If you’re towing a trailer or a boat, you know firsthand that it’s almost impossible to keep an eye on the trailer with your vehicle’s standard side view mirrors. The rearview mirror doesn’t offer much more help. A clip-on towing mirror can eliminate these woes. These clip onto the housing for your side view mirror, extending your view so you can keep an eye on things.
A good quality clip-on towing mirror should never obstruct the view from your car’s existing mirrors, and it should be shaped so that it minimizes vibration from air flowing over and around it. Here are a few things to keep an eye out for when looking for a clip-on towing mirror:
Fit: Make sure that the mirror you buy is either rated for your vehicle, or offers a universal fit. Don’t try to install a clip-on towing mirror designed specifically for one make and model onto a different type of vehicle.
Aerodynamic: If the mirror’s design isn’t aerodynamic enough, air flow around the mirror can lead to vibrations. This makes it difficult to see the trailer in the mirror. Look for a streamlined design.
Length: Look for a mirror that’s able to extend far enough out so you can see the trailer. Larger, longer vehicles will need longer mirrors than those with shorter bodies.
Securement System: You want to make sure that the clip-on towing mirror is securely attached to your side view mirror, but there are several different systems out there. You can choose from Velcro closures, adjustable straps and clips, and more.
With the right clip-on towing mirror, you can keep a close eye on your trailer while on the road.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Good Quality Clip-On Towing Mirror and was authored by Valerie Johnston.