Seeing where you've been - tow vehicle mirrors! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-19-2020, 09:51 AM   #1
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Seeing where you've been - tow vehicle mirrors!

Couldn't find any posts on this so thought it was time to ask all of you for your input!

We tow a 1978 Trillium 4500 (TRill' Of A Lifetime - TROAL) behind our 2014 Nissan Pathfinder. Over the 8 years or so that we have been towing this trailer, we have gone through 2 sets of strap-on rear view mirror extensions. One set failed when the rubber straps cracked and broke, the second went last summer when one of the strap sections just fell off and got lost. I'm a bit pissed that I have the main parts of the mirror still, but can't use them because of cheap rubber components.

Our previous trailer was a 1964 soft top Hinsberger tent trailer - so small that you almost couldn't see it behind our tow vehicles, so we never used anything but the standard tow vehicle mirrors with that. Interior rear view mirror looked out and over the top of the trailer beautifully. If a biker was riding a foot behind us, dead center behind the trailer, we would have been able to see everything from the handlebars up.

Now I don't know what to do. I would like to get new mirrors, but all I seem to be able to find is the "universal" strap-on kind, and I don't want to go trough ANOTHER set of those in the next 3 or 4 years, maybe less. I can't find anything that is specifically designed to fit our Pathfinder.

I'm tempted to go without rear view mirror extensions, but I realize that they are an important safety item. Are there laws stating that they are REQUIRED anywhere? Also, my wife says that we HAVE TO have them and use them.

What do you use, and where did you get them? It may be that we just have fewer options up here in Canada?

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Old 05-19-2020, 10:02 AM   #2
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https://hensleymfg.com/product/mckes...owing-mirrors/

I had a set of McKesh and sold them to my brother who has a wider trailer and needed them more than I did. I tired some clip-ons that were highly regarded. There was no comparison and I no longer even bother to try and use the clip-ons. The vehicle mirror mounted extended mirrors shook and vibrated too much, and many dont stay on well.

You might also want the optional convex spotter (round) mirror.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:30 AM   #3
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Many happy campers towing with Milenco Grand Aero mirrors. They fasten to the mirror housing so they and the OEM mirrors can be adjusted separately.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:31 AM   #4
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Like Gordon said McKesh mirrors by Hensley. Pricey but well recommended. They do not ship to Canada, but I got a great set on eBay, and there is another just listed. Haven't looked at them, but they might be worth checking.
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Old 05-19-2020, 10:40 AM   #5
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I tried several brands of strap on extension mirrors and was never completely happy with any of them.
Then I happened upon the Speedfix brand from Camping World.

https://www.campingworld.com/speedfi...ror-85053.html

They are very similar to those shown by Glenn, except they have a pivot between the two clamps for greater flexibility in aiming.

I've had mine for 7 years now and they are as good as new.

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Old 05-19-2020, 10:51 AM   #6
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I gave up on attachable mirrors and put in a backup camera and wired it to be on full time when my headlights are on, works reasonable.
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Old 05-19-2020, 11:25 AM   #7
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mirror extensions

I second the motion for the melencos by dometic. I have had them for a couple of years and they stay on the car's mirror and they stay where you have adjusted them.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:12 PM   #8
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CIPA makes a great slip-over mirror which I used for many years with great success.
They are solid and secure and clear of vibration nearly as good as OEM, and there are no straps to wear out.
If they don't have a listing for your truck ,CIPA now has competition from another company which i don't know the name.
When I bought mine they had no listing for the Ranger but they did for the Explorer with the same mirror and it of course worked perfectly.
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:20 PM   #9
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Here is another solid solution which I did for my Escape.
It is a kit which I made from a bicycle mirror. I worked very well and stored away in the armrest /console when not in use....
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Old 05-19-2020, 12:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by larryf View Post
I gave up on attachable mirrors and put in a backup camera and wired it to be on full time when my headlights are on, works reasonable.
So...is the backup camera on the back of the trailer? Mounted sticking out from your side view mirrors? I don't really understand how a backup camera can substitute for mirrors.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:27 PM   #11
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Seeing where you've been - tow vehicle mirrors!

Legally it cannot. Side mirrors must give a clear view down the side of the trailer that includes the adjacent lanes for a certain number of feet behind the trailer. Extensions are required if the trailer is wider than the vehicle, with or without a camera. My Pilot is the same width as the Scamp, so the factory mirrors are legally compliant.

Side mirrors are for merging. A rear camera is for situational awareness. Most states have a rule that you must pull over when faster traffic accumulates behind you. Both can help with backing, but state laws aren't concerned with that.

Personally I haven't felt a need for a camera. A curve in the road is usually enough to see what's happening behind me, and if not, my Scamp is narrow enough I can move left or right in my lane to catch a view.
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Old 05-19-2020, 01:39 PM   #12
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I used to do a sort of "mini-swerve" to check my side view mirrors. But the Bigfoot is way harder to see around than a Scamp. I use towing mirrors, but I need different ones so this thread is great.

My mirrors work great, the only problem is that my trucks mirrors are old and apparently a little loose. With the towing mirrors strapped on, any headwind, or passing a semi going the opposite direction blows so hard that the mirrors make their way into the folded-in position. I think smaller extensions would reduce that.

But they stay on and provide great visibility, until the wind blows them in...
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Old 05-19-2020, 04:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Legally it cannot. Side mirrors must give a clear view down the side of the trailer that includes the adjacent lanes for a certain number of feet behind the trailer.....
Yes, you need to worry about the dreaded "blind spot."
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Personally I haven't felt a need for a camera. A curve in the road is usually enough to see what's happening behind me, and if not, my Scamp is narrow enough I can move left or right in my lane to catch a view.
I'm confused about the need (or desire) to see what is behind you, except when backing up or course. If you are going down the highway and see a tail-gator in your camera, what are you going to do about it? Its not good, but there is not much you can do about it, and some of the things you can do might make a bad situation worse.

If you are changing lanes, then the side mirrors will show you if someone following you also starts to change lanes, and then you can stay in your lane until its safe to move over.

Maybe I'm missing something. At any rate, I would buy the mirrors first if needed, and the camera second if I wanted it.
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Old 05-19-2020, 05:38 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
I'm confused about the need (or desire) to see what is behind you, except when backing up or course. If you are going down the highway and see a tail-gator in your camera, what are you going to do about it? Its not good, but there is not much you can do about it, and some of the things you can do might make a bad situation worse.
One reason to know what’s happening directly behind you is in the paragraph you didn’t include: to know when you need to pull off and let faster traffic pass.

I also like to know when there’s a gator on my tail so I can signal early and brake gradually for a turn or exit.

I haven’t found a camera necessary for that kind of rearward awareness.
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Old 05-19-2020, 06:51 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
One reason to know what’s happening directly behind you is in the paragraph you didn’t include: to know when you need to pull off and let faster traffic pass.
OIC.. I'll make a note of that for my trips west of the Mississippi. On the East Coast its not an issue. All the traffic is faster. On multi lane highways they just pass.. but on secondary roads, if I were to pull over to let them pass, then I would be parked most of the time.
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I also like to know when there’s a gator on my tail so I can signal early and brake gradually for a turn or exit.
I think I would want to always signal early and brake gradually when towing.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:18 PM   #16
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If you have a full size pickup truck, most or probably all have factory tow mirrors available. Now in my case, Ford mirrors are ridiculously high. But this also means aftermarket options are out there. I paid about $130 for a set that bolted right on, and the electric mirro controls, puddle lights and heat also work.
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Old 05-19-2020, 08:45 PM   #17
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Drilled a hole????

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Here is another solid solution which I did for my Escape.
It is a kit which I made from a bicycle mirror. I worked very well and stored away in the armrest /console when not in use....
Floyd - you drilled a hole in the side of your mirror housing? Looks like an inexpensive option, alright, and would not take up much space when removed!
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:19 PM   #18
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The cars coming up on you from the rear will be beside you soon. Knowing what is behind you when you are towing or driving a slower vehicle is very useful bit of situational awareness.

Nice for lane changes to give yourself plenty of time. Nice to be aware of a tailgator who may decide at the last second as you signal your lane change that they want to pass you.

Scamp is narrow enough don't need anything extra but have the longer mirrors with a fish eye that are a towing option from Ford. Like the better view of the road. Took some getting used to the fish eye but well worth it for the blind spot coverage it gives.

Good mirrors and/or a rear camera is what you use when youthful feelings of immortality and cat like reflexes start to fade a bit. :-)
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
When I bought mine they had no listing for the Ranger but they did for the Explorer with the same mirror and it of course worked perfectly.
It's nice when you are doing the manufacturer's job better than they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Here is another solid solution which I did for my Escape. It is a kit which I made from a bicycle mirror. I worked very well and stored away in the armrest /console when not in use....
I've pondered doing something like you did here as I don't need or want any more extension than necessary. Thanks for leading the way again.

We bought RevZilla 3" diameter Speedmetal Billet Folding Bar End Mirrors for our folding bikes. I have been impressed. Because they are built for motorcycles with their higher speeds, they've worked great on our bikes. They have a spring-loaded ball and detent latch on the hinge so they fold back when I stow the bikes, and they can also fold on impact if necessary.

As these are designed to fit in handlebar ends, one would need a different arrangement to connect to a vehicle mirror housing. But, I think there's definitely some prospects here...

https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle-mirrors
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Old 05-19-2020, 09:51 PM   #20
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Oh by the way, how many people really, really enjoy when one person posts and a second person replies with multi-quotes sarcastically picking apart the first person's comments sentence by sentence?

Show of hands? Seeing none, it is therefore resolved, and I declare on behalf of the forum membership, that it's just plain tiresome.


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Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. I'm here most every Tuesday after lunch, that cosmic time in the universe when everything gets done.
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