How to Adjust Your Trailer Mirror

Did you know that 30% of the hazards you encounter as you are driving down the road will come from the rear?  Whether you are driving a motor home, or pulling a pop up camper, travel trailer or fifth wheel, proper trailer mirror adjustment is critical.

The typical trailer mirror consist of 2 separate mirrors; a flat mirror and a convex mirror.

The purpose of a flat mirror is to show you what is approaching from the rear.  The flat mirror shows you a “true picture” (actual size and actual distance) of the objects that appear in this mirror.  Proper adjustment consists of 2 directions: up & down and side-to-side.  To properly adjust your mirror side to side, you should adjust your mirror so that the first 1”-1 ½ “ of the mirror closest to your RV or tow vehicle can view the side of your camper or RV.  The up and down adjustment should view the side of the unit but not too much of the sky and to the back corner of your RV.

The purpose of a convex mirror (also referred to as “spotter glass”) is to show you a wider side view.  Convex mirrors are crucial for safely making turns.  Objects in a convex mirror look closer than they appear.  They show you something is there but they “lie” to you about true distance and size.  To adjust your convex mirror side to side, the first ¼ to 1/3 of the mirror closest to the tow vehicle should view the side of your camper.  This will allow you to see your unit and way out to the side.  The up and down adjustment should just slightly overlap the lower view of the flat mirror but mostly see below the flat mirror view and to the ground.  You should easily be able to see your trailer tires.

If your mirrors are not wide enough to properly see around the vehicle you are towing, consider using towing extension mirrors, clip on towing mirrors or some other aftermarket type of towing mirror.

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