Jump to content
Patrick stoner

Caravan Running Lights

Recommended Posts

Several times last Summer - or the warmer rainy season as we call it - I watched a selction of vehicles, but mainly vans, closing on the back end of my caravan as if it was a convenient way of slowing down. From the sudden lurch into the next lane I suspect some may have been busy sending texts, reading delivery notes or just catching forty winks, but some just don't seem to have seen the caravan. Now, I'm not sure how you can not see an eight foot high seven foot wide white box thing in front of you, but it seems to happen and especially in France.

 

As a result I tried driving with my side lights on and that seemed to help. So, if it evers stops raining I'm going to fit some LED markers on the rear of the caravan and that got me thinking about running lights.

 

Most of the caravan lights are already LED or about to be converted, so why not wire them to run whenever the engine on the tow vehicle is running. It's not difficult, the battery charge terminal on the S socket with a relay and a diode (so as not to cause a feed back into the canbus system) would do it.

 

Technically this is very simple, but there are probably reasons why this may not be a good idea, as a working system, that haven't occured to me, so any thoughts would be welcome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been considering running lights (DLRS) as my van is quite a bit wider than my tug to make the width more noticable. I hadn't considered rear or side protection but some recent threads on here make it something to consider.

Having done some defensive driving courses I consider anything that make me more visible good!

 

I hadn't considered using the normal running lights (with LEDs fitted - despite some saying it could be illegal), yes it is technically possible as would running with sidelights/dipped headlights.

In my case as the tug has DLRs I would look keeping this facility for the front.

 

My first thought if using the normal running lights would be 3 relays, 2 to control/supply side/markers from the charging system and one to over-ride this and return control to the car lighting circuits

Edited by Ich

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Several times last Summer - or the warmer rainy season as we call it - I watched a selction of vehicles, but mainly vans, closing on the back end of my caravan as if it was a convenient way of slowing down. From the sudden lurch into the next lane I suspect some may have been busy sending texts, reading delivery notes or just catching forty winks, but some just don't seem to have seen the caravan. Now, I'm not sure how you can not see an eight foot high seven foot wide white box thing in front of you, but it seems to happen and especially in France.

 

As a result I tried driving with my side lights on and that seemed to help. So, if it evers stops raining I'm going to fit some LED markers on the rear of the caravan and that got me thinking about running lights.

 

Most of the caravan lights are already LED or about to be converted, so why not wire them to run whenever the engine on the tow vehicle is running. It's not difficult, the battery charge terminal on the S socket with a relay and a diode (so as not to cause a feed back into the canbus system) would do it.

 

Technically this is very simple, but there are probably reasons why this may not be a good idea, as a working system, that haven't occured to me, so any thoughts would be welcome.

 

 

I have 5 LED Marker lights I have fitted down the side of my caravan (4 x Amber & 1 x red. Within a Metre of the rear a marker light has to be red ) . These are fed from the caravan battery through a relay from the charging circuit so only come on when ever the engine runs and are independent to the cars running lights .

 

Like these .

http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/Amber-LED-Running-Board-Side-step-Lights-L200-Navara-/390294278812?pt=UK_CarsParts_Vehicles_CarParts_SM&hash=item5adf5a129c

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not just turn the car sidelights on :unsure: as far as I know there isn't a law that say you can't use them during daylight

Edited by matelodave
  • Like 2
  • +1 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were fitting extra lights you'd need to be sure they complied with the Construction and Use regulations. Using existing lights would be cheaper, simpler and remove any risk of an over zealous VOSA person getting interested. .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you were fitting extra lights you'd need to be sure they complied with the Construction and Use regulations. Using existing lights would be cheaper, simpler and remove any risk of an over zealous VOSA person getting interested. .

 

Becomes a requirement on new trailers over 6m under European Whole Vehicle Type Approval to fall in line with Europe upto now it has been over here we were exempt . New caravans now have lights fitted to comply.

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been considering running lights (DLRS) as my van is quite a bit wider than my tug to make the width more noticable. I hadn't considered rear or side protection but some recent threads on here make it something to consider.

Having done some defensive driving courses I consider anything that make me more visible good!

 

I hadn't considered using the normal running lights (with LEDs fitted - despite some saying it could be illegal), yes it is technically possible as would running with sidelights/dipped headlights.

In my case as the tug has DLRs I would look keeping this facility for the front.

 

My first thought if using the normal running lights would be 3 relays, 2 to control/supply side/markers from the charging system and one to over-ride this and return control to the car lighting circuits

 

I'm with you on making myself more visible on the road and I've just ordered a set of legal DLRs for the Transit. I had already switched the front marker lights on the caravan to LED units, rather than replacement bulbs, and these seem to be fine as they were 'e' marked. I have bought some LED bulbs for the tail lights, but no 'e' mark and don't really want to go that route, so I'm going to keep looking for legal LED bulbs.

 

The circuit I was going to use would have seen a diode in both the black and brown from pins 5 and 7. These are to stop the auto circuit feeding back through these pins to the lighting system Then a feed from the nc contact on a relay just downstream of the diode. The no contact would go to the battery and the relay would be operated from the blue in the S plug with another diode to prevent that feeding back and keeping the lights on permanently. That's just off the top of my head so furious editing will follow when I draw it out and say 'oops.'

 

I have 5 LED Marker lights I have fitted down the side of my caravan (4 x Amber & 1 x red. Within a Metre of the rear a marker light has to be red ) . These are fed from the caravan battery through a relay from the charging circuit so only come on when ever the engine runs and are independent to the cars running lights .

 

Like these .

http://www. ebay. co. u. ..=item5adf5a129c

 

 

Dave

 

Thanks Dave, I hadn't thought about side markers, but now you mention it, if I'm going to do this I might as well do it properly. They look like decent units as well and I know Bolt-on-Bitz of old.

 

One thing caught me off balance was that the rear most marker has to be red. I know the rearmost marker has to be within one metre of the back end - well I do now I've looked at the Indespension trailer manual - but can find no reference to this needing to be red. I'm sort of happy to take your word for it, but do you have a reference for this to wave in the face of doubters?

 

 

Why not just turn the car sidelights on :unsure: as far as I know there isn't a law that say you can't use them during daylight

 

Damned good point. Mainly because I'll forget, which won't matter 99 times out of a hundred, but I will also forget on the 100th, when it will. The alternative might be to put a large sign in the back window saying "Oi! Dozy, move over." But this is likely to irritate some people.

 

 

If you were fitting extra lights you'd need to be sure they complied with the Construction and Use regulations. Using existing lights would be cheaper, simpler and remove any risk of an over zealous VOSA person getting interested. .

 

Complete 'e' marked marker lights are readily available, but I am having real problems locating 'e' marked LED bulbs for the existing lights so they may well stay with tungsten bulbs. I have the essential dimensions for the placement of lights courtesy of the Indespension manual again and I will stick rigidly with that.

 

Becomes a requirement on new trailers over 6m under European Whole Vehicle Type Approval to fall in line with Europe upto now it has been over here we were exempt . New caravans now have lights fitted to comply.

 

 

Dave

 

Good point. I'll have a look at what the manufacturers are doing as well. My caravan is a 2006, but any changes will need to fall in line with the new legislation if for no other reason than to keep VOSA happy.

 

Thanks everybody, lots of ideas to think on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Inner State

 

The circuit I was going to use would have seen a diode in both the black and brown from pins 5 and 7. These are to stop the auto circuit feeding back through these pins to the lighting system Then a feed from the nc contact on a relay just downstream of the diode. The no contact would go to the battery and the relay would be operated from the blue in the S plug with another diode to prevent that feeding back and keeping the lights on permanently. That's just off the top of my head so furious editing will follow when I draw it out and say 'oops.'

 

Too complex with the relay. ..... Use 2 more diodes from the fridge supply onto the caravan lights side of the diodes in brown and black leads, job done.

 

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why not just turn the car sidelights on :unsure: as far as I know there isn't a law that say you can't use them during daylight

 

Quite correct Dave, but only for pre-2011 cars. Since February 2011 all new cars have to be fitted with daylight running lights (European Union Directive 2008/89/EC), which must switch on with the vehicle ignition and switch off when the vehicle sidelights and/or headlights are switched on.

 

Regards,

David

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too complex with the relay. ..... Use 2 more diodes from the fridge supply onto the caravan lights side of the diodes in brown and black leads, job done.

 

J

 

Yes, that's much better. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 5 LED Marker lights I have fitted down the side of my caravan (4 x Amber & 1 x red. Within a Metre of the rear a marker light has to be red ) . These are fed from the caravan battery through a relay from the charging circuit so only come on when ever the engine runs and are independent to the cars running lights .

 

Like these .

http://www. ebay. co. u. ..=item5adf5a129c

 

 

Dave

 

Additional thanks for that link. I had a good look through their stuff and found LED NAS lights. These, as every Land Rover enthusiast should know, are the Nort American Spec lights that many people have fitted to Defenders so other road users can see them at night. Standard LR rear lights are a bit of a joke, not having changed much since 1947. As luck would have it the rear lights on my Elddis are NAS type and I have now have a set of 'e' marked and legal LED tail/stop and fog lights en route. Job done. Trouble is, they have all sorts of other goodies as well and temptation is one of the few things I cannot resist.

 

So, thanks again, but my degree of thanks is inversely proportional to the amount of melina I'll be in when the credit card statement comes in. :D

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have 5 LED Marker lights I have fitted down the side of my caravan (4 x Amber & 1 x red. Within a Metre of the rear a marker light has to be red ) .

 

 

I think the regulations say MAY be be red. Amber is acceptable for the rearmost lamp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the regulations say MAY be be red. Amber is acceptable for the rearmost lamp.

 

 

your right . I did mine 3yrs ago and I know I made mine red at the rear corner and i remembered something about red within a metre of the rear .

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite correct Dave, but only for pre-2011 cars. Since February 2011 all new cars have to be fitted with daylight running lights (European Union Directive 2008/89/EC), which must switch on with the vehicle ignition and switch off when the vehicle sidelights and/or headlights are switched on.

 

Regards,

David

Hi David

That's what I understood

But

Its all new models of cars

The new Ford Kuga Titanium X has them as an extra goody but my new Titanium did not have then as standard as its an existing model

I used the Ring lights here on the Kuga and they just fitted under the headlight as a push fit

The same strip comes with sticky pads and could be used on a caravan

 

DSC00036.jpg

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'fridge circuit seems to be fine, but would some 'day-glow ' stickers be useful at the back ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 'fridge circuit seems to be fine, but would some 'day-glow ' stickers be useful at the back ?

The 'fridge circuit seems to be fine, but would some 'day-glow ' stickers be useful at the back ?

 

Hi,

Be wary what you stick on the van as fluorescent strips are, or were, classed as lighting as we found out after fitting red and white stripes to the rear of one of our wagons and we needed to change to red and amber so you need to check first,

Regards,

Ian.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point. A while back, for reasons too complex to go into, I was trying to get hold of some 'Convoi Exceptionel' signs and got in touch with a company who produces that sort of thing. They went to some lengths to explain that putting the sort of stickers usually seen on the backs of trucks on vehicles that are too small is also a no-no.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David

That's what I understood

But

Its all new models of cars

The new Ford Kuga Titanium X has them as an extra goody but my new Titanium did not have then as standard as its an existing model

I used the Ring lights here on the Kuga and they just fitted under the headlight as a push fit

The same strip comes with sticky pads and could be used on a caravan

 

Hi John,

 

Instead of stating "all new cars have to be fitted with DRLs" I should have said "all new cars that are granted Type Approval on or after 7th February 2011". Thus existing models that received Type Approval prior to 07/02/2011, even if they were manufactured subsequently, do not have to be fitted with them. This is probably the reason why your Titanium did not have them fitted on the production line.

 

Those Ring DRLs do look good John and also sounds as if they are relatively easy to fit. Did they come with a relay that cuts them when the headlights are switched on? They could certainly be used on a caravan, provided that they complied with the VC&U Regs.

 

Regards,

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David

I only mentioned it because I also was under the misapprehension that the new car would have them and someone put me right and I was sure that I was going to get them :D and that the salesman who said that I wouldn't get them was wrong :wub:

The Ring do not come with a relay but I fitted one so that they go out with the headlights

They were under £30

On the Kuga website there are 80+ pages of DRL posts and a lot of the posters are prepared to pay £500ish to have the ones as fitted to the Titanium X involving extensive removal of existing parts etc

Sorry that is wrong

Its now 107 pages

 

http://www. kugaownersclub. co. uk/forum/all-daytime-running-lights-discussion-info_topic2924. html

Edited by Watson(JohnG)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David

I only mentioned it because I also was under the misapprehension that the new car would have them and someone put me right and I was sure that I was going to get them :D and that the salesman who said that I wouldn't get them was wrong :wub:

The Ring do not come with a relay but I fitted one so that they go out with the headlights

They were under £30

On the Kuga website there are 80+ pages of DRL posts and a lot of the posters are prepared to pay £500ish to have the ones as fitted to the Titanium X involving extensive removal of existing parts etc

Sorry that is wrong

Its now 107 pages

 

http://www. kugaowner. .._topic2924. html

Hi John,

The new S Maxs have come with DRLs fitted, for a while now, but the more expensive Galaxy doesn't which seems a bit 'wrong way round' but i won't let it spoil my breakfast :D . I can't help thinking though that motorcyclists are now becoming a bit more anonymous as all vehicles are being fitted with DRLs and they blend in more. We'll just need to take extra care,

Regards,

Ian.

Edited by ian dunning

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I drive trucks for a living and by law they have to have lights down the side at specified distances. I have a Stealth twin axle that had 2 reflectors on each side. I have now fitted 2 led marker lights to the top air vents in the front panel and 3 amber led marker lights down the side wired into the sidelights and I always drive towing with my headlights on. Also as the van has led lights the indicators did not work as there was insufficient current for the ecu to recognise the lights so I fitted additional amber indicator lights to the front and side but in the end had to fit a relay to increase the current consumption to make it work properly.

One word of caution as my van was new and the alarm has stopped working stealth are refusing to replace it under warranty saying the addition of the lights has invalidated the warranty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless additional running lights emit a forcefield that stops people running in to the back of you then it's completely pointless exercise

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Come on Ricko, if they like fiddling with their vans then let them have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unless additional running lights emit a forcefield that stops people running in to the back of you then it's completely pointless exercise

 

Good point. I might just remove the fog lamps at the rear as well. :)

 

Anything that makes a vehicle more noticeable has to reduce the likelihood of it being hit by another vehicle being driven by a muppet. If that weren't the case there would be little point in all the array of lights and reflective panels on the back of commercial vehicles.

 

What still amazes me is that in a country where the weather reduces visibility so frequently there are still so many peoiple out there who will not switch on their lights when they should. Maybe they believe that anything less than a force-field is pointless too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...