If you own a recreational vehicle, you likely already know that it can be challenging to maneuver your RV or see behind it when driving, parking, or trying to turn into and out of tight spaces at campgrounds.
Fortunately, equipping your motorhome with a backup camera can resolve these common problems.
However, many people still hesitate when considering purchasing an RV backup camera because they have feelings of trepidation about how difficult it will be to install one on their motorhome.
That’s why we have put together this list to let you know how hard it is to install one and the various details surrounding RV backup cameras that you need to know:
Here’s The Answer To If It Is Hard To Install A Backup Camera:
How difficult installing a backup camera on a motorhome will depend on your skillsets and the type of system you use. It’s easier to install a wireless backup camera than a wired backup camera, especially if you already have the technical knowledge to do it.
Two Different Kinds Of Motorhome Backup Cameras
There are mainly two different types of RV backup camera systems.
Which type you choose will ultimately depend on your needs and installing your backup camera system yourself. Installing a wireless system tends to be easier because there are not as many cables involved.
Yet, the setup process for a wireless backup camera system can be more technically challenging than a wired RV backup camera system.
Below we have briefly discussed these two backup camera types:
Wired Backup Cameras:
You might have guessed this already, but wired backup cameras are wired to a monitor through a cable.
Unlike wireless motorhome backup cameras, wired backup cameras have stronger signal strengths that are more reliable and consistent. With a wired backup camera system, you are almost always guaranteed a clear and clean view, ensuring maximum visibility.
However, when you opt for a wired backup camera system for your motorhome, you will likely need professional help if you want it to be installed properly. This is especially true if you have a larger rig.
Suppose you do have a larger motorhome, and you choose a wired backup camera system. In this instance, you could very well end up paying significantly more than a wireless system because of the cabling.
Wireless Backup Cameras:
Wireless motorhome backup camera systems are often easier to install because no extra cables are needed during setup.
This means you will spend less time on the installation process. However, wireless camera backup camera systems tend to lose signal more frequently than wired backup camera systems. Due to this, you could experience a camera feed that has distorted picture quality.
However, wireless backup camera systems are better suited to large rigs in terms of price as no extra cabling is needed.
Still, you should be aware that larger rigs do experience signal problems with backup camera systems that are wireless.
Do People Typically Install Backup Cameras Themselves?
Many RVers often choose to install a backup camera system themselves as it is a cheaper alternative than hiring a professional technician.
However, you need to know that this isn’t always the case, as often, those who want to install a wired backup camera system hire someone to do the installation for them.
Those who aren’t as good with technology also usually prefer hiring someone to complete the installation for them.
How Long Does It Take To Install?
How long it takes to install a motorhome backup camera will depend on the type of camera system you want to install and the size of your motorhome.
In general, you can expect to spend between one to three hours installing a wireless backup camera system and between two to four hours installing a wired backup camera system.
Do Wireless Backup Cameras Always Work?
Unlike wired cameras, wireless cameras tend to experience more problems.
They don’t always work, which can be frustrating for RVers, especially when using your backup camera under pressure. There are two reasons why wireless motorhome backup cameras don’t always work, which we have briefly listed below.
Bad Image Quality
Since wireless backup cameras don’t have any cabling, there is a higher risk of lag and interference, which affects the image quality your monitor receives. If you experience bad image quality, such as pixelation and blurred images, you might need to reconsider your wireless backup cameras configuration.
Sometimes a wireless RV backup camera system can include an analog signal.
Analog signals experience more connection losses and signal drops. However, there are wireless backup camera systems for a motorhome that utilize a digital signal, but although more reliable than an analog signal, digital signals can still experience signal drops.
How Do You Install A Wired Camera?
Have you decided to install a wired backup camera without the help of a professional technicians assistance who has experience installing wired backup camera systems in motorhomes?
If so, you will likely find the wired camera installation steps we speak about below helpful. However, before you can look at the steps, you need to ensure that you have everything you need to complete the installation, including the installation tools and all the backup camera equipment.
Before you begin your install, you also need to check the backup camera equipment you plan to use. You don’t want to finish your install only to discover the camera equipment itself does not work.
Usually, if you plan to install a wired backup camera system, you need RV sealant, a drill with a 3/4 drill bit, a pencil, and a screwdriver set.
Once you have these tools and the backup camera equipment you have tested beforehand, you’re ready to begin your motorhome backup camera installation:
1. Mounting Rearview Camera:
The first step in installing an RV backup camera system is learning where to mount your rearview camera.
Usually, most motorhome backup camera systems are mounted slightly below an RV clearance light. If your rig’s clearance lights are low, you shouldn’t experience any issues mounting the camera.
2. Mark the Spot:
After identifying where to mount your backup camera, you need to use a pencil and mark the spot where you want to drill a 3/4 inch hole for your wiring.
However, before you mark the spot you plan to drill, you need to ensure there are no wall studs in the way and that there aren’t any objects in the way that you could accidentally drill into.
3. Drill the Hole
Once you have drilled your hole, you need to decide if you will route your backup cameras wires underneath your RV or via your motorhome’s ceiling rafters.
You could also choose to route your wiring through your kitchen cabinetry or your motorhomes flooring. Yet, remember that you don’t want to drill the holes before assessing the best route.
4. Routing Your Wires:
When you decide where to drill your holes, remember to route the wire from the inside to the outside.
Don’t forget that you will also need to fill the holes made by the drill with RV sealant because you don’t want buys or air coming into your motorhome unnecessarily.
5. Align & Connect:
Once the cabling has been laid, you can align and connect your backup camera and test the view you receive on your monitor.
You should adjust your camera a few times to ensure you like the view you receive from the rear of your motorhome. Once you are happy with the view you see, you can screw the camera into place and use sealant to ensure no moisture build-up occurs.
6. Secure Your Wiring:
If you have chosen to route your wiring underneath your motorhome, you need to ensure you avoid areas that become hot or places where cables could get pinched.
After laying the cabling underneath your motorhome, you can use zip ties to secure the wiring underneath your motorhome.
7. Set Up the Monitor:
You can then set up your backup camera monitor after your wiring is laid, whether through the walls or from underneath.
When mounting it, you should remember to place it where you can easily see it; otherwise, installing a backup camera is pointless.
Usually, if your cigarette lighter plug is near your monitor, you will know it’s close enough to your field of sight as this lighter is the power source for most monitors.
8. Connect Your system:
Lastly, you will need to decide if you want to use your backup camera only when you reverse or if you want to use it at all times.
If you only want to use your backup camera when reversing, you need to, depending on your system, connect the blue wire on your system with your backup light.
However, if you want your camera always to be operational, you need to twist the camera units’ red and blue wires together to be on when plugged in.