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Staying Safer with Silverado Towing Mirrors

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You have a few options when it comes to Silverado mirrors: mirror covers and towing mirrors. If you're simply looking for a chrome add-on ora color matching cover to compliment your paint scheme, mirrors covers will do the job. If instead you're hauling a trailer, you'll want larger towing mirrors for proper visibility. No matter how confident you are in your hauling abilities, you'll need a set of towing mirrors to accommodate for other drivers.

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Regardless of whether you are in a tiny economy car or the largest 18-wheeler on the market, one thing those two and every vehicle in between have in common is that visibility is crucial to the driver’s safety. To put it simply, if you can’t see on your sides, in your blind spots, or behind you, it is almost inevitable that you will be in an accident at some point. When it comes to driving your Silverado with a trailer hooked up to the hitch, your visibility can be hindered by what you’re hauling. This guide will go over how you can maintain your visibility and keep your safety up to par.

What Are Silverado Trailer Towing Mirrors?

Trailer towing mirrors are larger diameter mirrors that stick out further than your stock mirrors on your truck. The advantage of this is that you can see more of your surroundings and reduce your blind spots, especially when you have something connected to your tow hitch i.e. an open or closed trailer. Some tow mirrors are slightly more convex than your stock mirrors to help increase visibility, but for the most part, they are just a larger, more protruding version of your stock mirrors. 

How Large Should Towing Mirrors Be In Relation To The Size Of Your Trailer?

This is a tough question to answer for any Silverado owner who uses their truck to tow as it is hard to give a dead-on specific number. With that said, the general rule of thumb for towing mirrors is that you should be able to see the bottom half of the rear of your trailer at the very least. Any less than that and you aren’t seeing enough to be driving safely. 

It is worth noting that if your mirrors are too tall for the trailer you have, you can actually do yourself a disservice and make it much harder to fully take in your surroundings, creating small blind spots.

How Can I Improve Towing Mirrors To Be More Beneficial? 

Adding a set of convex spotter mirrors to your towing mirrors will help eliminate any blind spots your truck may have. Convex spotter mirrors are small rectangular mirrors that go in the upper outside corner of your side view mirrors to help you see those troublesome, low-visibility blind spot area on your Silverado and trailer. 

If the trailer you have hooked up to your Silverado is 7 foot wide or wider, then your side view mirrors should also be telescoping. Telescoping mirrors also referred to as telescopic mirrors, allow the side view mirrors to slide out further to the side to increase rearview visibility. Telescopic side view mirrors can be either manually controlled or electronically. Manual telescopic mirrors will require you to get out of your truck to adjust them, while the electronic ones will allow you to toggle a switch to adjust them to your preferences. 

This kind of goes without saying, but for the folks who don’t realize it, keeping your mirrors clean will also help improve your visibility while towing. Dirty side view mirrors can heavily distort your vision and limit what you are seeing. Keep your mirrors clean and your visibility intact.

Benefits Of Towing Mirrors Over Stock Silverado Mirrors

The benefits of outfitting your Silverado with towing mirrors really boils down to increasing the visibility of your truck (especially while towing something) and having increased adjustability. It may sound like I am over-simplifying it, but it can’t be stated enough how important visibility is when you are in a larger vehicle, especially when you are towing something. Not seeing something in your blind spot can mean someone, including yourself, loses their life; smaller vehicles and motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of being hit by a large truck that is towing a trailer than other vehicles. 

Additional Features Of Silverado Towing Mirrors

Towing mirrors provide a bevy of benefits over stock mirrors and can include the following:

  • Manual or powered adjustability
  • Heating
  • Turn signal functionality
  • Saved setting preferences/Driver preferences
  • Manual or power folding
  • Manual or power extending
  • Convex glass

Some towing mirrors offer either manual or power options for adjustments, folding or extending. While the powered option is typically preferred as it means you don’t have to leave the driver seat (or even bend uncomfortably) to fuss with the mirrors, even having the manual ability to extend your mirrors or fold them in when earlier Silverado models can’t do that is a huge benefit over stock. 

Some towing mirrors have heating functionality meaning when it is cold out and snowing/icing, your mirrors will be heated while you have your Silverado on, keeping them cleared from impairment and maintaining your visibility.

Some towing mirrors have a memory system in them that will retain driver preferences in regards to their positions. Obviously, this is an option only available with certain powered mirrors, but it allows you to save one to two settings, which is incredibly valuable if you are not the only driving your Silverado. 

In case it isn’t obvious by the language used above, these options vary greatly and are by no means guaranteed with all aftermarket options, which there is a plethora of for the Silverado. Be sure to read the descriptions of what you are considering buying to make sure it has the options you want for your truck.

How Do I Adjust My Silverado’s Towing Mirrors For Maximum Visibility?

When it comes down to the actual mechanics of adjusting your towing mirrors, that will all depend on whether you have manually powered or electronically powered towing mirrors on your truck. Moving past that, you will want to position your mirrors in a certain way so that you have maximum visibility. 

On both the driver and passenger side mirrors, you will want to be able to see half of the trailer down to the pavement on both sides at a minimum. You will also want to angle the mirrors in a way where you can see just a sliver of your vehicle and trailer, with the majority of the rest of the mirror being focused on the surrounding area. It is important that you see some of the truck and trailer as you need to be aware of your size and the space you are occupying. 

Keep in mind, when making these adjustments you should be doing them from your normal driving position. You don’t want to get on the highway and realize that you adjusted your mirrors to have the above outlined visibility from a hunched over/stretched seating position that is not representative of how you actually drive.

Fitment includes: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, LS, LT, WT, SS, Hybrid, Z71, LTZ, XFE, Custom, HighCountry, RST, TrailBoss