Thread: Camper shell lights???

  1. #1

    Default Camper shell lights???

    What do you guys do for lighting inside your campershell?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Columbia Falls, MT
    I don't have a light in mine currently, but plan on putting the item at the bottom of this web page ( in mine soon. I plan on just wiring up a switch in the bed and maybe one in the cab as well. Not sure if I will put it at the top of the shell or along the rails yet, but for the price it's not bad to get all the wiring you need and everything!
    2005 Chevy Silverado Base 4X4: 4.8L, Auto, 4 door ex cab, short box, AEM Brute Force CAI, Flowmaster 40 SI/DO, 285's on 17 inch Helo's Summer and 265's on 17 inch Devino's for winter, custom made center console, custom engine tunes, custom headache rack, Kobalt contractors tool box, color matched grille and sport mirrors, HD towing mirrors, no power options but I got A/C!

    1992 Ford Ranger XLT 4X4: Needs a lot more done to it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Glen Burnie, MD
    I just installed tonight some of those Ebay waterproof LED strip lights. I lined the roof line of my utility cap inside and inside each cabinet. Very nice lighting. Spent $35 on 2 - 5 Meter rolls.


  4. #4
    Thanks for the ideas.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Granby, MO
    When I used to have my pickup, I had a 5th wheel trailer that I would tow occasionally, as well as a camper shell. Since I had a recessed 7-way trailer light plug in the side of my bed, I made a male 7-way plug that came off the camper shell and plugged into the 'charge line' of the camper receptacle. In other words, the camper shell plugged into the light socket that my RV would use. This gave me 12V power directly off my starting batteries (two batteries - diesel engine). I wired up some simple, inexpensive lights I purchased from my local RV supply store. All in all, less than 20 bucks and I had two bright lights mounted on the ceiling of the shell that ran off my truck's batteries.

    1995 Chevy Tahoe 2 door, 6.5L Turbo Diesel, 4L80E, NP241, 285/75R16 BFG K02's on Toyota Steelies, Eaton ADL, 1" crank in front, Roadmaster Active Suspension in rear, home-built swing-out tire carrier, Kennedy Diesel Chip, Kennedy OPS harness and gauges, Dtech FSD on FSD Cooler, vacuum pump deleted, Turbo Master wastegate controller, 3.5" exhaust, F code intake, '97 air box, dual t/stats, 310K miles and running great!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Redmond, Oregon

    Default Wiring in lights off the trailer wiring?

    Okay, so I have spent several hours reading various posts on EP and on other websites about wiring into the bed of a truck for various attachments, but I was hoping to get some vehicle specific advice and/or recommendations. I just purchased a 2001 Dodge CTD and it comes with two batteries. I also purchased a topper/shell/canopy that needs new lights inside and it needs to be wired. I also plan on building a sleeping deck. With all of that in mind, what would be the best wiring solution?

    For lighting, after reading on here I am planning to use some of the LED strip lighting in the canopy. My hope is to install a switch to make it usable even if the truck is off. I figure the amperage draw should not draw down the dual batteries enough to have an effect, but am I right? In my former truck, the dome light was wired to the parking lights which I didn't like because you couldn't turn on the dome light unless the parking lights were on.

    I also plan to possibly install a 12v power source in the pack...with a future install of a 12V refridgerator (that will be a long ways off and may not happen, but I would rather plan wiring now rather than rewire the whole thing later).

    So, my real question is, can I just tie into the already existing trailer wiring underneath the bed of the truck or will I have to run a separate larger gauge wire from the battery? In all honesty, I haven't even pulled the wiring apart under the bed to see what gauge, but I am assuming relatively small (12-16). I am hoping some of you have done something similar and might have some recommendations? Thanks all for any advice and let me say thank you as I have learned a tremendous amount already in reading some of the posts.

    Pic of the new to me truck...

    Current: 2001 Dodge Ram CTD

    2008-2012: 1998 Nissan Frontier XE

    2004-2007: 1994 Toyota 4Runner

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Copenhagen and B.C.
    People please post some pics and wiring diagrams of your different set-ups. ReaŠ good thread that I find very inspirational... Cheers, Chilli...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    The Lone Star State
    I had LED lights under the bed rails of my old '97 Dodge Dually. I used Sloan LED lights from a sign shop I worked at, they were very bright. Probably expensive too, they were just leftovers from several sign projects. I ran a power wire from one of the batteries to an auxilary fuse box under the bed, then to a a pair of rocker switches I mounted under the bed rail near the tailgate. I could switch on half the LEDs with one switch, and the other half with the other, so it was partial or full lighting. They lit up the entire bed like day light. Off that fuse box, I also ran a dedicated relay and 3-way switch to power a pair of fog lights I had facing the rear under the bumper. In one position they would come on with the reverse lights, then the off position, then the manual-on position. Then lastly I used a 12V socket wired to the aux fuse block for charging my battery jump box, cordless tools, cell phone, etc. I always suggest LED lights. They don't get hot, they don't consume voltage, and they are very low amperage, plus they are way brighter than regular bulbs. Another trick in the sign world with LED's is if you want to diffuse the brightness, you can scuff the tips of the LED's with sandpaper and it'll take some of the intensity out of the light.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Roundup MT
    i used cheap led lights fron Oriellies. they had doubble side tape and just stuck them used very little power and put off tons of light
    2000 5.4 superduty crew cab short box Warn 12m 315 MaxxisBighorns

    1967 scout 800 planning stage

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Kingman AZ

    Default I am off a second, isolated battery

    Since I didn't have a second battery in my 71 Ford, I chose to go with an additional battery that is isolated by a constant duty relay. I then put in two power bars below the battery for a cleaner wiring setup.

    I ran 10 gauge wire to the back, which would be over kill for lights only but it never hurts to over-build. You said that you might put in a fridge later and the heavier wiring would be nice at that point. I camp in my truck and my wife and I both use Cpap breathing machines so mine is wired to take care of that load and a fridge if I decide to put one in.

    The application is temporary in the shell. I will be building boxes on each side for tool storage etc. Then a drawer cabinet in between the side boxes that will open up to a bed. When that is in, I will wire in a Blue Water fuse box for accessories. The current system is feeding the two plug-ins and the stock lights but if I was putting in lights, which I will be doing when I build the boxes, I will go to LED's. They are a great way to have good, effective lighting without a lot of power use.

    One other point, even with a dual battery, I would still put in an accessory battery that can be isolated from your starting batteries. It takes two batteries to start your Dodge and they both need to be up to the job or you could be stranded. I learned this after borrowing my son's Excursion and the two batteries were not up to snuff and I was stuck in a campground. Anyhow, good luck with the upgrades. It is almost as much fun doing the improvements on the truck as it is to travel in it. Keep us informed as you make your changes.
    PAVEMENT Another example of needless government spending.

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