Remember when pickup trucks had small rear windows, and big windows were an option? Frankly, I would prefer a small rear window on a regular-cab truck, and I think that’s all that’s needed when you can touch the window from the driver’s seat. At that close proximity, you’re only going to see about a 2-1/2 to 3-foot area of window in your rear-view mirror; that panoramic full-width window, I feel, is wasted, unless you bob your head from side to side. Full size windows are great for extended-cab and crew-cab trucks, where the window is farther behind the driver, but I wish that regular-cabs could be still be had with small windows. With rather large outside mirrors, I seldom use my inside rear view unliss I’m backing up or changing lanes, and then I use all of them. I wish there was a company that made small rear window kits for modern pickup trucks.
But on a corperate level, they’d certainly not want to manufacture and maintain inventory of multiple glass sizes, weather strips, and sheet metal.
Just one choice for all makes manufacture and repair easier.
Add to that the small number of people who’d want one AND the large number of people who’d then be complaining of the right quarter ‘‘blind spot’’ if large numbers were sold that way.
Good point, Ken, about the companies saving money by stocking one rear glass size for each model of truck. However, I still wish that there was an Aftermarket small window kit option available from some parts providers for some of us who’d appreciate it, in the form of a piece of sheetmetal with a smaller opening and glass already in it, that could be welded into a regular size rear window opening. From 1960 to 1967, Chevy offered the large window as an option in its Custom Cab trucks, with the smaller window being standard. According to an article I read, people who lived in Florida and other southern states where summers are really hot, most truck buyers chose to have the smaller rear window in order to keep too much sun from getting in; the smaller window tends to give the truck cab more cozy-ness as well. In the 1970s and ‘80s, rear window louvers were a popular add-on for many trucks’ owners, to keep some of the sunlight from flooding in thru the back window. As for my '02 Silverado, which is a regular-cab/long-bed, I have factory smoke-tinted windows, and I also use permanently pulled-down shade curtains on the far right and far left sides of the back glass, so I get pretty much the same effect as having a small window, and I have no problem seeing out the back. Because of my commercial truck driving experience, I make maximum use of my left and right side mirrors and blind spot mirrors, and I definitely use my inside rear-view as well when backing and lane-changing. For me, its just a matter of preference as to what size window I like, and I just think it’d be kinda nice to be able to get the small one.
It seems that just about any other custom parts are available. Is there a law that prevents a small rear window? I’m sure that you could have one made by a local auto glass company. They might even be aware of someone that makes them now. I needed to replace an outside rear view mirror (just glass) and the breadth of items in their catalogs was amazing.
Remember that while you may prefer a smaller window in a short bed where the window is close at hand, the rear window in a crew cab should be large for visibility. Assuming the windows could be the same size for both models, you’re asking the opposite of what most people want; more and not less outward visibility. Trucks used especially for towing are in need of as much help for the operator as possible. It may be “kind of nice” to you but a potential pain for everyone else. You have the window shade now. That should do.
How about using some “limousine black” tint on the back (and side) window? That would keep out quite a bit of sun. If you still had a section you wanted to see through, you could use a template of some sort and cut out a section.
My genuine thanks to everyone for your input on this subject; some very thoughtful comments here. Dagosa, you’re absolutely right that crew-cab and extended-cab trucks need to have the full-width window; I even mentioned in my opening paragraph that these trucks, with their longer cabs and the window farther behind the driver, that big windows are best; optimum visibility is Most Definitely needed when you have more cab behind you. My truck, even though it has a long bed, still has the regular cab; I can touch the rear window from where I sit, and I rarely do any towing; for any regular-cab truck a smaller window would be O.K., I think. Chaissos, that’s a nice idea you have about cuttung an opening in a sheet of “limousine black” tint, too; I recently saw a '64 or '65 Chevy shortbed, fleetside truck with the optional big window, and its owner had put what looked like a sheet of plastic tint on top of the glass, painted it the bodycolor of the truck, and cut a Chevy Bowtie shaped opening out of the center. Yep, some interesting ideas out there, for sure.
If you are using your rear view mirror when backing up, you’re doing it wrong. You are supposed to turn your head and look behind you with your full field of vision. What you propose would create some huge blind spots when backing up.
Looks are personal, but I’d never choose less visibility over more visibility.
I owned a 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck with the small rear window. My preference would have been to have had the larger rear window with the separate corner windows that Chevrolet offered on its pickups as an option. However, when one buys a used pickup truck for $110, one can’t be choosey.
Whitey…“If you are using your rear view mirror when backing up, you’re doing it wrong. You are supposed to turn your head and look behind you with your full field of vision.”
I feel well adjusted side and center overhead rear mirrors eliminate blind spots and provide a greater field of vision for backing up on trucks with mirrors designed for it. The opposite is true.
Direct view and scanning is very important but anyone one who backs up for a living, will tell you time wise, safety wise and visual field wise, mirrors should take preponderance of your attention when backing up safely.
Using mirrors correctly is similar to “trusting your instruments” which many drivers never learn to do correctly.
Large rear windows also accomodate sliders better. Sliders on a pickup make a huge difference in coolness and comfort in the cab.
Whitey, as the population ages, and especially with the advent of headrests being mandatory, fewer of us can twist around and look out the back window. One cannot put one’s arm up on the seatback and turn the way we used to in the old days with headrests in the way.
We’re not “not doing it properly”, we’re simply doing what works. As Dag said, properly adjusted mirrors combined with paying attention and taing one’s time are much safer than trying to twist our head around. Our field of view is much better.
Dagosa: “Direct view and scanning is very important but anyone one who backs up for a living, will tell you time wise, safety wise and visual field wise, mirrors should take preponderance of your attention when backing up safely.”
Funny you should mention that, because I used to back up for a living when I drove a truck. There’s a reason truckers rarely do straight line backing. A truck driver will almost always back his rig up to the left so he can stick his head out the window and see where his truck is going without relying on the mirrors. Backing up to the right is called “blind side” backing, because you have to depend only on your mirrors. Backing up to the left, you still have to check the mirror on your right, but “blind side” backing, which requires you to only use your mirrors, is very dangerous, and is a hard skill to master.
I don’t care how well you have your mirrors set up. Twisting your upper body and looking straight back allows you to take full advantage of your peripheral vision. Even if you constantly scan from one mirror to the other, you won’t see something heading toward your path of travel until it is actually in your path of travel.
Most of us scan the area we plan to back into before we swing around to back in. That plus mirrors has worked great for me for over 40 years. It’s a good thing it has, because what you suggest isn’t possible for most drivers in most vehicles.
(when most people refer to “trucks” they’re talking about big rigs…I have yet to see one with windows and not walls on the trailer behind it)
Whitey…“I don’t care how well you have your mirrors set up. Twisting your upper body and looking straight back allows you to take full advantage of your peripheral vision. Even if you constantly scan from one mirror to the other, you won’t see something heading toward your path of travel until it is actually in your path of travel.”
I never said scanning was not essential. I even get out and survey the area before backing up. …I do back up for a living and know many professional drivers who use their mirrors extensively as do I. I use both with much of my actual backing time spent with mirrors with dump trucks, boat delivery and trailer rigs carrying heavy equipment .
I HAVE NO REAR WINDOW on most of these vehicles and the dump body protrudes well beyond what I can see. Other vehicles have their own visual peculiarities. Your original statement “If you are using your rear view mirror when backing up, you’re doing it wrong.” lead me to believe you feel mirrors are non essential for that purpose. I feel they are a mandatory adjunct to use on EVERY vehicle when backing up !
You cannot align the rear without them, even on a regular pick up. The human neck isn’t that long…and with just 60 to 80 degrees of turn at the shoulder total and the inability to extend farther out that your side mirrors or higher than your inside rear, we may on some vehicles be asking someone to do something that’s anatomically impossible. Using mirrors only for “make up” is definitely not what I had in mind. :=) I seldom use it.
“Same” is right…
I want all the visibility to the rear that I can get. I prefer a large rear window in a pickup truck and good rear view mirrors on either side. I added outside rear view mirrors to my first car, a 1947 Pontiac Streamliner. The rear window on this fastback was more like a skylight. I had to rely on the mirrors when backing up.
My 1950 Chevrolet pickup had the small rear window and one outside mirror on the left side. This mirror was really small–less than 4 inches in diameter. I added “west coast” mirrors on both sides. These were essential, particularly when I was pulling a trailer.
I have absolutely no proof of this statement but I would guess that a substantial % of parking lot dents are caused by drivers who can’t or won’t use their mirrors to aid backing up.