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Old 01-03-2014, 11:22 AM   #1
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Backup lights?

I have a '75 Argosy 26 with what appears to be backup lights. The lenses are red with a square white insert.

I had my wife check if/when they came on when testing brakes, turn, tail, backup...etc. all to no avail.

Does the fact that there is a Reese electric jack installed and possibly using the backup wire from the 7 pin connector explain it?

Normally, When should these inboard tail lights be activated on a Argosy?

Thanks

Dan
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:45 AM   #2
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They are in fact backup lights, and the jack should be powered from the trailer battery (which may be charged by the 12v charge line from the TV as well.) Those inboard lights should be illuminated only when the TV is connected and in reverse.

There's a pin on the 7-pin connector dedicated to reverse lights. Either the wire on the trailer's connector doesn't match the location on the TV connector or there's a discontinuity somewhere.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #3
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As I remember on the '75 Argosy I restored and sold, (the original lights were replaced) the inner light was a single filament bulb and was only a backup light, not a tail or directional light, ever.

Back up lights on a trailer are pretty useless anyway, but there should be a wire in the umbilical cord for them. Now, your TV plug may not have any wire for the back up lights anyway. As I recall using the 7 wire Bargman stile flat pin connector, the backup lights used the large center auxiliary post.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
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Back up lights on a trailer are pretty useless anyway
As illumination, they are pretty worthless. But as a warning to those behind you, priceless.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:12 PM   #5
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As illumination, they are pretty worthless. But as a warning to those behind you, priceless.
Yep, mostly useful for a warning. The 2014 AS FC 20' I have has no backup lights. I don't know when AS decided to eliminate them, possibly when the LED lights were first installed.

And although not positive, I don't think my 2012 Grand Cherokee factory installed 7 wire connector even has a wire for back up lights.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:04 PM   #6
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I don't know when AS decided to eliminate them, possibly when the LED lights were first installed.
More likely when they quit being required by law. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 108 governs lighting requirements for trailers. See Trailer Poster Table for Website for details. Backup lights are not required on trailers.

Some states may impose additional requirements and thus require backup lights on trailers registered in their state. Louisiana at least does not.

To the original poster, since trailer backup lights are not legally required, it would do no harm to leave the burnt-out lights as-is and not worry about them as long as they don't leak. Even if they are useful as a warning to people behind you, there are times when it's best to leave things well enough alone.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:11 PM   #7
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Hi Dan

I use a 6 way trailer connector and have therefore never hooked up the backup lights except for testing. I don't believe there's ever been a legal requirement for backup lights on trailers, and I don't believe they are especially useful either for illumination or as a signal to others. My trailer has LED tail/turn/stop lights but the backup lights are incandescent.

A few Airstreamers have installed side-facing "landing lights" using a relay from the backup light circuit, to aid in parking in the dark.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:50 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Yep, mostly useful for a warning. The 2014 AS FC 20' I have has no backup lights. I don't know when AS decided to eliminate them, possibly when the LED lights were first installed.

And although not positive, I don't think my 2012 Grand Cherokee factory installed 7 wire connector even has a wire for back up lights.
The Classic still has reverse lights. The Classic may be the only model that has them. I have them, and they actually work, FWIW- they don't shine bright enough to help back into a camping spot after dark.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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I agree the OEM incandescent bulbs are wimpy but they can be replaced with LEDs which are bright enough to see what your back end is likely to run into.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:58 PM   #10
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I agree the OEM incandescent bulbs are wimpy but they can be replaced with LEDs which are bright enough to see what your back end is likely to run into.
I did this last summer and it really does help a lot...although not a spot light, they do actually help with nighttime backing. Now if I could just remember what bulb I put in. I recall searching all over for the brightest I could find. I think they were from superbright LEDs. I also fashioned a very polished curved reflector panel behind the bulb.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:15 PM   #11
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I would really rather get there before dark, but sometimes I can't help it. I should unroll some rope lights along the camping pad to make a "runway". It is always easier to back straight if there is a reference line or guide line. No amount of light helps when it is raining hard. Trial and error is the only way to get it into a spot in the rain- or a pull through...
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:00 PM   #12
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My Bambi II does not have back up lighting. I have only arrived after dark one time and would prefer to not do it again. It was at a National Park in north Georgia and I do not believe that even one park light was working. No moon and it was so dark that I could not see my hand in front of my face. I used an LED lantern and a couple of small flashlights as guide markers and even then almost ran off the parking pad. I like the idea of the rope lighting.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:33 PM   #13
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...snip...
I like the idea of the rope lighting.
I do too. I was googling that the other day thinking about 2 lighted strips to lay at a site for backing in like a lighted runway. How would they be powered?

Another thought - and I had no luck finding anything like this - would be 2 battery powered lasers that you could place in the back corner of your spot - laying beams of light down to guide you in to the spot.

I suppose another option could be glow in the dark rope you could be charging in sunlight all day.

I would also like to install a Voyager backup camera and a pair of bright floodlights that kick on in reverse.

I'm probably over thinking this ... But I would really love some of these solutions!
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:41 PM   #14
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On the very rare times I have come into a campground spot after dark I have put a mag lite flashlight set on it's narrowest beam at the end of the spot and sort of... back down the beam... that the light creates.
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