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John E Davies

HOW TO: Reflective and Non Skid Tape

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This is an easy and rewarding mod, and a lot of fun. I wanted to add some brightness to my new rear cargo rack and a couple of other places, and some non-skid material near the emergency exit. That last area should have tape there from the factory. Exiting out through the window, across the spare tire and any bikes or other cargo is risky enough, and then you have to step across a possibly wet and slippery bumper. Ouch...

 

There are endless sources of inexpensive low-grade reflective tape but I chose the real deal, the commercial 3M "Conspicuity Tape" that is used on semi truck trailers. It is available locally but you probably have to buy it in 150 ft rolls for up to $250! Here you can get various widths in smaller lengths at a about a buck per foot. If applied properly it has a ten year life expectancy. I bought 15 ft of red and yellow in the 1" width. Shipping was $7.53. You should buy the correct width that is "edge sealed" ... don't buy a wider strip thinking you can cut it lengthwise since the cut will allow dirt into the cells of the material. Sealed edges prevent that, you only get some dirt in your cut ends.

 

https://www.identi-tape.com/3M-conspicuity.htm

 

[attachment file=3M Conspicuity Tape Instructioins.pdf]

 

A smooth and clean surface is important. I sanded lightly with 360 grit sandpaper and cleaned with 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner. Good stuff. I used regular 2" Gorilla black non-skid tape from Home Depot for the tops of the surfaces in back. Round the corners a little so the patches look neat and there is less likelihood of them lifting.

 

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I used a fresh clean roll of 1" masking tape to make guide lines. Don't use an old roll with dirty edges since it can contaminate the area with oils. Rollers are helpful but not necessary. Just make sure the colored and black tape is really pushed down hard.

 

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Here are ambient and flash pics of the areas I taped.

 

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Notice that the teeny round factory installed reflectors are quite bright, but they are very low down and possibly obscured by a rack or bikes. The tail lights don't reflect much at all. I was surprised by that.

 

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If you use a pressure washer be really careful around the tape, it is rated for 1200 psi at a foot distance. Don't get too close. I'll add some outside and night time pics later. I took my time and it was done in about 90 minutes. It was fun. Highly recommended!

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

3M-Conspicuity-Tape-Instructioins.pdf

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Nice job JD.

 

Is there a reason you selected the solid red over the alternating red/white. I noticed the retailer you referenced has several "colors".

 

The tape really brings an added safety factor, it stands out very boldly in your pics. Seems I have at least one more mod to do, my bike rack and rear bumper are perfect candidates. I also like that yellow on the other spots.

 

Thanks for the post JD.

 

RB


Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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RB, I wanted narrow tape for my rack and I did not want to cut down the wide stuff because of dirt intrusion. The red/ white pattern is only available in 2”. I wanted to augment the existing red/ yellow scheme, not add extra colors, so I chose those. Also I did not want fluorescent colors since those are normally used on emergency vehicles and fire trucks.

 

Be aware that the tape has a two year shelf life so you should not buy much more than you need. I still have a bunch left and may add some more after looking at the trailer at night by flashlight.

 

The color choice is personal preference since there are no DOT regulations for light recreational trailers, but I did not want the thing to look like a Christmas tree.... mainly I wanted to alert drivers behind me and passerby's who might walk into the rack at night. The yellow Tee up front is a backing assist for hitching up at night.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

 

 


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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You might want to put a strip up high on the rear.  I've learned from experience that traveling down a muddy gravel road will completely cover your rear end with mud, due to a considerable low pressure area behind the trailer.  I've had it so bad that even the marker lights up top were covered.  I placed a few red/white strips on back of my rear solar panels, but a strip on the AC housing or above the 'Oliver' would work, so long as it doesn't angle upward any.

 

I think you'll find that the flat strip on the front of your trailer won't be of much use, since you have to be about 90° to the tape, both you and the light source, for it to reflect.  The cross strip should work, though.  Test it with your rear view camera, though.  Those cameras don't have a ton of range and a strong light source could make them darken the image so much that you can't see the hitch.

 

Here's some tape I put onto my hitch for the same reason.  Looks amazing in a photo, but in real life does nothing -

 

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Snowball • LE2 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Overland, thanks for the comments. I may add a strip up on the back of the AC shroud. If the yellow strips up front are too bright and wash out the truck’s backup camera, I may try smaller pieces. I already have a silver paint stripe on my coupler which helps when the light is decent.

 

As far as the back getting covered, I am hardly ever in mud since I usually am in a dry climate and if the roads get sloppy from a shower I just wait for them to dry. Dust however is a real problem, I carry a gas leaf blower that takes care of that in seconds when I get to the end of the dirt road....

 

BTW the 3M tape reflects from straight on to almost 90 degrees to the side, so it does not necessarily have to be perfectly aligned.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Installed a cargo carrier into Oliver installed 1.25" hitch.  Current arrangement blocks tag visibility.  I assume the license plate must be readily visible during travel? Any suggestions for attaching license plate to cargo carrier? [attachment file=cargo carrier.jpg]

[attachment file=Hull444 cargo carrier.jpg]

Hull444-cargo-carrier.thumb.jpg.08516e00b2d7d576cbdfe6db5d648ab5.jpg


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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I would worry more about your tail lights. Are those colored strips on the rack actual lights (turn, brake and park) or are they just reflectors? If the latter I suggest you don’t leave home before mounting lights.

 

What do you carry in the big Yeti? If you carried that in the center of the rack, and the grill elsewhere, your trailer lights would probably be visible enough.

 

I would ask Service to send you a new license plate mount with light and put it on the hull over to the side like mine (see above pics). You could easily splice the two wires into the left running or clearance lights. I suppose you could mount it to the rack itself in the middle, but I would worry about having a plate not actually attached to the vehicle, and so might a cop. I’m not sure that is legal.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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KWR, Off topic, how are you attaching those side support straps to the trailer? There isn’t much to hook onto.

 

Thanks.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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KWR -

 

Looks to me like there is a center "plate" on the carrier - the area right in the center with the four bolts/screws?  I assume that this was designed that way in order to attach a plate to it.  However - John has point in that I too think that you have other things that are at least important to think about with this set up.

 

I'm guessing that if you back off a bit more from the pictures posted above you might be able to see at least a bit of the signals.  But, they certainly could not be seen from a vehicle or pedestrian that happened to be towards the other side of you.  This not only has legal issues but safety issues as well (and maybe liability issues).

 

Just how heavy is that Yeti (assuming that you want to have something in it)?  Hard to believe that the small hitch receiver would not allow that thing to bounce around and twist on that relatively small center point.

 

Don't know about your State, but, in North Carolina it is required that anything extending more than two feet beyond the bumper of the vehicle must have a visible flag on it - stickers and/or lights are not enough.

 

With your current design I believe that you are all but begging one of our police officers to have a conversation with you.

 

Bill


2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Thanks to all for great comments. Possibly my easiest way to resolve this is to change the payload in the cargo carrier.  The griddle and griddle box supplies provides a lower profile, hopefully enabling the tag and brake lights visibility.  Using the cargo carrier for these items provides more room in my TV for other luxury items, like Karren's Yeti full of ice cold beers.

 

[attachment file=Cargo Carrier.jpg]

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Cargo-Carrier.thumb.jpg.9d585d9fb9d4ceaf122f4f5a4bca8dcb.jpg


KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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