Rope lights on the belly band? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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Name: Casey
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Question Rope lights on the belly band?

I would like to put a set of rope lights around the perimeter of my 16' Scamp along the top of the belly band and am not clever enough to think of a way to do it that does not require drilling holes or using a strong permanent adhesive because I don't want to damage anything. Magnets will not attract to the aluminum and I tried using small pieces of Velcro but they quickly loosened and fell off. Large alligator or binder clamps work but they look terrible and obscure the light wherever they are placed. I was hoping for something clear and less unsightly. Here are a couple pictures of the effect I was hoping for with the rope lights just sitting on top of the belly band, not held in place. I know there are lots of ingenious people on this forum so I'm looking forward to your ideas!
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camperpic1.jpg   camperpic3.jpg  

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:48 PM   #2
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I like your idea it looks real sharp...hope you can come up with something.

Have you thought about heavy duty outside velcro?

Did you want them on when driving or just at camp?
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Old 08-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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Does the band have a plastic insert with a slight [horizontal] bulge in it? Like a Trillium. If so, would it be possible to secure the lights through this?
With small clips? With thin copper wire? With ??????
I saw a car last night with LED lights strung around the rocker panels and below the front and rear bumpers so perhaps an automotive supply house has flat-backed lights that you "stick on" or the glue/clips/devices for attaching them.
Good luck with your project. Keep us informed.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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It seems to me that you could probably make your own custom clamps with some sheet metal. You could probably make your own U shaped clamp or clip. Just take some metal, and cut and shape to fit. Even some heavy wire (like coat hanger thickness) would probably work. Thats what I'd try anyway. Experiment!
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Old 08-30-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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Here is a link to a thread were someone attached them on the underside of the belly band using small cable clips with adhesive to the trailer (or I should say it looks like thats what they used . You could PM them and ask how long the clips lasted. I also recall that someone wired them on - putting wire through the rivets in the belly band.
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Old 08-31-2012, 01:37 AM   #6
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One thing to consider is the scamp aluminum belly band is cosmetic, not a seal. At least from having mine off and what others have said. It just hides the lip where the top and bottom come together, the seal is fiberglass on the inside wall.

This makes me think that small holes the size of the rivet holes would be a possible attachment method.

You might want to check at an Ace hardware store for some aluminum angle about 1/8 thick x 5/8 x 5/8 judging from my scamp. Or maybe 1/16 thick.

Cut pieces of the angle off maybe 1/2 inch wide (or so) this will give you little aluminum "L" shaped pieces. Drill a hole on one leg of the "L" and round the corners of the other leg down with a file, grinder etc. and you can rivet to the belly band through the hole.

This would provide a little rounded "tab" sticking up on the outer edge of your belly band to keep your rope lights in. You would just drop the rope behind the tabs.

Since I can't draw it. Try to picture it below as a cross section with the L shaped tab on top of belly band. With a rivet going down through the bottom of the " L". The = sign represents the two FG lips of top and bottom of camper shell they typically reach most of the way to the outside of the belly bandl.

Not to scale.

L
[=

Not sure what size rivet it would take, belly band on mine I used a variable 1/2 - 5/8 rivet. You would probably need a bit longer to handle thickness of the tab. You need to drill through the top aluminum and the two FG lips but not the bottom of the belly band. Just rivet in the same line they did, don't think you would need very many tabs, you probably have an idea of what it takes from how many binder clips it took.

I suggest Ace because they can order many sizes of aluminum stock if they don't have it in store.

Good luck!
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:23 AM   #7
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My previous reply went to "bit heaven" so I will keep this short. Around Christmas you'll find 'deck clips' that are used to mount strings of lights. Casita folks use them to mount strings of LEDs on the belly band.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:08 AM   #8
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how about suction cup mounts,,the sort used to hang suncatchers on windows?
they should stick nicely to the side of the trailer and hang the lights just above the belly band, or below if that was what you wanted.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by john warren View Post
how about suction cup mounts,,the sort used to hang suncatchers on windows?
they should stick nicely to the side of the trailer and hang the lights just above the belly band, or below if that was what you wanted.
That would also give you a way to go over the door as you did in your picture.

Guess who is the middle of fabbing some aluminum parts for his scamp?
Brain just went that way cause it's already there.

I like the suction cup hooks. Have heard of people using them inside to hang small baskets and the like with great success.
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:03 PM   #10
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They make small suction cups with hooks for hanging Christmas lights on windows. I would not leave them on while traveling but they would work for the party.
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Old 08-31-2012, 05:14 PM   #11
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Perfect application for a specialty-type tape

I would suggest either a double sided foam backed adhesive tape or a transfer tape (tape with no backing only the sticky stuff) that is now commonly used in the auto assembly industry. It lays down real quick and easy and can be removed if really needed. Mechanical fastners as previously mentioned are good ideas but the disadvantages are they can corrode, come loose and require a little bit of labor.

Two 3M adhesive tape products immediately come to mind are the 4932 VHB acrylic foam double-sided tape or the #950 transfer tape which is 5 mil thick (though I would suggest something thicker maybe 15 mil or more). Be sure that you get the final width you need as they are a bugger to slit to width at home. I would not use a craft or low quality foam tape. Check this link: 3M Tape, 3M Tapes, 3M Products - Official 3M Distributor - ULINE for more information, you may need to get what you want at an industrial supply house or the internet vice Home Depot. Good luck, I think it's a cool idea! (oh, and be sure and practice using this stuff as they hold real well the first time) --Greg
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:29 PM   #12
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Here are some led lights with adhesive. I've seen them used in other applications, and they are water resistant and would be more discreet than rope lights.

LEDwholesalers LED Strip Lights 16.4 Feet 300 SMD LED Flexible Strip with Waterproof Sleeve, 12 Volt Warm White LED Ribbon By Ledwholesalers, 2047ww-31k : Flexible LED Strips Lights
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