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Old 12-14-2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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Location: NE Florida
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Requirement for lights??

Another newby question:
We plan to tow the Toyota Highlander using a KarKaddy 3 dolly. The dolly has lights but I get conflicting info about the requirements for the car lights.
Are lights required on the car in addition to the dolly?
Two local deputies have different answers. One says lights for both dolly and car the other says only for the dolly.
My local Uhaul says they only hook up the dolly for lights when renting a dolly.
Is there one answer or is the requirement going to vary by state?

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Old 12-14-2015, 10:49 AM   #2
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I tow with a dolley as well.
Just to make sure I have it covered I also put tow lights on the back of the car. Our local laws don't require it but I do it because some drivers don't look down, only at the back of the car in front of them.
For long trips I have a sign I put on the back with more lights and it covers the plate so I don't get extra road tolls. If you see sign with Ysemite Sam on it sayong "Please Don't Honk" Iam pushing as hard as I can...ya Dang rabbit,,,,That would be me.
I get lots of happy honks

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Old 12-14-2015, 12:21 PM   #3
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I wired in my car's tail lights. I find the dolly lights are hard to see unless you are far back and straight in line. For my car's safety and that of others, I wired them in with a diode kit and ran a flat plug to the front of the car. Just plugs it in with the dolly and both work together.

I wanted to make sure I was legal both here and in Canada for future travels even though I am unsure of their requirements I should have it covered.
2005 Newmar Kountry Star 3742 - Gas
ACME Eze Tow Dolly
2008 Chevy Malibu Toad
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Old 12-14-2015, 04:00 PM   #4
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In most states lights on the dolly are all that are legally required. However they will only be half way to the rear of a towed vehicle. With all the poor and distracted drivers on the road today I would invest in a set of magnetic lights to put at the rear of your Toyota.

We used them on our Buick LeSabre for 5 years and 25,000 miles. Most come with a plastic pad to place between the magnet and the vehicle so you won't scratch the paint. We tapped into the wiring harness for the lights on the dolly fenders and added a second socket on the dolly tongue just to plug in the second set of lights.

You can buy a set for as little as $20.00 from Harbor Freight.
12 Volt Magnetic Towing Light Kit

Camping World also has them for about $25.00
Magnetic Tow Lights - Direcsource Ltd MTL12V - Car Towing Accessories - Camping World

Several other manufacturers like Blue Ox and Roadmaster also offer them. Cheap insurance for all but the worst drivers on the road.
2013 Adventurer 32H
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:06 AM   #5
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Magnet Lights

Regarding the magnetic lights.....how does the plug (for the magnetic lights) and the plug (for the dolly lights) mate to the RV's outlet...i.e. is there a "Y" connection involved?
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:26 AM   #6
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Light requirements were changed a few years (Decade or so) ago.. I would install a light system, either diodes or the add-a-lamp (i really like the add-a-lamp on vehicles it will fit, it will not fit EVERYTHING).

Simply put a long "outlet" pigtail on the dolly, long enough to reach the Car's pigtail (Usually these are sold in plug/outlet pairs with a pigtail between them but the light system will have a plug)

Then you plug the dolly into the MH, and plug the car into the dolly.
Home is where I park it!
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by txsailorboy View Post
Regarding the magnetic lights.....how does the plug (for the magnetic lights) and the plug (for the dolly lights) mate to the RV's outlet...i.e. is there a "Y" connection involved?
Generally there is no provision on a dolly to add lights for the vehicle itself. What we did was purchase a trailer socket with a bracket like this:
Hopkins Endurance 7-Way Trailer Connector Socket - Vehicle End - Ergonomic Design Hopkins Wiring HM48480

and a plug like this:
Hopkins Endurance Metal Trailer Connector - 7-Pole RV Style - Trailer End Hopkins Wiring HM48510

I mounted the socket on the tongue of the dolly and tapped into the dolly wiring harness for the tail lights, brake lights, and directional lights. You don't really need a 7 way socket and plug. We just used them because they came with a bracket that could be permanently mounted on the dolly. All you really need is a 4 way socket because you'll only need wires for lights not brakes or battery charging.

The 7 way socket is more robust and weather protected, and still inexpensive. We had about $25.00 in wires, socket with bracket, and plug (to replace the 4 way plug on the magnetic lights). In total the cost was about $50.00 for everything including the lights.

We originally used a cheaper plug, but found it wasn't water tight. We got water in the plug and it caused all kinds of weird problems. The water in the plug caused the backup light terminal to short to the brake light terminal. Sometimes the backup camera on the motorhome would come on when we stepped on the brake, or turned on a directional signal. It was getting an errant signal from the water in the plug. When we changed out the original plug for one that was water tight the problems went away.

2013 Adventurer 32H
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light, lights

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