Nothing is more frustrating or embarrassing than trying to hook up a trailer. If you are lucky enough to have someone helping you, they better have some idea of how to guide you or its going to be a shit show.
If it’s you alone the constant jumping in and out to try and line up your hitch with the trailer can get pretty annoying. The modern solution to this age-old problem is a back up camera that allows you to see your hitch. This may sound like a great idea, but 90% of the time you have to sacrifice proper viewing behind you to be able to see your hitch. In other words, your back up camera turns into a kind of pointing down and back camera which then makes it viewing behind your vehicle. So, how can we have a proper back up camera and have the viewing angle of our hitch?
You have two options, one is to have two cameras and switch between the two or you can use the CAM-MV6 by Echomaster. It is a back up camera with six different selectable viewing angles. The Echomaster is a 1/3″ CMOS sensor camera that can operate on 0.1 LUX of light. It has 180 degrees of viewing angle and is IP67 rated. All that crap I just said can be found on 20 other cameras but what makes this one special is the six selectable viewing angles. You can view standard reverse; split screen side to side, which allows you to see around corners; and four different views of top and bottom split screen, one showing standard reverse and another showing down towards your hitch and a few combinations of the same angles in multiple tiled split screens. The various viewing angles are created by stretching and zooming certain areas of the standard image. The driver can switch between the different angles by activating a momentary switch mounted on the dash or console.
To find out if this really works I installed one on my Hummer H2. If you have ever tried to back an H2, or any large SUV, up to a trailer you know what a pain in the ass it is. There is really no way to see where you’re going because the vehicle sits so high and the back window view is extremely limited. I mounted the camera above my hitch and pointed it straight back so it would be a useful as both a back up camera and a hitch cam. I used it first without the hitch and it performed as expected for standard camera. It does have the guide lines hardcoded over the image on the standard reverse viewing angle with no way of disabling them. I found a little annoying since I would prefer to not have the lines. The next step was to add my hitch and see if I could back up to my 23″ covered trailer without any assistance. I lined it up and within 3 minutes I was backed up and hooking up my trailer without having to make one correction. Having the ability to switch the viewing angle down does make a difference and allows me to keep the camera in a rear facing manner while still being able to back up to my trailer. I don’t really find myself using the side to side angles very much unless I’m backing out of a blind driveway. In that situation I can see how it would be useful to see around the corner.
My final conclusion is the Echomaster CAM-MV6 is worth the money. Even if you only use it once a year for hooking up your trailer it’s worth the years of ridicule you will avoid from your friends by backing up 30 times trying to line it up yourself because you know they are going to be too busy laughing at you to help. Save your ego and just put this camera on. Feel free to send any questions or inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org and check out my site at www.car765.com.
Article by: Cabe Sipes
Interested in more Gauge Magazine articles by Cape Sipes? We’ve got them!