Absolutely. Tow mirrors are worth it for safe and effective towing. As a result, one can say that, as far as towing is concerned, they are a must-have. Furthermore, in using tow mirrors, the only thing you stand to lose is the power-folding, or perhaps when you go through a car wash.
Consequently, they are an absolute necessity on any truck which pulls a weight behind it. They commonly extend outside more than standard truck mirrors, a feature that further improves your rearward visibility at all times.
Although there may be the issue of which particular tow mirrors are best suited for your type or model of truck. There are still different types of tow mirrors on the market to choose from, and in this, there is the need for proper choices, which may necessitate expert advice on the matter.
For example, there are manual tow mirrors, power towing mirrors, telescopic and extendable tow mirrors, turn signal or directional towing mirrors, as well as clip-on towing mirrors.
The choice of the proper tow mirror for your vehicle can easily be determined from the mirror operation manual, also known as the manual remote.
Specifically, tow mirrors at least reduce your blind spots while towing. As a result, this will enable you to have an improved view of the road behind you as well as on either of the vehicle too.
A good rear view while towing will enable you to know with absolute certainty whether the towed vehicle is swaying or not, as well as whether your cargo is not properly secured.
Even though the rules governing the use of towing mirrors may vary from one place to another, it is still a must-have if you are towing a travel trailer virtually everywhere.
It is also worthy of note that in most cases, your caravan may be a bit wider than the tow vehicle, which will limit your rearview. This is more so since the mirrors on both the driver and passenger sides may not see through the caravan.
This is why tow mirrors extend outward more than most conventional mirrors. With tow mirrors, the general rule of the thumb is that the driver should be able to see the whole length of the trailer and beyond up to the traffic behind, as much as possible.
Although this may depend on the size of the trailer that may need these mirrors. So, yes, tow mirrors are well worth it for any safe and convenient towing to take place.
What is a tow mirror?
Tow mirrors, unlike traditional rearview mirrors, are mirrors that extend further outward to tremendously increase your rearward vision while hauling a cargo behind you. This is one way you can maintain the cargo in your peripheral vision at all times.
However, if you must get the best service you want from tow mirrors, you should use those which are most suitable for your truck or trailer, since they are designed with different features and specifications.
Fortunately, making the most proper choice is easy, especially with expert advice on the matter or the use of the mirror manual.
How do you use a mirror?
You need tow mirrors particularly if your caravan is wider than the towed vehicle, which will limit your rearview vision. To further worsen the situation, the mirrors on both the driver and passenger sides cannot see through the caravan.
That is why the tow mirrors extend further outward than regular mirrors. With tow mirrors, you should be able to see the front door handle of the car in the near bottom corner of the mirror.
Therefore, you are recommended to attach your tow mirrors and also swivel the head of the tow mirror horizontally until your caravan becomes visible in the nearest quarter inch or about 6 mm of the mirrors.
If you are using OEM-type mirrors, it is advisable to aim at the upper panels where you will be able to see the sides of the truck whenever you lean towards any of the mirrors, but not while sitting in the normal driving position. Tow mirrors include hot spot or convex mirrors.
These convex mirrors are fitted with a sort of adhesive on the back, which sticks directly to your standard side mirrors, while the custom slip-on mirrors are specifically produced for different models and years of cars, but they are all used in, more or less, the same way.
Do tow mirrors make a difference?
Tow mirrors make a world of difference. For instance, these mirrors allow you to have a more proper view of what is behind you, especially when there is a trailer or any other accessory cargo hitched behind.
This is pretty much the reason why tow mirrors extend far more outward than do all other mirrors in the vehicle.
They enable you to monitor what is going on behind you effortlessly so that you can ascertain whether your cargo is stable, swaying, or not, as you tow along. Notably, if your caravan is wider or bigger than your tow vehicle, it impedes your vision significantly.
Therefore, these mirrors should extend further outward than most others. Because these mirrors make a difference, if you must tow safely, they are made mandatory in most places, regardless of any complaint you may have with their purchase and proper installation.
They reduce blind spots so that you will be able to see the road behind you and both sides of the vehicle more properly to allow for safe towing at all times. So, they make a remarkable difference.
Read Also: Can You Tow A Car Without MOT?
Do you need tow mirrors on both sides?
Yes, you need tow mirrors on both sides. For instance, if your caravan is wider than your tow vehicle, it can limit your rearview significantly. This is more so since the mirrors on both the driver and passenger sides cannot see through the caravan.
Consequently, your tow mirrors are designed to extend your view well beyond the position of the driver to the rear of the caravan, as well as any blind spots on its sides too. Therefore, tow mirrors serve you a lot better if they are provided on each side as against only one.
Are tow mirrors necessary?
Certainly, tow mirrors are an absolute necessity if you must have a clear view of what is happening behind you while hauling any cargo. With good and suitably positioned tow mirrors, you can easily maintain a proper view of your cargo, which will enable you to know whether such cargo is swaying or not.
Furthermore, with the aid of tow mirrors, you will also be able to know with absolute certainty whether your cargo is securely in place or not, a feature that regular side mirrors do not provide.
To enable tow mirrors to serve this most important function, they are commonly designed in different types with varying qualities or features. This is why there are manual towing mirrors, electrical, telescopic, and so on.
Experts on the matter will let you know which ones are best for your kind of vehicle or truck. With good two mirrors, blind spots behind you are reduced to the barest minimum, if not eliminated. So, yes, they are very necessary for safe and convenient towing.
(1). How far do tow mirrors stick out?
How far your tow mirrors should extend outward after installation depends on a lot of factors. One, there are different types of tow mirrors, each with its specifications including how far they can extend outward.
Two, the size of your cargo or caravan is also very important with regards to how far outward should your tow mirrors extend as well.
All the same, most tow mirrors can extend to as far as about 18 inches beyond the windows on the sides whether collapsed or not extended. This extension will accord the mirrors a width of close to 106 inches or 8 feet 10 inches from the edge of one mirror to that of the other.
Therefore, the width between the center viewpoint of the tow mirrors when they fully collapsed is also about 98 inches or 8 feet 2 inches.
Also, the distance of your tow mirrors should not exceed about 10 inches on either side of the vehicle too. However, light and mirrors, as well as other devices, should not extend for more than the permissible width of the vehicle up to a distance exceeding about 10 inches on either side of the vehicle.
These specifications are not inconsiderate of the fact that slight differences may occur depending on the size, model, and configuration of your vehicle.
Conclusion – Are Tow Mirrors Worth It?
Tow mirrors are an indispensable requirement if you must tow safely and conveniently. For one thing, they are so specially designed as to accord you more visibility of the rear much more than conventional side mirrors.
This is why their use is mandated in most places during towing. Fortunately, there are several types and designs of these mirrors on the market to choose from whatever type of vehicle you have. In addition, both their installation and adjustments are very easy to undertake.
All the same, if you are confused about anything, the mirror manual is provided to assist, and alternatively, you may get expert assistance if and when necessary, lest you install them wrongly with severe consequences.