Towing Mirrors

Towing mirrors are a legal requirement if your caravan is wider than your car, as the law states that when towing a caravan you must have adequate view of the rear of the car and along both sides of your caravan.

When you are towing, your caravan makes it impossible to use your car's rear view mirror, so therefore you will need some towing mirrors. They must not project more than 200mm beyond the widest part of your car or caravan. Although for any cars sold after 26th January 2007 this is now 250mm.

As we have received so many questions regarding the law and towing mirrors, we decided to ask manufacturer Milenco. This is what they had to say:

"Remember, when you are towing your caravan or any other trailer that is wider than the narrowest part of the rear of your vehicle, it is a legal requirement that you fit additional towing mirrors. These mirrors must be E-Marked. As a very simple guide if you look at the rear of your car (without a caravan) and see the distance that the door mirror projects from the car, this is how far out, you should be able to see your Towing Mirrors from behind the caravan when towing. You have all seen the sign "If you can't see my mirrors then I can't see you". If you can't see your Towing Mirrors from the behind your caravan then you need wider mirrors. 

If towing blind in the UK, (without towing mirrors), or using too narrow towing mirrors you can be prosecuted by the police and given 3 points on your licence and fined up to £1000 per offence (eg per side).

It is also a legal requirement that any caravan mirror must be type approved and e-marked. Your caravan dealer or caravan accessory shop should be able to help you to purchase the correct towing mirrors. "

There are many different types available and different ways of fixing them to your car. Again, your caravan accessory shop should be able to help you and will probably allow you to try them on your car before you buy them.

You can buy them with clamps to fix them on to your car mirrors, stretchy rubber bands which fit around the back of your car mirror, or even a mirror with a suction pad (although we're not sure how long this would stay on for at high speeds!).

You can buy either a flat glass mirror or a convex mirror. The convex mirror will obviously provide a wider field of vision but it is down to personal preference as to which you buy.

Remember, try them on your car before you buy them to check they fit as not all mirrors fit every car. Most caravan accessory shops would prefer you to get the right ones the first time, rather than you having to take some back for an exchange.

Also, remember to check that the mirrors are type approved and e-marked.

We use flat glass ones which fix on to our car mirrors using the stretchy rubber bands, which we cross over diagonally at the back to ensure a snug fit.  We have always used these mirrors and find them extremely easy to fit and have very good vision of behind the car and caravan.

Please contact us if you have some Towing Mirrors which you would like to recommend to others.

We have just received the following e-mail from Joan -

I can thoroughly recommend the stick on ones. They stick really well to the glass of my ordinary wing mirrors and can be adjusted by the electric mechanism that moves my car wing mirrors rather than having to be adjusted by hand as the other type have to be.

As I do all my caravanning on my own, this makes it so much easier as I have no one to adjust the left hand mirror for me whilst I am in the driving seat.

Having used both types I would now never go back to the type that attach to the wing mirror surround rather than the glass. Well worth the extra expense and much easier to use.

Thanks for contacting us and recommending some mirrors Joan, and we say well done for towing and caravanning on your own!!

Look around at the mirrors other caravanners use and ask their advice. Caravanners are very friendly people and love to be asked!

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