Author: Paul Napthali Date Posted:9 August 2016
Prepping a caravan for its first camping trip introduces you to a multitude of sophisticated appliances, gadgets and machinery. But there’s one simple device that is often overshadowed by more complex towing accessories – a pair of caravan towing mirrors.
An Introduction to Caravan Towing Mirrors
Minimal enough to look at, and free from any moving parts or paraphernalia, caravan towing mirrors might seem like optional add-ons to your towing setup. But they’re actually every bit as important as a towing hitch or weight distribution system.
Why are caravan towing mirrors important?
Your car’s rear view mirrors might be adequate without a caravan in tow. But once your caravan or trailer is hitched to your car, the length of its rear view mirrors won’t be enough to accommodate the full length of the caravan. If you’ve ever driven a camper trailer setup, you’ll be aware of the expertise needed to manoeuvre a car with a heavily loaded caravan affixed to it. As such, you’d like to retain as much visibility as possible, both of the road ahead, and any moving objects behind or adjacent to your caravan. This is where caravan towing mirrors come in. Even the most premium of towing accessories will be rendered redundant if the full length of your caravan can’t be seen from the driver’s seat of your towing vehicle.
Types of caravan towing mirrors
There are two broad categories of towing mirrors – portable and permanent. The portable ones can be attached to your car’s existing rear view mirrors, while the permanent ones completely replace them. The portable category is easy to install and usually consists of universal fit mirrors, primarily the fender mounted and clip-on varieties. Installing permanent caravan towing mirrors requires much more skill; for instance, the driver and passenger door panels might have to be removed in some cases. However, purchasing permanent towing mirrors has its own advantages. They can feature a variety of additional capabilities. For example, they can be telescopic, allowing you to adjust the degree to which they extend outwards from your car. Again, the mirrors can have LED turn indicators or heating built into them. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to make a choice based on your requirements and preferred price points.
Recommended towing mirror sizes
The size of your towing mirrors should be enough to allow you to comfortably see the entire length of your caravan, on both sides. As a rule of thumb, every 10 feet of total length (towing vehicle plus trailer) should be accounted for by a mirror length of 1 inch. If you own a particularly large caravan or trailer, go for folding mirrors that you can align with the body of the towing vehicle in a tight parking space.
So if you’re out shopping for a towing hitch or braking system for your new caravan, check out some caravan towing mirrors as well. They will make driving your camper setup much easier. And since towing mirrors are a mandatory requirement in many parts of the world, they can also save you the hassle of unnecessary fines and paperwork!