It is absolutely amazing how many caravanners have trouble with fitting and using towing mirrors. You would think they would be a relatively simple thing to use but they do seem to present their own set of problems.
I noticed this with the first set of towing mirrors I purchased when we got our caravan. They were nothing special and just fitted to the car’s existing mirrors with clips and straps. The worked well for what they were but they were a bit fiddly to put on and remove, especially if you had to do it several times during a trip. I also found them a bit difficult to use as I kept focusing on the main mirrors and had to make an effort to shift my focus to the towing mirrors. I’m not sure why this happened but I think it is probably something you do out of habit. Its not like you drive with towing mirrors all the time.
I had an opportunity to purchase a second had set of Clearview Mirrors at a good price so I gave them a go.
Fitting them was very straight forward. You simply remove the trim from inside the doors, unbolt the existing mirrors, and the ClearViews fit into the original mounting, just as though they were the original items. If you have any doubts, ClearView have full instructional videos on their website for most popular 4WDs. Otherwise, they will fit them for you at an additional cost.
From the outset, these mirrors look very similar to those fitted to most large American pick-up trucks and while they look ok on those big monsters, on our smaller 4WD, like the Patrol, the mirrors do look like elephant ears. Its a bit alarming at first but you soon get used to the appearance.
Using them in normal mode, they provide excellent rear vision. Keep in mind though that the main mirror is flat, not convex like the OEM mirrors, so the field of view is less than what you would be used to. To see outside this view, you need to look at the smaller mirror on the bottom which has the convex, wide view. Truck drivers will be immediately familiar with using these mirrors. BTW…if your mirrors are electric, only the large flat mirror will adjust electronically. The smaller mirror needs to be manually adjusted.
When towing, you simple pull out the mirrors to their extended position whereby you will have plenty of vision down the side of your caravan no matter what size it is.
For me they are much easier to use and there is only one mirror to look at rather than 2, and my gaze settled immediately to the right spot. As a result using the ClearViews feels much safer than the other towing mirrors I’ve used. Quite simply, these are the best towing mirrors you can buy and they are well worth the high cost.
Couple of things to keep in mind. They are large and stick out a bit more than your OEM mirrors so you need to be careful fitting into tight spots. I managed to scrape mine in a very tight underground carpark in Melbourne. Also if you park too close to the car next to you, you will have to do the limbo dance to get around the ClearViews. Again, it shouldn’t be an issue as they mirrors can be easily pulled in and out of the way.
Now, if anyone tries to tell you that these mirrors are too wide and do not meet Australian vehicle standards, tell them to go check their facts. ClearView mirrors meet all Australia Design Rules and are completely legal.
We thoroughly enjoy using the ClearView towing mirrors and recommend them to anyone serious about towing a caravan for extended periods.