new running lights - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-03-2006, 10:05 PM   #15
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Trailer: 1980 Boler 17 ft
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I agree with Loren that they're only there because there was some legal requirement for them, since they're certainly not there because of demand by buyers.
I think this is a great guide.

In my Boler's case, the [b]side marker lights are placed at the top, level with the clearance lights, which I think is not as effective as a mid-body height. Other B1700s have side marker reflectors mounted near the bottom of the body, while mine has none. I assume that both lights and reflectors (as described in the guide) are required in Canada, and I certainly think they are a good idea even if they're not required.

In addition to the reliability advantage of [b]LED lights, the lower current draw is good. It's not the energy that really matters - with clearance lights included, the total current draw may be too much for the isolator/converter in the tow vehicle with conventional incandescent bulbs.

Here is the Alberta legislation for side marker lights and reflectors (and some other stuff that is in the same section) extracted from ALBERTA REGULATION 322/2002, Traffic Safety Act, VEHICLE EQUIPMENT REGULATION:

I added the enlarged text for emphasis.

Of course, these are Alberta rules, but my guess is that they just echo federal requirements for new vehicles (in Canada, it seems that provinces regulate what can operate on the road, with the federal government regulates what can be manufactured and sold), and it is an example of current requirements.

Even if my side marker lights also qualify as reflectors, my Boler violates 40(4)(a) (the maximum height requirement), and now I think I'll add front and rear side reflectors.

My B1700 also has [b]clearance and rear ID lights (sections 6 and 7 of the guide), and a 1970's Alberta government vehicle lighting regulations pamphlet that came with the Boler shows their requirement, but current trailers in the RV dealers' showrooms which are clearly more than 2032 mm (80") wide do not have them. Another section (48) of that Alberta regulation clearly requires them (just the way they are installed on my Boler), so now I have to take another look at those new trailers...
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:50 PM   #16
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Trailer: 1980 Boler 17 ft
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Hi brian, I changed all the clearance, brake lights on my B1700.When removing the upper clearance lights I found they had drilled 5/8 diam. holes in the shell to pass/connect the light wiring easy wire fishing and even better water access with the missing and hardened putty seal. Replaced the sun faded lower side reflectors .I also added lower side modified clearance lights two bulb style to give running / turning combined . Metal guards on lower side lights added. I believe lower side clearance lights are required on the Bolers as it is quite dark on the sides without them. See and be seen , no egg cracking required.
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:27 PM   #17
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Trailer: 1981 Trillium 13 ft
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I just purchased LED lights for my 1981 Trillium, tail lights, and turn signals,cause the other drivers were having a hard time seeing the old ones in the daylight. I think it is the way to go. I got them from a Marine trailer supply place in florida.They are distributed by a company called SEASENSE trailer accessories, You can find them at WWW.SEASENSE.COM..........
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:56 PM   #18
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well all new lights and wireing is going in on saturday (LED) will be fun since the camper has a inclosed belly pan so it will be fun running it in a safe place..
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Old 05-04-2006, 06:48 AM   #19
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Trailer: 1999 Casita 16 ft Spirit Deluxe
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According the specs listed on the web site, Casitas are 80” in overall width. Wouldn’t they require clearance lights to be in compliance. Am I missing an exception to the rule?
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:04 PM   #20
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Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
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Since even the classic narrow-body eggs are right at the 80" width, and wider-bodied units like virtually everything made today are clearly over this limit, it seems like they should all have clearance (front and rear) and rear ID lights (the ID lights are that set of three in the middle at the top). I, too, am puzzled by why some trailers don't have them, since neither the guide to US Federal regulations at Redneck nor the Alberta rules have any exemption.

The Canadian rules are expressed in metric terms, with the Alberta rule being approximately 80" (2.05 m, or 80.7"), and the federal rule being 2 m (78.74"), so that part seems quite consistent.

Maybe Craig and I are both missing something? Perhaps the 80" width was chosen long ago specifically to just barely avoid the requirement for clearance lights, although that would not explain the wider (stick-built) trailers I've seen without them.
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Old 05-04-2006, 03:38 PM   #21
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If I`m not mistaken the 1960 Pontiacs were 80" wide and would normally have needed clearance lights but were made exempt by the governments of the day and the 61's were made about 1" or so narrower and didn`t need to have clearance lights.......Benny
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Old 05-04-2006, 06:37 PM   #22
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Interesting point, Benny. The Hummer H1 (civilian HMMWV) is (according to Hummer) 86.5" wide (excluding mirrrors); as you can see in the web site images, it has ID lights front and rear, but not clearance lights. It is too low to logically require clearance lights at the top, but I don't see a height-based exemption in the Redneck summary or Alberta regulation.

Even the Hummer H2 (Chevy truck in Hummer style) is just over 80" wide, and has the ID lights. It even has the clearance lights (integrated into the roof rack). The H3 (compact Chevy truck in Hummer style) is intended to look similar, so if the lights were just for styling effect on the H1 and H2 they should be there on all models, but the H3 is only 74.7" wide and has no ID or clearance lights.

It looks like the lighting rules generally do apply to all vehicles, but there seem to be some specific exemptions. I still don't see why they would not be on a trailer over 80" wide.

By the way, I had a typo in my Alberta regulation link, which I have since fixed in my original post. Sorry for any confusion.
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Old 05-04-2006, 10:52 PM   #23
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I suppose that on the H1, the side marker lights qualify as clearance lights... not being an issue until you get to a certain body height....same as snowmobile trailers, side markers and ID trio lights......100" wide sno-mo trailer I built for my son has that......when I was wiring it motor vehicles only mentioned the distance visibility from the rear, i.e. 150 meters not telling me candlepower requirements so I used rectangular clearance lights for tail, stop, and turn lamps.....also I think there is some variance between highway traffic acts in the provinces as to reflectors and lights and whether the turn sigs and brake lites can be seen on the tow vehicle from behind as to whether TS are required......guess that you wouldn`t get bothered unless your lights were out at night....I`ve never been checked for lights during the day.......Benny
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Old 05-08-2006, 09:13 AM   #24
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Brian,
Searching the Internet on the subject of clearance lights, I found this site on Canadian regulations. Provincial regulations seem to be just as inconsistent as regulations of the various states down here. http://www.rvlifemag.com/towing2.html
US Federal regulations are almost clear in that trailers 80 inches or more in width are required to have clearance lights. Although the laws were obviously written with commercial trailers in mind, the law makes no exception for travel trailers. I found one reference to clearance lights in Section 547.352 of the US Federal Code that is particularly confusing. It refers to “trailers that are at least 80 inches wide”, whatever that means. Missouri has adopted the Federal Code but some lawmakers don’t speak the same English language that the rest of us learned in school. A section of the Missouri law uses the terminology “trailers over 80 inches” and “trailers 80 inches or more” in the same paragraph, as if both have the same meaning.
Assuming that my Casita is actually 80’ wide and I have no idea how it could be measured accurately, it would be in compliance in Canada but not on Interstate highways in the US. On the other hand, Escape trailers with an advertised width of 6’ 7” are built to comply with the regs on both sides of the border.
I don’t plan to loose any sleep over a fraction of an inch but if I ever get a citation, I will have a good defense.
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Old 05-08-2006, 07:06 PM   #25
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I like Craig's attitude in the end - be reasonable, be prepared, and don't lose sleep over it.

Thanks for the RV Lifestyle link. I suspect that the inconsistency between provinces (at least with respect to lighting) has more to do with RV Lifestyle than the actual regulations, since they mention width criteria for some provinces but not Alberta, where there clearly is a width criteron. Like any publication, RV Lifestyle exists to carry advertising rather than actually communicate information, but they seem to put less effort into the information part than some, being particularly prone to just print whatever comes from various manufacturers - check out the current issue's motorhome chassis "comparison" to see what I mean. It's a good starting point for more detailed reseach, anyway.
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