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Platform bike rack with lights??

Old 08-16-21, 06:55 AM
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Ryno317
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Platform bike rack with lights??

This past weekend a group of us loaded up our bikes and drove to a bike park 2 hours away. The other vehicle was a pickup truck with a platform style bike rack with 4 bikes. I noticed from following them, the bike tires were blocking his lights, making it next to impossible to see his brake or turn signals on the way up in daylight. I left before them coming home, and it was dark and raining and it made me think how dangerous it must have been to behind them.

I plan to eventually get a platform bike rack and get rid of my trunk mount one. But I was wondering if any companies makes a rack with lights that would plug into the trailer connector to add brake and turn signal lights or would I have to get a light kit and DIY it myself to the rack. I wont be carrying 4 bikes, maybe 3 at most, but I would like the extra piece of mind that people can see me and know what I'm doing.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:17 AM
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unterhausen
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I think that's a DIY project. It might be nice if bike racks had provisions for lights though.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:35 AM
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Hmm, I never thought of that. My SUV has the lights up high, way above the rack and any attached bikes. But yeah, if you got rear-ended with the lights obscured, you could be blamed.

I think that's a DIY project. You can buy those lights at any decent hardware store or U-Haul center. The tricky part will be figuring out how to attach them to the rack.

My rack obscures my rear license plate, and my state doesn't have a front plate. So, I never get charged after driving on our tollway, since it uses a photo of the license plate. But I have long wondered if I'll ever get pulled over and cited; it's not legal to have the license plate obscured.
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Old 08-16-21, 08:34 AM
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Just get a pair of those lights they use for towing, usually magnetic base on them and then plug that into the trailer light jack. Position the lights where they're not obstructed by the bikes, which should be easy on the back of the pickup, and problem solved. An alternative would be to buy some trailer lights and mount them to the rack and then plug them into the hitch.
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Old 08-16-21, 08:49 AM
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I have been worried about the same issue. In Europe bike racks have to have lights. Not here in the US. I have used these magnetic lights you can put on the trunk or roof top. Towing companies use them as well.
Some like these:
https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-8077.../dp/B078GNDQQH
https://www.harborfreight.com/12v-ma...g_q=tow+lights
I put them on the top of my SUV which is higher than the top of the bikes. This way the lights are visible to traffic behind me.

Last edited by Harhir; 08-16-21 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 08-16-21, 10:03 AM
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Ok, thanks for the suggestions for the towing lights, I would want something a bit more stream lined, then those big lights. I guess when I get the rack, I'll have to figure out some custom lights using LED strips.
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Old 08-16-21, 10:32 AM
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You are smart to be concerned to protect thousands of dollars sitting behind your bumper.

I’m the late 80’s we did a lot of camping and I added a receiver on the back of the trailer and had a fab shop make me a platform bike rack.

I added the traditional round trailer lights because, especially at night, some drivers can’t judge the the rack depth and I was concerned the trailer lights would be somewhat blocked. Never got hit, but the rack lights were a bit low to the ground.

My advice is to take note of where to locate the lights when you drive behind a car with a rack and bikes on it.

I realize that coolness is lost with larger lights a little higher up, but there is a reason why third brake lights on cars are higher than at bumper level. While various poly’s work well for bumpers carbon fiber tends to not fare so well.

John
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Old 08-16-21, 10:44 AM
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I had a rack for carrying a small motorcycle and added boat trailer led lights to it. I think the lights were around 20 bucks and the wiring harness was another 10-15 as I recall. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes so shouldn't be hard to find something that works.
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Old 08-16-21, 05:51 PM
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I'm in the process of coming up with something similar to this for installing lights on my hitch rack

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Old 08-16-21, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
You are smart to be concerned to protect thousands of dollars sitting behind your bumper.
Ew! The OP’s clearly stated (and noble) concern was for the safety of those following behind that truck.
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Old 08-17-21, 01:51 AM
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I interested to try the LED strips. Will look for a DIY tutorial for that, maybe YT has.
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Old 08-17-21, 03:56 AM
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The newest Kuat hitch rack has lights that connect to the trailer light cable, assuming you have one. Very expensive though - has many other features - here.

On my Subaru Outback, the brake/tail lights are only partially blocked, still visible - but that added bit of visibility would be nice. I looked at some add-on light kits from eTrailer, seemed like it would be kinda dodgy.
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Old 08-17-21, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I'm in the process of coming up with something similar to this for installing lights on my hitch rack

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7vk-cCoVsY
This is exactly what I'm talking about. Clean simple set up with LED's.
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