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Old 04-28-2011, 12:25 PM   #71
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I checked the Colorado statutes as of 2009 (I haven't bought the latest editions).

Generally 8' 6" is the width limit, but there are significant exceptions. 42-4-502 says that width does not include "appurtenances" on RV's and the total including appurtenances is 9' 6". Mirrors on any vehicle may extend beyond 8' 6". Appurtenances are defined in 42-4-102(4.5) as a piece of equipment affixed or attached and used for a specific purpose or task such as awnings, support hardware. This applies to trailers and motor vehicles. This should include mirrors. So mirrors are covered in both sections.

The 200' rule is phrased similarly in Colorado laws— 42-4-226.

States copy each other's statutes, often without thinking, when a new idea comes along. The 200" foot rule could have been phrased something like this: "The driver of vehicle towing another vehicle shall have mirrors mounted on the towing vehicle to permit the driver to see 200 feet and more behind the rear of the towing vehicle."

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Old 04-28-2011, 03:29 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
A modern Airstream is 8 feet 5 inches wide.

The maximum vehicle width in most states is 8' 6 inches.

If your mirror sticks out farther from the TV than your trailer is wide, do you need need an oversize vehicle permit?
No state includes the mirrors in the maximum width measurement, although there are limitations that vary from state to state on how far they can stick out. Here it's 4".

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Why do you need to see behind when you are going forward?

You have the right of way over anything directly behind you.
You have to be able to see behind you on either side to confirm that it is safe to change lanes, in which case you do not have right of way. Also, you may have to give way to an emergency vehicle.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:07 PM   #73
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Perhaps an Airstream Forums first?

Awesome reference to appurtenances, my friend.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:30 PM   #74
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Let's see? Hmmm, Texas plates in Florida with an infraction the cop was using to generate revenue for the great state of tax dodging retirees. Still a warning seems appropriate. And I agree with others that you should have the correct mirrors. More than once I have been trapped by some idiot blocking the passing lane because he/she couldn't see the traffic behind them. The worse thing about the ticket is it will probably show up on your driving record as a moving violation. Many states now share ticket info. I got a ticket in MA that showed up on my OR record.

I bought one of those inexpensive review view cameras from costco online for about $65 to mount on the license plate on the airstream. I tow with a 2011 F250 with big mirrors that extend out, but even still it's nice to see behind you if you have to back up even a few feet. I only mount the camera inside the cab only when towing and I can leave it on all the time. The camera is made by Rear View Safety, but there are lots of them out there. I wonder if the cop would have let you go if you could demonstrate the ability to see behind you.
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Old 04-28-2011, 04:48 PM   #75
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Did ya know COPS used to pull ya over and measure from mirror tip to mirror tip and make darn sure you were not over 8'6' I had it done to me. I Passed,but that was yrs ago. I see they are still at it. Not sure what the width is now. I know trailers are 102" and mirrors have to be a little wider.
I agree with RICK YA NEED TO SEE the shoulder and the lane to your left,my mirrors on the F350 extend also and I have the small spots also. I never heard of a 200 ft rule.
I think the backup cam on the trailer is a great idea. Might even save ya a ding or two. I also agree with RICKS asumption that if ya cant see your mirrors when you peek around the rear corner of the AIRSTREAM then U need extensions of some kind.
A TICKET I think that was uncalled for a Warning would have been much better.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:00 PM   #76
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AND BYE THE WAY
I was an Over the Road Trucker for 45 yrs and I dont think I ever heard or maybe dont remember any thing about any 200 ft rule.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:58 PM   #77
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Mirror rules and regs

anyone know where there is a comprehensive listing of the State rules and regs on tow mirrors? I have been googling my fingers off with very little luck. Woodalls seems to have a great list of max lengths, widths, heights, multiple tow regulations but no one seems to list mirror requirements. I searched on a couple of individual States and found only vague references to being able to see behind the tow vehicle. Sure would be nice to know the rules before entering a particular state.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #78
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I keep reading and reading this thread with interest. Although, I am generally a law-abiding citizen, but these extortionist traffic laws supposedly written by brighter minds than us common folk ( we did hire them afterall) seem to be too poorly written to be enforceable. Our traffic courts are aware of this, yet they enforce or introduce penalties that defy fairness and clearly subvert legislative intent. Isnt it enough that Florida benefitted from the tourist dollars our brother spent there during his stay? I realize that safety is important, and visibility is key...however, the responsibility resides with us all. I live in California, land of the 85mph parking lot. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times " the other driver" speeds up to fill an otherwise available hole completely cutting off the would-be lane changer. I guess my point is this... No matter how much legislatio, no matter how many restrictive laws, no matter how much caution and common sense, no matter how much advanced technology... There will always be accidents and mishaps. Capitalizing on the statistics, thru poorly written, ambiguous and often times illegal and/or outdated codes is just plain CRIMINAL and unAmerican. Arizona erected speed trap cameras on their freeways (in violation of our right to face our accuser), a small town in North Carolina has recently done the same, in violation of their state constitution, Florida and California both employ traffic court civil penalties to keep folks from defending against infractions lest they get hit with a $500 fine for having the audacity to fight for their rights. All of this is designed in such a way that we all begin to second guess ourselves. I for one, never use extension mirrors...why? Because I am capable of repositioning myself to get a better view with my existing equipment, i augment that with a turn of my head, a look over my shoulder, a blinker and a double check. All of this is MY responsibility, but it does not eliminate risk... Neither do extended mirrors, rear facing cameras or giant flasing lights. Nor does the existence of the inherent risk, give municipalities the right to exploit natures laws and steal money from the public because of it. I say fight that ticket to the ends of the earth, if more of us "sheeple" did this, maybe the message would get received loud and clear by our employees.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:25 AM   #79
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I don't like tickets either, but.....

Hi, I don't like tickets either, but if everyone only got warnings, they would just continue to break the law. As for fighting tickets, the system knows that it isn't worth your time and trouble to try and win. Some courts will cut the ticket price in half, just because you took it to court. You still lost! The last ticket that I went to court for cost me one entire day, a $25.00 inspection fee, a $12.00 court fee, and a $6.00 parking fee. [knowing it was impossible to park anywhere for free in L.A.]

This was for what I call a chicken ticket.

(1.) Ornament hanging on inside rear view mirror.

(2.) No front license plate.

(3.) Proof of insurance card in car was expired. I had the new cards at home, but didn't put them in the cars yet. [everything was the same except for the dates on them]
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:42 AM   #80
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Not sure but if you keep the curtains pined back and can prove you can and the important thing would be you see LEO back there and pull over I would think you would possibly be ok.

I think the reason for the ticket is the Micky Mouse case is they didn't know he was behind them tailing with lights flashing for two miles. Pissed the Officer off before he got them stopped and it was downhill from there.

I had a friend in the 60's that got a ticket in deep east Texas pulling his trailer over the speed limit. I think at the time the 30' trailers had to be under 55 mph. I sure hope my luck holds out because its a long ways from Houston to west Texas at 60 mph.
Actually I was stopped at a red light and then about 100 yards on the other side I saw him. I think he was headed down the cross street and saw an easy $116 going by.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:50 AM   #81
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Let's see? Hmmm, Texas plates in Florida with an infraction the cop was using to generate revenue for the great state of tax dodging retirees. Still a warning seems appropriate. And I agree with others that you should have the correct mirrors. More than once I have been trapped by some idiot blocking the passing lane because he/she couldn't see the traffic behind them. The worse thing about the ticket is it will probably show up on your driving record as a moving violation. Many states now share ticket info. I got a ticket in MA that showed up on my OR record.

I bought one of those inexpensive review view cameras from costco online for about $65 to mount on the license plate on the airstream. I tow with a 2011 F250 with big mirrors that extend out, but even still it's nice to see behind you if you have to back up even a few feet. I only mount the camera inside the cab only when towing and I can leave it on all the time. The camera is made by Rear View Safety, but there are lots of them out there. I wonder if the cop would have let you go if you could demonstrate the ability to see behind you.
Nope don't think so. He was after the money from an out of stater. It's set up so the easier thing is to just pay the ticket. I was about 3 miles from turning into the State Park after driving 980 miles.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:00 AM   #82
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Ok.. I thought I read something about 2 miles somewhere.. or was that his story? That has been a few days ago now. Have you ever pulled down 290 close to the beltway. Those lanes are so tight. I was through there with a 18' utility trailer a few months ago and I only had about 6" on each side until the stripe. I ended up getting in the inside lane and going with the flow so I didnt have to worry about more than one side and the concrete barrier about a foot away.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:21 AM   #83
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"Originally Posted by Wsmith
Here is the Texas Law.. its the same.
Originally Posted by state.tx.us
547.602. MIRRORS REQUIRED. A motor vehicle, including
a motor vehicle used to tow another vehicle, shall be equipped with
a mirror located to reflect to the operator a view of the highway
for a distance of at least 200 feet from the rear of the vehicle."


Interesting stuff. No where in there does it state that you have to be able to actually see the pavement behind the tow vehicle. Only that you have a mirror located in a position that would do it. Implying, IF it was unobstructed.

Lets face it, if you are driving along in your pickup truck with three other pickup trucks and a van behind you, you cannot see the road for 200 ft. behind you.
That view is obstructed by other vehicles.

A trailer is an obstruction that prevents you from seeing all the pavement for 200 ft. behind you, but this law does not state that you have to see that pavement. It only states that you have to position a mirror so that you could.

Are you in a mirror violation if the visibility is 175 ft. behind you in fog or rain or snow? Nope. We're not talking about driving too fast for exisiting conditions here, that's got nothing to do with the mirror. We're talking about the view behind you.
If you find that you cannot see the pavement behind you for 200 ft, do you stop and wait for visibility to improve behind you, so that you can drive forward using your headlights?

Speaking of headlights.....how far behind can you see in pitch darkness, an unlit road on a totally moonless and cloud covered starless night? It's not 200 ft, is it. So you can't drive at night anymore, either.

And all of us are guilty of mirror violations as we go around curves in heavily wooded areas.

Do you have that Florida cop's name? I want to propose an idea to him. He can find all the sharp curves coming into town, and measure a 200 ft. radius out into the underbrush on the outside of that curve, and ticket everyone going around that curve that cannot see the pavement 200 ft. behind them. I just want a percentage for the loophole. Should increase their revenue dramatically.


As for the bozo doing 80 in the inside lane, it's HIS problem if he hits something from the rear. It is totally, legally, and logically the drivers responsibility not to drive into things, no matter what those things are doing. perhaps the RV driver who took him out of the gene pool should get a commendation.

If the RV driver changes lanes into him, that's different.
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Old 04-29-2011, 06:45 AM   #84
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While the data is more than two years old, it does, at least, provide an insight into the various US requirements for Trailer Towing Mirrors. In 2008, JeepForum.com posted a state-by-state breakdown of mirror requirements for towing at this link -- ==LIST of STATE MIRROR LAWS====

Finding safe towing mirrors was one of my most important pre-towing projects when I purchased my first Nomad trailer in 1980. Since the early 1980s, I have used McKesh trailer towing mirrors (Note: a brief synopsis of trailer towing mirror requirements by state is included on this link as well.) with their optional 3" convex mirrors on the arms of both left and right mirrors. These mirrors are very easy to adjust to meet the 200' requirement and provide an excellent view of traffic approaching from the rear. They are a VERY valuable safety feature even when towing my Airstream with the "See-Through-Design".

While I understand that traffic tickets are never pleasant nor are delays for spot safety inspections, knowing that local law enforcement agencies are actively working from the preventative angle of correcting problems before they can become a contributing factor to an accident is somewhat reassuring (IMHO). I have been stopped for safety-inspections four times in the past five years. These safety inspections have been very thorough and fairly administered by the state patrol officers involved (these inspections occurred in three different states). The items that were checked when my combintaions were inspected included:
  • Presence and operation of Trailer Brake Controller.
  • Presence and adequacy of Trailer Towing Mirrors.
  • Presence and adequacy of Trailer Hitching Equipment -- this necessitated a brief delay while the officer consulted his central dispatch office when there wasn't a rating plaque attached to the custom weld-up trailer hitch on my 1975 Cadillac in 2008 -- what was provided by the dispatch office was a copy of the basic design parameters for a weld-up Reese hitch from the 1960s.
  • Presence and adequacy of safety chains.
  • Tires on both the trailer and tow vehicle were checked for adequate tread depth as well as adequate weight rating for the loads involved.
  • Proper functioning of running lights, brake lights, and turn signals.
This discussion has served as a reminder to me to give my Suburban a thorough safety inspection prior to placing it back into service since it has not been used for towing since the WBCCI International Rally in Madison, WI (I know that the tires will need to be replaced due to checking from advanced age) - - what else might be needed is a question mark at this time.

Kevin
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