5 more brake lights for $10 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 11-12-2017, 11:02 AM   #1
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5 more brake lights for $10

I sure hope this topic has not been discussed at length before...but if so...here it is again.
I see that some of you have added extra brake lights and personally I feel you just canít have enough brake lights to wake people up. However installing them can be expensive and usually requires more holes. You already have a big window in the back so depending on where you put them you may what to consider surface mount lights and not recessed units which require carving out further structure. There is also the question of where do you put them and what style do you use so they are aesthetically pleasing.
I am planing to do something simple and cheap. I will be cutting the wire that supplies the upper 5 clearance lights with power and installing a $10 relay. During the day the 5 upper clearance lights will turn into brake lights. At night when the headlights come on the relay will energize and the rear clearance lights will return to normal operation. (I would just like to add, that if I am driving this trailer in the dark...something has terribly gone wrong)
The relay I will be using is way over rated but is the most common auto relay and available almost everywhere. Princes Atuo in Canada sells it with socket for $10. I am sure Habour Freight or any auto supply store in the USA will have it as well.
For anybody that has a rear dinette this mod should be easy to access and do. If you have a bed in the rear then I am not sure how easy it is going to be. I can only imagine that the upper rear clearance lights are powered from the drivers side lower rear clearance light.
Another unknown for me is how bright the upper rear clearance lights are in the daytime and if the bulbs are replaceable. I am sure there is some law stating that clearance lights can only be so bright but if the bulbs can be replaced then I would to match that rating.
If anybody is interested in knowing how to wire the relay I can let you know which terminal connects to what wire.
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:37 PM   #2
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I am sure there is some law stating that clearance lights can only be so bright but if the bulbs can be replaced then I would to match that rating.
Marker and clearance lamps are roughly 1/4 the power of stop lamps (brake lights). Please don't replace them with lamps as bright as brake lamps, since they would then be far too bright when used at night. Aside from being illegal, they would then be a problem for following drivers, and would be confusing since they would look like the brakes were on all of the time.

Also, the stock lamps are LED units, so you can't change bulbs in them to make them brighter, anyway.

The normal way to handle this is to use lamps which have two brightness levels: a low level which is on with the tail/marker/clearance lamps, and a higher level which is connected to the stop/turn lamps. I thought Escape already did this on recent models, but that varies by model, by year, and by who knows what else. Sure enough, the current Features list for the 19' includes
Quote:
Rear Upper Brake/Signal Lights
... so it looks like you're already getting this done properly.

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During the day the 5 upper clearance lights will turn into brake lights.
Those are not just 5 clearance lights across the top: those in the corners are clearance lights, but the three in the middle are the wide vehicle identification group. There must always be three in this group, spaced closely together.

An additional issue is that like most recreational and light trailers, the Escape does not have a separate stop lamp circuit; it has only two (left and right) combined stop/turn circuits. The left rear upper clearance lamp's bright function can be connected to the regular left stop/turn, while the right rear upper clearance lamp's bright function can be connected to the regular right stop/turn; however, there is no circuit carrying a signal appropriate for a centre-mounted stop lamp. You can add a converter to do that, but even then it should not run all three lamps of the middle identification group. Some commercial vans do use this group of lamps for a stop function, but they only brighten the middle lamp (or a wider lamp in the middle), not all three. Something like the Tow-Ready 118158 converter splits out a proper stop (brake) function for use in a middle lamp.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:10 PM   #3
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Real good comments Brian.
Many of which I know but a now obvious over sight in the plan is the way in which the stop signal is delivered to the tail lights. It just wonít work unless you use a proper converter as you mentioned.
Just so happens that I have one of those third brake light things you put in the back window in the 80s. I will have to check out if that has the nessary board inside...it should.
As mentioned I would not replace the bulbs with something of a higher wattage than legal for a clearance light...just something that was up to the standard.
Giving it more thought I like the idea of replacing the bulb in the center light with a proper two filament one and have it work day and night. Less work than changing more of them and probably more recognizable as a high level brake light. I will just have to get creative in building a new socket.
Forget about the relay idea...moving on...
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:50 PM   #4
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I had Escape provide a 4 pin connection to the rear bumper, I then installed a 3rd brake light inside the rear trailer hitch, works really well. You can also ask Escape to install a set of vertical lights on the rear, that was the procedure with the old style 19's.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:13 PM   #5
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This reminds me of when I was a kid and got a model car kit. I glued every accessory provided to the car, and used every decal.
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Old 11-12-2017, 02:18 PM   #6
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When we tired of those models we had demolition derbies or rolled them off the fire escape at the school or off the bridge across the river. Do I need therapy or just more popcorn?
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:37 PM   #7
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I had a neighbor hood kid who spent hours making a radio controlled plane from balsa wood. He would then take it outside to fly and would also mount a m-80 or cherry bomb and after flying for about 15 seconds it would explode. I ofter wonder what happened to the kid, I think his name was Ted.....
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:59 PM   #8
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Did he ever mention wanting to live in Montana? You never know how things are going to turn out. At a high school class reunion years ago I was talking to a classmate who had become a policeman. I asked about a mutual friend I’d lost track of. My law enforcement friend said the acquaintance was in prison for bank robbery. My casual comment was “Well some become cops, some become robbers”. You never know. We used to build balsa glider models with tissue paper skin that was lacquered in place. We would fly them off of a hill. In the late afternoon, they’d catch a thermal and go up and up and sometimes we’d lose them.
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Old 11-12-2017, 03:59 PM   #9
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I had a neighbor hood kid who spent hours making a radio controlled plane from balsa wood. He would then take it outside to fly and would also mount a m-80 or cherry bomb and after flying for about 15 seconds it would explode. I ofter wonder what happened to the kid, I think his name was Ted.....
Did he have a Polish sounding last name and when told "go to your room" would go to the shed?
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Old 11-12-2017, 04:09 PM   #10
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Did he have a Polish sounding last name and when told "go to your room" would go to the shed?
Oh, Look! A squirrel!!!
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