LAST UPDATED: March 9, 2019
Best Towing Mirrors: Our Top Picks for Safe Hauling
Be smart and safe while towing with these top towing mirrors for your vehicle
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON March 9, 2019
Towing can be a fun but stressful endeavor. To give yourself the peace of mind you need while driving, have a great pair of towing mirrors ready to go on your vehicle. You’ll have a better view of things behind you of both the driver side and passenger side blind spots, keeping you safe on the road. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to find the best towing mirrors for your vehicle.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Why Buy Towing Mirrors?
- Increase your field of view. For safety reasons, it’s always important to see what’s going on around your vehicle. If the thing you’re towing is bigger than your vehicle, you need something to increase your field of view. A towing mirror does just that.
- Reduce blind spots. Factory side mirrors on most vehicles are limited in view, leaving blind spots. These spots make it difficult to see what’s going on to your left, right, and back, which are further accentuated when you’re towing something. Towing mirrors help reduce these blind spots.
- Peace of mind. Towing can be stressful. Not only do you have to watch out for any road hazards that might pop up in front of you, but you also have to make sure you know what’s happening behind you. With a towing mirror, you can feel more confident in seeing the whole picture.
- Legal requirements. In some places, towing a large trailer is only allowed when you have the proper towing mirrors. This is both a legal and safety requirement, so it’s best to check what kind of mirrors you need to tow legally before hitting the road.
Types of Towing Mirrors
Manual Towing Mirrors
As the name suggests, manual towing mirrors have no power adjustment, meaning you must move them by hand. They are replacement mirrors for your vehicle’s factory pair and tend to be more affordable than powered options.
Powered Towing Mirrors
One of the more expensive options out there, powered towing mirrors are also one of the most convenient types of mirrors. Like many factory side mirrors, you can adjust them at the touch of a button. Installing these can be tricky since you’ll have to connect some wires to your vehicle.
Telescopic Towing Mirrors
These tend to be a popular choice among drivers with larger vehicles or trailers. Telescopic towing mirrors can extend to offer a better rear view. When not in use, they can retract into their standard position for a narrower profile. They’re available in both manual and powered models.
Universal Clip-on Towing Mirrors
If you’re only towing things on a rare occasion, you’ll be a fan of the universal clip-on mirror. These are an inexpensive option that clip onto your existing factory mirrors. Clip-on mirrors don’t look the best when it comes to matching the look of your car, but they get the job done. They also tend to vibrate more than other options depending on how well they clip on the existing mirror.
Top Brands of Towing Mirrors
Headquartered in Rancho Dominguez, California, Fit System has been making quality automotive products for over 20 years. They make a variety of different towing mirrors, each that suits a different style and budget. One of their best-selling tow mirrors is the Deluxe Universal Clip-On Mirror.
CIPA is an innovative mirror manufacturer that has been in business for over 65 years. Based in Port Huron, Michigan, they continue to be a market leader, making tow mirrors for every imaginable make and model. Among their most popular mirrors are the 11980 Universal Bar Towing Mirror and the 11650 Deluxe Door Mount Mirror.
Based in the City of Industry, California, Auto Dynasty is a popular brand that has made and sold quality auto parts for decades. Their accessory line includes towing mirrors, lights, and window visors. Their most popular mirror is the Telescoping Towing Mirror for the Ford F-150.
Towing Mirror Pricing
- Under $40: At this price, you’ll mostly find universal clip-on mirrors. Some of these are pretty flimsy; others can withstand the vibrations of rough roads. These are a good solution for the infrequent tow job.
- $50-$90: In this range, you can find many high-quality products to fulfill your towing needs. A number of different types are available at this price point, from manual to powered options. These are usually well-made and durable, perfect if you plan to tow things frequently.
- Over $100: Towards the higher end, there are many manual and powered towing mirrors with additional options like built-in turn signals and defrosters. The quality of these mirrors tends to be high to survive changing weather conditions and frequent use.
Flat glass mirrors reflect the proportions of objects outside more accurately to show the correct size and distance as much as possible. Convex glass mirrors are curved for a wider view but tend to distort objects and distances more. They are useful, however, for reducing your blind spots more than flat mirrors. Many models now come with both types of glass and various exterior materials like stainless steel.
Ease of Installation
Some mirrors are easier to install than others. If you select a portable clip-on mirror, you’ll be able to clamp it on or slip it over the existing side mirror in a matter of minutes. More permanent options, however, replace the original mirrors, including the existing wiring. This takes more time and skill to do correctly.
Field of View
The size of the mirror matters. Taller and wider towing mirrors offer a larger field of view. With this, you can improve your chances of towing something safely and efficiently. We recommend a mirror that has both flat and convex glass to maximize your field of view and to keep you safe on the roads.
- Compatibility: Depending on the type of mirrors your car has, be sure to pay attention to which makes and models the towing mirrors you select are compatible with. Unfortunately, not all towing mirrors will work with all vehicles—even “universal” mirrors have some limitations. To ensure that your mirrors work as designed, the compatibility is critical. A true universal mirror should work with brands like Chevrolet, Ford, Dodge Cadillac, and more.
- LED lights: A couple of towing mirrors come with integrated LED arrows wired into the turn signals and brake lights of your vehicle. This is a useful safety feature to increase the side view, extend the signal lights range, and but does increase the overall price and the complexity of the installation process.
- Built-in Heating: If you live in an area where it gets cold, snow or ice can make the mirror hazy, making it difficult to see out of them. A built-in heater uses a temperature sensor to activate when it’s cold enough, clearing up any snow, ice, or haze on the glass.
Best Towing Mirrors Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Universal in design, this Dometic towing mirror mounts on all makes and models. The easy-grip clamp attachment requires no tools, making installation a quick process. An air-balanced design stops vibrations for a field of view clear and free of any distortions. The mirror itself is wide and tall, creating a top-to-bottom view of whatever you’re towing.
The innovative, patented design allows it to work with curved mirrors as well as flat ones. In terms of quality, these are well-made, have terrific clarity, and can withstand adverse weather conditions. They’re also fairly lightweight so they won’t damage your existing side mirrors.
These are a great pick if you’re looking for a semi-permanent solution since they mount on and come off quickly. We’ve only noticed one downside: They can technically fall off. If you take care to mount them properly and check on them periodically, you should be fine.
As a universal clip-on mirror, this one will fit onto almost any vehicle. The design is sleek and secure, requiring no tools to install. These simply clip onto your existing mirrors to increase your field of view without blocking the view. Dual mounting straps fasten and lock tight to reduce vibrations and keep your view distortion-free.
These are durable and well-made for the price. They also have good clarity and a wide field of view thanks to the extended design. The clip-on straps are rubber-padded to protect your existing mirrors, making them easy to take on and off without worrying about your car. Be sure to adjust these properly so you can see your trailer and surroundings as much as possible.
Compared to some other mirrors, these are a bit smaller, which creates a smaller field of view. If you have a big trailer to tow and want the maximum view possible, we recommend looking into other types.
These ECCPP towing mirrors are a great addition to your truck or SUV. With LED arrows and turn signals, as well as built-in heating and defrosting, these are a great option if you’re towing frequently in colder conditions. Powered adjustability makes them easy and convenient to use. They’re a permanent option that will replace your factory side mirrors, so they come as a pair.
In terms of quality, these are manufactured to high standards and demonstrate their durability in several ways. For instance, they have no problem with noise or vibrations. The clarity of the glass is also high. They fold flat when not in use, and the telescoping design offers an extended field of view. Two types of glass allow you to see nearly everything that’s going on behind you.
These mirrors are made for specific Chevy and GMC trucks and SUVs, so make sure they are compatible with your vehicle before purchasing. Besides that, their only drawback is the installation, which will require some time and effort since it involves completely removing your old mirrors and mounting these in their place. The wiring can be complicated to figure out. Unless you have experience, we recommend letting a professional help to get the best results.
Tips & Advice for Towing Mirrors
- Use a glass cleaner to maintain the clarity of the mirror’s glass. When cleaning the surface, make sure to use a microfiber cloth to avoid scratches.
- To maintain universal clip-on and slide-on mirrors, remove them from the mounting point for a thorough cleaning. While detached, also check and clean the factory side mirrors to keep them in good condition.
- If your towing mirror has chrome accents, polish these up to keep everything looking new. This will also help maintain the health of the chrome.
- For universal mirrors with silicone straps, use silicone adhesive to join the straps permanently to the hooks that grab the top and bottom of the mirror housing.
- If you’re concerned about a clip-on mirror falling off while cruising down the highway, use a zip tie to attach the mirror to the frame of the vehicle’s mirror. That should keep it attached, even if the fittings come loose.
- To adjust your towing mirrors to the correct position, start with them straight and perpendicular to the vehicle. Sit in the driver’s seat and adjust them until you can see about 200 feet behind you.
Q: What makes a towing mirror special?
A: Regardless of the exact design, all towing mirrors increase the field of view of the mirror and give you a clearer view of everything behind you. They reduce blind spots and provide a full-length view of your trailer. The further out the towing mirror is, the more your lateral field of view increases.
Q: Do towing mirrors fold back if I hit something in the parking lot?
A: It depends on the model and type of the mirror. Some of the more expensive models do fold back to prevent damage, as do clip-on mirrors attached to folding side mirrors. Always be aware of your surroundings and drive carefully no matter what.
Q: The factory side mirrors on my car are electric. Will this pose a problem?
A: It won’t be a problem at all if you install permanent towing mirrors. These have the advantage of retaining the full functionality of your electric mirrors. If this is your preferred option, it’s best to have a professional install them to ensure they work properly.
Q: How exactly do towing mirrors fit onto my car?
A: That depends mostly on the type of towing mirror. Universal ones can fit onto any model of car as long as the mounting mechanism is compatible with the side mirrors you have. More permanent options replace the factory mirrors.
Q: Can I upgrade my power mirrors?
A: Yes and no. It all depends on the type of towing mirror you have and the features you want. Many towing mirror options have advanced features such as turn signals or built-in heaters. These features will need to be wired into your vehicle’s existing electrical wiring.
Our top pick for the best towing mirrors is the Dometic DM-2912 Milenco Grand Aero3 Towing Mirror. They’re durable and offer a good field of view that makes towing easier and safer.
If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, consider the Fit System 3891 Deluxe Universal Clip-On Towing Mirror.