View Full Version : Backup lights?
04-03-2011, 10:31 PM
New 5er doesn't seem to have come with any backup lights in the rear.
I thought this was a DOT requirement...perhaps not.
I'm a little shocked at this, has anyone added any?
04-03-2011, 11:04 PM
Very easy to add optional backup (rear facing) lights on a trailer that contains its own onboard 12V battery. Simply:
- Purchase low profile 12V autommotive clear lens fog lights. Ensure they are 12V 55W - as seen at: http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w251/Spike99-Pictures/Safari%20Van/Xtremext861AutoFogLights.jpg
- Mount under the trailer's rear bumper - facking backwards.
- Ensure its "-" wire is self grounding - on the bumper's rear steel frame.
- Run a single 12V live wire to the trailer's onboard 12V battery. Due to long distance, use 12V - 12 guage wire for best results.
- Install inline fuse approx 6-8" from the battery's "+" post. Fuse size = (55x2)/12 (rounded up) = 10 Amp Fuse.
- Between battery and rear fog lights, simply install a 12V rated manual off/on switch. Mount this switch in a location away from water and easy to access. For example, inside an outside access storage compartment.
When you want to light up the rear of the trailer, simply turn the manual OFF/ON switch to ON. And when you want to backup in the dark (re: 3:00 AM in a crowded CG site) and want lights OFF, simply leave the manual switch to OFF. And, for greater safety, remove the fuse during long haul travels. Only install the fuse at the last gas/fuel station you visit.
By installing a manual off/on switch on the trailer (TT, 5er), you don't need to re-wire the truck's 7-pin connector either. The optional trailer reverse lights will work with any Tow Vehicle pulling it.
04-04-2011, 06:55 AM
My TT was not equipped with backup lights, so when backing into an extremely dark site, I turn on the trailer's scare light. This illuminates the ground area on the side of the trailer, thus helping you to see any objects (and backing assistants) a little better. It also makes backing a bit easier because you can pretty much see the entire side of the trailer- not just the front/rear side marker lights. Of course, many trailers only have a scare light on the entrance side of the trailer so the other side will still be dark. However, I have occasionally seen trailers with scare lights on both sides.
Shin Pond Hunter
04-04-2011, 07:16 AM
Scare lights... Perfect solution!
04-05-2011, 12:42 AM
Hmmm, maybe I'll rig up some pontoon boat docking lights on the rear bumper. That could cause some excitement on the highway. :hihi:
Thanks for the ideas.
04-05-2011, 10:57 PM
If you have the 7 pin blade type trailer plug, the center conductor is for backup lights. In my fiver, the wire was not connected on the trailer side. I connected the wire, spliced in wire to run from the front of the trailer to the rear, and then snaked the wire through to the existing stop/turn lamps. A visit to the local RV store got me two stop turn lamps with backup lights. Less than $50.
04-07-2011, 11:31 PM
It also helps to have a spotter with a good light. Sallie puts the spot where the wheels should go and I can follow it into most places.
05-02-2011, 05:51 PM
@clutch... This is EXACTLY what I do - LED flashlight on left and right sides, parallel to rig. SPOTTER in the back to tell me when to stop. With a 36+ rig on the back of a ~20' pickup, backup lights on the back of the camper REALLY don't help - my eyes aren't that good any more - ha!!
05-02-2011, 10:50 PM
I try really hard to not be parking the trailer after dark. We ususlly pull in for the night around 4-5 pm. Many times earlier than that.
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