Trailer lights mounted on your rack?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Trailer lights mounted on your rack?

    Long story short, we got a new car, Dodge Journey, and was wondering if anyone has mounted trailer lights on their bike rack since the bikes could obscure the tail lights on the car. I have a Swagman xtc4. I never really noticed if it would block the tail lights on my truck but then again it is a fullsize so a lot of width difference. Just thinking that the possibility of a rear end accident could cost a lot of money in bikes.

  2. #2
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    Sounds easy enough. I know you can get those magnetic ones, but I would think it would be easy to hard mount some cheap ones from Harbor Freight, or get some cool LED low profile setup.

    I think in Europe it the law to have lights and a tag on a rack.

    Do it and take pictures.
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzwardo View Post
    ...was wondering if anyone has mounted trailer lights on their bike rack since the bikes could obscure the tail lights
    I think it's a great idea. I built a set years ago to velco on:

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  4. #4
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    I have often thought about modding my 1upUSA rack for trailer lights, and w/ a few bikes on the rack the taillights are hard to see. I think a kit from harbor freight would be a great idea.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock View Post
    I think in Europe it the law to have lights and a tag on a rack.
    I never understood why the industry won't ALLOW us to buy those Euro racks that have tail-lights built into them. Whether it's the law or not, people will say your taillights were obscured by bikes here in the US, and it ends up in a court battle.

    Trailer lights mounted on your rack?-thule_ebike_cycle_car_towball_rack_guide-800x506.jpg
    Soma, Surly, Salsa, Schwalbe, SRAM, Sun-Ringlé

  6. #6
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    I have a 1UpUSA rack that doesn't really block the lights but it puts wheels and spokes in front of them.

    After a long road trip that got grit all over our road bikes, I bought some covers for the bikes. That necessitated getting lights for the rack. We happened to be going on a road trip with two cars so I put them on to see how it went. Serious improvement in visibility - I'm doing that on any trip of length in the future.

    What I did was buy an LED trailer kit and a light harness kit and just wired it up together with the appropriate length wire to connect to the trailer hitch connector on the car. Then I got some bungie cords and just set the light in the track on the 1UpUSA rack and bungie it in place. Worked very well.

    J.

  7. #7
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    Last year I got pulled over travelling through Montana. Didn't get a ticket but the state trooper said I needed lights and my licence plate to be visible. I think he just wanted to check us out, see if we were drunk or transporting drugs?
    It did get me to thinking though. Nothing would ruin a trip more if some jerk rear ended me on holidays. Worse yet if it was my fault for obstructed lights.
    I am going to get a light bar from Amazon to go on my Rack. I am not going to relocate my plate though.

  8. #8
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    conspiracy

    Quote Originally Posted by rlee View Post
    Last year I got pulled over travelling through Montana. Didn't get a ticket but the state trooper said I needed lights and my licence plate to be visible. I think he just wanted to check us out, see if we were drunk or transporting drugs?
    It did get me to thinking though. Nothing would ruin a trip more if some jerk rear ended me on holidays. Worse yet if it was my fault for obstructed lights.
    I am going to get a light bar from Amazon to go on my Rack. I am not going to relocate my plate though.
    I've read countless anecdotes very similar where people have been pulled over for obstructing plates or tail-lights in the US. Apparently, many officials will only let it slide while bikes are being hauled. They say you are required to remove the hitch when not hauling bikes, even if it folds up flat against the hatch. Yet, there isn't a single D.O.T. approved rack available in this country.

    I would pay more for a rack that wasn't inviting cops to pull me over, or soccer moms to rear-end me and my bikes. Thule, and many others currently offer perfect solutions in the UK and elsewhere, while they leave the US to rig up homemade solutions with velcro or suction cups, or worse.

    I realize my rant isn't helping, but why isn't the OPTION even available here? It's like the illuminati wants more crashes and tickets, to feed the economy and augment taxes.

    I've heard insurance companies denying claims because the tail-lights were obscured with a bike rack. Now, you're out the rack, car repairs, and yours and your friends' bikes, out of your own pocket, while you've been paying for insurance all along. There's too much money to be made by the insurance companies, courts, car rack companies, bike and component companies, etc.

    Is it illegal to offer something like the Thule with tail-lights pictured above? I ask because I can't figure out why some entrepreneur here doesn't offer a product to fill this hole. If it's not ILLEGAL, what could possibly be Thule's reasoning for not giving Americans the choice?

    I should weld some adapters and market them for this niche market. A drawbar that has a lightbar under the hitch orifice that the bike rack mounts to. Solid, with a license plate mount and 4-way trailer wiring. Make it a complicated contraption that swings away, curbside, and maybe add some rollers for not bottoming out on driveways. To make profit, they should be $89.99, and made in China, and have a cool name, like "Euro Rack Converter, Swinger's model" or something like that. You're a rack converter swinger model.
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  9. #9
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    I would like to do the same thing and it would be simple enough to do if you could find some low profile LED lights. At least my third brake light is above my bikes.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tedsti View Post
    I would like to do the same thing and it would be simple enough to do if you could find some low profile LED lights. At least my third brake light is above my bikes.
    I used these lights (A trailer light kit on Amazon):
    http://www.amazon.com/Blazer-C7280-R...rch_detailpage

    Wired them up with a trailer 4 wire wiring harness kit and then some short bungie cords. The fit nicely in the wheel track on my rack. All in all, a cheap and effective set up.

    J.

  11. #11
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    Cheap easy solution for rack lights

    Before a recent vacation I found a cheap easy solution for adding lights to your loaded bike rack. (Assuming you have a light plug on your vehicle)

    1. Buy this light and a 4' extension wire from Pep Boys. light about $20 on sale, wire another $12-15

    https://www.pepboys.com/product/details/609773/00826

    2 Use a couple bungy cords to mount the lights on the last bike.

    Problem solved- Brake Lights, Turn Signals, running lights all in a small lightweight (plastic package.)

    Trailer lights mounted on your rack?-img_1974.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Trailer lights mounted on your rack?-img_1964.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Great light find!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ehammond1 View Post
    Before a recent vacation I found a cheap easy solution for adding lights to your loaded bike rack. (Assuming you have a light plug on your vehicle)

    1. Buy this light and a 4' extension wire from Pep Boys. light about $20 on sale, wire another $12-15

    https://www.pepboys.com/product/details/609773/00826

    2 Use a couple bungy cords to mount the lights on the last bike.

    Problem solved- Brake Lights, Turn Signals, running lights all in a small lightweight (plastic package.)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just saw your pics. I'd been looking for something similar and picked up one of these lights, but I haven't found a good way to bungee it to the last bike without it tilting up or down. Any hints on how you did it? I'm thinking of mounting it on a board that can be strapped down or something, but it doesn't look like you did that. Did you use the hitch pin holes or do it some other way? I'm probably overthinking it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirttime View Post
    Just saw your pics. I'd been looking for something similar and picked up one of these lights, but I haven't found a good way to bungee it to the last bike without it tilting up or down. Any hints on how you did it? I'm thinking of mounting it on a board that can be strapped down or something, but it doesn't look like you did that. Did you use the hitch pin holes or do it some other way? I'm probably overthinking it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    I put the light under the long side of the bungy holding it to the bike which forces a downward angle. Then I used another shorter,
    lighter bungy between the light and a connecting point on one of the first bikes or the rack to put some tension on it and level it out. I Have not followed behind this setup to see how level it remains, (will have to now) but I think it stays put.

  14. #14
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    Thanks. That makes sense. I realized that pulling toward the car with another bungee would do it, but I was playing around with just one bike on the rack in the outermost position, and I use a platform rack that doesn't have an appropriate place directly behind the light to hook a bungee to. It will be fine with other bikes to attach to.

  15. #15
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    I picked up some short LED strips (I think they are used by motorcycles), mounted to the back tray of my 1up. Wired them onto a plug into the trailer plug on the back.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    I picked up some short LED strips (I think they are used by motorcycles), mounted to the back tray of my 1up. Wired them onto a plug into the trailer plug on the back.
    Yep. I did the same thing. Best setup ever. Super bright and no fooling around to connect. Nothing extra required n

  17. #17
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    Yeh, thought about LED strips, too --- even the long ones folks put on their tailgates. But my rack, kuat xfer, doesn't have full trays across, just separate "wells" for the front and back wheels so it didn't seem like a strip was the best solution. Agree it would be more convenient to have something permanently on the rack, though.

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