera
This product consists of a single camera that can be set up as a front view, side view or rear view camera. It comes with multiple wires marked by different colors. The user is able to cut different wires to change the video output from front view to rear view or make guidelines appear.
One buyer reported some rusting of the mounting hardware and was directed to customer service for a replacement part. Some users report that their camera did not initially display with the default settings. Some were able to problem solve on their own by cutting specific wires to reverse the settings, others were directed to customer service for clarification or replacements.
Esky EC170-08 Waterproof Night Vision HD CMOS 170°Viewing Field Car Rear View Backup Camera – Best Simple HD Backup Camera
This product comes with a single camera that can be easily mounted to the vehicle’s license plate or other desired location. It comes with a unique polished surface for a sleek look as opposed to the common matte finish. It also comes attached to a butterfly-shaped bracket that can be used for quick installation. Some users even reported using double sided tape to attach.
There are some negative reviews for this product that state the camera simply did not work or gave out quickly, even after repeat purchases. There are also a number of positive reviews. It seems there may be an issue of quality control with the manufacturing, rather than a specific problem with the hardware or software. One reviewer did state that the wiring caught on fire for the unit and other stated that he had discontinued use once the wires heated up and he was concerned about fire risk.
LeeKooLuu CMOS Reverse/Rear View Camera and Monitor Kit for Car With 7 LED Night Vision – Reverse Camera for Wide Angle View
This backup system consists of a camera and a rear view mirror with camera display that goes over the car’s existing rear view mirror. This system costs less than 25 percent of some other camera & monitor systems. The system automatically displays the backup camera screen when the car is reversing and returns to normal rear view after that. If you’re curious about how it “knows” when you are backing up, it connects to the wire that also signals the vehicle’s reverse lights.
Up to two cameras are able to be connected to the display, so that front and back cameras can be installed. Some users have reported that the screen weight may make the car’s rear view mirror tilt down over time or when going over bumps. The buttons are behind the display, making controlling the system difficult once installed.
Best Backup Camera – Buyer’s Guide
If you are concerned about receiving an unluckily faulty unit or the system failing over time, opt for a purchase that includes warranty or money back guarantees. When choosing where to install the system, consider how much it stands out in order to avoid theft. If you don’t have the right tools or time to install a backup camera, there are professionals who can help. Sometimes this option is even available at the time the backup camera is purchased.
When placing an order for a backup camera, read the product description and reviews to determine whether or not your purchase includes everything needed for installation. The most common add-ons needed are extension (video) cables and power cables (to the car’s cigarette lighter). Ordering everything at the same time will ensure that you are able to start using your system as soon as possible after installation. Additionally, some users choose to also purchase a water repellant coating (such as those used for windshields) to spray over the camera lense and improve visibility.
The most common problems reported buy buyers are that the system does not function as expected or deteriorates over time. To avoid these issues, ensure that everything is properly installed according to the manufacturer’s directions as soon as you receive the product. If something is not working correctly, immediately seek help online or with customer service. Be sure to keep track of the money back guarantee window and warranty policy to ensure that you are eligible for replacement parts as required.
Backup cameras can be a great investment that helps drivers prevent costly damages and accidents. Aftermarket backup cameras are a great product with a lot of options available on the market. One of the benefits of using aftermarket backup cameras, is that you have the choice of selecting the model with the features and price right for your needs, as opposed to those that will come pre-installed in vehicles released after 2018.
Some things to consider when purchasing are how much you are willing to spend and what features are important to you. Start by asking: How many cameras do you wish to connect (front view, rear view, side views)? How heavy duty do you need the weatherproofing to be (humidity, rain, snow, car washing, commercial uses)? Do you need the system to function better in bright sunlight or darkness or both? Will you be connecting and disconnecting the system often? Will the connections be wired or wireless and how long of wires are needed?
There are a lot of users asking and answering specific questions on product pages. So if you have a concern about whether or not a certain model or specific type of installation will work for you, there may be a solution online.