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F150 Mirrors: Stock Replacements & Towing

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When it comes time to do some serious towing upgrading to a set of towing mirrors is a must. Although this upgrade may be a requirement, there is a great opportunity to improve your trucks form while improving the function. Whether you are pulling a haul on the highway or an outdoor excursion Aftermarket towing mirrors add a rugged look to your F150's profile while providing clear visibility; allowing you to arrive safely at your destination.

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Although the law requires towing mirrors, think of them as a high return on your investment. The cost of having to repair your F150 after a costly accident could seriously imperil your finances. F150 towing mirrors help drivers identify blind spots on the highway when towing large boats or caravans. You do not want to risk the safety of your vehicle and your passengers by relying on stock mirrors to navigate on the highway. This guide will offer advice on selecting aftermarket towing mirrors that are up to DOT specifications; allowing you to switch lanes with added peace of mind once you make the upgrade.

What are Trailer Towing Mirrors?

Trailer towing mirrors can either come as attachable extensions of stock F150 mirrors or as a complete aftermarket replacement for your factory F150 side mirrors. You’ve probably heard of these mirrors as “wings” or “dumbo ears” because of how far wide they extend from your F150. 

Trailer towing mirrors are designed to give you increased depth of field both laterally and vertically. The top mirror is made of standard flat glass while the bottom mirror is made up of convex glass, providing you with a greater depth of field and a wider angle of vision. Trailer towing mirrors are designed to be angled toward the vehicle allowing drivers to identify blind spots up to the back of their hitched caravan.

By law, trailer towing mirrors should provide the driver with 4 meters of vision to the side of their F150 and at least 20 meters behind their F150 vehicle. Drivers will be able to see blind spots up to the back corner of their caravan while using trailer towing mirrors. 

The Wider the Better

The wider the mirror, the further back drivers can see behind their F150. Trailer towing mirrors are also designed to give you vision below your F150, unlike standard mirrors, so you can see vehicles lower to the ground in your blind spots. 

Generally, towing mirrors should match every 10 feet in caravan length with a 1-inch increase in diameter. If you're towing a large boat or large caravan then you’ll need a bigger towing mirror, so you can safely operate your vehicle on highways or among other traffic. With how wide towing mirrors can get, you’ll need a towing mirror that can fold if you brush against something else while towing large caravans.

Why Install F150 Towing Mirrors?

Factory F150 mirrors or any factory truck mirrors are not designed to give you clear vision when towing large equipment. This represents a major safety hazard and it’s also illegal. According to the NHTSA, close to 413,00 vehicle accidents are a result of blind spot accidents. Trailer towing mirrors prevent accidents and improve highway safety.

Some trailer towing mirrors also feature LED lights that can be wired with turn signals. You can also choose trailer towing mirrors with defrosters to provide you with a clear vision in snowy or cold conditions. In precipitous conditions, you’ll need all the vision you can get to safely navigate while towing heavy cargo.

Towing Mirrors Pros and Cons

Towing Mirror Pros

  • Snap-on mirrors are a universal fit and easy to install.
  • Towing mirrors allow you to identify blind spots while towing heavy equipment. 
  • Towing mirrors are required by law if you're towing longer caravans
  • Towing mirrors reduce your risk of an accident or damaging your caravan. 

Towing Mirror Cons

  • Towing mirrors are susceptible to dirt and debris during off-roading.
  • Towing mirrors harm your fuel economy and could reduce drag.
  • Towing mirrors can be damaged in tight squeezes, as some don’t fold. 

Choosing the Right Towing Mirror

Choose from aftermarket replacement mirrors or extendable mirrors that clip onto your existing F150 mirrors. For clip-on or portable mirrors, customers have the choice of adding a hot spot or convex mirror. Convex mirrors are simply glued onto existing mirrors with an adhesive, providing a wider field of view while driving.

These mirrors are adjustable so you can identify blind spots and spot cars behind your caravan. Hot spot mirrors are those classic round mirrors you often see on bikes and larger trucks and allow drivers to see blind spots. 

F150 owners can also choose from fender mounts and window mounted mirrors to increase their field of vision. Check that your aftermarket mirror is not causing your F150 to lose drag. 

For an aftermarket complete replacement, there are towing mirrors that give you the best of both worlds, a hot spot and convex mirror. These mirrors are wider in diameter allowing you to see further back. Installation requires removing the inside panels so professional assistance is recommended. 

Choosing the right towing mirror ultimately comes down to your preference. Evaluate these factors:

  • Clip-on vs. replacement mirrors
  • Size of the caravan
  • Budget
  • Additional features, such as LED lights or defroster
  • The amount of off-roading you do 

Additional Mirror Options

  • Telescopic Trailer Tow: These enhance the view of objects behind your trailer.
  • LED Mirrors: These are wired to your turn signal and make your F150 more visible. 
  • Heated Mirrors: There are mirrors with defrosters that won't fog up or get icy when most needed.

Proper Towing Mirror Adjustments

It’s important to adjust your towing mirrors so you can identify blind spots behind you. You should have your towing mirrors aligned to see 200 feet behind the driver’s side and passenger side of the vehicle. You may require assistance to adjust passenger mirrors. Finally, make sure clip-on towing mirrors are strapped down tight so they don't vibrate or dislodge during vehicle operation.

Fitment includes: 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, XL, XLT, Lariat, Lightning, KingRanch, HarleyDavidson, Stc, FX2, FX4, Limited, SVTRaptor, Platinum, FXtremor