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Old 01-21-2006, 02:45 PM   #1
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Towing Mirrors

I am driving from Michigan to Florida to pick up my '04 Bambi Safari in 3 weeks. It will definitely be an adventure for us. I am towing it home with my 2000 Chevy Astro van. I'm having the Reese hitch with WD package, 7 way light thingie, electric brakes and friction sway bar installed here before going down. I asked the folks up here that are doing this work about setting me up with mirrors (they're an RV/Trailer dealer). They recommended some new type of setup that can be easily moved from vehicle to vehicle (suction?), rather than "strap-on" types that are more vehicle specific. Does anyone know what this "new" type of mirror is? Should I go with them? Maybe first I should ask if mirrors are really needed...
Thanks in advance for your help!
Also, I see the term, "SOB" dealership used in the threads. What is this?

Darrell
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:07 PM   #2
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Get something for mirrors

There are several types of Extenders that strap or clamp onto existing mirrors to give you wider view and chance to see what is coming behind trailer, and are worth safety enhancement... Best advice I can offer is try them and see that they are secure, as you will see insecure models littering the highways as they have fallen off and done former owners litle good.. We used long black plastic slipover extensions on Suburban from mid-90's, and had much better view of what was going on behind us, and they were held on with clamp and threaded knob/bolt... THey're going into classifieds if anyone wants a pair, as Excursion has its own built in extenders...

As for SOB dealers, that is polite form of "Some Other Brand" of Trailer or Motorhome, used as shorthand here to describe non-Airstreams... Not really intended to be derogatory...

John McG
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:12 PM   #3
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Towing Mirrors

Greetings Darrell!

Welcome to the adventure of Airstream ownership!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double D
I am driving from Michigan to Florida to pick up my '04 Bambi Safari in 3 weeks. It will definitely be an adventure for us. I am towing it home with my 2000 Chevy Astro van. I'm having the Reese hitch with WD package, 7 way light thingie, electric brakes and friction sway bar installed here before going down. I asked the folks up here that are doing this work about setting me up with mirrors (they're an RV/Trailer dealer). They recommended some new type of setup that can be easily moved from vehicle to vehicle (suction?), rather than "strap-on" types that are more vehicle specific. Does anyone know what this "new" type of mirror is? Should I go with them? Maybe first I should ask if mirrors are really needed...
Thanks in advance for your help!
Also, I see the term, "SOB" dealership used in the threads. What is this?

Darrell
While I can't speak to the latest of the various temporary-mount trailering mirrors; I have had experience with numerous past attempts, and none of the experiences have been good. I finally followed the advice (in 1996) from several veteran Airstream owners and purchased a set of McKesh mirrors -- see:

http://www.hensleymfg.com/mckeshmirrors.html

I was fortunate enough to pick up both sets that I own during the annual flea market at one of the WBCCI International Rallys. Even if I were faced with paying full list price for a new set of these mirrors, I wouldn't hesitate as they provide a clear view particularly when equipped with the convex spot mirrors on each side.

My primary tow vehicle is the '99 Suburban, and I utilize these mirrors when towing either of my coaches. I could probably get by without the McKesh mirrors when towing my Minuet with the Suburban but the extra safety and security provided by their excellent rear view makes them a must have for me.

Good luck with your adventure!

Kevin
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:29 PM   #4
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Thanks to Condo and Overlander for the info. I'll look into the McKesh units. Thanks for explaining the SOB term! Any tips on towing in the snow? Heaven forbid but I'm hauling into Michigan in February!
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Old 01-21-2006, 03:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double D
Thanks to Condo and Overlander for the info. I'll look into the McKesh units. Thanks for explaining the SOB term! Any tips on towing in the snow? Heaven forbid but I'm hauling into Michigan in February!
Congratulations on the trailer!

You may want to look into a good set of add-on mudflaps like the Enkay Mud Tamers. If you DO run into bad weather, they will help keep your trailer from getting beaten to death by cinders/salt/etc.

I also would suggest the McKesh mirrors as Kevin has.

Good luck,

Dennis
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:01 PM   #6
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I put a set of Schefenacker mirrors on my Silverado. I think they're absolutely fantastic: http://www.ttt-mirror.com

They give you one very large square mirror, and a smaller convex mirror. They extend by about a foot or something when you need them, but can be moved back in close when you aren't towing. You get to keep all the features of your existing mirrors, like remote adjust and mirror heat, and add other features you may want, like running lights and turn signals. Since Schefenacker is an OEM mirror supplier for several car manufacturers, they're built right, and look good.

I installed mine myself, but wouldn't recommend it for those who are afraid of stripping and connecting wires and so forth.
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:05 PM   #7
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Congrats for your new toy! Pics of the trip I hope?
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:18 PM   #8
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Hi, Darrell,

Congrats on the new Bambi. Advice about towing in snow? My best advice is to thoroughly wash the bottom with warm water to get the salt off it when you get home as it will eat up the belly if you don't.

I picked up my 31' in March last year in Grand Rapids, towed it to Toledo and Cleveland and then back to southeastern GA. We had to borrow the sellers' (great folks) neighbor's Suburban 4x4 to get it out of the barn and up and down his hilly, snowy driveway. I hitched it up in a wide place in the road, thanked the gentleman, and started to drive away without putting on the towing mirrors! I noticed their absence at the next stop sign. Fortunately, Michigan makes wide roads with emergency lanes.

The roads themselves weren't much problem. I just kept it slow and avoided any quick maneuvers and gave myself about five times the normal stopping distance. I did see some of the hot rods that blasted rudely past me sitting in the median on the way to Cinci. I waved and slowly went on along my way.

I can also vouch for the McKesh towing mirrors. I've used the same set from 1993 to 2005, mostly on a V8 Dodge Dakota. They install quickly, mount firmly, and don't vibrate excessively. I don't need them anymore, so whoever wants to come get them can HAVE them. (My new Dodge has these gizmo towing mirrors. Pictures in my gallery...)

Regards,

Lamar
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:32 PM   #9
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Mirrors

McKesh, don't leave home without them. Great mirrors.

Mark
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmotini
Congratulations on the trailer!

You may want to look into a good set of add-on mudflaps like the Enkay Mud Tamers. If you DO run into bad weather, they will help keep your trailer from getting beaten to death by cinders/salt/etc.

I also would suggest the McKesh mirrors as Kevin has.

Good luck,

Dennis
Dennis,

Thanks, I think I'll look into a set. Sounds like a great idea-- year round!

DD
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AgZep
I put a set of Schefenacker mirrors on my Silverado. I think they're absolutely fantastic: http://www.ttt-mirror.com

They give you one very large square mirror, and a smaller convex mirror. They extend by about a foot or something when you need them, but can be moved back in close when you aren't towing. You get to keep all the features of your existing mirrors, like remote adjust and mirror heat, and add other features you may want, like running lights and turn signals. Since Schefenacker is an OEM mirror supplier for several car manufacturers, they're built right, and look good.

I installed mine myself, but wouldn't recommend it for those who are afraid of stripping and connecting wires and so forth.
Wow, I checked 'em out. Pretty impressive. Pricey, too! I'll see what's in the budget! Thanks!
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:22 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Congrats for your new toy! Pics of the trip I hope?
Thanks! Will definitely take lots of pics and post them when we get back!
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
Hi, Darrell,

Congrats on the new Bambi. Advice about towing in snow? My best advice is to thoroughly wash the bottom with warm water to get the salt off it when you get home as it will eat up the belly if you don't.

I picked up my 31' in March last year in Grand Rapids, towed it to Toledo and Cleveland and then back to southeastern GA. We had to borrow the sellers' (great folks) neighbor's Suburban 4x4 to get it out of the barn and up and down his hilly, snowy driveway. I hitched it up in a wide place in the road, thanked the gentleman, and started to drive away without putting on the towing mirrors! I noticed their absence at the next stop sign. Fortunately, Michigan makes wide roads with emergency lanes.

The roads themselves weren't much problem. I just kept it slow and avoided any quick maneuvers and gave myself about five times the normal stopping distance. I did see some of the hot rods that blasted rudely past me sitting in the median on the way to Cinci. I waved and slowly went on along my way.

I can also vouch for the McKesh towing mirrors. I've used the same set from 1993 to 2005, mostly on a V8 Dodge Dakota. They install quickly, mount firmly, and don't vibrate excessively. I don't need them anymore, so whoever wants to come get them can HAVE them. (My new Dodge has these gizmo towing mirrors. Pictures in my gallery...)

Regards,

Lamar
Hey, Grand Rapids is where we live. Sounds like your trip was without major incident. That's cool.
Thanks for the tips. The weather is very unpredictable here. It was in the upper forties all week and this morniong woke up to 6 inches of snow Hope Mother Nature is not PMSing the week we head up here with our new little baby!
Sounds like the McKesh mirrors are a favorite! Thanks again.

Darrell
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Old 01-21-2006, 06:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjoandall
McKesh, don't leave home without them. Great mirrors.

Mark
Thanks, Mark. Looks like McKesh wins!
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