Not everything that is old and ugly is completely useless. Case in point: my 16’ flatbed trailer. The trailer isn’t that old, but it’s lived a hard life and looks like it should be put to pasture or sold for scrap metal. The paint is faded, a few of the boards are cracked and warped, a tail light lens is broken, another cracked, and surface rust is beginning to pop up here and there. As far as the safety items go, I have always kept matching E-rated trailer tires on it, serviced the brakes and wheel bearings annually, and replaced the bulbs when needed. But the poor old pack mule is getting long in the tooth. The biggest problem with the trailer is its lightning – all of the lenses are cracked, faded, or completely missing and most of the bulbs worked only after a jiggle or a swift kick. After assessing the needs of my trailer, I decided that all the lighting had to be replaced. I chose to use red 24 LED oval stop/ tail/ turn lights, a 3 LED red strip for the rear and a pair of amber LED side marker lights to keep it all nice and legal. There are a few replacement LED housings for the rear of my trailer that would have been a plug and play affair, but since the brackets that held the originals were bent and smashed, I chose to change the taillight style altogether. The oval taillights I chose allowed me to move the lights closer to the trailer fenders and keep them out of harm’s way.
We needed a fix, badly. Sure, we could have chosen el-cheapo incandescent or LED lights from our local auto parts store clearance bin, but this is a project we didn’t want to have to undertake again. As such, Valley has been producing a complete line of professional quality trailer hitches and towing accessories for almost 6 decades. They carry over 400 different receiver style hitches along with fifth wheel and gooseneck hitches, luggage racks, cargo carriers, bike racks and a full assortment of towing accessories including trailer brake control units, trailer balls, ball mounts, hitch pins, locks and of course replacement lighting for just about any trailer. A quick perusal of the newest Valley catalog and I found everything I needed within a few minutes. Just as quickly, a call to the pros at Valley and everything old, was new again.
|Installation – LED Trailer lighting|
|Tools Needed:||Side cutters, soldering iron, wire strippers, crimpers, full wrench and screwdriver set (Plasma Cutter and Welder optional, if you are relocating your lights like we did)|
This installation was made much more difficult since we changed the style of the rear trailer lights. Valley sells direct replacement LED lighting for most lighting styles, we just wanted to change things up a bit.The first step was to getting all of the old lighting off of the trailer and check to ensure all of the existing wiring was still usable. In the case of our trailer, all of the old wiring was in great shape and we were able to just connect our new lighting to the existing wires.
LED lighting is nothing new, but it hasn’t quite taken off like I predicted it would a few years ago. The only real down side still, is the price; it’s more expensive than standard incandescent lighting. The real benefits are that LED’s are brighter than standard lighting; they draw much less power, and in the case of our new lighting, are completely sealed against the elements, which means it is cheaper in the long run as we won’t have to replace burnt-out bulbs.
Since LED lighting is brighter, it also much safer than a standard bulb. Moreover, LED’s also illuminate more quickly (in most cases LEDs can achieve full brightness in a matter of milliseconds) compared to incandescent lamps that usually reach full brightness after 0.5 up to 1 second. LED lights also typically have a life span of some 100,000 hours too. What more could you ask for in trailer lighting?
Overall I am very impressed with the quality of the Valley Industries LED lighting, and the installation would have been stupid simple if I hadn’t decided to change the taillight style. I am extremely impressed with the quality and workmanship of the Valley LED lights; each unit is sealed against the elements, uses a pig tail connector to simplify hook up, and has a rubber grommet included for installation. My only concern with the new lighting is the 3 light strip on the rear of the trailer. While the LED housings themselves are sealed and durable, the plastic mounting strip isn’t very thick. My concern is that the plastic will dry out and become brittle, but only time will tell, hopefully I’m wrong. The staff at 4x4Review has been safely pulling our junk around the country for many years with Valley Products, and we have never once questioned the strength or durability of any of their products. If you are in the market for replacement lighting for your trailer, new towing components or just a few towing accessories, look no further than Valley Industries.
|1313 South Stockton Street
Lodi, CA 95240
Phone: (209) 368-8881
Fax: (209) 369-8678