Brake lights on hitch rack?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Brake lights on hitch rack?

    I have a Swagman XTC hitch rack. When I have two bikes mounted on it, the wheels block my brake lights. I'm wondering if it would be worth it to mount some LED strips to the bottom of the "arms" of the rack. It would be a side-emitting LED strip facing back obviously. One per side. I would wire them up to a normal flat-4 trailer light connector. They would operate as my brake lights when I have bikes on the rack.

    About the only thing I'm worried about with this is the height. The 'arms' of the rack are a little over a foot off the ground. Do you think this is too low? Or would the brightness of the LED's make it a non-issue?

    Here's a pic of the rack:
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    I just got some adhesive reflective tape and stick-on reflectors, and put that on the back of the rack. I consider that safe enough for crash prevention. If you want to be extra safe, you can find those magnetic battery-powered lights.

  3. #3
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    I think if you wanna do something better to just use a light bar that you could strap on the bike. That way it would not interfere with storing the rack, and you could set a decent height.

  4. #4
    jrm
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    Does the vehicle

    have a harness or pigtail for trailer lights? They make megnetic brake lights for trailers. Other wise you might try a flashing blinkie mounted on the rack.

  5. #5
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    Something like this, with a couple velco straps plugged into the trailer plug.
    http://www.etrailer.com/p-STL79RB/Se...er-Diodes.html

  6. #6
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    Ok heres my input. I would find a way to mount the lights ataylor posted one on each side on the part where the wheels fit on the outside of them, like weld a tab or something. Run the wires on the inside of the 2 arms so when you store it folded up you dont have to remove the lights wires etc. Just make sure that when you fold it up there isnt a pinch point in the wires. Then run the pigtail to the back of your car. It would be a pretty cool to see it setup that way.

    Doing it this way would take an hour or so to build but will be less setup and take down time.

    Or as someone else suggested get refective tape.

  7. #7
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    When I get my new rack I will be doing the same and putting some lights on it. Until I have it I can only guess how I will attach them. In studying the rack in your pic you could get a top cap made that slides over the vertical bar and have your lights attach to that. This would solve the height concern and would be easy to take on/off. Downside is you would have one more step when you place your bikes on/off the rack.

  8. #8
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    the bikes kinda cover my tail lights too, but i'm 100% sure the lights can be seen from the car behind me. the only precaution i take is take some DOT reflective tape and put it onthe bottom horizontal area

  9. #9
    Braaaapp!
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    I did reflective tape on my Xport rac (copy of the above rack).

    I wanted to add lights, even just little red running lights (1 pair to activate with tail lights, 1 pair for brake lights). But unfortunately a light harness for the Passat is $$$$!
    "It was like a German, techno-weird, acid trip." - The Hoff -

  10. #10
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    I think I have it figured out how I will mount a light to the rack. I'm going to pickup a couple of the bar lights posted by ataylor. Found a pair on ebay for $30.

    I think I'm going to use PVC pipe to make my mount. It will consist of a PVC T-fitting and two small lengths of tube. The middle part of the T will slide over the center part of the rack, and the tubes will secure the light. If I get the right size T-fitting, all I'd have to do is slide it on the rack. I'll probably create small notches in the T so it doesn't spin when mounted.

    This way it's not permanently part of the rack and can be removed whenever I want. No worries about pinched wires either.

    I'll start building it soon and post pics when it's done.

    Bryan

  11. #11
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    remember to check your local laws about minimum and maximum light height. It seems I always see posts about cops messing with people that have racks over silly stuff

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