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Old 11-12-2021, 06:49 AM   #1
src
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Tow mirrors

Don't laugh at this question, I'm chuckling just asking... how do you used/setup the tow mirrors. To be more specific, do we angle the small (spot?) mirror to see close to the truck or out and away. Then does it change when the mirror is in the flipped up position? I'm not use to them and haven't figured out where to train my eyes to look.

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Old 11-12-2021, 06:53 AM   #2
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Typically the small mirrors are for looking down at your tires and around there... to make sure you're not about to run over a small child when backing up. The large ones are for looking further back. Both should include around 1/4 of your vehicle... in my opinion
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Old 11-12-2021, 06:57 AM   #3
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Here's a video I remember watching last year. I hope you find it useful too.
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Old 11-12-2021, 07:15 AM   #4
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Proper Mirrors when towing

I have a wide body 5er and my mirrors (Chevy 3500) are barely adequate. My lower small mirrors are adjusted to see where the trailer tires are tracking. Not sure how that would work with the flip up mirrors as mine extend out. Last summer I was surprised at all of the tow vehicles that had no tow mirrors and had no way to see anything other than their trailer behind them!
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Old 11-12-2021, 07:35 AM   #5
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We have a super duty
They do extend but I normally leave them in.
We have a factory rear view camera on the trailer.
So truck mirrors are for looking beside the truck and trailer only. When backing up on a tight turn I will extend mirrors but normally I will do the GOAL method. Get Out And Look

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Old 11-12-2021, 08:29 AM   #6
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As others have said, I have my smaller mirrors set to track my trailer tires. For me, it's invaluable when taking sharp turns.
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Old 11-12-2021, 08:59 AM   #7
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I use the bottom for trailer tires and top for everything else. I installed a set of Boost Auto Parts Tow Mirrors and much better now.
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Old 11-12-2021, 10:00 AM   #8
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Thank you all
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Old 11-12-2021, 11:48 AM   #9
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+1 on the YT video. It's very helpful in figuring out how to aim the mirrors and use them. The smaller mirror is convex so it shows a wider view and is helpful to see your tires and to see vehicles that are right beside you. But it's difficult to judge distances with it. The larger mirror is easier to judge distances but has a smaller field of view. So it's helpful to see vehicles that are approaching you from behind and to tell when you're clear to move in front of a vehicle that you've passed.
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Old 11-12-2021, 12:53 PM   #10
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The video is very good.

I have always set up my mirrors as they stated.

Sometimes, I have been known to move my power mirror while driving.
  • an example when backing up; I might move them so I can see other objects I know exist, like an overhead branch or a sign post.
  • When driving on the highway; in tight road construction zones, I might dropped them down so I can get a better quick glance at my location within the lane. Especially when the temporary median rails are all over the place, narrow and windy, road conditions are really bad....
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Old 11-12-2021, 05:19 PM   #11
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Very informative video.
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Old 11-13-2021, 09:34 AM   #12
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The smaller mirror is convex so as to give a wider view. Can't imagine anyone wanting to use them to see their tires They help when objects are in your blind spot.............a real safety feature.
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Old 11-13-2021, 01:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKRUEBBE View Post
The smaller mirror is convex so as to give a wider view. Can't imagine anyone wanting to use them to see their tires
Well that convex feature also somewhat extends up and down. So they come in handy to see where my rear tires are in relation to the curb when turning a corner. But they definitely help most with covering the blind spot.
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Old 11-17-2021, 01:11 PM   #14
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I set my mirrors so that I barely see my vehicle on the inner edge of each. The more of your vehicle you see in the mirror, the less area you have to see your surroundings. I do this when towing flipped up or down for normal driving. It takes a little getting used to but it does give a larger field of vision.
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Old 11-17-2021, 01:37 PM   #15
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At CDL school, you are taught from day one how to set mirrors....the convex are set to observe your trailer wheels. That's the reason they exist.

Works going forward.....and backwards.
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Old 11-17-2021, 02:09 PM   #16
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I'm a retired long- haul 48 States and Canada tractor trailer driver. I also instructed for 22 years at a tractor trailer driving school. The convex mirror also known as fish-eye or small mirror is used for turning so you can watch your trailer tires and driving straight ahead you can see two additional lanes on the freeway. The large plain mirrors are for looking directly behind or sides of your trailer. Get used to gluing yourself in the convex mirror every time you turn! This takes practice since you are so used to looking in your plain mirrors. Never guess where your trailer tires are in a turn! Where people get in trouble? They watch their trailer tires beginning the turn, middle of the turn and DON'T WATCH THE END OF THE TURN! This is crucial because you look away thinking you're clear and you're NOT! Practice makes better! We're not robots, nobody is perfect! I hope this helped? Be Safe and Happy Camping!
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Old 11-17-2021, 09:45 PM   #17
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My preference...a practice I've done for many years.

I set the main mirrors for maximum usefulness. For me, this means that a tiny sliver of the cab is in view in the mirror for reference..less than your photo shows. The mirror is "level" up and down so that I can see rearward to "infinity" on level ground.

The spot mirrors then "set themselves". My goal for a spot or convex mirror is to be able to see a vehicle that is along side of me...almost to the point where the passing vehicle's front bumper is even with my front bumper. This completely eliminates the blind spot.

With time and deliberate practice, I have complete faith in these convex mirrors, and when I see something in them, I know it's close and likely in my blind spot...especially if I can't see it in the main mirror.

I have, for decades, added small convex mirrors to the mirrors on my cars and trucks. These are typically only about 2" in diameter, but they do the job just fine. My Dodge is the first to have them built in. I NEVER have to look over my shoulder to check my blind spot, because these convex mirrors show me what's there. I also use mirrors exclusively for backing up. I do look left and right for oncoming traffic, but once I'm backing, I'm facing forward using the mirrors exclusively...whether I'm in my RAV-4 or my pickup.

Since I have power mirrors, I sometimes adjust them to see curbs or watch the trailer tire placement while backing...I even swing them far out if I'm backing around a corner so I can see the rear of the trailer in the mirror. But I always return them to the setting described in the second paragraph...dead level and viewing just a sliver of the cab for reference.

Practice...a lot. When it's not critical, check the view through the convex mirrors until you have absolute confidence in what you can expect to see when it really matters. In an emergency maneuver...or when merging into heavy traffic, you need to KNOW whether that spot is open or not. Deliberate practice will train you both how to look and what to look for when it matters.
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Old 11-18-2021, 08:08 AM   #18
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I pull a 34ft 5th Wheel and I set my mirrors to where the large mirror is set so see down the side of the RV I want to know where my rear end is when passing. I set the small convex mirror so I can see my blind spot to make sure noting in alongside me when I need to move over for a pass.

I have no need to see where my wheels are tracking while driving down the road I know they are right under the trailer. But I do need to know where the trailer is and what is in my blind spot.
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