An often-forgotten tool that is critical to an RVer’s time on the road is the mirrors. You may not use your mirrors frequently on your standard vehicle, but for a vehicle that is as large as an RV getting smart about your mirror use is a must. In this article, we’ll discuss how to properly adjust your mirrors to get the widest point of view to keep you safe on the road.
What You Need to Know: How to Adjust RV Mirrors
The Convex Mirror
The convex mirrors are the curved mirrors on the sides of your RV. The curve of the gives you a wider vantage point than a simple flat mirror and is a valuable tool for knowing all that is going on around your vehicle.
A convex mirror will allow you to see three lanes of traffic, the one your RV is in and the next two over. You’d like your passenger or copilot to be able to use a convex mirror to see another two lanes of traffic on their side as well. In total you could have vision of a full five lanes of traffic, limiting your blind spots and the potential for danger.
The Flat Mirror
The flat mirrors on your vehicle are also used to monitor traffic on the sides of your vehicle but are more focused on the lane closest to you. Position the flat mirror to where you can just see a speck of the side of your vehicle; you’d rather see the rest of the road than your vehicle. It also doesn’t do you much good to have your mirrors focused on the sky so try to position the horizon ¾ of the way or higher towards the top part of the mirror. This will give you more vision of the road and not the distant landscape.
Getting the Best RV Mirror Set Up
When driving a motorhome, you need to set up the mirrors to eliminate the blind spot on the sides of the vehicle. There is an easy way to test this. Find a large parking lot and bring along a partner with a vehicle. Park your RV and have them drive by your RV as if they were passing you, keep an eye on your side mirrors. You should have a constant bead on their passing car, the second they disappear from your flat mirror they should be within sight of your convex mirror.
Keep testing until you can see their vehicle from at least 200 yards out all the way up to and past your vehicle without ever losing sight of them. This will let you know that you’ve eliminated the blind spot. The more practice you get with your mirrors, the easier it will be to align them quickly and efficiently.
Practicing with Your Mirrors
You will be using your mirrors frequently while backing up RV, so you need some practice if you are new to the RV world. Head to another large empty parking lot with a few obstacles like traffic cones. Practice backing up your rig into a space or other maneuvers in reverse. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at reverse.
So get to know your mirrors and your RV front and back. An intimate knowledge of everything about your ride will make give you excellent vision and control of your RV. Now you’re safe, confident and ready to take on the road.