Wes looks at the reasons why Clearview Towing mirrors aren’t just for towing a whopping big van. Check out the video below.
As many of you will have seen, I recently bought a HiLux to use as the daily whip and for longer-distance touring. She’s a 2018 model cab-chassis and came with an alloy tray on the back. The first thing I did was source an alloy canopy/box to go on the tray, and then started my fit-out with everything from the fridge to all the sexy 12-volt gear you can imagine.
The tray and the box are wider than the HiLux’s body by a solid 250mm on each side at window level. It’s within the legal limits, so there’s no hassle there, but the issue I have is with the tiny little factory mirrors I was flat out seeing around it, and if something was sitting right behind me, I’d be buggered if I could see it at all. Enter the Clearview Towing mirrors.
Clearview Towing mirrors are something I’d been contemplating for some time, but as I don’t own a triple-axle 40-foot caravan, I thought I’d leave the bigger mirrors to the older folk who really need them, to see around their monstrous vans, right? But as the width of the alloy box is too great for the factory mirrors, and the little camper the wife and I bought is a touch narrower than the HiLux, the only time I could see the bloody thing was when we were going around tight corners.
I’m happy to report that, after sitting down and looking at all the options, the Clearviews have sorted out the problem. They bring the mirrors out 200mm further than factory, plus they have convex lenses in the bottom quarters so I can now see right around the HiLux, see the camper that’s supposed to be chained to the rear, and even spot cute little V-TEC Hondas when they’re fair up my clacker. But what are they like to fit and use?
Clearview Towing mirrors in practice and their options.
As a (reasonably) young bloke with a HiLux, an undersize camper and an oversized tray and canopy, the mirrors are, in a word, magic. They come with an installation DVD and the videos are also on YouTube, showing how to install them on the different models, so you can watch on your phone as you install them in your rig. Plus they come with all the hardware (bolts, wiring, connectors, fuse-adapters etc.) you need to be able to install them into your specific vehicle. Another bonus is they’re wide enough for me to see behind the HiLux, and they provide good blind-spot vision thanks to the convex lenses in the lower quarters. There are also some options.
The Clearview set I fitted feature a ‘Powerfold’ option, which means that with a push of a button (that is the right size for the factory switch blanks in the HiLux) the mirrors fold in; this is a magic bit of kit when you’re out four-wheel driving and are close to a bank or some trees. There’s also an auto-fold option that makes the mirrors fold in when you lock the car, and then unfold when you unlock it. And for those who really want everything (and especially good for those towing bigger vans), you can also have the included indicators work as clearance/parker lights. Whenever the headlights are switched on in your tow-rig, the indicators come on at about half brightness, so they function as clearance lights for your vehicle and the van behind you.
After running around with the Clearview mirrors for a week or so, I’m very glad I fitted them. They’re not just for towing a great big caravan; I reckon they’re worth a look for anyone with a ute and a wide canopy.
RRP: $745 (electric); $795 (indicators, electric); $1250 (powerfold, indicators, electric)