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Old 04-27-2011, 10:00 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Gringo View Post
so...I am still trying to understand what difference seeing behind the trailer makes on the highway. You are cruising along with your fifty foot rig, in the slow lane, doing the speed limit, and with your new extended mirrors that extend out to the right where the bicyclists ride, and over to near the center line on the inside where the Harleys pass you, and see a driver coming up behind you driving wildly....who cannot stop...

what do you do differently than you would do without the mirrors?

You need to see down the side of your trailer (both sides) to be aware of what is coming up on you and not just what is there. Cruising the freeways requires that you change lanes now and then. I want to see what is back behind me before I switch lanes. If there is an emergency vehicle, or someone who is speeding, quickly gaining on me I don't want to pull out in front of them. That would create some real issues. Seeing just what is in my blind spot won't be enough. You have to be able to see a good distance behind you. This is even a larger issue when you drive on two lane highways.

We spend a lot of money for our Airstreams. It always confuses me when we don't want to ante up to make our TVs ready to pull them. That $200 that Rich had to pay for the ticket would have gone a long way toward a good set of mirrors.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:02 AM   #30
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That sucks, man. As a native Floridian, and a Houstonian, I understand your frustration when traveling state-to-state and having to deal with their laws. I find that Florida LEOs, particularly the further south you go, target their marks by the out of state plates. It sucks, but some localities in FL make a significant % of their revenue from tickets and court fees.

My take is in line with a previous poster -- you're the victim of state-of-residence discrimination, but the ticket really isn't that expensive, and your case serves as a great reminder that even though we may be compliant in our home states, we need to ensure that we're in compliance in all states that we travel through as well.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #31
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As someone who has sat in a courtroom and watched two Law Enforcement Officers ( partners) get on the witness stand, take the oath, and then proceed to completely lie to the court....

I don't just automatically assume the best of intentions on their part when I see them anymore. That halo is gone forever in my mind. State cops are a little better, but town cops.....well.....I have to ask myself about those who want to be the authority that gets to make everybody else follow the rules. And ELSE is one of the operative words here. You can bet your butt that if that LEO was the one driving the car with stock mirrors, no citation would have been issued.

Call me cynical.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #32
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I want to say that if you are legal in the state of registration then you are legal everywhere as a matter of reciprocity.
I don't think I would follow this rule. Two examples come to mind.

1. Helmet laws on motorcycles.

2. Towing restrictions RE: total length and # of "units".

If you drive your motorcycle from Montana into Washington, you had better stop and the border and put on a helmet. In Montana you can tow a trailer with a fishing boat behind it. There are total length restrictions but if you tried to pull that combination into Washington you would get a nice ticket.

And, remember the old saying, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:22 AM   #33
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Not sure that the LEO writing the ticket is doing the world any favors.

But that said having sufficient mirrors is a good thing. In most cases with mirrors that don't stick out far enough you won't have overlapping vision behind the trailer at any distance so the 200' limit is really neither here nor there unless you have mirrors that are barely barely wide enough.

While state laws vary in their details you will be in compliance anywhere if you have mirrors that extend out 3" on each side past the width of the trailer.

There are all kinds of universal fit products out there. Most attach to the door edges using a combination of struts and nylon straps, while a few mount permanently with screws or bolts:

Universal Fit Towing Mirror Mirrors | etrailer.com

The ones I have mount directly on the existing truck mirrors. While not perfect they do work well and look better than most of the universal fit types:

CIPA Custom Towing Mirrors for Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup 1997 - 10201

Many of the trucks and large SUVs now being sold have mirrors that can be adjusted outward. My 2004 suburban is so equipped, and the extension/retraction mechanism is motorized and controlled from the mirror quadrant on the driver's door. I think that's overkill but it's the way it came.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:30 AM   #34
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driveway simulation

Below is a driveway simulation.. The blue truck is positioned as it would be if next to your trailer in the passing lane.
Note that it is not visible in the main mirror, though it would be if you wiggled around a little. This is as seen from the drivers seat
It is visible in its entirety in the convex and would continue to be until next to you
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:48 AM   #35
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'Hog, does your Lexus have tow mirrors? If not, you pretty much lost the fight as a practical matter if you choose to fight it in court.

The cop following may not be able to see your mirror, but you may be able to see him (or, more accurately, his car) because he does not see from the edge of the car, but more than a foot away from the edge. His observations plus inability to be sure whether he is 200', 190' or 210' away may make his testimony shaky. If he had his lights on and you didn't se him, you still have the argument he was too close. You can also argue you didn't stop because there was no safe place to stop with the trailer and not be in traffic.

As I'm sure many know, plenty of times, cars tailgate and we can't see them behind us. That is an uncomfortable feeling. These are the most like drivers to suddenly try to pass, possibly while we are carefully changing lanes, eyes darting forward, to each side mirror, back to forward, and so on until we are dizzy. No mirror solves that problem.

And states do have to respect the laws of other states in some cases, but not others. I can't observe Colorado's speed limits in Illinois, though sometimes I try. Our driver's licenses are good in all states and our license plates, but if you get a driver's license at 14 in North Dakota (I don't know that for a fact, just making up a state that may or may not exist), maybe you can't drive in a state with an age minimum of 18.

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Old 04-27-2011, 11:32 AM   #36
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:37 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
'Hog, does your Lexus have tow mirrors? If not, you pretty much lost the fight as a practical matter if you choose to fight it in court.

The cop following may not be able to see your mirror, but you may be able to see him (or, more accurately, his car) because he does not see from the edge of the car, but more than a foot away from the edge. His observations plus inability to be sure whether he is 200', 190' or 210' away may make his testimony shaky. If he had his lights on and you didn't se him, you still have the argument he was too close. You can also argue you didn't stop because there was no safe place to stop with the trailer and not be in traffic.

As I'm sure many know, plenty of times, cars tailgate and we can't see them behind us. That is an uncomfortable feeling. These are the most like drivers to suddenly try to pass, possibly while we are carefully changing lanes, eyes darting forward, to each side mirror, back to forward, and so on until we are dizzy. No mirror solves that problem.

And states do have to respect the laws of other states in some cases, but not others. I can't observe Colorado's speed limits in Illinois, though sometimes I try. Our driver's licenses are good in all states and our license plates, but if you get a driver's license at 14 in North Dakota (I don't know that for a fact, just making up a state that may or may not exist), maybe you can't drive in a state with an age minimum of 18.

Gene
I'm thinking that either you're a lawyer or for some reason you've been overly exposed to one...

Hey, Rick, would those fish eye mirrors have satisfied that cop in Florida?
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:46 AM   #38
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Hey, Rick, would those fish eye mirrors have satisfied that cop in Florida?
Actually they would (just got back from 2 months there) The main mirrors are wide enough to see around (as much as possible) a wide body trailer. The convex mirrors which are in closer fill in the blind spots. Also very helpful when backing, particularly on the right hand side as the further you are from a flat mirror the less you see..

When you get that new trailer maybe you can negotiate a good set of mirrors as part of the deal
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #39
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I'm thinking that either you're a lawyer or for some reason you've been overly exposed to one...

Hey, Rick, would those fish eye mirrors have satisfied that cop in Florida?
Only if you threw in a $20 with a doughnut.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:57 AM   #40
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What about using the backup cameras they offer at most auto part stores that attach to the license plate?
I got one for my mom's truck because she has a hard time backing here small "antiquing trailer" when she goes junking. They aren't that expensive and give you a fairly good wide angle view of behind you. I'm sure it wouldn't be that hard to extend the wires to go to the rear of the trailer.
And you can leave the monitor on full time if you wish.
Not sure how they would comply with the mirror laws, though you could see the 200 hundred feet behind you, not to mention the 1foot danger zone I seem to misjudge all the time.
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I have extended morrors, slide on, on my F150 and also installed a rear view CCD Camera with audio on the rear of my 23' AS. I can see around, directly behind and hear approaching vehicles. I hope I will be able to hear a blow out as well.
AFAIK, it is illegal in all 50 states to have a video device, whether it is a television, DVD player, or backup camera where the driver can see it while moving forward. If the driver can see the screen, it has to be off when driving, no matter what the reason or excuse for it being there is.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:02 PM   #41
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I'm thinking that either you're a lawyer or for some reason you've been overly exposed to one...
I'll take that as a compliment.

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:15 PM   #42
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Having the mirrors on my F-350 compared to my strap on McKesh mirrors I used on the Toureag - yes, better the mirror, the safer driver you will be - cannot imagine towing with improper mirrors...

LEO will sit behind you and turn on the cherries, if you don't pull over that is proof to him that you do not have proper mirrors or are scanning them. Their call to ticket when things are not safe. With LEO on this one...
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