A Guide to Buying Tow Mirrors

May 16, 2024

Alright y'all, let's talk extendable towing mirrors real quick. Those ginormous curved tanks you clamp onto your door-mounted mirrors to boost rearward visibility when pulling a trailer. Because Lord knows those ditzy factory mirrors leave you cringing in your blind spots once you hitch up a camper or wagon train!

Now, I know what you're thinking - "Self, do I really need to splurge for those goofy-looking extendable mirror addons?" Well unless the thought of changing lanes to a flurry of horns from the cars you Can. Not. See. gets your jollies off, then ya damn right you do! Towing sans those suckers is like driving with a IMAX movie screen duct-taped to your rear window.

But with all the options out there, picking tow mirrors is Like woah. Let's unquench that furrowed brow and guide you towards the right set!

Sizing Up the Situation

First things first: know thy rig! Small sedan pulling a U-Haul trailer? You can probably squeeze by with a compact set of towing mirrors sans too much protrusion. But if you're piloting a dually longed truck while triple-towing an RV and trailer? You'll want to go MAXIMUM ENORMO with your mirror upgrades for a total panoramic view behind you.

The general rule of thumb is: bigger load = more mirror needed. Those extended towing mirrors look ridiculous but offer waaaay more side capture in your blind zones than the squatty factory-installed ones. It's wild how much more junk you can see!

For most trucks towing trailers from 15-35 feet though, a good ol' straight extension towing mirror setup in the 7-9 inch range should cover those cones nicely without requiring a rear-view cam to keep tabs on your mirrors' damn mirrors.

Mirror, Mirror on the...OTHER Doors?!

Another thing to mull over when tow mirror shopping is whether to complement your current mirrors or replace 'em outright. Some Hella sweet mirror setups from brands like Viper basically give you an entire new set of mirrors - mounting to each door side with their integrated mirror housings.

On one hand, those rugged mirror units are stuuuuurd. Meant to last on the roads while providing an optimized stable view. No worries about them shimmying loose or jumbling around from road vibrations! They'll stay glued in place and give you a crispy rear window.

The tradeoff though? Yeahhhh those beastly units are NOT cheap. Even just the beaner budget models can set you back a pretty penny. And they'll look kinda goofy as hell on most rides when you're NOT towing too.

Compromising with the Good 'Ol Snap-Ons

That's why for most towing needs, I really dig those no-drill snap-on style tow mirrors that temporarily extend from your existing side mirrors. They're hella more affordable, easier to swap on/off, and get the job done!

Just gotta measure up to find the right set sized for your factory mirror housings. Go too big and they'll drop off every few miles. Too small and uhh good luck getting any rearward view extension happening!

Oh and be sure to get ones with the telescopic sliders too - those let you tweak the precise extension length to nix any remaining blindzones. I'm talkin' a bird's eye view of what's going on behind you clear as day!

Some even have that cool push-button dimming for blacking out signature moves from the scrubs riding your trailer hitch at night. Plus options with built-in defrosters to keep your money$hot in icy conditions! Tons of great newer features to enhance your safety and visibility payload-side.

The cream of the towing mirror crop these days is undoubtedly those slick Upgrade Premium Stainless Steel babies. Bit pricier, but my goodness are they worth it! Sturdy as tank armor, crispy rearview clarity, and like zero vibration blur. They'll change your towing life.

...And now you're ready to do this! Soak in those pro tips and you'll be locked and loaded with the right mirror setup for towing your prized hauler steady and safe. No excuses for hitting anything your rig is dragging around anymore! Unless you forget to ditch these sweet tow mirrors at the gas pump again...whoops

 

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