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Old 10-20-2021, 08:39 PM   #1
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Magnetic lights for back of a VW bus

I need some magnetic lights to put on my VW bus for towing behind our RV.

It seems like nearly all of them are made to sit on a horizontal surface, ie a trunk or roof. I need some made to mount to a vertical surface. My bus has a fiberglass roof, so I can't use a magnet up there.

I've found a couple on Amazon, but they all get bad reviews for being wired incorrectly, and their magnets don't sound very strong.

Does anyone know of a product with strong magnets placed behind the lamps intended to be mounted on a vertical surface?

I'm just about ready to start assembling my own parts to make some DIY.
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Old 10-21-2021, 07:08 AM   #2
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Just install a diode kit at the taillights and run a flat 4 to the front. It’s really easy to do. Call or check with trailer.com for advice on a kit. They are super helpful and friendly to deal with.
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Old 10-21-2021, 09:16 AM   #3
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Lot's of horror stories of magnetic lights blowing off. Are you sure you can't rig them inside the back window, or, as suggested, do a diode kit to use the existing lights?
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:08 AM   #4
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My preference would be a diode kit to the bus tail lights.



If you still want temporary lights, why not get the heavy duty "industrial" magnet lights used by tow trucks and mount them to the sides of the bus so they stick out like "ears?" Shouldn't protrude any farther than the side mirrors.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:14 AM   #5
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C-camp a piece of angle iron to the back bumper.
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Old 10-21-2021, 02:35 PM   #6
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I have seen where people have used light bars with a cloth flap closed in the tail gate of SUV's etc before, though I don't know where you buy it. It looks similar to this https://www.baremotion.com/products/...r-tb48-towmate


p.s. this may work https://www.etrailer.com/Tow-Bar-Wir...co/DMKKLB.html
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Old 10-22-2021, 12:04 PM   #7
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I could certainly wire into the VW's lights, but in all honesty, the bus lights are small and not all that bright.

I found these:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000CMH37O/

Those look like they would work, but now that I've had time to ponder solutions, I am thinking I want to DIY something...

My current idea/plan is to make something I can attach to the back hatch, ie have it hanging over the top of the back hatch via some sort of cord with a large knot inside the bus behind the hatch. Then all the wiring can just run through the bus interior and out the front to the RV.

I can use something like this:
https://smile.amazon.com/SOCAL-LED-T...dp/B08FWG1MCN/
I like the sequential turn signals and think a long light bar would be more visible then 2 light clusters.

My objection to putting magnetic lights on the sides, ie like "ears", is fear they will blow off.

There are a couple other "heavy duty" ones I found, but the Grote brand lights I linked above appear to have a hinged base, so I can have them mounted to the flat back of the bus.

I also found these, but the reviews don't inspire confidence. I am confident I could rewire them to operate correctly, but I think these are probably just cheap rather than providing real "value".
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B08419YCXS/

Thanks for the feedback. I'll post a picture of what I settle on.
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Old 10-22-2021, 12:27 PM   #8
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Here's another thought and direction.


You mentioned you have a fiberglass roof on your bus. You could attach small brackets to the rear of the roof, just above the rear hatch, and use the brackets to install/remove a pair of taillights, or even the light bar you posted. The bracket system could be anything you can improvise, as simple as a steel loop that the lights would slide into. Obviously, it would be something you could secure so the lights would not bounce out. When done towing, simply remove the lights and the brackets remain.
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Old 10-22-2021, 03:02 PM   #9
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Magnetic Lights are a complete waste of money. I got pissed and chucked them in the trash.
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Old 10-24-2021, 04:10 PM   #10
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I have decided not to use magnetic lights. The VW has a rear hatch, so I'm making something that will hang on the back.

I had an idea like the one to attach a mount to the fiberglass top. The lights I bought are made to slide down over carriage bolts, so I considered installing the bolts in the top, but I want the lights tightened down so they don't bounce off and if they were flush against the fiberglass top, they would be angled up a little.

I didn't get one of the tailgate light bars. I only found 1 locally and it was too long. I bought a set intended to be installed on a trailer. The plan is to attach them to a board and hang it across the back. I started working on it earlier, but I came in out of the rain.

My tow bar was supposed to arrive last Thursday. Called FedEx and they said it's stuck on a truck and they don't have enough people to unload all the trucks backed up there.

We planned to head south tomorrow, but now we will be here until the tow bar makes it's way the last ~90 miles of it's ~3000 mile journey. (VA to WA)
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