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Is it mandatory to have two towing mirrors (by law), even if you are towing a small caravan with a large car and can easily see behind?

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Don't quote me on this, but I don't think that it is a legal requirement to have towing mirrors attached if the trailer you are towing does not impede your rearward vision, for instance a vehicle towing a trailer tent or normal trailer does not have to fit them.

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Is it mandatory to have two towing mirrors (by law), even if you are towing a small caravan with a large car and can easily see behind?

 

If the width of the caravan is greater than the width of the car then the field of view required by legislation will not be achieved and extensions to the car mirrors are required. The narrowest caravan that I can think of is 2 metres wide which exceeds the width of almost all cars.

 

Legislation requires that the driver must be able to see down both sides of the caravan to a point 20 metres beyond and 4 metres to either side of the rearmost point.

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If the trailer / caravan you are towing is wider than the rear of the towing vehicle you need towing mirrors, this has been discussed on here many times

 

Exert from http://www. direct. go. ..icles/DG_192285

 

Fit towing mirrors if you need them

 

If your caravan or trailer is wider than the rear of the towing vehicle, you must by law fit suitable towing mirrors. These mirrors are usually 'E-marked' (mirrors with this mark meet EU requirements).

If you're towing blind (without towing mirrors) or using unsuitable mirrors, you can be:

  • prosecuted by the police
  • given three points on your licence
  • fined up to £1,000

also there is a good site which defines the area behind you are required by law to be able to see clearly.

 

http://www. caravanwi. ..ng-mirrors. html

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Legal or not, just fit some towing mirrors and enjoy a better rear view for not many pounds, small price to pay for extra safety and a less stressful tow!

i really dont understand why anyone would tow with out them.

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. .....and it's 3-points per towing-mirror. So if you have none at all, you could be done for 6 points as as each mirror constitutes a separate offence.

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Legal or not, just fit some towing mirrors and enjoy a better rear view for not many pounds, small price to pay for extra safety and a less stressful tow!

i really dont understand why anyone would tow with out them.

 

 

As has already been pointed out this has been the subject of many, many discussions on this (an other) forums. I agree with your comment and it never ceases to amaze me how much effort 'some' folks will put into justifying towing without mirrors. I'm on my fifth towcar and just one set of mirrors has severed me well over several years. They are hardly expensive, they're so easy to use I can't understand why anyone would put an objection to using them.

 

I'm sure there are other opinions out there, this is my 2p worth for the discussion.

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As has already been pointed out this has been the subject of many, many discussions on this (an other) forums. I agree with your comment and it never ceases to amaze me how much effort 'some' folks will put into justifying towing without mirrors. I'm on my fifth towcar and just one set of mirrors has severed me well over several years. They are hardly expensive, they're so easy to use I can't understand why anyone would put an objection to using them.

 

I'm sure there are other opinions out there, this is my 2p worth for the discussion.

 

I agree totally, we swapped our van and the new one is 6" wider, I towed our old van up the A1 to swap over vans and on the way back I was not happy with the rear view with my existing Milenco Aeros on a Landrover Freelander so as soon as I got home I ordered a set of extension arms for them now I'm happy again.

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. .....and it's 3-points per towing-mirror. So if you have none at all, you could be done for 6 points as as each mirror constitutes a separate offence.

 

What is the offence? Has anyone been convicted for this offence or know some one who has?

 

If it is "failing to comply with Construction & Use Regs - code CU60 " - then it would seem to cover the lack of one, or both, mirrors but it appears that this code is now out of use.

 

The only other offence that seems appropriate is a miscellaneous offence code MS60 which has points allocated "as appropriate" to the offence. ...... probably none in this case?

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interesting point raised by beejay. I've seen police vehicles pulling trailers without extra mirrors on more than one occaison!! One rule for one and all that.

Personally, i never tow without mine, even for short distances (in and out of storage etc). The caravan club website has a section on technical information, part of which covers mirrors.

The cost of the mirrors and tiny hassle involved with fitting them far outweighs not just the potential for a fine, but also the much larger risk involved with having substantially larger blind spots, with something lurking there for you to hit.

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Yes,

 

And once caravan/trailer detached remember to take the flippin' things off! It is surprising how many people don't bother!

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Yes,

 

And once caravan/trailer detached remember to take the flippin' things off! It is surprising how many people don't bother!

CPDavies has the right answer.

If ANY point of your towing vehicle is narrower than the trailer you need towing mirrors BY LAW.

 

Another important point is that you must remove your towing mirrors when you're not towing. Failing to do so also renders you illegal.

Edited by RhayaderSax
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might sound silly but i also think they come in handy when going through narrow villages etc and gate posts as if the mirrors go through the van will, obviously not at speed but you now what its like plotting your way up a lane to a nice cl type site :) , the other thing i often wonder is why people remove the mirror stem and leave the brackets on the mirror??? jim

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Agree with everything you all say, can i jump on the back of this and ask does anyone have a view as to the best type of towing mirror to use, currently have the one that fits over the wing mirrors with elastic straps and ones that have screw fit that are attached to the bottom of the wing mirror both suffer from vibration and as i am towing through France & Spain early next year i need all the help i can get. Tow car is a new style BMW X3

Thanks

Keith

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If ANY point of your towing vehicle is narrower than the trailer you need towing mirrors BY LAW.

 

 

 

Just to be clear. ........ it is not related to the widths. Extension mirrors are only required when towing high sided trailers such as caravans with obscure the view required by the regulations. .

If the trailer e. g. folding caravan, trailer tent, car trailer does not obstruct the rear view via the standard car mirrors then no other mirrors are required .

Edited by beejay
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. .....

does anyone have a view as to the best type of towing mirror to use, currently have the one that fits over the wing mirrors with elastic straps and ones that have screw fit that are attached to the bottom of the wing mirror both suffer from vibration and as i am towing through France & Spain early next year i need all the help i can get. Tow car is a new style BMW X3

Thanks

Keith

 

I used to use exactly the same types as yourself, Keith, with a little vibration occasionally.

 

On my present towcar (Volvo XC90 ) i have invested in a pair of Milenco Grand Aeros with extension bars - and I have always used concave glass so I have stuck with the same in these too. For the last year I have towed across the UK and across northern France - total towing 4500 miles, in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of roads - nearly always travelling at the maximum legal speeds (or trying to keep to that ). Never had any vibration at all. They are great.

I must admit that I was initially concerned about their security of fixings - just the two screw-clamps. So I always screw them tight enough so that I can just about make the car door mirror fold by pushing on the extension mirror. No marks or distortion on the mirror housing. Just make sure that the screw clamps are pushed onto the frame as far as they will possibly go. Initial alignment is critical but thereafter it is easy. The one down-side is that the clamps do limit the amount of travel of the electric door-mirror glass.

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Outlines the need for the number of mirrors

 

D2566 / Construction and Use Regulations - mirrors - number - position

 

Regulation 33 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 creates the requirements for mirrors on motor vehicles. The items listed below show the need for mirrors to be fitted to various vehicles and the requirements to be complied with by any mirror fitted.

 

Item 6

A wheeled motor vehicle not in items 1 to 5, which is first used on or after 1st June 1978 (or, in the case of a Ford Transit motor car 10th July 1978) must be fitted with:

(a) one external mirror on the offside; and

( b ) one internal mirror, unless not providing an adequate view to the rear; and

( c ) one external mirror on the nearside unless an adequate internal mirror is fitted.

 

 

 

Outlines the need for removal when not towing

 

D2565 / Construction and Use Regulations - mirrors - application - fixing

 

 

33(4) Unless provided for in paragraph (5), in the case of a motor vehicle falling within paragraph A1 in
, A2 in
, or within
,:

(a) each mirror shall be fixed to the vehicle in such a way that it remains steady under normal driving conditions;

 

( b ) each exterior mirror on a vehicle fitted with windows and a windscreen shall be visible to the driver, when in his driving position, through a side window or through the portion of the windscreen which is swept by the windscreen wiper;

 

( c ) where the bottom edge of an exterior mirror is less than 2m above the road surface when the vehicle is laden, that mirror shall not project more than 20cm beyond the overall width of the vehicle or, in a case where the vehicle is drawing a trailer which has an overall width greater than that of the drawing vehicle, more than 20cm beyond the overall width of the trailer;

 

(d) each interior mirror shall be capable of being adjusted by the driver when in his driving position; and

 

(e) except in the case of a mirror which, if knocked out of its alignment, can be returned to its former position without needing to be adjusted, each exterior mirror on the driver's side of the vehicle shall be capable of being adjusted by the driver when in his driving position, but this requirement shall not prevent such a mirror from being locked into position from the outside of the vehicle.

 

 

Hope this helps

 

Mat
Edited by 8342mat
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I used to use exactly the same types as yourself, Keith, with a little vibration occasionally.

 

On my present towcar (Volvo XC90 ) i have invested in a pair of Milenco Grand Aeros with extension bars - and I have always used concave glass so I have stuck with the same in these too. For the last year I have towed across the UK and across northern France - total towing 4500 miles, in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of roads - nearly always travelling at the maximum legal speeds (or trying to keep to that ). Never had any vibration at all. They are great.

I must admit that I was initially concerned about their security of fixings - just the two screw-clamps. So I always screw them tight enough so that I can just about make the car door mirror fold by pushing on the extension mirror. No marks or distortion on the mirror housing. Just make sure that the screw clamps are pushed onto the frame as far as they will possibly go. Initial alignment is critical but thereafter it is easy. The one down-side is that the clamps do limit the amount of travel of the electric door-mirror glass.

 

Concave mirrors are magnifying mirrors as used in lighthouses, mirror lenses and the Hall of Mirrors. Suggest that vehicle mirrors are either convex or flat or a combination of the two.

Edited by DeeTee
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Quite right - a freudian slip from old school physics days. They are convex of course!

 

The point I was trying to make was that I use the same kind of glass in the mirrors for towing as I always have.

Edited by KeithMcC
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A few years ago I enquired with the Central Motorway Police about towing mirrors and was told that if I could see behind my caravan that would be OK. I always fit clip on mirrors AND have a camera on the rear of the van displaying to a monitor on the top of the dash in thecar This enables me to see the the car traveling just af few yards behind me. The camera is hard wired through the 7S plug

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