Backup cameras and towing mirrors

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mpolsue1

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    I'm not sure where to post this question, so hopefully I am close. I was just looking through my new copy of RV Tips by Stephen Fletcher. There was a page on backup cameras and keeping them on whenever you are towing, I believe. If I do this, would I still need towing mirrors on my 1500? Bear in mind I don't have my trailer yet, just having bought it on Saturday last. I'm trusting to somebody's signature (in this forum lol) that it may not be a dumb question if I Really don't know the answer ;-).

Thank you!

Mark & Sandy
 

Arch Hoagland

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Yes you ALWAYS need your side mirrors no matter what. Crucial for driving and also for backing into a site. 

I check in my side mirrors several times a minute on the freeway to keep track of whats going on, who's coming up on me, etc.

I had to put extender mirrors on my pickup when I pulled a trailer and suggest you do the same.


 

HappyWanderer

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Towing mirrors are the single most important accessory you can add to your vehicle. They are the only thing that allows you to see what's happening with your trailer. Invest in good mirrors, cheap clip-ons are next to worthless. You need to see the entire length of your trailer, from down low to up high. Tiny clip-ons won't provide that view.

Forget about the backup camera while driving. It doesn't provide any useful information, and only serves to distract you from what you need to be paying attention to: what's straight ahead, and what's visible in your mirrors. Learn to look well ahead of the front of your vehicle, and constantly scan your mirrors. These skills will keep you out of trouble.

 

grashley

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Thanks for the sig reference.  This is a good board for the question.

The rear camera will tell you all about where you have been.  Nothing about where you are going.

Side View Mirrors give VITAL information about what is going on beside your rig, if or when you can change lanes, if the camper is swaying, etc.

Rear cameras can help when you are backing into a space or for general information about what may be approaching when driving.  They are not worthless, just helpful in some cases.

I would not move ANY trailer an inch without properly adjusted side view mirrors!
 

mpolsue1

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Spring Branch, TX
Arch Hoagland said:
Yes you ALWAYS need your side mirrors no matter what. Crucial for driving and also for backing into a site. 

I check in my side mirrors several times a minute on the freeway to keep track of whats going on, who's coming up on me, etc.

I had to put extender mirrors on my pickup when I pulled a trailer and suggest you do the same.

Hi Arch and Thank you!

    I posted this question and let it sit a day or two. I called the Dodge dealer and they want $900.00+ to install adjustable towing mirrors. That might be reasonable, but I want to check around a bit first. I went to AutoZone looking for the extension that Marc with Keep Your Day Dream suggested (and that he was using at the time. Nobody had them around here so I may order a set of those seeing as how you say it would be a good thing to do. I would not try to pull my trailer home without working towing mirrors.

Thank you again for the advice!

Mark & Sandy
 

mpolsue1

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Posts
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Location
Spring Branch, TX
HappyWanderer said:
Towing mirrors are the single most important accessory you can add to your vehicle. They are the only thing that allows you to see what's happening with your trailer. Invest in good mirrors, cheap clip-ons are next to worthless. You need to see the entire length of your trailer, from down low to up high. Tiny clip-ons won't provide that view.

Forget about the backup camera while driving. It doesn't provide any useful information, and only serves to distract you from what you need to be paying attention to: what's straight ahead, and what's visible in your mirrors. Learn to look well ahead of the front of your vehicle, and constantly scan your mirrors. These skills will keep you out of trouble.

    Thank you for the reply!

    I have been checking around and reading here this evening. I'm getting the backup camera installed along with the anti-sway hitch and trailer brake for the pickup. So the towing mirrors are a must. That's fine as I sure don't want to wreck our new trailer driving it home from the dealer. The Dodge dealer wants $900.00+, for installing adjustable towing mirrors, but I am thinking about just ordering extensions for now. Any opinions?

Thank you again for your insightful reply and advice. I do appreciate it!

Mark & Sandy

 
 

mpolsue1

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Posts
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Spring Branch, TX
grashley said:
Thanks for the sig reference.  This is a good board for the question.

The rear camera will tell you all about where you have been.  Nothing about where you are going.

Side View Mirrors give VITAL information about what is going on beside your rig, if or when you can change lanes, if the camper is swaying, etc.

Rear cameras can help when you are backing into a space or for general information about what may be approaching when driving.  They are not worthless, just helpful in some cases.

I would not move ANY trailer an inch without properly adjusted side view mirrors!

Hi and Thank you for the response!

      You are welcome for the sig reference! I like it and was appropriate in my case lol.

      Thanks for your advice regarding the necessity of towing mirrors. I'm sold lol. The question now is whether to settle for extensions or go ahead and get good adjustable towing mirrors, which are a little pricey, although doable ($900.00+).

      The Rear camera seemed like a nice perk especially when backing up... In retrospect, probably not worth what we paid for it. Oh well. Live and Learn.

      Thank you again for the reply and the advice!



Mark & Sandy

 
 

HappyWanderer

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You might be able to do better than the dealer price. We have performance shops around here that do that type of work as well. You'll have to decide, but your truck is pretty new. If you hang onto it for a few years, the return on investment is there.

I'm a huge proponent of mirrors instead of cameras, based on over 30 years of experience driving trucks. The problem with a backup camera is its location at the rear of the vehicle or trailer. When backing up, the camera might have cleared an obstacle, but the entire length of the truck and trailer hasn't. That obstacle is still there, even though you can no longer see it in the camera. I know people who have backed into things because they were watching the camera instead of their mirrors.

While driving forward, the camera will show what's directly behind you - not particularly useful information. Your mirrors will show what's beside you and what's approaching from the rear. Vital information when changing lanes or making turns.

The tiny clip-on mirrors don't allow you to see the big picture. You need to see where the trailer tires are tracking on tight turns, as well as what's coming up behind you on an open highway. You simply don't have that range of view with clip-ons. If tiny mirrors were appropriate, you'd see them on trucks and buses.

Full disclosure: I do leave the backup camera on when towing the Jeep with the motorhome. It's nice to know that it's still back there, and I can't see it in the mirrors except on tight turns.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Yikes $900 !!!!.  Did you tell them you didn't want to buy another truck, just mirrors?

I used clamp on mirrors on my GMC trucks. I'd suggest checking at Camping World and a couple other places. 

 

mpolsue1

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Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
HappyWanderer said:
You might be able to do better than the dealer price. We have performance shops around here that do that type of work as well. You'll have to decide, but your truck is pretty new. If you hang onto it for a few years, the return on investment is there.

I'm a huge proponent of mirrors instead of cameras, based on over 30 years of experience driving trucks. The problem with a backup camera is its location at the rear of the vehicle or trailer. When backing up, the camera might have cleared an obstacle, but the entire length of the truck and trailer hasn't. That obstacle is still there, even though you can no longer see it in the camera. I know people who have backed into things because they were watching the camera instead of their mirrors.

While driving forward, the camera will show what's directly behind you - not particularly useful information. Your mirrors will show what's beside you and what's approaching from the rear. Vital information when changing lanes or making turns.

The tiny clip-on mirrors don't allow you to see the big picture. You need to see where the trailer tires are tracking on tight turns, as well as what's coming up behind you on an open highway. You simply don't have that range of view with clip-ons. If tiny mirrors were appropriate, you'd see them on trucks and buses.

Full disclosure: I do leave the backup camera on when towing the Jeep with the motorhome. It's nice to know that it's still back there, and I can't see it in the mirrors except on tight turns.

Thanks for the reply!

    There are a couple decent alternatives to the dealer's price in the $300.00 dollar range. Thank you for that suggestion... It was a Good One!

      We went to Pep Boys and got a couple of mirror extensions in case we bring the trailer home today!

Mark & Sandy
 

mpolsue1

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 14, 2018
Posts
100
Location
Spring Branch, TX
Arch Hoagland said:
Yikes $900 !!!!.  Did you tell them you didn't want to buy another truck, just mirrors?

I used clamp on mirrors on my GMC trucks. I'd suggest checking at Camping World and a couple other places.

Hi Arch!

    We bought strap-on mirrors at Pep-Boys for $43.00 to get the trailer home with and just put them on! There are a couple much cheaper alternatives to the $900.00 power mirrors also. $200.00 and $300.00 power mirrors sound a lot better and cheaper than buying "another truck" for $900.00 lol!


Mark & Sandy

   
 

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