MIRROR, MIRROR

DON’T LOOK BACK IN ANGER, GET A SET OF CLEARVIEW MIRRORS.

WORDS RON MOON

WE’VE attached a number of mirror extensions to our vehicles for towing both smaller and bigger camper vans. Most mirror extensions – no matter how they connect to the mirrors – are pretty poor, wobbling like a flag in the wind and providing mediocre rear visibility.

Clearview’s towing mirrors have been on the market for a few years now, so we decided to fit a set to improve the rear vision down both sides of our narrow-bodied Project 79 Land Cruiser – plus we disliked the Cruiser’s OE mirrors.

The model for the 70 Series is pretty basic, having no electric motor control or indicators wired in. We’re pretty happy with that as we like the simplicity, which means there’s a lot less to go wrong – and they’re cheaper.

The mirrors have been designed in Australia, with final assembly and testing done at Clearview’s factory in Craigieburn, Victoria. When folded out to their normal use position, each mirror – available in black or chrome – is held in place by a spring detent which stops the mirror slamming closed when a strong wind hits it, say from a 110km/h passing B-double.

The top or main mirror (powered in some units) provides a great view of the road behind, while the smaller, convex mirror helps eliminate blind spots. When towing, the mirror housing extends a further 100mm (ADR compliant) to give a better view down either flank.

The units are fairly big, and some people have commented that the mirrors make their vehicles too wide to park in garages.

When we back into our garage we are aware how far they stick out, so we need to take care – but apart from that, there haven’t been any problems.

The mirrors are a huge improvement on the original equipment. The large mirror provides great coverage, while the smaller, convex mirror gives an even spread of vision that covers a number of highway lanes – due to this two-mirror set-up, the left-hand-side mirror is also extremely useful. Blind spots have either completely vanished or diminished to the point of being inconsequential, and vibration of the mirrors is barely noticeable, even on really corrugated, rough dirt roads.

The mirrors were easy to fit with no wiring at all to worry about, so it could be easily done by any handyman.

Priced at $695 for the all-manual versions, these mirrors aren’t cheap. Still, with a threeyear warranty and a complete spare-parts back-up service here in Oz, we’d recommend these Clearview mirrors to anyone who regularly tows. When you look back you’ll forget about the money and just be super happy with the safer, more expansive view they provide.