Backing up a larger vehicle where you have no rear view mirror presents extra hazards especially if you do not have the assistance of a spotter to guide you. And even if you have a spotter, the driver might feel reassured with a live picture from the reversing camera as well.
Added considerations before reversing large vehicles include height restrictions – not usually a concern for car and smaller van drivers. Truck and Motorhome drivers also need to be aware of how much width they require, particularly if the backup is not dead straight and turning is necessary.
Having made your preparatory scan of the area you must rely on your spotter, if you have one, and your wing mirrors. This is when the live image on your backup camera system monitor becomes invaluable. It allows you to be absolutely sure that the area is still clear all the time it takes for your reversing vehicle to park.
Selecting an aftermarket backup camera system to fit on to a large vehicle adds extra considerations compared to choosing a camera for cars and SUVs.
First – You might want to purchase a more robust kit especially if there are risks of accidental knocks to the camera. Also higher grade wiring might be worthwhile to ensure a longer life of the backup camera installation you pick. A kit that is sturdy – possibly a little bulkier and heavier – and airplane grade cabling will add years to the life of a heavy use truck backup camera. This will also necessitate a stronger bracket for mounting both your dashboard monitor and the actual reverse camera.
Second – A slightly wider lens view will help cover the broader area behind your truck, motorhome or campervan in environments such as farms, busy yards, parking bays and, of course, campsites. One customer observed, “Attached it to our camping trailer to aid in backing up into a camping spot. Added benefit was that this also aided during highway driving. We always knew where the car behind us was when we wanted to change lanes … no cutting off cars we passed.”
If you do purchase an aftermarket camera system with the capability to view traffic behind you can make occasional use of this whilst driving. Bear in mind that this must include infrared lighting, not LEDs, so that at night you do not inconvenience following drivers. One purchaser said, “ I wired the camera power to my rear running lights so it is on whenever the trailer is plugged into the truck and my trucks headlights are on. I wanted to use this camera to see behind me while I was driving and not just for backing up.”
Third – The wider view can be provided better with two cameras. There are some systems available on the aftermarket and such a kit will make for clearer picture of what is behind your vehicle. There are good reports of this from buyers and users so it might be worth the extra investment.