Best RV & Trailer Hitch Cameras

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Trailer hitch cameras make aligning with your hitch on the first go easy. If you’ve ever gone through the nightmare of hitching up without a camera or partner to help spot you, it should be immediately obvious why a trailer hitch camera is a good idea.

They’re also a great safety and security feature to have, and can often be mounted anywhere on the back of your vehicle for visibility when driving or backing up.

Of course, after 2018, all new vehicles will be required to have a backup camera by law. But if you have an older vehicle or just want a dedicated camera to help you line up with a hitch, an aftermarket camera is a great investment.

There are lots of RV cameras and trailer hitch camera on the market, many of them made inexpensively overseas. Most will do the trick, as long as you’re willing to do quite a bit of DIY work to get them rigged up.

However, choosing the right model does make a difference in durability, waterproofness, and picture quality. We’ve sifted through the top options to find the best trailer hitch cameras to meet your needs:

6 Best RV & Trailer Hitch Cameras

The Best Overall Hitch Camera: Swift-Hitch Portable SH01

  • Type: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Night vision: Yes
  • High Points: Very easy to use, can be attached to most surfaces.
  • Not-So-Great-Points: Screen is small and low-res. Battery only lasts about 4 hours. Range is limited.
Why it’s a Top Pick:

This model has a suction-cup mount that can be placed anywhere to provide a clear view of your hitch (or anything else you want a remote view of). It’s charged by plugging into your 12V outlet.

This was one of the first wireless cameras on the market, and it still does the job quite well. It provides a clear picture of your hitch and works instantly without the need to fiddle with wiring or connections.

What Reviewers Say:

The real selling point of this option is its plug-and-play simplicity. No matter who you are, you can probably figure out how to set this up in under 15 minutes.

It can look a little dated, and the screen is small. However, it’s easy to output video to a DVR or other recorder, and the camera and monitor charge simultaneously.

Unlike wired options, it isn’t permanent. You’ll likely take it on and off your vehicle each time you use it, which can either be an annoyance or a selling point, depending on how you use it and whether you need to trade vehicles regularly.

It requires virtually zero handiness or effort to install, and its simplicity can also be appealing. Even though it doesn’t have a lot of fancy features, it’s reliable.

Features and Considerations:

Though the manufacturer advertises a 300-foot range, once you put a solid vehicle in between the camera and receiver, the actual range is closer to 30 or 40 feet. That’s still plenty unless you have a very large truck or fifth wheel RV.

The night vision is surprisingly effective at providing a clear picture even in complete darkness.

four-hour battery life is usually enough, but in very cold climates, you may find the battery life is reduced, or that the picture flickers.

Finally, because this product has been on the market for over a decade, there are also a lot of unlicensed retailers who will sometimes sell defective or refurbished models without advertising this – but it’s fairly easy to avoid this by buying from them directly or choosing a vetted Amazon vendor.

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Runner-Up for Best Overall Choice: Hopkins 50002 Smart Hitch Backup Camera

  • Type: Wireless
  • Waterproof: No
  • Night Vision: No
  • The High Points: Built-in guideline “zones” which make precisely lining up with your hitch down to the level of centimeters easier. No complicated installation. Better depth perception. Warranty.
  • The Not-So-Great Points: Can leak water during heavy rain
Why it’s a Top Pick:

The built-in guided visuals make this option work better than almost any other option for its main purpose, which is to guide drivers when hooking up to a hitch. It has a clear picture, is easy to install, and offers sound cues as well as visuals.

What Reviewers Say:

This is another highly functional option that does what it’s designed to do very well. Some vehicles need more DIY to figure out how to install them than others. The company has a decent customer service reputation, and is happy to help with service or installation instructions.

Some people do report that water can begin to leak in and accumulate inside the electronics after about a year of use, reducing the life and durability of the product. This is the only major downside; otherwise, it’s largely regarded as a fan favorite.

Features and Considerations:

If you have a very large vehicle, you may need to contact the manufacturer directly for additional wiring to set this up initially.

Adding a silicon or other sealant to the seams may extend the life of the product and prevent leaking as it ages.

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Best Multi-Use Option: FOOKOO HD Backup Camera System

  • Type: Wired
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Night Vision: No
  • The High Points: Bright picture. Lighting adjusts to weather automatically. Can support multiple cameras if you want visibility from more points on your vehicle.
  • The Not-So-Great-Points: It’s more expensive than other options. Without a little DIY wiring work, you may need to disconnect and reconnect with each use.
Why it’s a Top Pick:

This model is designed as a backup camera, which typically sit higher and are used for visibility when parking or even while moving in traffic. However, while not explicitly designed for a hitch, this backup camera can be installed low enough to provide a clear picture of your hitch or anything else behind your vehicle.

It has one of the best picture qualities out there and is widely regarded as one of the highest-quality systems.

It has a high-quality, high-definition screen, large monitor, and is waterproof. Compared to similar configurations, installation is straightforward, though it does take some effort initially. It has a hard-wired, true 1080P signal.

What Reviewers Say:

This model is known for its exceptionally bright picture, clarity, and large monitor. It’s also one of the most versatile options, and you can configure it as part of a larger system of up to four cameras, or use it on its own.

If you want to use it to record images for security or liability, you can set it up to do that, too. The color can get distorted when it’s installed on some vehicles. However, it’s reasonably priced, and has a large, crisp screen.

Features and Considerations:

This model has a 9-36V compatibility, meaning that it should work on pretty much all large vehicles. The company also offers a year-long replacement warranty and lifetime customer support.

It comes with all necessary parts for installation, including a 50-foot cable (the company says they’ll even replace this with a different length if it doesn’t meet your needs).

If you want to use the multiple camera option, you can display all four on the screen at once or individually.

You can also flip the display horizontally or vertically, making it more intuitive to replace a rear-view towing mirror if you’re used to a reversed view when backing up a large vehicle.

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Second-Best Multi-Use Option: LeeKooLuu Wireless Backup Camera

  • Type: Wireless
  • Weatherproof: Yes
  • Night Vision: Yes
  • The High Points: 150-foot range, 7-inch monitor and receiver. Weatherproof.
  • The Not-So-High Points: Hard to install and adjust
Why it’s a Top Pick:

This model can be connected to your reverse lights for use when vehicle is in reverse gear or powered directly by your 12V source fuse box or cigarette lighter/power point/ignition switch for continuous use.

It has a large range to fit most vehicles and has a wide monitor that makes it easy to see while looking back and forth over your shoulder while reversing over a hitch. It has a clear picture and is comparatively reasonably priced.

What Reviewers Say:

Many users report that the picture quality is very good for the price. Even at night, this camera performs far better than expected for a camera of this price.

It’s also durable and fully weather-resistant, with a fully sealed back cover that reliably keeps water out. It has great night vision that kicks in automatically.

Another popular feature is the included incremented bars which provide accurate representation of the distance between your vehicle’s hitch and whatever you’re hooking up to.

Using the monitor, you can perfectly line up the ball hitch through the camera. When it disappears under the trailer, the camera makes it obvious that you’re set up and ready to hook everything together and hit the road.

Features and Considerations:

This model comes with an additional magnetic antenna. You’ll likely need this for larger vehicles, and the signal can still get distorted on large RVs.

Professional installation will make this model much less of a headache to install unless you’re very handy.

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Best for the Budget: TTP-C19B RearView Camera

  • Type: Wireless
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Night Vision: No, but built-in light
  • High Points: Extremely  good deal, surprisingly good picture quality
  • The Not-So-High-Points: Can be challenging to set up
Why it’s a Top Pick:

At less than an eighth of the price of some of the other models on the list, this is by far the best deal out there. It’s a fairly simple, small device that mounts onto the license plate and rigs up like a backup camera to provide a clear view of the hitch or whatever is behind the vehicle.

It offers built-in LED lighting for nighttime or reduced visibility, and can be wired to turn on with the reverse or brake lights. The picture quality is surprisingly sharp and clear.

What Reviewers Say:

Because of the price tag and effectiveness of this model, this camera and other Top Tier Pro products are pretty popular. Like some of the other options on this list, the company designed it as a backup camera rather than explicitly as a hitch camera, but it’s just as effective as a visual of your hitch mount.

It can be difficult to wire initially, but anyone with experience working with tools and willing to read through the instructions should be able to figure it out. It has a wide field of view and sharp image.

Features and Considerations:

While this is a surprisingly high-quality option for the price-tag, you do still sacrifice some durability and quality for price.

The picture can get washed out if your tail lights are very bright or during very sunny days, and it isn’t as high-definition as other options, which can make the depth-perception needed for fine-tuned movements to line up a hitch more challenging. Still, this is a solid choice for your wallet that can still get the job done without frills.

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Runner-Up Wallet-Friendly Option: Emmako Backup Camera

  • Type: Wireless
  • Weatherproof: Yes
  • Night Vision: Yes
  • High Points: Inexpensive, supports multiple cameras, night vision, two-year warranty
  • Not-So-High-Points: Wiring is not very durable, and cover can leak.
Why it’s a Top Pick:

This is another highly affordable option which installs quickly and provides an easy-to-use, clean picture.

It’s also versatile enough to repurpose if you need visibility of other views from your vehicle, and can support feeds from more than one camera at once.

What Reviewers Say:

This is another favorite for its price point and versatility. It’s surprisingly effective for the cost and does what it’s supposed to do well.

The included guidelines to mark how to back your vehicle can be slightly off-center if the camera is at all crooked when you install it.

The wiring is also fine and can be fragile, especially while first installing the camera.  However, it’s overall considered to be a solid choice and is an excellent value for the price.

Features and Considerations:

One thing to keep in mind is that this model doesn’t have the viewing angle to show the hitch on some larger trucks.

If your display looks washed-out or too dark, it’s possible to adjust to match lighting conditions and reduce wash-out.

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How We Ranked Our List

There are many hitch cameras out there; regardless of your vehicle and why you need a backup camera, there’s probably a good option out there for you.

When ranking our list, we considered durable, weather-resistant, popular options that had a good track record of customer satisfaction and were easy to install and use.

More specifically, we looked at:

Wired vs. Wireless Options

For starters, you’ll need to decide to go for a wireless or wired option. This is somewhat misleading, since both use wires. Wireless monitors power the camera using a 12V outlet which is separate from the camera.

Wired options tend to be:

  • More reliable (less prone to interference and static)
  • Cheaper (they have simpler hardware)
  • More durable
  • Harder to install
  • More permanent

Wired models are more reliable and cheaper. You won’t have to worry about losing the signal as people do sometimes with the wireless cameras.

Especially if you have a long vehicle, holding the signal can be harder to manage if the distance from the monitor to the camera is very great.

However, wireless options are much easier to install, especially if you don’t know much about wiring or don’t want to pay a professional to install it for you. Once they’re in place, they’re also much harder to move, repurpose, or take off your vehicle.

Most of the options on this list (except for our top wired pick) are wireless, since these tend to be easier to use for most motorists. But depending on your needs, a hardwired option may be a better fit.

Picture Quality and Night Vision

If you need to hook up a trailer in the dark even one time, a model that either has lights or a built-in night vision sensor is essential.

Most of the options on this list have either lights or built-in infra-red vision:

Ease of Use and Installation

Some people want to configure the perfect solution, regardless of whatever construction project is necessary. Others need a simple, stick-it-on-the-bumper-and-go option.

Depending on the type of camera you choose, some level of wiring and finagling may be unavoidable. Still, some manufacturers do a better job than others of making this process painless. Within each category, we looked for options that were as simple as possible to install and use.

Durability & Weatherproofing

If you plan to take your camera on and off of your vehicle each time you use it, weatherproofing may not be a major concern. All the cameras on this list should stand up to mild exposure to the elements during daily use.

However, the hard-wired and permanent options on this list should definitely include some kind of sealant or silicone in the case seams to prevent water from seeping in over time and frying the electronics.

Reviewers sometimes report that a model will work well for a year, and then suddenly break completely when water hits the circuits. Here’s a quick comparison of the products on this list:

Value For Your Money

For this product, higher price tags do often translate into better durability, hardware quality, or installation convenience. If it doesn’t work at all, you may end up spending even more money on a replacement.

On the other hand, there are many budget-friendly options that can do the job with minimal cost. We included a range of price points, but overall, looked for value for your investment – if you pay more, you should expect better quality or added features to make the extra cost worthwhile.

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