Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

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warren631
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Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by warren631 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:29 am

Hi guys, I'm 70 and I just bought my first ever boat - a 1988 26D. Question - when you launch the boat the trailer wiring and lights get all wet and water probably gets into the lights and corrodes the metal in them (I know you must first unplug the trailer wires). My trailer does not have those 'guide posts' on both sides so I was thinking of adding white plastic pipe 'guide posts' to my trailer. Then I thought of putting the trailer lights on the TOP of these 'guide posts' and running the wiring up inside the 'guide post' pipes (plus a ground wire). This way the lights will be up out of the water at all times. Maybe there is a law about where trailer tail lights must be located?

Also where can I get LEDs to replace the old bulbs in the trailer and on the boat? The old bulbs are of various shapes. Do I have to replace the whole light fittings?

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FlyboyTR
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by FlyboyTR » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:18 pm

Warren,
Anytime you can keep the trailer lights out of the water is a good thing. Mounting them on the guideposts are a great idea as long as they can be seen (both of them) from the rear. Alabama has no law about location...but I can't speak for other states. Personally, I use the Harbor Freight LED waterproof boat trailer lights. I try to catch them on sale for $29.99; complete kit, wiring, connectors, etc. I would still make all connections waterproof.

All my navigation lights use a festoon type bulb (the long cylinder bulb about 1 5/8" - 1 3/4" long. My mast light (steaming light) used a festoon bulb with dimples in each end; the positive and negative mounts/tabs had little points to fit into the dimples. I drilled the points out so all of my nav lights would use the same bulb (the bulb has a point on each end that fits into a small hole on the mounting tabs.

Buying LED's at you local store gets expensive. I order a lot of misc stuff from a company called BangGood.com. This is a link to a 4 pack of festoon bulbs I ordered yesterday! http://www.banggood.com/4X-Canbus-42mm- ... 16420.html I also ordered LED's to fit the other lights on the boat. So far, I have had good success with their bulbs. No failures in the past couple of years. But...the day is not over with! :?

It takes a couple of weeks to get them...but if you have the time it can be worth the wait...considering the savings.

eBay also has a lot of the LED festoon bulbs. PepBoys also sells an LED festoon bulb...$7.00 each.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by Tomfoolery » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:43 pm

I installed the HF 'over 80' LED lights when I got the trailer, and they're still going strong. They get dunked every time I launch/haul the boat. Putting them on my goal posts wouldn't do much good, as they get dunked often, too, all the way over the top, and I even extended them. :D

I also put a set of non-submersible lights on the OB to provide brake lights in the eyes of anyone following too closely (or trucks, with drivers sitting high up), and side markers all the way at the back.

DOT regulations specify more lights for trailers over 80" wide (hence, the 'over 80' distinction) than for narrower trailers, like ID lights (three lights along a horizontal line, spaced 6-12" apart, centered on the trailer), and clearance lights (at the widest part, red to the side and rear, and amber to the side and forward, separate from tail and stop/turn filaments), plus an amber side marker for trailers over 30 ft in addition to the red and amber side markers at the rear and just aft of where the trailer bends inward toward the hitch. These diagrams are all available on places like etrailer.com.

Since the mast and tilted OB hang something like 10 ft beyond the rear of the trailer, I opted to add the extra lights, and most states require at least a flag (during daylight hours) or red light (at night) at the end of the trailer, which would be the mast or OB in the case of the 26X boats. MacGregor I believe provided a red light for the mast and a place to plug it into at the rear of the trailer wiring harness, though I've never actually seen one. Probably a bee hive style light, pointed down (omnidirectional at street level that way).

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bobflshmn
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by bobflshmn » Tue Dec 08, 2015 3:38 pm

I agree with the HF (Harbor Frieght) submersable trailer lights. I don't unplug, and have them on my Mac and Hobie trailers. The ones on the MAC are several years old. I sail both boats in salt water. So far no issues!

C Buchs
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by C Buchs » Tue Dec 08, 2015 5:18 pm

One of the lights was out on my trailer when I bought the boat. The guy from the boat dealer went with me to Napa Auto Parts and bought a new light that we installed before we hauled it out. I think the one light was $15. I hauled the boat out of salt water and 3 days later put it into fresh water. I then went to haul the boat out 6 months later and that new light wouldn't work. Opened it up and it was a mess. I still haven't gotten it working. I'd like to go to LED, but my tow beast can't sense the LED lights. They don’t draw enough power for its computer to know it’s hooked up. All the lights on the trailer will just flash. I’m thinking of getting one of these adapters (http://www.etrailer.com/Wiring/Tow-Ready/TR20141.html) and changing everything on the tailer to Harbor Freight LED’s. Especially if you can get years of life in salt water without messing with them!

Jeff

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RussMT
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by RussMT » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:30 pm

I would replace the trailer fixtures. They are probably old anyway. LED sets aren't that expensive. Solder splices and seal them. Don't use junk connectors that will corrode.
http://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lights/ ... LL9RK.html

Inside the boat..I've seen 2 types used.
Festoon bulbs and bayonet style.

LEDs are the only way to go. Incandescent burn so many electrons.

I like Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Ba15s- ... B008HDXS1U

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RussMT
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by RussMT » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:32 pm

If I were rewiring an old boat, I'd just replace the fixtures. These are inexpensive enough.

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture
http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture

C Buchs
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by C Buchs » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:49 am

RussMT wrote:If I were rewiring an old boat, I'd just replace the fixtures. These are inexpensive enough.

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture
http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture
I love the price on these fixtures, but I want to have the option of turning on red lights. Has anyone found inexpensive fixtures like these, but with the option to switch between white and red.

Jeff

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RussMT
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by RussMT » Wed Dec 09, 2015 12:12 pm

C Buchs wrote:
RussMT wrote:If I were rewiring an old boat, I'd just replace the fixtures. These are inexpensive enough.

http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture
http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture
I love the price on these fixtures, but I want to have the option of turning on red lights. Has anyone found inexpensive fixtures like these, but with the option to switch between white and red.

Jeff
I've never really found the need for red lights. At night and sailing, no lights at all is our rule. GPS works well to find dark coves. Everyone is in the cockpit anyway.

For the price, I'd buy one of these dual fixtures and take it apart and figure out how to wire in a red LED.
http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture

It's hard to see the board the LEDs are mounted on and how it's attached. On my boat, I removed the socket and soldered in LEDs to replace the original bulbs.

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Here's another idea. I use these cheap LED strip lights. Easy to install and make good accent lighting. People tease me about my blue lights, but they'iz sexy. They come in red also.
http://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Waterpro ... strip+roll

Image

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FlyboyTR
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by FlyboyTR » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:44 pm

Years ago, you could buy a red and yellow paint for coating automotive bulbs. I used some on a special project. With the two sided LED light, you could dye one side red if it is plastic. This can be done with a strong solution of red Rit dye; the kind made for clothing ,etc. It will color most plastics.

C Buchs
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by C Buchs » Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:02 pm

RussMT wrote: I've never really found the need for red lights. At night and sailing, no lights at all is our rule. GPS works well to find dark coves. Everyone is in the cockpit anyway.

For the price, I'd buy one of these dual fixtures and take it apart and figure out how to wire in a red LED.
http://www.amazon.com/Gold-Stars-F35280 ... 2v+fixture

It's hard to see the board the LEDs are mounted on and how it's attached. On my boat, I removed the socket and soldered in LEDs to replace the original bulbs.

Image

Here's another idea. I use these cheap LED strip lights. Easy to install and make good accent lighting. People tease me about my blue lights, but they'iz sexy. They come in red also.
http://www.amazon.com/Flexible-Waterpro ... strip+roll

Image
My wife is always in the cabin moving stuff around on our way back in. I think the red lights will really help me.

I saw that double fixture, but didn't think about changing out one side. Great idea! For $15, it's worth buying one to see what I can do. I've got it in my Amazon cart. I'll report back when I've got something to work with.

Jeff

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RussMT
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by RussMT » Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:35 pm

FlyboyTR wrote:Years ago, you could buy a red and yellow paint for coating automotive bulbs. I used some on a special project. With the two sided LED light, you could dye one side red if it is plastic. This can be done with a strong solution of red Rit dye; the kind made for clothing ,etc. It will color most plastics.
There ya go. That's low tech and simple solution. Tail light lens wrap.

Again...Amazon prime
http://www.amazon.com/Inches-Adhesive-H ... s=red+film

Image

C Buchs
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by C Buchs » Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:56 am

RussMT wrote:
FlyboyTR wrote:Years ago, you could buy a red and yellow paint for coating automotive bulbs. I used some on a special project. With the two sided LED light, you could dye one side red if it is plastic. This can be done with a strong solution of red Rit dye; the kind made for clothing ,etc. It will color most plastics.
There ya go. That's low tech and simple solution. Tail light lens wrap.

Again...Amazon prime
http://www.amazon.com/Inches-Adhesive-H ... s=red+film

Image
I just bought this film to go with the double light I bought last night. $20 total! Should both be here by Monday. I'll set it up and take some pictures to let you all know how it works.

Jeff

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FlyboyTR
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by FlyboyTR » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:04 pm

Great call... I had forgot about the lens wrap! Much easier then dying the lense.

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Tomfoolery
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Re: Trailer lights relocation? And LED bulbs?

Post by Tomfoolery » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:33 pm

And I suppose you could put it inside the lens so it doesn't goof up the appearance when the light is off.

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