TMirrors have come a long way over the years. Gone are the old things you strap onto your doors or existing mirrors to extend their reach and improve the view behind your 4WD and trailer.
These replacement mirrors are designed and built specifically to replace the original mirrors and show the driver what’s behind them, while still looking like they’re part of the car.
Clearview Accessories, is a business that started when Mike Cowen affixed a set of large American pickup truck mirrors to his 80 Series Land Cruiser to improve the rear view of his caravan. They worked and when demand grew from others who wanted the set for themselves, Clearview became a business.
That was more than 10 years ago, and the original Clearview towing mirrors have evolved into next-gen Clearview mirrors and, more recently, Clearview Compact Towing Mirrors. Not everyone likes big American-style mirrors – I was one of them – so when these compact units came out I wanted to try them out.
Clearview Compacts are available for most popular 4×4 vehicles, and the number of models is growing every day. They definitely had a seat that matched my LandCruiser 200 series, but still had the options of power folding, black or chrome, heated mirrors, and indicators on them.
The 200 doesn’t have all the blind spot and lane control features that most new cars have, but it still has heated and power-folding mirrors. I ordered the black glasses to go on the white cruiser.
The mirrors arrived and were reasonably easy to fit into the house without any drama. Choosing the right mirror for the car model ensures that the wiring and plugs match and is a simple plug-and-play job when you have standard mirrors off. Thankfully, they fitted my weather shield and safari snorkel.
The mirrors sit lower on the door than the stock mirrors and took a bit of getting used to, but the larger size of the mirrors more than makes up for it. Something else that took some getting used to were the indicators, which are on the back edge of the mirror and are a distraction while driving. At least you’ll never be that guy driving around with your blinkers on!
Unlike the original and next-gen Clearview mirrors, the compact unit has a single mirror and not two mirrors like the larger ones. But one lens is enough and there is enough adjustment to show you what you need. Power adjustment is still operated using the standard LandCruiser mirror switch.
The clarity of the Clearview glass is also much better than Toyota’s mirrors, making the rear view even better.
With the mirrors in their unextended position, they don’t protrude as much as in older Toyotas, but their large size prevents them from folding like standard mirrors – but that’s not really a problem.
They are large enough to give plenty of visibility behind a 22-foot caravan, even without extending them. Taking them out only improves rear visibility. Also, there is no vibration even at full extension. They also come in handy when towing my wide double jetski trailer and flipping up the boat ramp.
Best of all, when I’m not towing, which is most of the time, the Clearview compacts are as small as if they were factory installed in the car and retain all the factory functions. No more messing with bolt-on towing mirrors when I need them, and no oversized towing mirrors when I don’t. They are not cheap but are a quality product that does what they are designed to do.