Towing and mirrors - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-11-2007, 05:40 PM   #1
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Trailer: 1972 Compact Jr
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I am towing my first trailer for which I cannot see out through my rear view mirror and look at the traffic behind. I am wondering what I should be able to see, and what I should be able to see if I purchase extended mirrors.My experience on the trip bringing the trailer home was that sight-lines were not that bad on the drivers side but I would not want to have to make a lane change to the right. Should I visit the local RV lot to see if they will let me try ones out first.? Towing Compact Junior with 1998 Honda CRV, vehicle with hitch. Other family vehicle, 1997 Subaru Legacy wagon has a hitch needing to be installed. Any thoughts or comments?

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Old 11-11-2007, 08:57 PM   #2
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Kent, over the years I have had maybe three or four different kinds of extended mirrors. Each improved the sight angle but at the cost of vibration. Some extended mirrors are more solid than others but none came close to factory stuff. Haven't used any for about 3 years now so maybe there has been some improvement but, if you can, try before you buy. Don

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Old 11-11-2007, 09:32 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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I would suggest that you check your local laws. Some areas have minimum sight distance behind the trailer.
Byron & Anne enjoying the everyday Saturday thing.
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Old 11-11-2007, 10:10 PM   #4
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Any thoughts or comments?
I went to the top right corner of this web page and clicked on the word "Search". Then I typed in the word "Mirrors" and unchecked the box to "search this forum only". Then I clicked on "Go".

There were a lot of topics that appeared, so I only read the topics that had the word "Mirror(s)" in the title. Here is what I found:

"Mirrors" topic #1

"Mirrors" topic #2

"Mirrors" topic #3

I hope this helps.
Frederick - The Scaleman
1978 Fiber Stream 16 named "Eggstasy" & 1971 Compact Jr. named "Boomerang"
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Old 11-12-2007, 11:02 PM   #5
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I have used different types of mirrors usually dictated by availability through the years and types of vehicles. Still I have found that there is some jerk who likes to look at the back of my trailer. I can't see him in the mirrors, he's following so close, but I know he's out there. I can see his shadow on the pavement and if I swing the little beastie a bit he backs off a bit and I catch a glimps of him once in a while. My curtains are closed so I don't know what he's looking at. Mabee he just likes my paint job. The road or highway doesn't matter..He's always there.

Oh no, here's a solid line ...he's passing now.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:34 AM   #6
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And I was thinking that California was the only place with drivers like that! Unfortunately, there's nothing (legal) I can do about it. Best to learn to ignore them!
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:50 AM   #7
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Hey Kent,
I've got a 2001 CRV (Same body style as yours, right before the redesign!) and I have a Compact II, very similar to your Jr, though Im not sure if the width is the same or not. I find that the trailer is close enough to the width of the CRV that Im able to see fairly well with the factory side mirrors. Granted, the loss of the rear view mirror really limits you, but have you tried playing with the side views as far as adjustment and such? I know sometimes mine get stuck 1/2way flipped in at the carwash or something. As I said, I don't know how similar or different the trailer widths are, but I can't imagine the Jr being vastly wider than the II...
Either way, WELCOME to another person using their 1st Gen CRV to tow, cause we seem to be a rare breed! hehe Though honestly I think that a Compact rig is about at the top end of our tow capacities, I don't think either of us is asking too much of our sturdy & well built Honda products! hehe Happy trailering and don't be a stranger K? Joe
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:24 AM   #8
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My experience on the trip bringing the trailer home was that sight-lines were not that bad on the drivers side but I would not want to have to make a lane change to the right.
I would have to say my first experience towing was similar, I figured I could see out behind the trailer fairly well, when I was on a curve I could see really well.

Then I read the information on this website...describing if you need tow mirrors or not.

The outside measurements of my stock mirrors was wider than the trailer, so I figured I was okay, then I bought the cheap $20 rubber strap on mirrors from WalMart and discovered the difference was night and day...I could actually see the vehicles that were behind me, changing lanes was no longer a crap shoot...sure they vibrated a bit, but I could actually see !! The other side benefit I wasn't expecting, was that it was a whole lot easier to back up too.

I towed the trailer for a short drive one day without the strap on mirrors, I felt like I was driving blind.

I wouldn't want to tow without some sort of extended mirrors anymore...

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Old 11-30-2007, 08:43 PM   #9
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I'm a little late on this, but one thing I do that helps with visibility is tie the front and back curtains back so I can see through the Campster. You could do the same thing with a Compact. It isn't side to side visibility, but it helps you see if someone is right behind you.
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:58 PM   #10
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Front and back curtains suggests that there is a clear shot front to rear of the trailer and that seems a good suggestion in that case.

A caution for others to consider though. My Casita doesn't have a front window but it does have a good sized rear window and it has a big plate glass mirror on the bathroom door that's aimed at the back of the trailer and it reflects following headlights back out the rear window causing a vision problem for vehicles behind me. Particularly 18 wheelers whose headlights are high up. Casita used to recommend traveling with the blinds up all around but I don't do that and I don't believe they make that recommendation any more.
Without adult supervision...
Quando omni flunkus, moritati.
I'm a man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess.
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Old 12-01-2007, 07:51 PM   #11
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Trailer: 1999 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe ('Inn EggsIsle')
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I not really convinced it does you any good to know what or who is in back of you, I'm not convinced that we can do anything about who or whats behind us. I am concerned about seeing down both sides of my trailer to know whether the lanes on either side are clear for me to change lanes if I so desire. I usually put my turn signals on to let them know my intentions and if they want to pass they usually show themselves in one mirror or the other. I do drive a full size truck pulling a Casita and i can see maybe 75-100 ft in back of the trailer and a tractor trailer usually shows up just fine, the small cars could be a problem but there again, what can you do about it? If your state laws require it you have to obey them, but if you can see whether the lanes on either side of you are clear I see no need to worry, just do all you can do to drive careful

Love being Inneggsile
heading sloowly up the eastcoast to our next 2 month (Aug and Sept) camp hosting gig at Camden Hills State Park in Maine
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