Higher Taillights with No Holes? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-23-2017, 08:26 AM   #1
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Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Higher Taillights with No Holes?

It was mentioned on the 'Towing with Bikes on Back' thread,

Towing with bikes on back

that the bikes can block your taillights some. We just installed an Orbital Machine Works hitch receiver for our Casita, and I bought a KUAT Transfer 2 bike rack (from eTrailer). But now I'm forced to think about mounting taillights higher up on the trailer.

I'm looking for a quick-and-dirty (i.e. easy) solution, ideally without drilling any holes. Over on the Casita Forum, there's a thread from 2007, where guys installed lights by tapping the wire bundle on the back floor (beneath the window), fishing wires up under the wall carpeting with an electrician's snake, and mounting the lights with screws after drilling holes in the fiberglass:

https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard...0-more-lights/

Bob (of Bob and Mary) tells me that he was able to run wires under the frame and outside to a light bar above, but he still had to drill holes and rivet in the bar.

I'm thinking that there are self-adhesive lights with wires that can stick out the side, like maybe THESE?

Could perhaps use VHB tape to mount them. The curved body of the Casita might be a problem, though—even if I mount them vertically? Then I could connect wires inside the existing taillight housings (there is slack there—I checked). Of course loose wires running around are not ideal. Are there thin self-adhesive conduits I could use?

Suggestions welcome. Fiberglass is wonderful, but here is a case where a nice, flat metal surface would help; then you could just use magnetic lights.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Lynn View Post
It was mentioned on the 'Towing with Bikes on Back' thread,

Towing with bikes on back

that the bikes can block your taillights some. We just installed an Orbital Machine Works hitch receiver for our Casita, and I bought a KUAT Transfer 2 bike rack (from eTrailer). But now I'm forced to think about mounting taillights higher up on the trailer.

I'm looking for a quick-and-dirty (i.e. easy) solution, ideally without drilling any holes. Over on the Casita Forum, there's a thread from 2007, where guys installed lights by tapping the wire bundle on the back floor (beneath the window), fishing wires up under the wall carpeting with an electrician's snake, and mounting the lights with screws after drilling holes in the fiberglass:

https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard...0-more-lights/

Bob (of Bob and Mary) tells me that he was able to run wires under the frame and outside to a light bar above, but he still had to drill holes and rivet in the bar.

I'm thinking that there are self-adhesive lights with wires that can stick out the side, like maybe THESE?

Could perhaps use VHB tape to mount them. The curved body of the Casita might be a problem, though—even if I mount them vertically? Then I could connect wires inside the existing taillight housings (there is slack there—I checked). Of course loose wires running around are not ideal. Are there thin self-adhesive conduits I could use?

Suggestions welcome. Fiberglass is wonderful, but here is a case where a nice, flat metal surface would help; then you could just use magnetic lights.

/Mr Lynn
Consider a thin light bar mounted to the bottom side of the overhead rear cabinet on hangers low enough to be seen out the back window. Some mount a rear view camera there.
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Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design: http://RVWidgetWorks.com
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:38 AM   #3
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I've always like Gene Layton's solution for adding a third-brake light to his Casita. He used the upper rear window frame to mount the light. You could do the same thing with tail lights. One on each corner for the upper frame. Great no hole solution
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:44 AM   #4
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Haven't done it yet, but I have thought about adding a set of pedestal lights mounted on a plastic pipe that attaches to the bike rack and connects to a 4-flat connector underneath the trailer. No holes in the shell and nothing extra at all when we don't have the bikes along.

My bike rack has a slot for an extra bike where the plastic pipe fits nicely. (We used to carry a third bike there until I realized that wasn't such a good idea ). I carry a pipe with DOT reflective tape now and adding the lights would be easy. I'd just have to get the connector wired, either from the taillights through the floor or all the way from the front.
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Old 07-23-2017, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I've always like Gene Layton's solution for adding a third-brake light to his Casita. He used the upper rear window frame to mount the light. You could do the same thing with tail lights. One on each corner for the upper frame. Great no hole solution
Interesting. Did he drill through the top of the frame? And where do the wires run? Link?

/Mr Lynn
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:05 AM   #6
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I've pointed out before that from my experience driving big trucks, especially those with long square nosed hoods, the driver can not see low mounted tail / stop lights, especially when following close in heavy traffic. That was my main reason for mounting a combination LED strip light above the rear window of both our Casita and Uhaul. I also had a set of lights on the bike rack on the rear of the Uhaul. Although I built a rear receiver for the Casita I generally don't carry bikes there.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:07 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr Lynn View Post
Interesting. Did he drill through the top of the frame? And where do the wires run? Link?

/Mr Lynn
You need to be a member of the CasitaForum to view the information at this link: https://www.casitaforum.com/invboard...d-brake-light/
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Lynn View Post
Interesting. Did he drill through the top of the frame? And where do the wires run? Link?

/Mr Lynn
I just replaced one of my Bargman LED taillights. When you remove the tail light, you will see the foam carpet backing and of course the wiring. The wiring is basically run between the foam and the fiberglass shell.

So, it seems that one could fish wiring from one or both of the existing tail lights up towards a new light or pair of lights mounted inside the rear window. It seems this could be done without penetrating the fiberglass...

...now, I haven't done this, so...

...this is the part where you can get creative and let us know how that might actually work!

Personally, as the factory-installed set of tail lights is sealing fine, I might be inclined to just cut the fiberglass and mount a second set. But, then again, I might not. I really haven't looked at it closely.

As we are ordering a new Escape, I won't be doing much more with the Casita. I'll soon be talking about all the things I haven't-really-done-yet with the new trailer.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:30 AM   #9
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I added a second set of brake/turn/running lights on the rear of my 2003 Casita SD without holes or screws. I mounted LED lights on each end of an 1" square aluminum tube. The wiring is inside the tube and exits near the middle. I ran the wires down the back, under the trailer to the front and connected them to my tow vehicle with a separate 4 wire plug. The light bar is mounted with VHB tape on the flat part of the fiberglass body just under the rear window. It has held up well for over a year and 5500 miles.

I am getting a new TV soon and I'll bring the extra wires in the front of my trailer where the 7 way wires come in - in the bottom of the front closet. I'll then connect the light bar wires with the factory wiring. I hope the picture of the light bar attached to this message.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:39 AM   #10
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pict - hopefully

I've never added pictures.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by tomterrific4062 View Post
pict - hopefully

I've never added pictures.

Sweet!
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Old 07-23-2017, 12:53 PM   #12
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
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Our Scamp's tail light wiring was all inside the body.
I added strip LED stop/turn lights on each side of the rear window.
Did drill holes. then sealed them w/ silicone calk.
snaked the wires inside under the wall covering.
But, for a strictly outside job, you can use double stick foam tape for the lamps.
There is a "surface mount" plastic conduit that is also self stick (for house wiring)
you could use the hide wires from the stock tail lamps. You may have to sand off the gel coat to get better adhesion.
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Old 07-23-2017, 01:33 PM   #13
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There was a thread a year or so ago about hanging led strip lights in the rear window. I did it and I'm very happy with the result. I tapped into the wires under the left rear bench and ran wires to the left upper cabinet using fish tape. The lights are only hung when traveling and unplug and stow when not being used. Like Donna suggested, I used the upper window frame screws to mount the hangers for the lights. No holes drilled. I'd add photos but we're out of the country for a few weeks.
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:56 PM   #14
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Name: Gordon
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I am just in the midst of moving the taillights on my Trillium.

I am placing them on the belly band area. A little more outboard than the originals. Still within the guidelines for height and width.

I am using a heat gun to peel back the ensolite and am then running wires behind that up to the new lights.

Easy enough for me because I have removed all of the old wiring and old lights anyway.

Of course, all the new side markers, stop, tail, and interior lights are all led.
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