camper trailer tech tips

LED Lightbar





led lightbar system

Low Powered Lighting For Your Camper Trailer

    I have just been working on making a modular LED light system for my Camel Camper.

    We always set up the annex to the camper using spreader bars and until now have hung a fluro light inside the annex to light up the eating area and kitchen. Of course the fluro brings in the bugs from miles around, noticeably more than the built in LED lights I mounted over the bed inside the main tent area. The fluro has always been plugged directly into the battery box which is near the mud guard.

    I decided to add a double merit socket to the back of the camper to plug in the lights and the Engel fridge. I set up the poles next to the camper in the shed so I could make the wire lengths and mounts to suit the finished set up. This caused lots of laughs from the misses and kids. They figured dad had lost it and was pretending to go camping inside the shed, because I could not go for real over Easter. It probably didn't help that I sat there in my camp chair having a beer when I was finished.

    Anyway the light system consists of three of the usual Jaycar LED light bars, a jiffy box to hold the small light switches, some spreader bar clips and cables etc.

    First job was to cut the end that goes inside the tent poles off the spreader bar clips. This gives you purpose built clips that can then be used to hold the lights and switch box onto the poles. After cutting the ends off I drilled a small hole through the clip to allow it to bolt onto the lights or switch box.

    I made the jiffy box into a switch mount by drilling a couple of holes for the switches and for wires to come and go from the box. I used grommets to protect the wire and mounted a spreader bar clip on the back to allow the box to be mounted on the pole nearest the merit plug on the back of the camper. These clips were from BCF and are quite a tight fit onto the poles so the box does not slip down.

    I mounted two of the LED bars together with a scrap of alloy and onto each end of that mounted another of the spreader bar clips. I did the same thing with the other LED bar. I had previously decided that we only needed one light over the kitchen area. The idea is to use the clips to hang the lights from the overhead spreader bar over the eating area or the kitchen.

    Then it was just a matter of running all the wires from lights to switch box to merit plug. I decided to cover the wire with split tubing to protect it, using self healing tape to seal the wires into the split tubing.

    I used a couple of extra spreader bar clips as cable clamps to keep the wiring nice and neat along the upright poles and the spreader I put between the poles. (This spreader is not necessary for the tent, but its great to hang your towel and tea towel on as it is right next to the kitchen).

    I ended up with what I think is a very neat set up which means you can just walk in and turn on either one or both lights.

    Any suggestions for improvements gratefully accepted.


Thanks to Darren Binion for this article

 april 2009