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Backup Lights

Mar 23, 2002
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Tags: Electrical|Lights

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The local camping that I do usually involves leaving after work and school on a Friday afternoon and arriving at a campground after dark. I have added several lights to make backing into a campsite after dark much easier.

First I mounted two lights behind the receiver on my truck. I tapped into the backup wire in the trailer wiring harness near the receiver. The backup light circuit on the truck can be overloaded with additional lights so I used a relay. I powered the lights from the 12 volt feed in the trailer wiring harness near the receiver.

Now when I put my truck in reverse, I can see where I am going.

Next I installed 4 lights on my Wildcat. Two lights are under the Wildcat halfway between the tires and the front. They are aimed slightly to the outside. This lights up the area around the tires and to the side of the Wildcat. You can see how this looks by viewing photos from a later RV I modified here.

I mounted the other two lights on the bumper. The standard 7 pin RV plug has a backup wire. On the Wildcat the wire ends in the junction box just behind the king pin because it is not normally used.

I again used a relay, activated by the backup wire in the junction box and getting power from the 12 volt battery in the Wildcat. Now when I put the truck in reverse I have two lights on the truck and four lights on the Wildcat. In the box where I mounted a switch for the power jacks, I also have a switch to manually activate the relay in the Wildcat to turn on those 4 lights. This is handy if I need outside light around the Wildcat when unhooked from the truck.

I have added some gauges on the 'A' pillar of my truck. On this 'A' pillar I have another switch that manually turns on the backup lights of my truck. This activates the relay for the lights on the truck receiver as well as the relay for the lights on the Wildcat. So while driving down the road at night or while making a slow sharp turn after dark I can flip a switch and easily see all around my Wildcat. This helps prevent hitting something after dark when making sharp turns.

And last, I found some wires under the Wildcat near the entrance door going up through the Wildcat's floor. I was able to snake another wire up through these wires. My Wildcat has two large 'scare' lights on the outside controlled from the inside with a switch near the entrance door. I removed the switch and discovered about a 2 inch deep hollow space between walls. I was able to snake my wire up to this switch. I installed another relay, activated by my wire and getting power from the power feed to the 'scare' lights switch. I then hooked my wire to a wire going to one of the other backup lights.

So when I flip one of my switches or put the truck in reverse, I get two lights on the truck and six lights on the Wildcat. I may be going backwards but I can see where I'm going!

Lights on the truck. I got the lights from Agri Supply, but you can also find them at Northern Hydraulic, Wall-Mart, etc.

Left rear of the Wildcat

Switch on the 'A' pillar of the truck (the green one).

You may be interested in the next article, Battery Disconnect Switch.

The previous article is The Sheet Metal Panel on the Slide Out is not Flush With the Camper.

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© Bobby Daniel