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Can I Add a Backup Camera to My Older Car?

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

How a Professionally Installed Backup Camera Improves Your Driver Experience

car backup camera screen

Backup accidents happen everywhere - in driveways, parking lots, construction sites, and more. When your view is obstructed while backing up, it can be detrimental. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to these accidents.

Luckily, Backup cameras are standard on almost every newer car nowadays. In 2018, the federal government mandated that all passenger vehicles must be equipped with backup cameras.

Backup cameras on newer cars are built into the vehicle’s system to display anything behind your car as you’re backing up. This keeps you from hitting objects, people, or other cars that might be in your blind spots. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, rearview cameras reduced backing crash involvement rates by 17%. This not only makes driving safer for everyone, but it also makes backing up less stressful, especially for those with larger vehicles.

But what about older cars? You may want the safety measures of a backup camera, but for vehicles older than 2018, you don’t always have it. However, it’s pretty affordable and easy to get an after-market car backup camera installed on your vehicle. This is an easy feature to add to your older car without having to break the bank, plus it brings convenience and safety all in one go.

What Kind Of Vehicles Can Have a Backup Camera?

Backup cameras are not exclusively for cars; installing a backup camera on an RV or truck can prevent crashes for these larger vehicles. Particularly with larger vehicles, blind spots are much more prevalent and backing up can be a hazard for everyone on the road.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, backover accidents cause around 183 deaths and 7,000 injuries annually. A significant amount of these accidents are caused by larger vehicles, like SUVs, RVs, and trucks. Trucks are often lifted higher than the average car, so it's incredibly easy to miss obstacles while backing up. Truck backup cameras make hauling, towing, and maneuvering safer and easier.

Don’t let an unwanted accident ruin a camping trip. An RV backup camera is a necessity. Unlike smaller vehicles, the blind spots on an RV are much larger and impossible to see from the driver’s seat. This makes backing up far more dangerous and difficult without assistance. The added visibility from an RV backup camera gives you peace of mind and ease while maneuvering your large vehicle and keeps everyone safe.

Wired Vs. Wireless Backup Cameras

There are two ways that aftermarket car backup cameras are installed. First, a wired system uses a long wire to connect the camera to the monitoring system. The second is a wireless option, which tends to be more affordable to install and more technologically advanced. However, wired systems are arguably more reliable, which can make the higher price point worthwhile. Whether you get a wired or wireless backup camera is also dependent on what type of mounting you want.

What Kind of Backup Camera Should I Get?

Each type of backup camera works best for different types of vehicles and range in affordability. There are five main types of mounting options for backup cameras:

  • Surface-mounted cameras

  • Flush-mounted cameras

  • License-mounted cameras

  • Universal-mounted cameras

  • Mirror cameras

You should consider what type of mount works best with your vehicle and how you want your camera to look. An installation professional can help you choose the right camera for your older vehicle.

Surface-Mounted Backup Cameras

A surface-mounted camera can be placed on any external surface in your car. This is a popular option for an RV backup camera because it can be mounted higher for optimal depth perception.

Flush-Mounted Backup Cameras

A flush-mounted camera is one-inch in diameter and should fit snug into a drilled hole on the back of your car. This backup camera can be more difficult to install. However, once it is in place, the mounting is subtle and aesthetically appealing.

License-Mounted Backup Cameras

These types of cameras are mounted on your license plate. This is an easy installation process, because license plates already have a pre-drilled mounting hole, perfectly sized for a backup camera. License-mounting is ideal for a wireless rearview camera because of its tricky spot, which makes this an affordable option.

Universal-Mounted Backup Cameras

Universal mounts can be placed almost anywhere in your vehicle. These screens are easy to read and a popular choice for many drivers. The installation process is particularly easy with a wireless universal mount for car backup cameras.

Mirror Backup Cameras

A mirror backup camera is a small screen installed in your rearview mirror. This is a more luxurious option, but is conveniently located where you already naturally look while backing up your car.

Get a Backup Camera Installed Near You

Professional installation is recommended for most backup cameras. Find a retailer near you to determine the right camera for your vehicle. A qualified technician will assist you in finding the right camera for you and perform installation to ensure your new equipment works perfectly.

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