Tow vehicle mirrors

Submitted: Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 05:26
ThreadID: 124450 Views:4306 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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I need to buy some mirrors for my tow vehicle (Jeep Commander) for when the BT arrives (123 sleeps to go). Is anyone successfully using the "clip on" (with straps) type that attach to existing vehicle mirrors? Do these handle corrugations OK?
Or should I go for the "attach to the top and bottom of the door" style?
I'm interested in something that works well, doesn't vibrate excessively, doesn't put too much load on existing mirrors, doesn't damage door, and is each to attach and remove (probably along with everyone else)!
Any advice will be appreciated esp recommended make and models.
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Reply By: NIK `N` OFF - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 05:34

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 05:34
I used a set of Aussie Truck Mirrors on a previous Landcruiser, apart from being ugly they worked fine, some say the webbing straps vibrate but ours didn't, more the way the mirrors are set up i think. I was concerned about the window rubber seal being damaged by being compressed but after removing them they soon returned to shape and you wouldn't know the mirrors had been fitted.

Mick & Vickie

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AnswerID: 574397

Reply By: Mobi Condo - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 07:04

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 07:04
Howdy Rick & Julie,
We have Aussie Truck style as well. Have been excellent. Hardly move in any conditions, remove, replace and they are set just right etc. Window sill sealing rubbers seem to "bounce back" to shape within hours after removing.
Brother & Sister in law have a Jeep Commander Limited and bought the magnetic pad style and were so disappointed at the scratching of the beautiful paint finish to the doors! It was very noticeable and would need a decent localised cut and polish of a nearly new vehicle to remedy the problem.
Hope this assists. Cheers - Ian & Sally
AnswerID: 574398

Reply By: Maitland Bushies - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 08:21

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 08:21
Hi Rick & Julie,
Have you given any thought to putting a camera on the rear of the BT?
We have one on the rear of the Landcruiser which makes hooking up a breeze, and one on the rear of the BT so I don't have extra mirrors on the vehicle at all. Works very well on 100 Series, with less stuff to fit and carry around.
AnswerID: 574399

Follow Up By: Pixellator - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:37

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 09:37
I think I recall Noosa Fox posting some time ago about it being a legal requirement to have external mirrors both sides, projecting out past the sides of the van.
Don't forget that rearview cameras are not foolproof- my screen recently died after 2 years' use and I had to replace it. As well, the clarity of the view in my experience isn't all that good. But it IS good at night.
I have used Aussie Truck Mirrors- they have been great. A trick I learnt early on was to stand at the rear corner of the vehicle on each side and line up the mirror so I can see the driver's headrest. Sure saved a lot of getting in and out of the vehicle to align the mirrors. Maybe everybody does this!
As well, if you adjust the rubber pad on the strap to fit over the bump strip on the door, a lot of the strap when tensioned will be away from the paint surface.
I try to have my mirrors set up low enough to be able to visually check the BT tyres as I drive. This doesn't detract from the general rear view.
FollowupID: 849340

Follow Up By: The BrakeAways - Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 18:00

Friday, Feb 15, 2008 at 18:00
Thanks Max
I have fitted camera to back of tug and am getting one fitted to back of BT as well.
But as BobH writes, I have niggling doubts if not having wide mirrors would be legal in all States? Happy to stand corrected on this one though! Have you done any "research" yourself on this one?
Putting aside legalities, I know my car mirrors provide good rear vision down both sides of vehicle, and the BT rear camera should give good view out the back of the BT, but can you successfully see down the side of the van itself, i.e. do you have a blind spot down the side of the van? The BT camera won't show this, nor will the car standard mirrors?
I have also noted that, in rain, the view from my rear camera (once it has rain on it) can get very poor, whereas the view out of the mirrors still seems to be pretty good.
Has anyone else seen this effect?
Agree that these rear cameras are great for hooking up. Mine has almost 180deg out back of vehicle AND also can see the "ball". I can not only see traffic out the back, but also see the hitch, most of the chains and most of the trailer plug cable -- easy to see if something isn't quite right or comes loose.
FollowupID: 849341

Reply By: RasCam - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 03:39

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 03:39
Hi all,

I plan to install a camera at the back of the LC200 (GXL) and at the back of the van. What make of camera do you recommend and what 'screen' setup inside the cruiser do you suggest to view both cameras. Are you able to view both views at the same time or one only?

AnswerID: 574400

Follow Up By: The BrakeAways - Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 04:03

Saturday, Feb 16, 2008 at 04:03
Hi Kevin
I've got a replacement rear vision mirror that can be used as either a standard rear view mirror or show the camera displays. There are two 3-say toggle switches in the dash. One switches the camera views to the rear vision mirror (or turns it off) so it operates just as a mirror. The other toggle switch is to allow the cameras to be on "auto" or "camera 1" or "camera 2". In auto, it will automatically select the "rear-most" camera. In other words, if you're not towing anything, it selects the camera on the back of the car; if you hook up the van, then it automatically detects the camera signal from the van and selects the van's camera. Or you can manually select whichever camera you want (e.g. to look at the hitch while towing the van to check something). It's a good system and the replacemnet rear vision mirror is quite large. Or you can have dash mounted screens. However, we already have so many things on the dash that I didn't want anything more there.
The camera on the car is a colour camera with night vision; works extremely well and is very small so is tucked up under the number plate out of the way. As I noted in my earlier post, if it's raining, the view from the camera becomes obscured.
The camera for the BT is going to be the recommended one supplied by Sound In Motion, who will be doing the install. It's larger and chunkier (but also more robust) than the one on the back of our vehicle.
I've gone with a 12 pin flat towing harness plug, as that allows the one wiring harness from the van to operate the camera as well rather than having multiple leads between car and van.
The car system was installed by Northfield Sound System at Northgate here in Brisbane.
The van system will be installed by SIM Nambour.
I can find out the makes and models if you are interested.
FollowupID: 849342

Follow Up By: The BrakeAways - Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 03:38

Monday, Feb 18, 2008 at 03:38
The replacement rear vision mirror is a CAR (brand) TFT-LCD KCZ8 directed 6 inch replacement mirror ($299 incl GST).
The camera at the back of the vehicle is a CD51EN colour CCD rear view camera directed ($349 incl GST)
I couldn't figure out how to post the pictures in this thread, so have emailed them to you directly! The first shows the rear-vision mirror and dash set up. The second the camera at the back of the car.
The camera going onto the back of the BT is the recommended one from SIM. The order placed on SIM doesn't show the make/model but it's costing $599 incl GST.
FollowupID: 849343

Reply By: Wilmo7 - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 01:13

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 01:13
Reference the rear view cameras. I have an old video camera looking through the back window of the BT which works well until you hit the dust (which we often do), on the roof is a smaller camera which looks over the dust in dusty conditions but being 120deg camera (sort of a fish eye lens) it only shows if someone is trailing you, not what they are. As for the camera over the tow ball to help with hitchup, as I wasn't using the rear window wipers (too much junk in the back to see out the rear windows, I routed the rear window washer tube to attach it to the camera in such a way that a quick squirt of the rear window washers, floods the lens and clears any dust out of it
It's all a worry
AnswerID: 574401

Reply By: The paca people - Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 20:19

Sunday, Feb 17, 2008 at 20:19
Hi Rick & Julie,
We have a spare set of clip-on mirrors which go on the car mirrors and blow back every time a big truck goes past in the opposite direction - you would be welcome to them!
Scrapped them and purchased a pair of magnetic base Enzo (?) mirrors and replaced the "spade" end which is supposed to slip between window glass and the window frame with another smaller magnetic base (about 100 mm square) from another of their mirror range.

Easy to fit when towing, easy to remove, no vibration when travelling, no blow back when trucks pass. Only have to remove and wash underneath the magnetic bases weekly to get rid of grit which could evntually scuff your door paint. But then with a BT you will be going places where more than the doors will get scratched !

Another advantage is that they are far enough outboard that we can see right past and behind the BT and see those dim-wits who try to hide behind your van then pop out to overtake. We do not worry that actually the distance tip-to-tip of the mirrors probably exceedes the allowable vehicle width - I would rather be cautioned by a boy-in-blue than not see behind the BT.

Cheers from Martin B.
AnswerID: 574402

Reply By: Maitland Bushies - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 05:53

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 05:53
Hi Rick & Julie
No I haven't done any research about the legalities of not having mirrors. I have been towing the BT behind the 100 series for over 2 years now and have not had a problem.
The 100 series mirrors allow me to see almost to the rear of the van, the camera gives me a good wide angle view as it is mounted as high as possible over the rear window therefore the blind spot if there is one is very small. ie If a person was riding a pushbike hard up on the back of the van and out on one corner I would still see him, certainly no room for a car. The view down each adjacent lane is excellent. I have towed through Sydney and on multi lanes where you need to be able to see down the lanes on each side of you.
Yes a camera can break down, screens can die and all that, but mirrors can be wiped out too and If you are outback you won't pick them up easily.
I used clip on extension mirrors on the 80 series and they are a complete failure, large trucks just blow them back against the drivers side window, sometimes I thought the window would break.
I then went to the mirror type that clips into the door over the window rubber and has a wide webbing strap that connects to the bottom of the door and is tensioned by a ratchet. These are very good and I was more that happy with them on the 80series. When we upgraded to the 100series I could not fit them to the door to my satisfaction, rubbers were damaged, glass would peel them off when the window was raised etc.
Maybe I should have another go at fitting them but I am happy without them.
Only a small point but I would think that they would wider than the regulations allow anyway.

AnswerID: 574403

Follow Up By: The BrakeAways - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 06:05

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 06:05
All good points and shows just how many issues there are in something as simple as selecting mirrors or rear vision cameras!
More fat to chew on!
FollowupID: 849344

Reply By: AlexMc - Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 12:57

Tuesday, Feb 19, 2008 at 12:57
I've seen mirrors that have two sections the top larger section is for normal down the side of the venicle and van and the smaller bottom section is aimed at the vans wheels. would certainly help with tight manouvering on dogy rough terrain.
AnswerID: 574404

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