Third Bake Light, do RV's need them?

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Macaroon

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Jan 22, 2019
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I just got a new Thor Chateau 23U.  The center rear red light bar comes on with the running lights, not the brakes. It does not have a third brake light. Is that OK?
 

John From Detroit

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I have not read the rules (Laws) regarding eye level brake lights or if I did I have not retained the info (I likely skimmed it)

THe 3rd eye brake light is a safety device. turns out it prevents rear end type addidents. This is why it is now standard on most everything.  Sounds to me like they hooked a wire or two up wrong on yoru rig.. but.. that said.. As I said I do not recall the specifics of the law  (After all I'm not an attorney so this is one of the few cases where I can give you all the legal info I have.. NOT ONE BIT)

IF the trailer i new I'd speak with both an expert in that law and the dealer. Just remember the dealer may give you bad advice..
 

HappyWanderer

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From NHTSA:

Center High Mounted Stop Lamps (CHMSL) have been standard equipment on all new passenger cars manufactured on and after September 1, 1985.

CHMSL have also been standard equipment on all new light trucks (pickup trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles) manufactured on and after September 1, 1993.
 

Roy M

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southern British Columbia
This is interesting. I had to fix the light before the truck would pass an out of province inspection. Personally, I hate them when the driver ahead of me rides the brakes on a long grade. Then there is the guy that installs leds. Grrrr!
 

nvrver

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If it stays on like a running light it is going to look like you are putting on the brakes all the time.  I would get it changed to work like it should, a third brake light.  Should be under warranty. 
 

kdbgoat

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My class C has passed inspections in two different states. It's a clearance light, not a third brake light.
 

John From Detroit

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kdbgoat said:
My class C has passed inspections in two different states. It's a clearance light, not a third brake light.

Older vehicles which did not come with a factory 3'rd Eye are "Grandfathered" and do not require one.

Newer ones that DID come with a factory 3rd Eye.. As I said. I've not read the law. but I suspect they are required.  Well. I do now know.. And rather than make a fool of myself I'll just post the source.

https://itstillruns.com/third-brake-light-law-7694370.html

Go ahead and jump to it.
 

Old_Crow

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The article says the law went in to effect for cars and light trucks in '94.  I guess my '00 Bounder isn't a light truck, because it's got marker lights, but no 3rd brake light. 
I've actually been considering running another wire to the Jeep while towing, just to activate the 3rd brake light.  I'm wired into the Jeep taillights with a diode pack, but I don't think just the taillights are bright enough during the day.  I want to make sure the guy behind me sees when I hit the brakes.
 

Larry N.

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I'm wired into the Jeep taillights with a diode pack, but I don't think just the taillights are bright enough during the day.

On all three of my rigs I've towed with, while there was no 3rd brake light, the big, bright brake lights on the RV combined with the brake lights on the toad  give a lot for that vehicle behind me to see, and at two different levels.
 

Old_Crow

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Well, nobody's rear ended me yet, so you might be right, but since I got rid of the Harleys sometimes I get bored with nothing to work on in my spare time.
 

NY_Dutch

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Our coach has the high center brake light, and I wired our toad so that all of the rear lights operate normally while in tow, including the center brake light. The directionals are amber and the brakes are red, just as they are in normal operation.
 

FunSteak

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NE Illinois
I recall seeing something about vehicles over a certain height or width not requiring a third brake light.  Our 2017 Minnie Winnie is 8.5' wide, just over 11' high, and does not have one.  I'm pretty sure there are some exemptions for large vehicles, but I can't find the specific wording with a quick search. 
 

SpencerPJ

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Just a side note.  The third brake light on passenger vehicles and light trucks are also a redundant system.  If one brake light system does not work, the other still should. 
 

NY_Dutch

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FMVSS* #108 only requires a CHMSL** on vehicles 80 inches or less in width.


* FMVSS= Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

** CHMSL= Center High Mounted Stop Light
 

FunSteak

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NY_Dutch said:
FMVSS* #108 only requires a CHMSL** on vehicles 80 inches or less in width.


* FMVSS= Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards

** CHMSL= Center High Mounted Stop Light

Yes, that's what I saw but couldn't find it again.  Thanks for posting.
 

thebeav

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Mar 24, 2019
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8)OK, the third light is a MANUFACTURERS requirement of the FHWA...it is NOT required on any vehicle.
Your state dmv site will tell you the BRAKE LIGHT RULES, ie; in Oregon, must have TWO......thats it> !

After researching 50 states, I cannot find a third light  REQUIRED law anywhere.
 

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