One of the most important factors when it comes to safety on our roads is the ability to see whats going on around you and your vehicle. While your cars mirrors are designed to give you a good view around the length of your vehicle, they aren't going to give you the vision you need while towing large objects like a caravan. Not only are towing mirrors necessary for your own peace of mind, they are also required by law in Australia when towing anything wider than your vehicle.
While there are a range of different towing mirrors available to suit all budgets, it is worth spending a bit of time working out which mirrors will best suit your setup.
Mirror Mounted Towing Mirrors
The most common and popular form of portable towing mirrors, these simply clamp or strap onto your vehicles existing side mirrors. These can be adjusted from inside your vehicle and are generally very quick and easy to set up, but some are easier than others.
The Milenco Grand Aero3 are extremely popular, due in large part to their ease of use, quality and aerodynamic design. They use 2 clamps to attach to your mirror and will fit almost all vehicles (Milenco state they have been tried and tested and fitted all vehicle at the time of writing in April 2016).
The large mirror head gives a good range of rear vision and can swivelled and rotated to provide the perfect angle. The aerodynamic design provides great stability even in high speeds and when passing oncoming trucks, without the need for an extra support arm.
Support arms are used on some mirror mounted mirrors to provide additional stability and prevent the mirror from folding in when faced with high winds or strong drafts caused by oncoming traffic. Support arms attach to the car door using either suction cups or a magnetic pad.
This style of towing mirrors are mounted to your vehicles door and are usually more stable than the mirror mounted types. The added stability comes at a cost though, both in price and ease of use. Door Mounted mirrors are more bulky and take a little more effort to fit than the clip-on style but will also suit a larger range of vehicles.
Mounted by a drawbar that runs across the bonnet of the vehicle, these towing mirrors are the least convenient to fit. The improved stability and design of the other mirror and door mounted towing mirrors has reduced the need and popularity of this style setup. Another downside to the bonnet mounted mirrors is you cannot reach them to adjust your view from the drivers seat.
If you spend a lot of time towing, you may want a more permanent solution. Clearview Towing mirrors completely replace your vehicles existing mirrors with a larger dual mirror which can also be extended to increase visibility. These are great for those who are towing frequently as there is no need to attach an extra mirror every time you set off. The Clearview mirrors can also include electronic adjustment in the same way as the factory fitted mirrors.
While they are a top of the line, they come with a price to match ($700-$1000) which may not be worth it for those only looking to tow for a couple of trips a year. CaravansPlus does not sell ClearView mirrors but we still believe they are a product worth considering.
Rear View Camera
Another option to increase your vision while towing is to set up a rear view camera on the back of your caravan. While this will give you a good view of whats happening behind you, it is only to be used to provide additional vision and is not a substitute for towing mirrors.
When it comes to towing mirrors, there is no one definitive answer to which is best. While you do get what you pay for, how much you need to spend really depends on what features you are looking for and your setup.
If you are only doing the odd towing job, a simple, cheap, strap-on mirror may be sufficient.
If you are looking for the added stability of the door mounted style, and aren't worried about the added bulk, you cant go past the Enzo magnetic towing mirror by Ora. It is a more simple setup than many of the door mount style as it attaches by sliding down beside the window with the base of the mount held in place by a large anti-scratch magnetic pad.