VIDEO: Hitchin’ Swift!

Posted In: Video

Hitching is among the most fundamental tasks related to Airstream camping. It’s the first thing they teach you. Rather, it’s the first thing they WOULD teach you, if anyone was teaching you at all. If you’re like me, you learned by doing.

#162 Unboxing the Swift Hitch Cam from Sean Michael on Vimeo.

Typically hitching is a two-person job. You know the scene. Wife stands behind tow vehicle, waving her arms in measured gesticulations, looking not unlike she’s directing jet fighter traffic aboard an aircraft carrier.

Meanwhile, stoic husband backs up said tow vehicle, attempting to blindly mate two pieces of machinery using one of the least precise tools ever invented (in my case, a big honkin’ diesel truck). Every time we tackle this task I’ve found myself muttering, “A Ford F250 is not a precision instrument.”

Even with two people communicating well, this can be a hit-and-miss experience. If said two people are NOT communicating well? There will be much gnashing of teeth, and possibly a quickie Mexican divorce.

I have on occasion hitched our Airstream solo without using any fancy cameras. Sometimes you get lucky and successfully hitch on the first try. When this happens, make a lot of noise — it’s important to make sure that everyone in the campground notices your brilliant display of camping prowess. You are a PRO and everyone should respect your masterful display of skill.

But more often, any solo hitching attempts involve a lot of silly time-consuming back-and-forth action that promotes the invention of new profanity. When this happens, be very quiet. Pull your hat low over your eyes and slowly slink back into your trailer.

This leads me to the Swift Hitch “Portable Wireless COLOR Back-up Camera System.”

This system touts itself as a dedicated hitch camera. In theory, it allows you to hitch your trailer solo, with the camera acting in the role of “your eyes on the hitch.” In the example offered above, the Swift Hitch substitutes for wife! Making the hitching process a one-person job could deliver marital benefits. (Although my own wife was skeptical of this particular device.)

Our system is the SH01 model which claims a 4-hour battery life. The successor SH02 model boasts a 9-hour battery life. (That’s nice, although if it takes you 9 hours to hitch your rig then you are doing something very wrong – I suggest you take up knitting instead of RV camping.)

Actually the extended battery life of the SH02 is useful if you want to use the camera as a surveillance/security cam. (Both cameras have night vision, so it’s not out of the question.) The SH02 costs more (naturally), you you must decide whether it’s worth it to you.

Overall, my experience with the Swift Hitch camera has been positive so far. While I don’t think this falls into the category of “must have” camping gadgets, there’s no doubt that it enhances the experience of hitching an Airstream. It certainly is a tremendous help when you are hitching the rig solo.

For some married couples, the hitching process can be a source of frustration and angst. It’s one of those potentially time consuming RV tasks that usually requires teamwork; if it doesn’t go well, this small task can lead to an argument or at least a sour mood. If YOU are one of these married couples (you know who you are!), then a camera system like Swift Hitch is a wise investment.

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