The caravan and camping industry in Australia has flourished like never before, with hundreds of people purchasing new camper trailers, caravans, and hybrid campers every month.
This is fantastic! However, it is critical that some fundamentals are established before you depart. Towing mirrors, dash cam, weight capabilities and distribution, reversing and towing securely, and a variety of other skills and knowledge are non-negotiable.
You will endanger yourself and others on the road if you do not have the necessary skills and equipment.
The absence of towing mirrors, in particular, is a major source of annoyance for many drivers and failing to use them when necessary is dangerous, unlawful, and inconvenient for many others.
Check for towing mirrors the next time you see a 4WD truck hauling something; they never do, and it sets a horrible example for everyone.
Part of being a safe and responsible road user is being able to see what’s going on behind you, which is why all vehicles have mirrors that allow the driver to see just that.
When towing something bigger than your tow vehicle (such as a caravan! ), your ability to look back behind the automobile is either hampered or completely gone.
It’s dangerous if you can’t see what’s going on behind you. If you own a caravan and want to stay well below the speed limit, this is even more critical, since you’ll wind up with a massive queue of vehicles behind you that would love to pass if you only knew they were there!
Towing mirrors are simply mirrors that allow you to see what you’re towing. You can obtain whole replacements that replace your factory mirrors, or accessories that clip and tie onto your current mirrors.
This is made way more difficult than it has to be. Run a measuring tape through your vehicle’s two front windows and measure the maximum width between the two mirrors, from outer edge to outer edge. Take that measurement to your van and determine the maximum width (including anything that sticks out off the edge).
Towing mirrors are required if the trailer is wider than your mirrors. It’s that simple. There are no minimum or maximum measurements, only whether your mirrors are wider than what you are towing, allowing you to see behind your trailer, which is required by law. The best part? Now you can buy extendable towing mirrors online, so why wait?
If you’re driving around without towing mirrors and you’re required by law to have them, you should get them right now.
They are not expensive in the grand scheme of things, but they are necessary, and aside from the hassles you will cause others on the road by not being able to communicate clearly with you, there’s a strong chance you’ll wind up with a fine that costs more than a set of towing mirrors!
Do you have a set of towing mirrors? Which ones do you use and are you satisfied with them?