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Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:08 pm
by darkhorse
Fellow Bogleheads

I have one of the older model cars with no rear view camera. I have had couple of close calls lately and have been considering to install rear view camera.

Unfortunately, I can not find one with a consistent reliable positive reviews in my online search.

I am hoping if someone on the forum could share their experience and have any recommendations (positive or negative).


Thank you

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:42 am
by lthenderson
Personally, I'm not sure it would be really worth the cost or effort. We got our first vehicle with rear view camera this year and frankly I'm not really impressed with it. It is good for seeing things close to your bumper and backing up to things but the field of view is way too small to safely see normal backing up traffic situations. I think it shows me about 10 feet of pavement beyond my bumper and that is it. I still find my preference is to look over my shoulder like I always do for most of my travelings in reverse.

If you really need one, I think I would trade vehicles so that you end up with a system that is integrated with your car and works well instead of a patched together system.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:50 am
by wilshuer
Due to many small children living on my street, a few years ago I bought one from Sam's club to use on my pickup. It was a mount on license plate version, run a cable up through the body somehow and a monitor that clipped on the sun visor. It was utilitarian but worked well. Also was very useful for backing up to hookup a trailer, etc. I think total was about $50 and was well worth it. A search on Amazon shows a lot with 4-5 star ratings and many reviews.

I've since replaced the truck with a newer one with integrated camera. It is much better for the integrated aspect, but still serves the same function. The camera quality in one vs the other is exactly the same, probably sourced from the same factory in China.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:58 am
by Browser
You can buy a backup cam to use with some Garmin GPS units. I believe it is wireless but that you need to connect it with wire to a tail light in order to that to switch it on when you shift into reverse and for power. Don't know how well they work, but am going to look into it since I have a Garmin that can work with it.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 8:59 am
by Smurf
I just went through this and here's what I did.

1. I have a relatively new Ram 1500 which is obviously rear view challenged. Since the truck is only a couple years old I had a new stereo head unit installed with a touch screen and a back up camera added. Pros with this route is that you will likely get bluetooth connectivity and a nice 6.2" screen of rear vision when you put the car into reverse. If you shop around you can get this bought and installed for ~$500.

2. We also have a 6 year old CRV. Rather than spend another $500 on an older car I bought one of the rear view systems that goes in the mirror from Costco (Item 932256) for $169. It can be installed yourself with some know how, or best buy will do it for $130. For a car or smaller SUV the mirror mount with a 4.3" screen will be sufficient.

Whatever you do avoid any wireless camera. There is always interference and even worse a delay between what the camera sees and what appears on the screen. In my opinion that is worse than just being careful and using mirrors.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:25 am
by ddurrett896
I hate my backup camera and never use it.

I LOVEEE my backup sensors and always use them.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 9:58 am
by lightheir
lthenderson wrote:Personally, I'm not sure it would be really worth the cost or effort. We got our first vehicle with rear view camera this year and frankly I'm not really impressed with it. It is good for seeing things close to your bumper and backing up to things but the field of view is way too small to safely see normal backing up traffic situations. I think it shows me about 10 feet of pavement beyond my bumper and that is it. I still find my preference is to look over my shoulder like I always do for most of my travelings in reverse.

If you really need one, I think I would trade vehicles so that you end up with a system that is integrated with your car and works well instead of a patched together system.
You'll get used to it and find it more useful over time. I too found my built-in one 'useless' at first, but after about 6-8 months, I've grown to find it a very valuable accessory. You'll still likely check over your shoulder, but it's really helpful for parallel parking.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:22 am
by Browser
ddurrett896 wrote:I hate my backup camera and never use it.

I LOVEEE my backup sensors and always use them.
I've wondered about that. When I've test driven new cars with a backup cam, it seems really difficult to use the dang thing to actually back into a space. I'd much rather just be able to look backwards, but most SUVs I'm looking at have poor rearward visibility. I did find the rear corner and bumper sensors to be helpful though. On some cars you get a dash display that shows which sensors are activated so you know where the object is.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:29 am
by lthenderson
lightheir wrote:You'll get used to it and find it more useful over time. I too found my built-in one 'useless' at first, but after about 6-8 months, I've grown to find it a very valuable accessory. You'll still likely check over your shoulder, but it's really helpful for parallel parking.
I absolutely agree that they are great for parking whether parallel or backing into a spot. There is no guessing as to if you are "inbetween the lines" anymore. Where I find them less useful is when I am backing up longer distances because the depth of view is so shallow. Because I mostly back up longer distance thanks to a long curved driveway, my view may be shaded towards them not being worth it. I parallel park maybe three or four times a year. Someone who lives in a large urban city where parallel parking in tight spots is a daily occurrence would definitely have a different opinion.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:42 am
by Jozxyqk
Browser wrote:
ddurrett896 wrote:I hate my backup camera and never use it.

I LOVEEE my backup sensors and always use them.
I've wondered about that. When I've test driven new cars with a backup cam, it seems really difficult to use the dang thing to actually back into a space. I'd much rather just be able to look backwards, but most SUVs I'm looking at have poor rearward visibility. I did find the rear corner and bumper sensors to be helpful though. On some cars you get a dash display that shows which sensors are activated so you know where the object is.
Do people really use backup cameras to park or as general purpose vision device for backing up?

I sort of want one. Not to help me backing up as a general matter, though, but because I want to be able to reliably see if there is a toddler immediately behind me. I had assumed that this was their general function.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:43 am
by Browser
lthenderson wrote:
lightheir wrote:You'll get used to it and find it more useful over time. I too found my built-in one 'useless' at first, but after about 6-8 months, I've grown to find it a very valuable accessory. You'll still likely check over your shoulder, but it's really helpful for parallel parking.
I absolutely agree that they are great for parking whether parallel or backing into a spot. There is no guessing as to if you are "inbetween the lines" anymore. Where I find them less useful is when I am backing up longer distances because the depth of view is so shallow. Because I mostly back up longer distance thanks to a long curved driveway, my view may be shaded towards them not being worth it. I parallel park maybe three or four times a year. Someone who lives in a large urban city where parallel parking in tight spots is a daily occurrence would definitely have a different opinion.
I drove a Kia Sorento with the "birds-eye view" camera system. You see an image of your vehicle and it's surroundings as if looking down from above. It seemed quite accurate on a long curved driveway at my relative's house that I always have trouble backing out of. Would also seem very useful for parking. One day, we'll have these on most vehicles and they'll be a lot more helpful.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:05 pm
by likegarden
2 1/2 years ago we bought a new Toyota Camry which did not have a rear-view camera. When we went shopping for a new car, we did not realize that with high trunks we no longer could see what's behind the car, i.e. a little kid of our neighbor. So we went to a store which for $500 installed the camera above the rear license plate with the picture showing on the Camry's screen. We like it, it covers a blind spot which we did not have with older cars. We still have to watch to the sides obviously when backing up. On the internet were cameras offered for $250 or so, not too difficult to install by yourself.

Re: Car Rear View Camera recommendations

Posted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:47 pm
by darkhorse
Smurf wrote:I just went through this and here's what I did.

1. I have a relatively new Ram 1500 which is obviously rear view challenged. Since the truck is only a couple years old I had a new stereo head unit installed with a touch screen and a back up camera added. Pros with this route is that you will likely get bluetooth connectivity and a nice 6.2" screen of rear vision when you put the car into reverse. If you shop around you can get this bought and installed for ~$500.

2. We also have a 6 year old CRV. Rather than spend another $500 on an older car I bought one of the rear view systems that goes in the mirror from Costco (Item 932256) for $169. It can be installed yourself with some know how, or best buy will do it for $130. For a car or smaller SUV the mirror mount with a 4.3" screen will be sufficient.

Whatever you do avoid any wireless camera. There is always interference and even worse a delay between what the camera sees and what appears on the screen. In my opinion that is worse than just being careful and using mirrors.
I like your option 2. I am willing to spend 170 (compared to 100 for wireless costco camear with mixed reviews) but would rather not spend 130 bucks for installation.

How complicated is the installation? I am someone who has no prior knowledge about car DIYs but committed to research/learn to avoid 130 in costs, do you think it is feasible to install it? If not, I may considerr to give wireless camera try (pro: quick install) considering that I can return it to Costco

Thank you