Zone Classifieds – Everything Zoomer

Now that summer is on the horizon, millions of Canadians will be hitting the road – in a car, SUV, or truck – and may find themselves towing a motorboat, trailer or jet ski behind them.

Others will count themselves among the many RV owners who enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

While Zoomer has looked at travel gear in the past including “road trip” essentials like dashcams there are several other tools that can help with your journey, including tech for trailering and towing.

So however you decide to hit the road this summer, check out a few roadworthy recommendations that should help your journey go off without a “hitch.”


Rear View

Ideal to increase visibility behind your vehicle (or towed item), the Gekogear SOLARST Solar Powered Backup Cam ($199) is an easy-to-install solar-powered and completely wireless back-up camera.

The water-resistant (IP67) camera lens is affixed to the top of a license plate rim, which can be adjusted up or down to align for a perfect view, and enjoys up to 7 hours of battery on a single charge via solar or USB cable (thanks to its 2100mAh battery).

Inside the cabin is a 4.3-inch 640 x 480p colour LCD monitor, which you can keep an eye on while reversing. 

Again, this is a 2.4GHz wireless solution, therefore easy to install. But note this isn’t a camera that records and archives footage. For that, there are several rear-facing dashcams on the market (see below).

Also from Gekogear, the 10.26-inch Orbit C120 Infotainment Display with Dash Cam and Back Up Cam ($269), includes support for both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Photo: © 2022-2024 GekoGear


Dash Away

Once reserved for police vehicles, dashboard cameras – “dashcams” for short – have become a popular purchase for civilian drivers.

Usually mounted onto a vehicle’s windshield, these small video cameras continuously record both video and audio to a memory card, from a first-person perspective. Dashcams are ideal for two reasons: security and recreation. 

Some dashcam makers sell a “bundle,” which includes a rear camera, too, for all-around coverage. For example, the Thinkware Q200 Front + Rear Dash Cam Bundle ($299) captures sharp 2K QHD videos on the front-facing camera (and 1080p HD on the rear), at a smooth 30 frames per second (for both), including enhanced video brightness (and reduced image noise) in low-light conditions.

Other features include an optional Thinkware app to see videos, a parking mode (capturing video evidence activated by an impact and/or close motion), and supports high-capacity microSD cards (up to 256GB).

Photo: © Thinkware Inc.



Clever Companion

Not all “nav” units are created equal. And if you’re serious about navigation devices, this may be the one for you. 

With the Garmin RV 795 GPS Navigator ($608), enjoy a supersized 7-inch touchscreen for following your turn-by-turn directions (and clear voice), as you make your way across provinces and/or states. It also offers customized routing for the size and weight of your rig – including warnings for upcoming sharp curves or steep grading.

Plus, you can see aerial views to help ensure a hassle-free arrival at your RV park or campground, thanks to “BirdsEye Direct Satellite” imagery.

There’s also a preloaded directory of campgrounds, RV parks and services, along with Tripadvisor traveler ratings.

Photo: © Garmin Ltd.


Mirror, Mirror

While not super high-tech, Piclafe Towing Mirrors ($56) are two mirrors in one – a flat mirror and a convex mirror – that work together to give you an enlarged visual range for the best possible view beside and behind you.

Features include a tool-less installation design (affix it to your side mirrors), 180-degree adjustable rotation arms (for a wide-angle view of your vehicle’s surroundings), durable ABS and glass materials. And it’s compatible with multiple vehicle manufacturer models.

Photo: © Piclafe Towing Mirrors


Made in Canada

Developed in Canada, General Motors recently announced several innovative towing and trailering aids for use with several vehicles (like its 2024 Chevrolet Silverado pickup).

Trailers can obscure the vision behind or beside a vehicle, of course, but Canadian engineers have eliminated those blind spots with eight available cameras that offer up to 14 unique views. The aptly named “Transparent Trailer” is one of those camera views, letting the driver virtually “see through” a compatible trailer.

Photo: © General Motors of Canada Company

Meanwhile, GMC’s Super Cruise technology which allows for hands-free driving on many of its vehicles including handling accelerating, decelerating and even lane changes – now offers support for trailering on the more than 750,000 kilometres of mapped roadways in Canada and the U.S. 

Super Cruise for Trailering works similar to regular sedans, SUVs, and trucks, but makes teeny corrections to keep your vehicle and trailer centered within the lane, as well as setting appropriate gaps based on your speed (and the weight you’re towing). GMC says emergency braking can react quicker than a human can.

And finally, as the saying goes, there’s an app for that – and that goes for trailering as well. The in-vehicle Trailering App – developed by Canadian software development teams – gives drivers real-time info, such as tire pressure and temperature monitoring, and a pre-departure checklist including a trailer light test.

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