The wireless reversing camera has become an indispensable accessory for cars and motorhomes in particular. It is sometimes difficult to do a reverse with good visibility, and this small practical device can prevent any disaster!
But if prices become more and more accessible, you still have to choose a reliable model. That’s why I wrote this buying guide with my selection of the best wireless backup cameras on the market to suit your budget.
The best wireless reversing cameras reviews 2018
Garmin BC 30: the best wireless motorhome reversing camera with GPS
Particularly robust, the Garmin BC 30 Wireless Screenless Reversing Camera is an official accessory of the American brand that works with the vast majority of its GPS (including Camper, Drive and Nuvi). It mounts easily to the rear of the car and displays the video directly on the GPS screen via a radio transmission (ISM 2.4 GHz).
Garmin recommends installation by a professional, but for DIY fans, detailed instructional videos are available on the official website and on YouTube. You can purchase up to three additional cameras and associate them all with the same transmitter.
The Garmin BC 30 gives you the option to connect the camera directly to the reverse lights so that the GPS automatically displays the video every time you put the car in reverse. Otherwise, you will have to manually switch the display according to my tests.
Regarding performance, the transmitter must be within 10 meters of the Garmin GPS which is not a problem even for motorhomes, trucks and cars with trailers. This high-end wireless backup camera uses a low-resolution 640 × 480 CMOS sensor with viewing angles of 115 degrees vertically and 140 degrees horizontally.
In the end, the Garmin BC 30 remains my favorite today thanks to the use of the GPS screen which saves space at the front of the vehicle. In addition, the brand is recognized for the reliability of its equipment and includes a 2-year warranty.
The best wireless backup cameras under $100
Carchet BT633: the best quality/price ratio of the moment
In terms of price/quality ratio, it’s hard to beat the Carchet BT633 wireless rearview camera. With its large 7-inch screen, wide-angle night vision and IP66 waterproof, you can afford a reliable device for less than 100$.
First of all, the installation of the camera is relatively simple according to the opinions of the users as much for the transmitter (behind the car) as for the receiver (video output) provided to be a little handyman. It measures only 6 × 3 cm which allows to fix it without being too visible on the bumper.
Regarding the quality of the image, it is very satisfactory with an effective Wi-Fi transmission. The Carchet BT633 stands out from the crowd thanks to its 7 LEDs that allow lighting during the night to park safely in the morning and evening. The navigation is ergonomic thanks to the 5 buttons located on the lower side of the LCD screen.
This reversing camera is solid thanks to its IP66 waterproof rating able to withstand harsh weather conditions. This is particularly important if you live in areas with heavy rain but also to avoid splashing mud.
To conclude, the Carchet BT633 wireless reversing camera is one of the best sales of the moment thanks to its attractive price. Driver feedback is generally positive whether it is the owners of a car, camper, caravan, van, tractor or semi-trailer.
Currently not available on Amazon
Podofo 4.3 Inch: A Wireless Car Backup Reverse Camera
If you have a budget of up to $50, this waterproof camera can be a nice alternative without breaking the bank. It easily attaches to the license plate without risk thanks to its seal certificate and comes with a 4.3-inch screen with a resolution of 960 × 240.
For everyday use, the video is displayed automatically when you switch on a reverse (no Bluetooth but a wireless radio band). Note that the device also has a 2nd video output even if the use remains limited to certain specific cases
Overall, it is a cheap wireless backup camera and the main disadvantage is the reliability over time for this little-known brand. It would not be my first choice except for occasional use.
Wireless reversing camera: how does it work?
The technology used in reversing camera systems has been around for a very long time. The pieces are present in many applications such as cameras used to probe the interior of the body during medical procedures and small LCD screens of digital cameras.
But it is only in recent years that wireless reversing cameras are really accessible in terms of prices for individuals. Some car or RV manufacturers sometimes include a model directly at the time of vehicle purchase.
The design of a reversing camera differs from other cameras in that the image is horizontally inverted so that the output is a mirror image. This is necessary because the camera and the driver are facing opposite directions, and without that, the right of the camera would be on the left of the driver and vice versa. A mirror image makes the orientation of the display conform to the physical mirrors installed on the vehicle.
A wireless connection between the rearview camera and the display means that with these systems, it is not necessary to route the wiring into your vehicle. This is usually the most difficult part of the installation and it significantly reduces the installation time, especially when it is difficult to hide the wire.
How to choose your wireless reversing camera?
I suggest you take stock of the main criteria to check before buying a wireless backup camera.
Strength and tightness
A rearview camera must be designed to withstand any type of weather condition even if it is protected by the bumper or license plate. A water protection rating is required to ensure the unit is water and moisture resistant without difficulty.
It is important that the quality of the image be sufficiently precise and detailed to see the obstacles at the rear of the vehicle. A good way to compare 2 reversing cameras is the resolution mentioned by the manufacturer. But I also advise you to check user reviews online.
Angle of vision
The viewing angle of the wireless reversing camera determines the viewing width you will see on the screen. The larger the angle, the larger the captured image will be. Typically, a minimum angle of 120 degrees is necessary in order to avoid parking obstacles.
Also be aware that the camera is generally facing down to see potential obstacles to the ground as well as the position of the walls that approach when maneuvering in reverse.
Without night vision, a wireless backup camera is virtually useless in low light conditions. There are many types of night vision, but all of them involve illuminating the space behind your car or another vehicle with multiple LEDs.
Ideally, a wireless backup camera must be delivered with a complete user manual so that it can be installed as quickly as possible. It is possible to go through a professional type but a home installation is generally feasible for wireless models.
Some cameras have an included panel so you can attach the camera to the license plate using the screws. Other models can be mounted as a pin on the top of the license plate.
Finally, the price of a wireless reversing camera varies from 50 to 200 $ depending on the features. Do not forget to include the GPS price if you opt for a model without a screen. Remember to check the duration of the warranty and choose a reputable brand.
How to install wireless backup camera?
If you want to install a wireless backup camera yourself, here are the steps to follow:
- First of all, check that you have all the necessary elements for the power supply: a screwdriver, pliers, the outdoor camera, the transmitter, the screen and the various connection wires.
- Start by removing the screws from your license plate and remove it. Mount the camera on the license plate. Depending on the type of camera, editing options differ, so read the user manual (sometimes available on the official website of the product or on Youtube).
- Once the camera is firmly attached to the license plate (important to avoid being stolen), replace the screws properly.
- Then plug in the camera cable knowing that most people prefer not to have visible wire outside their car. Again, the record should clearly indicate how to proceed with a forceps.
- The ideal power source and the one directly related to the reversing lights. Indeed, the camera will be powered on only when you make a maneuver in reverse.
- Connect the other end of the wires to the gearbox that came with your backup camera. Make sure that the white power wire is connected to the red wire and that the black wire is connected to the black wire (unless otherwise specified in the manual).
- Connect the camera to the transmitter (with the two RCA cables: yellow and black outputs) and replace the loose parts of your car, such as panels and backlit caches inside your vehicle.
- All you have to do is fix the screen in the middle of your dashboard, making sure that it does not obstruct your view of the road in any way.
- Finally, connect the screen to a power source such as the cigarette lighter socket or other power sources under the glove box.
I hope these steps have helped you better understand how to power a wireless backup camera. In any case, do not hesitate to watch videos available on Youtube depending on your model to find the best wireless reversing camera.