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Life with Dumbo Towing Mirrors
#1
I've installed the "Dumbo" towing mirrors. The only thing I've towed so far was a 3 x 5 U-Haul trailer, so that wasn't much of a test. I did back up to my travel trailer in the storage lot to simulate the towing view. The photos below are the result. Sorry about the clutter. They are the best I have so far.

Left Side:
   

Right Side:
   

The square upper section is perfectly flat and responds to the remote switch on the dashboard. The lower rectangle is highly convex and is manually adjusted.

The vehicle behind you will be the exact same size in both of the upper side mirrors and the center rearview, but it will appear closer in that right mirror if you are used to the convex factory mirror that says "Objects may be closer than they appear". It might take a while to get used to judging distance with that flat right mirror. I made the mistake of installing these mirrors on a work night, so my first experience was in the 6 AM darkness with heavy traffic in a construction zone on my way to work. It is not easy learning to judge distance with these mirrors when all you can see are closely spaced headlights. I recommend installing them in the evening before your day off so you can get used to using them in the day light with less traffic.

The highly curved lower mirrors are very handy when backing into a parking spot. That's probably the best thing about these mirrors when you aren't towing.

The mirrors measure 92.5" from outside edge to outside edge. That is the real dilemma with putting towing mirrors on a Fronty. We buy these trucks because they are agile work horses and they are loads of fun to drive. The 6300 lb. towing capacity cries out for towing mirrors, but any mirrors that stick out enough to see around your trailer necessarily give you the effective width of a larger truck. Its still fun to drive and it still fits in the garage (barely), but it is just a bit less fun to park. In most parking lots, I manually fold the mirrors in against the doors as a courtesy to those parked next to me.

So far, this spring doesn't have much promise for taking trips with the travel trailer. Fall has possibilities, but I probably won't be posting anytime soon about how great these mirrors worked for towing. Sorry about that... in fact, I am more sorry than you can imagine. I really had hoped we could take a few trips this spring. For now, these mirrors serve primarily to support my RV fantasy life (sigh).

I think I will really enjoy towing with these mirrors. I cannot recommend towing mirrors on a Frontier as a fashion statement, however.  
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#2
Do you find they help in regular traffic as well? Smile
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#3
BlueZ - Each time I changed lanes today, I tried to think about your question. I think I actually do find the towing mirrors somewhat helpful in routine traffic. I found that I am actually looking at both upper and lower mirrors together before I change lanes. I also do the over the shoulder thing. That goes with being a dad who took a son through "Driver's Ed in a Box".

I tend to notice what's not working more than what is working, so I haven't been paying as much attention to the mirrors since I got used to them. In routine traffic, I'm not sure the benefit over stock mirrors is enough to justify the expense or the inconvenience if you don't plan to tow, but yes there is some benefit in normal traffic. If I switched back to the stock mirrors, I might actually miss these things in my daily commute, but I'm sure I'd adjust. The stock mirrors are OK if you aren't towing.

I'm glad you asked that question. My answer isn't quite what I thought it was.
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#4
Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed response Smile
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#5
I tow a TT with mine too, if I didn't tow I would probably have the stock mirrors as well but since I do tow, I like them. Changing lanes is way better and I tried the vibrating finder clamp ons that flop down just before the crucial lane change, giving the perfect view of the passenger front wheel spinning. I also tried the ones that clip in the stock mirrors that come loose at fwy speeds too.
2013 Crew Cab Pro-4X
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#6
(03-26-2015, 04:09 AM)FRONT4X Wrote:  I tow a TT with mine too, if I didn't tow I would probably have the stock mirrors as well but since I do tow, I like them. Changing lanes is way better and I tried the vibrating finder clamp ons that flop down just before the crucial lane change, giving the perfect view of the passenger front wheel spinning. I also tried the ones that clip in the stock mirrors that come loose at fwy speeds too.

I've used both of those styles. I gave away my fender clamp ons just to be rid of them. I've been able to get by with the ones that have the elastic strap that goes around the back of the mirror. They are a bit tricky since mirrors are always tapered and the straps will naturally try to slide off. The biggest weakness of both styles is that they continually vibrate. By the time I get to a campground, I'm always eager to remove them and stow them.
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