Cameras recording activity on the city street, in the fuel station, motorway services and in our shops are a fact of life. But, contrary to popular belief, they are not everywhere. Out in the countryside you’ll be hard pushed to find cameras. So the chances are that if someone drives into you in your motorhome there will be no witnesses, digital or otherwise.

Fortunately we now have the technology to provide ourselves with a perfect eye-witness that will provide a scrupulously fair and accurate account of any incident. We are talking, of course, about dashcams. So popular have these little video recorders become, that there’s a dazzling array of dashcams for sale in the UK now. Prices start from around £60, going up to £300, and the quality and capabilities vary, along with the prices. 

We’ve assembled a batch of dashcams on the Practical Motorhome test bench and tried them out to see which are the best for motorhomes. We have tested the Transcend DrivePro 220, at £129.99, also the Cobra Drive HD CDR900, at £139.99. We tried the Mio MiVue 538 Deluxe, costing £124.99, and the RAC 05, costing £149.99. We considered the Snooper DVR-4HD, at £149.99, the Next Base iN-Car Cam 521G, at £179.99, the Cobra CDR 820, at just £64.99, the combined camera and sat-nav Garmin nuiCam LMT-D at £299, and the Blackvue DR650GW-2CH (with its front and rear cameras) at £289.99. 

In this review we’re shining the spotlight on the cheapest and smallest dashcam in our test, the Cobra CDR 820, which is on sale for a very affordable price – just £64.99.

While it’s tempting to whinge about the pokey 40mm rear screen, it couldn’t be made any bigger because it pretty much takes up the whole back of the unit. This really is a tiny dashcam and it’s frankly staggering that it can produce video in HD format, let alone very passable footage. But despite the respected Amberella chipset making the most of the optics, the unit’s small size has, inevitably, narrowed the angle of view – and this is purely a camera, with no GPS facilities for logging your location.

On the bright side, it’s easy to hook up to large screens, thanks to its HDMI socket. So you might want to use it for holiday videos and to remember the special moment when you drove over a hill and caught sight of a mountain – or the spectacular road looping down to the sea. You can also use the Cobra CDR 820 to take still photos if you need to capture something in detail.