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Miami Son 04-07-2012 05:27 PM

Tonneau cover lighting
I did this on my 2000 Ram and just had to do it again for the new beast. The install is pretty easy, but time consuming and requires some soldering skills, and electric drill and some hand tools. Total spent for this mod was about $65 for the lights, connectors and wiring supplies. Total time was about 4.5 hours.

These are the lights I purchased from an eBay seller in Hong Kong. Took about 8 days to arrive. The nice thing is these are encapsulated in clear silicone to make them waterproof and they have 3M adhesive on the back. The roll is about 15' long, but I only needed three 3' pieces for this project. The rest will find other uses.

I always mount an accessory receptacle in the back corner of my trucks. Makes it easy to connect a 12v compressor, vacuum or other 12v device when working away from the interior. This one is made by Bell and can be panel mounted for a clean look. Also has a rubber cover to keep the elements out. It cost $9.95 at Autozone.

I made this harness for the 3 light strips that are mounted to the bows from my cover. The connectors are Radio Shack items while the corrugated sheathing and anchors came from Advance Auto. This gives the harness a clean, factory look and allows quick disconnection for whenever I need to take off the cover and remove the bows to load something in the bed.
Close-up of a connector.

The plug to power everything is a standard cigarette lighter-type plug. I connected the socket to the running light of the left taillight assembly. I prefer this to having it be hot all the time so that anything plugged into it can't be left on inadvertently.

The lights off.

The lights on. You can't tell because there's a lot of ambient light, but in the dark they really light up the bed. Makes finding things back there at night a lot easier.

CdnoilRAM 04-07-2012 05:43 PM

Very move, I like the disconnects at each rib, though I would have hardwired them into the 12V circuit and left the recepticle free for your accessories. Never know when you will need to use that compressor in the dark and then that light will be your best friend.

Miami Son 04-07-2012 05:46 PM

I carry one of these if I need to do that.:smileup:

CdnoilRAM 04-07-2012 06:20 PM

Smart azz, have an answer to everything, don't ya :gy:

itshertruck 04-07-2012 06:50 PM

You asked, and he answered. You left the potential for a smart azz comment to be sent your way... I like the install. Very clean!

Bikenut 04-08-2012 08:58 AM

Nice Job! :smile up: So you only have power when the trucks running lights are on?

Miami Son 04-08-2012 09:25 AM


Originally Posted by Bikenut (Post 771240)
Nice Job! :smile up: So you only have power when the trucks running lights are on?

Thanks. Yes, only when the parking lights are on. I could have wired it with a switch to an always-on hot feed, but then I'd have to remember to turn the switch off or the socket will be on all the time. If I forget and leave the lights plugged in (or some other accessory) they will go off when I turn off the truck lights. Don't want anything plugged into that socket to be draining my battery when it shouldn't.

Chunkem 04-08-2012 09:32 AM

That looks sweet......Nicely done.....

Ramfd 04-08-2012 11:28 PM

very nice work. I like the clean install.
I did something similar but mine is fixed and and it has the option for accent lighting for the nights at the drive-in or white light for when i need to see. I have two relays mounted under the hood. One for the red and one for the white. the red ones have a switch mounted in the cab that activates the relay then one hot wire runs to the bed to the lights. the white ones also run off a relay but the switch is actually the cargo lamp switch.

Bikenut 04-09-2012 11:49 AM

There's a body in your bed!

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