Best Tow Mirrors for Trailer Visibility

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A tow mirror with a camper being towed behind it.

You’ve got the best truck and the perfect trailer; it’s time to start the camping season. But there’s one thing that should be an essential piece of safety equipment before hitting the road.

Don’t venture out of the driveway without installing a set of tow mirrors on your trusty steed, even if the law doesn’t require it. They will make your drive to and from any campsite safer for you and the motorists around you!

Are Towing Mirrors Required By Law?

There is no universal federal law regarding towing mirrors, but regulations and rules vary from state to state.

Just think about it this way – to safely see past the end of your towed vehicle, you need them to avoid blind spots. Whether it’s the law in the state you are traveling through or not, keep your vehicles and those around you safe by using them.

What Is the Purpose of Tow Mirrors? 

Towing mirrors help drivers see all the way past the rear end of the trailers they’re pulling. They are large mirrors you can substitute for factory-installed mirrors or add to the original mirrors.

That would extend them out farther from the tow vehicle. These mirrors increase the visible distance behind a driver so they can see as far behind them as possible.

When adjusted correctly, they should help eliminate blind spots and afford more safety for the tow driver and vehicle.

What Should I See in Towing Mirrors? 

When using them, you should see the entire length of the vehicle you’re towing and the traffic behind it. In fact, you should see at least 200 ft behind you in these specialty mirrors.

Your Truck May Already Have Tow Mirrors

Many newer trucks have factory-installed mirrors that are actually tow mirrors. Most of these are horizontal mirrors that extend the driver’s distance seen to the rear.

Additionally, they either fold in or retract. Check out your truck’s mirrors when you have the trailer attached to see if they provide 200 ft of distance behind you.

Keep in Mind: Driving an RV may seem scary, especially if you haven’t done it before. If you’re new to driving an RV, you need to read the Newbie’s Guide to Driving Your RV!

What to Look for When Buying Tow Mirrors 

Consider several things before purchasing tow mirrors because trailer lengths and truck sizes come into play. Be sure to look at your situation with the following three items to see what type and size they should be.

Compatability

Find mirrors that will work with your towing situation. Think of how often you’ll be towing and if it will be frequent enough to warrant installing permanent tow mirrors. See if you can attach temporary ones for short trips.

If you decide on permanent tow mirrors, will you need to park the truck in a garage or in a narrow space requiring them to fold in? Will your new mirrors replace factory mirrors with integrated turn lights?

Do your current mirrors have heaters in them? Will they need to be motorized like the existing ones, or can they be manually adjusted?

These considerations and questions will help you decide what types will work with your tow vehicle. Believe it or not, some mirrors can fit any scenario suggested above, so there is really no reason to avoid installing some before your next trip.

Close up of a tow mirror on a truck

Visibility 

To judge the distance you’ll need to view from the mirrors, start by measuring the trailer you’ll tow. For every 10 feet of trailer, add an inch to the mirror size needed.

For instance, if your trailer is 50 feet long, you will need a mirror of at least 5 inches.

Next, consider the extension of the mirrors from the driver’s side door to see past a longer trailer. Horizontal mirrors can usually be folded in when not in use, and they will provide longer distance views than vertical tow mirrors.

Additionally, there are telescoping mirrors that can be permanently mounted.

Ease of Installation 

With each mirror set you look at, check the installation requirements. Obviously, those with no power settings or lights to be wired will be easier to attach.

Temporary tow mirrors are a ‘snap’ to put on your vehicle. But mirrors that involve wiring are best installed by someone with that knowledge.

A DIYer can also install it by following an electrical schematic or matching wires from the old mirrors with those that come with the new ones.

A close up of tow mirrors on a truck

The Best Tow Mirrors

To give you a head start in shopping, we’ve built a list of tow mirrors that include model-specific permanent ones. We’re also listing temporary mirrors for those that don’t need permanent installation.

Tow Mirror For RAMs 

AUTOSAVER88 Towing Mirror Compatible with 2009-2017 Dodge Ram 1500 2500 3500 Pickup, Foldaway Power Heated LED Puddle Signals Tow Mirrors Pair Set with Ambient Temperature Sensor
  • Direct fit: our towing mirrors are compatible with 2009 - 2010 Dodge Ram 1500, 2010 Dodge Ram 2500 3500, 2011 - 2017 Ram...
  • Power heated: this power heated mirror can remove the frost and mist to keep it clear during driving in rain and...

Built for RAM trucks, you can use these permanent mirrors vertically or horizontally to extend your range of vision.

They have a powered flat mirror and a manual convex one. They also include a lit turn signal.

Tow Mirror For Fords

Towing Mirrors Compatible With 1999-2016 Ford F250 F350 F450 F550 Super Duty Truck Side Tow Mirrors, Super Duty Mirrors, Power Heated Manual telescoping&folding Pair LED Turn Signal Smoke
  • 【Fitment】: 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Ford F-250 F-350 F-450 F-550 Super Duty Truck.
  • 【WIDER VISIBILITY】: Provides more visibility when towing, Provides better and wider angle of rear view and reduces...

Ford trucks can benefit from these vertical mirrors, which include a power flat mirror and a convex mirror, a heating element, and an LED light signal.

They are telescoping mirrors that can be moved manually.

Tow Mirror For Chevy or GMC

YITAMOTOR Compatible with Chevy Towing Mirrors, Chevrolet Silverado Side Mirror, GMC Sierra Tow Mirrors, Pair 2003-2007 Power Heated with Arrow Signal Light
  • Fitment: compatible with 2003-2006 Chevy Silverado/ GMC Sierra pickups all models, 2007 Chevy Silverado/ GMC...
  • Package contents & dimensions: a pair of telescoping trailer tow mirrors, including driver side and passenger side; side...

These are made for Chevy and GMC trucks and are manually operated telescoping vertical mirrors with a power heated flat mirror and a manual convex mirror.

Truck Debate: Which is better for towing your RV? The Ram 3500 vs. Chevy Silverado 3500. Click to find out!

Generic Snap On Tow Mirror

These temporary tow mirrors snap on horizontally to Ford truck mirrors. They are flat glass mirrors that will extend distance sight out from the side of the vehicle.

Camco Clamp On Tow Mirror

Camco Clamp-On Towing Mirror (Dual View) , Black (25653)
  • Provides more visibility when towing
  • Large and small mirror adjust independently

You can install an adjustable clamp-on tow mirror on almost any existing vehicle mirror.

Camco has a flat glass and a convex option for almost any truck. However, neither is very large, so the distance will most likely be for shorter trailers.

Stay Safe on the Road With Tow Mirrors 

Adding tow mirrors to your setup will definitely give you a greater sense of security as you travel. You will have a better idea of the traffic around you, and backing into that perfect campsite will be easier.

Don’t wait to upgrade your mirrors to those that will help you see all of the world around you! 

What are some of the best ones you’ve used?

Last update on 2022-07-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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