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Wiring in reverse lights on trailer

Old 04-12-2015, 09:22 AM
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Default Wiring in reverse lights on trailer

I want to add reverse lights to my trailer for the times I come back at night and am backing it into backyard. I only have about 4" on each side when backing it through the gate

I don't want to wire them directly to the reverse lights on the truck because I'm worried about blinding people at the ramp at night.

I'm thinking about splicing into one of the taillight wires and then adding a waterproof toggle switch. Here's the wiring diagram I made. Let me know if you think this will work, or if you have any suggestions. My only concern is that if I wire the reverse lights into the taillights with a switch, they won't be as bright because taillights don't shine at full power.

Thanks a lot

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Old 04-12-2015, 09:59 AM
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The tail lights are dimmer than the brake lights because of the dual filament of the bulb. They still get full voltage. Why not wire them into the back up lights so if you forget to turn off the switch they will not be on while you are running down the road?
Old 04-12-2015, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by baltifrank View Post
The tail lights are dimmer than the brake lights because of the dual filament of the bulb. They still get full voltage. Why not wire them into the back up lights so if you forget to turn off the switch they will not be on while you are running down the road?
Did not know that. So if I wired the reverse lights into the taill lights they would shine at full brightness?

Your plan is ideal, but it would require changing out the current harness to one that has a reverse light pin. However on secondthought that wouldn't be too much work...
Old 04-12-2015, 11:51 AM
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If you use lights that use a regular reverse light bulb it would probably work without any problems. If you use high amp aux. type lamps you may start blowing fuses due to to much draw. When installing Aux lights the proper way is to run them off a relay. I wired tractor lights off a relay with dash switch that has a light indicator so I know they are on. I use them for loading the boat at night so they are in my bumper. They do help a lot backing into my unlit shed at night as they shine under the boat.

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Old 04-13-2015, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rhysleo View Post
Did not know that. So if I wired the reverse lights into the taill lights they would shine at full brightness?

Your plan is ideal, but it would require changing out the current harness to one that has a reverse light pin. However on secondthought that wouldn't be too much work...
The tail lights still receive 12V. The reverse lights would shine at full brightness.

If I were doing this, I'd swtich the trailer over to a 5-pin or 7-pin connector if your tow vehicle will support it. That way I'd have the reverse light wire and could wire that straight to the reverse lights. At the ramp, I'd just disconnect the wire harness before dunking the trailer. You have to get out to remove tie down straps, so an extra step to pull the wire harness wouldn't be a big deal.
Old 04-13-2015, 09:33 AM
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Install your back lights on your trailer where you want them. Both will ground through the trailer so only one wire is needed. If there are two wires on light just ground one under mounting screw of each light. Bring the other wire from the left light over to the right light and join the two, do not close yet.
Now run power wire from switch on front of trailer back to where you join light wires and add it, now close this junction up, done on the rear.
I would mount the switch on the wiring harness or the winch stand to make sure you don't dunk it.
Find running light wire and open it up, DO NOT CUT IT, exposing wiring and add wire that will go to one side of your switch. Close up that connection. The other switch terminal will be to feed the wire running back to your back up lights.. DONE
Hope this helps.
Old 04-13-2015, 09:39 AM
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I upgraded some of my trailers to the 7-pin connector and installed submersible LED backup lights. As mentioned previously, if your tow vehicle is 7-pin plug equipped it is an easy project to change out the trailer side plug and wire in some back up lights on the trailer.

As mentioned above, if you go with high amp lights, you will need a high amp feed and relay activated by the backup light circuit on the tow vehicle. However, if you use LED lights there is sufficient capacity in the backup circuit to run them with no relay and no additional feed.
Old 04-14-2015, 09:23 AM
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If your trailer has brakes it should have a reverse wire already for you brake bypass when your backing up. You can just tap into it and run a wire to the back of trailer for lights. Thats how I did mine, comes on every time I put in reverse.
Old 04-14-2015, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by CarolinaCowboy View Post
If your trailer has brakes it should have a reverse wire already for you brake bypass when your backing up. You can just tap into it and run a wire to the back of trailer for lights. Thats how I did mine, comes on every time I put in reverse.
^^^^^^ What he said if you got brakes^^^^^^
Old 04-15-2015, 11:21 AM
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Not all surge brake trailers have a reverse lockout. Hoppy makes Vehicle specific wiring harnesses that plug right in to your factory wiring and have reverse lights wired in.

From the OP's knowledge of voltage and vehicle lighting , it sounds like a pre fab kit would be the best way to go.
Old 04-15-2015, 11:39 AM
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I wired up 4 strips of super bright LEDs and wired to my reverse light circuit on my 7 pin plug. these are 3 years old and have been in salt and fresh water. Seal all connections carefully.
These really light up the ramp or driveway as you back down.
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Old 04-18-2015, 11:04 AM
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I just re wired my trailer a few weeks ago. Really wish I had thought about doing this. I have a 7 pin on my truck. I may just do the switch thing for the time being.
Old 04-18-2015, 12:30 PM
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How about a clip-on, battery operated, LED, emergency light?

Maybe not this specific one, but something efficient, with its own batteries, that you only deploy when you are storing your boat. But is useful for other stuff. And doesn't damage your harness or require any installation at all.

http://www.mintgadgets.com/category/tool-gadgets/

Old 04-18-2015, 08:21 PM
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Originally Posted by marlinpruett View Post
I wired up 4 strips of super bright LEDs and wired to my reverse light circuit on my 7 pin plug. these are 3 years old and have been in salt and fresh water. Seal all connections carefully.
These really light up the ramp or driveway as you back down.
Those are nice...
Old 04-18-2015, 09:21 PM
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Actually I have been thinking of picking up one of these. Could always just plug it into the transom plug when needed. And with the remote, I could adjust it from the cab as needed. I think I just justified the purchase. Fire up the credit card.

http://golight.com/gobee-halogen/

Old 04-19-2015, 06:18 AM
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Sounds like a good use case for some motion sensing lights in your backyard.
Old 04-19-2015, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by marlinpruett View Post
I wired up 4 strips of super bright LEDs and wired to my reverse light circuit on my 7 pin plug. these are 3 years old and have been in salt and fresh water. Seal all connections carefully.
These really light up the ramp or driveway as you back down.
Please prove more info on these reverse lights you used. Thanks
Old 04-19-2015, 08:56 AM
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/350828103768...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
Old 04-19-2015, 03:06 PM
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Thay are shipping from China................. I bet there are closer outlets than China
Old 04-20-2015, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunky Dory View Post
If you use lights that use a regular reverse light bulb it would probably work without any problems. If you use high amp aux. type lamps you may start blowing fuses due to to much draw. When installing Aux lights the proper way is to run them off a relay. I wired tractor lights off a relay with dash switch that has a light indicator so I know they are on. I use them for loading the boat at night so they are in my bumper. They do help a lot backing into my unlit shed at night as they shine under the boat.

This is the best solution. you dont want lights behind the boat. you want lights showing were the boat is going. By mounting in or under bumber you see everything. Use low draw LED's and you'll be fine. I used the Kawell floods on Amazon.

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