Help...minimal LEGAL running/brake light required for TTT

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Help...minimal LEGAL running/brake light required for TTT

Postby Woodstramp » Fri May 20, 2011 9:00 pm

I'm at a point in the TTT build where I need to consider the minimal amount of running lights. Not real experienced with wiring a trailer (I am an electrician). The "technical" wiring part is not an issue. What I'd like to know is how many and what color the lights on the trailer need to be to make Mr State Trooper happy. :)

Wally World sells a trailer kit I bought/installed when I got the frame finished. It contained a red lensed rear combo pair for stop/turn signals and a pair of smaller amber lights (night running lights) The red ones I mounted on the rear....these work like my red ones on the tow vehicle....the amber sets were on the front facing out to the sides. . Is this correct for the amber running lights?

I also intend to add more little amber ones on the back later (for night running) and some non-powered reflectors (just for visibility) high on the sides. Is this kosher enough for Mr State Trooper? Thanks.
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Postby Dale M. » Fri May 20, 2011 9:27 pm

Here is Canada's take on this....

http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/tp-t ... _e-414.htm

Here is US, NTSB recommendation on lighting...

http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/standar ... rpstr.html

But basically if you have tail and stop/turn signal lamps on rear, and amber clearance lamps at front corners and red clearance lamps at rear corners, you are pretty well covered....

Here is everything you need to know and not spoken in Government Speak...

http://www.easternmarine.com/em_store/t ... _tech.html

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Postby S. Heisley » Sat May 21, 2011 12:14 am

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Postby Woodstramp » Sat May 21, 2011 6:15 am

Dale M, S. Heisley,

".....and amber clearance lamps at front corners and red clearance lamps at rear corners,....." Amber front, red on back.

That is basically what I needed to know. Thanks for the links, too.
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Postby Richard A. » Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:24 am

It was/is my impression that the "running lights" be visible from the SIDE of the vehicle. Most tail lights also have a side facing component to cover this.

It would be better to mount the front (amber) lights on the side rather than the front of the unit.
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Postby working on it » Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:27 am

I am unsure about the legal (or trooper-acceptable, at least) location for tail lighting. I had my tail lights/license plate/side markers (combo) mounted on frame outcroppings at the rear of my originally small utility trailer. To make the trailer into a 4'x8' mini-hopper platform, I elongated the rear frame 24" past the tail lights. On my carhauler, the end of the trailer is 12" past the tail lights. And I have seen other trailers, including enclosed cargo types, with their lights not on the rear-most part of their trailer. What is the acceptable practice? I'm sure that the best way is to place them on the rearmost corners, but if I can get away with just putting markers there, and leaving the lighting as-is, that's my wish. Anyone else here with offset lights?
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:51 pm

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Postby working on it » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:23 pm

Bobhenry- I have seen that one before, but am still unclear whether they have to be at the absolute rear or not. I've seen many that were not. My concern is about whether both lights have to be visible at angles. The left turn may not be visible from the right angle, and vice-versa. Any LEO's on this forum please comment!
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  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
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Postby bobhenry » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:56 pm

Here ar the visibility angles you may be looking for......

http://www.boatersoutlet.com/trailerlightguide.aspx


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Postby working on it » Tue Nov 01, 2011 3:49 pm

That's what I was looking for! Thanks. Also, I was just guessing at the carhauler offset... it's really 30". So, it looks like I can stick with what I have now. Later, I'll add a supplementary turn light on the rear edge.
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
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Postby bobhenry » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:39 am

Just a hint....

If you purchase dual bulb side marker lights you can cut the hot lead in the center and wire them so one bulb acts as a side marker and hook the other bulb into the turn circuit. It will not only catch the eye of the guy behind but folks beside or approaching you from a side road.

You now see this on many of the semi trailers !
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Re: Help...minimal LEGAL running/brake light required for TT

Postby OverTheTopCargoTrailer » Mon Jun 09, 2014 3:51 pm

aaaa rear.jpeg
aaaa rear.jpeg (56.81 KiB) Viewed 2933 times


I have about 6 times the min of LED tail lights...at first I was sort of really paranoid LEO - would get upset i was making him LED blind while driving behind me.
I also have 20 extra marker lights on the top front and bottom side.For a CT i have the world record in lights.
Mainly because i spent butt loads $$$$ to build her, I don't want someone to hit me or "TAILGATE ME" truckers stay 150' min behind me

But on a long trip this Jan 2014 I saw 5 -10+ big rigs with up to 150+ "top & bottom" side marker lights " car haulers" mostly on the trailers
I have also noticed big rigs now have up to 200+ on the front & side of the truck cab.
so I saw trucks with 200-400 .... 3/4" LED lights , about $2,000 in lights plus labor to wire & drill holes for those suckers.

While I have the MAX on the rear, there seams to be no limit on how many front & side LED's you can throw on ?
I would assume the truckers know what the hell they are doing as to buy and install - we are around $10 per light , so its not a cheap hobby

any thoughts ?
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Re: Help...minimal LEGAL running/brake light required for TT

Postby OverTheTopCargoTrailer » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:49 am

I finally got all my solar hooked up & bolted down, so I just gotta tell you guys 8)


THERE'S NOTHING LIKE WAKING UP TO THE SUNSHINE WITH A 2100 watt solar Woodie in the morning 8) 8) 8)
8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)

You can quote me on that one :thumbsup:

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Re: Help...minimal LEGAL running/brake light required for TT

Postby Jdw2717 » Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:01 pm

Tennessee requires the ambers on the sides at the front and the reds/tails at the rear. I moved my tail lights from a location near the fenders to the rear corners. The lights looked fine when the trailer was a utility trailer because you could see through the tube sides, but once the walls were up on the camper I felt like they were blocked from side angles and close up. I wanted the brake lights and running lights as visible as possible. I also added Amber reflectors on the front and red on the rear. Visibility is your friend. Remember distracted drivers may not see one light. Two are better. Plus night time driving and especially rain reduce the visibility even more. I would caution against too many lights on the rear though. If someone gets used to four running lights on the rear, they may not notice when the brake lights come on. It's kind of like following a person that rides their brakes. You get used to seeing them so when that actually start to stop, it catches you by surprise.
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Re: Help...minimal LEGAL running/brake light required for TT

Postby working on it » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:48 pm

I didn't move my lighting when I extended my trailer 12" in front (not counting the added tonguebox), and 24" in rear. I did add two red lights on the rear bumper rail, and amber front/red rear reflectors at the side corners.
side lighting.jpg
side lighting.jpg (92 KiB) Viewed 2826 times
Later, I put conspicuity tape on the rear for better reflectivity at night.
conspicuity.jpg
conspicuity.jpg (93.93 KiB) Viewed 2826 times
Still, that may not be enough. I've long considered an easy add-on, that stands out at night... a "line of fire" type LED light bar (like added to many pick-ups). There are some that have multi-functions, and a four-way connector for easy hook-up to the trailer wiring. It's on my to-do list http://www.summitracing.com/parts/rpe-960135/overview/
multi-function tail light bar.jpg
multi-function tail light bar.jpg (60.95 KiB) Viewed 2826 times
  • 2013 HHRv,"squareback/simple" TTT, semi-offroad? 4x8, 2000+ lbs travel weight
  • featuring: 3500 lb Dexter axle w/brakes & HD leaf spring system > riding on General Grabber 27x8.5-14LT tires, LED lighting inside, A/C & heat, AGM battery 12vdc, 110vac from extended run generator onboard or park power, Coleman dual-fuel stove & Northstar lantern
  • 147697148333
  • 148599125895148106
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