Over two dozen Truck Camper Magazine readers reveal their dash cameras and dash camera experiences. Some of the following stories will have you seriously thinking about getting a dash camera in your rig. We certainly are.
“My Garmin Nuvicam has a built in dash cam. It is also my GPS and backup camera – all in one unit. It helped when I hit a deer. The resulting video sped up the investigation. I have also used it to relive memorable camping trips. And it catches some of the goofy conversations my wife and I have.” – Mike Getson, 2017 Ford F350, 2013 Adventurer 89RB
“We were traveling through a construction zone in Nevada in September when some asphalt fell off a construction vehicle. My Vicovation Marcus 4 dash cam captured the scene. My new camera is an Opia 2.
The Nevada highway patrol was at the construction area. We showed them the damage and sent the officer a copy of the video. The resulting $3,800 repair (windshield, new bumper, repaired and repainted hood) was covered by the construction company’s insurance. The dash cam video was irrefutable evidence.” – Rick Brundrige, 2015 Chevy Silverado 3500HD, 2000 Bigfoot 9.6
“I have a Transcend dash cam in each vehicle. We live in a rural area with lots of two lane roads. People seem to think the double yellow line is a track for their tires, or just doesn’t exist at all.
I selected the Transend unit based on its features and picture quality in case I have to enlarge the picture. For me there are too many alerts, but you can select those. I think a dash cam is worthwhile.” – John Powell, 2004 Dodge 2500, 2009 Eagle Cap 950
“I have a Magellan Roadmate with a built-in dash cam and a high capacity SD card. It records constantly when I’m driving. Is it just me or does it appear that Russian drivers almost all have broken windshields?” – Daryl Davis, 1997 Ford F350, 2014 Palomino SS1500
“I have a Garmin combination dash camera and GPS. The following story is one of the few times I did not think I needed a dash cam.
We did not have the camper loaded and were heading about seven miles from the campground. There was a main street in town with a 55 mile per hour speed limit.
My wife was driving about 54 when a pickup truck passed us on the right. We were preparing to make a left hand turn at an intersection just up the road.
As we approached the intersection, over a quarter mile back, the pickup seemed to accelerate. The stoplight was green, but there was no way the other guy could possibly make the light. The light turned yellow, then red, and the truck seemed to just speed up. I literally prayed that the intersection would stay clear.
As the truck entered the intersection, another truck appeared in front of him. Then, another truck appeared as the red truck was clobbered and that third truck got hit as well.
The offending truck had the whole front end ripped off right back to the engine. It spun around and coasted to a stop heading in the direction it had come from. Suddenly, the intersection was full of people trying to help the elderly couple in the red truck.
When the cops showed up, they could not make any sense out of what had happened. I was the only person who had witnessed the weird accident.
The two victim trucks had seen their own green light ahead of them and just passed through the intersection at the speed limit. I did what I could explaining the whole thing. Boy, did I regret not using the dash cam that day. Now, I am very faithful to install it, even on a trip to the grocery store.” – Michael Turner, 2007 Ram 3500, 1988 Lance
“We have a Z-Edge dash cam with a 3-inch screen and full 2560×1080 HD video. I bought it on Amazon. I looked around at quite a few different models before purchasing it, The Z-Edge was highly rated with a good list of features for the price.
I need to put in a larger 64GB memory card since the existing one 32GB only records about two hours before starting to record over the previous video.
We bought the dash camera specifically for when we drive our truck camper rig and boat. We towed our 18-foot Grady-White center console from British Columbia to La Paz, Baja in the fall of 2016. The dash cam records any driving incidents that might occur in Mexico. There weren’t any.
We use it all the time now because, quite frankly, the drivers and pedestrians in Mexico are no worse than those in the United States and Canada.
We are driving back down to our boat in La Paz in a day or so, only this time in our small pickup (no camper) as there have been issues with getting three-quarter and one ton pickups (with or without campers) into Mexico recently. We don’t want to risk getting turned back at the Mexico border.
I will move the dash cam to the small truck for that trip. When we get back, I am going to get two more of the same dash cam so we can have one in each vehicle we have. Personally, I see this more and more as a must-have item for any vehicle. However, dash cam users do need to be aware that recordings can be used as evidence for you, or against you – especially if you set them up to record your speed.
We really enjoy Truck Camper Magazine. Keep up the good work!” – Lawrence Talbot, 2016 GMC 3500, 2016 Northern Lite 10.2 EX CD Special Edition
“I actually have dash cameras installed in all of the four different vehicles we use, depending on the needs or weather conditions. They have captured wildlife I never would have caught on camera otherwise. My wife was in an accident and the dash cam video displayed she was not at fault.
I took one to Alaska and installed it in my rental Winnebago and it caught the only wolf I saw as it crossed in front of me. It also caught a cow moose with calf as she walked within five feet of the front of the truck as I drove through Denali in a snowstorm.
The cameras are DashCam Pro. I see the ads on television all the time. It’s one of the cheaper ones. They are probably a little more fragile then they should be, but I would not run a vehicle without one anymore.” – Gary Theunick
“I have a GoPro 4 that I have mounted on my windshield as my dash camera. I run the power cord to a USB plug that I wired to stay on. I then put the GoPro in a recording loop and it records 24/7. I have the largest microSD card that it will accept (32GB, I think). That way I have several days of video on the card in case I need it.
I got the camera because I work in Law Enforcement and have one in my Patrol Vehicle. There were several times that I was able to record events that happened that either proved my case or proved my version of events.
I figured that would be a good enough reason to use it on civilian side of my travels as well. I hope to never be involved in a crash but, if I am, I can prove that I was not at fault with my video recording. That alone would be well worth the money spent on the camera and wiring the USB charging port.” – Kevin H., 2014 Ram 3500, 2007 Lance 1191
“I have one in each of my trucks. A few years back I was run off the road causing damage to my truck while going home from work. It took over a year for the other driver’s insurance to pay for my truck even though the State Patrol charged him with causing the accident.
I have had a couple different dash cams, but I like the Z-Edge Z3 the best. The Z-Edge has a 3-inch screen and records 2560 x1080 HD video.
I keep a mini SD card reader in my truck that will work with my phone, so any time I need to save or send the video or even still screenshots from the video, I can put the card in my phone and get whatever I need.” – Paul Ashley, 2006 GMC Sierra, 1994 Lance Squire 3000
“I have tried two different dash cameras. Neither one worked well enough for me to continue using them. Both of them showed they were loop recording, but neither one did. After an hour or so the screen flashed, “card full”. The only way to get either camera to work again was format the card or put a new one in.
The first camera was the Pilot CL-3022WK that I bought on sale at Walmart for $25, so I did not expect much. I also purchased a Cobra CDR-820 for $80 at Radio Shack. I should have known better. The Cobra camera worked worse than the Pilot in picture quality and not loop recording. I purchased the camera because of the well known name brand. I guess they should stick to CB radios.” – Erwin Greven, 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 2002 Lance 921
“I have a dash cam in every vehicle I drive. A few years ago I was towing a trailer at 60 miles per hour in the center lane of route 95 in Massachusetts. A car came up at a higher speed rate in the left lane and pulled in front of me only to stop dead in the lane.
Through the luck of every good angel out there, I didn’t run right through that car. Immediately I knew if there was an accident I would have been blamed despite this driver stopping in a moving lane. After that experience I went out and bought dash cameras for everything we own. I strongly recommend them for peace of mind.
I have a Garmin in the truck and my cars have Falcons. I think the Garmin is simple and I recommend getting the extra storage cards for them.” – Tom Chappuis, 2016 Ram 3500, 2017 Camplite 10.0
“Yes, I have a dash cam. It is an OldShark brand. I purchased on Amazon for $67. The reason I bought one was because I am currently on a seven month cross-country trip in the United States. I am very concerned about insurance scams like the one described in the article. Plus, the dash cam has a built in shake activation mode to record bumps, even when the truck is turned off. It’s a great investment!!” – Kenneth Dunn, 1998 Dodge 3500, 2010 Arctic Fox 811S
“I have considered a dash cam as the camper is almost always mounted leaving the truck’s rear view mirror area open for the dash cam installation. I have hesitated as it can be a two-edged sword. It could be explicit evidence of negligence on my part in a case where without it there could be some doubt or contributory negligence.
My Cadillac CT6 has a built-in dash cam that is not visible, like one would be on the truck’s windshield. In fact I don’t know where it is on the Cadillac. The SD card is inside the trunk in a very obscure position. I haven’t activated that one yet for the same reason. I don’t want to provide some ambulance chasing attorney irrefutable evidence of my mistake.
I’ve been in the insurance business for decades as an underwriter and agent. There are good and bad sides of just about everything. This is one that needs careful consideration. I just carry lots of insurance.” – Joe Sesto, 2015 Silverado 3500, 2015 Bigfoot 2500 10.6e
“I was traveling next to the shoulder on an Interstate maintaining 62 miles per hour. A truck which looked very similar to mine, same color, bed topper, etc., passed me in the lane next to the median (three lanes going each way) traveling 87 miles per hour in a 65 miles per hour zone. That’s a $275 violation.
Less than a quarter mile later, a state trooper was sitting in the median with a radar gun, checking speed and relaying via radio the violators and their description to motorcycle units down the road another quarter mile. Traffic was heavy. I passed the motorcycle unit, who was waiting for traffic to pass before getting out on the road to stop speeders.
By the time he got out on the road, and caught up to me, he had lost sight of the actual speeder, and mistook me for him. He pulled me over and was going to write me a ticket until I showed him the dash cam footage of the incident. My dash camera paid for itself about three times over right there, because he was convinced that I was in the wrong until seeing irrefutable evidence to the contrary.” – David Hyde, 2000 Ford F250
“My kids gave me a Spytec A-118C dash cam for Father’s Day last year. I didn’t want it for crash evidence, but rather for videos for my blog.
At first I thought there was something wrong with it. The video had a overall blue color to it. Later on I realized there was a piece of blue film over the lens to protect it. Duh! Since I removed the film, the camera has very good quality.
After figuring out what the problem was, I mounted it to my windshield and took about half hour of video while in the Alabama Hills area of California. I’m currently editing the video for about a ten minute YouTube video for my blog.
Next summer I hope to use the dash cam much more to capture all the beautiful scenery I see while driving the highways and byways of The West. I can’t always stop to take photos or videos by hand, so the dash cam will be very handy.
For the cost (less than $75), I think it’s worth it. Hope I don’t document that I was at fault in an accident though.” – Ralph Goff (aka Ramblin’ Ralph), 2006 GMC 2500HD, 2001 Lance 845
“Yes, I have a Garmin Nuvi-Cam. I love it. It’s very discreet. The GPS function kept me from getting lost numerous times from the Arctic Ocean to Guatemala. It’s nice and compact with a GPS and dash cam together. The only negative is that the battery life sucks. It only works while plugged in.” – Douglas Blake, 2001 Dodge Ram 2500, 2016 Northern Lite 8-5 Queen Lite
“I have a High Definition DVR given to me as a gift. When I got rear-ended in my car, I bought a second one for the rear wind screen from Amazon. Worthwhile? Absolutely as I count it as an $85 insurance policy that never expires. I have an excellent video of descending the Moki Dugway highway and as it also records audio. I have a record of my travels.” – Jesse Taylor, 2006 GMC 2500 HD, In Between Campers
“I have a Vicovation Vico-Opia 2. As you described in your Dash Cam Question of the Week, the purchase was for protection. With my weight and pulling a trailer, I leave plenty of space ahead. This allows the discourteous to squeeze in and then slam on their brakes. Unless I have video proof, any rear end accident would always be my fault.
The camera has a swivel base which allows me to turn the camera towards the driver’s side in case of any potential incident there. I like the high definition and night coverage. I definitely believe a dash cam is worth the cost.” – Kevin Luppen, 2017 Ford F550, 2017 Host Mammoth
“This past summer, a friend of mine was traveling through Alberta, stopped at a red light behind an older car. All of a sudden the car in front of him had their back up lights come on and then it came racing back the 20 or more feet between them. Bang! The guy backed right into his motorhome.
A guy in his early 20s gets out of the driver’s side, holding his neck and yelling he was rear ended. His buddy gets out yelling claiming whiplash. By this time, my friend’s wife has called the police. When they show up, they start taking statements. When it came time for my friend’s statement, all he did was hand over the card out of the dash cam. Busted!
Now this was my buddy’s side of the story. His wife’s side had a bit more added to it. Three days before they left for holidays, his wife suggested they buy a dash cam for the motorhome. They said that there was a heated conversation over whether to buy it or not. The wife over ruled and bought one anyway. It goes to show how just over $100 saved them thousands and a lot of headaches.
Sometimes being cheap doesn’t pay. Times have changed. We need to change with them and protect ourselves.” – Jeff Mawbey, 2010 GMC 3500, 2010 Northern Lite
“I have two generic dash cameras; one for my car and one for the truck. For many years I have witnessed many, many insane and aggressive drivers doing the most stupid and dangerous things. I wanted to capture the moments on dash cams.
Some videos were transferred to DVD and mailed to the local police showing all the important details. Another photo captured a well known company’s vehicle with address and phone number and a slogan of “safety is our goal”. He tried to jam his vehicle into a lineup stopped on a freeway. The photo was mailed to the company.
A side effect of having dash cameras is that I drive with more caution than ever, because the dash cam also captures what I am doing. So, it could be a witness for or against me. I rarely swear anymore or, should I say, I whisper the words. A dash cam is definitely a worthwhile investment for personal safety.” – Vic Smith, 2015 Ford F350, 2013 Adventurer 89RB
“My 2017 Ford F250 diesel does have a beautiful 360-degree dash camera which I use a lot. I also have an upper backup camera on my Palomino SS-550.
I spent last summer traveling Michigan to and around Alaska. I camped in the bush a lot and the dash camera was real nice. I use the dash camp to load the camper with prepositioned marks on camper. I traveled solo all summer, so I used it a lot. I am doing the same trip this summer.” – Shellie Barnes, 2017 Ford F250, 2017 Palomino SS-550
“I have a rear view mirror mounted dash cam. It includes a built-in forward facing camera and has an input for a second camera.
I use the second camera’s input to use as a rear view mirror when my camper is loaded by mounting a camera in my hitch extender. I can choose to show forward, rear, or both simultaneously, but I show rear only and it turns on when the truck is running. The dash cam records both cameras simultaneously on a 64GB micro SD card.” – Patrick Franklin, 2017 Ford F350, 2015 Lance 995
“I installed a Zuma 1080P camera several years ago and always clear memory before each use. I have it always on when traveling and when I go shopping, to restaurants, etc. It has proven to be of great assistance when recording accidents or vandals breaking into cars in the parking lot. I have made copies of accidents and supplied authorities with evidence. I won’t leave home with out it.” – Brian Brown, 2000 Ford F550, 2000 Lance 1010
“This is a very timely QOTW for me as a dash camera is on my upgrade list for this year. I’m anxious to see the answers. For now l’m leaning towards a Garmin 55 unit. My reasons for wanting one? I have seen many dash cam videos capturing evidence of accident, road rage, insurance fraud, and vandalism incidents. On the positive side, I’ve also seen many capturing scenic drives and wildlife along the roadside and I regret not capturing some of my own of these experiences.” – Brett Burguard, 2017 Ford F350, 2012 Northstar 9.5 Igloo
“I use a rear view mirror camera/monitor with a rear view camera also for front and back view. I use it all the time and while parked for additional security. It has night vision and eliminates the clutter of dash mount/windshield mount.” – Gerald Kato, 2012 GMC 2500 HD, 2017 Cirrus 820
“I have one in each vehicle. I got cheapies on Amazon, about $15 each. They work just okay and the card wasn’t included. Then the mounts went bad so those were another $7 each for better ones. All in all I have dash cams working and I didn’t pay $100 or more for them. I’m happy.” – Ron Williams, 1997 Ford F250, 2003 Lance 1010
“I don’t own a dash cam yet, but I’m shopping for one for each vehicle we own. Why stop with the 11,000 pound, 25-foot long, 11-foot high, 8.5-foot wide vehicle?” – Philip Tron, 2009 Chevy 3500, 2012 Lance 1050
“I don’t have a dash cam yet, but I will.” – John Schlobohm, 2013 Ford F150, 2013 Lance 825
“I don’t have a dash cam, but I am anxious to see what other folks are using.” – Richard Duzenack, 2015 Ford F350, 2015 Arctic Fox 1140