I just got back from my first long haul with my family towing our Hideout. I am very happy that I bought the McKesh towing mirrors for this trip. My 2004 4Runner isn’t nearly as wide as our trailer which makes the factory mirrors near worthless when towing. I had purchased the CIPA 11950 strap tow mirrors on Amazon as an inexpensive mirror option while getting used to towing the trailer originally.
These CIPA mirrors worked reasonably well. They were easy to remove and mount. They were relatively easy to adjust and fit on my factory mirrors well enough. The primary problem with them is that I could not mount them far enough away from the car to see the legal distance behind my trailer. In most states, you are supposed to be able to see 200 feet behind what you are towing. These mirrors did not allow that with my setup.
So, off to the computer for more research. I had browsed the 4Runner forums to see what others were using and remembered someone mentioning these McKesh mirrors from Hensley Manufacturing. They’re pricey which was the reason that I avoided them in the first place. During our last camping outing, I ran across a Toyota Tundra that had them on his car and he had nothing but good things to say about them. Knowing that I had a long drive coming up and I was struggling to see behind me, I bit the bullet and bought them.
The first set that I received looked like it had been hugged to death during shipping. The mirrors were both completely broken and not usable at all. I contacted Hensley Manufacturing and they quickly shipped out a new set of mirrors. The second set arrived safely and were in great condition.
McKesh Mirrors Installation
I started working on getting them installed the night before my trip. The installation is easy enough. The hardest part was getting the strap the correct length so that the mirror leg is level. As an installation expert now (haha), I would highly recommend that you check the fit of the grip mount that grabs the bottom of your door. Set it under your door, pull the strap tight with your hand, and gently close your door. If your door closes, you’re good! My door didn’t close all the way. I had to take these to my bench vise and modify their shape so that they fit the bottom of my doors.
The second modification that I am going to need to make is to the aluminum extension bar. During one cold morning, I was able to slide this bar out even with the screws tightened all the way down. I am not sure how I am going to make this modification. I have some ideas and will update this page once I have it figured out.
Review Wrap Up
First off, consider your budget. If you can start off with these McKesh Tow Mirrors and already know you will have visibility issues, you’re golden. If you can get by with something else, good for you! These mirrors aren’t for everyone. I also don’t think there is a perfect solution out there. If you do need a solid option, give these mirrors a shot.