AUTO-VOX Solar4 Backup Camera Review
(Camp Addict does NOT accept payment from any company to review or endorse their products.)
By Kelly Beasley
For your RV, if there's one thing you'd like from an aftermarket RV backup camera, wouldn't it be not to have to deal with wiring?
I sure don't. Call me lazy, but I think most people would agree.
So when we learned about the AUTO-VOX Truly Wireless Backup Camera, we were eager to test it.
Yes, the Solar 4 is wireless.
But here's the kicker. MANY RV backup camera systems call themselves 'wireless,' yet they STILL REQUIRE WIRING. It's backwards, but it's true.
What 'wireless' usually means in the camper backup camera world is there's no wire connecting the camera to the monitor.
But you'll still have to connect the wires from the camera to existing wires on the RV to power the camera! Boo!
That said, the AUTO VOX Solar4 is a truly wireless backup camera with SOLAR for power! (There is an integrated battery so it does work at night.)
So, let us introduce to you the:
AUTO-VOX Truly Wireless Backup Camera!
If you don't want to read the whole AUTO-VOX Solar 4 review, here's our quick takeaway:
We approve! It's simple to set up, it works great, and it's truly wireless, unlike other 'wireless' backup cameras!
AUTO VOX Solar 4 Pros and Cons:
If you don't have a backup camera on your travel trailer or motorhome, you're at risk for having an accident.
This is one of those safety and convenience products that, once you have it, you wonder how you lived without it.
That said, for my more in-depth backup camera review, read on.
Our Product Review Transparency
We provide honest and unbiased reviews of products, and we only review products that align with our principles.
AUTO-VOX sent us their solar backup camera for review, and here we share our honest thoughts on it.
We value transparency and integrity, and we will not compromise that by accepting payment or favors in exchange for a positive review.
We review products we buy and products that companies sent us, and we assure you that we will always keep it real and give you our honest thoughts.
Let's be real, Camp Addict can't just buy every single product out there to review.
So, when companies send us items, it's a total win-win. But we promise we'll always keep it real and give you our honest thoughts
Initial AUTO-VOX Backup Camera Impressions
After agreeing to try it out, we had high hopes. They boast a truly wireless camper backup camera with a large screen that works well with good night vision.
Um, yes, please!
I tested out the device, and here's what I discovered, from, well, a 'typical' woman's point of view (don't come for me!). (AKA, I don't care about specifics of the technical stuff.)
I want it to be EASY TO INSTALL and use, and it should perform as advertised.
Unboxing The AUTO-VOX Solar 4 Truly Wireless Camera
First off, the box/packaging is NICE.
Like, Apple quality nice. This made an excellent first impression right out of the gate.
The second impression I had was that this indeed would be easy to use and to get working, just by inspecting the parts (whew!).
It came with an easy-to-read instruction booklet. For the most part, if one is intelligent enough, instructions aren't needed.
But it's nice to have them.
All hardware was included and easy to figure out.
Product Main Parts
Moving on to pulling out the 'ingredients,' there are a few main parts:
1. Two antennas
2. The camera itself (with mounting bracket and integrated battery)
3. The solar panel (to keep the camera battery charged)
4. The bracket for mounting the solar panel
5. The 7-inch display monitor + mount
Naturally, it comes with the necessary cables, screws for mounting, and an adhesive sticker for the camera antenna.
Assembling The Truly Wireless AUTO-VOX Backup Camera
I'll be frank with you. Lately, I suck putting together anything puzzle-like.
This usually means I have to look up directions or ask for help. That was not the case with this solar backup camera. Whew!
It was super simple even without using the instructions. The first order of business is to charge the camera (you can charge it two ways, via the solar panel or USB-Micro charging).
The camera has a peel-off sticker instructing you to charge it before anything else.
Once it was charged, I proceeded to test how well it worked through walls, LOL.
I was bummed to see it didn't do so well at first, but then I remembered it came with antennas.
With both antennas connected, one to the camera and the other to the monitor, it perfectly stayed connected anywhere inside the house, as far as I could get the monitor from the camera in my 2000 SF home.
Testing The AUTO VOX Camera
Ok, I'll admit, I didn't connect everything to use it as a permanent camper setup.
Why not? Because I'm selling my travel trailer very soon.
Therefore, I didn't want to drill any new roof holes in it for the camera and deal with installing it and then uninstalilng it. So instead, I put it in my back trailer window for testing.
My tow vehicle is a 2004 4Runner, and my trailer is a 24 foot bumper pull travel trailer, for reference.
The resolution is quite good. I'm no techie, but I know what poor camera output looks like. It never cut out or got fuzzy.
And with the large 7-inch screen, it's easy to see what's in the camera view.
The camera provides 'real-time imaging for high-speed monitoring.' I can concur; it looked real-time on the monitor.
The 7-Inch Huge Display Monitor
That said, having such a big monitor can be great UNLESS you don't have the dash room for it.
It takes up some serious real estate on the dash.
I'm not sure where or how I would mount the monitor. I have a tiny dash area in my Toyota 4Runner. If I mount it, it will block a good portion of my view.
Additionally, a portion of the dash is already taken up by the phone mount, so I don't have any more room.
The large screen is nice, but for my vehicle, and possibly others, it's not practical to have it mounted full-time.
The good news is you can detach it from the mount and store it.
So, do with it as you see fit for your setup (The turn-knob in photo above is how you unscrew the camera from the mount).
The mount base is 'floppy,' so it conforms to any dash. The bottom has an adhesive for obvious reasons.
Peel off the sticker and stick that thing wherever you want it. Just make sure the power cord reaches to your 12-volt power outlet before doing so.
Here are some technical specs you may be interested in (but they put me to sleep, LOL!):
Solar4 Display Technical Specs:
- Wireless transmission frame rate: 25 fps
- Screen brightness: 500 cd/m²
- Working Voltage: DC 12V - 24V
- Wireless Transmission Distance: 230 feet in an open area
On the right-hand side of the monitor are the control buttons.
- CH: it allows you to toggle the view between cameras if you get more than one.
- M: pulls up the menu.
- Up/down arrows: to navigate through the menu.
- OK: Wakes the camera up from sleep.
Then click OK when you want to select an option.
Menu selections are:
- Pair: If you want two views, purchase another camera. This is how you pair the cameras together.
- Brightness: Pretty basic knowledge. Using this you can change the brightness to your liking.
- M/U Control: This allows you to flip the camera horizontally or vertically.
- Display Sleep: You have two options for how long till the display sleeps, and you choose here.
- Guide Line: Here, you customize the guide lines.
The housing on this thing is SA-WEET.
Like, it's heavy, thick, it's going nowhere.
The quality is evident.
They also put a coating on the lens that makes it hydrophobic.
That means it repels water. Similar to having Rain-X on your windshield.
When the sun pointed directly at the camera, it made the view on the monitor pretty light/faint.
But I suppose this happens with any camera.
The camera automatically shows backup lines (see below), but you can go in and remove them or change them to your preference.
The photo above looks bad because it's a photo of a screen.
The resolution is MUCH better than this in real life.
It has a mount and hardware for you to screw it to the top of your RV.
If you have a metal travel trailer, you can order the optional magnetic mount, so you don't have to put new holes in your RV.
Otherwise, mounting is easy and straightforward. Don't forget to use Dicor sealant around the screws afterward to prevent water intrusion.
It comes with an antenna with a long cable. Put the antenna on top of the rig for better reception.
Here are a few geeky stats about the camera that put me to sleep, but maybe you'll dig:
Camera Technical Specs:
- Sensor Resolution:1920 x 1080P
- Working Voltage: DC 3.4 - 4.2V
- Working Current: Max 900mA (@4.2V)
- Standby Current: 360uA
- Rear View angle: Diagonal 90°±5°
- Battery Capacity: 6600mAh
- Charge Time: 6.5 hours
- Working Time (without solar charging): 3 months
- Working Time (with solar charging): 12 months
- Operating temperature (Fahrenheit): -4 ~149º
The night vision was also impressive.
It comes with 2 infrared lights that can illuminate up to 30 feet away.
AUTO-VOX Solar 4 Review
We already know the installation is simple. And no, I didn't install it (I did later mount it on top of my new van using the magnetic mount), but I 'faked' it, and it will be easy to make it permanent.
Anyway, having 'eyes' to see behind me while driving was fun. Never had that pulling my trailer before.
But the primary purpose of this camera is to help see behind you when backing up.
So once turned on, the monitor turns off after a set time.
As stated, the monitor is large, bright, and clear, and it works great.
That said, I still could not see EVERYTHING behind me when backing up.
The view angle is only 90 degrees, whereas many other cameras have a 110 to 130 degree range. So, there's that.
That is the only downside of this camera - the camera's relatively narrow field of view.
I did not trust that I had eyes on EVERY section of what was behind me using the camera and my mirrors.
And I did find myself getting out to see if I was close to X or not.
That doesn't mean it wasn't helpful to back up or didn't work right.
I just wasn't completely trusting that what I was backing beside (a power meter) was totally safe from me hitting it, so I got out to double-check.
In addition to that, I am not used to using a backup camera.
I think after using it more, I'd get used to what it offers, and I will likely get more comfortable using it and trusting it fully.
But it was SO helpful having eyes directly behind the RV!
Optional Second Camera
Solar 4 Camera Update 1/25/23
I've been using the cameras as security for my new Winnebago Solis van!
I absolutely love it. Both solar cameras have been positioned so I can see if someone is outside either side door.
They work at night, too, so if I hear something, I can just lean over in bed and fire up the display and see what is outside the van.
So the camera system is not sold as a security system, but I'm finding it very useful for that purpose (my van has a backup camera already installed, so there was no need to use the Solar 4 for that purpose.).
I got the optional magnetic mounting bases so I wouldn't have to drill holes on my van roof.
One camera is connected to the van using the z-bracket and the magnet.
The other one is connected without the z-bracket but with the magnet and is connected to a steel rail mounted on top.
Below you can also see the solar panel on the roof of the van, adhered with strong double-sided tape.
I haven't had to charge the cameras since installing them back in October. They are working fantastically!
The one thing we've noticed is at the connector points for the antennas or power source, they are starting to rust.
We'll keep an eye on this and check back in as to whether this is causing any performance problems or not.
The Autovox Solar 4 Backup RV and trailer camera proved a big delight. There is NO wiring knowledge necessary!
You only have to mount the camera to your RV with screws unless you get the optional magnetized mount for a metal camper.
This may be used for a boat, travel trailer, or motorhome. Any trailer you pull should work as long as you can connect the mounting bracket somewhere that lets you see behind.
I will be hitting the road again soon and will update this as things come up with the camera (if nothing comes up, then all has been good!).
All in all, I highly recommend this as a genuinely wireless solar travel trailer backup camera system OR as security cameras.
If you have any questions, comment below, and we'll get right with you!
Author: Kelly Beasley
I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.