by Gary Hawkins, 08/03/2017 - Updated 02/28/2019
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While in Costco recently I saw the yada Flex Mount Backup Cam (Model #BT55815) by WINPLUS. The box advertised it as battery powered, weatherproof, offering night vision and supplied with three mounting options. The unit was not cheap at $130, but I've had a couple of close calls reversing our teardrop so if it saves me one bump it would be worth the money. Plus, the great thing with Costco is you can always return the item if it does not work out.
First impressions out-of-the-box were positive. A nice solid camera; if not a little large. Magnetic, license plate and 7-way round plug adapter mounting options. My only dislike was the rather thin diameter of the power supply plug used on the 12/24V power adaptor, but it would probably be fine if treated with a little care.
I tried the different camera mounting options on the driveway and discovered the magnetic mount was perfect for the teardrop 1½ inch rear receiver hitch. I fitted the license plate holder mount to the front plate of my 4Runner. If you are wondering why this would be necessary; the 4Runner has a high hood, and when off-roading it's impossible to see close obstructions. I thought this camera might also be helpful when navigating over challenging terrain.
Backup Camera Magnetically Mounted on Our Teardrop Receiver Hitch
The camera wirelessly paired to the internal 5-inch LCD screen without issue; the picture was nice and bright with clear distance markers. The navigation menu on the monitor display worked well enough once you got used to the location of the buttons.
With the camera mounted on the front of the 4Runner, I could park within inches of the garage door with total confidence. I was also able to position the 4Runner in exactly the required position relative to marks on the road, so my hopes relating to potential off-road use seemed justified.
Backup Camera on License Plate Holder Mount
The following weekend, we headed to Paso Picacho campground. Having mounted the camera magnetically on the teardrop rear hitch, I got a good look at what was behind me, but due to the very wide-angle view of the camera, it was not much use ensuring the teardrop was on the right rearward path into the campsite parking area. For this, Sophia on a walkie-talkie was much more helpful. The yada was, however, perfect for ensuring I did not run into the posts at the rear of the parking area unaided.
When we returned home from Paso Picacho, I tried the camera again on the rear of our teardrop. This time, without help, I backed the teardrop up the drive to the house. Again, I found the camera did not help much getting the teardrop on the right path up the driveway (for this I relied on the 4Runner's mirrors), but it was ideal for ensuring I did not hit something as I got close to and entered the garage.
Several weeks later, while camping with Xaria, I tried the camera alone at South Carlsbad State Beach. Again, it was easier to judge my rearward path using the 4Runner's side mirrors, and the backup camera to ensure I did not hit anything to the rear or side. It was perfect for determining exactly the right stopping distance to the back of the site.
5" Dash Monitor Installed on 4Runner Windscreen with Supplied Suction Cup Mount
On this trip, I also noted several other points. Firstly, the status LED on the camera is difficult to see. In fact, it was easier to determine the camera was off by checking there was no image on the dash monitor than by looking at the LED. Secondly, it would have been useful to have a second 12/24V power adapter in the box. It is much easier for testing purposes to be able to power both the camera and dash monitor from pre-made power cords. Finally, on the way back from camping, I found by magnetically mounting the camera on the rear of the front seat headrest posts and pointing it towards Xaria in her car seat I could easily see what she was up to; no more craning my neck around. Assuming you can power the screen and camera, you might additionally be able to find a good use for it in the house as a video monitor (albeit it has no sound capabilities).
Thus, overall I'm impressed with the yada Flex Mount Backup Cam. It's especially helpful if reversing unaided, or if you and your partner aren't great at communicating the position of the trailer either by shouting or when using walkie-talkies. Ed [While we initially gave the yada unit 💛💛💛💛💜 (four out of five possible hearts) on the "Xaria" ranking scale, we've now decided to reduce this to three stars, 💛💛💛💜💜. We do a lot of offroading and the dashboard display stand could not handle the rough treatment and came apart. Under normal use, you probably won't experience the same problem but we can't be sure. Thus, the yada cam is now in a draw until I fix it, as opposed to being part of our regular teardrop camping gear] You can get a similar model to the yada I reviewed via Amazon.
Note: I've not tried the camera front mounted on the 4Runner yet while off-roading but when I do I'll provide an update to this article.
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