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Old 02-23-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
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Telescoping trailer tow mirrors - must have?

I'm looking at trucks to pull a 8' 6" wide Airstream. Almost every truck I see does *not* have the larger, telescoping trailer tow mirrors.

New ones on the lot do not (2009 F-150). If you insist on that feature you eliminate almost all in stock trucks. The dealer can remove the ones that were there (and discard them) and install the telescoping mirrors, but I'm afraid to ask what that would cost. Still, it could be done.

I plan to tow a lot in many kinds of situations, full-timing for years. If I will regret not getting them on my new truck, I would like to avoid that regret.

My question to you experienced friends is - are these must haves?


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Old 02-23-2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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I too was looking for them and found my current truck that I found had everything I wanted but these. I still bought the truck and found that although the extending mirrors would be helpful, the larger trucks as they are with the standard mirrors I have found do a very good job on their own FWIW. If you can find 'em I am sure they'll be better than the stockers, but in the end I have no regrets.

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Old 02-23-2009, 08:21 PM   #3
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

To answer your question, yes, you do need extended mirrors to tow an Airstream safely. We have a 2005 Suburban with the standard mirrors. On this TV, we use the TowNSee Mirrors from Camping World. They work great and they are $20 each. We also have a 2004 Suburban with the factory extending mirrors. They also work great, but adding a set to the would be $600. The TowNSee work just as well.

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Old 02-23-2009, 08:32 PM   #4
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I put the extendable mirrors on mine - and sold the original equipment ones on ebay for about $150. I actually found that the standard ones weren't bad - on a short trip I took while waiting for mine to arrive. They told me it couldn't be done post delivery, but several users here had done it. I printed out the threads and shoved them under the dealer's nose.

I did look at one Dodge Hemi - and they had the neatest towing mirrors, they look standard, then you fold them 90 degrees outward and voila, towing mirrors.

I fulltime, so it's worth it to me to have permanently attached telescoping mirrors. If you travel 8 - 10 times a year, get the less expensive ones.

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Old 02-23-2009, 09:09 PM   #5
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The attachable solution seems good - normal mirrors most of the time, add them when towing. I might average a week between major moves.

Still, it seems like you would have to adjust them every time you install them? Or do they stay adjusted through a remove / install cycle?

we use the TowNSee Mirrors
The TowNsee you mention attaches to the conventional mirror with a suction cup. The conventional mirror can be adjusted from the driver's seat, moving the TowNsee. Is that how you adjust yours?

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Old 02-24-2009, 03:39 AM   #6
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If you are going to keep your truck for a good while, invest in telescoping mirrors. The dealers will moan if you are not taking something else that is directly on their lot. They paid for that inventory and need to move it.
A good dealer should be able to find you a truck with the options you want somewhere within the region.
I tried the clamp on mirrors. They vibrated and were a royal pain to take on/off.

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Old 02-24-2009, 05:47 AM   #7
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I had the same problem. Needed larger mirrors and did not want to spend the $600 to change. Tried the clip on mirrors, and found they vibrated too much to be usefull. Then tried a set of the CIPA slip-on mirrors designed to fit over your existing mirrors, and they work well.

Cipa Mirrors - Item - Camping World
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Old 02-24-2009, 05:53 AM   #8
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I installed a set of CIPA telescoping mirrors on my '97 Chevy. Best investment I've made in vehicle upgrades. Nice clean lines and a huge mirror surface.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:51 AM   #9

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Check these out...

Others here have tried them and are very pleased....

eBay Motors: 04-2007 FORD F150 Extendable Manual Towing Mirrors Tow (item 280274906908 end time Mar-05-09 20:22:22 PST)

We have the extendable camping option on our Burb and would not tow without them.
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 02-24-2009, 07:15 AM   #10
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I have tried to configure one of these trucks at the Ford web site, and it seems you cannot get the telescoping mirrors unless you get the 3.73 ratio gearbox (GCVW 11500), at least on the high end model I'm considering. I prefer the 3.55 ratio gearbox (GCVW 9700), it being adequate for my needs.

I appreciate the references and recommendations here. The previous two don't seem to offer 2009 F150 compatible units. The 2009 can be had with many different mirrors, depending on trim level. Maybe most of them have the same geometry, just black vs body color vs chrome. Anyhow, you have convinced me that:

1) I need extended mirrors in many situations to be safe and sane.
2) A variety of solutions work depending on a variety of factors.
3) I can try those, and plunk down the $ for Ford ones if need be.

So, I don't *have* to get a truck with them on it off the lot. Nice.

I'm sure I could do the labor of putting them on, if I had the parts. Does anyone know how to order genuine Ford parts online (esp. at a discount) so that I can see how much they really would cost?

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:26 AM   #11

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Try this link, this company was the supplier of the GM mirrors.

They may be the same for Ford....

Power Vision Mirrors | The Ultimate Towing Mirror | Ford Models
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #12
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I would encourage you to check out the Ford mirrors. My reasoning is this: In Nov. I bought a 2008 Dodge Ram 1500, managed to get all the tow stuff except the mirrors. I debated whether to pay the dealer for the Dodge mirrors, went ahead and did so. Am so glad I did! They fold up and thus look like standard mirrors when I don't need them. When I need them, I unfold them, and they also have the fish-eye mirror in the corner, which gives me all sorts of viewing options. BUT the kicker is, they are wired into the truck system, and there is a built in defroster! Neat trick to discover, and it has come in handy! They were'nt cheap, but definitely worth it in the long run.
Of course, Your Results May Vary.
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Old 02-24-2009, 11:34 AM   #13
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In most States, you MUST have extended mirrors when towing 8'6".I have used CIPA slip on when we had 1/2 ton Suburbans and they were fine (better than others I have seen with all kinds of straps, etc). The new 3/4 ton pick me up has factories; much better still.
If I were buying new, I'd get the factories. I am sure Ford can put them on any truck on the lot. Check with their parts dept.You might throw this in as a bargaining chip?

Pretty cool that Ford has them for 1/2 tons now...


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