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Old 04-27-2011, 11:56 PM   #61
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Yep Bob you're right, wish the Airstream dealer I bought the 06 Safari from would have brought up the point when they set up the Reece hitch. You spend the bucks on a new trailer what's the diff in spending more on mirrors. Didn't start this thread just to rant but to get an education on what the law says, what's safe and what the best solution is for a SUV. Hopefully a few other people out there can learn from my bad.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:52 AM   #62
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I've been towing for 40 years and have to agree with AirHog -- most add on mirrors are more of a distraction because of the vibration. I've towed thousands of miles with no extended mirrors but, I know I should have them for better vision. So, before leaving Florida to return north I bought two K Source 3891 clip on mirrors. They work great and have minimal vibration. Highly recommend these mirrors. About $20 each on Amazon.
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:33 AM   #63
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Sorry to hear about the ticket But it might be for the best as it will mean you will be getting some mirrors. I would not leave home without extended side mirrors when towing. There have been many times having them has saved me from changing lanes as a fast moving vehicle is overtaking me. You can not be a safe driver if not able to see what is approaching you from the rear and at what speed.
I have tried several different ones and like the K Source 3891 the best. The only bad thing about them, is if traveling at say about 70 mph, you will sometimes have one of the mirrors blow in from a truck going by! This is if you have the type of mirrors that fold in, like I have. This is not good and you have to slow way down to get them to go back out. The size of these puts a lot of air pressure on them when traveling. I fixed this by getting some straps that go from under the hood to the mirrors that now hold them secure so there is no chance of them getting blown in. What I really like about them compared to the McKesh ones is that I can fold them in when coming up to a key pad for unlocking a gate or just to park the vehicle.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:44 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A W Warn View Post
316.294 Mirrors.

Every vehicle, operated singly or when towing any other vehicle, shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the motor vehicle. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
I boldfaced the part that is ambiguous to me.

This is an example of writing something when you know what you want to say but aren't sure how to say it. It could be interpreted to say you have to see the 200' immediately behind the rear of the tow vehicle. Common sense is that would be impossible, but common sense isn't always engaged. Statutes aren't always drafted in the best form and attempts to get as much as possible into one sentence often result in dense, incomprehensible sentences. Ask yourself whether you would understand that sentence if you didn't know what it was supposed to mean.

Also, regardless of the length of the trailer, the 200' is counted from the rear of the tow vehicle. 200' used to be considered 10 car lengths, though cars are shorter now.

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Old 04-28-2011, 08:55 AM   #65
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Question How does the law explain this?

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?

It would seem so, since the TV is going to be well over 8' 6" wide.

Just a thought

Ken

Another thought:

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

You have the right of way over anything directly behind you.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:03 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
Thanks AW for actually posting the official law, which does state the 200' rule and the non-moving violation that I was told. The Lexus mirrors are the same as the Sequoia. Pretty large motorized. I can see my wife at the back of the trailer when backing into a camp site. The officer in question must have caught me at a stop light from the cross street. When I saw him (in the mirrors) he wanted me to pull over to the left lane but I pulled over to the shoulder on the right. Guess he didn't want to be on the street side so he had to talk to me through the wife's passenger window. We were driving slow as we were about 2 miles from the State Park after 980 miles. Went to Walmart that night and bought the $19 suction cup model that sticks on the Lexus mirror. Though it does extent the view it blocked the view of the Lexus mirror creating an even bigger blind spot. Didn't want to get another ticket but until further research didn't want to spend more money on a temp fix. Looks like the consensus is to get the McKesh ones. On another note don't think the officer in question wanted to debate the concept of being able to see the highway behind me. They just want their easy $116.
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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

You are just under the speed limiting reduction length at 26' To tow legally in Texas I am restricted to 60 mph days 55 night. I don't and have never been stopped driving 70 with my Excella in 31 years now.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:10 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wsmith View Post
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.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.

That is still pretty ambiguous. It leaves a lot to the discretion of the LEO. From this statute I need A MIRROR. I can see from my rear view mirror directly behind the trailer at least 200 ft. So I'm good, right? I don't need any "strap ons".
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:31 AM   #68
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In my opinion, in order for mirrors to be effective, they must be wider that the vehicle and the trailer being towed. I believe that one state uses the term "six inches wider than the towed vehicle". I use extension mirrors on the Lincoln but not the PowerWagon, since it has junior west coast mirrors.

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Old 04-28-2011, 09:46 AM   #69
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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?

It would seem so, since the TV is going to be well over 8' 6" wide.

Just a thought

Ken

Another thought:

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

You have the right of way over anything directly behind you.
My thought are NOT

Truck Tractors have a track of 8' and their mirrors stick out a good 6" wider than the trailer on each side. A mirror is also not considered a load, since its a part of the vehicle. Definitely want to stay off congested narrow city streets if at all possible..

I can think of a few. You are in the right lane going 70 someone is coming up behind you at say 80, (that happens a lot in Texas) you car closing in on someone if front of you going 60 and you look and decide to change lanes.. not knowing a car is behind you closing fast. He switches lanes and you start your move to change lanes and Hit him with the rear of your trailer. He in already in his lane.. whose fault is it going to be.. He beat you into that lane. You had just looked into your sub standard mirrors and he wasn't there but due to his speed he is now in your path. Its not as easy to probe speed in a lot of cases due to anti lock brakes don't leave much much rubber on the road. Will you have the good luck of samaritan to stop and wait for Law Enforcement to get there.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Top View Post
That is still pretty ambiguous. It leaves a lot to the discretion of the LEO. From this statute I need A MIRROR. I can see from my rear view mirror directly behind the trailer at least 200 ft. So I'm good, right? I don't need any "strap ons".
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.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:25 AM   #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, 02:29 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".

Quote:
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, 03:07 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, 03:30 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, 03:48 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, 05:00 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, 05:58 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, 06:00 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 04-28-2011, 11:25 PM   #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 04-28-2011, 11:42 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wsmith View Post
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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