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Old 05-17-2016, 10:11 AM   #1
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THOR #908
aux. reverse lights/docking lights

I ordered some 18watt LED flood lamps to install as reverse lights

http://www.amazon.com/Signstek-Headl...ilpage_o06_s00

I find the night vision mode of my camera to be nearly useless, and the stock reverse lights need help.

Any voices of experiences here on this project?

I was thinking of just tapping into the existing reverse light circuit, but I have to check the amp rating. I suspect it might not be enough.

As an alternative, I'm wondering if the Reverse Light post on the trailer bargman connector is live. Maybe I can use that.

Just thinking out loud and fishing for advice, before I can get back to the MH in storage to trace things out.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:50 AM   #2
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You could always put a small relay into the existing reverse lights. There probably is enough current to handle the relay.
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Old 05-17-2016, 12:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
You could always put a small relay into the existing reverse lights. There probably is enough current to handle the relay.
I thought of that, but that opens up another question of where to tap the power from.... I'd hate to have to run wire all the way up front if I don't have to....
and even more so, selecting the correct relay is a bit over my head...it's been a long time since the little bit of work i used to do with industrial instrumentation and control panels so I'm feeling very rusty.

looking for the easy way out
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:39 PM   #4
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For power you could grab the 12V charge line at the hitch, and you could probably tap into the backup wire at the hitch as well.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

Two 18W lights (36W total) only consumes 3A. Wouldn't need a very big relay (or one at all, perhaps). If you swapped out the backup-lights with LEDs I'd bet the total current for the all-LED setup would be less than the original incandescent backup lights!
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:15 PM   #5
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THOR #908
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Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
For power you could grab the 12V charge line at the hitch, and you could probably tap into the backup wire at the hitch as well.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-wiring.aspx

Two 18W lights (36W total) only consumes 3A. Wouldn't need a very big relay (or one at all, perhaps). If you swapped out the backup-lights with LEDs I'd bet the total current for the all-LED setup would be less than the original incandescent backup lights!
you know, I hadn't slowed down long enough to do that math.... and think about it.... but that is very helpful! at 3 Amps, added to the roughly 4.2 A or so from the existing incandescent.... it's still not a very big load at 7 to 8 amps. It's approx 15 Amp circuit as best I can tell searching on google.
So I'm thinking I'll be fine to just tap into the tail lights.... unless it's some sort of computer controlled circuit that is very sensitive for some odd reason.... right?
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by blw2
So I'm thinking I'll be fine to just tap into the tail lights.... unless it's some sort of computer controlled circuit that is very sensitive for some odd reason.... right?
Well they all are computer controlled now; even the stripped chassis uses modules to control everything. I believe the computer just controls a relay though (probably via a transistor or a FET). The tricky circuit is the blinker one since it also is setup to detect burnt out lights.

Personally, I'd give it a try, the worst you can do is blow the fuse for the lights (that's why the fuse is there).
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:47 PM   #7
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I just did this over the winter. I used similar amazon lights. Mine were the same power and leds but where square. http://www.amazon.com/Nilight-Drivin...offroad+lights

I put them on the back corners not facing out the back but rather facing out the corner so I can see the sides also. They are super bright. My nightvision camera was very poor also but even with the lights turned to the side a bit the extra light was more then enough to put a clear picture in the center screen.

I just got a new rv and will be doing it a little different. When I mounted mine they were out the back and had a huge beam that went on a long ways. Far longer they was needed and I felt horrible backing into a site and blinding everyone around. I will be mounting them up a bit higher up underneath and aiming down in the back so the light doesn't shine out as high and far. It will still be plenty of light and would only bother the neighbors not the whole park. I also am going to put them out the sides and front so I can see all around. Kind of like extremely bright ground effect lights. They also need to be on their own switch. Power likely wont be a problem using the existing backup wires but for instance if you back in to a site and have to pull forward to re adjust you are not only looking forward but out the back also to see where you are so you still will want the lights on.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:10 PM   #8
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I don't know how fast you want to back up but those LED headlights look like overkill to me. Might something less watt hungry do for backup/docking? That would make it easier to just wire directly to existing lamps without relays, etc.
Chuck Peck in CasaLoca
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:12 PM   #9
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THOR #908
probably right casa loca....
although I don't think these are headlights really..... maybe for an ATV
but I did want a lot of light. I have had a few occasions now backing into unfamiliar sites..... trees and such can be sneaky and you have to watch for them....

Quote:
Originally Posted by gentilebrian View Post
I just did this over the winter. I used similar amazon lights. Mine were the same power and leds but where square. Amazon.com: Nilight 2 X 18W 1260 lm Cree LED Spot Driving Fog Light LED Work Light Bar Mounting Bracket for SUV Boat 4 x 4 Jeep Lamp, 2 years Warranty: Automotive

I put them on the back corners not facing out the back but rather facing out the corner so I can see the sides also. They are super bright. My nightvision camera was very poor also but even with the lights turned to the side a bit the extra light was more then enough to put a clear picture in the center screen.

I just got a new rv and will be doing it a little different. When I mounted mine they were out the back and had a huge beam that went on a long ways. Far longer they was needed and I felt horrible backing into a site and blinding everyone around. I will be mounting them up a bit higher up underneath and aiming down in the back so the light doesn't shine out as high and far. It will still be plenty of light and would only bother the neighbors not the whole park. I also am going to put them out the sides and front so I can see all around. Kind of like extremely bright ground effect lights. They also need to be on their own switch. Power likely wont be a problem using the existing backup wires but for instance if you back in to a site and have to pull forward to re adjust you are not only looking forward but out the back also to see where you are so you still will want the lights on.
Thanks Gentlebrian. I was toying with the idea myself of installing them under the bumper someplace if I can find a good spot, for just the reason you mentioned. Maybe if I could find a spot between the bumper and the rear tires..... unfortunately I don't have much structure in that area.... I have not yet had a chance to get back to my RV to look it over.

When you wired yours, do you tap into the existing reverse lights, use a relay, or use a separate switch?

I'm not so much worried about the other areas for me.... just really want to light the roughly 4 o'clock to 8 o'clock zone, so i'm figuring pointing these out to roughly 5 o'clock and 7 o'clock should do nicely.... just enough to light up straigh back and also light the area I am trying to turn towards.....
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:22 PM   #10
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THOR #908
For what its worth, I guess you could call it a mid-stream update....
I haven't had a chance yet to get my meter to the coach and trace things out....
but I did steal away a few minutes to flip through the generic wiring diagrams I got form Thor a while back....
apparently they did connect the reverse light circuit to the trailer plug
so I'm thinking my likely plan is to tap into that circuit and run leads over to the left and right corners for the lights.... direct and easy.

If i find that the circuit capacity is too light, I'll tap into the charge post on that trailer connector for a relay.
If I could find the correct plug that they use on their harness, i'll bet I could do a really neat looking "factory" job right inside behind the trailer bargman connector wherever it connects...
waterproof splices should do though I think....
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