Rear-view cameras

Buyer’s Guide

A pickup owner’s guide to rear-view cameras

By Larry D. Walton

Every pickup has a blind spot below the tailgate line. Add tool boxes, headache racks, fuel transfer tanks, cargo or a canopy and that blind spot can grow quite large. The bigger the blind spot, the greater the chance of an accident, which many of us have learned the hard way.

Those of us who have backed into or over something know the best way to make sure the coast is clear for backing up is to get out of the rig, walk back and have a look.

However, we’ve been testing luxury SUVs for years with good rear-view cameras and we’re starting to see them offered as factory options in upper trim-level pickups. Being able to glance at a monitor to view the areas hidden from the mirrors is a nice safety feature.

Besides being a good safety check before backing up, these cameras are helpful when parking and they are big time savers when it comes to hooking up trailers because most rear-view cameras let you see exactly where the hitch ball is in relation to the trailer’s coupler.

If your pickup – or those in your fleet – isn’t equipped with one of these video helpers, there are several companies that offer aftermarket systems from stand-alone models to those integrated into dash-mounted audio and GPS units.

Selecting a rear-view/backup camera system is very much like selecting a digital camera: There are many to choose from, features are a matter of choice, and you get what you pay for. Here’s the rest of the story… Web Exclusive: Backup Camera Buyer’s Guide.