When I bought my Ford F-150, I loved the whole truck, but I wished it had a backup camera. My previous vehicle had a backup cam that I used all the time and I decided that I couldn’t go back to a vehicle without one.
For towing a travel trailer, a backup camera is a major time saver. With a backup camera, you can see exactly where the trailer ball is so that you can easily hook it up to the hitch without someone behind the truck yelling “An inch to the left, a little more… a little more… oooh! Too far now! Go back!” You get the point. It’s a pain.
Why I chose the Auto Vox Backup Camera
I’ve used several backup cameras on vehicles. I’m somewhat of an impatient person, and my biggest gripe is when it takes 5 to 12 seconds for the backup camera to show up on the touch screen display when starting the vehicle. You have to sit there and wait.
The problem is that the entertainment center touch screen in a vehicle has an operating system which has to start up before the display is active. The display doesn’t begin to activate until the vehicle is started, so there is a while you have to sit and wait.
So when I got my new F-150, I decided that I wanted a backup camera that did not connect to the entertainment screen so that it would start up quicker. I’m glad that I did.
I got the Auto Vox Backup camera on Amazon (click to check the current price) so that it would start up fast and so that I wouldn’t have to make the interior look ugly by having a separate backup screen on the dash with a cord going to the cigarette lighter. I wanted the install to look as good as if it came that way from the factory.
What You Get in the Package
You have to buy two pieces on Amazon: the mirror and the actual camera. They are available on the same Amazon listing, but you buy them separately. This is the link to get the mirror, and this is the link to buy the camera. Get those two things and you’ll have everything you need to install the camera.
The package comes with a tool to remove the old mirror, the wiring, etc.
The install of the backup camera was a bit more complicated than I anticipated. I fully admit that I’m a bit of a clutz when it comes to car projects. I’m not very handy.
When I was trying to remove the old mirror, I pulled really hard on the old mirror and it broke my windshield! Doh!
So I paid a local car stereo company to install the backup camera for me. Breaking my windshield took away my confidence to finish the job.
I got quotes from car stereo companies between $150 to $200 to get the backup camera professionally installed. I’m glad I paid someone to do it right, but if you’re handy I’m sure it’s do-able.
Video Quality and Mirror Performance
I’m really impressed with the quality of the camera. It looks great in color during the day, and at night there are some LED’s on the side of the camera that make vision at night very good.
The camera has a nice wide angle view. Even with a wide truck, the camera is able to show all the way to the edges of the truck from 3′ away. That’s about a 155 degree viewing angle.
First of all, I was really happy to see that it flicks on IMMEDIATELY when you go in reverse. No delay like with the other backup cameras I’ve tried. Awesome!
The mirror itself looks totally normal when not in reverse. You can’t tell at all that it’s also a backup monitor. Then when you go in reverse, BOOM! You see a screen on the left side of the rearview mirror that shows you behind the car.
Where to Buy and Pricing
I got the mirror and the camera on Amazon. There are lots of other backup cameras on Amazon you can check out, but I liked this one because it’s a complete kit and shows in the mirror.