Need suggestions for a light to drive backwards

I had several really bad experiences with driving backwards, with a trailer, in low to no light conditions or in the rain. (one was when
picking up thet Bliss punch). It is a big hazard and it is fucking frustrating.
So, I want to know what you would recommend for a source of light that is practical to use. A handheld spotlight, something that can be mounted on roof temporarily, etc.
thanks
i
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On Sep 28, 12:30 pm, Ignoramus18262 <ignoramus18...@NOSPAM. 18262.invalid> wrote:

I think you have it right there- a cig. lighter powered magnetic base floodlight. Hacking an existing unit is probably quickest- trick is to find something that 'floods' the light, rather than a spotlight.
I have used fixed additional backup lights, and they never seem to be in the right place for a given job.
Dave
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On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 11:30:51 -0500, Ignoramus18262

Ive used a pair of cheap "fog lights" with magnets on the bottom and wired through a plug on my trailer hitch. Sticke em on the fenders of your trailer and light up the night. When done, unplug em and tuck em away.
Gunner
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Fog lamps throw a wide, but thin beam. Fine for average street vehicles. My 4x4s have flood lamps, http://vehiclelight.com/620wh3.html throwing a cone that illuminates nearly everything in a medium range, like overhanging branches and ditches. I am going to install 2 on my new (to me) motorhome.
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Ignoramus18262 wrote:

Interesting problem. We used to have a 15 passenger van, which had a massive back door with a small window up too high to see any obstructions behind. I got a B&W camera, and rigged a tiny first-surface mirror at 45 degrees, so the camera saw what you'd see in a rear-view mirror (ie. the horizontal reversed). I got a cheap "beach TV" and rigged a voltage regulator so it could run off 12 V from the accessory jack. But, I still couldn't see what was back there at night, and the "back-up lights" didn't throw much light down at all. I mounted some fog lights in back, mostly pointed down to light up the ground in that big blind spot. This pretty much worked, where the lights converged in the middle you could see pretty clearly. I don't know if you need the TV setup, but there are a variety of lights that can be bought at the auto parts stores. The really big ones would blow fuses on your back-up light circuits, so they might need temporary wiring and a cigarett lighter plug.
Jon
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"Jon Elson" wrote: (clip) I don't know if you need the TV setup, (clip) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ You can get a pretty nice color back-up camera at Costco for about $80. I have one on my car, and I find that the existing back-up lights are strong enough. I think it would be extremely useful for backing a trailer, because you not only see, what's back there, but also when you drift off center or off angle. It uses a wireless link between the camera and the monitor, which makes installation very simple. Only thing I am not sure of is whether the distance added by the trailer will make the signal drop out.
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    If the mirror setup is too awkward, just point the camera out the back, and reverse the wires to the horizontal deflection yoke, which will display the image backwards on the screen.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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Here's one I saw in a catalog:
"Two million candlepower unit is the most powerful cordless, rechargeable, handheld spotlight in the world. This spotlight is more powerful than aircraft landing lights and 20 times brighter than auto headlights and will throw a beam more than miles. Spotlight recharges in just a few hours from a 110V AC home outlet or any 12V car or boat outlet. Hanging loop included. Keep one spotlight at home and one in the car. Imported."
http://www.orvis.com/store/product_choice.asp?pf_id 91&dir_id86&group_id73&cat_id03&subcat_id22&feature_id
Price: $109
Bet this would be fun at the local "Lover's Lane." :-)
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Maxwell Lol wrote:

http://www.orvis.com/store/product_choice.asp?pf_id 91&dir_id86&group_id73&cat_id03&subcat_id22&feature_id
You think too small! You need one of those WWII surplus carbon arc searchlights, so you can hit them all at once. If you add some flashing blue police lights and sirens, and the place would be empty in ten seconds. ;-)
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On Sat, 29 Sep 2007 17:09:24 -0400, "Michael A. Terrell"

Nahhh. Too big a PITA keeping the gen-set for those GE and Sperry anti-aircraft searchlights running with the old straight-6 flatheads - The GE was a Hercules, the Sperry a Chrysler Industrial... Valley Skylite has a few dozen of them, and from what I was told it's a full time job keeping enough of them running to fill the rentals they get.
And getting the right copper-jacketed carbons with the additives is getting really hard, the Mil-Spec surplus ones are long gone. They have to order them in from China.
But 800 Million Candlepower makes even Hella Super Rallye's look like a firefly fart... ;-)
--<< Bruce >>--
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Night vision googles are far far more fun there....
<G>
Gunner
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Or run them off a battery on the trailer with the BU circuit just triggering the relay. Or get one of those remote control units sold for wiring driving lights without putting wires through the fire-wall and turn the lights off and on with that. Use the battery on the trailer for your breakaway box too.
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What I think I will do is buy a spotlight with 12v plug, and will make a magnetic mount for it. I would mount it on the roof of my pickup.
i
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What I do sometimes is add guidepoles (flag on a piece of 1/2' thinwall,) and stick one in each rear corner of the trailer when backing up. This aids me is seeing the rear corners of my large flatbed trailer.
I know tow trucks use rear looking cameras. They are relatively inexpensive. You could make a magnetic mount, and just place the camera at the rear of the trailer with a long coax cable when backing up.
Camera + monitor, runs off 12vdc
https://www.supercircuits.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdIDT62#detailed https://www.supercircuits.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdIDG49
or perhaps 2 12v flood lights on magnetic mounts, place one each rear wheelwell when backing up.
tony

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I have a very nice guidepole actually, this is not a problem, the problem is general darkness.
I till try to find or make a floodlight on a magnetic base.
i

https://www.supercircuits.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdIDT62#detailed

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On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 11:30:51 -0500, Ignoramus18262

What's the problem?
Fit a pair of fog lights to the trailer, powered off the reversing light connection on the trailer socket.
Mark Rand RTFM
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On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 11:30:51 -0500, Ignoramus18262

I put small driving lights on the back of both my (past) trailers to make backing easier. Meant custom wiring, but I used RV plugs and used the accessory wire for the backup lights.
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Ignoramus18262 wrote:

I used to tow a lot, and back in my misspent youth, I had a "light bar" on my pickup (looked like a roll bar, but no structural strength to speak of). With a couple of off road type lights facing forward, and three facing backward at slight angles from straiht back (for backing up, or otherwise harassing the a**hole the just has to tailgate at relatively high speed and just won't back off in the middle of the night way out in the wilderness on the interstate), the illumination to the rear was quite sufficient for just about anything, including backing a variety of trailers, both low (flatbed) and tall, fully enclosed units with a race car inside.
Of course, it'd be quite illegal to display a white light (of any decent candlepower rating) toward the rear on a street or highway, and I certainly wouldn't do so now, but once you're out of traffic and actually trying to back a trailer down a narrow alley and into a garage, the lighting is really helpful.
The additional drag of the light bar and off-road lights does come with a cost (besides the initial monetary outlay), in that the gas mileage drops by about 10-15% due to the additonal drag of the lights sticking up in the airstream. I never really noticed the difference while towing, but empty, it did lower mileage somewhat... Finally got smarter and set up the light bar with a mount that plugged into the stake pockets, with a decent (hefty) connector for the electrical, so it could be installed or removed in under 5 minutes. Got back the gas mileage, and it didn't look like I was trying to be a pretend Baja Cruiser when I didn't need the lights for towing/backing...
The front mounted lights would light up a freeway sized sign about a mile and a quarter out if the terrain was flat enough... Of course, this only worked in the dead of night with no oncoming traffic, because the lights would have been blinding even to the oncoming traffic of a divided freeway.... I can't remember the exact candlepower of the lights, but without a 70+ amp alternator, you couldn't run them long without draining the battery significantly... Sort of reminds me of the car that had a pair of aircraft landing lights behind the grille. It did pretty well on high speed late night runs down the interstate too. Man, it's really a miracle any of us survived those days, when we ran tubes in non-speed rated tires, and somehow got away with it...
Perhaps something on a smaller scale would work for the occasional baking situation.. like a couple of mag-mounted lights and some heavy cable to a serious power connector. (What I ran needed a contactor-rated relay, as the typical light/horn relay of the day would cook in relative short order).
--Good Luck
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Rick Frazier wrote:

Now that you mention it, I have a red/blue lightbar from my volunteer fireman days.
All LED, several automatic flash patterns, and a nice magnetic mount - draws less than 1 amp and lights up like a crime scene.
Anybody want it?
$300 (it cost qquite a bit more) or trade for some marine stainless steel work?
Any interest? Drop me a note.
Richard Lamb snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net
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On Fri, 28 Sep 2007 22:30:06 -1000, Rick Frazier

Like the big "instant sun" Hella lamp we had on the front of the R12 we rallyed back in the late seventies. That thing was something like 6X10 inches and 2 million? candlepower. Swith it on, and the sun came up!! It was OK at speed but would seriously discharge the battery at idle.
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