What is the Cargo Camera?
I remember a few years ago getting in a RAM 2500, driving it back from Douglas, WY seeing an option on the screen for Cargo Cam. Even though the name is pretty self-explanatory, like a child I had to play and see it for myself. So I selected the option on the touch screen and boom… a perfectly clear image of inside the truck bed appeared on the screen. Thinking to myself, wow, how cool is that and why has it taken so long for manufacturers to do this. It just seems such an obvious tool to have. The official name from RAM Trucks, is a ‘Center High-Mount Stop Lamp W/Cargo View Camera’.
Where is the camera mounted?
The cargo camera is mounted on the back of the cab, where the 3rd brake light (Center High-Mount Stop Lamp) would normally be. The whole unit is replaced with one which has the camera, brake lights and some extra white lights that point down into the bed. Adding this along with the LED bed rail lights means you can also see your cargo at night time. This camera is available on the RAM heavy duty trucks with the 8.4″ UConnect touchscreen.
Top 5 reasons you might want a cargo camera
1. Hooking up a trailer to your truck.
I’ve been told that if you have been backing up 5th wheels or gooseneck trailers for years, you don’t need a camera to know where the hitch is. It sure is handy though. It does make the process faster and easier for someone who is not used to hooking up trailers on a regular basis. Sometimes, we don’t always have an extra person nearby to help guide us either. On newer RAM trucks, both the backup camera and cargo camera images appear on the large 8.4″ touch screen so you can toggle between the two, making it even easier.
2. Check for loose cargo.
You have a truck, you do truck things with it. How often have you packed stuff in the bed and are constantly checking the mirrors to see if a bag is about to launch like a rocket from the bed to the road or even vehicle behind? You are able to turn on the camera whilst driving to able to see what is going on in the bed. No need to ask passengers to look behind or even try it yourself whilst driving.
3. Watching the dog(s).
Everybody wants to know mans best friend is safe and happy in the back. Hopefully not trying to take a giant leap for dogkind out the box.
4. It looks better than the stock brake light.
With 6 red LED lights on the top (for the brake light) and 4 white LEDs on either side of the camera, it looks better than the stock brake light and also lights up more. Cargo could potentially block the bed rail lighting, so by having both of these lighting options available on your RAM will help in several different scenarios.
5. Car wash.
Yesterday, I pulled up to the car wash and almost drove in before forgetting to check the bed. Ok, so it might be complete laziness but, if I had a cargo camera, I could have checked real quick. Instead, I had to embarrassingly pull over at the car wash, get out and check if there anything in there. There was. With no room left in the cab to move all my junk in there. So… on my merry way with a dirty truck, I went. If I did make it into the car wash, I could have watched the swirly brushes and jet sprays clean the bed of the truck, on my screen using the rear cargo camera.
How much is the cargo camera on a RAM Truck?
Center High-Mount Stop Lamp W/Cargo View Camera is what Ram officially call it as mentioned before. It’s a $345 add-on from the factory. When you consider a littering fine in WY can be up to $750, this seems cheap. Much more likely to be just plain right useful for that amount though.
What do you think? Would a Cargo Camera be useful for you? Do you already have one, do you use it, like it, hate it, love it? Let us know, comment below.
Lauren has been working in the automotive industry both in the U.K and in the U.S. for over 10 years. A car geek, photographer, big game chaser and bagpipe player, powered by coffee. Send your questions to: