Travel Trailers are a great addition to any family because they provide you with a hotel on wheels. Sleeping areas, kitchen, and bathrooms are all in tow, and you can take it wherever you want to visit next. Travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes add convenience to any family adventure, but there are always a few things you can add to make the process easier. Many people wonder if travel trailers have reverse lights and, if not, if they can install them themselves.
Do travel trailers have reverse lights?
Travel Trailers are not required by law to have reverse lights. While many travel trailers do not have backup lights, there are a few more high-end trailers that do. Fancy toy haulers and cargo trailers may have reverse lights already installed and ready to go.
As you travel more and more, you will begin to recognize places that you can add ease and functionality. We will break down exactly why reverse lights are a good investment for your camper as well as how to properly install them with ease.
Do Travel Trailers Have Reverse Lights?
Travel Trailers are not typically equipped with reverse lights because it is not required by law. By not installing backup lights, it is one less thing for manufacturers to do, so they usually leave them off.
While most trailers don’t have reverse lights, there is oftentimes an open space in your seven-pin connector that is made for reverse lights. We will explain just how to attach reverse lights to your trailer later in this article.
When you have reverse lights added to your trailer, you will be traveling more safely and add confidence to driving and backing up your trailer in the dark. A reverse light will alert pedestrians and other drivers you will be coming in their direction so they can get out of your way as your visibility may be limited.
Should I Install Reverse Lights on my Travel Trailer?
It is not required to have the trailer backup lights, and you won’t get into trouble if you don’t have them. Installing reverse lights is more about convenience than a necessity.
Driving a travel trailer can be a complicated task depending on the twists and turns that you are driving down. The last thing you want to have happened is needing to reverse and get out of a space without having any way to show the people behind you that you are doing so. A backup camera can come in handy for you, but won’t be a running light to alert other drivers of your intention to back up.
While many trailers do not come with trailer reverse lights, it is often recommended to add them to add safety to your vehicle. Moving a trailer that is 20-40 feet long already comes with challenges and requires various skills to do so effectively. If you have ever tried backing up a trailer at night, it is most of the time terrifying because you can’t alert anyone behind you, and you cannot be confident that there is nothing behind you.
One thing you can do is turn on your hazard lights while reversing so at least people look out for you.
Trailer reverse lights, as well as a backup camera, simplifies the entire process of backing up at night.
How to Install Reverse Lights on Your Travel Trailer?
While most travel trailers do not come with reverse lights, you can install your own with a few simple steps. Having reverse lights is a practical way to add safety and functionality to your trailer. In addition to adding reverse lights, you can add a LED spotlight for off road situations to help light up your way in the dark. Make sure this is switched so it doesn’t come on while on the road to blind other drivers, but to light up your campsite in the dark.
The first step you need to take is to ensure you have wiring in your seven-pin system that hooks up to your tow vehicle. Without checking for wiring, you can install your backup lights hook up your truck, and have no power to your reverse lights while you are driving.
Use a multimeter or test light to find out what wire is your reverse lights. Go from pin to pin while your tow vehicle is in reverse, then take it out of reverse. (have the e brake on and someone in the driver’s seat to prevent any accidents) If the test light or multimeter no longer has voltage, this is your reverse pin.
Install your lights and secure them to the rear of your trailer. Many of these lights are LED for better light output, these lights will provide an easy installation and good lighting. Before installing, you can simply have someone hold the lights where they go and run the wiring to the front of the trailer. By taking this extra step, you can make sure you have enough wire and know with confidence that when you put holes in your trailer you will not need to redo it later.
Run your wiring under the chassis and away from any moving suspension or break parts. Secure it with zip ties. Run the wiring behind where your reverse lights will mount and drill a hole in the camper for the wiring to come out of.
Next, mount your lights and use some silicone calking to fill the hole you made to prevent any water intrusion.
To ensure your lights work properly, add your lights to the back of the camper and use zip ties to connect them to your trailer along the undercarriage. When you get towards your trailer’s front, you will see cables and wires from other lights; bundle your trailer light wire into these and connect to your reverse light pin. A solder connection to your reverse lamp wire will be the most secure connection. Make sure to use heat shrink tubing to protect your connection.
Next, you will make sure your trailer backup light wire is attached throughout the undercarriage, to the pin of your trailer plug system, and your lights are fully secured to the rear and you are good to go. Make sure to always have someone check that your reverse lights and other lights work before you head out on your adventure.
If you are struggling with figuring out how to install reveres lights, you can take your trailer to any RV repair shop to do it for you or call them for suggestions or guidance.
Why Should I Install Reverse Lights on My Travel Trailer?
Whether you are full-time RVing or simply a weekender that loves to travel every weekend, the more you can simplify the process the better. There are certain steps of RVing that are often a pain, such as reversing and parking your trailer.
Another problem comes when you are trying to reverse your trailer while it is dark outside. While all trailers are equipped with lights that show when you are braking as well as the corners of the RV, many don’t add reverse lights.
Having reverse lights on your fifth wheel, trailer, or motorhome will add a layer of safety anytime you travel. Stuck in a jam and need to reverse? With reverse lights, you will be able to alert others that you are reversing without having to get out and tell them first. They can also help light up the surrounding area so you can have an easier time reversing at night.
Driving a travel trailer is oftentimes already nerve-wracking enough; if there are any steps you can take to simplify the process and make it easier, you should absolutely do it. Not only do reverse lights alert others that you are backing up, but they can also help you park at night.
If you install reverse lights on the side of your trailer, it can help you see the sides of your trailer when you are backing into a dark spot.
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