Best RV Dash Cams in 2021 (Reviews and Buying Guide)
Dash cameras do far more than capture amazing video to post to the internet for everyone else’s entertainment. For every near-miss followed by a newsworthy save or funny bystander captured by dash cam, hundreds of people receive an invaluable recording of the moments leading up to and after an accident. This creates an independent and permanent third party record of events.
In other cases, dash cameras capture police abuses, assaults by aggressive panhandlers and would-be fraudsters. The best RV dash cam captures everything you need documented without sacrificing your privacy and gives you additional invaluable features that make it easier to drive in addition to providing essential evidence if there is a wreck.
Top 3 Best RV Dash Cams - Comparison
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Here are Top 11 Best RV Dash Cam Full Reviews
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#01. Garmin Brand Dash Cam 65, 1080 pixel, 2.0" LCD Screen
Editor Rating: 4.7 Out of 5
This dash camera by Garmin has a number of features built-in. It contains a Garmin brand GPS, and it can be enabled when you enter a given area.
The GPS or G-sensor automatically records when and where you were if there was an accident.
It has a 180 degree field of vision. The loop recording means you don’t have to periodically delete the memory or risk not recording recent events because you didn’t delete prior records.
The camera is 2.1 megapixels, while video is 1080 pixels. This unit can work in low-light conditions.
It can be voice-controlled. Give it a command to start recording if you’re pulled over by the police, and you won’t trigger a literal confrontation by reaching for the controls on the dashboard.
This Garmin unit is smart enough
The unit is smart enough to give you warnings when there are high odds of an accident. For example, it will warn you if you’re moving out of your lane or getting dangerously close to the vehicle in front of you.
Voice commands allow you to start and stop recording video or take a picture of the guy who just cut you off. This can extend the 30 minute battery life so that it can last days between recharging sessions.
On the other hand, this functionality means you may be illegally recording conversations in some jurisdictions.
How easy to install?
If you install the Virb app, you can download the video from the Garmin video camera to your cell phone. This eliminates the need to take the memory card out and download video to a computer so you can use it when you file an insurance claim.
In theory, you can use that app to save streaming video to the cloud, but that’s a much more complicated process. Physical installation is relatively simple.
What is the Downside here?
One problem is limited tech support. That’s true whether there is a problem with the hardware or the software. The navigation software that comes with the GPS is terrible when it works.
Other navigation apps give you faster routes and more accurate traffic data. It often locks up on a set location though you’ve traveled another ten miles. Then its navigation information is incorrect until you literally reboot it. This isn’t done with the touch of a button.
You have to unplug it, let it die, restart it and bring it back up. Software updates are often problematic.
Durability is another issue.
Another issue is durability. It is prone to breaking at the attachment point if it undergoes a lot of vibration. Overheating can kill it. One solution to this is taking it down from the dashboard when you’re parked on a hot summer day.
Another is trying to keep the unit cool.
#02. Rexing Model V1-4K Ultra HD Car Dash Cam
Editor Rating: 4.6 Out of 5
The 170 degree angle camera has an average view of the road. However, this model is notable for its compact and discrete design.
You could record police encounters or potentially aggressive solicitors, and you may capture their actual behavior because they may not know they are being recorded.
This unit can handle micro SD memory cards with up to 256 gigabytes of memory. The 2.4 inch LCD screen is somewhat easier to read than the average 2 inch screen.
The glass lens in the camera is more durable than average. The parking monitor and dash cam have an incredibly wide temperature range.
It will work just as well at 170 degrees F as -20 degrees F. Don’t worry about this dash cam dying because it got too hot.
The G-sensor automatically records the date, time and location of the vehicle when there is an accident. The unit can be set up to automatically record 24x7 via time-lapse photography or record 20 seconds any time it senses vibration. This will capture the initial pulling out of a parking space as well as the aftermath of a hard stop or accident.
What's a common issue?
However, you need to set up the smart hardwire kit for this parking mode to work. It can share data via wifi with an app on your cell phone. A common issue with the devices is that outdated firmware may be hard to update, or you may not be able to get the device to work at all with the latest generation of your phone’s operating system.
That could render the camera unusable except via the SD card.If there are issues with the latest software update, you may need to power-cycle it every time to properly record. Fail to reboot in these cases, and it won’t get viewable footage half the time.
What is WDR technology?
The unit can be set up to automatically record in one, two and three minute intervals. It is smart enough not to wipe out footage if the gravity sensor detects an accident. The WDR technology in this dash camera provides decent low light recording. It has both good video and sound quality.
#03. APEMAN Brand Dash Cam
Editor Rating: 4.5 Out of 5
The 3 inch LCD screen is much wider than average. Yet you get the same classic 170 degree wide angle camera that can capture almost everything in front of and around you.
With WDR technology, it can capture a somewhat clear picture or video in low-light conditions. It does not get good video or snapshots at night, despite what the manufacturer says.
The unit is so small that it can almost hide behind your driver’s mirror. This makes it incredibly discrete. The unit is not Go Pro mount compatible because of its small size.
This dash cam has the commonly used G-sensor to automatically record time, date and location information when you’re in an accident.
The mechanical installation is straightforward. The software and hardware setup is not. The manual is difficult to follow. Programming it is almost impossible. You may run into problems if you try to set it to only record short snippets of video or change out SD cards. The SD cards themselves must be pushed securely in to save data.
You have to buy an SD card.
Compounding matters, it does not come with an SD card. You have to buy one in addition to this camera in order for it to work. One common complaint is that you have to format the card before you plug it in before it will record. Otherwise, the unit will turn on but not record. And you have to reformat it periodically.
This unit does not have Bluetooth or Wifi compatibility, something that lets you either program it via a smartphone app or save data from the camera to the cloud or your phone.
#04. Vantrue Model N2 Pro Uber Dual Dash Cam
Editor Rating: 4.4 Out of 5
This unit is the best rv dash cam if you do a lot of night driving, because it has true infrared night vision.
The 310 degree camera allows you to record what goes on in front of you as well as around you. This is an excellent choice if you are concerned about theft or vandalism.
The parking mode will actually monitor the area around the vehicle and activate if the camera senses motion. You’ll get video of squirrels and dogs around the car, but you’ll get video of would-be criminals, as well.
You can switch between 1440 pixel 30 pictures per second or 1080 pixel 60 flashes per second image capture.
In short, you can choose between higher resolution and less jittery video. Yet you could also switch to just the front camera and record high speed, high resolution video. This is perfect for recording license plates. The camera itself automatically engages when you turn on the engine. You don’t have to remember to turn it on.
What is the best feature?
The Vantrue model N2 dash cam has a decent operating temperature range. It can work at temperatures well below freezing and at nearly 160 degree F. It won’t die because you left it on a hot car dashboard.
The unit has excellent audio quality. It automatically over-writes the data on the video card. However, the “event file” is triggered when the car is in an accident. It will automatically apply a date and time stamp to video recorded in an accident. It cannot add location information unless you buy an optional GPS, configure it and activate it.
How to choose the best RV dash camera?
The unit can support Micro SD cards with up to 256 GB. The unit works best with a Vantrue MicroSD card. On the other hand, this is one of the best RV dash cameras available, because it can work with 12 volt and 24 volt vehicles. This is the best dash cam for rv owners who want a camera that can run off house batteries.
The mounting hardware isn’t as rugged as you’d expect for something intended to survive a car crash. Your camera mount might break in a wreck.
#05. CHORTAU Brand Front and Rear Dual Dash Cam
Editor Rating: 4.3 Out of 5
This dash camera has an unusually wide screen; it is three inches wide. It has a standard view angle of 170 degrees.
It is unusual in having a built-in backup camera. Image quality is middling.For example, the front camera has decent 1080 pixels, but the back camera is closer to 600 pixels.
This means you can’t see the license plate of the person tailing you, but you could see it when they cut you off.
The video quality is middling. It isn’t great, but it isn’t as bad as some cheap competitors. It has standard middle grade features like a G-sensor and motion detector.
However, these don’t always trigger the recording you want when you’re in an accident.The unit has motion detection. It has loop recording to minimize the need to change out SD cards. It has WDR night vision. The night vision on this camera and especially the feed to the main camera is excellent.
What's the main problem?
The battery life for this model is short. You can plug it into the accessory port in your dashboard. More importantly, it can get hot when it is running. The biggest problem is that the unit itself can get so hot when running that it stops working.
And that’s aside from the risk that it stops working when it is sitting in a hot car. You’ll know that it is experiencing this issue when the video starts flickering.
There is another downside.
One issue with this model is the installation. The mounting hardware is not easy to use. The challenge is greater if you’re dealing with the rear camera. That’s supposed to be hooked up to the reverse lights. The instructions for this are weak. You might need an additional, long cable when you’re installing this in a van or RV.
The forward facing camera is supposed to connect to the windshield via a suction cup. It doesn’t always stay up. It comes with a low capacity memory card. The memory card needs to be reformatted regularly. This needs to be done for every recording cycle. That could be a daily chore.
#06. AUKEY Brand Dash Cam, 1080P Dashboard Camera with Recorder
Editor Rating: 4.2 Out of 5
The Aukey brand dash camera has a standard 170 degree wide angle lens. However, it fits that wide angle lens in a compact, discrete black body that can sit behind your rear view mirror.
That allows you to discretely record interaction with police or other drivers. You can have it capture video or still photos.
It automatically turns on recording when the gravity sensor is triggered.This unit has excellent night vision.
The downside is that the screen is so small that you can’t really use it as a night vision camera while driving. It has good enough reception during both the day and night to let you see someone’s license plate when you pull up the data.
It can capture in-car audio, but that’s optional. There is a GPS antenna that can track your location and speed when you’re in an accident, but that is sold separately, as well.
How to choose the best streaming dashcam for RV
It is easy to mount using two 3M pads. You can remove it from the mount and take it with you, if you’d like. You could do this to connect the power cables into a Mini-USB port.
This dash camera can be powered via the 12 / 24 volt socket in your dashboard, but it can pull power from its built-in super-capacitor, as well. This means it can run for several hours after the car engine has been turned off. The unit comes with the car charger and power cable as well as cable clips to keep those out of the way. This is the best streaming dash cam for rv owners if you let it draw power from the house batteries when the engine is off.
But some issues are there.
This camera sometimes loses the ability to loop after the SD card fills up. You might be able to fix this by reformatting or purging the card. Switching to a higher capacity card reduces the risk of this happening.
The unit will get hot if it runs for an extended length of time. It may not reliably record incidents when it is overheating. Furthermore, some units don’t have good gravity sensors. In this case, it may not start recording when you come to a hard stop.
#07. Z-Edge Brand Dash Cam
Editor Rating: 4.1 Out of 5
This dash camera doesn’t just have an unusually large four inch screen. It is also a touch-screen you can use to control the dash camera. It has both a forward looking camera and rear camera.
Both of these cameras record video in HD or 1080 pixels. When you capture video, it runs at 30 frames per second.
The unit has several pre-programmed modes. Switch from scenic mode where you record longer videos of your drive to drive mode where you get regular photos of those around you.
However, it sometimes locks into one mode versus the other, such as when it automatically turns off after one minute instead of the three minute time you selected.
The system has a good light balance system. It can provide good visibility in low light mode but also make up for bright glare. The sound quality is good, too. It can be hard to properly position for full visibility if the vehicle has a steep downslope in the windshield.The forward unit is easy to install. There’s almost no configuration required.
What is information about the downside?
It supports memory cards with up to 128 GB of memory. You can’t get it to work with a 256 GB memory card in it. One downside is that they don’t give you a suction cup to mount the rear camera. Instead, it is glued in place and it is almost impossible to remove. The cable for connecting the rear camera is not long enough for vans and RVs.
How to activate sensitive G-sensor?
The G-sensor is almost too sensitive. It activates when you hit minor speed bumps in addition to when you hit the curb. The sensor sometimes doesn’t activate when there is a harder impact.
That almost defeats the purpose of a dash cam, if it won’t save the footage of your serious accident. The solution is to intentionally pull the device and download the video as soon as possible.
#08. Rove Model R2-4K Dash Cam with Built in WiFi GPS
Editor Rating: 4 Out of 5
This camera has far better resolution than the competitors. It has resolution of up to 2160 pixels. You can read someone’s license plate from fifteen feet away.
Unfortunately, that information is only visible after you download the video. You can’t use the camera to zoom in on things while you’re driving.
One point in favor of it is the built-in GPS device. Other units require you to buy this separately. The car and the GPS automatically start when you start the car.
The unit has good night vision. The dash camera angle lens is 150 degrees. That’s slightly less than average.
Mounting it is straightforward. However, the mounting hardware will degrade on exposure to sunlight. It could go brittle after just a year or two of regular exposure to the sun. The problem is accelerated by high temperatures.
What a unique feature!
It has standard features like loop cycle recording, emergency video saves and time laps video that’s popular for those who want to upload travel videos to the internet. It can also do slow motion video. When you read the best rv dash cam reviews, you’ll learn that this is a rare feature.
This dash cam has built-in wifi. Install the manufacturer’s app, and you can save the recordings and manage the dash camera’s settings from your Android or Apple phone. You have to use the app to use the driving route tracker or send your location information to the car DV player.
There is no zoom feature.
One problem with the app is how little information there is to use it. The app lacks a zoom feature, so you can’t use that to zoom in on things you can’t read from the camera screen, either. The app itself has a poor user interface. Some of the buttons are hard to use if not unusable.
One minor complaint is that it can only support memory cards up to 128 GB. A bigger issue is that it doesn’t come with a compatible memory card. You need to periodically reformat the video card to keep recording. Sometimes the card gets locked as write protected.
The automatic monitoring of the car will run off battery power. You don’t have to hardwire it to connect to the car battery.
#09. ThiEYE Brand Dash Cam, Front and Rear Cameras
Editor Rating: 3.9 Out of 5
The memory card that comes with this dashboard camera is a mixed bag. On one hand, it comes with the unit, so you don’t have to buy it.
On the other hand, it is a lousy 32 GB. You get a full set of basic mounting hardware, screws, and a USB cable for charging the battery from your laptop computer or car USB charging port.
The rear camera cable is only 16.5 feet long. This allows it to connect with the back of a van or short camper trailer but not a long RV.
The battery in this dash camera sometimes has battery issues, causing the camera to die or not work at all. The battery will often die an hour after you turn off the engine.
This unit has a moderately large 3.2 inch wide screen. The front camera has 1080p resolution. It has standard 170 degree coverage. The rear camera has 720p resolution. While this is worse than average, the camera is water-proof. That’s a rare feature in this product class. That makes this one of the best RV dash cams for those who often drive on wet roads or through the rain.
What is WDR night vision?
It has standard WDR night vision and a G-sensor. It automatically kicks in when there is a sudden jolt to the car. It will protect the record automatically from being over-written. It will add a time stamp to the record.
The video camera footage doesn’t have the same resolution as the still images. This means you may not be able to read the license plate of the person who side-swiped you. The motion detector is weak.
What is important for dash camera?
There is no app for this dash camera. The software on it is limited, and the hardware isn’t durable. It can glitch and reboot on its own. If this starts to happen, it is close to failing altogether. On the other hand, it is a relatively cheap camera. It has decent functionality given the low price tag.
#10. Campark Brand Dash Cam
Editor Rating: 3.8 Out of 5
This is a cheap, basic little dash camera. Yet it comes with a 1080p camera with a G-sensor, 170 degree camera lens, and loop recording. With WDR, it can capture quite a bit of detail in low light conditions.
The screen itself is bright and clear, even when it is dark outside. The screen is roughly 2.5 inches across.
This isn’t really enough to give you navigation information, nor does it have enough resolution to let you zoom in on things you can’t read on your own. The controls are not intuitive.
It isn’t programmable, and it lacks cool modes like being able to record longer video segments while you’re on a scenic drive.
The instruction manual is nearly unreadable. However, the manufacturer is clear that the motion control function must be off for the camera to work properly while you’re driving.The unit will automatically start recording when you turn it on or when you turn on power to it through your car charging port.
The battery has a short operational life, once you turn off power to the unit. This means it may only run for ten minutes after you turn off the engine.The loop recording doesn’t always work. The solution in this case is to swap out memory cards or delete files.
How to face a problem for SD card?
One downside is that it doesn’t come with a memory card out of the box. It sometimes errors out and asks you to reformat the SD card though it is new and/or blank. The charging cables do not always work. Check this while you still have time to return it.
This camera does not handle high temperatures well. It will still work if temperatures hit 150 degrees F, but the odds of hardware and software problems skyrockets. The plastic can degrade on exposure to sunlight over a year or two.
#11. Homder Brand Dash Cam Front and Rear
Editor Rating: 3.7 Out of 5
One point in favor of this dash camera by Homder is the waterproof rear view camera. Other models are water-resistant. This one can be repeatedly splashed by puddles.
This dash camera has incredibly good night vision. Use it to safely backup your RV at night. The camera gives you excellent night vision.
More importantly, it uses colored bars to warn you when you’re dangerously closed to the vehicles around you, day or night.
The seven inch wide LCD screen gives you excellent views of both the front and back of the vehicle without switching modes. However, the camera tends to be hard to see if there is a lot of glare.
When you read best rv dash cam reviews, remember that performance isn’t the only criteria. The installation of the device and the maintenance of it should be a consideration, as well.
What's the problem with this RV dashboard camera?
This RV dashboard camera is one of the hardest ones on this list to maintain. It needs to be wired to the battery, though this means it can run for hours after you turn off the engine. (That also means it will drain the battery if you don’t turn it off when leaving it in an RV in storage.) You may need to drill holes in the dash to connect it to the battery for power. This is why many people pay for expert installation services.
The unit has the standard G-sensor to automatically save the video if you’re in an accident while adding a date and time stamp. This unit is somewhat smarter than average. If it is triggered and doesn’t detect motion for five seconds, it stops recording.
There are other issues.
That means it won’t waste memory recording hours of video because someone bumped into the car or you drove over a speed bump. You have to configure it to automatically turn on when you backup.
The user interface isn’t as easy to use as others on this list. The keys are on the back of the LCD screen. This can create a dangerous situation if you’re trying to switch modes while driving. There is no app to let you control it via your smartphone.
What is the best rv dash cam?
An RV dash cam is simply a dashboard camera that is compatible with an RV. Dash cams may sit on the dashboard, though a common solution is mounting it to the rearview mirror. Dashboard cameras may capture everything that happens 24x7, or it may only engage when there is a situation.
The best RV dash camera is one that fits your family’s needs and expectations. For example, dash cameras should be plug-and-play with the hardware and software you already have. They should operate in the conditions you’ll be operating in, whether it is hot weather or rough roads.
The best dash cams balance price with features. Features like navigation assistance, night vision and lane warnings are nice to have, but they may be provided by other systems in the RV. Nor are these features found in lower-end RV dash cameras.
How does an rv dash cam work?
An RV dash camera has one main function – capture what is going on so that you have all the information you need. One common function is continuous recording of what goes on around the RV. Some RV dash cameras simply record 24x7, over-writing the memory card if there is no trigger to save a set event.
A few models reduce their memory requirements by taking snapshots every few minutes unless something triggers it to start recording. This may be the moment you turn on the engine, the second you hit the brakes hard, or when the gravity sensor detects a hard stop of some sort.
Nearly every dash camera will automatically begin recording when the car seems to have been involved in an accident or impact of some kind. Most models will hit the GPS network to determine their location while adding a date, time and location stamp to the records.
This information is now available in addition to police reports and the vehicle’s own black box. Unlike the vehicle’s black box, the information in the dash cam is yours. You can download the images or video whenever you want.
You could upload the pictures of someone stealing your tires or images of vandals keying your car when filing a claim with your insurance company. You could record video or even audio of domineering police to the internet or send it to your chosen contact.
Note that the state and local privacy laws may limit what you can do with video and audio recordings. For example, you may be legally required to notify someone that you are recording if they start talking to you while the camera is going.