Backing up a truck is not the easiest thing you will do in life. Setting up a wireless speaker system in your living room, crafting your own cold brew at home, trying to figure out how to get around the fact that Netflix knows I’m sharing an account — these things are all easier by comparison. The truth is, a truck is a monster of a vehicle meant for hauling people and cargo long distances or towing a camper, not going to Costco and finding a parking spot.
On several trips, I discovered the RAM 1500 Limited Crew Cab has figured out how to make it easier. The massive 12-inch vertical screen makes it easier, as does the new warning lines they added since the last time I took the RAM 1500 out for a spin.
Here’s how it works. When you put the truck in reverse, a display pops up that shows black and white markings at the size of the truck. These are obviously the danger zones. You don’t want anything to come close to those, such as a curb.
Many times while parking, I noticed how the large screen helped me identify what was all around the truck. Granted, the display shows a rear-cam display that is about half the size of the actual screen, but the other options available dur8ing back-ups have to do with the viewing angle. For example, you can click an option to see the side of the truck, in front, or behind the cab. Kudos to RAM for making these options run fast and smooth, because they fire up immediately instead of pausing or slowing down when you are in a pinch. As soon as you try another angle, it pops up right away on the screen, helping you park.
In one case, at Target, I needed to back-up into a spot and used almost all the options to look around in front, to the side, and behind me. The vehicle will start beeping if you get too close to something, but I like the peace of mind of being able to judge it for myself.
In my garage, when I would pull forward into a stall, I clicked an option to show the front of the truck. That made it easy to pull forward toward a cabinet and make sure I had plenty of room to spare. The alternative is not pretty. I have tested trucks without front-facing cameras and you have to pull forward, then crawl out of the cab and look to see if you have more room.
For saving time, I estimate the cameras and the warning bars on the truck saved me about 10 minutes per parking operation. That would be an incredible time savings over the course of parking this truck if you owned it. I’m guessing somewhere around many dozens of hours.
I did miss what is often called a bird’s eye view. I didn’t see this was an option on the RAM 1500 — usually, you can view an overhead view that is stitched together from side cameras to represent what a bird would see above you. No matter, I’m mostly interested in seeing the side, front and rear angles. I’d use them constantly on the 12-inch screen (which by the way is also great for viewing streaming apps like Tidal and inspecting GPS coordinates).
If you own a trailer, park at the mall more than an empty construction lot like they show in commercials, or just need to know what is around you at all times, the massive screen and multiple screens make it easier. Maybe even more than brewing cold press coffee.