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Caravan Mirrors Buying Guide

If you’ve just bought the van of your dreams, chances are you’re going to need a quality set of caravan towing mirrors.At Outback Equipment, we offer one of Australia's biggest ranges of towing mirrors including generic extension mirrors through to permanent extenable door mounted options for all popular makes and models. Shop our towing mirror collection online now for fast Australia wide delivery. 

In Australia, having a clear view of what’s behind you is a legal requirement when towing a caravan that is larger than and wider than your vehicle. Towing mirrors aren’t just a requirement, many drivers install them when towing a trailer, boat or simply just to have that extra line of vision when tackling more extreme 4x4 tracks.    

When do you need caravan towing mirrors?

When it comes to safety on the road, especially when towing a caravan or a trailer, there should be zero shortcuts taken. In 2016, 80% of all caravan accidents resulted in a total loss. Blind spots account for a large majority of road accidents so if you want to ensure that you, your family and your caravan/trailer are safe we HIGHLY recommend taking that extra precaution by installing quality towing mirrors.  

Are caravan towing mirrors a legal requirement in Australia?

Visibility on the road, in parking lots and holiday campgrounds is essential. You should always be able to see everything around you and your vehicle, that is why it is required under Australian law if you are towing anything wider than your vehicle you must install towing mirrors.   Towing a caravan is classed as an addition which could affect your vehicle’s compliance, potentially deeming it unroadworthy, which would ruin any trip. The Vehicle Standard Australian Design Rule 14/02 – Rear Vision Mirrors 2006 Amendment 1 says:  “The field of vision must be such that the driver can see at least a 4 m wide, flat, horizontal portion of the road, which is bounded by a plane parallel to the median longitudinal vertical plane and passing through the outermost point of the vehicle on the driver’s side of the vehicle and extends from 20 metres behind the driver’s ocular points to the horizon. In addition, the road must be visible to the driver over a width of 1 metre, which is bounded by a plane parallel to the median longitudinal vertical plane and passing through the outermost point of the vehicle starting from a point 4 metres behind the vertical plane passing through the driver’s ocular points.”  That may sound very complicated, but towing mirrors are designed to take the hassle out of worrying about compliance, as each set is designed to be a perfect fit for the make of each car. Unless your vehicle's factory fitted mirrors are wider than the caravan or trailer and provide a clear view along its full length, then you are not required to change them. However, you may want to upgrade your towing mirrors to a better-quality set, depending on your 4wd needs.  

How to install and set up caravan towing mirrors 

The time it takes to install your towing mirrors, and how complex the process will depend on the brand and type you purchase. Portable towing mirrors will need the least assembly and are therefore easy in a DIY situation. They fasten onto your existing mirrors with adjustable clips. For permanent models, you may want to consider professional installation so as not to damage your vehicle or the mirrors. No matter what type of mirror you choose for, a proper installation is the most important step. Clip on mirrors can create drag and mirror vibration, which is not ideal for driving at night.  Universal fit and clip-on towing mirrors should not require any tools, and fender mount mirrors simply need the securing of mounts to the fender at the hood line.  It is strongly recommended that you have permanent towing mirror installation performed by a professional as it is far more complex. This process often involves removing the driver and passenger door panels, and if the mirror model features LED lights or heating functions, they will also require rewiring. However, if you’re experienced and confident with taking apart your own vehicle, the whole process of installing towing mirrors should only take about 20-30 minutes.  

Choosing Your Extension Mirrors for Caravan Towing 

Do you need special extension mirrors for towing your caravan? Yes, you certainly do. Having the right mirrors means that you have full visibility of your vehicle and your caravan, and this equals responsible caravan ownership and care. Not to mention the fact that you’re required by law in Australia to have a full and clear view of the road and traffic ahead, behind and to each side of you.  So, when it comes down to choosing the kinds of caravan towing mirrors that you’re going to get, you need to consider the types available and to think about what you want, and how often you travel. We stock a range of portable towing mirrors, from magnetic mirrors to door mounted mirrors and even suction mirrors. What you choose is largely down to your personal preference.  You want to ensure that you install the strongest mirrors possible with good support. This will reduce the instances of when your mirrors vibrate. 

The benefits of the various models include: 

  • Easy to install  
  • Great visibility 
  • Won’t scratch your car’s paint or damage your existing mirrors 
  • Versatile - can be used for a caravan, boat or another wide load that you’re towing 

Make sure that you have fitted your mirrors correctly per the manufacturer’s instructions. You want to ensure that when you glance in those mirrors, you can see everything perfectly.

If you fit a certain type of mirror which fits onto your car’s external rear-view mirrors, you also need to make sure that you can still adjust your car’s mirrors while the extensions are in use. There are instructions which come with every one of our caravan towing mirrors, so make sure you tuck them away in that handy drawer that we all have in our homes and keep them safe for next time. 
Double check your visibility by hooking up your caravan, boat or RV and then making double sure that you can see everything you need to. 

With all this in mind, check out the great range of towing mirrors and other caravan accessories we have on offer today. 
Still unsure on your caravan reversing abilities? Check out out full guide on how to reverse a caravan and our comprehensive run down on towing a caravan for the first time. 

Our range of towing mirrors is available for fast delivery to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin, Adelaide and all other areas of Australia. Shop online now or give us a call if you're unsure about the right caravan mirrors for your van.