License plates - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-24-2009, 01:00 AM   #1
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We recently lost our license plate, the plastic frame that fits around the light broke off somewhere in travels. Mike plans to put on a regular metal plate holder centered on bumper, but I am wondering if there are reasons - practical or legal for having the plate mounted under the light. Any thoughts on this? As I look around it seems most campers do have them off to the side, not centered.

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Old 09-24-2009, 03:09 AM   #2
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In our state, the plate must be illuminated so as to be legible for law enforcement. You'll notice that most RVs have at least one taillight with a clear lower section to illuminate the plate or a dedicated light for that purpose. You can move it to the bumper as long as it's illuminated. I moved mine there when my bracket broke.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:02 AM   #3
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It is likely a legal requirement that one's tag be illuminated when the lights are on...but I don't know for certain.

I do have a kayak trailer where I had to move the tag from a lighted, lower position too close to the ground, to an unlighted position higher up and nobody has questioned me on it...yet...and it has been some years pulling it around.

The tag on my Casita, installed in its designated, illuminated spot, has part of it's numbers hidden by the spare tire...but it is illuminated, nonetheless! Nobody has questioned me on that either. Perhaps it is like 'jaywalking'-while it's against the law, most everyone occasionally does it anyway.
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Old 09-24-2009, 06:04 AM   #4
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Same rules in Oregon. There are license plate brackets with built in lights... or even license plate frames, but you'd need to run some wire. I suppose you could drive ONLY drive during daylight hours.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:44 AM   #5
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I think that most states have that law but also think it was put in the law back in the 20's and 30's when cars were slow enough to read the plates. Here in Florida we have more trailers than I've ever seen in any one state most carrying lawn mowing equipment but half of them have no plates at all much less lit up
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Old 09-24-2009, 01:39 PM   #6
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As a practical reason, you might avoid getting stopped for not having a light. My guess is that this would only happen if you were spotted by a cop who had nothing better to do. Most of the time, I don't think they would bother.

If you still have the tail light with the license lens built in, this bracket might work for you (I happened to notice one of these on display in the parts department of one of my local RV dealers): Bargman Bracket Only

If you want to move the plate, but also keep it lit, you can get a bracket with license light only (no tail light). Of course as Donna says, you'll need to add wiring, but that might be as easy as tapping into one of your tail lights. Bracket w/light

If you search the net for license light & bracket, you'll no doubt find more options.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:33 PM   #7
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Any reason to keep the cop from stopping you is good enough reason to add a lite to the plate. They sell stand alone lights at the auto stores.

Once U R stopped the hassel begins. The inconvience, The looking at paperwork, the asking if they can look in the camper, the impoundment of the camper until the lite is attached and working, the fine for not having the lite because the cop needs to make his/her quota, yada, yada, yada.

More Reasons:

A few years back in one of our Southern States it was reveled on one of the network hour news shows that some local authorities were stopping people who were either driving and/or pulling desirable vehicles such as motor homes, power boats, campers and they were finding dope in these vehicles and would confiscate the vehicle under the law because of the dope.

It was later determined that the authorities were “Planting” the dope.

Don’t be a DOPE; do not give them a reason in the first place to pull you over. Light that License plate and B sure all other lights and items are in working order and in compliance with the law.
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:54 PM   #8
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I think the true reason is because the coppers want to see who you are when they are close enough, just before you hit the after burners and leave them in the dust.
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Old 09-24-2009, 07:42 PM   #9
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One of the nice things about belonging to a community such as this, is the focus is about the trailers. We must all remember, we don't know what professions people are in and how they earn a living. For a fact, I know there are several active law enforcement members on this forum. Let's all be nice, and not use a wide paintbrush in badmouthing or flaming any profession, of any type.

The question asked, was "I am wondering if there are reasons - practical or legal for having the plate mounted under the light."

Can we stick to that please.

Thank you.

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Old 09-24-2009, 08:05 PM   #10
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Thank you all for your input on this topic. I think whether it is 'the law' or just for practical reasons, having the license under the light makes sense and I have convinced Mike, who was just frustrated about the 'cheap plastic' holder (absolutely NO reflection on Escape!) that broke, some how, some where and wanted to bolt on a steel one - he is big on bolting things to last! Today I met Tim and Ann (Tim D.) who are attending the kayak symposium in Port Townsend and Tim showed me on their Bigfoot that the red light cover is actually clear on the bottom to reflect on the license. Never noticed that! (thanks Eric for also pointing that out) Came home, got down on my knees and sure enough, the bottom of the left cover, but not the right, is clear. We will see what we can find that is sturdier and will work on our light. Thanks Don for the Bargman link.

I don't think law enforcement folks are paying too much attention to trailer licenses, unless there is cause to, as we just took a 10 day trip without our plate! Of course other than coming and going we were in a national park the whole time.

I know one retired law enforcement person on this forum who would probably be too busy looking at the trailer make to notice the license!

Lights out - or lights on - for this topic!
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
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Awwww, come on Donna. I'm dying to hear how Joy is going to
Quote:
hit the after burners and leave them in the dust.
with a 93 Jeep Cherokee pulling a 13 Scamp......
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:22 PM   #12
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Well, l personally have never done that and you'd be surprised how fast that Jeep will pull that little trailer. OH, I have however, run a CHP Motorcycle cop off the road and he didn't even give me a ticket.
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Old 09-25-2009, 07:43 AM   #13
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One of the nice things about belonging to a community such as this, is the focus is about the trailers. We must all remember, we don't know what professions people are in and how they earn a living. For a fact, I know there are several active law enforcement members on this forum. Let's all be nice, and not use a wide paintbrush in badmouthing or flaming any profession, of any type.

The question asked, was "I am wondering if there are reasons - practical or legal for having the plate mounted under the light."

Can we stick to that please.

Thank you.

Donna D.
PPBR - Retired
Thank you Donna for your comments. I can only speak for California and Texas motor vehicle laws. Though I suspect each state has similar laws. A license plate location on the vehicle is specified for good reason. It standardizes the location, should identification be required for whatever reason. I am speaking mainly of a moving vehicle. A license plate, absent of a light, would be difficult to read in the dark. Check your state motor vehicle laws for the information. Generally, any police officer can provide this information.

"SIGNED", a retired police officer!
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:49 AM   #14
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AND - remember that the situation spoken of (which I believe was in Slidell, LA) was an anomoly. MOST officers are decent, hard working folks who truly are trying to protect and serve their communities.

AND the community DID get busted for it. Small consolation for those folks ensnared in a mess, but at least it got resolved.
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