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Trailer lights off the trailer

Old 11-30-2007, 12:14 PM
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Default Trailer lights off the trailer

Anyone use portable type lights? I have replaced bran new lights going on he four times now in the last year and a half. Salt water kills them quickly. I trailer my boat 3 to 4 times a week to the salt water. In the 20's last night and I'm still hooking Stripers.
I see people that have the lights on PVC poles and such but think it would be much easier to have portable lights mounted on the cleats or something. Ones that never hit the saltwater and i can toss in the truck.

I tried some so called sealed ones and they croaked as well. This last set I took completely apart and sprayed down with quality silicone and they still rotted away after 3 months.

Any lights or tips?

Thanks

Jay
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

On my old trailer I made up a set of lights on blocks that fit over the cleats and were held in place with a bungee strap to the cleat. I ran the wires over the boat and down to the truck. I would take them off and store them in the truck at the ramp. Worked great for 8 years, sold them with the boat.

I have LED's on my current trailer. They are a couple of years old and still work fine. I thought if they go bad I'll go back to the cleat mount.

I don't know if side markers are a requirement but I will find out before converting
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

Use Dry Launch lights ... I had them for over 20 years on an EZ Loader, 100's of launches, zero maintenance and never had a bulb fail. "Sealed" is nothing but trouble. BTW, Dry Launch lights are not terribly expensive. Do it right once and don't look back.
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

HAD A SET WEST MARINE ORDERED FOR ME HAD A BRACKET THAT WAS MOLDED TO GO AROUND THE END YOUR REAR CLEATS AND HAD A SMALL PIECE OF BUNGEE CORD THAT STRAPED OVER THE OTHER END OF THE CLEAT. THEN HAD A LONG PIGTAIL THAT WOULD RUN UP AND OVER THE FRONT OG THE BOAT A PLUG INTO THE NORMAL LIGHT RECP. THIS WAS ON A 20' BAYLINER BOWRIDER. I THINK KIT COST ABOUT $50. AND ADDED A FEW MORE MINUTES IN AND OUT AT THE RAMP. BUT LOVED THEM
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Old 11-30-2007, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

I think its the type of lights you are buying. I pay around $75 to $100 for a sealed LED pair and have not had any issues in 2 years.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

If you can keep the lights from getting dunked, this is the best thing. "Sealed" regular lights are not really "sealed" at all because you have to be able to get to the bulb to replace it when it burns out. If I can get to the bulb, then so can water. Water is evil and sneaky like that.

My LED trailer lights are 100% sealed. There are no screws to remove. The plastic housing seems to be one piece and the hole the wires go through is gooped up really good with some sort of epoxy or plastic or something.

but still - even with LED lights that are sealed and offer no way for you (or anything else) to get into them will last longer if they are not dunked.

The trailer guide posts are a good place for the lights to be mounted.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

I've had great results with open bottom Dry Launch lights. I do grease the base of the bulbs up though.

I think there is a requirement that your stop lights have to be under 72" from the ground though which might be an issue for taller rigs using portable light systems. Maybe someone can verify.

.
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

Pretty common in Europe is teh use of a light board. Sits across the transom, with lights mounted to it. Pigtail, as someone above describes gets run to tow vehicle connector. I've seen a few people with small inflatables do that here.

jky
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

Mounting them on your guide poles where they don't get wet really helps...running separate ground wires for each all the way to the connector also helps.
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Old 11-30-2007, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

OReely - 11/30/2007 12:26 PM

On my old trailer I made up a set of lights on blocks that fit over the cleats and were held in place with a bungee strap to the cleat. I ran the wires over the boat and down to the truck. I would take them off and store them in the truck at the ramp. Worked great for 8 years, sold them with the boat.

I have LED's on my current trailer. They are a couple of years old and still work fine. I thought if they go bad I'll go back to the cleat mount.

I don't know if side markers are a requirement but I will find out before converting
Same here, used an old cutting board (starboard type material) softened it with a propane torch, bent to shape. Drilled holes for the posts on the back of some cheap lights, drilled a hole in each to fit the rear cleats with smaller holes outside of the cleat holes for bungee cord. Sounds complicated, actually quite simple, years later still no problems!
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

I use 1.5" PVC pipe for a light board support across the transom. Use a "T" and short piece of PVC on the deck. Have the tripple running lites in the center. I have the dry launch lites on the trailer, and they seem to work. But the LED on the light bar, really get more attention. I have a 4 pin connector on the stb side so they are easily removed.
On the subject of lights, I have a separte pair of wires, which go from the charging circuit on the 7 pin truck trailer connetor, tied into the main bus at the nav station, so that I am charging my boat's batteries when driving. That way, I can run the boat refigeration on a long trip, and keep the batteries topped of.
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Old 12-01-2007, 04:57 AM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

For me, LED lights are the way to go. They can be sealed because there is little heat and no bulbs to change. There have been reports of failures caused by tightening the mounting hardware to the point of distorting or cracking the fixture but otherwise, they are pretty much lifetime lights.

I've seen a few people with trailer lights mounted on a 2X4 hanging on the boat with bungee cords. It seems like a real PITA to have to remove and reinstall these every time you launch the boat. It also looks pretty tacky.

There are federal and state laws concerning the placement of trailer lights. In particular, there is a limit on how high the lights may be mounted. Also, if your state requires license plates on trailers, you will need a light for this.
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Old 12-03-2007, 10:49 AM
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Default RE: Trailer lights off the trailer

Thank you all very much. My buddy has his mounted on a cross board and a few use PVC to keep the lights out of the water. I wanted something a little more than that.

Mine defiantly go under each time I hit the ramp. Iím pulling my 17í3Ē CC with a mini van. I also found a couple lights that are advertised as portable. They donít look bad as an idea but they do look cheap. Maybe I can buy the bracket to mount on the cleats and sue some quality LEDís.

Iíll post something when I get it together.

Thanks again all.

Jay
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Old 12-03-2007, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Trailer lights off the trailer

We made up a set to go in the rear rod holders on pipe. Cut a notch in the bottom of the pipe so it won't rotate and you're all set. Ran the wire along the gunnel. No dunk, no problem.

Ken
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