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Old 04-10-2013, 04:33 PM   #1
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Do you use tow mirrors?

Do you use tow mirrors? I own some that are slip fit over my regular mirrors and look fine, but I decided that I don't like them much so I don't usually bother putting them on unless it's a longer trip. I can see the entire side of the trailer just fine with my stock mirrors if I just scootch from side to side a bit. The tow mirrors stick out further and aren't really all that useful unless I aim them to keep an eye on the TT's tires. Plus, they are a pain to adjust since my driveway isn't level. So I have to hook up and then get out in the street to adjust them anyway.

(I pull a Passport 238MLWE with a Tahoe)
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:26 PM   #2
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I use a pair of clip on mirrors and find that the stock mirror is fine for the standard blind area but as my 5th wheel is wider than my mirrors I have no picture of what is behind me. With the addons I have adjusted them so I can see for Hundreds of feet down the next lane and a fairly good shot of the lane behind the 5ver. Obviously not close behind but with normal highway curves it's a good deal to keep track of traffic.
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:37 PM   #3
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I can't see the guy that's tailgating me without my extensions...
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Old 04-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartlettj View Post
Do you use tow mirrors? I own some that are slip fit over my regular mirrors and look fine, but I decided that I don't like them much so I don't usually bother putting them on unless it's a longer trip. I can see the entire side of the trailer just fine with my stock mirrors if I just scootch from side to side a bit. The tow mirrors stick out further and aren't really all that useful unless I aim them to keep an eye on the TT's tires. Plus, they are a pain to adjust since my driveway isn't level. So I have to hook up and then get out in the street to adjust them anyway.

(I pull a Passport 238MLWE with a Tahoe)
I used the slide on towing mirrors with my 1/2 ton, but the 3/4 ton has the extend towing mirrors.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:38 PM   #5
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How can you possibly back up without mirrors capable of seeing the trees behind you.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:23 AM   #6
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Towing a trailer that is taller and wider than your truck's tailgate is not safe without tow mirrors that allow you to see the back corners of the trailer, and preferably some of the traffic lane behind the trailer. I want to be safe, so if I'm going to tow a trailer that is taller and wider than my tailgate, then I insist on factory tow mirrors.

My '99.5 F-250 was special ordered to include the factory tow mirrors, but they were not the telescope variety until a coupla years later when Ford added the telescoping feature. When not towing, I didn't need the elephant ear mirrors, so soon after Ford came out with the telescoping variety I replaced my stock '99 towing mirrors with the 2002 telescoping variety.

Because I didn't want a 3.73 axle ratio, my 2012 F-150 was ordered without the max tow package, so it did not come with tow mirrors. But the first mod was to replace the fancy little stock outside mirrors with Ford telescoping tow mirrors from the F-150 Accessories Catalog.
Trailer Tow Mirrors - Manual, Telescoping w/black skull caps | The Official Site for Ford Custom Accessories

It requires only a few minutes to change the outside mirrors from stock to tow and vice versa, but I don't bother to change them. My fancy Lariat small mirrors with power fold and memory are in the barn, and I get by with the tow mirrors that have neither power fold nor memory. But even my cheaper tow mirrors are power mirrors(but manual telescope), with puddle lights, heated glass, and turn signal lights, so it's not exactly caveman style. And the tow mirrors with memory are available, but they cost a lot more. For 2013 model year, Ford now offers tow mirrors that power telescope, but that seems like a bit much. Telescoping the tow mirrors is just part of hooking up the TT, so it takes very little effort. Why would I pay extra for power telescope?

I've tried to use clip-on tow mirrors, but they never work right, and they often jiggle the mirror so it's difficult to plainly see what's behind me. They won't stay adjusted to the angle I set them at. The factory mirrors work great with no jiggling, and they stay where you set them.

Way back when, I towed a fold-down tent camper trailer with a small 1971 AMC Hornet Sportabout V8. Rare V8 Hornet, special ordered to get the 304 CID V8 engine was a perfect match for that small fold-down trailer. But the trailer was wider than the wagon, and too tall to see over with the inside rear view mirror, so I went shopping for tow mirrors. The normal clip-on tow mirrors were not satisfactory, so I finally found some tow mirrors that bolted onto the front fenders of the wagon and stuck out about a foot farther than the stock mirrors. That worked fine. Sorta like a big-boy truck mirrors. And that was a safe towing rig.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:06 AM   #7
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My previous dually did not have the factory tow mirrors (I wanted the electric adjustment and mirror heat features when I ordered the truck), so I immediately swapped the stock factory mirrors out for the electrically adjustable, heated, electrically extendable and retractable PowerVision aftermarket mirrors. My current truck has the flip-out factory tow mirrors with heat and electric adjustment.

Yes, tow mirrors are highly recommended (if not required in your state) for towing a TT or 5th wheel.

Rusty
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Old 04-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #8
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the electric tow mirrors are well worth it for just the peace of mind they offer, can't imagine how nerve "wrecking" it would be if I couldn't see what's beside me

and fugitboutit when backing into a spot !
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartlettj View Post
I can see the entire side of the trailer just fine with my stock mirrors if I just scootch from side to side a bit. The tow mirrors stick out further and aren't really all that useful unless I aim them to keep an eye on the TT's tires.
I have never wanted to see the side of my trailer in the mirrors. If I did, I would know that something was horribly wrong. When going down the road in a straight line I've always wanted the view in my mirrors to consist of 85-90% what is beside me and only 10-15% of what is behind me. Besides being an aid to backing a trailer up, the other main purpose of mirrors is to eliminate blind spots. If you have any blind spots then you either need more mirrors to supplement the stock mirrors or the stock mirrors need to be adjusted until all of the blind spots are eliminated.

Just my own personal opinion and experience.
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Old 04-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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I have never wanted to see the side of my trailer in the mirrors. .
I don't care about the side of the trailer. I care about any traffic that may be right beside the trailer or behind the trailer.

Can I move back into the right lane without running over someone, or without someone trying to pass me on the right side just as I begin to change lanes?

Is it safe to pull out into the passing lane so I can pass that slow-moving truck?

Without towing mirrors, you won't know the answer to those questions.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by SmokeyWren View Post
I don't care about the side of the trailer. I care about any traffic that may be right beside the trailer or behind the trailer.

Can I move back into the right lane without running over someone, or without someone trying to pass me on the right side just as I begin to change lanes?

Is it safe to pull out into the passing lane so I can pass that slow-moving truck?

Without towing mirrors, you won't know the answer to those questions.
my point!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:37 PM   #12
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my point!
Smokey makes a good point.

DOT nailed me on a level one inspection for not having proper adjustable mirrows on my DRW. They were the OEM fixed type.

The FMVSS say
S6. Requirements for multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses, other than school buses, with GVWR of 4,536 kg or less.
b) Outside mirrors of unit magnification, each with not less than 126 cm2 of reflective surface, installed with stable supports on both sides of the vehicle, located so as to provide the driver a view to the rear along both sides of the vehicle, and adjustable in both the horizontal and vertical directions to view the rearward scene.

I've never heard of anyone being stopped for not having the correct mirrows. But a leo that has stopped you for another reason may look closer at your rigs mirrows. Just a FYI.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:14 PM   #13
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Do you use tow mirrors? -- 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 question

I need all the help I can get when pulling my TT. Would someone suggest a great pair of towing mirrors for my 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel....... please? as it stands I can't see the back of my 28' trailer to know where it ends when trying to backup. Not good for me!!!

I'd like to replace the ones of have on the truck and mine are heated. Is it possible to get some that telescope out for that little extra help at times.

First to buy something the find a place to install 'em.

Thanks,

Patsy
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #14
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I need all the help I can get when pulling my TT. Would someone suggest a great pair of towing mirrors for my 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel....... please? as it stands I can't see the back of my 28' trailer to know where it ends when trying to backup. Not good for me!!!

I'd like to replace the ones of have on the truck and mine are heated. Is it possible to get some that telescope out for that little extra help at times.

First to buy something the find a place to install 'em.

Thanks,

Patsy
Do you not have the factory ( option ) flip up mirrors? The flip up mirrors work off the same power control and plug into the same wiring for the heater, as the 5x7" non flip. May be able to get some from auto salvage yard 2003 to 2008 are the same( 95% certain ) and about 20mins a door to change them.
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