Using your backup camera
Once you have chosen the best backup camera for your vehicle and it has been fitted you might want some advice about how to use the camera system, especially if you have no previous experience of backing your car, van, SUV, RV, or delivery vehicle with a rear-view picture. On this page you will find a guidance video and helpful tips about backing up with the aid of a camera picture. If any terms are unfamiliar, see our Backup Camera Terms Explained page.
The first hurdle for beginners to overcome is to learn to trust the system. And the best way to do this is to practise reversing, preferably somewhere without other vehicles. As you will see in the video, the picture on your screen should have guides for measuring and judging where to aim your car or truck and when to turn the steering wheel.
At first you might want to turn too early – a common fault so don’t worry if you have to resist using your judgement instead of the camera’s guide points. Just convince yourself that the picture is right and trust the system.
The second common concern is often judging exactly when to stop reversing the vehicle. Most backup camera picture screens will show you Red, Yellow and Green lines or zones. Objects in the Green area are furthest away from the back of your vehicle, Yellow are nearer, and Red (as you would expect) means close and therefore nearing your stop point. As your car or truck closes in the Red zone you watch for the rear/stop mark on your screen..and Stop!
So let’s look at how to use your car’s backup camera correctly, courtesy of Chase A.
As you could see, good reversing aids not only show you what is behind your vehicle but also provide you with guide lines and points so you can manoeuver safely – without hitting or scraping anything.
Now we come to an important question – should you rely solely on your reversing camera screen or should you make use of wing mirrors (even rear view mirror) as part of the reversing process? These two schools of thought are clearly arguable – on the one hand relying totally on the backup camera avoids your being distracted when reversing; on the other hand by quickly glancing in your mirrors gives you a slightly wider view of what is near to your car or truck.
There is no definitive answer to this question. It really comes down to preference but many people find that the use of mirrors occasionally improves confidence in the whole reversing manoeuvre, especially in the early stages of using a backup camera.
Any thoughts and experiences will be very welcome. Just enter your comments here.
Installing your backup camera yourself
If you are planning to install your backup camera yourself, you might care to check out our installation advice post.
Or you can follow vehicle camera installations like this from Lorenzo of Quality Mobile Video.
There are a number of good quality installation videos on YouTube for aftermarket camera kits with some covering particular automobile models. But the basics are much the same for wired reverse cameras on all vehicles whether cars, SUVs or trucks.
Getting a professional to install your camera
If you prefer the idea of a technician installing your backup camera system then why not look at Amazon’s professional installation service? Vehicle Backup Camera Installation Service
You might consider paying to get your camera kit installed too much for a system that cost less than that. But it does need putting in place and maybe the cost is not so bad for an ongoing safety feature that all manufacturers will have to provide within a few years. If you keep your vehicle and use it for 2 or 3 years then it is not much per annum
The main advantages of installing the camera yourself seem to be, it is cheaper, you can choose a time to suit yourself, it is satisfying if you enjoy customising your own vehicle, and adding a first rate safety backing system.
The benefits of paying for a fitting service appear to be, it is easier, the job is done by professionals who have all the correct tools and knowledge, and all you do is make a suitable appointment.
There are other companies providing installation services both national and regional all advertising online.
Peace of mind
Whichever installation method you select you will improve safety when backing up. Your camera will help to:
- Eliminate blind spots behind your car, SUV, truck or large vehicle
- Allow you to see pedestrians walking behind
- Alert you when you are getting too close to an object
- Alert you when a small child or pet unexpectedly walks behind your vehicle as you back up
- Provide clear visibility before starting to reverse your vehicle in car parking areas or on the street
- Allow for easier trailer manoeuvring
We are sure you will wonder why you didn’t buy your aftermarket backup camera before!