Your mirrors are the window into what’s going on around you and can help you immensely when trying to maneuver through a campground with your RV in tow. Getting them properly adjusted can make a huge difference in whether you clip a curb or are able to slide right by it without even grazing it. Here are some tips to ensure that your mirrors are properly adjusted so you can get where you need to be, safe and sound!
Ensure Proper Size
Purchasing the right-sized mirrors is your first step. There are calculations you can do, but it’s pretty much a given that the bigger they are, the more you’ll be able to see! To find out what size you need, measure the length of your tow vehicle and RV (or motorhome and vehicle if towing one). Take this total (in feet) and divide by ten. This measurement is how many inches wide your mirrors should be.
If you don’t have towing mirrors and you’re traveling with a travel trailer or fifth wheel, you should look into buying them. These mirrors extend out past your regular mirrors so you can get a better look at not only the RV you're towing, but they also reduce your blind spot tremendously. They also offer a second set of convex mirrors for more coverage. You can get these mirrors custom made for your vehicle or just purchase universal ones that adjust to fit most vehicles.
What You Should See
Knowing what you should be able to see in the mirrors is the next thing you need to learn. Just being able to see the spot next to you on the road isn’t going to be enough to maneuver through some of those tight situations or get you into those back-in spaces. Aside from the blind spot, the main things you want to be able to see are where the RV tires meet the road and the top of your RV. The reason you want to see these is so that you can keep an eye on how close your tires are to obstacles on the road, such as curbs, and how close overhead obstacles, such as tree branches, are to the roof of your rig.
Getting Them Adjusted
There are two types of mirrors on towing mirrors or a motorhome. The ones on top are flat, and the ones on the bottom are convex. They serve two purposes, and they also overlap to avoid there being any blind spots.
The flat mirrors let you see what's going on behind you. In order to get these adjusted properly, you want to make sure that the first inch of the inside of the mirror shows the side of the tow vehicle and RV, or motorhome. This allows you to look down the side of the vehicle and behind you. The top of the mirrors should make it possible for you to see along the top of the coach so that you can keep an eye out for those tree branches.
The convex mirrors let you see behind you, but they're more intended to help you see alongside you and to keep an eye on your vehicle. These help you see the tires as well. Adjust them so they show you what is just behind the front wheels of the tow vehicle/motorhome. Convex mirrors will overlap what you see in your flat mirrors and help you keep an eye on your blind spot.
Now you should be able to see what’s coming behind you, alongside you, and where your wheels and roof are in relation to obstacles. You can then see what is up along side you from the driver and passenger window, and what’s in front of your from the windshield. This will give you view of every direction. Now you’re all set to venture out!