Outside lights

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Tnmedic

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Posts
7
Location
Chattanooga, Tn
I would like to place some extra lights around the outside of my travel trailer. It is 33' long. My intention is to place some lights around the perimeter of the trailer. These lights would point down illuminating the ground around the camper when I'm at the site or when I'm backing it and need a little extra light. The only thing I'm not sure about doing is how to do it. I have the idea and kinda have the basic plan. I would like for these to be mounted just under the lip of the trailer before the frame but out of site. Does this sound like something that is possible to do ? Have you guys seen anything like this ? 
 

Jim Dick

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Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
Many motor homes have "docking lights" on the front and rear sides of the coach. Some point down while others are mounted flush. You would most likely need a fixture that was fairly resistant to stone damage in case something was kicked up during travel. If you only want to use them for parking at night you might wire them through the plug, if a pin is still available, to the backup lights on the tow. You would have to insure the circuit was capable of handling the extra current required. Otherwise you could wire through a switch and fuse to the battery on the trailer requiring you to turn them on manually each time.

I have them on my motor home but have only used them once or twice since I try not to drive into the night. The one time I remember using them was when we were parked at a Flying J and someone was trying to back in next to me. I turned them on so they would be able to see where my coach was located.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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73,552
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At our Silver Springs FL home
Are you looking for something like the decorative lights seen under some cars, sometimes known as "blue light specials", or something that will light the surrounding area somewhat?  The latter takes larger lights and draws more power.

In either case you need lights that are waterproof, so you want lighting designed for under-vehicle applications or something like the marker lights used on your trailer and most trucks. They came in amber and red. For more light, you can use aftermarket back-up lights or license plate lights, which are available in many auto parts stores or catalogs/online.  Mounting them may be easy or a challenge, depending on where you want them and how your trailer is constructed.

Wiring is a separate problem. Have you ever done any 12v electrical wiring on a car or trailer? It's pretty basic, but some experience helps. You also have to figure out how many and what type of lights you will use so you can estimate the total electrical load (amps) on the battery so you can properly size the wiring. Last, you need to figure out a convenient place to mount a switch. If it's outside, use a marine-type waterproof switch, such as those used to operate boat running lights.
 

rclark

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2006
Posts
106
Location
Edinburg Va
Also if power is going to be an issue the LED lights are brighter and use less current!! They are also warrantied for a long time!!

Now the fine print, they're pricey!!!!!!!!!! :eek:

Randy
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,807
Location
Davison Michigan
I am not convinced that LED lights are brighter.

Though I am convinced of this:  I had to replace one rear light assembly (My lights are "Assemblies" not bulbs) on my rig already due to a Burned Out Bulb.  I suspect I'll have to replace the LED replacement units..... NEVER (I expect them to outlive me)
 

Tnmedic

Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2006
Posts
7
Location
Chattanooga, Tn
This is all great info. I do plan on using the lights to illuminate the ground around the camper when I back down my long driveway and to  sometimes illuminate the campsite around the camper for my daughters to watch for any tripping hazards.
I was planning on having a separate switch mounted outside and to run this straight off the batteries. As you can see I'm not anywhere close to doing this yet. I'm still doing my homework on it. I have a couple of friends who are experienced in this type of work. It looks like I might be recruiting their help.
I'm not looking for the type of neon lights you see under cars for visual effects. I'm looking for functioning lights.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,552
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Innovative Lighting has some nice, sealed LED lighting units that would work nicely. A bit pricey, though, if you want them fore and aft on both sides. Google Innovative Lighting and look over their LED products.
 
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