Backup camera and towing mirrors

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Well-known member
Sep 30, 2012
Moncks Corner, SC near Charleston
Hello all.  We just got a 31' travel trailer and now need towing mirrors and backup camera.  We have a 2013 Ford F-150.  Now I know I should have got the F-150 with towing mirrors.  Can't see behind trailer with standard mirrors.  Would towing mirrors allow me to see behind trailer or would a camera be better.  Any and all suggestions for towing mirrors and camera welcome.


Hi Milton...

In my opinion, good towing mirrors are a must, and a real safety tool, but they will not allow you to see things that are very close-in behind the trailer. How close depends on a few things, like the distance from the mirrors to the rear of the trailer, the width of the trailer etc.

Personally, I like being able to see what's right behind me - especially when I'm backing. Having a backup camera with a decently wide field of view lets me see things that are right up close to the bumper. That's just not doable with mirrors.

Of course, it's always a good idea to get out and look yourself before backing, and then to have someone stand there do confirm that the path is clear. I've also found that tree branches near the top of my coach can be hard to see with mirrors or a camera - especially in the dark. It's during those times that it's really nice having someone back there - someone who knows to look up as well as back.

As Kev says, no towing mirrors will allow you to see directly behind the camper.  But a good set will allow you to see much further than standard mirrors.  There are lots of "strap-on" type mirrors, but in the end, you will likely be disappointed with them.  If you can find some tow mirrors for your truck that you can swap, that is your best option.  Check e-bay, your local Craig's List, and if all else fails, order them from your dealer. 
Can you do both?  When I had my toy hauler, I wish I had a back up camera.  The towing mirrors were necessary to help with the sides of the trailer and helping to clear blind spots.  Now in my class a with a camera it was really nice to see the back of coach as I cleared people I was passing and backing into my spot.  So basically I don't think mirrors or camera could replace each other.  With my class a I would typically check the mirrors, blind spot mirrors, then camera before lane change, and those mirrors are equivilent to trailer mirrors.

Becarefull with your trailer mirrors on your truck.  My Dodge 2500 didn't have them so I used some plastic ones that clamped on.  I watched one fall off then get run over by the trailer.
Thanks to everyone for the replies.  I'll take a real serious look at the factory towing mirrors.  I also really like the idea of a rear view camera.  Has anyone put one on the back of their trailer? If so what kind did you use. We have a Rand McNally RVND 7720 GPS. It is suppose to accept video input.
has anyone used a camera with the 7720?

Thanks again for all the help and ideas.

Yes I purchased a voyager from Camping World on the recomendation from someone on this sight I believe. They had poor things to say about cheap ones from Cosco ETC. The voyager was $800.00  but very clear and if you have a spotter they can speak to you in the truck.
It has wide angle view and can be used as a rear view but I only use backing between trucks or at camp grounds etc.
if you dont have extendable tow mirrors, does that mean you dont have a tow package on the truck. if so you probably dont have a tranny cooler or electric brake controller either. with that big a trailer it would be a good idea. our fords all have the extendable mirrors and tranny coolers but we ordered tow packages so i guess they are not standard equipment unless you order the tow package. good luck and happy camping.
Depends who specked the truck at time of order if not special order. My 2011 Chev HD 2500 Duramax didn't have trailer mirror yet had the heaviest of everything else . Just makes for an add on sale if you want the truck. That is not to excuse the mentality of sales manager placing the order.
By the way Muskoka Guy what part of Muskoka are you from? Just  curious
I live in Huntsville. We have the 2012 f-150 with the tow package and it came with the package. maybe not everyone does. I just thought mentioning the tranny cooler in case he didnt have it. A 31 ft trailer is a good load for a 150.
Muskoka Guy:
I worked there 50 Yrs ago at Dominion Store. Hope your down south I hear it was-40 the other day. Florida rather interesting place. Two of your neighbours one from Dwight and one from Orillia tractor pulling down here. It's sort of off topic but interesting what goes on in the RV world of different interests. Your'e named spiked my curiosity as I have been to the steam show in Bracebridge several times. I usually read your comments as they make sense to me .Keep up the good participation.
Thanks for the encouragement. I am a contractor and we didnt work much last week. It was amost 40 below celcius with the wind chill. Hoping to join the snowbird club someday. I never miss a chance to tell all of the beautiful area I live in. The fall season is spectacular with the colours. The G-8 two years ago put a spotlight on our community. Something to see. Army people everywhere, something you dont normally see much of in Canada. cheers to all.
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