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Old 12-13-2017, 03:12 PM   #41
PKI
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Given that an alternative mirror support system could be fabricated, what are the best mirrors that could be mounted on a custom system?

What is the best combination of mirror size and aero profile?

What is the best location, with respect to the driver. Old add-on used to be mounted on the fender. Some foreign cars use fender locations. Ease of reach from the driver's seat might be a consideration, but it seems that being in the field of vision would be a priority.

Appreciate your thoughts. Pat
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Old 12-16-2017, 08:22 PM   #42
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camera for viewing behind trailer while driving

“One other thing I do is leave the front and rear curtains open on my trailer. That way I can see through the trailer. Helps to reset my sense of perspective now and again, and at night it's very helpful since headlights are easy to see. (Also, I don't have to worry if the fridge door was left open!)” - thiel

Good idea. Unfortunately the tinted rock guard protecting the front window eliminates the possibility of seeing through the length of the trailer.
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:02 PM   #43
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“One other thing I do is leave the front and rear curtains open on my trailer. That way I can see through the trailer. Helps to reset my sense of perspective now and again, and at night it's very helpful since headlights are easy to see. (Also, I don't have to worry if the fridge door was left open!)” - thiel

Good idea. Unfortunately the tinted rock guard protecting the front window eliminates the possibility of seeing through the length of the trailer.


Hmmm...I can see through ...though I admit it’s easier when cars have their lights on or when the road is lightly colored so the cars stand out.
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Old 12-19-2017, 07:40 PM   #44
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I bought a 7 inch monitor with 2 backup wireless cameras on eBay for about $375 called a Veise. Works great and half the price of the Voyager plus 2 cameras.
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Old 12-20-2017, 12:15 AM   #45
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Rear View Camera solution for RV

I have been looking for a good rear view camera solution for both my 1984 Airstream 310 MoHo and 1978 Airstream Sovereign with a RAM 2500 TV. I decided upon a Garmin GPS with built-in dash cam. This unit has the ability to be paired with up to 4 Wireless Backup Cameras. Theoretically this would allow you to see the:
- back
- curb side
- road side
- and even a view of the A-frame area.

Considering the extra features you get, it is way better value then dedicated backup camera solutions. For Under $500 you get a GPS, Dash Cam and Backup Camera.

The RV Garmin has some interesting features, see below.

Garmin
RV 770 LMT-S - $399.99
RV navigation with custom routing and a 6.95” edge-to-edge display
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/570074
Drive with Customized RV Routing
Just input the specs of your RV or towable trailer, and then RV 770 LMT-S will use your RV profile¹ to find the most efficient route across North America. Your route will be determined based on the height, weight, length and width specifications of your vehicle.

Garmin DriveAssist™ 51 LMT-S - $299.99
Advanced navigation with built-in dash cam
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/552032
Enjoy camera support behind the wheel with Garmin DriveAssist, the GPS navigator with a built-in dash cam. This navigator features smart capabilities such as Bluetooth® hands-free calling4 and live services plus camera-assisted driver alerts that help keep an eye out for you. The future is on your Garmin. Just look ahead and drive.

BC™ 30 Wireless Backup Camera - $169.99
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/501486
For a complete navigation solution, RV 770 LMT-S pairs with the BC™ 30 wireless backup camera (sold separately; professional installation recommended). Once connected, you can easily see vehicles, pedestrians and other obstacles right on the RV 770LMT-S navigator’s display as you move in reverse.

If you have an extra long rig, you can use this extensions cable to get the transmitter closer to the receiver.
Wireless Backup Camera Extension Cable - $29.99
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/144533
Extend the range of your BC™ 20 or BC™ 30 wireless backup camera with this 50-foot cable. The cable connects the camera to the wireless transmitter in longer vehicles.
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:58 AM   #46
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Rear camera

We have a 2012 22FB Bambi. I used to have a Tacoma (similar width to your 4runner). I purchased 2 of these mirrors (Fit System 3891 Deluxe Universal Clip-on Trailer Towing Mirror) from Amazon. They took quite a bit of fussing to get them on and secure but there was minimal vibration and made a HUGE difference in side visibility. We have since upgraded to a Tundra much wider with larger mirrors! I then wanted a rear view camera but was too cheap to buy the $200+unit. And also didn't want to drill any holes in the AS. I bought a relatively inexpensive wireless setup on amazon. Mounted the camera inside the rear window. At night its nearly useless due to the dark window tint but during the day it is a fabulous addition. Especially in heavy traffic, being able to see directly behind is a great asset. The wireless setup works ok but not great. It seems that the traffic signal sensors mess with the signal quite a bit. On the highway its not bad at all.

In summary. Use the extra towing mirrors and definitely get rear view camera setup. It is worth the extra $$ to have great rear and side visibility.
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Old 12-20-2017, 05:02 PM   #47
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The only time I wish for a rear vision camera is when I'm backing into my storage slot in the dark. I use the mirrors, and touching the brake illuminates the area behind me, but the depth perception is sorely lacking. Returning in the daytime, I see how off center and not far enough in.
As far as driving, the side mirrors with the CIPA extensions work great.
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Old 12-21-2017, 08:15 PM   #48
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I use the Garmin camera. Sure, it is super wide angle but I’m not all that interested in seeing what’s way back there, just what is directly behind, approaching fast, or about to pass. I find that when an overtaking vehicle leaves the camera field of view I can then see it in my side mirrors. This leaves me with no blind spots. Backing up, the camera is primarily useful to not back over my wife who tends to direct me into a spot from behind the trailer where I normally can’t see her. :-)
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Old 12-22-2017, 12:07 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by PKI View Post
Given that an alternative mirror support system could be fabricated, what are the best mirrors that could be mounted on a custom system?

What is the best combination of mirror size and aero profile?

What is the best location, with respect to the driver. Old add-on used to be mounted on the fender. Some foreign cars use fender locations. Ease of reach from the driver's seat might be a consideration, but it seems that being in the field of vision would be a priority.

Appreciate your thoughts. Pat

If we could mount where we wanted, it’s without A-pillar visual interference.

But forward enough that the mirrors aren’t ever outside of peripheral vision. Which is farther forward than what is generally seen (without regard to vehicle type).

A-pillar is the barrier. One shouldn’t ever have to turn ones head to see RH mirror.

Today’s thick A-pillars (rollover construction) tends to negate forward fender mount even though that makes for faster acquisition. The visibility “area under the curve” — pillar to pillar across windshield — is reduced as the A-pillars themselves are far forward.

If we head back into the start of the golden era for these trailers we run into the Chrysler Corporation “Forward Look” styling which caused huge upset at their rivals. Now there was a car where fender-mount custom placement would make for seamless rear vision. The windshield curves around to the side of the vehicle. The A-pillar is set back. And the interior rearview is set on the dashboard. A seamless scan is obtainable.

I remember these cars pretty easily. Grandad had a 1960 Dodge Dart. It would be instructive for others to sit in one and observe the possibilities. “Ideal” could be determined. Then size.

It’d be worth the trouble to mock-up some fender mount locations on the proposed TV. Driveway trial & error. So long as a perceived increase in A-pillar “thickness “ or combined interference wasn’t profound, it might be worth taking forward to test.

I’d say the real problem is sufficient bracing. Might need to be three-point for an adequate single-housing aero mirror (pickup mirrors fall short; see Hadley Advantage, for ideas: airport shuttle bus type).

Upper flat; height-length rectangular
Lower convex; sideways rectangular

Flattened top/bottom
Swollen or flat sides
Rounded back

8” width of both
10-12” tall flat
6” tall convex

12”x8”
over
6”x8”

Big as these are, they needn’t be bigger. The convex size is closest to minimum I’d want. It’s more the width and overall size/shape of the convex that drives housing design as it's the more important mirror in lane changes and blind spot problems.

Width on the flat mirror is secondary to height. Tall means better observation of the full vehicle length along the ground (read the road) and distance to problems alongside (determining “lane center”).

Aspheric glass was an ideal for (what I call) “training mirrors” as seen on some tractors as the usual convex tries to share what is better handled by another type; one wants the widest view of several adjoining lanes. (The company that could retrofit such no longer offers this as the pre-War German machinery is now worn out). Thus a third mirror at the RH fender front to supplement.

Mirror size tends to (stupidly) be related to vehicle size. But towing is outside what most factory mirrors can do. Really do. A thirty foot trailer is a challenge.

The industry metric is that a truck driver brain is running at 160 decisions per mile. By this one can see that “comfort level” becomes overload at a critical point. Tool quality in importance skyrockets near the end (highest speed of a given range).

When I get a chance I’ll measure some Class 8 mirrors. The final KW T660, and the larger (latest iteration) FL Cascadia Evolution; for your observations. If I can get near the short bus types, I’ll get those as well. Thus, as you overtake or are in traffic; other observations of big vehicles.

Of these two vehicles it isnt the larger size of the latter as advantage, it’s the better driver-centered design & ergonomics of the former which made for superior experience at the wheel (big windshield is just a drawback where A-pillar size, rear-set mirrors and driver seat placement are badly done).

The Tesla is a real disaster. There’s no way for a driver to have good vision with that design shape.

Finally,

Placement
Shape
Size

Would be my order. Former drives decisions about latter.

.
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Old 12-22-2017, 01:17 AM   #50
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Even with towing mirrors, I continue to have difficulties with cars/motorcycles approaching from directly behind my trailer at high rates of speed and then suddenly pulling out to pass. I turn on the turn signal and wait a few seconds, then pull into the left lane and hope for the best. A rear view camera would definitely help with this and with parking lot maneuvers.

- Bart
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:45 AM   #51
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Even with towing mirrors, I continue to have difficulties with cars/motorcycles approaching from directly behind my trailer at high rates of speed and then suddenly pulling out to pass. I turn on the turn signal and wait a few seconds, then pull into the left lane and hope for the best. A rear view camera would definitely help with this and with parking lot maneuvers.

- Bart
Make sure you can see fully down both sides with the mirrors, and a little to the rear, before adding a camera. Turn signals are a courtesy but other drivers have no obligation to let you out when they see it.

If you can't see down the side and to the rear you need mirror extensions.
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Old 12-22-2017, 06:55 AM   #52
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I had no idea how much I was missing before getting a camera. Some drivers behave differently when approaching a trailer than they do when I just driving my truck solo. I guess they feel invisible. I really appreciate my factory installed system!
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:36 AM   #53
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Several automakers have petitioned DOT to allow substituting cameras for outside rear view mirrors and I expect them to be successful. Cameras are more complicated but more effective and improve fuel economy. I have a rear camera on the AS but like to have side cameras mounted on the first third of the trailer for backing primarily. It is not possible to extend mirrors out far enough to see what's going on when backing up through the obstacle course of trees picnic tables sometimes.
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Old 12-22-2017, 07:51 AM   #54
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I had no idea how much I was missing before getting a camera. Some drivers behave differently when approaching a trailer than they do when I just driving my truck solo. I guess they feel invisible. I really appreciate my factory installed system!
The expect trailers to be slow especially getting away from a red light and will do amazing things to position themselves to pass as soon as the light turns green. no one wants to be behind something they can't see around.
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Old 12-22-2017, 09:59 PM   #55
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-- snip -- mount where we wanted, it’s without A-pillar visual interference. But forward enough that the mirrors aren’t ever outside of peripheral vision. -- snip -- real problem is sufficient bracing. -- snip -- an adequate single-housing aero mirror -- snip --
Thanks for info. The A-pillar is problematic. Bracing may work from roof rack mount if forward extension is possible without excessive vision loss. Next step may well be a mockup. Pat
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Old 12-25-2017, 06:12 AM   #56
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Even with towing mirrors, I continue to have difficulties with cars/motorcycles approaching from directly behind my trailer at high rates of speed and then suddenly pulling out to pass. I turn on the turn signal and wait a few seconds, then pull into the left lane and hope for the best. A rear view camera would definitely help with this and with parking lot maneuvers.

- Bart
You aren’t responsible for those who tailgate. Besides, in moving from the Interstate travel lane to the lane marked exclusively for passing (not overtaking) you’ve already done the necessary.

If you aren’t being passed (under 100’ feet from trailer rear bumper and estimated closing rate no higher than upper posted limit), then there’s no complication. Passing lane confers no ROW except when being passed.

It’s a worse situation to encourage others to drive around your dallying. I learned long ago to complete the maneuver once underway. Put on the signal, then go. Don’t jerk back to the lane of travel. They have brakes and can learn how to use them in an emergency of their own creation.

It’s either that or cancel the signal and proceed another quarter or half mile.

Plan the lane change earlier. The mirrors aren’t the problem.

If it’s as simple as an Interstate exit, then that begins around two miles out. A change on a multi-lane in a crowded metro was part of your trip planning. 1957 or 2017. Where is the exit left or right, and what is the earliest I can be in that lane? Etc.

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Old 12-25-2017, 06:28 AM   #57
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Several automakers have petitioned DOT to allow substituting cameras for outside rear view mirrors and I expect them to be successful. Cameras are more complicated but more effective and improve fuel economy. I have a rear camera on the AS but like to have side cameras mounted on the first third of the trailer for backing primarily. It is not possible to extend mirrors out far enough to see what's going on when backing up through the obstacle course of trees picnic tables sometimes.
Mirrors will always be superior. And are fail proof.

Backing is a matter of getting out and surveying. Hardly a burden. The cameras location keeps it from ever being part of a side to side scan. It won’t reduce backing accidents.

Cameras also won’t substantially reduce fuel burn. Not significant. And not at the price of the vehicle computer disabling the vehicle until a camera is fixed.

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Old 12-25-2017, 06:33 AM   #58
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Thanks for info. The A-pillar is problematic. Bracing may work from roof rack mount if forward extension is possible without excessive vision loss. Next step may well be a mockup. Pat
Look forward to what you may come up with. I’d use the Eagle or 1970s McKesh first, if you haven’t.

Measuring extension is another task.
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Old 12-25-2017, 07:03 AM   #59
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Mirrors will always be superior. And are fail proof.

Backing is a matter of getting out and surveying. Hardly a burden. The cameras location keeps it from ever being part of a side to side scan. It won’t reduce backing accidents.

Cameras also won’t substantially reduce fuel burn. Not significant. And not at the price of the vehicle computer disabling the vehicle until a camera is fixed.

.
The improvement measured at Ford Motor on light duty trucks was a little more than 1 mpg and on small cars over 2 mpg when the mirrors are replaced by cameras. The CAFE requirement for 2025 is a fleet average of 54 mpg. Automakers will be penalized for every tenth of a mpg they are under. Ford is offering buyout, stopping production of the Focus, sending other cars to Asia to scrape together the $14 billion dollars they will spend trying to avoid a potentially much larger penalty. Do you honestly think they will pass up an easy 1 mpg that marketing can sell as an improvement? And BTW when backing into a space it is an improvement, it helps. I spent a fortune on the damn thing, it should do whatever the hell I want it to.
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Old 12-25-2017, 09:55 PM   #60
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-- snip -- I’d use the Eagle or 1970s McKesh first, if you haven’t. -- snip --
May default to that. Simple solution to achieve an improvement. A bit more design analysis and some skill development appears to be next step. Should be fun. Pat
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