wide angle mirrors and generators

Submitted: Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:40
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Hi everyone, We are just wondering about the use of those attachable mirrors that extend your viewing range down the side of the vans, how many people use these for extended trips. Also how many people have and use a petrol generator when on extended and short trips. If anyone can give us some ideas about the use of these items it would be greatly appreciated. Kerrie and Paul
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Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:42

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:42
G'day Kerrie and Paul, Have a look at the Aust. Road Rules and then at the individual state legislation with regard to rear view mirrors. From memory it states you must be able to see behind the van ... just how well is a grey area especially with a van over 8 metres in length. The best thing I've fitted to aid rear view is the rear view camera which quite a few BT people are now fitting ..... once you tow/reverse with one there is no going back. Common sense would dictate that they (extended mirrors) be fitted to at least see down both sides of the van with the last clearance light being seen in the mirror as a minimum. The BT's are 2400mm (ish) wide so need some trial and error when hitched up to find a set suitable. Tell us the tow vehicle and those with that vehicle will be able to advise which brand works well .... As for the genny I think most go for a 2kva inverter technology type as a minimum. I have the Honda version and it runs the air-con/heater at about 70 -80 % of max revs. It will also run a battery charger up to 40 amp ( three stage switch mode type) weighs only 23kg (ish) and is reasonably priced at about $2000. Yamaha also make a similar version now ... Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ... Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:43

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:43
Up until recently we were using the clip on type mirrors that have a pad in the centre of the support bracket that is attached to a seat belt type clip under the bottom of doors. They work very well but use get some marking on paint work. We now have imported mirrors from USA for our F250 that can be extended and they also have spot mirrors under them and when extended give a clear view along the side of the van. As far as the legal requirement of mirrors it is generally accepted by police that you must be able to see along the complete side of the caravan not just at an angle to the rear. My mirrors will do this but I am going to get a camera fitted also. Brian
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Reply By: Motley - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:44

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:44
We had a camera installed on the back of the 'van before we collected it. We tow with a Lexus and the Sound in Motion guys installed the screen so it sat in the centre of the dash. It works very well because I can see what's behind me by looking at the screen and it's a very similar action to looking in the rear view mirror when the van's not on the back. It's instinctive so I feel I check more often, rather than relying on a conscious action of looking in an extension mirror as I have in the past. Having said that, on our recent trip, the vibrations on the corrugated roads were so bad that the mini connector on the back of the screen failed. That left me with NO idea of what was behind me and 6,500km from home! I borrowed the left hand extension mirror from one of my fellow travellers and used that until we got back to Bushtracker and the Sound in Motion guys replaced the screen My suggested lessons from this experience are: The screen I now have has a "mini Din" connector which is a much more positive connection than the previous mini 9 pin flat connector. I don't expect toexperience the same failure again. Having said that, I now carry a set of mirrors in the 'van for an emergency. The mirrors I purchased , and which I have used before, hook on to the door with an adjustable web strap. This supports a horizontal, adjustable platform on which the mirror is mounted. They are easy to fit, remove and adjust and are virtually vibration free. They are called Aussie Truck Mirrors and price ranges anywhere from $90 to $120 per mirror. From some previous discussion on this subject on ExplorOz.com, I found this picture at this website - http://home.iprimus.com.au/mervh/MIRRORS.htm. You'll have to copy and paste the link in to Internet Explorere Bottom line - the camera is fantastic, but have a "plan B" Good luck

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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:45

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:45
Pete, I don't have access to the law books now, but it is my belief that the camera does not take the place of rear vision mirrors. The laws take a while to catch up to modern technology, and the regulations probably still state that you must have suitable mirrors that allow you to see behind the vehicle and if you have a trailer attached that obscures the interior rear view mirror, then you must have external mirrors on both sides. I have been known to be wrong before, but that is what it was, when I left the Police Force a few years ago. Brian
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Reply By: gottabjoaken - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:46

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:46

The question of to mirror or not to mirror will no doubt result in many an interesting discussion with law enforcement officers, and may be a cause for annoyance if you get pulled over too often, but the Australian Road Rules say NOTHING about mirrors, but does specifically reference rearview screens (and by default therefore the cameras).

Unfortunately the Law Enforcement training manual may well specifically mention mirrors, and that is what the one in blue will use! But that ain't what the road rules says:

297 Driver to have proper control of a vehicle etc

(1) A driver must not drive a vehicle unless the driver has proper control of the vehicle.

Offence provision.

(2) A driver must not drive a motor vehicle unless the driver has a clear view of the road, and traffic, ahead, behind and to each side of the driver.

So the use of extension mirrors may be required to cover the area "to each side of the driver" ie the blind spot alongside the vehicle and caravan back to what you can see in the camera view.

Check that out, decide what "a clear view" means and proceed with caution!!!

I think that the supplier who comes up with a three camera setup with cameras on each side leading edge of the van, and one at the back, with the output merged into one display on a screen as if your van wasn't even there, would be on a winner.

And yes, it is permitted to use a (camera and) screen when driving when it is a "driver's aid" (not the current footy match)

Examples of driver’s aids quoted from the Australian Road Rules:

1 Closed-circuit television security cameras.

2 Dispatch systems.

3 Navigational or intelligent highway and vehicle system equipment.

4 Rearview screens.

5 Ticket-issuing machines.

6 Vehicle monitoring devices.


Joan and Ken

AnswerID: 559768

Reply By: Bushtracker42 - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:47

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:47
We have extended mirrors but in most cases they don’t
offer the additional vision to make a difference. I still end up picking up the
shadows or wait for a turn to see the vehicle behind.

The mirrors help with backing. (We don’t have
the camera. For backing on tight sites I use Jenny with a portable CB.)


Gary Harding

TriSys Engineering/III

AnswerID: 559769

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:48

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:48
Re generators. If using the Honda inverter-generators for battery charging do it as Anthony does - by driving a three-step charger from the 240 volt output.

Use the '12-volt' output with extreme caution. Honda advises not to charge batteries beyond 50% using this output. The company says, "this output can be used for charging a battery but it is not a battery charger'.

I don't know how much interest there is in this matter so will stop here. Can supply more info if needed as I have had extensive correspondence with Honda heavies re this.
Collyn Rivers
AnswerID: 559770

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:49

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:49
As true as the sun shines ...... On our last trip to a favourite campground at Rathdowney ...I kid you not ...I saw a gentleman running a well known brand of genny and beside it was the house battery from his poptop with a lead running from the 12v outlet to the battery .... no other lead (i.e.240v) connected. Beside this genny was a new battery charger (looked like a 10-15amp) sitting in its box. Anthony Explore this Great land ... Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 559771

Reply By: Deleted User - Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:50

Tuesday, Oct 07, 2003 at 07:50
I saw a posting in the ExploreOZ forum regarding the Honda generators and the maintenance of them. For those owners of the Honda EU 20i generators, do you concur? Regards, Michael. The problem with the EU10i/EU1000i or EU20i/EU2000i is the repair costs. These model Honda generators are unbelievably quiet and compact, but they are failing at an alarming rate and the repair costs are nothing short of extortion. For example the main part that goes is the inverter unit at a cost of approximately $1,200. Makes solar panels look better than ever considering they do not need maintainence or petrol, oil and servicing. I have 2 x 80 watt panels and supplies me enough power all year round.
AnswerID: 559772

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