How to Properly Use RV Mirrors

Lizzie DragonJanuary 11, 2021

How to Properly Use RV Mirrors

One of the first rules you learn before you start driving is “always check your blind spot.” That’s easier said than done when it comes to driving an RV, as they’re larger than the average car. That said, where does the most damage to Outdoorsy rentals occur? The blind spot behind the driver’s side of the vehicle. In fact, almost 70% of damage reported for rented vehicles on Outdoorsy was there.   

So, how can this be prevented? One major was is mirror checks. Performing mirror checks helps increase visibility and prevent damage. 

To perform a mirror check, you’ll need to adjust four things:

  1. driver’s seat
  2. steering wheel
  3. flat mirrors
  4. convex mirrors

Why are mirror checks important?

It’s easier to prevent the things you can see, and it’s far more difficult to see the things that are behind you. Mirror checks will help increase what you can see to prevent what you don’t want. 

With proper mirror checks, you: 

  • Reduce the chances of backing into objects and people
  • Prevent the possibility of sideswipes
  • Reduce blind spots
  • Promote mirror overlap for better visibility

RV owners should help educate renters on how to use the 2-mirror system, especially on larger RVs. 

How to Perform a Mirror Check

To perform a mirror check, follow these three steps:

  1. Adjust the seat and wheel.
  2. Adjust flat mirrors.
  3. Adjust convex mirrors.

Step One: Adjust the Seat and Wheel

This will be different for every driver. Adjust the seat and wheel to the position that will be most comfortable for the drive. Once you’ve settled in, you can adjust the mirrors so that you have the best view of your surroundings.

Step Two: Adjust Flat Mirrors

Flat mirrors allow you to see alongside and behind your vehicle. You use these mirrors to:

  • back up
  • look to the furthest point
  • watch to see if you’re moving in or away from your backing line

To Adjust Flat Mirrors:

  1. Rotate both flat mirrors side to side until the inside edge picks up the left and right rear corners of the bus.
  2. Tilt both flat mirrors up or down until the rear corner targets are visible in the bottom edge of the mirror.
  3. You should be able to see the rear corner area of the RV along with the horizon in the background.

Once mirrors are adjusted, the flat mirror will view a narrow band. This view will go straight back starting near the rear bumper and off into the distance as far as the eye can see. You should be able to see vehicles approaching from behind.

Step Three: Adjust Convex Mirrors

Convex mirrors allow you to see the entire lane next to you.

To Adjust Convex Mirrors:

  1. Adjust the convex mirrors as far down and far out from the RV as possible. 
  2. Make sure you can see the side of the RV along with the entire view of the lane adjacent to you. 

Once convex mirrors have been adjusted, you should have a viewing angle that runs down the side of the RV and gives you a full view of the adjacent lane.

Check Before You Rent

For owners, repairing damage to their rig not only takes time, but it also means less money in their pocket until you can get your RV rented and back on the road. To prevent this renters should have a walk-through mirror check during handoff. This will help increase driving visibility and, in doing so, reduce the likelihood of this type of damage. 

Owners should take some time once the renter gets in the driver’s seat to make sure their mirrors are properly adjusted. Then, send them on their way! 

Renters, make sure to perform a mirror check any time you get behind the wheel, especially if you switch drivers as adjustments will need to be made.

Keep the Adventures Coming

A simple mirror check could make a huge difference for both owners and their renters. Ensure you have the best visibility possible to keep your rental RV on the road and the adventures coming! 

Safe travels!

Lizzie Dragon, Outdoorsy Author

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