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Motorhome Reversing Cameras by OutdoorBits
One accessory fitted to motorhomes and caravans which gives a huge peace of mind is the reversing camera. Reversing Cameras instill confidence when backing into a tight spot giving you the ability to see the ground right behind you quickly and easily. Reversing cameras can also give confidence when driving along the motorway if you have either a twin or motorized reversing camera setup as you can see behind you towards the horizon allowing you to see if someone is following close behind just about to overtake or fast moving traffic coming up in another lane.
Reversing cameras also can be used for alternative purposes as the modern crop have auxiliary / line in connectors allowing you to connect in a camera / camcorder / phone for instance to see images / films on a larger format screen
Wired Vs Wireless ?
Broadly speaking most reversing cameras can be broken down into either Wired or Wireless systems.
Wired Reversing cameras are physically cabled from the monitor viewing screen to the camera itself, this has the advantages of better picture with less chance of interference vs wireless causing any issues (although modern camera systems do not tend to suffer as much as their older counterparts and newer digital technology means this is almost a none existent issue nowadays)
Single / Twin Camera / Tilt ?
The main benefit given by a twin or motorized system is the ability to see far behind your vehicle looking towards the horizon. This increased rear perception allows you to see vehicles following close behind which may be in normal mirror blindspots, it also allows you some confidence for overtaking on motorways as you can see fast moving traffic coming up behind or in next lane and anticipate their movements better.
Twin camera systems tend to be more expensive vs their motorized tilt counterparts but the motorized system due to its moving parts may break down earlier.
Some reversing camera systems come with an audio facility which is 1 way i.e. audio from a Mic mounted on the camera to the monitor allowing you to hear instructions for instance given by a person behind the vehicle.
Mirror facility allows you to reverse the image seen on your monitor horizontally so that the image is either presented as if you were stood looking rearwards or as if you were looking to the front i.e. the image is flipped.
Wired Sensors Vs Reversing Cameras
Since parking or reversing sensors rely on the reflection of sound waves, they may not detect some items that are not flat or large enough to reflect sound, for example a narrow pole or a longitudinal object pointed directly at the vehicle or near an object. Some objects such as skips may have flat surfaces that are angled from the vertical. These objects can deflecting the return sound waves away from the sensors causing them not to be detected.
Most Reversing camera systems come in either 5" or 7" varieties. Larger screens offer more visibility, better resolution and better options for auxiliary use i.e. connecting up to external equipment to use as screens for dvds/cameras etc. One thing to remember is when mounting a monitor on your dash check that any surrounding equipment will not interfere with the screen such as the windscreen blinds commonly found on motorhomes.
CMOS Vs CCD Cameras
CCD reversing cameras produce a much higher quality picture because the image sensor is used just for collecting the image and all of the other processing that it takes to deliver the image to the video output of the camera are handled by other components on the camera board.
With a CMOS reversing camera the image sensor is used both to collect the image and to process the image. A disadvantage of this is the camera is slower. The same chip that is used to collect the light is also used to do the necessary processing that it takes to deliver the image to the video output. This means that the process is slower and the image that is products is of lesser quality.
CMOS cameras do have the advantage when it come to power consumption. Because there are less components in the camera board it draws less power meaning that it will run longer if used on a battery.
CCD cameras have more components but produce a much higher quality image and draw more power.
Reversing Camera Mounts
Reversing cameras are invariably mounted on small brackets, but the screens themselves do come in different varieties. Rear View Mirror versions allow you to look at your usual location to see what is behind you but have smaller, longer screens. Some systems have sucker mounts or adhesive type mounts for the dashboard.
USB Charging Facility
Some of the modern reversing camera systems have USB Charging points on the screens allowing you to charge up devices.
Some of the more expensive camera systems offer protective motorized shutters which protects the camera lens against damage / dirt when not in use.
Reversing Cameras sometimes do have integrated heaters preventing condensation affecting your field of view and improving picture.
Cheaper Ebay reversing camera systems sometimes only come with very short cables (5m) which are really only suitable for very small motorhomes as hiding cable runs can take 1.5-2 times the actual distance as the bird flies. Motorhome Reversing camera systems ordinarily come with 18m+ of cable.
We have a selection of reversing cameras for motorhomes and caravans in our online store as follows:-
This article was published on Monday 09 January, 2012.