Which light to mount for the sides and where?


Fairly often I found myself looking for a place to camp after it gets dark so I want to mount a light facing out to the side and slightly forward. I have a F150 with a home-built wood camper that I live in full-time, all summer in the mountains, all winter in the desert. The lights need to be fairly high to shine over the sagebrush and creosote bushes that grow along most desert back-roads. The obvious answer is on top of the camper (9 foot above the ground) but in the summer in the forests I am very often in some very dense trees and brush that plays havoc with anything I mount up there. Every antenna I mounted up there dissapered within a week. So I am thinking of mounting lights on my hood. Here are my questions:

  • Which light? I assume a fog light with its wide pattern would be best. But would it throw far enough mounted 9 feet off the ground? For that application would a driving light be better? Is there a hybrid?
  • On a tight budget which light would you buy?
  • Is it okay to mount a light turned mostly sideways on my hood? Would slamming the hood shut damage the light? I assume it would be best to mount it as far back toward the cab as possible. Who has done this and how did it work?
  • If I mount them on the roof, is there some way to protect them from tree branches?

I know thats lots of questions, but I am sure I have come to the experts and want to thank you in advance for your advice. Bob

Mr. Moore

why not try some tractor work lights? they are cheap and work like a flood light? I am going to use the spotlight versions up front on my truck and two of the work light on the rear of my truck. they are about 15 bucks a piece at just about any autoparts store or farm supply. At least you wont be out a bunch of money. Post up some pics of your truck. I have been contemplating building a canopy for my truck and I would like to see what you have done...




Tractor lights are very cheap and should work well. On my van I bought cheap Hella worklights for like $8, I think they are more like $12 now. I mounted mine on the roof (8 feet with the top down and like 10 feet with it up). I use them mainly in camp and they work well for illuminating the immediate area.

At this price you could mount some up top and and some down lower. I don't think you can really go wrong. Keep in mind the throw is not that far but for short range you can beat the price.



I agree with Mr. Moore & Cellularsteve2, we also have tractor lights mounted on both sides of our Jeep roof rack. As far as mounting the lights, in our case
Ron over at Garvin Ind. (Wilderness Racks) has lots of accessories for their rack systems and one of the items is light brackets. Just bolt up & wire up!

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I have 3 small lights on the sides of my rig and they do a great job for a very compact lights.



55w halogens. got them on ebay and they have held up very well. have taken many branches on the trail as well.



Rendezvous Conspiracy
I have Maxxima lights on my AT as back up lights and love em. Low power draw and bright as hell.


Thanks everyone for your responses. I saw some lights at Napa auto parts that were like tractor lights and they were only $26, so I think I will use those up on the roofline. They looked like they threw a lot of light but were cheap enough that if they get wrecked I won't really care.

Here is a link to my website where I describe my camper build: