With dash cams proving so popular among UK drivers, these technological marvels could be a great addition to your motorhome travels. Not only will they record those stunning drives but also any accidents along the way.
Coupled with the appropriate motorhome insurance they’re the ideal way to protect your cherished home on wheels.
Read our essential guide to dash cams to help you decide whether they’re worth the investment.
What is a dash cam?
Dash cam technology is constantly being improved but they’re essentially small, on-board video cameras.
Installed in your vehicle, a dash cam will record your trip – whether a seven-hour marathon to your favourite campsite or a trip to the shops for provisions.
They record both video and audio continuously in segments between 2 minutes and 10 minutes long. Once the dash cam has filled its available memory, it begins to record over the oldest footage.
The most common type is the front-view dash cam that records anything happening on the road ahead. However, there are dash cams that record both the front and rear view allowing you to record anything behind you – perfect for capturing any accidents at the rear.
Some of the essential features worth looking out for include:
- G-shock sensor – the sensor detects if you’ve had a bump and automatically saves the data so it can’t be accidentally recorded over.
- Memory – the more footage you want and the higher the resolution the more memory you’ll need. Most dash cams require you to buy micro-SD cards for this purpose.
- Viewing angle – the wider the angle the better the view. You don’t want to miss any essential action.
- Resolution – most decent dash cams will have adequate resolution for accident recording. However, if you want to record driving adventures for later enjoyment you’ll want as high resolution as you can afford.
- Night vision – low light levels can lead to accidents but not all dash cams are good at recording in these conditions.
6 reasons why it’s worth installing a dash cam
Whether deliberately or not, drivers’ memories can be particularly fuzzy when it comes to road accidents. By recording any bumps and scrapes a dash cam can shed much-needed light on who was at fault in a road accident.
The UK has a whole variety of speed limits that can often change at a moment's notice. A dash cam that alerts you to this will help you stick to the speed limit, especially in unfamiliar places. Remember that a speeding fine could impact on the cost of your motorhome insurance.
Parking a large vehicle like a motorhome can be difficult for even the most seasoned driver. Some dash cams can double up as a reversing camera, too – a handy addition to your safety arsenal.
Parking mode is a popular feature to look for in a dash cam as it continues to record even when your motorhome is parked up. Invaluable for overnight stays or if you’re hitting the hiking trails for the day. Some dash cams also come with a cabin view which enables you to also record everything happening inside the vehicle itself.
Dash cams can capture an awesome driving experience and the amazing scenery easily missed when you’re focused on the road ahead. Never miss another deer crossing – the dash-cam is always on and always recording. However, not all dash cams record continuously so it’s worth checking yours supports loop recording and has a big enough memory storage.
Looking back at footage of your driving and any near misses is a wonderful teaching aid to help improve your own driving. Being a safe and careful driver is a great way to keep your motorhome insurance premiums as low as possible.
Some common pitfalls
Having a dash cam isn’t all plain sailing. Here are some common pitfalls to avoid:
- While dash cam use is common in the UK if you’re driving elsewhere in Europe you need to be aware of their dash cam laws or you could end up with a fine or even prison time. For example, in Austria dash cams are explicitly illegal and you could be fined £9,000. Whereas in Luxembourg you could even end up with a jail sentence.
- Recording audio and video from inside your vehicle can cause you to fall foul of UK privacy laws if you haven’t informed passengers. A particular hazard if cameras capture the living quarters.
- Dash cams can be expensive pieces of equipment and being fixed to the windscreen in clear view of passers-by means they can be a target for thieves.
- Driver distraction can be caused by the dash cam being improperly positioned or if the driver is using the dash cam while driving. Driving a motorhome requires all your attention – never allow yourself to become distracted.
When travelling to Europe, contact your motorhome insurance provider beforehand to make sure you’re adequately covered.
Fitting a dash cam
To ensure your vision is not obstructed, a dash cam must be fitted on the windscreen behind the rear-view mirror.
Whether using a suction cup or double-sided tape, once the dash cam is attached its power lead needs to be fitted around the edge of the windscreen to ensure your road view remains clear.
Most dash cams will get their power via the motorhome’s cigarette lighter. However, if you plan to use parking mode, you’ll need to ensure power reaches the gadget even when the engine is turned off.
To do this requires the power cable to be connected directly into the car’s fuse box. It’s probably best to get a professional to connect this.
Protecting your motorhome
Finding specialist motorhome insurance to suit your precious vehicle and your budget is what Motorhome Protect is all about.
Arranging a policy through us can give a variety of benefits including:
- Unlimited cover across the European Union
- Unlimited mileage cover
- Cover for motorhomes with a value up to £150,000
Get a reliable quote from Motorhome Protect today to protect yourself from the unexpected.
Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.