On the evening of October 19, 2002, pediatrician Greg Gulbransen walked out his front door to move the family’s sport-utility vehicle into the driveway. Unbeknownst to him, his 2-year-old son Cameron followed. Gulbransen was backing up when he felt a small bump, discovering only after it was too late that he’d accidentally run over and killed the boy. After that being said, today we are going to discuss the importance of caravan backup camera.
Many travelers also like to keep a keen eye on exactly what is happening on the road behind them as they cross-cross the nation’s highways and byways. The longer the caravan being towed or the motorhome being driven, the bigger the driving blind spots will be … and even the most extended wing mirror isn’t going to offer better rear vision that a rear-mounted camera. A quality system can add to driving confidence and peace of mind.
However, there are some features that grey nomads aiming to head out into the wild red yonder with one of these systems in place need to look out for. There are a variety of products in the marketplace and not all of them will do the job as might be hoped.
While they are commonly bought as packages (commonly at around the $600 mark), rear view camera systems consist of a camera, a monitor and the cabling that connects them together. Although wireless systems are on the market, most grey nomads report that the level of interference these pick up makes them far too unreliable. Cabling is the way to go.
- Some travelers choose to have a camera on the back of both their caravan and on the back of their ‘tug’. This makes hitching up the van a lot easier, as well as giving good rear vision when towing.
While it is important to have a wide angle of vision (at least 90 degrees) in a caravan back-up camera it also makes sense to install a camera that has a long distance focus. Some short distance vision models might be great for reversing but they will not pick up that road train bearing down on top of you until the ground is shaking! Super wide angle lenses can also distort images and lead to dangerous driving miscalculations.
Given the amount of work involved in installing a caravan back-up camera, it’s important to make sure you’ve got a good one from the outset. Here are some of the features you should consider:
- Good night vision, with at least 10 LEDs
- Audio that lets you hear people and cars approaching and allows you to hear your assistant’s directions
- Forward-motion capability that allows you to use the camera while driving so you can monitor other vehicles when merging or when they’re overtaking
- A viewing angle of 90 degrees provides the optimum balance between seeing where you’re reversing and allowing you to safely judge approaching vehicles
- A sun shield for good daylight vision
- Mirror-image capability to simulate a rear-view mirror