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Old 09-10-2006, 10:55 AM   #1
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Backup lights?

As I was backing down a dirt road in the desert over Labor day at 1:00am I noticed I have no backup lights! I don't mean they didnt work I mean they are not there at all. So my questions are:

Am I just doing it wrong cause a good Airstreamer should never have to back up at night.

Are the nice people at Airstream just daft for not putting them on?

Has anyone else noticed this and done something about it? and if so what?

Is my trailer the only one without backup lights?

My SOB's had backup lights. What am I missing here.
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Old 09-10-2006, 11:14 AM   #2
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Wow! You're right!! I never thought of this... I had to run out to the driveway and turn my truck around. There truly is no backup lighting on my '06 Safari. My Safari SE has the LS International-type cast lights. I don't know that it'd be any different with the non-LS lights.

There's got to be somebody out there who knows more on this story. How about other recent model owners? Bambi? Classics? Maybe they dropped it because it's not "required."
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:25 PM   #3
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My Argosy has backup lights. I did a review through Google and my state's Dept of Public Safety. I would wonder if any new trailer of any make has backup lights any more. I didn't look at each and every state in the BoatUS website but don't see mention of any requirement. This website spells out details about visibility -- again, no backup lights.
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Old 09-10-2006, 12:57 PM   #4
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I went through the galleries here and found some with and some without.
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Old 09-10-2006, 01:42 PM   #5
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South Carolina seems to be different. The majority of trailers I see on the road with or without lights never seem to be hooked up!! But then again this is also the state where turn signals don't work until the brake lights come on...if at all!!
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:57 PM   #6
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Saw this, had to post

Just this weekend I went boondocking at a lake close by. I left late, 7 pm, arrived at the campground at 9:30 pm. We found a site, a pull thru but, I had to go the wrong way around the campground to get the door facing the site. Long story short, I had to do some manuvering to turn around.

Was I ever glad that I put the backup lights on my Caravel. The wiring was there, I just added the lights. I would have had a hard time backing up in the dark had it not been for the bright backup lights illuminating the area behind me. My TV was already equipped for the option, even has a separate circuit for them. Gotta love having a complete towing package.
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:58 AM   #7
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No backup lights must be a newfangled idea...my 1975 has them! Actually from what I can deduce Airstreams were the exception. Apparently there aren't any requirements for backup lights on trailers. I have added them to about every trailer I have ever owned EXCEPT the Airstreams.

Glen,
I didn't even know that SC required turn signals...never seen one

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Old 09-11-2006, 08:26 AM   #8
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Our 06 classic has them as did our 05 classic. My expearience is they are of little value, at least for me. I've found when backing at night the brake lights and back up lights on my tow vehicle are so bright as they reflect off the trailer that I can't see well enough to back up even with trailer backup lights. I still have to have someone out back watching for me. Perhaps they benifit that person.---pieman
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:48 AM   #9
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Then why do I have them?

This is interesting subject. As a newbie I worked all weekend on getting my rear lights set to my TV. My '75 Tradewind BU lights but, they would not work. I began testing at the TV connection and found that even when the '01 F150 was placed into reverse there was no voltage coming from the connector. Now I have to figure that out, why have the lights on the AS if the TV is not wired to work them?.
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthrnNMguy
This is interesting subject. As a newbie I worked all weekend on getting my rear lights set to my TV. My '75 Tradewind BU lights but, they would not work. I began testing at the TV connection and found that even when the '01 F150 was placed into reverse there was no voltage coming from the connector. Now I have to figure that out, why have the lights on the AS if the TV is not wired to work them?.
I remember trying to wire up my '74 to my '99 Expedition, although I don't remember specifically which circuits didn't work until I took out the tow packet in the glove box. There were additional relays that had to be installed in a box under the hood in order to get power back to the TV 7 way. Why Ford leaves these out, I don't know?
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Old 09-11-2006, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthrnNMguy
This is interesting subject. As a newbie I worked all weekend on getting my rear lights set to my TV. My '75 Tradewind BU lights but, they would not work. I began testing at the TV connection and found that even when the '01 F150 was placed into reverse there was no voltage coming from the connector. Now I have to figure that out, why have the lights on the AS if the TV is not wired to work them?.
Part of it maybe what Peegreen said. Also if it was wired at a shop, unless you tell them SPECFICALLY to wire the reverse lights a lot of them will cut corners and not do it. Because most trailers don't have reverse lights

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Old 09-11-2006, 10:06 AM   #12
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My safari does have the backup lights. I do remember that when I got my baby they were working. The last time I went to Heron Lake they weren't. Iguess I have to check them again.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:30 AM   #13
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I added back-up lights to my '59, but operate them with a switch in the coach in addition to the 7-way aux. post. That way I can turn them on without the TV attached.
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Old 09-12-2006, 09:31 AM   #14
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back-up lights

Being my 1st trailer I wouldn't thunk of it but I will be wiring a set of lights to the stern of my 1958 Traveler. This makes way too good sense because things don't always go as planned.
Steve
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Old 09-12-2006, 12:08 PM   #15
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Does the round 7 connection hitch have a wire for back up lights in it?
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Old 09-12-2006, 01:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goin camping
Does the round 7 connection hitch have a wire for back up lights in it?
which 7 pin?

there are several styles...
on the tv side some have back up lights or a ground at the #2 position

search/google 7 pin trailer wiring harness/connector for more info.

on your superduty, yes the connector has back up lights wire....

see the pic.

on the a/s side i'd suspect the wiring harness has this and that it is live in the rear...inside the wall/behind the led brake light fixture.

so you could add/install lights on the trailer or bumper as others have done

or you could get some occasional use super bright leds or blindingly bright halogens. then bring the wiring out from the fixtures or the rear stowage...and plug the lights in as needed.

or leave them to the dealer or any trailer/hitch shop to install. should be pretty easy.

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Old 09-12-2006, 02:29 PM   #17
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I was kinda thinking of doing something like 2air is suggesting. My '73 has backup lights and they work (now that I've rebuilt them). On mine, there is actually an extra set of wires for both the backup lights and the brake lights tucked in between the inner and outer skins.

I was thinking of adding one of those blazing brite backup lights for those "just in case times". And maybe one of those center line brake lights in the rear window (hey, the insurance guys say they actually help avoid accidents).

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Old 09-12-2006, 03:32 PM   #18
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hi jim

i added one of these to the truck...pretty nice.

http://www.pickupspecialties.com/LED..._light_bar.htm

if the led taillight upgrade hadn't been done on the trailer, i'd have put another one of these back there..either in the window or along the upper window trim or beltline or bumper line...

i agree with your insurance person...3rd lights are effective.

any of the halogen off road type (kc) lights could be wired and attached to clamps...and pulled out as needed, clamping to bumper...

one issue to watch is how much juice they need. some of the halogens take a lot...

i saw a flashlight shaped thing with super bright leds 3 or 5 watts. it had a 7pin base so that it just plugged into the socket...of course this was for the truck but a 7pin mount could be used on the trailer too...

the factory back up lights on the current classic trailers are ok but not nearly as bright as the brake lights!

cheers
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:05 PM   #19
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While I have mine torn apart I am going to add the necessary switching and wiring for a work/reverse light. I have considered adding some of the small very bright fog lights below the bumper. I did this on my popup and it made all the difference in the world. Someone here on the board had "landing lights" installed in the rear quarters of the banana wraps. Nice smooth job and great for backing up.

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Old 09-12-2006, 06:05 PM   #20
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Both my '75 and '79 have backup lights, but I question the utility of them. They look nice enough on a walk around, but try them at night, and there's not much to see from the truck.

Somebody here on the forum had "docking lights" installed. That seems pretty practical to me.

Lamar
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