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Old 05-24-2016, 08:24 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Does anyone know what lights you need on an Airstream?

I am really struggling with which lights I need on my Airstream before I take her home. 1974 International.

I would really love to know if I need brake lights AND turn signals AND hazard lights all separate?

Which reflectors I need?

Any other lights I will need?

I've been going over and over about the light thing and just cannot do it anymore. I am in Texas, headed towards Minnesota.

This is the link that I am using to base my lights on. http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/stan.../Trlrpstr.html

Thank you soooooo much!
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:15 PM   #2
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If the trailer has working brake lights, and turn signals that's all you need for daytime. If traveling at night running lights are needed. The lights above the windows (red in back, yellow in front) are not necessary.
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Old 05-24-2016, 11:35 PM   #3
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If you are towing with the Ford flatbed be very careful on the turns or you will damage the trailer with the corners of the flatbed.
You will also need operating brakes on the trailer. Which means a brake controller in the TV.
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Old 05-25-2016, 01:40 AM   #4
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The rule for commercial vehicles is that if the light is on the vehicle it must function.

But, you being in an RV, I doubt they will throw up any roadblocks if your tail and running lights don't function in daylight driving. Just don't let the sun go down on you.

Signals and brake lights should ALWAYS work though.

Stops, turns, and hazards all combined only require two operational circuits.


Superat stultitia.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:11 AM   #5
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And of course, comply with the rules and regs of the state in which you plan to register the trailer, including lighting, inspection (required before full registration?), etc..

Each state has its own peculiarities of vehicle registration, including different standards for different weights IMO, and the personal/pleasure/commercial distinctions to be drawn. Preferable if the registered owner is an individual (not a corp. or LLC).

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Old 05-25-2016, 11:26 AM   #6
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Lights aside, you're gonna want those brakes to work as intended. Are they original??.....or have they been converted??

Tom
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:39 AM   #7
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And for your 'Book of Useless Information"; has anybody noticed that the rear lights are facing backwards?
This IS supposed to be an aerodynamically designed "Airstream". Like the front lights, the 'fat' end should be forward. (Nobody ever designed an aeroplane with a wider 'fat ass'!)��
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairtheewell View Post
I am really struggling with which lights I need on my Airstream before I take her home. 1974 International.

I would really love to know if I need brake lights AND turn signals AND hazard lights all separate?

Which reflectors I need?

Any other lights I will need?

I've been going over and over about the light thing and just cannot do it anymore. I am in Texas, headed towards Minnesota.

This is the link that I am using to base my lights on. http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/stan.../Trlrpstr.html

Thank you soooooo much!
When all the exterior lights are taken care of, be sure the refrigerator light works so you can see your beer.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fairtheewell View Post
I am really struggling with which lights I need on my Airstream before I take her home. 1974 International.

I would really love to know if I need brake lights AND turn signals AND hazard lights all separate?

Which reflectors I need?

Any other lights I will need?

I've been going over and over about the light thing and just cannot do it anymore. I am in Texas, headed towards Minnesota.

This is the link that I am using to base my lights on. http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/stan.../Trlrpstr.html

Thank you soooooo much!
When you tow you will need all of the lights operating that were installed by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you could be ticketed for not having them operational.
As other's have said, brake lights and turn signals during daylight. Those and all other lights and reflectors at night.

add edit:
If you are having issues with the lights, check the ground connection at each fixture. Where there is no ground wire the connection to ground is through the fasteners to the body skin at each fixture. That where I find the most problems.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:44 PM   #10
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You can get harnesses that you can clip on to the rear bumper for stop, turn and running lights. Wires can be taped along the side or run underneath. They plug into your light connector on the TV. Probably Camping World, Amazon or other RV type store will have them. Tail lights will have reflectors incorporated in them, but you can buy reflective tape at the same place or any store that sells bicycles.

For safety, you want them all to work . Most jurisdictions, if you are stopped, will give you a warning and a couple of days to get them fixed. you just mail in your receipt and a statement that you did fix it.
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Old 05-25-2016, 10:31 PM   #11
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You would think BUT

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
The rule for commercial vehicles is that if the light is on the vehicle it must function.

But, you being in an RV, I doubt they will throw up any roadblocks if your tail and running lights don't function in daylight driving. Just don't let the sun go down on you.

Signals and brake lights should ALWAYS work though.

Stops, turns, and hazards all combined only require two operational circuits.


Superat stultitia.

I would think that most areas would be easy BUT NOT OHIO. I had a home built trailer and a German car made in a French auto plant and sold by GM. When I went to hook up trailer lights, I could get tail lights and brake lights or tail lights and blinkers but not both. Now systems like that may be common enough that kits are available but it was a rare thing in my day. I opted for Tail lights and brake lights, and traveling through Ohio I was ticketed by a very unforgiving State Patrol who fully understood but didn't care.
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Old 05-27-2016, 06:10 AM   #12
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J. Morgan is right about commercial vehicles. If there’s a light fixture on the exterior of the vehicle it must be functional. That even goes for those tractor trailers festooned with lights and reflectors on every square foot of exterior skin. Truckers affectionately call those rigs Christmas trees. If a driver pulls into a weigh station glittering all over he’ll get the second look from the Staties to keep him regulation.
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Old 05-27-2016, 08:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Morgan View Post
The rule for commercial vehicles is that if the light is on the vehicle it must function.

But, you being in an RV, I doubt they will throw up any roadblocks if your tail and running lights don't function in daylight driving. Just don't let the sun go down on you.

Signals and brake lights should ALWAYS work though.

Stops, turns, and hazards all combined only require two operational circuits.
In states where the law is "wipers on, lights on" you'll need working taillights even in daylight if it starts to rain.
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:55 AM   #14
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In states where the law is "wipers on, lights on" you'll need working taillights even in daylight if it starts to rain.

Good point!


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