Ultra Tow trailer light brackets break easily. Solutions?

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  • #4181
    Deepwoods
    Participant

    The light brackets for the Northern Tools Ultra Tow trailer are made of thin aluminum diamond plate sheet metal — the same as the fenders.  The lights are mounted on a thin metal strip that is welded to the square brackets that surround the lights.  The aluminum quickly fatigues leaving the lights dangling.  The first pair of brackets didn’t last 500  miles.  I ordered a new pair and epoxied a strip of fiberglass across the strip that holds the lights.  After a 600 mile trip, the aluminum of one bracket is broken, though the fiberglass is kind of holding things together for now.

    What have other people done to support the lights?  I’m considering (1) fashioning a pair of wooden L-brackets (fiberglass reinforced and epoxied) to match the teardrop; (2) having a shop make a pair of L-brackets out of the aluminum frame pieces that I cut off the trailer; or (3) using an off-the-shelf L-bracket and isolating it from the aluminum frame (to prevent galvanic corrosion) with a gasket.  Opinions?

    #4189
    jb
    Participant

    Deepwoods,

    I haven’t pulled my trailer much yet (only ~500 highway miles) but haven’t seen any extensive wear or damage to the brackets. That said, they are clearly very flimsy and are shin busters so I plan on replacing them along with the fenders because I don’t like the diamond plate look. I kept the back ~1.5 feet of the Ultra Tow trailer while I was working out the weight and balance, and I’ve decided to keep it for now and put a deck on it for hauling equipment and as a shelf while using the galley. I plan on having the deck extend to the width of the current brackets and attaching the lights to the deck with an angled wood, glass, and epoxy bracket that I make.

    I think either of the approaches you suggest would work fine but if I didn’t have the deck to attach to, I’d probably go with the wood bracket approach because I’d be able to create a shape the fit the camper design better and was less likely to have sharp edges to walk into.

    Jason

    #4190
    Deepwoods
    Participant

    Thanks, Jason.  I like where your going with your idea.  After I posted my question, I looked at the photos of completed teardrops.  Several people just mounted the lights on the trailer rear crosspiece below the transom.  I don’t know if there’s a DOT regulation for how far the lights have to be separated, but it’s better than having them dangling from broken brackets.  Your deck, of course would give them the same separation as they were designed to have.  For now, mounting the lights on the rear crosspiece will get me on the road, and when the weather warms up I might warm up to something ambitious  like a wooden-fiberglass-epoxy bracket that would compliment the teardrop.

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