Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Mar 22, 2022

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Key Takeaways

  • New vehicles in the U.S. are required by federal law to have a built-in backup camera system
  • Backup cameras make reversing and parking much safer by providing a video image of what’s happening behind your car
  • You can buy and install an aftermarket backup camera if your vehicle doesn’t currently have one

Backup cameras are essential for safer driving experiences, especially when reversing your car into a parking lot and needing a better view of parking lines. Though rearview and wing mirrors are great, backup cameras make reversing your car a lot easier by providing you with multiple angles of everything that’s happening around you. This is why, since 2018, new vehicles in the U.S. have been required to have a built-in backup camera.  

However, if you are driving a vehicle that does not have an in-built backup camera system, you can always buy and install a new one on your own and improve the safety of your vehicle. Let’s take a look at some of the best backup camera options available to you.

Best Backup Cameras

There are tons of options in the market. You will need to select the one that suits your car and budget.

Best Backup Camera For Cars

These are our two top picks for a backup camera for your car.

Auto-Vox CS-2

Auto-Vox CS-2 is our choice for the best overall backup camera. It’s easy to install and offers excellent picture quality. The camera is wireless, so it’s very straightforward to attach it to the back of your car, while you can mount the monitor on your dashboard with a suction cup.

The upside of this wireless camera is that there’s no installation cost. The downside is the picture quality isn’t always reliable. However, the CS-2 doesn’t suffer from these issues like other wireless cameras. The digital wireless transmission has a strong signal and is suitable for vehicles less than 32-feet long.

eRapta ERT01 Car Rearview Camera

Many vehicles made before 2018 come with an in-built LCD. If you’re in the market for a budget backup camera solution, you connect eRapta ERT01 Car Rearview Camera to your existing dashboard monitor. 

Despite a low price of $30, these cameras are waterproof and feature good video quality and low-light performance. They’re not too complicated to set up and come with 25 feet of wiring, making the camera suitable for some RVs and longer vehicles. This system is a reliable, no-frills solution. 

Best Backup Camera for Vans

DoHonest HD 1080p Digital Wireless Backup Camera is a wireless camera with a 150-degree viewing angle. It’s the perfect choice for a van or other large vehicles as the monitor has a connection range of up to 100 feet.

Installation is easy because it’s a wireless camera. Some wireless backup cameras suffer from choppy video, but the DoHonest’s internal transmitter helps it display a clean 1080p color video with an excellent night-vision to boot.

Best Backup Camera for Trucks

As mentioned above, eRapta has one of the best backup cameras for drivers on a budget. They also have a great version for trucks and longer vehicles. eRapta Backup Camera 2.0 is a wired camera system with four different cameras. 

The side and rear-mounted cameras feed into a 7-inch split-screen display that allows drivers to switch between channels or watch them all at once. 

Aftermarket backup cameras for trucks are expensive. But this model comes in at a low price of a little over $200. Installation is fairly straightforward, but you might want to consult a professional if you don’t have the tools or electrical know-how.

Best Backup Camera for SUVs

The backup cameras for SUVs have reasonably specific requirements. You need the accuracy of a car camera but with the larger coverage range of a truck camera. Zeroxclub W01 Digital Wireless Backup Camera Kit fits the bill because of its crisp 1,280×720-pixel display and excellent display.

The W01 is wireless, which means installation is easy. Additionally, the monitor is powered by your SUV’s auxiliary power outlet. It includes infrared light and decent 149-degree vision.

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Best Backup Camera for RVs and Trailers

RVs and trailers are challenging to park. They’re long, large, and come with an array of blindspots. Backup cameras for these vehicles are a must if you want to see what’s happening behind you. 

Best Backup Camera for RVs

Rear View Safety’s 4 Camera Setup with Quad View Display gives RV drivers the best view of their surroundings because of its four separate cameras. Two rear-mounted cameras give drivers a detailed view of everything around them. The monitor has a few different views, which can be displayed as a split-screen or in whatever configuration the driver wants.

Another big plus of this camera is that it transmits audio. Bear in mind, this camera requires a wired installation. 

Best Backup Camera for Trailers

Driving with a trailer attached to your car is challenging. Visibility is different, you have different angles to think about, and your vehicle is longer than you’re used to. Yakry’s HD 720P Digital Wireless Backup Camera helps remove the guesswork thanks to its 150-degree viewing angle. It’s fog-resistant and works well with the 5-inch display monitor.

Best Rearview Mirror Backup Camera 

Many people are used to parking and reversing with a rearview mirror. If that’s what you’re used to, you might prefer a small 4.3-inch integrated camera installed on your rearview mirror.

Pyle PLCM4500 is a wide-angle lens camera feed that activates when you put your car in reverse. Additionally, it overlays scale lines on your mirror to help you park in even the tightest spaces.

The Pyle camera isn’t a replacement for your rearview mirror. It augments it and makes it easy to keep your eye on the road. It’s available in both wired and wireless versions.

How to Choose a Backup Camera 

As a backup camera can help you keep accidents and claims to a minimum and thereby help you get lower car insurance quotes, it’s essential to consider all the features of the camera system carefully.

Here are some of the features:

Power Source

The power from your car’s reverse lights can support a backup camera. However, this means you’ll need to get it installed or do it yourself. Depending on the camera and your car’s electronics, this can be a complex job.

An auxiliary power outlet can power most backup camera monitors. These are commonly known as the “cigarette lighter.” That said, it’s also possible to power it with a different part of the car if you know what you are doing.

Wired vs. Wireless

Most backup camera manufacturers provide a simple mounting system that attaches to your license plate frame. For RVs and trailers, other manufacturers provide a back bracket. Both are simple to install.

Wired systems are more complex to fit. They require running a power cable through an existing hole or one of your lights. Alternatively, some cars or systems need you to drill a hole to fit the camera.

Wireless systems are far easier to install. The downside is reduced video quality and the occasional lag.

Display

If your car already comes with an in-built monitor, you might be able to connect it with a backup camera. If you already have a backup camera but want a better display, you can upgrade with a new high-resolution monitor.

Features

Another thing to consider is what you want from the monitor. Is a simple dashcam good, or do you want a touchscreen with a dashcam? Dashcam footage is a great way to protect yourself because it provides evidence for accident claims.

Besides that, the complexity and flexibility of your monitor are other things worth considering. For example, you might want to connect to a side camera or dashcams.

Resolution

Crisp, high-resolution image quality isn’t strictly necessary, but it is nice to have. Of course, top-tier video means top-tier prices. 

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How Much Does a Backup Camera Cost? 

There are many options for backup cameras in the market. As you might expect, prices vary wildly. You can get a budget backup camera for about $30, while a top-of-the-range RV backup camera could cost as much as $700 to $800.

Overall, for around $100, not including installation, you can pick up an excellent aftermarket backup camera that can last you for many years.

Best Backup Camera: The Bottom Line

The best backup camera will help you keep an eye on your surroundings when you’re reversing or parking. Choose the camera that best fits your needs and your budget to get the right balance of features and price.

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